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Huge sadness at passing of much-loved Fanad woman Aine Friel

first_imgA cloud of immense sadness has fallen on the Fanad community following the passing of Áine Friel. Ms Aine Friel, RIPMs Friel, who was an inspirational and popular local woman, died on Sunday at the age of 28.She passed away peacefully at Letterkenny University Hospital. Ms Friel had countless friends in her local area and beyond, as her positivity and passion touched the lives of everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her.Born with brittle bone disease, Ms Friel was passionate about promoting equal rights for people with disabilities. She lived independently in Fanad and was also a keen ambassador for the area through her beautiful photography.She was well-known for her bright smile, her upbeat spirit, her advocacy and, of course, her style.She is predeceased by her parents Emmanuel and Margaret and her sister Shiela. Her funeral mass will be held on Wednesday, 3rd April in her home parish.Áine’s remains will repose at her home at Cashelprehan, Portsalon from 6pm on Monday evening (1st April).Removal on Wednesday (3rd April) at 10.30am going to St. Columba’s Church, Massmount, for Requiem Mass at 11am. Burial afterwards in the adjoining graveyard. Rosary each night at 9pm.A memorial bench is being arranged for the Friel family. Donations in lieu of flowers will go towards the placement of this bench c/o Annette Curran or Mc Ateer Funeral Directors.Huge sadness at passing of much-loved Fanad woman Aine Friel was last modified: April 3rd, 2019 by Staff WriterShare 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:Aine FrielFanadRIPlast_img read more

How former Warriors G Leaguer Kendrick Nunn became a breakout rookie for the Miami Heat

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — Seeking to cash in a training camp invite last September, Kendrick Nunn strutted into the Warriors’ practice facility in Oakland to find Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant going through their respective shooting drills.Nunn watched as the two former MVPs went through their monotonous but important routines. It left an impression. Now, the lessons he learned from watching them and playing in the Warriors’ G League system for a year are helping Nunn thrive during his breakout …last_img read more

