Eskom secures $500m AfDB loan

first_img“The foundation for this relationship is all the more entrenched due to the two institutions’ critical developmental mandate both in South Africa and the region.” Fostering growth In a statement this week, AfDB vice president Mandla Gantsho underscored the importance of the development bank’s commitment to assisting its regional member states in improving their electricity capacity. “By supporting Eskom’s expansion programme, the AfDB will seek to address not only the energy problem in South Africa, but also the whole sub-region, as Eskom is expected to play an important role in some key regional programmes,” he said. SAinfo reporter In October, Eskom released a list of 23 national and international developers to be unconditionally pre-qualified to produce electricity under the utility’s multi-site base load independent power producer programme. Eskom is spending billions on rehabilitating South Africa’s electricity network and doubling generation capacity to support economic growth in the country and region. In September, Eskom began construction on the Kusile coal-fired base load power station near Witbank in Mpumalanga province, while work on the Medupi coal-fired base load power station near Lephalale in Limpopo province began in April. “The extent and timing of the AfDB loan reinforces the extent to which institutions based on the continent can provide support which fosters growth,” said Eskom finance director Bongani Nqwababa. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material 11 November 2008 The first of Medupi’s six generating units will be commissioned by early 2011, with the last unit scheduled for commissioning by January 2015. The first of Kusile’s six generating units is scheduled for completion by 2013, followed by the completion on an additional unit after every eight months. State power company Eskom has secured a 20-year loan for US$500-million (about R5.08-billion) from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to fund a capital expansion programme that seeks to increase South Africa’s electricity generation capacity and strengthen the country’s transmission and distribution grid. To date, AfDB has approved a total of nine private sector operations amounting to approximately $1.2-billion in South Africa, and two regional projects amounting to $105-million. The loan agreement, which was signed in Johannesburg this week, is the largest ever granted by the AfDB’s private sector operations division.last_img read more

[Video] Don’t Buy the New Google Nexus Q, Yet

first_imgeliot weisberg 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Google#web last_img

Please Revamp iTunes: 5 Ways Apple Should Improve Its Media Player

first_imgUndeterred by the miserable failure of Ping, Apple is reportedly already making moves toward a more social iTunes. These include a deeper integration of Facebook into the iTunes Store and a limited music-sharing feature. The further Apple can head in this direction, the better. Music and video are naturally social-friendly (see YouTube and SoundCloud), but iTunes has long existed on its own isolated island, far from the social networks we’re glued to all day long.As Apple learned the hard way, trying to roll its own social music product isn’t the way to go. Instead, leverage existing social networks is essential, especially for music discovery and artist promotion. Spotify’s Facebook integration, as imperfect as its “frictionless sharing” implementation was, is an example worth emulating. Of course, iTunes has a different business model than Spotify (and, despite rumors, Apple doesn’t plan to launch its own subscription service any time soon). Whereas a user can stream entire tracks from Spotify when they pop up in a friend’s Facebook feed, iTunes may need to work out something else. Perhap’s its a 30-second clip or, in a more user-friendly implementation, the song could be streamed on Facebook once prior to purchase. A similar approach could be adapted to Twitter, where some kind of easy-sharing option could help drive exposure and downloads for music, movies, apps and other content. iTunes shouldn’t play nice only with established services like Facebook and Twitter, but also make an effort to keep up with other social sites when appropriate. Maybe Instagram doesn’t make sense, but Pinterest might. The more iTunes touches the social Web, the better the experience will be for users and content creators alike. Integrate iTunes with Other Music SourcesApple would never do this, but it can’t hurt to ask: iTunes would be far more useful as a desktop media manager if users could plug in third-party content providers. This is something that open-source music player Tomahawk does very well, and it’s a big part of what makes that project so promising. Let’s face it: Users stream music from Spotify, Rdio, SoundCloud and YouTube, in addition to purchasing it from iTunes (or downloading it via BitTorrent for that matter). Allowing access to numerous sources from one user interface would make for a great user experience, even if it would eat into Apple’s music sales. Play Nice with Other Apps and ServicesEven if Apple doesn’t offer a subscription service, it could steal a page from Spotify’s playbook and launch an iTunes platform upon which third-party developers could build apps.Spotify launched its own platform late last year, effectively outsourcing a chunk of its product development. And developers have responded, eagerly building extensions for the Spotify desktop client. Apple could do the same by introducing a similar platform or opening iTunes so developers could add functionality through browser-style plugins. Opening the iTunes ecosystem could include deep integration with recommendation engines such as Last.fm or partnering with exciting social music services with whom Apple knows better than to try to compete. This is another suggestion that would require Apple to think of iTunes less as a gateway to its own retail storefront and more as an experience to be enjoyed by users, who would spend money on content and apps. Redesign the iTunes User InterfaceThe iTunes desktop interface has undergone only subtle, incremental visual changes since its inception. In the meantime, we’ve seen Web-based music services like Rdio rise up sporting clean, well-designed user interfaces. Apple should borrow from these services while striving to create a more iOS-like desktop experience. An extensive visual refresh could go a long way toward making iTunes a joy to use and thus keep more content consumers tied to it. Make the Code More EfficientiTunes is a beast. The desktop client is a notorious resource hog, even when it’s being used for the most basic activities – or just sitting there, for that matter. Any cosmetic changes to the application should be accompanied by architectural updates that would allow it to load and run faster, especially on older machines. 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Tags:#Apple#music#web Related Posts Apple is planning to overhaul iTunes, according to recent reports. Hallelujah! Apple’s clunky, archaic media player is long overdue for an upgrade. iTunes used to be a necessary evil for managing music on an iPhone or updating the operating system on Apple’s mobile devices, but with the arrival of Spotify and the over-the-air software updates in iOS 5, there’s little reason to launch it at all. Even podcasts are more neatly managed in a third-party app such as Instacast or Apple’s own Podcasts app. Whether or not an overhaul is actually under way is anybody’s guess. Nonetheless, we humbly offer a few suggestions.Make iTunes More Social  john paul titlow 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

