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Reacting to Ukraine crisis, Generals in Germany say ‘No’ to war with Russia

first_imgThis article by Peter Wolter was published in the German daily Junge Welt on May 6. The translation is by Workers World managing editor John Catalinotto. The German Democratic Republic — East Germany — existed as a socialist state of 17 million people, allied to the Soviet Union, before its annexation by imperialist Federal Germany in 1990.Theodor HoffmannApproximately 100 generals of the National People’s Army (NVA) of the German Democratic Republic, which was disbanded 25 years ago, have reacted to the Ukraine crisis with a peace appeal to the general public. The appeal’s immediate impulse is the celebration of the 70th anniversary of liberation from German fascism [that ended World War II in Europe on May 9, 1945]. Among the signatories are two former defense ministers, three highest level generals, 19 lieutenant generals and 61 major generals, and several admirals.“The majority of the signatories have witnessed the Second World War at the front,” former East German Defense Minister Theodor Hoffmann said May 5 in Berlin at the presentation of the call made by “Soldiers for Peace.” “We military officers know very well that war must not be an instrument of politics; based on our experience we can accurately evaluate the consequences for all of Europe.”The military strength of the Warsaw Pact helped to ensure that the Cold War would not become a hot one. Since the dissolution of the alliance, however, the West has increasingly adopted military force as an instrument of policy — examples are the various wars against Iraq, in the Balkans, in Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere.“In one form or another, the German Bundeswehr [Armed Forces] has been involved in all these wars,” said Hoffmann, whose last held rank was admiral. “It has taken on reconnaissance tasks, exchanged information and even helped in the air refueling of fighter aircraft.” This is contrary to the agreement that the former Chancellor Helmut Kohl made with the former East German state and party leader, Erich Honecker, that war must never be launched from German soil.Led by the United States, NATO countries are now reverting to Cold War policies and have justified this turn by accusing Russia of aggression, Hoffmann said. Most signatories to the appeal have had quite different experiences with this country, however, and many have also studied there. “Experience teaches us that it is better to have the Russians as friends and not as enemies.” Also, the most important problems of today could be solved only in collaboration with Russia.The call will be delivered not only to all members of the German parliament, but also to the most important embassies, including those of NATO countries. The text has already been delivered in the Russian language for the occasion of a ceremony in Moscow [by] members of the former Soviet Army, and on May 9 it is to be presented in Prague, Czech Republic, to a public rally. The initiators of the appeal and many of its signatories want to lay wreaths on that date at the monuments to fallen Soviet soldiers in Berlin-Treptow and Berlin-Tiergarten.The signers welcomed the call of the Christian Democratic Union politician Willi Wimmer. “As the spearhead of the armed forces of the Warsaw Pact, the members of the National People’s Army are among those who can assess the consequences of a military confrontation in Europe and therefore in Germany,” the former parliamentary state secretary in the Federal Ministry of Defense said in a statement. “It distinguishes the authors, that they could significantly address the historical development and its resulting obligation. … That misery that had been caused by two world wars continues until today in Europe and requires all nations and states to adhere to good neighborly relations and peaceful trade.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

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Death-defying drivers clamor for cash spilling out of armored truck on New Jersey highway

first_imgWABC-TV(EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.) — Rush hour was particularly hectic on one New Jersey highway Thursday morning.Some drivers stopped their vehicles on Route 3 in East Rutherford during their morning commute to pick up cash that had apparently spilled out of an armored truck. The commotion caused “multiple” car accidents, police said.A video taken by a motorist on the other side of the highway divider shows people clamoring for the bills in the middle of the road, bringing the traffic behind them to an almost standstill. Some drivers were laying on their car horns as they tried to get through.“There’s money all over Route 3, no joke. Can’t make this up,” the woman who took the video says in disbelief. “I want to get out and go get money too, but I wouldn’t dare!”Brink’s, an American security and protection company, confirmed to ABC News that one of its trucks was involved in the incident on Route 3 in East Rutherford.“The incident is under investigation and we have no additional comment at this time,” a company spokesperson said in an email Thursday.It was unknown how much money wound up on the roadway or if those who pocketed the cash will be allowed to keep it.The East Rutherford Police Department said its detectives are investigating the incident.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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5 insights from 10 years of project team alignment meetings

