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Senate Leadership Discusses Bryant’s Death

first_imgLofa County Senior Senator Sumo Kupee has suggested to the plenary of Senate that further discussions on the demise of Charles Gyude Bryant, former Chairman of the erstwhile National Transitional Government of Liberia, be dealt with at the level of the leadership of that august body.“We don’t need to haul this too much,” said Sen. Kupee, “because Chairman Bryant’s contribution to this country was good for all of us, and if there is a problem I do not think that we should be pulling and hauling at this time of his demise. I think we can deal with it at the level of the leadership of the Senate, [who] will subsequently inform the plenary what the decisions are.”Describing the issue as a very sensitive state matter, Pro Tempore Gbehzohngar Findley agreed with Senator Kupee that it be handled at the level of the leadership of the Senate.The decision by the Senate at its 28th day sitting Thursday was prompted by a verbal concern raised by Maryland County Senator John Ballout on the lack of discussion from the position of the Senate on the death of Chairman Bryant, who passed away on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia, at the age of 65.Senator Ballout, who hails from the same county as the late NTGL leader, said the lack of discussion from the position of the Senate concerning the death of former Chairman Bryant, as well as the bereaved family’s decision to exclude the Government of Liberia from official participation in his funeral ceremony, needs that body’s attention.“I opted to bring to the attention of the plenary the lack of discussions of the passing of a very eminent past leader, and for whatever reason or circumstances surrounding his death and the implications therein contained, it still doesn’t stop this plenary from being informed of his passing, from discussing his passing or having a representation to the family. We are talking about somebody responsible for transitioning this country from war to peace. His death has to be formally brought to the attention of the plenary, but that has not been done.”Responding to Senator Ballout’s concern, Pro Tempore Findley disclosed that neither he, nor the President of the Senate or Secretary of the Senate has received any official communication from the family of the former Transitional leader.“I think there are some issues between the family and the state, and I don’t know if those issues have been resolved. But as soon as those issues have been resolved we expect information from the Executive Mansion to the Legislature.”The late Bryant led the country’s sixth interim government, known as National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL), from October 2003 to January 2006 as the consensus choice of the three major warring factions – Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL), and Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia.According to the family, it was Chairman Bryant’s wish that there be No Panegyric, No Official Gazette issued, No Laying in State, No 21-Gun Salute, No Military Escort, or any State function over his remains. The families intend to carry out his wishes.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Kwakwani resident charged for stealing money during drinking spree

first_imgTwenty-year-old Bob Sipriano of Kwakwani, Region Nine (Upper Demerara/Berbice), was on Friday arraigned for stealing money during a drinking spree. He appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.The charge levelled against Sipriano stated that between July 2 and 3, 2019 at Jonestown, Kwakwani, he stole $250,000 from Kerran Persaud. However, he pleaded not guilty to the charge.According to facts presented, on the day in question, the Virtual Complainant (VC) and defendant were both consuming alcohol at the VC’s home when the defendant was instructed to padlock the gates.At about 03:00h the following morning, Persaud was awaken by a noise from inside her home. Upon inspection, she saw the defendant leaving the premises and it was until after she discovered the money missing.A report was subsequently made and Sipriano was arrested and later charged for simple larceny.After Police Prosecutor Gordon Mansfield made no objections to bail being granted, Chief Magistrate granted bail in the sum of $70,000 and ordered the defendant to report to the Kwakwani Police Station until the conclusion of the matter.The case was adjourned until July 19, 2019 at the Kwakwani Magistrates’ Courts.last_img read more