Is the IoT Market Maturing? Microsoft Report and Partners Share New Trends & Opportunities

first_imgInternet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Related Posts Space is limited – make sure you reserve your spot for the IoT in Action event in Santa Clara on October 10th! Register for free today!The Internet of Things (IoT), together with a series of catalytic technology such as cloud, edge computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and mixed reality, is creating billions of connected endpoints for businesses to optimize operational efficiency, improve workplace safety and increase revenue. With such benefits, it’s unsurprising that we see 88 percent of business reporting that IoT is very or somewhat critical to their success, according to the recent Microsoft IoT Signals report. And not only are companies increasingly recognizing the contributions IoT has on their success as a business, but IoT is also being adopted across industries: retail, manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare – the list goes on. In fact, the report shows that 85 percent of decision makers from enterprise organizations have adopted IoT, and 74 percent have projects in the “use” phase. Which leads us to the question here: as the IoT market continues to grow and mature, what new opportunities and challenges are emerging that should be top of mind?We polled some Microsoft partner during recent IoT in Action events about their key takeaways on building, implementing or selling new IoT solutions and experiences – below are their thoughts ranging from what it means to be successful to partnering on going to market.IoT Success Revolves Around Simplicity & SecurityFinding success with IoT – whether you’re working on developing a solution or implementing it into your business operations – often hinges on these questions: is it simple, and is it secure?During our conversations with partners we heard the same theme over and over: IoT needs to be simple from the edge to the cloud. Speaking of their IT buyer clients, Travis Gerber, CEO of Buddy Platform said, “Customers often tell us they are looking for solutions that are both simple and secure. This looks slightly different for everyone. For us, that means translating complex building data into meaningful insights they can take action on.”The research agrees. The IoT Signals report also found that one of the top IoT barriers was challenges stemming from complexity and technical aspects. In fact, 39 percent of responders said this was their biggest barrier to IoT adoption. To assist companies with overcoming this challenge, Microsoft has focused on finding ways to make it easier to build and use IoT solutions, such as the release of IoT Plug and Play, which offers a new, open modeling language to seamlessly connect IoT devices to the cloud. Now developers can quickly connect IoT devices to the cloud, as well as build smarter solutions that just work with the cloud, all without having to write a single line of embedded code. Plus, by using Azure IoT Central or Azure IoT Hub, businesses can prototype and build larger scale IoT deployments in significantly less time. Security Should be an End-to-End ProcessWe also found that while Microsoft partners place a high value on security when building IoT solutions, security is rarely a barrier to IoT adoption. And the IoT Signals numbers back this up with only 19 percent of companies listing security as their biggest barrier to adoption – even though 97 percent of companies said they were concerned about security when adopting IoT. Yet with billions of new devices being connected, organizations still need to secure them to protect data, privacy, physical safety, and infrastructure. So how should companies be thinking about IoT security? The first step is looking at how you can simplify the complexity of your IoT security solution with built-in protection at each stage of your deployment – including cloud services and devices – and minimizing security weaknesses wherever they exist. Building security into every part of your IoT platform is essential for minimizing risks to your private data, business assets and