Improving lives with bicycles

first_imgBicycles offer an efficient way for rural road workers to get on site. Girls from Luhlaza High School in Khayelitsha are delighted at their increased mobility. Meshack Nchupetsang at work in the Westlake Bicycle Empowerment Centre. Andrew Wheeldon of the Bicycle Empowerment Network and Helen Zille, mayor of Cape Town, prepare to race through the city’s afternoon traffic – he on a bike, she in a car. The bike won. (Images: Andrew Wheeldon, BicycleEmpowerment Network)Jennifer SternOur world seems a mess. Greenhouse gases are choking the planet, the cost of almost everything is skyrocketing, and people spend so much time either at work or commuting, they hardly get to see their families.Technological development hasn’t really freed us from the drudgery of manual labour – it’s just created another form of drudgery. People work so hard to afford the trappings of “the good life” they hardly ever get to appreciate all they’ve accumulated.That’s just some people, though. The rest – the vast majority – are desperately trying to get by, struggling to find work, feed their families and educate their children. They live in areas with limited infrastructure so they end up paying more for transport, electricity and other services. And both the have-lots and have-nots spend far more time in traffic than is healthy.These problems sometimes seem insurmountable. If only there was a magic pill that could make it all better – clean the air, give us time to get some exercise and smell the daisies. There isn’t a magic pill, but there is a fabulous invention that can effectively address a number of these issues.It’s called the bicycle.Devised by Englishman James Starley in 1869, this spectacularly efficient machine was embraced with enthusiasm at the time, but it is only in the last few decades that its many advantages have been recognised.It’s not exactly a magic pill, but it has the potential to solve some of the world’s ills. And the Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN) is one of many organisations that advocate this humble invention as an effective tool in reshaping our world for the better.BEN’s goal is to promote the use of the bicycle to improve mobility, health, access to education and community cohesion, create jobs, empower people and offset carbon emissions.To do this, the organisation has three main programmes. It distributed bikes to people who need them, trains these people in bike maintenance and road safety, and works with national and local government to develop effective bicycle infrastructure, particularly in the Western Cape.International collaborationBEN grew out of Afribike, an organisation set up to distribute bicycles to people who could not afford to buy them. In 2000 Louis de Waal and Andrew Wheeldon were, separately, asked to help manage the Western Cape section of Afribike, which they did. It didn’t last long but, out of its ashes, BEN rose in February 2002. In August that year Wheeldon took a fund-raising trip to the US and Europe, and returned with enough resources to get BEN running sustainably.In the US he met with the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) and managed to secure four years of funding for BEN, to tie in with their Access Africa project and supply California bikes to people in the Western Cape.Wheeldon then went to Utrecht in the Netherlands, and met with the Interface for Cycling Expertise (ICE) from whom he secured funding for a four-year project called Locomotives, or Low Cost Mobility Initiatives, which was aimed at working in cities to improve cycling infrastructure at every level.The project ran from 2003 to early 2007, after which the Bicycle Partnership Programme, which provides direct assistance to municipalities to look at bike planning, replaced it. Through BEN, ICE has chosen partners in three focus cities in the world: Nanded in India, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Cape Town.Not a free rideMost of BEN’s donated bicycles go to schoolchildren to help them to get to school safely, quickly and cost-effectively. The organisation also donates bikes to home-based health workers, rural road workers and community-based organisations.The bicycles come free of charge, but there is a sweat equity involved. Recipients must attend a two-day workshop in bicycle maintenance and road safety before they take possession the bikes.  Most of the bicycles are new, but some are rebuilt second-hand cycles from Europe. BEN started off in 2002 with ITDP’s California bike, a low-cost, high-quality and rugged bike that is great to ride and easy to maintain, designed especially for conditions in developing countries. After handing out more than 2 000 California bikes, BEN formed a partnership with Shova Kalula in 2004 and began to distribute the Giant Commuter Bike.Shova Kalula, isiZulu for “pedal easy”, was started by the then South African minister of transport, the late Dullah Omar, 2000. The programme originally aimed to distribute 1-million bikes throughout South Africa by 2010 by appointing service providers in each of the nine provinces, a process that is still under way with some of the provinces not yet on board.The programme hit a few hitches but by 2004, when BEN became the Western Cape service provider, it had been revived. The initial target of 2010 was a bit ambitious, but there is a good chance that the million bicycles will be distributed by 2015.Between 2002 and 2008 BEN distributed some 6 000 bicycles in the Western Cape, and plans to hit a target of 25 000 by 2010 and 100 000 by 2015. Every bike comes with a helmet, a pump, spares and a lock.Safety on the roadWhen BEN donates bikes to schoolchildren they work out the route that each child will travel to school. With the children they identify high-risk areas such as large intersections, and devise ways to minimise risks.They also encourage the implementation of school “buses”. These are not big diesel-belching behemoths, but rather a group of learners who all live in the same area or along the same route. The older children in the group start off to school, picking up the younger bus members en route, and at the end of the day escort them home, ensuring greater visibility, safety in numbers, and security for the littler cyclists.While BEN trains all the recipients in basic bicycle maintenance, the organisation also recognises the business opportunities that can be accessed, particularly if the number of bicycles in an area increases. To this end they have set up Bicycle Empowerment Centres in a number of Western Cape communities.These are small business opportunities for the unemployed, who are trained in bicycle maintenance and business skills, and then helped to set up a bike repair facility. So far, eight centres are up and running. There is one in the pretty Boland town of Riebeek Kasteel, one in the depressed, drought-stricken Karoo town of Merweville, and six in Cape Town – one each in Mitchell’s Plain, Masiphumelele, Westlake, and Capricorn Park, and two in Hout Bay.Bicycle infrastructureProbably the most important long-term programme BEN is involved in is the creation of bicycle infrastructure in cities.  In March 2006 the organisation successfully won the rights to host Velo Mondial in Cape Town.Velo Mondial is a global cycling conference that, every six years, brings together bicycle advocacy groups, politicians, engineers, planners, industry reps and other interested parties. Held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, the conference attracted 350 delegates from 41 countries. BEN used Velo Mondial as an opportunity to showcase cycling to Cape Town and South Africa generally.As a result of the conference, the Cape Town Declaration – an undertaking to increase non-motorised transport facilities and infrastructure in the city – was signed. This led to the formation of a non-motorised transport forum (NMT).Wheeldon was the chair of NMT between June 2006 and June 2008, but it is now being driven by the City of Cape Town, although BEN is still involved. Other than BEN, the forum is made up of road engineers, consulting engineers, the Pedal Power Association, University of Cape Town Department of Urban Planning and Built Environment, and representatives from the Western Cape Departments of Transport and Public Works, and the City Council Environmental Resource Unit and its Department of Transport. The NMT forum meets monthly to discuss the planning, budgeting and implementation of non-motorised transport infrastructure projects.The plan is to make Cape Town a truly bike-friendly city where people can commute by cycle to work and school in safety in a scenic and traffic-free environment. So far, the NMT has started construction on a bicycle and pedestrian route that will stretch from Rondebosch to Salt River, following the Liesbeek River and traversing the proposed Two Rivers Urban Park. It is scheduled to be complete by June 2009. Other aspects of cycle infrastructure include safe bike parking and showers as standard in office blocks.Sounds good, you might think, but who has time to cycle to work? To get an answer to this, Wheeldon challenged Helen Zille, the mayor of Cape Town and leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance, to a race – she in a car, he in on a bike.Zille, an incurable workaholic and one of the busiest people in Cape Town, gladly agreed. Racing Wheeldon from her office to her home, she started off by pulling away from him but had to watch him zip past her once she hit the traffic, and found him leaning on his bike at the garden gate when she got home.The 8km trip took 13 minutes by bicycle and 21 minutes by car. Let’s not even get started on the costs involved.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at marya@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Related articlesSocial development in South AfricaBikes for Africa – from bamboo Useful linksBicycle Empowerment Network Pedal Power Association Interface for Cycle Expertise Institute for Transportation and Development Policy European Network for Cycling Expertiselast_img read more

