Another political stunt

first_imgDear Editor,The People’s National Congress (PNC)-led coalition pulled off another political stunt rather than a celebratory event – this 52nd Independence anniversary of our country. I say this in review of the pathetic show foisted on the people at D’Urban Park. They rented schoolchildren (typical PNC style propaganda machinery) from all across the country to populate the stands to hear the most depressing of speeches in a long time. Well, if you should take the President’s speech in its truest sense, the children were not the ones catered for in that address; his talk was mainly for the adults and those at home. So, Granger’s address was simply “talk” that was over their heads.Right from the very start of the ceremony, that is, the salute and inspection of the guard, showed that empty void of pomp and pageantry, that usually greets you at these events. Even when he was invited to inspect the guard of honour, Granger was literally running ahead of the ceremonial officer. The common formalities that important dignitaries show on such important events were woefully lacking. He looked lost, confused and bewildered. The President’s show of nervousness may have been symptomatic of his address that came after in which he gave himself away in all that he said. His was a prepared speech full of political innuendos and he contradicted himself throughout the address. Whether by accident or design, he completely forgot his campaign promises, chief of which was the ushering in of the “good life” soon after taking office. That promise we now know was a farce, seeing the good life is not an achievable good for the present generation, but something in the far distant future. Yes, we heard him, loud and clear a “future good life” and not a present one.Of course, this is the newest “pie in the sky” campaign type rhetoric coming from a President three-fifths into his rule.So, the supposed additional bacchanal of this Independence anniversary being a “Carnival” event that too was a damper as the people saw this as another ploy to divert attention from the present sad situation that has enveloped this nation. That Burnhamite strategy resurrected by Granger, is a sure way of keeping the nation in a stupor. Dance away your worries, dance your stresses and your distresses away. But even that was low-key because there is nothing to party about because most of us lack the means with-which to party. Where is the means to do so? With over 25,000 persons out of a job and others not sure of the one that they now hold, the situation is terribly dreadful.To sum it up in these simple words, it was an “abysmal performance by the Granger regime.”Respectfully,Neil Adamslast_img read more

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Youth the key to competitiveness and growth in Africa

first_img6 May 2016Brand South Africa presented an overview of the organisation and its efforts to encourage competitiveness in Africa at the 2016 Junior Chamber International (JCI) Africa and Middle East Conference, held in Johannesburg from 4 to 7 May 2016. The organisation presented during the conference’s Active Citizenship Workshop on 5 May 2016.Brand SA talking vision 2013 and active citizenship at the JCI Africa and the Middle East Conference. #JCIAMEC pic.twitter.com/LkZ9cnFiqt— Tshepo Thlaku (@Thlaku) May 5, 2016CEO Kingsley Makhubela also gave a keynote address on nation branding and the power of the youth in strengthening the nation brand.The Active Citizenship Workshop, presented by members of JCI Africa, focused on encouraging young people to become partners in progress for socioeconomic development. The aim of the workshop, and the conference itself, was to harness effective youth development practices to engage young people in the active roles they can take to build social cohesion.Delegates included JCI president Paschal Dike of Nigeria, and Tshepo Thlaku, chairman of the 2016 JIC event and president of JCI South Africa.The BSA presentation highlighted the many strides the country has made in building its reputation in Africa and the world. It also looked at the social and economic advancement of the country through active citizenship and a strong focus on trade and industrial competitiveness.The presentation aimed, in the words of the Brand South Africa slogan, to inspire new ways to motivate other African countries to become storytellers for the continent.#LatestIssue: @Brand_SA CEO Kingsley Makhubela on branding SA positively despite issues: https://t.co/ftCdU7EL4D pic.twitter.com/7L9WUSlGq9— Destiny Man (@Destiny_Man) March 31, 2016In his keynote address, Makhubela spoke about how young people have the ability and passion to continuously change the world. He used the examples of both the 40th anniversary of the 1976 Soweto student uprisings and last year’s #FeesMustFall demonstrations.“South African youth demonstrated how they could come together and collectively fight for a cause that would change the conditions for millions of young people in our country,” Makhubela said. “Education is a critical enabler for development and equally for national competitiveness. The youth of South Africa did more than just fight for no increases and additional funds, they are fighting for the country’s very development.”Turning to global issues, particularly those affecting Africa and the Middle East, Makhubela said youth power was key to spreading democracy and reducing inequality. “Young people are playing a critical role in raising levels of awareness about the unsustainability of current frameworks and paradigms,” he said.Concluding, Makhubela emphasised that young people must understand that with every right comes a responsibility to change the world without destroying it. He quoted the African Union’s Agenda 2063 for long term growth and development on the continent, which states: “Present generations are confident that the destiny of Africa is in their hands, and that we must act now to shape the future we want.”Annually, the JCI conference brings together over 1 000 young active citizens, representing more than 50 partner countries from Africa, the Middle East and Europe. The attendees participate in a host of inspirational sessions, practical workshops, meetings with important political and economic players, as well as fun social events. These all encourage emerging young talent to share best practices, exchange ideas and determine the future of the organisation and the young people in the regions it represents.SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