reputation. Microsoft has been successful in thinking about security from an end-to-end perspective – and even more importantly – has been successful in helping their partners and customers do the same. Azure Sphere, for instance, is a comprehensive IoT solution that includes hardware, OS, and cloud components so partners can securely connect existing equipment as well as build and roll out new, connected IoT devices.And securely connecting existing equipment is a big piece for companies that were early adopters of IoT solutions. By using the guardian module with Azure Sphere, for instance, companies have the ability to enable secure cloud-connectivity on existing equipment. This in turn, helps unlock new customer experiences, new business models, and improved operational efficiency.You Need More Than Data: Actionable, Real-Time Insights MatterIoT solutions only solve challenges if customers can manage the data and obtain pertinent insights. Even more importantly, partners told us that the insights must be based on real-time data and presented in an actionable format to customers. One such partner, Zencity, uses Microsoft services and platforms to provide real-time insights to its customers, which are local governments that must make quick decisions that could affect the safety and wellbeing of their citizens. “We use a lot of Azure’s more advanced capabilities around AI to build the processing that we need to analyze millions and millions of data points from all of these different feedback sources and turn them in real time into insights for CD leaders,” says Eyal Feder-Levy, CEO of Zencity. Microsoft is also focused on providing companies with the tools and resources they need to turn data into actionable insights. Those attending the Santa Clara IoT in Action event will have a chance to join Microsoft experts on October 9 for a full day of hands-on technical training that explores how you can use Windows for IoT and Azure IoT to power more intelligent solutions.Collaboration is Critical for Accelerating Time to MarketPartners also stressed the importance of having a short development time so they could quickly get to market ahead of competitors and capture market share. But they also needed to do so without compromising quality and security, as well as come up with effective marketing and sales messaging – all of which can take up precious time.During the Microsoft IoT in Action events, many partners shared how by collaborating with Microsoft and their IoT ecosystem, they were able to surface valuable IoT build-with and co-sell opportunities. Additionally, by using the first- and third-party accelerators designed for Microsoft Azure, as well as Microsoft programs and resources, companies can leverage already existing building blocks and fast track their next IoT project.“One of the great things that we’re seeing that Microsoft is doing is with its solution accelerators, really helping our customers and ISPs that are partnered with Cradlepoint bring that solution to market much faster,” said Tony Puopolo, VP of North America Channel Sales & Alliances at Cradlepoint.IoT in Action: Connecting Technology and PeopleIoT solutions aren’t just about the technology – it comes down to people. At the core, IoT solves people’s problems and challenges. And successfully developing or implementing those solutions requires relationships with people: partners, vendors, device makers. Join us for an upcoming IoT in Action event in Santa Clara, CA (October 10) or Warsaw, Poland (November 13) to start building future business partnerships, optimizing efficiencies, and maximizing revenue opportunity. For additional insights into how other companies are developing and deploying IoT technology across industries, watch our short, actionable IoT in Action webinars. Justin Slade Follow the Puckcenter_img Justin is part of the Microsoft IoT Channel Marketing team and is responsible for developing channel marketing programs – such as IoT in Action – that target Microsoft’s IoT partner ecosystem & build awareness of Microsoft IoT solutions. Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Top 5 Areas Where Companies Want IoT Solutionslast_img read more