first_img 21SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jim Haack Strategic, multidisciplinary designer & student of organizational effectiveness with an eye for innovation and integration. Jim is an award winning and highly creative facilities and project expert with +30 years … Web: www.momentumbuilds.com Details No doubt you have heard the well wore phrase “singing from the same sheet of music”. This is rightly one of the most used metaphors in the canon of project team alignment. Creating a team’s shared sense of purpose, common understanding of impact, and accountability for results gets your team aligned. It is a potent first step in achieving great project results and it does not happen by accident.The real question is not about the value in aligning your team; most understand the power of clear, shared project goals. The question is how to get there. Over the past 10 years working with leading credit unions we have found that the process of creating great project results begins with helping teams align. Therefore, we start every project with this core challenge. Over time we have found a few consistent and surprisingly simple themes, and as a result, continue to deliver successful projects designed to meet unique needs for diverse institutions.In order to get on the same page, you have to have a pageHow many times have you launched a project without a page? Virtually every Credit Union institution has a stated vision guiding strategic decisions. In the most successful institutions that vision is compelling and most importantly, helps teams translate goals into concrete daily work focused on objectives. Don’t deny your project the benefit of vision committed to paper. At Momentum we call this a Project Charter. Every alignment meeting produces one, even if only as a draft. It’s the crisp, clear statement of purpose that empowers the project leaders, drives progress, and helps your teams filter decisions large and small. The Project Charter communicates to all a clear understanding of why the organization is pursuing the project.Alignment is about pull, not pushA mentor and dear friend drove this point home recently when describing the magnetic power of purpose to pull teams into sustained alignment. Picture a grade school science experiment using a single magnet to pull together iron filings. Can you see it? Contrast this with a parking lot full of shopping carts and the effort necessary to slam them together and push them back to the front of the store. Successful projects begin with a clear purpose that pulls team members towards a common objective. They are not solely driven by the individual requirements of project team members. Read MoreStructure amplifies creativityMany believe that creativity needs space to blossom. An unrepentant frolic in and out of the rabbit holes of possibility is the only true path to creative breakthrough. While it’s true that iterative process involves a certain amount of exploration, some experts believe up to 35% of project time is spent on rework. The reality of high performing teams, especially ones with limited time, finite budgets, and defined expectations, is that there is little patience for rework. A well-aligned project team will structure enough space for the creative process in the early project phase such that future decisions can be treated with discipline and based on concrete project requirements. This helps to keep projects from being derailed by mistimed exploration.Diversity is an X FactorA brilliant group of MIT organizational experts used body-worn sensors to gather data on project teams. Surprisingly the most consistent predictor of success, up to 94%, is not what is communicated, but how, and furthermore, the more diverse the team’s interaction, the more successful. When communication is disproportionately focused on limited team members the results are consistently less effective.The correlation between team diversity and results is extensive. For example, Stanford University student engineering design teams consistently win more often when team diversity is a component of team composition. The value credit unions achieve through involving multiple levels of staff with varied backgrounds in the project alignment process cannot be overstated. Incorporating many diverse viewpoints is empowering to the team and leads to richer, more well thought-out delivery strategies; just what is needed to give your project the edge necessary to carve out exceptional results.Place is powerful! Draw from your “local” to build a relevant member experienceSmart money will anchor long-term branch transformation in a design prototype. While the advantages of a prototype are many, the most compelling and durable may be that it can repeatedly translate your story into experience in a relevant way. Your members, like all of us, face a barrage of brands screaming for attention every day. Additionally, according to the website Trendwatchers.com, brand experiences increasingly delivered through the lens of a few mega-brands (think iPhone banking) are becoming democratized and diluted.The ubiquitous access to everything all the time makes your place more special and perhaps more necessary than ever before. The alignment process is consistently an opportunity for teams to re-center a project towards what is unique about their organization, and how that can be made relevant to members and employees alike. This process can help a team resist the urge to jump on a stylistic bandwagon and instead choose to incorporate the unique story of their place.Once aligned, teams will really produce. So, articulate purpose, it’s magnetic. Put great process behind your team to amp up their creativity. Celebrate the diversity of your institution and create a relevant member experience by telling your story drawn from your unique place.I’d love to hear your thoughts. Wishing you a prosperous 2015!last_img read more

