CARICOM demands halt to passage of hazardous waste through Caribbean Sea

first_imgRelatedCARICOM demands halt to passage of hazardous waste through Caribbean Sea The full text of the Statement reads as follows: It has been brought to the attention of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) that a new shipment of Vitrified High Level Waste will, this week, leave the United Kingdom for Japan transiting the Caribbean Sea. CARICOM remains immutable in its opposition to the passage of shipments of radioactive material through the Caribbean Sea, the rich but fragile ecosystem which is recognised by the United Nations as a Special Area in the context of Sustainable Development. The environmental, socio-economic and cultural identity of CARICOM is dependent on the integrity of the Sea from which the Region takes its name.  CARICOM vehemently condemns as unacceptable and injurious, the practice by the United Kingdom, France and Japan of transporting hazardous waste through the Caribbean Sea, thus risking the very existence of the People of the Caribbean. This ongoing practice is intolerable to the People and Governments of CARICOM. The Community urges all those involved in making these shipments, to halt them immediately. RelatedCARICOM demands halt to passage of hazardous waste through Caribbean Sea CARICOM demands halt to passage of hazardous waste through Caribbean Sea EnvironmentJuly 20, 2011 FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail (CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) — Chairman of the Caribbean Community CARICOM, Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis has called for an immediate halt to the transit of radioactive material through the Caribbean Sea; a practice he said is “unacceptable and injurious.” In a statement condemning the practice, Dr. Denzil Douglas said that it has become intolerable to the governments and people of the Caribbean, as it compromises its rich but fragile ecosystem, and puts at risk “the very existence of the People of the Caribbean of the Region” The call to halt the transit of the waste through the Caribbean Sea has come in the wake of a new shipment of Vitrified High Level Waste that will leave the United Kingdom, this week, for Japan through the Caribbean. Dr. Douglas said that CARICOM remains immutable in its opposition to the passage of shipments of such material through the Caribbean Sea, which is recognised by the United Nations as a Special Area in the context of Sustainable Development. RelatedCARICOM demands halt to passage of hazardous waste through Caribbean Sea Advertisementslast_img read more

