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Zamora drops out of school board race

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first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “Right now, I don’t want to show any favoritism,” she said. “I’m wishing each of them stay true to their goal of keeping children’s needs first, keeping scores high and working with English learners.” Zamora, 58, will continue to work as a teacher’s aide at Santa Fe Springs’ Family Center preschool. She has been working for the city’s child-care program for more than five years and has lived in Santa Fe Springs since 1975. Zamora is married and has six children. She became involved in education politics while her children attended Jersey Elementary School in Santa Fe Springs. For her, politics were personal. She had dropped out of high school in the 11th grade because she struggled with English, her second language. Her parents spoke Spanish at home. Politics was a way to help others who also struggled while making America their new home and English their second language, Zamora said. SANTA FE SPRINGS — Hilda Zamora, a Little Lake City School District school board incumbent, has announced she is dropping out of the race, leaving only three candidates running for two open seats. Zamora explained at Tuesday’s school board meeting that she is giving up her bid for another term due to health problems and family priorities. She wouldn’t elaborate on her health problems. Zamora said she supports candidates Gina Almanza-Ramirez and Ronald Gonzalez-Lawrence. She added that she knows little about candidate Mercedes Uribe. “I became the district’s bilingual committee president, and then was a parent-trainer for the district,” she said. “I taught parents how to know more about their children’s education. We had speakers about immigration and health, and gave them all kinds of training.” She wanted to give others what she hadn’t been given: help with her education. After Zamora’s announcement, candidate Gonzales-Lawrence said he was sad to see her drop out of the race. “I’ve known her a number of years and am sad to see her go,” he said. “It increases my chances of winning and I’m excited about that.” The other candidates were not available for comment. Earlier this year, board member Janet Rock decided not to run for another term. — Sandy Mazza can be reached at (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026, or by e-mail at [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

South Africans queue to say goodbye to Mandela

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first_img“Madiba said poverty was as much a crime as apartheid. We must do all we can to fight it, that’s why we volunteered to work in South Africa.”“Mandela helped rebuild our lives with pride and dignity. Like I tell my children, we must forgive but never forget,” says Henrietta Pitsi.Madiba’s journey home to his village of Qunu, where he will be buried on Sunday, began at 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria on Wednesday 11 December 2013 as a glass-sided hearse carried his flag-draped coffin through the streets of the capital to the Union Buildings. There, the seat of government and the scene of his inauguration as the first president of a democratic South Africa, Nelson Mandela will lie in state for three days.South Africans cry for MandelaThe slow 9-kilometre drive to the renamed Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre at the Union Buildings was shepherded through the streets by a motorised honour guard. A large crowd watched the procession pass, some waving flags and cheering, and others standing silently, heads bowed and tears in their eyes.Thousands of citizens lined up for an opportunity to view the statesman, dressed in one of his trademark Madiba shirts, as he lay in state.Twenty years into South Africa’s democracy this was Mandela’s dream made flesh. The people of the rainbow nation queued as they did in the historic elections of 1994, keeping their heads pointed to the sun and their feet moving.Among them was Atteridgeville pensioner Henrietta Pitsi, with her husband and grandchild. She said she felt it was important that she be there to say goodbye to Mandela, and thank you. Dabbing at rheumy eyes she said the man who had given her back her dignity was owed as much time as it would take for the line to wind its way towards the security checkpoints closer to the Union Buildings.Pitsi’s children returned from exile in Tanzania when Mandela was released from prison in 1990. Today they are influential diplomats, businessmen and soldiers in the country of their birth. Mandela made their lives possible, she said. “Mandela showed us we had the right to want and have in our own country. He enlightened us, he made it possible for me to send my children to Cambridge, to international schools. Their lives are better thanks to Madiba.”Leaning on her grandchild’s shoulder, Pitsi said she had once queued for five hours to get into Wimbledon. If she could do that, then she could stand as long as she needed to say goodbye to Mandela. “Every day I tell them how they came to be free,” she says of her grandchildren. “They know we are all looking to them to ensure that Madiba’s sacrifices were not in vain.”Further back in the queue Penny Abboo watched her two spirited toddlers wander among the crowd. While they were far too young to understand why they were there, she said, “one day I will be able to tell them they were a part of history”.“I was clearing out my father’s house after he died and I found his dompas,” Abboo said, referring to the apartheid pass book black South Africans once had to carry in urban areas. She was never politically active, she said, and even being among the first group of black students allowed into universities formerly reserved for whites did not make her feel she was part of history. “It was finding that document that brought it home to me how much the country had changed.“I looked critically at my father’s generation and saw all these brilliant people who were denied opportunity because of the colour of their skin. In one generation we changed, we all became true citizens of this country, and that was thanks to Mandela.”A group of younger white girls holding South African flags edged forward as the line began moving.“He has finally escaped the grip of illness,” one of them said in a distinct British accent. “He can go home now he has done all we can expect of one man.“Mandela would have been so proud to see South Africa forget what divides them.” She was part of a group of foreign students volunteering in KwaZulu-Natal, who drove through the night to be a part of the day’s events.Fashionably dressed Lerato Moloi, in line with her niece and sister, smiled when she heard the foreign accents in the crowd. The whole world, she said, is mourning with South Africa. “We South Africans think he belonged just to us, but he gave a voice to people all over the world.”Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela will lie in state for three days, giving South Africans a chance to view his body and say goodbye. The country has never staged an event like this before. As the crowd inched closer to the Union Buildings, Mandela taught them another lesson: how to grieve as a united nation.last_img read more