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Political paranoia

first_imgThat, along with the plethora of legislative activity, bodes well for redistricting reform – we hope. This week, two senators proposed two different ballot measures – SCA 9 and SCA 10 – for two different ways of pursuing redistricting. Bakersfield Republican Roy Ashburn came up with the first, which also throws term limits into the mix, but exempts congressional boundaries from the redistricting portion (thus avoiding a Congress-financed campaign against any ballot measure). Then there’s the better plan, SCA 10 – a straightforward redistricting proposal that includes congressional districts. It’s being sponsored by Long Beach Sen. Alan Lowenthal. Meanwhile, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nu ez has a redistricting ballot measure that’s set for an Assembly vote next month that gives redistricting power to the Little Hoover Commission. Under his plan, the term-limit extension would be a separate ballot measure. IT might be pure paranoia, but Sacramento’s politicians seem to be setting up redistricting reform for another legislative fall. On the face of it, there’s only evidence of earnest work toward getting an independent redrawing of California’s political districts – a redrawing that puts logic and communities above politics. Both Republican and Democratic politicians have vowed to support this voter favorite, despite their general dislike of the concept since it’s expected to generate more partisan competition, lead to more interesting elections and elect more moderate politicians who are not them. Of course, part of that enthusiasm stems from the fact that current lawmakers will likely bundle any redistricting reform with term-limit extensions. As a package, it’s not a bad deal for current lawmakers. With three separate redistricting proposals in the works, one might think that this year – surely – will be the year when some sort of proposal makes it out of the legislative session alive and before voters in February’s special election. But one would do well to consider all the many attempts at redistricting reform that have been on the ballot, including in 2004, and all the failures. Just last year, redistricting reform looked like it had finally come to pass when the Assembly and Senate compromised on a deal. But that measure died when Senate leader Don Perata closed the session early – and that was that. With this kind of history, redistricting reform will continue to seem too good to be true until proved otherwise.160Want 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

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Premier League Team of the Weekend – January signings make the difference

first_img 11 Philippe Coutinho: Liverpool (midfielder) – Aston Villa may have been terrible, but you can only beat what’s in front of you and Coutinho happened to be brilliant for Liverpool. 11 11 11 Danny Rose: Tottenham (left back) – The left back was fantastic against Man City where Tottenham beat Manuel Pellegrini’s side 2-1. Troy Deeney: Watford (striker) – The Watford captain scored both goals in the 2-1 win at Crystal Palace. Jonas Olsson: West Brom (centre back) – He had Romelu Lukaku in his back pocket and was instrumental in West Brom’s goal against Everton where they won 1-0. 11 11 Tottenham and Liverpool had stand out wins at the weekend, though Spurs overcame title chasing Man City 2-1.The Reds, meanwhile, will not have an easier game this season with Aston Villa crumbling in front of their own fans in a 6-0 thrashing.Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech came to the rescue against Leicester, but Fraser Forster and Southampton have been unbeatable in their last six games.Here, talkSPORT has put together a Team of the Weekend, so click the yellow arrow above, right, to see the 11 players and let us know if you think we have missed someone more deserving out. 11 Pedro: Chelsea (forward) – He hasn’t played better for Chelsea since arriving last summer. 11 Giannelli Imbula: Stoke (midfielder) – Imbula cost £18.3m in January and has been fantastic for Stoke and put in a man of the match display in the 3-1 win at Bournemouth. 11 11 Cesar Azpilicueta: Chelsea (right back) – Quality at either right or left back. Willian: Chelsea (forward) – Willian scored one and created another as Chelsea thrashed Newcastle 5-1. The forward has been the Blues’ best player this season. 11 Lamine Kone: Sunderland (centre back) – Superb buy in the January transfer window. Mousa Dembele: Tottenham (midfielder) – Dembele was classy against Man City and bossed the midfield where the likes of Yaya Toure and David Silva were roaming. It was a man of the match performance. Fraser Forster: Southampton (goalkeeper) – Forster has not conceded in his last six games and you wouldn’t have guessed he has spent close to a year in the treatment room with a knee injury. last_img read more