Fortress Europe

first_imgWe’re building a wall. And it’s going to be a great wall. And, by the way, Mexico will pay for it. It’s going to be a great wall because I know how to build.”So pronounced Donald Trump, the alleged Republican presidential frontrunner, in an interview with CBS in August, outlining his cunning scheme to control immigration on the U.S.-Mexico border with a characteristic word cloud of carefree xenophobia and self-promotion. It has been a complacent European tradition to regard the kind of grandstanding cartoonish man-child as Trump with a mix of horror followed by relief that such unhinged ideas would never be given the time of day over here. Those times are over. Walls are coming up in Europe again, and they are costing lives and pointedly failing to remedy one of the biggest crises the continent has faced in a generation.The United Nations has estimated that there are currently more than 60 million refugees worldwide, the highest since World War II. Although Europe is currently receiving a small fraction of the globally displaced, the sharp spike in numbers arriving on the continent this summer has startled European governments into an unedifying collective meltdown. Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister has even managed to trump Trump: In July, Hungary, a country once barricaded behind the communist Iron Curtain to keep people from leaving, began constructing a100-mile razor-wire fence along its southern border with Serbia to keep refugees fleeing war zones in Syria, Afghanistan and beyond from entering. “I was six years old when we moved between refugee camps in Austria,” he told me. “We got put on a military airlift to the States. We all slept on the floor in rows, and my mother vomited the whole time. But I remember the coconut cakes that soldiers gave us. They were our saviors. Back then, people welcomed us.”A few days later, I traveled to Kubekhaza, a Hungarian village on the Serbian-Romanian border, where Mayor Robert Molnardrove me to see the end of the notorious fence currently being constructed by prisoners and the unemployed. Although unfinished, the flimsy razor-wire coils blowing in the wind still made a rather pathetic image. I squeezed on one of the spikes, bending it down. I stuck my feet underneath, digging a small hole. I pulled at some loose strands of metal, and they came off in my hand. Mostly though, I just walked around the side, detouring through Romania and Serbia before re-entering Hungary in a matter of seconds. Miles of empty countryside surrounded it. A ministry of defense guard watched with a conspiratorial smile.“It’s just a game,” he said, in English.He’s right, of course. But the game is deadly. European governments like to say that the way to counter undocumented migration is to go to war with the evil smugglers. Transnational criminal networks should indeed be smashed, yet by building fences and failing to provide safe, legal routes for refugees to Europe, those same governments have ensured that people have become the No. 1 commodity for smuggling gangs. And business is booming.Earlier this year, HYZA, a Slovakian poultry company broadcast an ad where a happy family sits down to eat a wholesome Slovak chicken dinner when suddenly the TV announces that there is an invasion of unsavory “immigrant” chickens; it then cuts to a border post where a flock of cartoon chickens are discovered crammed into the boot of a car and promptly imprisoned then deported. Tasteless? Yes. Xenophobic? Sure. Last week, Austrian police approached an abandoned truck on the highway. After wrenching open the doors, they found inside the decomposing bodies of more than 70 men, women and children. They had been smuggled across the border from Hungary in the airtight hold. Most had asphyxiated, and it seems some were crushed to death as they tried to break free. Police saw blood dripping from the vehicle. Journalists reported the stench of death hovering over the motorway. Guess the name of the company on the side of the truck. In a bizarre twist, HYZA is owned by the billionaire Czech finance minister Andrej Babis, who recently advocated sealing off the Schengen border zone with NATO troops, calling the arrival of refugees and migrants as “the biggest threat to Europe.” HYZA says they sold the truck in 2014.After leaving Hungary through its southern border, I found myself sitting in the dense undergrowth in the middle of the night somewhere outside the village of Kanjiza in northern Serbia with a group of more than 60 Syrian and Iraqi refugees. We had already walked nearly 10 miles and took a brief rest. Among the passengers were mothers, children, babies, elderly men and one young boy with a prosthetic leg who had to be carried the rest of the journey. Amber dots of cigarettes danced in the darkness, shooting stars flashed overhead—and minutes later we were on our feet again. Almost all refugees using the overland route from Turkey to Western Europe reach Hungary at some point in their trek. From Turkey, they perilously sail via smugglers’ rubber dinghies across the Aegean Sea to the Greek islands. After a period of sun-drenched purgatory waiting for temporary travel documents and onward ferry transport, they reach the mainland, transiting fast through the western Balkan states of Macedonia and Serbia before arriving in Hungary. Greece is the first EU state they reach, yet even a man from a remote Afghan village knows by now that Greece, in the throes of economic crisis, is barely able to feed and house its growing ranks of homeless citizens, let alone manage an effective asylum system. Because of this, Greece has a (very reasonable) exemption from a European law known as the Dublin Regulation, which roughly requires migrants to apply for asylum in the first EU state where they arrive and stay there for processing. Hungary, however, is also signed up to the EU’s Schengen zone, the group of 26 countries that have abolished passport and border controls—another legacy of World War II. That means that, for many migrants, the gateway into Europe is a country that is defiantly closing its doors.Hungary has logged more than 150,000 asylum requests this year, with the number rising by thousands per day, though less than 1 percent of those migrants wish to stay; for them it is merely a transit country. At the beginning of August, I sat down with the sharp and well-educated Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs. It cannot be easy to be the human shield for one of Europe’s pantomime villain governments, whose leader Orban, has been accused of authoritarian tendencies. But the subject of the day is the fence, and Kovacs sees it as a kind of heroic act—a means of no less than preserving the European continent.“All civilizations in history have developed some kind of protective mechanism against mass migration problems,” he said. “Protecting the Hungarian border with Serbia is also protecting the Schengen border of European Union, and that’s not simply our right but our obligation. There are misinterpretations and false stories being told to these people that Europe is the land of promise, that if you come here, you will be able to fulfil your dreams. And that’s not working.”My mind wandered to the last decade of xenophobic screeds written by British right-wing tabloids denouncing “Eastern European welfare scroungers” from newly admitted EU countries like Hungary. Funny how everyone is somebody else’s migrant. Funny, and depressing. I referred to the regional geography and put it to Kovacs that migrants could, with seeming ease, merely slip around the fence and back briefly, by detouring into Romania or Croatia, fellow EU member states, before re-entering Hungary and proceeding as normal. He replied, “If necessary we are going to build a fence on other sections of the border.”Hang on. Serbia is one matter—it has yet to join the EU—but Romania and Croatia are another matter. Surely he was not suggesting that Hungary would start bricking up the political bloc’s hard-fought open borders? Kovacs momentarily chewed his lips tensely in the manner of someone who might be about to freestyle policy in front of a journalist before replying, “You cannot rule that option out.” Imagine if, faced with a surge in migration to, say, Michigan, Governor Rick Snyder