Mbeki, Bush cement relations

first_img10 July 2003A toast between President Thabo Mbeki and visiting US President George W Bush, proposed by the former, sealed a relationship between the two countries at a luncheon hosted by Mbeki for about 250 guests in Pretoria on Wednesday.Mbeki said the Americans had offered their unwavering support to South Africa during the struggle era and during the post-democratic dispensation to overcome the challenges it faced.“As the eminent representative of such a people, Mr President, we could not but receive you as a friend and an honoured guest,” Mbeki told Bush.A few hours before the luncheon, the two leaders held discussions on political, economic and social issues. These included conflict resolution on the continent, the post-war Iraq, the Zimbabwean crisis, HIV-Aids, and trade relations.Addressing the media after the meeting, Mbeki said his government was pleased by the commitment shown by the US to assist both South Africa and the continent. “The visit will result in strengthened bilateral relations and strengthened cooperation to meet these and other challenges that we face together,” he said.In response, Bush said he appreciated the relationship between the two administrations, describing it as vital. “Mr President, I want to thank you for making it a vital relationship,” he said, adding that the partnership could help extend democracy, free markets and transparency across Africa.On Zimbabwe, Bush said the US would encourage the South African government to continue engaging the warring parties in that country, adding that Pretoria and Washington shared the same objectives on the manner in which the political, economic and social turmoil in Zimbabwe could be resolved.“I have no intention of second-guessing [Mbeki’s] tactics. We want the same outcome,” Bush said. “Mbeki is the point man in this important subject, he is working very hard and is in touch with the parties involved, and the US supports him in his efforts.”Mbeki assured Bush that the warring factions in Zimbabwe – the government and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change – were engaged in talks to solve the problems in that country.Mbeke reiterated, however, that the principal responsibility for the resolution of those challenges lay with the Zimbabweans themselves. “It is very important that they should move forward with urgency to find resolutions to these questions,” Mbeki said.Bush also lauded efforts by Pretoria to forge peace elsewhere on the continent, particularly in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.He said the US was heartened by South Africa’s decision to increase its HIV-Aids budget, reiterating that his administration would provide $15-billion to Africa in the next five years to combat the disease.“Trade is the key to Africa’s economic future. The African Growth and Opportunities Act is creating jobs and stimulating investment across the continent,” Bush said.Bush arrived in South Africa on Tuesday from Senegal as part of a five-nation tour of the continent. He leaves for Botswana on Thursday, from where he will head for Uganda and Nigeria before returning to the US.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

New hotel slated for V&A Waterfront

first_img7 January 2014 A new hotel is to be built this year at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, the popular tourist destination said in a statement on Monday. The hotel will be “a mid-market, internationally branded hotel”, the statement said. David Green, chief executive of the V&A Waterfront, said: “Given the growth in domestic, business and leisure tourism, coupled with consistent growth in the occupancy at our current hotels over the past 18 months, we believe the opportunity exists for a mid-market hotel development.” Tourism to Cape Town is expected to grow at between 4% and 5% in 2014, according to figures from Cape Town Tourism. The United Nations World Travel Organisation has estimated a global year-on year increase of 3.3% a year until 2030. For Cape Town, the V&A says, the majority of source markets are European, while the biggest growth market is Latin America. The Waterfront says it receives more than 24-million visitors a year, and has contributed almost R200-billion to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the past 10 years.Occupancy The One & Only was the last hotel built at the Waterfront in 2009. The Queen Victoria is the newest hotel, the result of a refurbishment of an existing building in 2011. The V&A has six five-star hotels, two four-star hotels and two three-star hotels. Within Cape Town, there are 24 five-star, 54 four-star and 20 three-star hotels. An independent report commissioned by the V&A Waterfront shows that revenue per available room (RevPAR) of Waterfront hotels was higher than those of the surrounding areas, Green said. According to a report by consultants Wilkofsky Gruen Associates quoted by Green, a snapshot of the South African hotel sector’s performance over the period January to June 2013 reflects sustained growth with RevPAR (revenue per available room) increasing by 13.1% on a national aggregated basis. “Healthy growth” of 12.4% was experienced at three- and four-star hotels, while five-star hotels reflected an “impressive” 15.6% growth. Cape Town’s growth in this sector was pegged at 16.2%. Kamil Abdul-Karrim, MD of Pam Golding Tourism and Hospitality Consulting, said the South African hotel industry had come through its worst trading cycle – from the last quarter of 2008 to the third quarter of 2011 – and is now beginning to reflect sustainable signs of recovery with the last three quarters reflecting year-on-year growth. Source: V&A Waterfrontlast_img read more