SaaS: More Numbers Pointing Towards Growth

first_imgSaaS continues to grow rapidly.  ACA Research’s recent study (sponsored by Salesforce.com) estimates that the SaaS market will double in 2007.  Problems that could delay adoption cited in the survey include security, bandwidth, and loss of control of data.  But many companies struggle with qualified staff shortages and with managing software on-site.  The SaaS model can help these companies reduce the total cost of ownership.Also of interest are new numbers from SaaS trail-blazer Salesforce.com.  Salesforce.com reported results yesterday for the quarter ending January 31st.  Sales of internet-based business software rose 58% and revenues were just short of half a billion dollars.  On the negative side though, quarterly profits plummeted 91%.  During the quarter, Salesforce added 90,000 new subscribers, bringing their total subscriber base to 646,000 from 2,700 customers. Salesforce has more than 47 customers with more than 1000 subscribers each.  Among these, Cisco has 25,000 subscribers, and Dell more than 15,000.  CEO Marc Benioff’s plan is to invest in both R&D and sales to battle more traditional competition coming from Oracle and SAP.  In the short term, profits have taken a hit, but longer term, Salesforce could extend its lead in becoming the dominant player in the on-demand world.last_img read more

Google Goggles Coming Soon to iPhone

first_imgWhy IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Back in December of 2009, Google launched Goggles – a mobile image recognition beta application for the Android Operating System. In a presentation Thursday at the Augmented Reality Event in Santa Clara, California, Google project manager Shailesh Nalawadi confirmed that the company’s mobile visual search tool would be making its way to the iPhone “soon.” He also announced that a logical next step for the app in the near future would be to release public APIs for leveraging Google’s technology.Currently, Android users can take pictures of various objects and Google Goggles will help identify them. Items that Goggles can identify include buildings, bridges, landmarks, bar codes, logos, text, business cards and product info for things like books and DVDs. When asked about an iPhone version of the app during the Q&A after his presentation, Nalawadi admitted, “Yes, we will be coming to the iPhone soon.” A more interesting announcement, perhaps, is that the company plans to release access to its image recognition technology via APIs by year’s end. “APIs are good and we would love to offer recognition capabilities as APIs eventually,” Nalawadi said. He added that the Goggles team is more concerned at the moment with continuing to develop the app, innovating on features and understanding users’ wants and needs. APIs, he added, are likely a couple quarters away.Much like the company’s recently released Latitude API that provides location-based services, access to the Goggles technology would allow developers to build visual search and image recognition applications without reinventing the wheel. The downside, however, is being locked into Google’s ecosystem and technology – a fate some developers would rather avoid. The benefit of using Google APIs, especially for apps requiring server work like Goggles, is the back-end cloud infrastructure that Google provides for the developers.The back-end is where Nalawadi says Google can provide the best service. As he pointed out to me when I caught up with him following his presentation, the Goggles project is not so much a venture into the field of augmented reality as it is an extension of Google’s search engine capabilities and personalization technologies. Nalawadi used a famous Wayne Gretzky quote to explain that Google isn’t skating to where the puck is, but where the puck is going to be.Google knows its strength is in managing large amounts to data and providing useful search results, and it intends to bring that power to the AR field. As the technology matures, AR applications will become inundated with data, and not all of it will be relevant to the user. Nalawadi says that as Google learns more about individual users, it will be able to help filter out the irrelevant AR search results. When I hold my phone up, he says, Google will filter out baby and toddler-related results because it knows I’m not a parent. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … chris cameron Tags:#Augmented Reality#Google#mobile#web Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Related Posts Other features Nalawadi says are on the Goggles road map include enhanced recognition capabilities, an AR-style user interface, as well as using computer vision to determine location and audio visual search. Computing location based on visual data is a big step forward for augmented reality and a hot topic at this week’s conference. Relying on GPS and compass data is limited by the accuracy of the sensors in the phone, and Google hopes to add it’s visual capabilities to identifying a user’s location. Additionally, Nalawadi says as interfaces move away from keyboards, and even touch, the ability to search using voice commands will be inherently necessary for these types of applications.A Google Goggles application on the iPhone and complementary APIs are obvious evolutions of the technology and aren’t a surprise, really. It makes sense that Google wants to gather as much visual data from testers of the beta application and expanding to the iPhone and its millions of users is a logical way to grow its install base. The timing of the app’s move to the iPhone also aligns with the enhanced camera access that has been opened-up in iPhone OS 4.0 – a feature that makes image recognition faster and easier for developers. Goggles would be just the fourth Google-built iPhone app – the other three being Google Mobile, Google Earth and an app for the photo sharing service Panoramio, which Google acquired in 2007. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Modern Day Sales: 8 Ways Companies are Changing the Future of Sales