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JUDGE UPHOLDS BAN ON CHRISTMAS NIGHT CLUB OPENINGS

first_imgDONEGAL revellers will be able to go out on Christmas night after all – but it depends on where they live after a Circuit Court judgement today.Judge John O’Hagan heard today from barrister Declan McHugh representing three of five clubs refused special licenses to open after midnight on Christmas night – Jackson’s of Ballybofey, The Fleets Inn in Downings and the Tul-na-Ri in Carndonagh.But the Judge refused their appeals and upheld a decision of the District Court not to allow them to open after hearing concerns for public safety expressed by three senior Gardai. However the court heard that special exemption licenses have been granted for clubs in Bundoran, Liberty’s Club in Buncrana and the Central Bar in Letterkenny. They will all open just after midnight.“Why can’t we just let it be Christmas where people spend the time with their families and taxi drivers and staff members have the night off?” said Judge O’Hagan as he ruled in favour of senior Gardai who had objected to the Ballybofey, Downings and Carndonagh applications.In evidence Supt Eugene McGovern told Donegal Town Circuit Court today that he was not satisfied with transport arrangements in Downings on Christmas night. The club’s owners had offered to lay on buses.But Supt McGovern said every other club in the Milford District which had applied for special exemption licenses and had been refused at the District Court and had not appealed.He said there was a fear that as a result large numbers of people would seek to go to the Fleet’s Inn on Christmas night.“There are a large number of people home this year and we have a real fear for public safety,” he said.He repeated evidence from the District Court in Letterkenny earlier this week that one Garda injured in an incident last Christmas was still off work as a result of being assaulted. A second Garda who was injured in the same incident – not involving the Fleet’s Inn – was also in court today.The Superintendent also referred to an incident in Downings in May and said up to 26 people could appear before the courts as a result.Sgt Kevin Lynch, stationed in Ballybofey, gave evidence in the Jacksons case.He said it was his experience that the level of intoxication on a Christmas night was much higher than on any other night of the year.Inspector David Murphy, objecting to the Tul-na-Ri application told Judge O’Hagan he didn’t accept that no special transport arrangements were needed. The owners, the court heard, had not laid on special taxis or buses for the night. Hackney cabs would have been available however.He said there was an incident outside a chip van after 3am on the same day last year.Inspector Murphy said Gardai had not objected to Liberty’s nightclub opening on Christmas night because officers were happy with transport arrangements there and there had been no incidents in Buncrana last year.“Is there a prejudice against rural Ireland?” asked Barrister McHugh.The Inspector denied this. Mr McHugh said his clients’ believed the decision of Gardai to object to some licenses and not to others was “discrimination against rural people.”He asked the Inspector: “What about everyone descending now on Buncrana from Carndonagh, Moville, Culdaff and Greencastle?”Inspector Murphy said he didn’t believe this would happen.Judge O’Hagan, in his ruling, said the legislation recognises the special role of Gardai in such matters.“They are the best people to judge and their primary concern is public safety,” he said.“I myself have seen that the most frequent departures from reasonable behaviour happens after clubs close when people are intoxicated,” said Judge O’Hagan.“Inevitable public safety fears arise. I am compelled to confirm the decision of the District Court and dismiss the appeal.”At the District Court in Letterkenny earlier this week Judge Paul Kelly has called time on five applications. Neither Patsy Dan’s in Dunfanaghy nor The Bailey in Redcastle had appealed the refusal.Judge Kelly had objected to all five licenses.JUDGE UPHOLDS BAN ON CHRISTMAS NIGHT CLUB OPENINGS was last modified: December 21st, 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:BallybofeybuncranabundoranCarndonaghDowningsJUDGE UPHOLDS BAN ON CHRISTMAS NIGHT CLUB OPENINGSletterkennylast_img read more

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ABUSE REPORT: McCONALOGUE SLAMS COVER UP