casually floated the idea of fencing off Ohio and Indiana. Almost as crazy as the idea of building a wall with Canada. (Oh, wait, apparently that’s also a thing now, too.)From somewhere outside the window, I heard the sound of static from a thousand shuffling suits in the European Commission who have been paid handsomely for decades exactly to rule out the option of closed intra-EU borders. In the evening, I wandered through the underpass by Budapest’s central train station, another informal refugee camp, where, more recently, migrants have been stranded. I met Laszlo Csontos, a teacher who has spent the past month shuttling between the station, the park and various homeless shelters to help the displaced masses. His family fled Hungary to America in 1956 after his father took part in the failed revolution against the Soviet Union, a brutally crushed uprising against a dictatorship that killed thousands and produced more than 200,000 refugees. Sound familiar? Welcome to Europe’s back door. Queue here if you are fleeing barrel bombs reigning down from the sky in Syria, enslavement and slaughter by marauding militia in Iraq or endless war and lawlessness in Afghanistan. The new homeland is close, but first you may encounter beatings, shootings, robbery, imprisonment and torture from a bloodsucking alliance of police, gangsters and smugglers—enough to make you wonder if you might be better off back in a warzone. And if you and your children survive the journey without drowning at sea, being run down by a train or succumbing to sickness, and we haven’t bricked up the whole continent, we might even believe your story and you might be allowed to stay.In usual circumstance, such biblical scenes of a mass exodus of refugees fleeing conflict are usually seen on television screens accompanied by a thundering presence of international humanitarian organizations, chief news anchors, Bono-esque celebrities, and the tents and blue helmets of the United Nations. But this is Europe, and it’s the summer. Where is the humanitarian corridor for refugees? Where is the Kindertransport? Where are the military airlifts?So far no enlightened European politician has channeled Ronald Reagan and proclaimed, “Mr. Orban, tear down this wall.” But judging by the many refugees I have spoken with currently in the middle of life-defining, lifesaving journeys of thousands of miles, who either are unaware of the fence’s existence or brush it off as merely a stone placed in a raging river; it is nothing more than an inconvenience. I met numerous multilingual doctors, lawyers, teachers, artists and academics who have cut short their studies and employment, abandoning everything to relocate to Europe. Not everyone is fleeing war, but since when does coming from a land of poverty or political persecution preclude someone from wanting to better themselves? And why is Europe, long a land of open borders, starting to channel the musings of Donald Trump?For a region that bombed and massacred itself into pieces 70 years ago, Europe’s response has been a mix of impotency and hostility. The European Union was established to make the prospect of war unthinkable. Now, faced with spiraling numbers of those running for their life toward sanctuary, the best that the world’s largest trading bloc can do is invest hundreds of millions of Euros fencing off and militarizing its borders. The EU recently floated a policy for all member states to accept a certain quota of refugees in order to spread the burden, the countries were allowed to choose how many to accept. Here’s a sample of responses. Hungary chose zero. Slovakia, Poland and Czech Republic chose a few hundred (but only Christians, please). Britain—whose empire was the chief architect of many of the world’s most troubled arbitrary borders—opted out entirely. Countless Syrians ask me why even Britain, a country they believed to be a beacon of liberty for refugees, is behaving like such a cruel, impenetrable fortress. How can I explain that the government of the second biggest economy in Europe simply doesn’t care? I usually just grit my teeth, look them in the eye and apologize profusely.At the beginning of August, I flew to Hungary to inspect Orban’s fence before continuing south toward the Aegean Sea, traveling against the flow of migrants heading north to speak with them and see firsthand what they are up against. European capitals like Budapest are beginning to look different these days. Squint your eyes, and the downtown Pope John Paul II Park seems like a festival. Get closer and the clothes drying in the sun, the babies laid on blankets on the floor, and the doctors treating the sick and injured reveal the park’s new incarnation as an improvised refugee camp. In absence of any visible government-sponsored assistance on the ground, Hungarian citizens have taken to distributing free food, water and toys to the weary families.The refugee experience is as much boring as it is adventurous. Living in liminality, between homes, in unfamiliar surroundings, much time is spent in the torpor of waiting for a phone to charge, a money transfer to be wired or a smuggler to facilitate the next stage of the journey. Taking the stealth route into Europe is not cheap—restrictive asylum policies ensure that refugees’ only recourse is to hand smugglers thousands of Euros that they might otherwise be able to use to establish themselves in their new cities and towns without burdening the state. At a recently constructed refugee camp in Kanjiza, I had met Mounir, a Syrian MBA student from Homs, with a wickedly dry sense of humor and a penchant for quoting Churchill and Martin Luther King while consulting his smartphone; Syrians have posted maps and advice networks online for their compatriots to help with the arduous clandestine route overland to Europe. As one of the estimated 4 million Syrian refugees currently on the move, he had invited me to accompany him for a while on his path toward a life that doesn’t so closely resemble the hell in his home country. Now, as the Hungarian border drew ever closer, everyone was steeled with grim determination to reach Germany, Sweden and other sanctuaries. Paranoia was high. Refugees have been robbed and attacked by thieves on these midnight crossings. All phones were switched off, cigarettes extinguished and protective sticks raised.Mounir could understand neither what he felt was the West’s meddlesome foreign policy interventions in the Middle East nor why, after the subsequent collapse of his country, he had been reduced to creeping through the forests like an animal to reach Europe. Suddenly 2-year-old Hamid, the son of Mounir’s friend carried from Syria on his father’s shoulders, woke up and began to emit a seemingly endless wail. Everybody stopped dead in their tracks. Distant dogs began to bark. Earlier, Hamid’s mother had tried to buy some medication to make him sleepy for the journey, but the pharmacist refused to sell it.People tutted and looked around anxiously as Hamid’s tortured crying continued even louder. They tried to calm him. Surely their cover had been blown? Everyone was imagining other invisible ears listening: knife-wielding bandits, police, gatekeepers to their dreams of freedom creeping ever closer. I felt like crying along with Hamid at the misery of it all. Eventually Hamid’s tears dried, and a GPS informed us we were inside Hungary. The group cautiously moved on a few hundred yards before a police torch flashed up in the distance. The travelers knew this was the moment where it is every man or family for themselves, and they began to filter hurriedly into the dark forests. I embraced Mounir, giving my pithy good luck wishes, and within less than a minute, the moonlit path was again swathed in sepulchral silence.Ten minutes later, as I made the long walk back toward Kanjiza, I heard the unmistakable wail of a police siren. Some will have escaped, others may have been beaten, detained in cages like animals. And the deafening screech of a drawbridge—closing in on an uncaring continent that has so quickly forgotten its own recent war-torn history—will echo around the world from Baghdad to Baba Amr and beyond for years to come.Andrew Connelly (@connellyandrew) is a roving freelance journalist covering politics in Europe and its borders.last_img read more

