African Union and New Zealand publish fourth edition of AU Handbook

first_imgThe African Union has published the latest version of its handbook, in partnership with New Zealand. The book is important in communicating the organisation’s message internally and to the public.The African Union publishes the 2017 edition of the African Union Handbook on 27 January 2017. (Image: African Union)Brand South Africa reporter The African Union (AU) has published the 2017 version of its handbook, in partnership with New Zealand.The handbook’s purpose, said the organisation, was to give member states and the public updated information about its role and structure. It also contains facts about the union.#28thAUSummit AUC and New Zealand Government Launch the Fourth Edition of the @_AfricanUnion Handbook https://t.co/UfzjjhpbM6 pic.twitter.com/XCW2Q5GVPj— African Union (@_AfricanUnion) January 28, 2017The inaugural handbook was published three years ago, in 2014, by the African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with New Zealand.“It is in line with the AUC mission towards becoming a people-centred union and the Agenda 2063 communication strategy to generate public awareness, involvement, ownership and support for the programmes of the African Union,” the organisation said.Fatima Haram Acyl, the commissioner for trade and industry, said the handbook was one of the tools used to create open communication between the commission and the public.The youth had an integral role to play in creating a future for Africa where growth was both inclusive and sustainable. Communicating that message was also important, she said, under the 2017 AU theme “Harnessing the demographic dividend through investments in youth”.Bruce Shepherd, New Zealand’s ambassador to Ethiopia, and the AU spoke about the relationship between his country and the AUC. He was grateful for the support of member states during New Zealand’s two-year stint in the UN Security Council, he said.He commended the work done between the AU and New Zealand on renewable energy, particularly geothermal energy.New Zealand would be offering 38 new tertiary scholarships to various AU member states in 2017, Shepherd also announced, as a sign of the continued commitment to support youth and education on the continent and in line with the AU theme for the year.Click here to read the handbook.Source: African UnionWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Droid Becomes Fastest-Selling Android Phone to Date?

first_imgThe Motorola Droid is the newest smartphone on the market to compete for the iPhone’s crown. Released by Verizon Wireless on November 6th, the Droid’s advertising campaign has been a full-frontal attack on the popular Apple smartphone with a heavy focus on what the iPhone doesn’t do. “iDon’t run simultaneous apps, iDon’t have a real keyboard, iDon’t take 5-megapixel pictures,”taunts Verizon’s Droid ad. But did the message get through to potential phone buyers? It appears that it did…at least according to mobile analytics firm Flurry. In their latest report, the company found that the Droid is now the fastest-selling Android phone to date, beating the sales of the myTouch 3G by more than four times.Droid Sales Look GoodFlurry’s analytics service monitors over 10,000 mobile applications on both the iPhone and Android, or approximately two out of every three iPhone and Android handsets on the market. While obviously this isn’t a look at the mobile ecosystem as a whole, it’s a big enough slice to form some initial conclusions about the popularity of the latest mobile device to run Android, Google’s mobile operating system. By monitoring the new Android devices on Flurry’s system, the company estimated the first-week sales for the Droid handsets as compared with both the myTouch 3G and Apple’s iPhone 3GS. Although the iPhone still outsold the Droid within its first week, Flurry notes that the iPhone simultaneously launched in 8 countries worldwide while the Droid only launched in the U.S. It’s also important to note that the iPhone 3GS was just the latest model of the iPhone to arrive on the market, it is not the original device. Prior to the 3GS, the iPhone had two previous versions, the second which finally allowed for 3G cellular access and GPS capabilities. This update made the iPhone 3G a hugely popular upgrade and the company sold 1 million or so units on their opening weekend. Comparing the third generation iPhone to the first version of the Droid isn’t a true “apples to apples” comparison, but on the other hand, the comparison of the T-Mobile myTouch 3G and the Droid is. According to Flurry, Droid is dramatically outselling the myTouch 3G based on first week sales. That may say something about the quality of the Droid’s hardware, the impact of a good marketing campaign or perhaps even people’s frustrations with the iPhone’s limitations. Or maybe a little of each. Then again, Verizon has nearly triple the number of subscribers as T-Mobile, so they already have a head start.The Growing Power of AndroidIn the end, while we can’t take any of these numbers to the bank, what we can learn is that the Android OS is making serious headway in the smartphone market. Although no one Android phone on its own may beat the iPhone, as more and more “worthy competitors” launch on numerous hardware platforms, the Android OS’s install base may eventually catch up to that of the iPhone’s.  In any event, that’s what Google believes. In a recent earnings call, Google CEO Eric Schmidt proclaimed that “Android adoption is about to explode,” citing 12 Android phones on 32 carriers in 26 countries. Research firm Gartner predicts that the Android OS may end up ranking second worldwide by 2012. However, if more of the Android launches prove to be as successful as it appears the Droid’s may be, Android may move up the charts even faster than predicted. Of course, who ends up on top all depends on Apple’s next move. If the company decides to launch their phone on more carriers, all bets are off. If that’s the case, Apple’s market share could double, says Morgan Stanley’s Kathryn Huberty. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that Android would be left far behind. “Android is “backed by the power of Google’s search engine,” said Huberty. “Google’s other up-and-coming consumer and enterprise products should make [Android] a dominant platform.” sarah perez Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Tags:#Google#mobile#Trends#web Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Installing Roxul Mineral Wool on Exterior Walls