The Digital Age promises growth

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first_imgIf governments and the private sector continue to invest in infrastructure, the digital economy could add $300-billion a year to Africa’s GDP, according to discussion papers at the World Economic Forum: Africa 2017, being held in Durban, South Africa from 3 to 5 May 2017.Two young girls attend a training on computer science at the technical school in Mellit, North Darfur. (Image: Albert Gonzalez Farran, UNAMID)Sulaiman PhilipThe Third Industrial Revolution transformed Africa. It made it easier for young Africans to create their own companies and rely less on traditional nine-to-five employment. Now comes the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the birth of a truly digital economy.The digital economy is a key topic at the World Economic Forum: Africa 2017, being held in Durban, South Africa from 3 to 5 May 2017, and papers at the gathering have unpacked its potential.Despite a slow start, the development of Africa’s digital infrastructure is speeding up — resulting in African digital entrepreneurs developing innovative web-based apps and new ways of doing business.Digital apps such as mPedigree, M-Farm and Frontline SMS, have found African solutions to African challenges. Digital entrepreneurs are making it easier and safer to live, work and travel across Africa.The digital economy is growing despite Africa trailing the rest of the world in connectivity rates — a challenge that is shaping the kind of digital products being developed. A lack of connectivity has made entrepreneurs more creative but it will constrict opportunities in the future.The Masiphumelele, Cape Town, library offers internet access, digital literacy and computer training in a community that is mostly young and unemployed (Image: Beyond Access)The technology-driven revolution will mean the death of routine blue- and white-collar jobs as the continent embraces automation. Employers will need more adaptable and innovative staff.High-skilled jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) will increase. African governments eager to build on this new future need to provide the infrastructure that allows citizens to access the digital world for learning and to do business.Governments need to embrace the innovative mind-set to build a population that creates technology and not just consumes it. They need to replace traditional approaches to education and delivering services. For example, Morocco’s e-Notary services digitises some legal services, making it less expensive to litigate.Embracing technology such as cloud services will not only make it cheaper for governments to deliver services, but will also improve data collection and analysis which in turn improves the quality and types of services delivered.Inclusive developmentIf Africa does not manage the growth of the digital transformation, the danger exists that the income gap could worsen. Administrations need to embrace the development of STEM fields. Africa will move to become a skills-based economy; an investment in 21st century education is crucial. Africa needs, as a continent and as individual countries, to introduce polices and strategies that will transform the lives of Africans. A prosperous and inclusive future for the continent requires new ways of thinking from governments today.Data is the diamonds and gold of the digital age. It is the commodity on which societies can create opportunities. Governments need to empower their citizens by releasing data and not regulating access.Programmes such as South Africa’s national broadband strategic plan, Connect, will make broadband access affordable to 90% of the population by 2020 and 100% by 2030. This is one way of allowing citizens to affordably participate in the information economy.A new way to beat challengesAfrica’s digitally savvy youth are finding new solutions to intractable problems. The agriculture, health and education sector are seeing innovations that are improving the quality of life of students, pregnant women and small-scale commercial farmers, among others users, across the continent.Legislation that creates a more business friendly environment will help to build a larger entrepreneurial pool that will increase economic growth. Embracing Microsoft’s cloud computing initiative, Africa Open for Business, has helped investors navigate complex business and governance legislations by streamlining regulations and making it easier to do business.Silicon Valley entrepreneurs speak of “moving fast and breaking things” as they remake the world. Governments, especially African governments, do not have the luxury of moving ahead at breakneck speed without considering the consequences of their actions. So, while governments are more deliberative, they do need to embrace the world of disruption and change.The ability to adapt to these changes will define economic growth, good governance, job creation and innovation. It is time for Africa to embrace the new motto of social network Facebook. As it grew, CEO Mark Zuckerberg refined the move fast motto: “Move fast with stable infrastructure. It may not be as catchy as move fast and break things, but it’s how we operate now.”Africa can move beyond a continent of promise to become a continent of opportunity and growth if governments embrace the disruption and change and promise of the digital age.For Africa to compete in the digital economy, government and private sector investment is required to build infrastructure. (Image: Eric Parker)last_img read more