Josh Taylor extends winning record to defend WBC title

first_imgThe Prestonpans boxer said he was happy with his performance.He told Channel 5: “It didn’t faze me at all. I just reverted back to my amateur days, you never know who you are fighting until the day before. “I just used that experience and used it well. So it didn’t faze me at all and it didn’t change my mindset one bit. I just kept on going.“I thought I was pretty good, I was boxing pretty nice, I was nice and calm. Josh Taylor enjoyed an impressive WBC silver super lightweight title win over stand-in opponent Winston Campos at the Hydro in Glasgow.The Nicaraguan was a late replacement for veteran Humberto Soto, who was injured while sparring.However, the ‘Tartan Tornado’ adapted to the change of challenger with no problem and had Campos down twice in the second round before referee Victor Loughlin called a halt in the next round with Campos struggling again.Taylor, 27, extended his unbeaten record to 12 fights as his career continues on an upward curve, although he will soon find more capable opponents. “I just had a look in the first round and started getting my flow quickly. I relaxed into the fight really quickly, so yeah it was good.”The Scot reiterated his belief that he is on the way to the top of his trade.He said: “I believe in my ability, I always have. I always believed I can be world champion and I can go to the top.“I believe I will be a world champion.”last_img read more

Top 10 Festival of Holidays Food Items at Disney California Adventure

first_imgShare This!If you’re visiting Disneyland Resort November 8, 2019, through January 6, 2020 then you’ll definitely want to check out Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure. One of the best things about this seasonal celebration is the many unique food items that are only available during this time of year. There’s a ton of new items and a handful of returning favorites from previous years, so to help you out here’s our top 10 Festival of Holidays Food Items at Disney California Adventure.Reimagined Beef Wellington – A Twist on Tradition – $8.50The beef wellington is not only the best item of this year’s Festival of Holidays, but it’s the best item of any of the DCA’s seasonal festivals so far. It has a generous portion of beef, wonderfully flaky pastry, table service quality ingredients, and it’s Mickey shaped. What more could you want?Shepherd’s Upside-down Pie (Plant-Based) – Grandma’s Recipes – $7.75For a vegetarian entree this item was surprisingly hearty. The “meat” being plant-based was unnoticeable and I would have never known if I didn’t read the entree name before I ordered. Like the previously mentioned beef wellington, the Mickey-shaped pastry here is also flaky and tasty.Non-Alcoholic House-made Horchata – Merry Mashups – $6.50 ($13.00 for alcoholic version)The “House-made” Horchata (should we consider something being “house-made” when it’s coming from an industrial kitchen at theme park, made in portions that serve hundreds of thousands of people?) is sinfully creamy with just the right amount of cinnamon and a gigantic helping of whipped cream. I enjoyed getting this drink first and taking it with me to the other booths while I ate some of the more salty items.Churros Yule Log – Merry Mashups – $6.00Perfect for all those churro fans out there is this Churros Yule Log. The name doesn’t lie, it tastes like a churro!Churro Toffee Cold Brew (Non-Alcoholic) – Holiday Duets – $6.50You really can’t go wrong mixing toffee and churro flavoring in anything. I feel like some people will find this drink too sweet, but if you can handle the other desserts on this list you wont have a problem. Also the Churro Toffee Cold Brew is over $1 more than the cold brew drinks found at the Starbucks on Buena Vista Street, but at least you get some interesting ingredients here that aren’t available otherwise.Caramelized Apple Cake – With Crème Anglaise and Salted Caramel Sauce – Making Spirits Bright – $5.00Why do warm apples covered in salted caramel taste so good? Can we get some scientists to investigate that? Anyway, this is a perfect dessert for those chilly nights during the holiday season. Holiday Stuffing Mac & Cheese – Favorite Things – $7.75The rich and creamy mac & cheese blend perfectly with the stuffing, which has a wonderfully pleasant crunch to it.Turkey & Stuffing Tamale with Cranberry Relish – Merry Mashups – $7.75Tamales are one of my favorite food items. I’ve probably had thousands of them in my 36 years on this earth, and surprisingly this was up there in terms of taste. It was like a Thanksgiving dinner, but in a tamale. The turkey was perfectly cooked, the sauce on top was not too thick or rich, and the tamale itself was just right (not dry at all). Shockingly, the price for this item did not go up this year.“Hot Cocoa” Marshmallow Macaron – Making Spirits Bright – $5.50First of all, take a look at the presentation on this thing. I really like that it looks like a campfire. Second, the taste is very very good. It really does taste like a cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows. This item is very sweet, which may turn some people off. Those people are crazy. Thank them for not wanting any of your precious macaron and eat it all on your own.Chorizo Queso Fundido – with house-made tortilla chips – Brews & Bites – $6.50Chorizo is sinfully good. Thankfully, calories don’t count when you’re in a Disney theme park. Yes, these are pretty much fancy nachos. But hey, they’re delicious and easily shareable with a group of people.If you want to try multiple items you should definitely consider getting the Sip and Savor Pass, which is available at multiple kiosks and shops throughout the park. It allows you to pay one price, and then try eight items of your choosing. The DCA Festival of Holidays Sip and Savor Pass is $54 (or $51 if you’re an annual passholder). Remember to use the pass on high-value items, not the cheaper desserts. If you use your pass to get eight items that cost $7.75 each, the total if you paid cash would be $62. But if you use your Sip and Savor pass to get eight desserts that cost $5.50 each, your total in cash would be $44. Be sure to do the math on what you want to buy to make sure the Sip and Savor Pass is a good value for you.Let us know what you think about our top 10 Festival of Holidays Food Items at Disney California Adventure. Let us know about any items that you think should be on this list.last_img read more