first_imgAs the landscape around our building site disappears under a rare blanket of snow, the sheathing on our houses has been disappearing under a thick layer of exterior mineral-wool insulation. Known as Comfortboard IS, this insulation has impressed us with its green virtues, versatility, and price.Made in Canada by Roxul, Comfortboard is one product in a line of “stone wool” products that combine the power of rock with the characteristics of insulation wool. Originally inspired by the way wind spins molten lava into fibrous material during a volcanic eruption, stone wool is fire-, mold- and insect-resistant. It’s also water-repellent. This latter feature is attractive in the Pacific Northwest, where building tends to happen year ’round despite the weather.Comfortboard also has excellent thermal properties. The 2 inches of Roxul we installed will add R-8.4 to our walls. (Comfortboard is also available in thinner and thicker boards).Exterior insulation keeps the sheathing warmWhile our staggered stud wall has less thermal bridging than many standard walls, the 2×10 top and bottom plates and rim joists do have some. This exterior insulation helps reduce heat loss in those places and brings the weakest parts of the wall (aside from windows and doors) up to R-20. (The 2×10 wall plates have an R-value of about R-11.6, and 2 inches of Roxul has an R-value of R-8.4.) This level of insulation is better than the average for most 2×6 stud wall systems. Shannon Cowan and Patrick Walshe are building an energy efficient, multi-family house in Qualicum Beach, British Columbia. They chronicle this and other adventures in sustainable family living at their blog, A Green Hearth. RELATED ARTICLES Installing Mineral Wool Insulation Over Exterior Wall SheathingMineral Wool Boardstock Insulation Gains GroundWrapping an Older House with Rock Wool InsulationWindwashing in Exterior Mineral WoolGBA Product Guide: Roxul Mineral Wool Insulation Batts Residential Insulated Sheathing – Design Guide Roxul Report: Fastener Guidelines Roxul: Cladding Attachment and Support Structural Testing of Screws Through Thick Exterior InsulationQ&A: Fastening methods for Roxul ComfortBoard IS Q&A: Installing outie windows with 2-inch exterior Roxul board Q&A: Mineral wool exterior insulation, humidity, and windwashingcenter_img Most of our wall assembly has a higher R-value, of course. The walls will have 9 1/4 inches of cellulose insulation (R-32) plus the exterior mineral wool insulation, for a total of about R-40.Mounted on the exterior like rigid foam, Comfortboard mineral wool has the added benefit of allowing walls to dry out to the exterior (research on this topic is available at the Building Science Corporation website). It helps prevent condensation on the inside of the sheathing by keeping it warm most of the time. (You can use some rules of thumb to figure out what R-value you should have on the exterior of the sheathing — the information is available in an article titled Calculating the Minimum Thickness of Rigid Foam Sheathing — though the minimum thicknesses listed for foam are not as vital for mineral wool, which is more vapor-permeable than rigid foam.)Comfortboard is made of natural, inorganic materials and has a high recycled content. The manufacturer has invested deeply in emission reductions and other green initiatives that help offset the energy used during production. Mineral wool generally has a minimum recycled content of 75%, making products in this category a nice alternative to petroleum-based foams and their greenhouse-warming blowing agents and flame retardants.Recently, some green builders have expressed concerns over reports that Roxul mineral wool products may contain formaldehyde. When we sent an inquiry to Roxul about the formaldehyde question, a company spokesperson responded, “Although a formaldehyde-based organic binder is used during manufacturing, a high-temperature curing phase virtually eliminates volatile compounds. The result is no measurable free-form formaldehyde in the final product and no volatile organic compounds that can off-gas.”Initial installation concernsInitially we were concerned that installation would be tricky due to the softer nature of the Comfortboard. It’s less rigid than foam; its compressive strength is about 5 psi, compared to 25 to 30 psi for common types of rigid foam. It truly feels like a thick wool blanket.Our builders shared some of the same concerns. Gerard Dubenski of Big Coast Construction, working with Penbay Construction in Nanaimo, British Columbia, led the crew who installed the product. None of them had ever used Roxul Comfortboard before. “Comfortboard is softer than foam, but we found that cap nails helped to consistently prop out the strapping at the required distance from the sheathing,” he said when interviewed at our building site.Dubenski and his crew attached the insulation with 2 1/2 inch cap nails tapped in by hand until they were flush with the surface of the Comfortboard. They installed these nails in vertical rows over the studs, which are 16 inches on center. The vertical spacing between nails was 24 inches, so that each 2’ x 4’ piece of Comfortboard (installed with the 4-foot dimension running horizontally) had one nail per stud.In addition to securing the Comfortboard, the nails helped to mark the studs for later installation of the rainscreen strapping (which was anchored to the studs).Adjusting the furring strips to be sure they’re plumb and co-planarWhen adding the 1×4 strapping over the Comfortboard, Dubenski and crew placed one screw at the top and and once screw at the bottom of each furring strip, and then checked it with a long level to be sure it was plumb before adding the remaining screws. “Once we got the hang of it, we didn’t need to fiddle around much backing screws out,” Dubenski said. “We also took care when installing the fiber-cement siding to make a few adjustments.”Now that the installation of the Comfortboard is almost complete (and with more than half of the siding on), Dubenski has a better understanding of the product. He cites a few challenges that arose when mounting boxes for penetrations through the wall. “We installed solid wood backing in places as needed, such as around doors where we wanted to install security screws,” he says. “Now that we’ve worked with it, I can only see it as being easier and easier because we have worked out methods for using it.”Dubenski sees many benefits to mineral wool. “We liked it more than foam. It was easier to cut with a large utility knife or bread knife. We also took pieces [of mineral wool] and submerged them in the pond as a test, because we were so worried about the wall being soggy. The water beaded off. As it turns out, the Roxul will actually help keep the wall dry.”Dubenski recommends the product for a variety of applications, including renovation jobs where the siding is stripped and the owner wants more insulation. “You could do it from the outside without any inside mess. I was definitely skeptical at first, but I am sold on it now. I will definitely use it again.”What about window flashing?Because Comfortboard is made from fuzzy mineral wool, it’s difficult to attach tape or peel-and-stick to its surface. For this reason, our builder and architect advised us to install “picture-frame” strips of 2-inch-thick XPS foam around each window — just enough to nail the window flanges to, and to provide a surface for sealing the rough openings with peel and stick membrane.We’ll provide further details on our approach to window flashing in an upcoming blog.It won’t rot and it won’t support moldAs owners who have watched the construction progress, we have been impressed by the versatility of Comfortboard IS. Its green points are important to us. The product’s affordability adds to its appeal, since it costs about the same as XPS foam.“I’m a fan of mineral wool because it doesn’t settle, doesn’t rot even if continually wetted, is fireproof, and won’t support mold or bugs,” summed up Albert Rooks. (Rooks was quoted in Scott Gibson’s article, “Choosing a Cost-Effective Wall System.”) “It’s like a little piece if the Canadian Rockies (since it’s made of Canadian basalt) covering your house, and nearly as durable.”Not that we need convincing: with this rare snowfall, we can see some of the benefits first hand. And we look forward to enjoying the other benefits down the road.last_img read more