How to Spot Openwashing

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first_imgThe old “open vs. proprietary” debate is over and open won. As IT infrastructure moves to the cloud, openness is not just a priority for source code but for standards and APIs as well. Almost every vendor in the IT market now wants to position its products as “open.” Vendors that don’t have an open source product instead emphasize having a product that uses “open standards” or has an “open API.”“Openwashing” is a term derived from “greenwashing” to refer to dubious vendor claims about openness. Openwashing brings the old “open vs. proprietary” debate back into play – not as “which one is better” but as “which one is which?”What does it mean to be open? And how can you tell if a product is really “open”?This series is supported by Dell The Power To Do More, where you’ll find perspectives, trends and stories that inspire Dell to create technology solutions that work harder for its customers so they can do and achieve more.Why does it matter?Take NASA’s experience with Eucalyptus Systems as an example. NASA’s Chris Kemp told The Register that the space agency had concerns that Eucalyptus’s open source private cloud computing solution couldn’t scale to meet the agency’s needs. NASA engineers tried to contribute some new code to Eucalyptus to make it more scalable, but Eucalyptus rejected the contributions because they conflicted with code available in a closed source version it sold.The source code that NASA was using was available, fulfilling at least one definition of the term “open source.” But it wasn’t open for contributions from outside and Eucalyptus served as a gatekeeper for the product. Eucalyptus didn’t mislead customers – it was upfront about the existence of its proprietary offerings – but by some standards its product wasn’t open. Eucalyptus has recently made moves towards being a more open company.What is “Open”?Openness can perhaps be best thought of as a scale rather than a binary state. Simon Phipps of the Open Standard Initiative (OSI) has suggested the creation of an Open Source Scorecard. Until such a thing exists, what can you do evaluate the openness of a product or solution?Michael Coté of the analyst firm Red Monk says that in some cases openwashing is mere ignorance – a company’s decision makers don’t realize what really goes into making something truly open. In others, it’s a matter of opinion. There’s a lot of fine print involved, and not everyone agrees on what “open” is.Gil Yehuda, the director of open source at Yahoo, says that a lot of companies are willing to release code but are reluctant to take contributions. “That’s not really what open source is all about, but it does accomplish something,” he says. Yehuda cites transparency, trust, motivation to write better code, and recognition for contributors as some of the benefits of such an arrangement.But Yehuda says accepting contributions has its own benefits, such as “crowdsourcing bug-fixes, evolving the project in novel directions, and building real partnership with the community.”The first step in evaluating the level of openness of a product or solution is determining your own requirements. You need to decide in what ways you need the product or solution to be open. Then, complete the following steps to determine in which ways a product or solution is open.1. Check the LicenseLicensing is the classic open source issue. OSI maintains a large list of accepted open source licenses. If you’re considering purchasing open source software, you should check whether its license is included on OSI’s list. If it isn’t, then it probably doesn’t meet OSI’s Open Source Definition. You should determine why the product’s license doesn’t meet this definition and decide if that reason is important to you.Yehuda says one of the best things about the open source community is that it