Where Is My Dashboard Aggregator?

first_imgIn the old days, somebody running a business had a cadre of middle managers who aggregated data about the performance of different parts of the business. They would typically write monthly reports highlighting trends, issues, and exceptions. In a modern, web-enabled, web-centric business, this role is served by the online dashboards provided by various services. The challenge today is aggregating and integrating those services. I see this challenge in the real world from running ReadWriteWeb’s business operations. This gap seems like a good start-up opportunity. Perhaps somebody is already filling it?Here Are My DashboardsIf you looked at my Firefox toolbar, you would see a number of services essential to running the business. In no particular order:Google Analytics,Federated Media (our advertising network partner),OpenX (which serves the ads that we sell directly),Basecamp (for internal project discussions),Relenta (my email-based CRM-lite).I am leaving off this list all of the external news-oriented services that enable me to navigate my canoe down the river of news. I am focusing here on the dashboards for business applications that impact client satisfaction, revenue, and cash flow. ReadWriteWeb runs on SaaS. These services are the mission-critical core of our business. They enable a tiny, reasonably complex business to be managed with minimal overhead (i.e. profitably).More are coming, too. We are implementing a new SaaS-based accounting system that will come with its own dashboard. We are building new revenue-generating partnerships, each of which will have its own dashboard. This is where things can get out of control. Each of these new dashboards will be important, but each will be just one piece of the overall puzzle.Here Is the ProblemIn a word, “integration” (a.k.a. aggregation). I need to log in to each of these services to extract the information I need and then move on to the next one. That is not a huge problem, but it is a hassle and a time-drain. And time-drains take away from the really important things that grow the business.Multiple sign-on is not a problem. Well, it would be if I were more security-conscious. The real problem is data integration.Envisaging the SolutionI envisage something like a start page. I use MyYahoo, but it could just as well be something like Netvibes or Pageflakes. I want to aggregate the services of my choosing and have control over the layout.This aggregator service of mine should allow me to log in to each of my services (securely, of course). If it did that, I would implement a more secure log-in to the aggregator service itself.But I would need control at a more granular level than typical start pages provide. Typical start pages give me control over RSS feeds, but I already get all the RSS feeds from the services I’m on. For example, I get all posts from ReadWriteWeb.If I got every raw data point update from Google Analytics, Federated Media, OpenX, and all my other dashboards, it would be like sipping from a fire hose (i.e. useless).There needs to be API-level access, so that I can select only the data points I need for each service. I should be able to set ranges and get exception reports. This is what middle managers did so well: “Here is the issue you need to focus on now, boss”. I would still need to be able to deep-dive occasionally into an individual service, but my daily dashboard would be this aggregator service.This feels a bit like what PubSub does. My guess is that the XMPP standard may have a role to play in the solution. But now I am straying from my reservation (requirements) into the badlands of technical solutions…The other big requirement is that it has to be small-screen friendly, so that I can easily see it on a mobile screen (hint to all you cool iPhone-toting developers: make this Blackberry native-friendly, please — that is what biz guys use).Reflections on Enterprise 2.0I manage an enterprise. Okay, it is a small enterprise. Okay, it is a really small enterprise! But it is a multi-national (we operate globally), and it has multiple revenue lines, so there is some complexity. As a management team, we are small by design. This enables us to be agile and profitable.I see profit centers in large companies increasingly working the same way.A business is a business. Adding a few zeros to the end of a report does not change the fundamentals. A large business is increasingly becoming an aggregation of a lot of smaller businesses (with or without synergy, the logic may simply be access to cheap capital).If that is how this pans out, the winners will be start-ups that sell to small businesses and slip in the back door of large companies guarded by profit-center managers. They’ll win bigger than the incumbent big vendors that sell to the CIO and other central-overhead managers. Historically, this is how it has always panned out. Microsoft did not start out selling to the enterprise. It made its mark as a pirate, empowering individuals to do stuff on the PC.This reflection is prompted by the news that Oracle is buying Sun and by the vision of a world where all enterprise software is sold by three behemoths. Ahem… baloney!Have You Seen Anything Like This?Surely other people face this issue? So, somebody must have come up with a solution.I’ve seen “SaaS integration” solutions. But they seem overly complex, stuck in the middleware paradigm.My service will have to be consumer-like in its ease of use. Anything that requires an IT department won’t cut it. Perhaps somebody who had built a really cool consumer app that did not solve a real problem or could not be monetized might want to take a crack at this. Or has that person already built one, and I just missed it? Related Posts IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Tags:#enterprise 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowcenter_img Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… bernard lunn Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo…last_img read more