Two new eel species discovered

first_imgTwo new species of marine eel were discovered and documented in August this year by Estuarine Biology Regional Centre (EBRC) of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) at Gopalpur-on-sea in Odisha. One of them is a short brown un-patterned moray eel now named ‘Gymnothorax andamanensesis’. Two specimens of this eel were caught at 2-metre deep waters in the south Andaman coast by J. Praveenraj of the Division of Fisheries Science, ICAR-Central Island Agricultural Research Institute, Port Blair, on March 18. It had been sent to ZSI Gopalpur for identification. Dr. Anil Mohapatra, Scientist at Gopalpur ZSI, and his associate Swarup Ranjan, after a detailed study, identified the specimens as a complete new species, which was acknowledged by scientific journals. Till now, 10 species of short brown unpatterned moray eels have been discovered in the world, out of which two were found in Indian waters. With this new discovery, the number of short brown un-patterned moray eels discovered from the Indian coast has increased to three.Similarly, a new white-spotted moray eel, now named ‘Gymnothorax smithi’ has also been identified by the Gopalpur ZSI’s scientists. Its first specimen was found from the 200-metres deep waters of the Arabian Sea in 2011. Recently, a few more specimens of this undiscovered species were collected from the southeastern Arabian Sea, off the Kerala coast. These specimens had also reached the Gopalpur ZSI for identification. Marine eels are mostly found in shallow waters but some of them live offshore in sandy or clayey bottoms ranging up to 500 metres. According Dr. Mohapatra, till now, 49 species of moray eel from 10 genera had been reported from Indian waters, and their species numbers have increased to 50 with the new addition.“Marine biodiversity is still considerably unexplored in India, which has a long coast line. Increased knowledge about it through exploration will be a great help in its conservation and proper utilisation,” said Dr. Mohapatra.last_img read more