first_imgChina and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … Like most functions in today’s businesses, sales is currently undergoing a transformation. Lead generation, customer acquisition, and sales resources are being approached differently. Companies now replace the cold call with new sales tools and tactics that are changing results for the better.If you are a small to medium-sized business, you may be contemplating how to transform your sales team to maximize the results from lead generation and customer acquisition activities while minimizing sales resources. Consider these eight ways that companies are leveraging tech to change the sales process so that you can emulate their success:1. Personalizing PitchesThe modern-day sales team has had to change its methods for approaching prospects. Before, it was all about enumerating product features. But this sales tactic never really addressed each prospect’s personal needs. Instead, it assumed everyone could benefit from the same features.Now, sales teams must focus on personalizing all their sales pitches, specifically addressing each prospect’s perceived needs and desires. This, in turn, requires leveraging the available data and conducting extensive prospect research, which may include surveys, interviews, and/or focus groups.Sales professionals know that they have to observe more and ask questions. They must pay attention to continue personalizing future sales with the insights gained through those conversations.2. Employing Digital Sales ToolsPreviously, sales teams relied on manual processes, including paper proposals and contracts. Today, digital sales tools are automating many sales activities (e.g., digital signatures and contracts). As a result, there is less repetition and far fewer time-consuming tasks, which enables sales professionals to focus on the personal, one-on-one aspects of their job and close deals.There are also many more sales tools that allow sales team to use the power of the digital environment for prospecting and sales interaction. For example, Gmail can be used to send reminders and schedule emails; sales professionals then receive notifications when prospects open their emails and can leverage open tracking. Sales teams can also use tools like Proofy or Email Validator to verify prospect emails. These are just some of the ways digital sales tools can reduce wasted time and help sales teams increase productivity for a higher rate of lead generation and conversions.3. Using Big Data for Better Modern Day SalesThe availability of increasing amounts of data means that sales teams have a completely different perspective on who they are approaching. This data might include more specific information about various buyer personas, such as demographics, location, motivation, previous purchase behavior, and timeline for purchasing. That intelligence is enough to replace the cold call right there.In addition to using big data, B2B lead generation companies like Sapper Consulting partner with companies to leverage precise targeting and creative email content. As a result, they can help secure meetings with those prospects that are most likely to convert into customers. This type of deep intelligence saves sales teams time and money. The approach is about focusing the team solely on prescreened prospects who are most likely to buy the products or services being offered.4. Sharing Data to Enable Sales and Marketing CollaborationFor years, sales and marketing had a rather adversarial relationship. Each function thought the other didn’t understand or value what it did.But remember how personalization is changing the modern-day sales process, and how extensive research is required to customize sales pitches to prospects? It turns out that for real insights to be collected, marketing and sales need to work together and share the data that drives the personalization process. For this level of customization to work, it has to be threaded through all marketing messages and followed up by sales. As a result, today’s sales and marketing teams are collaborating much more closely.5. Incorporating Artificial IntelligenceSome employees worry that artificial intelligence will completely take over and leave them jobless. However, sales professionals know they will always be necessary, even in future sales organizations. Therefore, they view the appearance of AI as an opportunity to further maximize their time.First, AI has been a game changer in terms of delivering additional data and synthesizing that information into palpable insights that would have taken humans years to process. Second, AI can lighten a salesperson’s workload by automating various tasks. This makes it an ideal addition to a company that may be scaling up faster than it can hire additional sales professionals. Third, AI’s delivery of sales data insights will improve sales forecasting to bring sales budgets and strategy into greater alignment for a better return.6. OutsourcingAlthough it may sound risky to outsource your sales function, more companies are realizing that it does not matter if sales professionals work directly for you or if they work outside the firm to sell your products or services. What is important is that they have the ability to generate leads, leverage tools and technology, and deliver results.As sales organizations have sought out technology vendors and consultants to help solve sales prospecting and conversion problems, the trend is veering toward using more outsourcing providers who can add intelligence, technology, and talent to assist in the B2B and B2C environment to solve those problems and address ever-changing target audience demands. In addition, by lowering their overall sales costs, outsourcing the sales function allows organizations to realize greater value.7. Sales TrainingThe belief in sales training investment as a significant way to achieve a greater return is becoming more widespread among all sizes of companies, from startups to established enterprises. According to a McKinsey report, “Just under half the fast growers spend significant time and money on sales-force training, compared to 29 percent of slow growers.”This demonstrated competitive advantage has led to a renewed interest in sales training programs and platforms to assist sales talent within the organization as well as any of the outsourced talent that has been brought in. Now, online training programs, augmented reality, and AI-enabled training sessions are assisting sales professionals on everything from account-based selling to smart personalization.8. Omnichannel and Social SellingModern-day sales also involves new ways to undertake selling. That means sales professionals have had to learn — and value — different channels and ways to approach prospects. Previously, sales professionals picked up the phone or visited prospects in person. Today, sales professionals have to look at omnichannel selling, social selling, mobile selling, and more.For example, stats compiled by Entrepreneur indicate that leads who come from social media convert seven times more frequently than leads who come through other channels. Sales professionals who incorporate social media as a channel for prospecting have been proven to outsell 78 percent of their peers. With such a successful track record, changing channels and outreach to other locations where prospects are more likely to be found and listen is an ideal way to improve current and future sales results. What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star… How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture Related Posts center_img Peter Daisyme Tags:#digital tools#engagement#sales How to Get Started in China and Have Successlast_img read more