first_imgDONEGAL TD Charlie McConalogue has said the effort to cover up the abuse suffered by the victims in the Cloyne Report was appalling.“The pain and full horror of this abuse of trust will leave people across our country deeply upset and angry,” he said.The Fianna Fail Children’s Spokesman was backed today by his party leader Micheal Martin on a visit to the county. New inquiries into clerical child sex abuse could be launched after a nationwide audit of Catholic dioceses is completed.The Raphoe Diocese is said to be a ‘priority’.Speaking after the publication of the Report, Deputy McConalogue commented, “There is very little that any politician can say that will add to the testimony of the victims whose experiences are laid out within this report.  What was done to these children was shocking, awful and unforgivable.  The effort to cover up the abuse was appalling.  The pain and full horror of this abuse of trust will leave people across our country deeply upset and angry.“The terrible clarity of the Report vindicates the decision to establish the Inquiry in the first instance. However, the challenge for politicians from all parties now is to not only ensure that such an intolerable situation can never be allowed to develop again; we must build on the work that has been done and establish a framework to ensure that the voices of victims across our country can be heard. “The commissions to date have established the scale of these crimes within three dioceses.  They have uncovered sufficient evidence to demand the creation of a nationwide initiative to hear the voices of victims from across the country.“We look forward to getting further details from Government on the initiatives announced today and will not be found wanting when it comes to enhancing child protection measures.  However, we also believe that it is not sufficient to rely on audits by the Church itself and the HSE to hear the voices of victims.  All of Irish society requires their testimony to be properly heard and understood.  All political parties in the Dáil should work together to find a sustainable and appropriate way to facilitate this. Fianna Fáil will continue to play its part, building on the work that we have done to date.”Deputy McConalogue concluded, “I would like to offer the gratitude of the Fianna Fáil party to Judge Yvonne Murphy, her fellow members of the commission, and particularly to all those who shared their experiences and made this report possible.”Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald said the Diocese of Cloyne had proven itself to be a “danger to children” by failing to investigate abuse cases.“You could not rule investigating other dioceses, but at present we’re going to put our primary focus on protecting children and ensuring the guidelines are being followed,” she said. ABUSE REPORT: McCONALOGUE SLAMS COVER UP was last modified: July 14th, 2011 by gregShare 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:Charlie McConaloguecloyne reportmicheal martinraphoe dioceselast_img read more

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Delight as funding granted for Fintra Bridge works

first_imgA critical transport link in south west Donegal has been included in an investment programme for improved maintenance and safety works.Independent County Councillor, Niamh Kennedy, said today she was delighted to see the first tranche of funding approved for essential improvement works on Fintra Bridge, on the R263, Killybegs-Glencolmcille Road.“This project has been a priority with me since my election and I very much welcome the commitment by Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Shane Ross TD, towards getting this work started. “Fintra Bridge is a critical infrastructural link with the western part of this electoral area but, in its present stage, it could be put out of commission by a very small incident, preventing access to a wide area by emergency vehicles and other traffic”, she said.Cllr Kennedy pointed out also that Fintra Bridge is on the much-publicised Wild Atlantic Way and taking it out of commission could have huge implications for many tourism activities in South West Donegal.A total investment programme of €33 million for 2018 for regional and local roads in Co. Donegal has been announced by Minister Ross.He said: “I am very happy to be able to announce a significant and much needed increase in grant allocations for regional and local roads this year right across the country.  Overall 2018 will see a funding increase nationally of about 29% to €417 million including €33 million in Co. Donegal. “While the funding in 2018 will largely continue to support the maintenance of our current regional road network, expenditure on road improvements projects will also increase.  A significant number of these projects have a safety focus.”Emphasising that his main priority remains the maintenance and safety of the network, the Minister added that investment in maintenance and renewal nationally will see an increase of about 18% in 2018, saying, “roads that are well-maintained lead to less costs for vehicle repair, a reduction in journey times and, crucially, they are safer for us all to travel on.” “I am especially pleased that the 2018 grant allocations include important initiatives in the area of Community Involvement Schemes and Drainage. While local authorities were able to use general grants for such schemes in recent years, this year ring-fenced funding is being provided.“These are two areas where I have very much wanted to take action and I am very glad to be able to do so this year.  There needs to be an increased focus on measures to improve the resilience of the road network in the face of climate change”, Minister Ross added.The Government gave a specific commitment after the devastating flooding in Donegal last year to assist Donegal County Council with road repairs and funding is being provided in 2018 to meet that commitment. Other specific improvement projects that have received an allocation in 2018 include: the rehabilitation of a number of critically deficient bridges on regional roads around the country including Tirconnell and Cockhill Bridges in County Donegal.“There is also provision nationally for 216 bridge rehabilitation schemes and 227 safety improvement projects to be carried out. The main focus of the safety improvements scheme is to improve safety at locations where collisions have taken place.”The main features of the national investment programme include:€195m for road pavement strengthening works;€48m for surface dressing;€70.6m for maintenance and strengthening works for which Local Authorities have discretion in the selection of roads;€50.3m for Specific and Strategic Regional and Local Roads Projects;€9.7m for Bridge rehabilitation works;€7.1m for Safety Improvement Works;€10m for Drainage works;€10m for Community Involvement Schemes€16m approx. of miscellaneous grants including, training, speed limit funding, severe weather repairs, salt purchase, road condition survey Funding of about €1m will be allocated to local authorities to further progress the implementation of 30km/h speed limits in housing estates across Ireland. This programme is now well advanced. “I would also like to emphasise again that I consider that local authorities are best placed to assess priorities within their areas and considerable autonomy is therefore given to local authorities under grant headings to decide their work programme. I would also explain that these grants supplement local authorities own resources expenditure on regional and local road projects and do not represent the total investment in regional and local roads for this year.”Delight as funding granted for Fintra Bridge works was last modified: January 29th, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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)last_img read more