What if agriculture communicated like “The Donald”?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest I am one to rarely talk about politics. In fact, I won’t let anyone even put a sign in my front yard before election day. I just feel that my opinions are mine and your opinions are yours. We will be much better friends and neighbors if we just talked about anything else.With that said, this whole Donald Trump running for President deal has had my attention (and obviously the attention of everyone else) for the past six months. I really thought that his campaign might last for a few months and he would implode by saying something or doing something that the American public couldn’t forgive.Just the opposite has happened, as “The Donald” has used his years of experience in the business world and a brand that is synonymous with success, to garner millions of votes for the most powerful office in the civilized World. I am beginning to wonder if his rough and abstractly artistic way of talking about major issues our country faces could be used in other ways, like for issues in the agriculture sector.For instance, if ag used a Trump-like approach to GMOs, it would go something like this…“Over a trillion meals have been eaten containing GMOs and nobody has ever gotten sick or died. Nobody! Trump Steaks are full of GMOs and they are excellent. The best steaks on earth. A trillion…if I had a dollar for all of those meals…oh wait, I do.”Or about the Renewable Fuel Standard…“You know how much I like walls. I’m going to raise the Ethanol Blend Wall as high as I possibly can and I’m going to make the oil companies pay for it. This wall will be so high the EPA will never be able to see over it. Watch me!”Or how to thwart Avian Influenza…“We have to keep all geese from Canada out of our borders. Ted Cruz can take them back home with him. Let’s build a net that reaches so high that these varmints can’t keep pouring across our borders unabated. Public reports routinely state great amounts of crime are being committed by these illegal immigrants. They must go!”Just think how this would go when approaching the EPA about the Waters of the U.S. Rule, or how to get the Trans Pacific Partnership passed. Have we in agriculture been too nice to get what we want out of our lawmakers and government agencies? Maybe if we go into the conversation in the way of Trump, we could make our case that those who actually grow the food, work the land and do more for the waters and the environment, know more than those that are elected or appointed into the government organizations that oversee agriculture.last_img read more

Halfway to Windows 8, Windows 7 Has Sold 350 Million Licenses

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts center_img Tags:#Microsoft#NYT#web dan rowinski In the nature of Microsoft product updates, Windows 7 is entering its middle years. Generally, Microsoft comes out with a new update to Windows every three years and Windows 7 is currently 18 months into its game. In that time Microsoft has sold 350 million licenses to the operating system making it perhaps the fastest selling software of all time.In a blog post on the 18-month mark of Windows 7, Microsoft says that nearly 90% of businesses are currently in Windows 7 migrations and that it is saving enterprises $140 per PC per year, a $131 return on investment. The operating system has made it to desktops, laptops, netbooks and yes, tablets. The growth has been spurred by the cheeky advertising campaign – “Windows 7 was my idea!” – and the mass of money that Microsoft has spent marketing the product. Yet, Windows 8 rumors have begun to surface and it looks like it will make its debut in the fall of 2012, right on schedule with Microsoft’s three-year product cycle. What can we expect?The best guess is that Microsoft is going to go the mashup route. Windows is the company’s core product and it behooves it to make it as distinct and functional as possible and include things that will not be available to users of Mac computers or the features from operating systems like Google Chrome. We have written a lot about the features expected in Windows 8, and the general feeling is that the OS will be more cloud-based, more mobile, have Kinect support and will try to integrate a lot of Microsoft’s unified communications initiatives.See also:Windows 8 To Include Cloud Backup?Is Moorea Microsoft’s “Killer App” for Tablets?11 Features to Watch for in Windows 8 (Part 1)Features to Watch for in Windows 8 (Part 2)http://www.readwriteweb.com/enterprise/2011/03/windows-8-features-2.phpWith Windows 8, Microsoft will also, for the first time, support ARM-based Systems-On-A-Chip (SoC) along with its longtime use of x86 architecture. Given that Intel’s Oak Trail processors for mobile are becoming smaller and more powerful, there is a good possibility of seeing variety of Windows 8 tablets coming in autumn 2012. In terms of user interface, the idea would be that two sevens equal an eight – Windows 7 plus Windows Phone 7 equals Windows 8. Imagine a tablet that functions like an iPad but has Kinect motion controls. Likely? Perhaps not but seems like it could be a cool idea if Microsoft could pull it off.last_img read more

Passivhaus Institut Launches Online Training

first_imgThe Passivhaus Institut (PHI), headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany, announced an online training program that could be the starting point for those who want to become designers and consultants.The video modules are available in English. They are designed as an introduction for beginners in Passivhaus design and as preparatory material for courses leading to certification as a Passive House designer or consultant, PHI said in its March 23 press release.“The Passive House principle is simple; however, a few details need to be kept in mind duringplanning, to ensure that the energy savings expected by building owners are actually assured,” PHI said.PHI’s three-tiered building standard includes limits on overall energy consumption, heat energy consumption, and air leakage through the building envelope. In a revised edition released last year, the standard also added new requirements for renewable energy in the “plus” and “premium” building categories.There are three introductory modules available for free — a good place to start for those who want a quick summary of what Passivhaus construction is about. The full course costs 195 euros (about $218 at current exchange rates).PHI also said that its e-learning program is a good way to prepare for workshops at the International Passive House Conference in Darmstadt on April 22 and 23. If you’re signed up for the conference, you’ll get a 100-euro discount on the course.last_img read more