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Wellington City proposes water conservation measures including exchanges, rebates and ascending water rates

first_imgby Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — With the ongoing drought the past four years, the Wellington City Council is looking into various water conservation measures to help decrease the amount of water consumed by its city customers.Upon the recommendations of a water conservation committee, the city is proposing three conservation measures:1. Changing out water-saving devices such as faucet and shower heads with new low-flow devices offered by the city at no charge.2. Revising the water rate structure in which rates will increase with the increased amount of water used, as opposed to decreasing rates. 3. Offering water saving rebates for people switching out toilets to new low-flow toilets that meet specific criteria.At the current time, these are simply proposals. The council is currently looking for public input before initiating such proposals.While the city council and staff continues to do feasibility studies to find more water sources such as water wells, pumping at Chickaskia river, etc., the council has also been studying city water consumption.Wellington City Council member Kelly Green, who chairs the conservation committee, approached the council in a special meeting on April 29 with these solution.In the first option, she is recommending the city purchase 200 low-flow shower heads and 200 low-flow aerators in which citizens will go to the city office and exchange their old shower and faucet heads.The second option is a bit more complicated, but water rates would be in ascending order instead of descending in order to encourage water conservation. Currently, rates are based on the amount consumed, the more you use the more your rates will go down based on bulk rate pricing. The proposal is, the more water a customer consumes the rates will increase.Wellington City Manager Gus Collins said staff recommends the first 2,000 gallons be $10 and a slight increase on the next three different rate tiers.“The majority of our customers use between 0 and 18,000 gallons for residential,” Collins said in the April 29 Special Meeting minutes.Staff is recommending $3.39/per thousand from 2 to 10,000 gallons and then 10 cent increments from 10,000 to 40,000 gallons. Anything in excess of 40,000 gallons would be $3.59.As far as the third option, if customers change out their old toilets for low-flow conservation ones, then they will receive a $50 rebate.“The Water Conservation Committee is working to address the three parts of the water conservation program to help ensure the longevity of our public water supply for current and future generations,” said Cody Sims, Wellington Economic Development Director. “The city is working diligently to identify and establish new water supplies to help supplement our lake, our existing wells, and our river source.“Water conservation is not unique to Wellington, as municipalities throughout Kansas (and the Great Plains/Mountain Regions) are working to offset greater risks to public water supplies that are being stressed by the drought we have been in for the last couple of years.”Follow us on Twitter. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (27) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. 0 Vote up Vote down South Haven Hick · 324 weeks ago Don’t even THINK of talking to me about low flow toilets. That is what I got when a contractor rebuilt a stool in my home before I moved, and I found out last fall by accident when I put in another rebuild kit because the stool leaked the adjustment was never made to bring the level up for a complete flush. My water bill has been down for six months by $20.00 a month. Report Reply 0 replies · active 324 weeks ago +11 Vote up Vote down john · 324 weeks ago I will take option 4. Quit selling water to fracking companies Report Reply 1 reply · active 324 weeks ago +7 Vote up Vote down waytogo · 324 weeks ago Way to go Wellington. It is about time we get on the ball. I think also if you put a limit on when people watered their yards with water sprinklers. In the part of Wichita that I live in you can only water on certain days. Report Reply 0 replies · active 324 weeks ago +4 Vote up Vote down VOTE NO SKLBOND · 324 weeks ago Penny’s diner was sure watering the highway the other day is you sat there long enough at the light you got a free car wash. Those are the ones you should be confronting running water out into the street and watering while its raining. Report Reply 0 replies · active 324 weeks ago -1 Vote up Vote down Drowning · 324 weeks ago Oh Boy did you “City of Wellington” open a big can of worms! This is nothing new to the residents of Wellington. We have know about the water shortage for years but every time we get a big rain then life is good. Might as well get it out know how much of a tax increase are you going to need to fix this problem? Report Reply 0 replies · active 324 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down Larry · 324 weeks ago Where I live in New Mexico, they put in restrictions and also asked the citizens to help and conserve water. The citizens did such a great job that the water companies revenue income was so bad that they were going in the red, thanks to the saving of water. The company fixed that and raised the water rates by 8 dollars a month on each house hold to get there revenues back up. That’s how you thank them for doing there part. Report Reply 0 replies · active 324 weeks ago +5 Vote up Vote down jim · 324 weeks ago Stop rampant golf course consumption of reources – natural and monetary. Report Reply 16 replies · active 323 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down Misinformation? · 324 weeks ago Wait, so you are telling me that someone might have jumped to conclusions without having all of the information? Hard to fathom. Report Reply 0 replies · active 324 weeks ago +4 Vote up Vote down VOTE NO SKLBOND · 324 weeks ago This is exactly why GUS/City water superintendent should not have allowed water to be sold to the FRACKING COMPANY. What an ignorant move that was. Report Reply 0 replies · active 324 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down JustMe · 324 weeks ago Just tell everyone “it’s to keep the kids safe”. That seems to do it every time. 😉 Report Reply 0 replies · active 324 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more