that it’s quite resistant to deception. If that’s true, openwashing might not have a long shelf-life as a marketing tactic. But the debate over what is and isn’t open will probably never die.2. Evaluate the Community and GovernanceBeing “open” means more than just making source code available. It also means letting the community contribute to a project. In the case of open standards, it’s important that as many stakeholders as possible have a say in the decision-making process. In the case of software, contributions should be judged by the merit of the code, not by whether the contributor works for the right company.Developer Mikeal Rogers, who works for CouchOne, suggests looking at how decisions are made for a project. Are decisions made in public on a mailing list? Who can participate? Is the decision making process open only to vendors or can individuals join? Are dues involved?In an interview on the Sun web site Phipps said “meritocracy, transparency of process, and open access for everybody with the necessary skills to participate in a project” are the essential elements of good governance for open source projects. The same elements can also be applied to open standards governance.Coté adds that roadmaps should be publicly available. “If you open source something, it really should mean more than the source: your community, if you’re lucky enough to have one, wants to know everything, including future directions.”3. Beware “Open Core” SoftwareOpen core software is proprietary software built on top of open source software. This often means there’s a free, open source (sometimes even with an OSI-approved license) version of a product available, but paid versions with proprietary features are a vendor’s primary product. Eucalyptus is a historical example, though its moving away from that approach.“This can be just fine, or terrible – it all depends on the communities expectations and how useful the open source software is on its own,” says Coté.However, Gartner analyst Brian Prentice writes that most of the advantages of open source software is lost when one upgrades to a paid edition of an open core solution. “You’re licensing a proprietary solution from an organization which builds it with free open source components,” he writes. “The direction that happens – either open-to-proprietary or proprietary-to-open – is meaningless to you.”Again, it comes down to your own requirements. You’re best off considering open core products as proprietary products and making your decisions based on the same assumptions you would make about proprietary software unless you’re sure the open source versions will meet your needs.4. Read the Terms of Service for “Open” APIsAPIs are increasingly important as organizations rely on cloud services and many vendors claim to have “open” APIs. What should you look for in a vendor API?Consider who can use the API, what purposes it can be used for and whether data flows both ways. You need to make sure that you won’t be excluded from using the API and that your proposed uses for it aren’t prohibited. You also need to make sure that you can write data to the service through the API and retrieve data from it through the API. For an example of an API that’s free, but not necessarily open, check out our analysis of the Wolfram Alpha API.Closing ThoughtsYehuda says one of the best things about the open source community is that it that it’s quite resistant to deception. If that’s true, openwashing might not have a long shelf-life as a marketing tactic. But the debate over what is and isn’t open will probably never die. That’s why it’s important to have a clear idea of what openness means to your organization.Photo by ollinger Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting klint finley Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Tags:#Open Source#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