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The Secret Life of Robots

first_imgDespite companies like Google making tens of billions of dollars from Web crawling, the rules governing so-called robots indexing the Web are surprisingly vague. As somebody who ran afoul of Facebook with my own crawler, I’ve taken a keen interest in other sites’ attitudes to external access. There’s some interesting stories buried in the robots.txt files that define their policies, so let me take you on a tour. 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… pete warden Are there any other secrets buried in robots.txt? I’m sure there’s a lot of surprises out there, so if you’ve discovered a site with funky policies, let me know in the comments.Photo by Splenetic Related Posts How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Why You Love Online Quizzes Probably the biggest difference between Google and Facebook is in their treatment of users’ public profiles. Whereas Facebook is very picky about who it gives access, Google not only explicitly calls out the profiles folder as accessible to all robots, it even provides a site map listing all user’s ids to make it easier to grab their information. Last year I released an open-source project demonstrating how to access these profiles, and it looks like there’s now around 9 million available, thanks to Buzz and other efforts to persuade users to open up their information to the world.EbayI was surprised to see that Ebay’s robots.txt takes a similar approach to the one abandoned by Facebook, where they have a file that encourages crawling of the whole site, but includes a comment attempting to impose legal restrictions on what can be done with the information that’s gathered. This is a problem for the open Web because if it’s accepted as valid, it would require a lawyer to read and understand every single site’s terms before anyone could write a general-purpose crawler like Google’s. I believe the real answer is making some of these common restrictions machine-readable in an extended robots.txt standard, so that startups can continue to innovate without the risk of legal action from unhappy publishers.AmazonUnusually, Amazon’s robots.txt imposes more restrictions on Google’s crawler than other spiders, the only one I’ve found that does. It singles out Google to prevent it accessing product reviews, which makes me wonder if there was some dispute over the search engine’s re-use of the information on its own sites? It certainly seems like strategic information that adds a lot of value to Amazon, so I can understand why it might not want to share it with a rival. Otherwise Amazon displays a remarkably open policy towards Web crawlers. They obviously believe they get a lot of value from other people indexing the site, because its whole product catalog seems to be available for download, including prices, ratings and related product information. Their site maps even list categories like brands and authors to make it simple to access all their products.TwitterLike Wikipedia, Twitter’s data is more easily available through other channels like the API, and its robots.txt reflects this focus. There’s also a plaintive note of despair at the bad behavior of Web crawlers that’s reminiscent of Wikipedia’s complaints. Apparently Google’s crawler doesn’t respect the crawl-delay directive, and the catch-all policy for all other crawlers has a comment that its target is “every bot that might possibly read and respect this file.” This highlights the reliance of publishers on crawlers’ good manners, and the need to spot and block the IP addresses of any that are being badly behaved. …the catch-all policy for all other crawlers has a comment that its target is “every bot that might possibly read and respect this file.” This highlights the reliance of publishers on crawlers’ good manners, and the need to spot and block the IP addresses of any that are being badly behaved.GoogleAppropriately for a company founded on Web crawling, Google’s robots.txt is very open. The main restrictions are on service entry points like search pages or analytics. This led me to discover some tools I didn’t know about before, like its Uncle Sam U.S. government search engine, as well as some mysterious entries like the compressiontest folder whose function nobody’s quite certain of. This is the only big site which makes all of its data freely available as a bulk download, without requiring a crawler or API to access, so unsurprisingly its robots.txt is a bit unusual. It’s chock-full of comments and is even editable on the main site. There’s lots of user agents that are disallowed, usually with descriptive comments about why they’ve been banned. Particularly interesting is the commentary on WebReaper, banned because it “downloads gazillions of pages with no public benefit.” This reveals the implicit deal between site owners and crawlers: the publishers put up with automated access as long as they can see the value that’s returned. In Wikipedia’s case that’s about the benefit for the general public, but for most sites it’s about their self-interest. Google sends them traffic, and other crawlers are tolerated in the hope they’ll do the same.FacebookAfter experimenting with auxiliary terms of service outside of their robots.txt, the social network eventually settled on a whitelist policy. This means they disallow access to everyone, except a select group of search engines who’ve agreed to their terms. Interestingly, there are some smaller players like Seznam included, showing how keen Facebook are on competing in overseas markets. There’s also a password-protected site map that presumably makes it easy for those search engines to find and index everyone’s public profiles. Wikipedia Tags:#hack#tips Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more

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