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Cllr Kavanagh urges people to avail of housing grants

first_img€1.46 million has been made available to support home adaptations for older people, people with a disability and people with mobility issues in Donegal a Fine Gael councillor has said. The funding, which has been increased this year, will enable older people and people with disabilities to remain living independently in their own homes for longer and will also facilitate early return from hospital.Cllr. Jimmy Kavanagh said: “I am confident that today’s allocation will continue to build on the progress made since the introduction of this scheme in 2007 and it will demonstrate the Government’s continued commitment to older people and people with a disability. “This follows on from the launch last week of our policy document ‘Housing Options for Our Ageing Population’, which committed further resources from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government for this scheme.“I am also pleased that funding has been increasing year on year since 2014.”“These grants have an immense impact on the quality of life of the many beneficiaries and play a vitally important role in helping people with a disability and people who are reaching an age in life when they are less mobile, to continue to live independently in their own homes.”Cllr.Kavanagh added that grants of up to €30,000 are available to assist people with a disability in carrying out necessary works to make a house more suitable for their needs, up to €8,000 to assist older people living in poor housing conditions to have necessary repairs or improvements carried out and up to €6,000 for mobility aids to address mobility problems for a member of the household. He said “The grants are 80% funded from the exchequer by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, with 20% funding from Donegal County council.“The grants also create employment opportunities for builders and local businesses and help reduce the dependency on our health services by supporting independent living for as long as possible.”“The grants have been increased by around 8% in 2019, the figure for Donegal in 2018 was just over €1.1m so this year’s grant is an increase of almost €300,000“Last year these grants assisted over 9,400 households nationally and this year, some 11,800 households will benefit from the schemes.”Cllr Kavanagh urges people to avail of housing grants was last modified: March 12th, 2019 by StephenShare 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:Cllr Jimmy Kavanaghgrantshousinglast_img read more

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Bits Of Destruction Hit the Book Publishing Business: Part 1