Into the Rabbit Hole of Supply Chain Risk

first_imgThe supply-chain web is spun so intricately that it’s impossible to know it, truly. Perhaps the most we can aim for is to gain knowledge about one link, then another, and gradually appreciate more fully how pieces fit together. Maybe it’s not realistic—when it comes to today’s supply chain—to have a goal of becoming an “expert.” Instead, dedicate oneself to being a lifetime student of supply chain’s infinite complexities.The aim of supply-chain risk management (SCRM) is fairly straightforward. It’s how we help to identify risk and manage supply-chain security adequately. But learning about supply-chain risks is a bit of a rabbit hole. Even something seemingly basic can be muddy, such as where supply chain starts. (With a product’s manufacture? When plans are drawn? At ideation?) What’s certain is that risks are inherent at every step along a product’s path to a store’s shelf. And, perhaps, back again as purchase does not always mark an end to a product’s path through the supply chain.In the case of a return, the product may hit the road again, from store back to vendor, and undergo additional steps. In the case of, say, an oil-filled radiator, a vendor may face a series of environmental regulatory steps before parts and pieces are sent back to the manufacturer or a scrap company.- Sponsor – The number of players, the differences in technologies, the amount of information, and the sheer volume of interactions between these and other layers of today’s global supply chain make it extremely difficult to identify risks, let alone mitigate them.Supply-chain management encompasses the coordination of the many activities related to sourcing, procurement, conversion, and logistics. It involves planning and processing orders; handling, transporting, and storing the products purchased, processed and/or distributed; and managing the inventory of goods in a coordinated manner. And there is risk through it all—as broad and diverse as the supply chain itself.Cargo theft is an example of a risk in the supply chain. It is, however, a single risk within a small section of the supply chain (logistics). A furniture manufacturer/seller of wooden dressers, for example, will have to manage myriad supply-chain risks long before it has even made a product to ship. For every metal screw or plastic knob that will come from a supplier, the company will need to assess reliability, and for every shipment of wood, its health and quality.Geographic Impact of Supply‑Chain Risk ManagementToday’s vulnerabilities are multiplied due to greater geographic distances and the complex processes of the supply chain. Globalization presents unique challenges when applying supply-chain risk management methodologies to safeguard the supply chain from emerging threats and vulnerabilities. Disruption can hit the supply chain at any point, from manipulation in raw material usage, malware and intrusions in digital supply-chain processes, cargo theft, and crime in warehouses and distribution centers.At the very broadest level, external supply-chain risks include:Demand risks caused by unpredictable or misunderstood customer demand.Supply risks caused by any interruptions to the flow of product, whether raw material or parts, within a company’s supply chain.Environmental risks from outside the supply chain, such as economic, social, governmental, and climate factors, including the threat of terrorism, global crisis and recession, and political upheaval.Business risks caused by factors such as a supplier’s financial or management stability, or purchase and sale of supplier companies.Physical plant risks caused by the condition of a supplier’s physical facility and regulatory compliance.In each area, questions fuel a risk-management process. Our furniture company, for example, needs clarity on key issues related to its suppliers if it is to embed resilience into its business. Intellectual property is one area—one among many—that it needs to examine.Do our suppliers have a history of intellectual property theft? Been accused of it?Have they been victims? Did an employee improperly share sensitive information or provide access to a facility? Was there a computer network intrusion?How do they protect their internal computer networks?The furniture dealer also needs to know about its suppliers’ processes and procedures to verify the quality of its products or third-party products and services: How is the quality of product verified? What mechanisms are in place to ensure products meet requirements? Is an inspection process in place to review materials and/or services? Distribution is another category: How do suppliers transport products? Are they warehoused during transportation, and if so, where? Who has access to those properties? And what about finances? Are the suppliers stable?Again, these are just some of the necessary risk-management questions to help neutralize a small sampling of external risks, from a few slivers of the supply chain. And while partnerships with top suppliers are typically strong, these questions should also be asked and answered for second and third-tier suppliers.Of course, our fictional furniture firm faces an equal number of internal risks, including manufacturing risks, business and process risks, and planning and control risks. It faces risk from shrinkage resulting from holding too much inventory, for example. And what about risk from product defects? Or high labor costs? Or poor planning? What if key personnel leave? How might that impact business processes or how purchasers communicate to suppliers and customers?The consequences of failure are hardly hypothetical. A new commercial airliner was delayed three years because of a failure to assess supply-chain risks properly. A candy maker’s stock sank 8 percent when it couldn’t deliver for Halloween. And in 2015, a cascade of technology missteps in a major big-box retailer’s supply chain, which caused the prospect of patchy or empty store shelves, forced it to withdraw entirely from a country’s marketplace.Conducting a Company-Wide Risk AssessmentA robust SCRM process starts by identifying this world of risk—conducting a comprehensive, organization-wide risk assessment to determine what can go wrong. Relevant metrics, multiple sources of input, and augmented data analysis are necessary to get an accurate picture of the current situation. Risks then need to be scored and prioritized, based on their likelihood of occurrence and potential impact on business.Once risks have been identified and prioritized, organizations need to create a comprehensive risk-mitigation plan based on short-term, medium-term, and long-term risks; to identify the right people to implement it and assign responsibilities; and to create escalation mechanisms for each risk and contingency plan.A clear risk picture and planning are the base layer. Organizations must also monitor and track the progress of their risk-mitigation initiatives to ensure that they work in real-life business situations. Risk-management tools and insightful dashboards can help steer an organization through interactions with suppliers and other operational stakeholders and prompt timely, informed decisions. Broadly, SCRM is critical to manage interaction between suppliers, information, technologies, products, and logistics service providers.So what does our furniture company stand to gain? By improving its management of supply-chain risk, it can maintain control over inventories and distribution, thereby matching and managing supply with demand to reduce costs, improve sales, and enhance company profitability. That, too, sounds simpler than it is. It requires:Understanding the business, the customer and customer needs, and adapting the supply chain to find the balance that maximizes profitability.Customizing the logistics network to meet the service requirements of various markets, which may influence the size, number, location, ownership, structure, and mission of warehouse facilities.Recognizing market signals and aligning strategies accordingly to ensure consistent supply forecasts and optimal resource allocation.Strategically locating/warehousing products close to the customer base and speeding conversion efficiencies to react quickly to market signals and store/customer needs.Managing supply sources strategically to reduce the total cost of owning goods, as well as teaming with business partners to reduce costs across the supply chain to lower prices and enhance margins.Developing a technology strategy and IT system capable of integrating all the above information—one that makes all this critical decision-making possible.A well-managed supply chain—one that mitigates risks—is essential to a successful operation. In today’s global manufacturing environment, where merchandise often moves across oceans or continents before appearing on store shelves, the risk of loss or delays due to cargo theft, weather, work stoppage, and even paperwork errors requires innovative and comprehensive supply-chain risk-management solutions to manage successfully. When we consider that every single piece of merchandise must in some way pass through the supply-chain network, it’s easy to see the need to implement appropriate controls and protect our interests against an increasingly complex world of risk. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Sponsored Stories Now Appearing In The Facebook News Feed