No evidence of fixing in Pakistan-England Oval ODI says ICC

first_imgThe International Cricket Council on Wednesday said there was no compelling evidence into allegations that the Oval ODI between England and Pakistan was fixed.The ICC had decided to probe the last month’s match, which Pakistan won by 23 runs, after British tabloid The Sun passed on some information to the world governing body.The ICC had said that a certain scoring pattern emerged during the match as has been reported by The Sun but had made it clear that no England player was involved. “Following extensive investigations into allegations about the One-Day International between England and Pakistan at The Oval in London on 17 September, the ACSU has verified all the available information and concluded that there was no compelling evidence to suspect individual players or support staff,” a statement after the ICC Board meeting in Dubai said.”The investigation is now complete but if new and corroborating evidence comes to light then clearly the ACSU will reopen the matter.” The allegations emerged after the paper was notified of calls between a Dubai-based matchfixer and a New Delhi bookmaker, the newspaper report added.Pakistan’s one-day captain Shahid Afridi and coach Waqar Younis welcomed the decision to clear the team of some spot-fixing claims levelled against them. Afridi, who led Pakistan to victory by 23 runs in England but lost the five-match series 2-3, said he was delighted that the findings – announced after the ICC’s board meeting in Dubai – were in his team’s favour.”I am very happy after hearing the news,” Afridi said. “I had and will always have full confidence in my team that they will not do anything like that.advertisement”I have told the players to always remain focused on cricket and forget anything else, and that’s what they were doing in the one-day series in England.” Afridi is to lead the team in the limited-over matches series starting in the United Arab Emirates later this month. From Agencieslast_img read more