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market bernard lunn Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Analysis#Features#NYT#web “Bits of destruction” is a phrase Fred Wilson uses to describe the destructive part of “creative destruction” brought on by digitization. We hear a lot about the destruction wrought on the newspaper business. A more interesting and nuanced wave is now hitting the book publishing business. Actually, it is three waves: the digitization of back catalogs, e-books, and print on demand. However this plays out, a lot of people will be affected, but the way in which it will play out is not at all obvious. This is too big a subject for one post, so read this as an introduction to a multi-post investigation.Somewhere Between Author and Reader Is Multi-Billion Dollar MarketData on market size is hard to come by. Albert N. Greco, in his book “The Book Publishing Industry” (the relevant extract of which is available, ironically, on Google Books), pegs the number at $65 billion in 1993. The value is probably higher by now. In any case, it is big.An author writes a book, and you read it. A lot of money is exchanged between those two actions. Consider the steps an author has had to go through in the past to make a living from writing books:Find an agent, who takes a cut and finds a…Publisher, who arranges everything and takes a very big cut and delivers the manuscript to the…Printer, who takes a cut and delivers the product to the…Distributor, who takes a cut and delivers the books to the…Retailers, who sell one to you.Courtesy of iReaderReview, we have created a very simplistic view of how the pie is currently divided:Author: 10% (This in fact ranges between 8% and 15%, depending on the author’s clout — e.g. Stephen King does better than most. If the author has an agent, the agent’s cut comes out of this. It is indeed tough for new authors.)Publisher: 30% (This ranges between 25% and 32%, again depending on the author’s clout — e.g. their percentage is less with Stephen King because the risk is lower too. Note: this is their net revenue, after deducting author royalties and printer fees.)Printer: 10%Distributor: 10%Retailer: 40%Enter the Dragon: AmazonJeff Bezos, who could go down in history as the most driven and talented entrepreneur of the Internet age, shook up this last stage: retail. About a decade ago, people were talking about how retailers were “getting Amazoned.” But then a couple of things happened:Amazon discovered that pick-and-pack distribution through warehouses was almost as expensive as running stores on Main Street.Because the end product was still a physical object, many people still liked browsing in bookstores.During all of these bruising battles, the publishers did just fine. The long-tail of online media enabled them to sell more of their back catalog.So, we know how e-commerce played out. But then along came three more waves.The Three Big Waves Hitting the IndustryOne massive wave crashing down is confusing enough. But when three crash at the same time, even seeing what’s going on (let alone predicting how things will play out) becomes really difficult. These three big new waves are:The digitization of print books by Google Book Search.Increasing consumer acceptance of e-books, mostly because of the Kindle.Print on demand.Wave #1: Google Book Search Archive DigitizationThe first wave, Google Book Search, has kicked up a storm of controversy, with some waving lawsuits in the air. Google threw down the gauntlet in classic Google style, threatening every player in the industry. Its initiative has reached an impressive scale:“On October 28, 2008, Google stated that it had 7 million books searchable through Google Book Search.” (Source: Wikipedia)Google is dealing with three types of books here:Books in the public domain but no longer in print or easily accessible outside of libraries. These are useful for research and can be downloaded as PDFs. Google has scanned these at considerable cost, and the content does not seem to be a good platform for selling ads, and so we would assume this is not a directly commercial venture. Non-profit initiatives in Europe are doing the same sort thing. No one could really argue with this point.Books that are out of print but still copyrighted. These were the subject of legal action taken by the Authors’ Guild and the Association of American Publishers to protect publishers’ revenue from back catalogs and authors’ royalty streams. The case was settled in October 2008.Books that were scanned by 20,000 publishing partners and sent to Google, which restricts how much of any one you can read online. Publishers are using Google in its classic role as a source of traffic. They hope the extracts entice you to buy the books.But this does not bear on the best-sellers and books that you buy at airports. Google is simply performing its normal role of directing online traffic.That is where the second wave, Amazon’s Kindle, comes in.Wave #2: E-BooksWith the Kindle, Jeff Bezos finally gets rid of those warehouses and delivery trucks. He still works through major publishers. As Steve Jobs did with the iPod and iPhone, Bezos is using a device to extract high rent for digital products delivered through the device.Alternatives to the Kindle exist, of course. But alternatives to the iPod and iPhone exist, too, and