A Review of Instagram Marketing by Matthew Lucas

first_imgYou may be new to Instagram marketing. you may think it’s all about getting the best photos. Remember what Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said. Instagram “is not a photography company. Instagram is a communications company.”If you’re lost in the weeds of Instagram marketing, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of or download the eBook Instagram Marketing by Matthew Lucas. This slim book (26 pages) packs a ton of information in a short book.Top Takeaways from Instagram MarketingGaining Instagram fans is not easy, especially if you’re a newbie.In Instagram marketing, choose one aspect you want to focus on. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Instagram itself started out as a nimble startup with a dedicated focus on “visceral, visual communication & community.”If you’re an artist, focus on showcasing your paintings and engaging conversation.Despite what we said at the top of this article, don’t neglect the appearance of your account. Learn how to create photos that have great composition. Instagram is still a photographers’ medium despite some policy changes that offended users back when Facebook bought Instagram.Share your Instagram content using other channels such as Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. Remember Facebook is passe for millennials and teens (and not just because of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.)Interact with other Instagrammers, but #don’t use too many #hashtags. This can hurt your Instagram marketing campaignsRespond to your followers when they comment. Even if it’s just a response with an emoji. That can work for banks.Gaining more followers doesn’t have to cost you a ton of money. Hold an Instagram contest. Use the “Suggested Users” feature. Use the “Mayfair” filter for your Instagram marketing campaign. Share images your followers have uploaded.This should go without saying, but create a separate Instagram account for your business.Offer promos to your Instagram followers. Share content that others would like to see. If your followers want to see pictures of the latest fall fashions, share those.Use creative hashtags in your Instagram marketing to improve #visibility. Make your own hashtags. Just don’t use #snowicane.Add a direct question or call-to-action in your captions.Measure the success of your campaign.Read Instagram marketing books. Matthew Lucas’s book is a good start. Kristin Johnson Uber vs Lyft: Battling for Supremacy Kristin Johnson is the author of AIN’T “U” GOT NO MANNERS, winner of three 2019 Dan Poynter Global eBook Awards (Silver-Best eBook Cover, Bronze-Technology and Engineering, Honorable Mention-Self Help) and “the Bible for Social Media”.She is a prize-winning/prize finalist writer (Blue Mountain Arts Tri-Annual Poetry Contest first place winner out of 50,000 entries and finalist in the 2016 Palm Springs Writers Guild Annual Poetry Contest, short story, drama, Bahamas International Film Festival screenplay semi-finalist, Amsterdam Film Festival Van Gogh Award for Television Writing with DeAnn Lubell), blogger, ghostwriting/creative writing consultant, screenwriter, and editor. A graduate of the former Master of Professional Writing Program from the University of Southern California, she has published/collaborated on seven books: fiction, Internet manners book, co-written memoir with and for the late Sir Rupert A.L. Perrin, M.D., co-written Christmas book (with Mimi Cummins), and three children’s books, including two books from CartoonGems on penguins and the Pacific Ocean. Her latest two books are THE DIVINITY PROTOCOL, written with Berkeley Johnson (no relation) and AIN’T “U” GOT NO MANNERS, “the Bible For Social Media.”Besides the books on which her name appears, she has ghostwritten several books (and scripts) for clients as that acknowledge her contribution, such as ASIM: Servant of Two Masters; Mercedes; Never Marry Your Soulmate; Whites, Blacks and Whilacks; Bringing Down High Blood Pressure, and The FlavorDoctor Diet. She edited media personality Nicholas Snow’s memoir Life Positive: A Journey to the Center of My Heart and singer Allison Annalora’s Late Blooming: My Gender Journey. She brings her screenwriting talents to the miniseries adaptation of longtime colleague and friend DeAnn Lubell’s THE LAST MOON. She has blogged for The Happy Guy Marketing and written for numerous Web sites, e-zines and e-newsletters.She has given well-received talks and workshops for the Desert Screenwriters Group (part of the Palm Springs Writers Guild) and was a founding member of the Palm Springs chapter of Women in Film and Television as well as a past First Vice-President and Contests and Grants Chair for the National League of American Pen Women-Palm Springs Branch. CEOs in Troubled Waters (with Myriam Joire from…center_img Related Posts 4 Ways You Can Make Your Workplace an Engine of… Is Voice Search the Next Big Travel Technology …last_img read more

Activator packaging

first_imgToday I’ve posted a couple of documents that outline tools we have developed to deploy the activator tool in several Enterprise enviroments. gives an overview of the tool and the requirements is an example of a script and packaging tool used to deliver the Activator Utility and the syntax to initially provision systems and to keep the host name sychronized.last_img