first_imgFacebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… alicia eler Related Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification “Sponsored Stories are regular stories that people may see in their News Feeds already, but that a marketer has paid to feature on Facebook,” a Facebook spokesperson tells us. “We’ve begun slowly rolling these out in News Feed and are labeling them as ‘featured.’ These stories respect your and your friends’ privacy settings, and people will only see stories about people and Pages they’ve already connected to.”The Facebook Help Center includes information about how businesses can use the “featured posts” option to bring more users to their Facebook Page. Featured stories that users might see in the news feed include new posts from the Facebook Page, when a friend likes something (either the Facebook Page itself or a post on that page), when a friend checks in, plays a game, or uses an app. Facebook ads in the right-rail are still called “sponsored,” at least for now. Yesterday Facebook began rolling out sponsored stories in the main news feed. At the end of 2011, when this announcement first broke, a Facebook spokesperson told us that these ads would be clearly marked “sponsored” so as not to confuse them with other stories. But it looks like – surprise! – Facebook changed its mind somewhere between the announcement and the rollout, and decided to call the ads “featured” instead of “sponsored.” This is confusing for the user but rather advantageous to the advertiser. center_img Tags:#advertising#Facebook#news#web Featured stories in the news feed may help ease the common “over-liking” problem of Facebook fan pages. Often times users will “like” tons of Facebook Pages, but rarely check them unless they happen to pop up in the news feed. If a Facebook user would prefer not to receive ads, they can “unlike” Facebook Pages, thus decreasing the number of “featured” stories that might appear in the news feed.Facebook users will certainly be pissed off about this change. But freemium comes with a price: Somewhat veiled adage for a user’s Internet-addicted eyeballs. And that’s something every Facebook user knows. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