Bezos is betting that his device will exact similar loyalty in consumers, forcing all of the major players to work with Amazon.So, what does the book publishing revenue pie look like with the Kindle now in the eco-system? Let’s look at this from the point of view of authors. That seems a good starting point. Without authors, there would be no readers and thus no value for intermediaries to extract. Well, it turns out that the Authors’ Guild (yes, the one that sued Google and got a settlement) has a strong opinion on the Kindle, as its President, Roy Blount, explains in an article in the New York Times.Blount probably gets good legal advice. He is going after a weak link in Amazon’s legal defense, as he explains:“Serves readers, pays writers: so far, so good. But there’s another thing about Kindle 2 — its heavily marketed text-to-speech function. Kindle 2 can read books aloud. And Kindle 2 is not paying anyone for audio rights.”But this seems like a side issue. The real questions are:Does the reader get a cheaper product? Well, not yet. But consumers seem to be sending a loud message that e-books should be cheaper.Will authors get more than the 8 to 15% share of the pie that they currently get? That should be possible, because a few big pie-sharers have been eliminated by the Kindle, namely:Unless Amazon is giving a bigger percentage to publishers (which is unlikely, but possible), 60% of the pie is available to be shared between Amazon, publishers, authors, and readers.Printer: 10%Distributor: 10%Retailer: 40%. Here is an author asking all the right questions. And in the comments, another writer addresses the question of royalties on Kindle sales:“One-third of the cover price. If Amazon discounts the book, they still pay you one-third of the cover price you submit.”He goes on to explain that authors are paid monthly, and they do not ask for exclusivity and do not get advance royalties. That all sounds fine. You can check the actual terms and conditions on Amazon’s Digital Text Platform, and the forums contain other advice.But note that one-third of the cover price goes to the publisher. That is not the author’s cut. So, with the Kindle in the mix, the pie appears to be more like this:Author: 8%Publisher: 33%Printer: 0%Distributor: 0%Retailer: 0%Amazon: 59%In other words, publishers and authors get no more than they did before, and Amazon takes everyone else’s cut. This is very good if you own Amazon stock and quite a worry if you are a printer, distributor, or retailer.Wave #3: Print on DemandNot everybody wants to pay $359 for a Kindle, particularly when e-books for it are not significantly cheaper than print versions. Also, most books are not yet available on the Kindle, and many (for example, ones with a lot of high-quality images) are not suitable for the device (at least not the current version).This is where the third wave, print on demand (POD), comes in.While printing single copies of books using traditional technology such as letterpress and offset printing was simply never economical, digital printing technology now makes it possible.POD caters to the new long tail: new books that are not best-sellers. Authors go through one of the POD intermediaries: Lulu and Blurb.In simple terms, the intermediaries allow you, the author, to sell books one at a time. (You could give your book away for free, but you would still have to pay Lulu or Blurb for printing costs.) The model requires no up-front cost from you and no minimum purchase from the reader. Your print-ready content goes to Lulu or Blurb’s printing partners, which print and send the books to readers. The printers are willing to work with these intermediaries because they aggregate demand.You, the reader, see no difference. You order online, pay by credit card or PayPal, and get the book delivered to your home or office.This initially caught on in the self-publishing and vanity publishing industry, where books often had no market beyond the author’s immediate circle of friends, family, and associates. For a good breakdown of the types of publishers in this industry and what to look out for, see this article.A lot of publishers specialize in this area, including Epigraph, Xlibris, I-Universe, AuthorHouse, SelfPublishing.com, and BookSurge. But they typically require a minimum order, albeit a small one. Blurb and Lulu have used the Web to take this idea to its extreme: no up-front costs, and books printed one order at a time.Part 2: Wiping the Muck from Our Crystal BallIn part 2 of this series tomorrow, we will look at how this could play out for the major players:Readers: will we all get more choice at better prices? Almost certainly.Authors: will making a living from writing books be any easier for them? This is important to a lot of people but far from certain.How will the other players (publishers, printers, distributors, and retailers) evolve to meet the challenges of this new world?What new intermediary models will emerge, and which players stand to profit from them?UPDATE:Part 2 of this series is now available. It explores how this could play out in the future, specifically for the major players of book publishing: readers, authors, printers, publishers, retailers, and e-book device vendors. 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Mapping, Geolocation and the Future of Scalable Disaster Response