Reyes to decide on Gilas final 12 on eve of deadline

first_imgTrending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games The announcement of Gilas Pilipinas’ final 12-man lineup for the Fiba World Cup qualifying will have to wait until on the eve of its game against Japan slated next Saturday in Tokyo.As it stands, the Philippines has 15 players and with naturalized player Andray Blatche taking one spot, four will have to be cut.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Blatche is expected to arrive in Manila on Saturday night. He has not donned the national colors since the 2017 Seaba Championship last May.Gilas arrived at the press conference just shortly after beating the NLEX Road Warriors in a tuneup game, 95-87.The Philippines takes on Japan on Nov. 24 at Komozawa Gymnasium before hosting Chinese Taipei three days later at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Reyes did not guarantee victories, but he said that the players have really committed themselves since training began.“And that is the most difficult sacrifice of the players here. They’ve been practicing here twice a day since November 3 and there is no assurance not one person in this lineup, in the pool that he will make it to the final 12 and yet they’ve all come in and offered to serve,” Reyes said.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Read Next NBA: Westbrook says it’s his duty to make George, Anthony comfortable with Thunder Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 National team coach Chot Reyes said the team hasn’t decided yet on who among the players from the pool will make it, but the remaining 15 will all make the trip to Japan on November 21.“We really don’t know yet at this point. We will make the final line up the night before the deadline is due,” Reyes told reporters during Gilas’ sendoff Saturday at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Pasig. “That means everyone here is going to go with us in Japan.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutGilas Pilipinas pool. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/ Smart SportsPlayers present at the press conference were June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Raymond Almazan, Kiefer Ravena, Troy Rosario, Matthew Wright, Roger Pogoy, Mac Belo, Kevin Alas, Allein Maliksi, Carl Bryan Cruz and Gabe Norwood.Jayson Castro, Calvin Abueva and Terrence Romeo were not able to join the team in the presser but all three are going to Japan. CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA LATEST STORIEScenter_img QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa “And that’s what we can promise, to come and continue to play our best and hopefully, the winning will take care of itself. we’re jut making sure that we’re putting the work in.” Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Reyes to decide on Gilas final 12 on eve of deadline853 viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 View comments Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’last_img read more

Ahead of National Games, Jharkhand swimmers practise on floor

first_imgThe Jharkhand government, which has been boasting of developing state-of-the-art infrastructure to host the 34th National Games, has failed to provide a pool to its swimmers or ammunition to the shooters to allow them to practise even as the event is just a few days away. The preparation of the state’s swimming team has been reduced to an absolute joke as the athletes are practising the sport inside a flat, instead of splashing in a swimming pool. These swimmers can be spotted practising on the floor of the ground of the flat where they have been undergoing a training camp imitating the moves of different styles of swimming. Ironically, more than half of the 40-member contingent has not even seen a swimming pool so far. The state’s swimming coach cited lack of pools in the city to train the swimmers, while the players said the so-called training camp has left them demoralised. They ruled out the possibility of a medal in the event. Shooters practise ‘dry fire’The condition of state’s shooters has been no different. They have been practising for the event without any ammunition. The shooting coach has been trying his best to keep his players in high spirits by shooting blanks. He offered “dry fire” to the participants on a makeshift target put on the ground in a bizarre manner. From the state of preparation in the state, it seems that the National Games have been relegated to a point where no one seems interested and facilities and infrastructure offered to athletes have been shockingly abysmal. However, ignoring the truth, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi said, “The National Games are going to be held from February 12 to 26. I have seen the preparation. They have prepared world-class infrastructure for the Games.” Reacting to the report, Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken said the situation could have been avoided by offering players the facilities created for the National Games.advertisementlast_img read more