How to Find Your Most Important Fans

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first_imgRelated Posts How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Why You Love Online Quizzes Tags:#APIs#Big Data#hack#Services Word of mouth is an incredibly powerful marketing tool, but how do you work out which customers are most important in spreading your message? Services like PeerIndex or Klout help you find experts and influencers in particular communities, but can’t measure what people have actually done for your business. The new Vipli.st service from Awe.sm aims to fill this gap by uncovering the fans who drive the most sharing.Launched at the Strata Startup Showcase last week, the site visualizes how Plancast events are shared across social networks like Twitter and Facebook. It draws a tree showing the first person to create a plan, with links below to everyone who added themselves as attendees after clicking on that link, downwards through the entire history of the conversation around the event. Here’s what it looks like for a SXSW Lean Startup plan:The number next to each name shows how many attendees each person helped to sign up. Eric Ries is responsible for bringing in 10 attendees, which is no surprise since he’s the best-known evangelist for the Lean Startup movement. How about Melissa Grody of 500Startups though? Despite having a pretty low-key Twitter account with just over a hundred followers, she’s indirectly responsible for four signups, thanks to Patrick Vlaskovits picking up her tweet. Broad influence measuring services would never flag her role, but Vipli.st makes it possible to spot and recognize fans like her who are key to spreading the word.The service was created by the Awe.sm team, and uses the same API that’s available to third-party developers to gather the data it needs. To create the family tree of which attendees were driven by which fans, Plancast uses Awe.sm to create a new URL for each attendee that signs up, including a unique parameter that marks which user is sending out the plan. That parameter is also stored in Plancast’s database, so when another user clicks on that special URL, it’s possible to tell which person sent them to the site.Awe.sm’s co-founder Jonathan Strauss thinks that this sort of performance-based measurement is going to be a crucial tool for anyone marketing using social tools: If all you want to do is reach people, direct marketing through email is a great channel. What’s different about social tools like Twitter and Facebook are the retweet and like buttons, since users are far more likely to click them than they are to forward an email. The real value of social networks is in the sharing.Plancast’s Mark Hendrickson explained why this was so important to their business. The whole idea behind our site is to help people hear about events through their friends. Vipli.st is the first time we’ve been able to visualize how that’s happening in any kind of detail.To explain how this could be useful to other businesses, Strauss pointed to one of Awe.sm’s customers, the music store creator TopSpin (which markets online for artists like Eminem, Brian Eno and the Beastie Boys). Bands would love to uncover their most important fans, the ones who do the most to spread the word about their albums and concerts. Right now they can spot the big individual spenders, but not the penniless student who can’t afford the deluxe $250 box set, but who persuades all her friends to buy the new album. She’s the one they should really be inviting to their velvet-rope launch events, since she’s doing far more to make them a success.Strauss thinks broader measures of influence are still useful for brand-building, but that laser-focused performance metrics will become increasingly important to social marketers. “To understand how your social campaign is working, you need to understand how your message is being passed on down the chain”. He and his team built the Vipli.st service to prove how easy it was to gather the data with Awe.sm and turn it into an actionable story. It’s based completely on its public API, and Strauss is keen to work with any external developers who would like to do something similar with their own site.I’m fascinated by the stories that this sort of analysis of public conversations will be able to tell us. By uncovering the hidden influencers within communities, hopefully we’ll be able to reward some of the unfairly neglected true fans too.center_img Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… pete wardenlast_img read more