first_imgIt is true that this presents privacy concerns. However this may be a bigger issue in the West. […] In countries where privacy is not a cultural norm or expectation, geolocation software installed on the cheapest phones could provide enormous help during disaster relief efforts.Despite these challenges the VTCs will play an increasingly important role in the future disaster management, thanks a to a growing number of volunteers and the power of Web 2.0 technologies. So, what’s next? GeolocationWe may see better methods of locating people during an emergency. Perhaps a Foursquare type check-in, or even better, an automatic check-in technology, where you don’t have to press a button to enter where you are, could be included in low-cost cell phones. It is true that this presents privacy concerns. However this may be a bigger issue in the West. For example, the Singapore constitution does not contain any explicit right to privacy. In countries where privacy is not a cultural norm or expectation, geolocation software installed on the cheapest phones could provide enormous help during disaster relief efforts. The countries with the highest number of people affected by disasters in 2010 include China, Pakistan and Thailand. These are countries where privacy protections are low, and where privacy is not a strong cultural value. They also score low on “individualism” in a framework developed by Greet Hofstede as a way to evaluate a country’s culture. If we are to postulate that a lower score in individualism for a country also indicates that its people place a low importance on privacy, then it seems plausible that some disaster-prone countries could implement geolocation on cell phones without violating societal norms and save thousands, if not millions of lives.MappingA recent trend in VTC disaster management has been to use social media data as a layer on crisis maps. For example, a Hypercities project maps live Twitter messages on a map of Egypt, showing the location and picture of the Twitterer. This is helpful but some of the messages are clearly not relevant to crisis mapping. The challenge in using social media as a crisis map layer is that the data is huge, chaotic, free, and collectively good, but individually unreliable. To improve the social media data for inclusion on crisis maps, we need to focus on quality and relevance. To determine quality in a Twitter stream, we can assume that source-quality equals information-quality. To identify quality sources for a given topic, we could use Twitter sources via curated lists from Listorious or established news media outlets and non-profits like Ushahidi. For instance Listorious has a list of reputable sources for the Haiti Earthquake curated by The New York Times. To further refine the source-quality measure, we could also look at the number of followers of sources and the number of retweets that contain a relevant hashtag. For example, a tweet containing #civ2010 #IvoryCoast #civsocial #ict4d about the Abidjan crowd-sourced crisis map:http://is.gd/7IUkix was retweeted extensively in April.We can assume that when we get higher quality tweets, the tweets are more relevant. Once the parameters for source and content quality are set, a program could read the Twitter stream and filter the quality tweets based on the selected parameters. In addition to improving the quality and relevance of the social media layer of crisis maps, perhaps we could also focus on improving the quality of the sources of the crisis map, through crowd sourcing methods such as incorporating Google’s +1 or a like-type function on information contained in the collaborative disaster maps. Finally, improved matching between people needing assistance in a disaster and those who can help would add value. A service could be set up to match people affected by natural disaster with those who have the funds, goods, time or know-how to assist them. For example, Kiva partners entrepreneurs with lenders via existing microfinance institutions that facilitate the loans. DonorsChoose.org matches American public school teachers who need classroom supplies with “microdonors.” This kind of a matching service could be set up for organizations, groups, individuals and families affected by natural disasters. Some of the elements that would include skills, available time, specialty, needs (goods and services) and urgency. The future of Web 2.0, social media and their applications are as unpredictable as the people they connect. But from what we have seen and and what we can reasonably postulate,  it is clear that these technologies have a profound positive impact in disaster management. I am sure the best is yet to come.Photo by connor212 Tags:#Location#mobile#privacy#web On Jan. 12, 2010 an earthquake of catastrophic proportions struck Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. Among the buildings that were leveled was a school. In spite of the roof caving into the classroom, some of the children survived and one of them managed to send an SMS message. Relief workers, however, were unable to find the location of the school. Volunteers in Boston with Ushahidi were able to locate the source of the text message and sent that information back to the relief workers, who rescued the children. This rescue was possible only due to the use of disruptive, community-driven Web 2.0 technology by volunteer and technical communities (VTCs) working on disaster and conflict management. VTCs such as OpenStreetMap, CrisisMappers,Crisis Commons,Sahana and Ushahidi have contributed greatly to disaster management. VTCs have used SMS, social media and satellite imagery; built communities around humanitarian efforts; and created technology tools and wikis, using open source software, hardware and platforms, as well as free cloud based services in affected countries such as Haiti, Libya and Japan. Despite their successes, it has not been an easy ride. Guest author Tanya Gupta is an international development professional by day and blogger by night. Her day job is in the Corporate Finance unit of the World Bank. At night, she reflects about development, technology and her past life in academia, as she writes.VTCs continue to face major challenges, such as language and coordination. Many disasters occur in countries that are not English speaking, while much of the volunteer community is Angolophone. Coordination can be a problem too. Established development organizations such as the UN have been dealing with crises for many years and have a rich knowledge base, but are also challenged by data silos, proprietary systems and bureaucracy. VTCs are more agile and technically adept, but can be uncoordinated. Disaster Relief 2.0: The Future of Information Sharing in Humanitarian Emergencies, a report produced by the UN and partner organizations, examines these issues in detail. It identified a host of additional challenges facing VTCsThe need to build a reputation for reliability, trust, professionalismLack of resourcesThe technical challenges of geolocation with partial information and verifying accuracy of reportsBuilding local capacity to manage disaster and conflict situations The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … guest author 1last_img read more

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