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Sheringham will NOT want to follow Allardyce as West Ham boss, says former teammate

first_imgTony Cascarino says Teddy Sheringham is keen to move into management – but is unlikely to want to take over from Sam Allardyce at West Ham.Sheringham, currently working as a forwards coach at Upton Park, has been installed by bookmakers as one of the favourites to take over as Hammers boss this summer with Allardyce widely expected to depart when his contract expires.The 48-year-old is popular with fans after an impressive three-year spell as a player, but Cascarino reckons his friend and former Millwall teammate is unlikely to be a contender for the job should it become available.“I know Teddy eventually wants to go into management but I don’t know if he wants to fill Sam’s boots,” said Cascarino, speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.“I think he wanted to go there as a learning curve, do a year in coaching, a couple of days a week working with the strikers.“I know he has always been ambitious to go and further his career when the time is right, but I don’t know if he would follow Sam, because Sam was the man that brought him in. I don’t see it yet.“I haven’t had that conversation with him, but I do know he would love to do management at some stage in his career.”last_img read more

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Guide: what you can do on Mandela Day

first_imgThe Nelson Mandela Foundation encourages people to carry out their volunteer work for the long term, starting on Mandela Day.“The Nelson Mandela Foundation felt it would be useful to issue the guide for the first time this year, especially as we have changed the way in which Mandela Day is observed,” says Ffoundation CEO Sello Hatang. (Image: Nelson Mandela Foundation, Facebook)Brand South Africa reporterIn time for Nelson Mandela International Day (known as Mandela Day) on 18 July, which has become synonymous with charitable work, the Nelson Mandela Foundation has compiled a handy guide if you are wondering what you can do with your time.The emphasis, though, is not to limit your contribution to 67 minutes but rather to make charitable work a regular occurrence. That way, there will be a long-term positive effect on those who are being helped.No matter how small the action, you can help to change the world. Lend a helping hand to those less fortunate everyday #ActionAgainstPoverty pic.twitter.com/Oe8lkdfeRR— NelsonMandela (@NelsonMandela) July 16, 2017“The manual is intended to help people who don’t really know how they to contribute or volunteer during Mandela Month, as July has typically become known,” said Sello Hatang, chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.“The Nelson Mandela Foundation felt it would be useful to issue the guide for the first time this year, especially as we have changed the way in which Mandela Day is observed.”Hatang said that instead of volunteering 67 minutes on 18 July as had become the norm, the foundation was calling on South Africans and those around the world to take action throughout the year.The foundation was grateful to everyone who had given 67 minutes of their time on the day in the past, but, “it became increasingly troubling for us as the Nelson Mandela Foundation that the Mandela Day campaign serves as a momentary relief for recipients”.The day — 18 July — should be the start of taking action, he said, not the end. “We want South Africans and those around the world to commit to long-term, regular projects that will tackle poverty.”Watch:Here’s the list of suggestions, outlining practical things to do, from the foundation:Make stationery packs (pens, stickers, coloured paper, scissors, etc.) for teachers at an under-resourced school;Sort donated clothes at U-turn or The Warehouse, but call before time to organise, the foundation advises;Volunteer your time at a Haven Night Shelter;Find your nearest fixed donor site and give blood;Offer to fix things at a local school or organisation;Help to build a home with Habitat for Humanity’s International Mandela Day Build Week;Donate educational materials to Breadline Africa;Organise a fun outing for children in an HIV/Aids programme;Make “care kits”, including items such as a comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, face cloth, and so on, for patients at a government hospital;Throw a tea party for the children and carers at a children’s home;Offer to mow the lawn and fix up the garden at a nursing home or hospice;Hold a teddy bear or book drive for a children’s home;Teach someone how to use a computer and the internet;Tutor someone who needs help learning your mother tongue;Donate your old computer to an under-resourced school;Tutor pupils from under-resourced schools;Donate books to your local library; and,Offer to attend a high school class to talk to students about your career.About the dayThe United Nations officially declared 18 July, the day of Mandela’s birth, as Nelson Mandela International Day. It is a “global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an impact”.Source: The Nelson Mandela FoundationWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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The Theory of Caching is Found in Canada