Mo’ drones, mo’ problems that need drone insurance

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first_imgBreak the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… The use of drones is evolving from their role in military strikes to support, commercial and recreational roles around the world. These include the use of drones as first responders in Denmark for firefighting, chemical accidents and larger car accidents in urban and over-water environments, shark harvesting in Australia, delivering medical aid in Rwanda and in tests by German lifeguards for sea rescue drowning scenarios.Then there’s the intended drone delivery services planned by online retailers such as Amazon and the bizarre stunt to deliver beef jerky by drone. Not to mention that almost every start-up tech conference will have a low flying drone or two observing the action.It would be fair to say that the potential applications of drones in our daily lives are only limited by our imagination. But as the commercial application of drones expands on an almost daily basis we can see evidence of a legal and regulatory minefield that is struggling to keep up with the evolution of drone technologySetting laws for hobby and commercial dronesThe Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) published new regulations in August pertaining to the commercial use of drones. Previously commercial drone operators needed to have a sports pilots license or higher. Now, all you have to do is pass a new aeronautical exam. Under the new rules, operators can’t fly drones higher than 400 feet or at night. The drones must also weigh under 55 pounds and must remain in the visual sight of a human operator — something that prohibits any kind of long-distance drone use, including even the most basic delivery drones. Commercial drones will also only be allowed to operate during daylight hours or civil twilight. Also disallowed are any operations from a moving vehicle — unless you are in a “sparsely populated area.”Hobbyist and recreational drone users are required to register their drone with the FAA (a mere $5 for 3 years) and adhere to some fairly common sense rules consistent with that of commercial drones like remaining in site of the drone, avoiding aircraft, sports stadiums and emergency response scenarios and not flying under the influence of drugs or alcohol.A technology ripe for insurance claimsHowever as the use of drones expands, so does the need for insurance. I recently spoke with Sentil Rajamanickam, FSI Strategy & Operations Manager at data analytics company InfoGix about the challenges of underwriting drone insurance. He explained:“Today, drone insurance underwriting is based on a geospatial map used to determine the likelihood that a drone will have a safe flight. Simply basing underwriting on geospatial mapping can wrongfully calculate the risk of an accident. What if unexpected weather hits or a temporary structure (e.g. construction equipment) gets in the way that isn’t picked up by the mapping?One inherent flaw we’ve observed with non-traditional insurance, like drone insurance, is that it tends to be driven by past data. Past data doesn’t always accurately predict the future and when something unpredictable happens there is a higher probability of very large losses.”One way to offset such unpredictable, complex risk underwriting is to leverage risk models that are based on the statistical data across a particular region or country and that constantly correlate risk events with pricing. The challenge for underwriters is that they are limited by the data available for such complex underwriting analysis due to non-scalable management information systems or core systems that cannot support complex data requirements.The somewhat contradictory situation is that drone insurance metrics can be improved by increased drone flights, where drone users fly drones which record flight paths, height, speed, aerial mapping etc. and can be used as a leverage for the price point of insurance or as a precedent of good ‘flying’ history in the case of future litigation.Are hobbyists just waiting to get sued?Rajamanickam cautions that many recreational users may not be aware of the regulations such as the need to register and weight and aerial height regulations and note that “as recreational users are slowly increasing there’s a real need to educate them.” Retailer Best Buy, has posted safety brochures in more than 1,000 stores and Amazon posts links to the Know before you fly website in its retail section. But it’s easy to imagine scenarios where an errant drone user operates the drone upon receipt on their birthday morning only to cause havoc with a neighbour’s garden, pets, windows or small children.  Could a scary scenario, during Halloween this year result in a lawsuit of emotional distrust? Maybe add a clown or two.Then of  course, there’s the potential for breaches of privacy just waiting for those who operate drones with filming capabilities.  In terms of privacy protection on a national level, there are the Voluntary Best Practice Guidelines issued by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).They essentially warn drone operators to give notice before flying, to secure data that is collected and don’t share it and comply with state and local laws. Note that these are as of yet, only voluntary guidelines.  Yet this could potentially be the biggest catalyst for potential lawsuits, particularly against commercial drone companies who undertake aerial surveillance and filming.The reality is that the insurance needed by drone operators will evolve as our range of drones and use expands. If you’re planning on buying a drone as a gift for a loved one this Christmas, adding an insurance policy might not be a bad idea. Related Posts Cate Lawrence For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In…center_img IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… Tags:#aviation#commercial drones#Drone delivery#drone regulation#drones#FAA#featured#Internet of Things#IoT#recreational drones#top 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle…last_img read more