What Apple Should Learn From Tesla’s Patents

first_imgOur true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars pouring out of the world’s factories every day.In other words, competitors haven’t caught up. They’re hardly in the game, and for Tesla to truly grow, it needs a vibrant, competitive market in which to build and sell its cars. A consumer that starts with a low-end competitor is more likely to then upgrade to Tesla’s premium brand. Hence, as he stresses, the market would benefit, “from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform.”As for concerns over losing Tesla’s edge, Musk quashes that notion:Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers. We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.It’s a brilliant strategic move and it’s one that would be unfathomable a few miles south in Apple’s Cupertino.The Mobile Patent QuagmireMobile computing has been a morass of patent suits and countersuits for years, nicely summarized by PC Mag’s infographic. With so much money at stake, the reasoning goes, of course companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft would engage in IP jockeying to lock in their share.And, boy, have they ever. Apple, in particular, has been an active instigator of such suits, and has filed more than 350 cases with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office since January 2008. Steve Jobs was the heart and soul of Apple and he once famously accused Google of “grand theft” over Google’s Android operating system and threatened that he was “willing to go to thermonuclear war on this.”Which is exactly what we’ve seen.While Apple and Google’s former manufacturing arm Motorola thawed the mobile patent warfare in March, agreeing to drop the suits they’d launched against each other, years were lost while Apple and its competitors fought each other in court. Since the launch of the original iPhone, we’ve seen different screen sizes, more memory, faster chips and sharper resolution, all resulting in fat profits. But real, groundbreaking innovation equal to Apple’s original touchscreen? Not so much. In fact, in 2013 reports surfaced that Apple’s board was concerned by Apple’s slowed pace of innovation. There’s a very valid argument that Apple doesn’t need to constantly introduce new products, given how much it earns from existing products. Such earnings are fueled, in part, by the patent-encrusted moat Apple uses to defend its profits. No one can look at Apple’s balance sheet and credibly call it a failure.Innovation Is The Best ProtectionApple should not be lauded for resting on its patented laurels. As Musk noted last week, “If a company is truly relying on patents it means they aren’t innovating, or not innovating fast enough. You want to be innovating so fast [that] you invalidate your prior patents.” Tesla is doing this. Apple could, too. Apple regularly wows the world with beautiful, brilliant products. Imagine the innovation we might have seen these past few years if Apple were forcing itself and the entire industry to look forward to new developments rather than constantly cashing in on old achievements. It could be advancing the mobile industry far faster while still plumping its bank balance if it, too, opened up its innovations as Tesla has done.Tesla’s decision to open its patents isn’t dissimilar from what the open-source software world does. Years ago Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst pointed out that open source business models align customer and vendor interests by forcing vendors to “innovate or die.” In the open-source world, customers only pay for subscriptions when software is constantly being improved. They only pay when their vendors deliver real value.That may be a scary proposition for Apple, but given its culture of innovation, it is one Cupertino should welcome. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Tags:#Apple#car#Google#Open Source#Patents#Tesla Matt Asay Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Every once in a while a company comes along that completely changes the world. Google is one such company, making the Internet accessible and meaningful to billions of people. So is Facebook, which increasingly connects those billions of people. And then there’s Apple, which has set the standard for what is possible with mobile devices.Still, it’s too bad Apple can’t be more like Tesla, the electric car company founded by Elon Musk. Because Tesla, unlike Apple, is determined to share its innovations.Opening Up InnovationUp until this past week, Tesla was much like Apple. It sought and hoarded patents, proudly displaying its patents on the wall of its Palo Alto headquarters. But last Thursday, Tesla made a bold move: it open sourced its patents. Every single one of them. The reason? As Musk opined on the company’s blog, sharing innovation is better than stockpiling and suing over it:Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport. If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal. Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.Nor is this some unselfish act whereby Musk plays the part of global benefactor to others’ innovation at the expense of his balance sheet:At Tesla, however, we felt compelled to create patents out of concern that the big car companies would copy our technology and then use their massive manufacturing, sales and marketing power to overwhelm Tesla. We couldn’t have been more wrong. The unfortunate reality is the opposite: electric car programs (or programs for any vehicle that doesn’t burn hydrocarbons) at the major manufacturers are small to non-existent, constituting an average of far less than 1% of their total vehicle sales…. Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaceslast_img read more

Parma suffer Karamoh blow

first_imgYann Karamoh faces an extended spell on the sidelines after the Parma winger injured knee ligaments. The former Inter attacker was forced off during his side’s 1-1 draw with Fiorentina last Saturday, and a medical visit revealed damage to the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee. “Yann Karamoh underwent diagnostic tests following the distortion trauma to his right knee, showing damage to the lateral collateral ligament,” the club wrote in a statement on its official website. “A consultation with a specialist will be performed tomorrow [on Wednesday].” Karamoh is set to join four of his Parma teammates on the treatment table, but there’s good news for Inglese. The striker has completed ankle treatment and can now resume training, before reporting back for match duty in a few weeks. “Roberto Inglese, who was treated today, was the subject of a specialist visit in Amsterdam with Professor Nieck van Dijk yesterday. “The orthopaedist confirmed the progress of the recovery from the recent injury to his left ankle, allowing him to be partially active in training. The next check is set in three weeks.” On the other hand, defenders Bruno Alves and Vincent Laurini remain on the comeback trail. Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: read more