first_img SharePrint RelatedGroundspeak Weekly Mailer – February 24, 2011February 24, 2011In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter”A Lackey’s “Thank You” after Attending a Mega-EventApril 1, 2011In “Community”Double-Oh-Mega-Event: On a (not so) Secret MissionJuly 22, 2011In “Community” Cathy (center) – Canada Day with reviewers CacheViewer, GeoawareCA, and CacheShadowWhen I found out I had been selected to attend COG Fling 10 – The COG Cache Theory in Ontario, Canada, I was very excited.  I knew that the Central Ontario geocaching community was super creative and fun, and they would turn this year’s science theme into a weekend full of laughter and crazy surprises.  The chosen location for the 10th Fling was Tottenham Conservation Area, a beautiful 41-acre park about 40 minutes away from Toronto.The kickoff event on Friday evening was COG Spring Fling, a nod to the COG Fling’s traditional springtime date.  This year the event took place during the long hot days of summer, so how do you make a Spring Fling out of that?  By flinging springs, of course! That was just one of a crazy hodge podge of activities, including racing to fill pipes by squeezing water into them with sponges, and performing an interpretive dance with shock absorbers before tossing them at a target.  The prize?  A fine trophy made of springs!Elf and Fababoo doing their shock absorber interpretive dance. She has a bubble on her finger.Swifteroo’s shock absorber interpretive danceFilling pipes with spongesI had a blast at the Mega-Event on Saturday, meeting and chatting with 800 geocachers. Some of them came all the way from Australia and Germany! Keeping with the science theme, the event log was a lab coat, there were 8 super creative science lab caches, and a mad scientist too! Games, workshops and a bunch of new caches in the area kept people busy all day.Fababoo the Mad ScientistPotato Experiment Lab CacheLight Bending Prism Lab CacheTwo of the COG volunteers helping with the event, Juicepig and ElfMe with one of the cachers I met, luvvinbird COG Fling 10 – The COG Cache TheoryEditor’s note: Geocaching HQ staff are  attending dozens of Mega-Events around the world, shaking hands, sharing stories of adventure, and of course, geocaching. Each person at Geocaching HQ brings their own unique talent to advancing the adventure. Some write code for the website, others design images for the apps, and some shoot videos explaining it all. Cathy or Prying Pandora works supporting geocaching community volunteers .  This is her Mega-Event experience. The weekend wrapped up on Sunday with the COG’s Anti Trash Theory CITO event.  Lots of trash was collected from the area surrounding the park, and a few unusual items too.Tromelin heaves in an old satellite dishI completed my Canadian adventure after the event weekend by visiting the nation’s capital in Ottawa with some of Ontario’s volunteer reviewers to celebrate Canada Day. It was the perfect end to a wonderful trip! Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

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Will Apple’s “Interactive Album” Cocktail Inspire Better Bands?