The Super-Powerful Long-Lasting Smartphone Battery Has Just Been Invented – Maybe

first_imgWhat it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#Android#batteries#iPad#iPhone#smartphones#tablets The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology In recent decades, electronics have gotten small. The thinking parts of computers have gotten small. And the battery has lagged far behind. This is a microtechnology that could change all of that. Now the power source is as high-performance as the rest of it.“You could jump-start a car with the battery in your cellphone,” the researchers crow in their report. They also claim their battery tech can be recharged 1,000 faster than today’s batteries. Put it all together and you could theoretically have a “credit-card-thin phone” that could be recharged in less than a second. The new battery tech remains in the labs, however, although the team hopes to trial it in commercial settings later this year. If viable, it could revolutionize the market for consumer mobile electronics such as smartphone and tablets – and spur a new outpouring of innovative hardware and screen designs. How Does It Work?In simple terms, a chemical reaction inside a battery causes the anode to release electrons. When the battery is “on” these electrons flow from the anode to the cathode – which is on the opposite side of the battery. The University of Illinois team claims its breakthrough “integrates the anode and cathode at the microscale.” Meaning, this allows for even a very small battery to have a “very high surface area” – and thus provide far greater power density (output) and simultaneously support much faster charging.Battery Life Is Everyone’s ProblemBattery performance continues to limit what smartphones and other mobile devices can do. Apple maintains a webpage devoted solely to helping customers improve battery life of their iPads. The company suggests users “update to the latest software,” “use your iPad regularly” and 15 other actions to boost battery life, including “let it breathe.” Seriously.In 2012’s J.D. Power smartphone satisfaction survey, “battery life” was listed as “a significant drain on customer satisfaction and loyalty.” J.D. Power even noted that battery issues for smartphones resulted in “higher rates of merchandise returns and customer defections.”Is It Safe?The new microbattery could help solve those problems, if they don’t catch on fire. The BBC quoted University of Oxford chemist Peter Edwards wondering if the technology could meet the competing demands of cost, manufacturing scalability and safety:  I’d want to know if these microbatteries would be more prone to the self-combustion issues that plagued lithium-cobalt oxide batteries which we’ve seen become an issue of concern with Boeing’s Dreamliner jets.Here’s hoping the team at Illinois, or one of the many other groups working on this problem, achieve a commercially viable – and safe – battery breakthrough soon. I hate it when my iPhone runs out of power just when I need it most.Lead graphic representation of new battery technology courtesy of the University of Illinois. As any smartphone owner knows all too well, even the best of today’s mobile devices are completely dependent on batteries that can’t often keep up with the rest of the technology.Even the savviest hardware makers are bumping up against the limits of what they can extract from existing battery technology. They’re forced to spend enormous efforts creating various engineering “cheats” to coax out the maximum battery life and performance for our most favored gadgets.Despite frenzied research into both battery hardware and power-management software, the best you can say is that the industry is almost managing to keep up with the demand for more and more portable power. 10 Times Better Than Today’s BatteriesFinally, help may be on the way.According to a recently published article in the journal Nature Communications, researchers at the University of Illinois claim to have developed lithium ion microbatteries with power densities up to “2,000 times” more powerful than comparable batteries. Or more helpfully, technology that could support batteries either 10 times smaller or 10 times more powerful than today’s typical lithium-ion batteries. Professor William P. King, who led the university team, clearly has high hopes for the battery technology. In a statement, he said: Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces brian s halllast_img read more

Montreals transit workers vote 99 per cent in favour of pressure tactics

first_imgMONTREAL – Montreal bus and subway drivers have voted 99 per cent in favour of pressure tactics that may include a general strike as their union and the city’s transit company work toward a new contract.Their union, which is affiliated with the Canadian Union of Public Employees, had urged the 4,500 members to support their bargaining committee with a strong mandate in negotiations to replace contracts that expired in January.The union says the key issue in the talks are what it calls “completely unrealistic” schedules for bus drivers.Union president Renato Carlone says “poorly planned trips” are stressing passengers who are passing their frustrations on to the drivers and this is creating workplace health and safety issues.The management of sick employees and pensions are other sticking points in the negotiations.The Societe de transport de Montreal (STM) posted a message on its website saying the union vote does not trigger a strike and that bargaining sessions are ongoing and frequent.The STM also notes that advance notice of seven working must be given before a possible walkout begins.Maintenance employees have already voted to refuse to work overtime next week, unless there is progress in their negotiations.last_img read more