first_img9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Tags:#music#web Related Posts 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… In an unsurprising move, Apple is said to be working with major record labels to provide an “interactive album” to consumers. The company is rumored to be working with EMI, Sony, Warner and Universal to bundle photos, lyric sheets, liner notes and videos with album purchases in the iTunes store. According to the FInancial Times, the move is meant to increase album sales. Nevertheless, a number of critics have already argued that the attempt will be ill-fated. While it’s true that “interactive” music material has already been executed in various iterations, Apple’s move may have a extremely positive affect on the music industry as a whole. A number of bands already offer “interactive material” to their fans and while not many offer it through downloads, materials like band backgrounders and liner notes are readily available through a number of services including the following 3:1. Bandcamp: RWW reviewed Bandcamp earlier and dubbed this service the “MySpace Music Killer”. The company offers bands the chance to upload liner notes, album arts and links to their materials through an online DIY store. In this case, interactivity is not bundled with the album downloads, but rather found in a link on the site. 2. Songbird: Songbird is the open-source Mozilla-based music player that offers users a chance to listen to albums while also viewing information about artists through various in-browser plugins. Songbird offers the basic functionality of an “interactive album” with lyrics and album art; however, fans can also add extensions to trade mix tapes, publish their playback histories to Last.FM and publish their listening history to Twitter. 3. Songkick: Songkick is a concert recommendation engine with a music history component. The site allows users to upload concert-related photos, liner notes, poster art, videos and even ticket stubs. The community is a live music wiki updated by those die hard fans who’ve not only attended the concerts, but also documented the experience. For Bob Dylan alone, the community has uploaded information on 2788 past concerts in 767 cities.Apart from their interactivity and great social components, one thing that BandCamp, Songbird and Songkick have in common is the fact that they are not Apple. While each of the services are wonderful in their own right, Apple’s potential commitment to interactive albums can set an industry-wide precedent on how albums are released. By providing listeners with liner notes, videos and background information, fans may find themselves connecting with their music on a whole new level. Band history, politics and cultural context can affect whether or not we part with our money. I’m going to take a wild guess that Hasidic Jewish reggae artist Matisyahu’s highest download numbers don’t come from Muslim music fans. And do you think Radiohead’s name-your-own-price In Rainbows album would have made as much money if the group wasn’t known for its activism?The interactive album tells us where artists have come from and how they’re using their voices outside of the music. A number of services provide the delivery framework for the information, but only Apple provides direct access to mainstream audiences. Regardless of whether or not the independent labels follow suit, these new band dossiers give us the social narrative we need to make informed choices as consumers. center_img dana oshiro 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnoutlast_img read more

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Vermont Utility to Develop New Grid Technology

first_imgThe details have have yet to be worked outRutland is a city of about 16,500 in the central part of the state and one of two headquarters for Green Mountain Power.There are a number of elements to the utility’s proposal, according to a summary that appeared on The Wall Street Journal‘s business wire:A smart home feature that would allow subscribing customers to remotely manage energy consumption in their homes. Green Mountain said it might offer NRG’s web-based technology that allows customers to monitor energy use. Customers also might be able to participate in “demand response” where they get credits on their bills or payments in return for reducing their use of power for specific periods of time.Distribution of NRG power packs allowing customers to recharge smart phones without grid electricity.A network of charging stations for electric vehicles.Small-scale solar arrays that provide residential and commercial customers with power.Access to a device called the Beacon 10, which uses natural gas to generate as much as 10 kilowatts of electricity and can work in tandem with PV panels.Green Mountain, however, hasn’t provided many details on when and how its proposals would be rolled out.“Our goal here was to establish the partnership with NRG and get that going,” Green Mountain media director Kristin Carlson said by telephone. “We do not have yet any specific hard dates or timelines or costs for what these products will cost for customers. We’ve made the commitment that they must be cost effective and help people reduce their rates.” The largest electric utility in Vermont has announced its intent to offer a variety of new products and services to its customers and develop a network of micro-grids through the state that offer more reliable service than the existing “legacy grid system.”Beginning in the city of Rutland next year, Green Mountain Power said it would partner with NRG Energy to develop an advanced distribution grid that could serve as a model for expansion to other parts of the state later. The utility has some 265,000 residential and business customers in Vermont.The plans were rolled out at a press conference earlier this month, where Green Mountain Power CEO Mary Powell and NRG CEO David Crane said they would establish Rutland as the “energy city of the future” and make Vermont a leader in cost-effective, sustainable energy systems, according to an article in the Burlington Free Press.The aim is to reconfigure the distribution grid so that it includes local sources of power, such as photovoltaic (PV) panels and battery storage, that can allow it to operate independently during emergencies, the report said.“We’re not building a second grid,” Powell said at the news conference. “We’re taking the existing grid — a good way of thinking of it — and breaking it into smaller pieces that can operate independent of the larger grid.” Rutland solar farm is a sign of what’s to comeAlthough most details still seem murky, Green Mountain already has broken ground on a 2-megawatt solar installation that could become a template for micro-grids of the future. The Stafford Hill Solar Farm will include 7,700 PV panels and 4 megawatts of battery storage that can be used to power an emergency shelter at the city’s high school, according to the utility.The $10 million project is due for completion by the end of the year.“Stafford Hill is the first step that takes us down this path,” Carlson said, “but there will be much more of that in Rutland and across the state.“Our vision is that over time we create a network of micro-grids so the poles and wires that currently exist are more of a backup system to what we’ve now created,” she said. The transition to a distribution system dominated by micro-grids could be 15 or 20 years in the making, she added, but in the end would result in a more reliable system with more power created locally.Lowering costs for consumers is a key part of the utility’s plans, she said. In fact, Carlson added, rates for Green Mountain customers would be going down by nearly 2.5% on Oct. 1.center_img Green Mountain says it’s not locked into a contractNRG Energy, according to a profile published by Reuters, is a wholesale power generation and retail electricity company. It has more than 45,000 megawatts of fossil fuel and nuclear generating capacity, plus two natural gas generating stations.NRG also is pursuing a variety of alternative energy technologies, such as distributed solar, solar thermal and photovoltaic, as well as electric vehicles and smart meter technology.The company has already partnered with Green Mountain in developing a 150 kW solar array in Rutland that serves 50 residents.Carlson, however, was careful to point out the most recent announcement didn’t mean NRG would be Green Mountain’s only possible partner in developing new grid technologies.“This is an agreement with NRG, but it’s not a binding contract,” she said. “So, if someone else were to come into the market in Vermont with better of different products or services that we’d really like to use, then we can. We don’t have any kind of exclusivity with them.”last_img read more

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Gogo In-Flight Wi-Fi Poised to Take Off, Latest IPO Filing Reveals

first_imgSome 5.3% of potential Gogo passengers connected during the June quarter. That’s up significantly from 4% take rate a year ago, but down a bit from 5.6% in the March quarter and 5.5% in the December quarter. Take rates vary by airline and flight, of course, and air travel is a seasonal business. In April, Virgin America’s CEO boasted Gogo usage rates in the low- to mid-20s, including generally passing 50% on its San Francisco-to-Boston route. But not every airline is Virgin America, and not every flight is so full of techies.Still, Gogo’s filing suggests that the company powered about 3.5 million Wi-Fi sessions in the June quarter, up about 75% from last year and up more than 10% from the March quarter.That’s pretty solid growth, and faster than Gogo’s overall sales, which grew 51% year-over-year during the June quarter. Operating loss fell to $4.9 million in the June quarter from $7.1 million a year ago. And a $135 million credit line, announced in late June, will keep things moving. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market The filing notes that Gogo has contracts to install the service on another 415 aircraft, mostly before the end of next year. That could provide roughly 25% more capacity. Take rate will almost certainly increase as more people bring aboard iPads and smartphones and as they become accustomed to paying for in-flight connectivity. And Gogo just started its international expansion efforts this year. (It also generates almost half its revenue from the “business aviation” market, serving private planes.)But Gogo faces hurdles, too. Network capacity, for example: It’s already frequently slow to connect, and Gogo warns that it must upgrade many planes to new technology to meet capacity demands. Satellite-based competitors could win deals, too. And then there’s the overall instability of the airline industry: American Airlines, whose customers generated 23% of Gogo’s commercial-aviation revenue in the first half of the year, filed for bankruptcy and may shed planes or lose control to another airline.Still, for many passengers, Wi-Fi has become a crucial part of flying. It looks like Gogo has plenty of runway left for growth. Tags:#Analysis#web Wi-Fi in the sky is a rare bright spot in an industry that engenders ever lower customer expectations. Five years after Gogo launched its in-flight Wi-Fi service, most passengers still don’t pay for Internet in the sky, but there’s every reason to believe they’re beginning to see the value of staying connected en route. As Gogo disclosed in an updated IPO filing last week, its sales and installations have been growing, and it is inching toward profitability.Gogo’s in-flight Wi-Fi service was installed on 1,565 planes at the end of June and available to about 65.5 million passengers in the June quarter. Both of those stats have grown around one-third in the past year. That growth has allowed Gogo’s revenue and number of wi-fi sessions to increase, even as the percentage of passengers who pay for service (known as take rate) and the amount of money people spend on service have remained flattish.  Related Posts center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… dan frommer A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more