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Freeplay: Brand with a conscience

first_img5 March 2007Swedish-based global marketing and branding think-tank the Medinge Group has recognised South African energy efficiency company Freeplay Energy as one of nine worldwide brands with a conscience.Business Day reported last Tuesday that Freeplay Energy is the only South African company to be awarded such a status since the annual Medinge awards began in 2004.Winning companies are cited for their contribution to the betterment of society by sustainable, socially responsible behaviour while also being successful at commercial branding.Even though Freeplay has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since 2005, it continues to develop its products at its Cape Town office that remains the hub of the company’s research and development.The company’s products combine wind-up, solar and rechargeable energy to power a range of products, including radios, torches, headlamps and other illuminating devices, as well as standalone chargers for wireless sets and cellphones.Freeplay Energy’s chairman and co-founder Rory Stear said: “As corporate ethical performance and accountability assume increasing importance in today’s global business environment, this recognition serves as an endorsement of our efforts in both a commercial and humanitarian capacity.”One of the Medinge Group’s directors, Jack Yan, told Business Day that Freeplay Energy was an early nominee for this year’s Brands with a Conscience Award.“In addition to the company’s humanitarian aims, Freeplay Energy products are setting new standards in the sustainable products industry for useful alternatives and portable energy solutions,” Yan said.Life-changing technologyThe technology Freeplay Energy develops plays a huge role in promoting education and access to life-changing information to isolated communities in the developing world.To date, more than 400 000 products, including 200 000 Lifeline radios powered by Freeplay technology, are being used in humanitarian projects in more than 20 countries.In 2006, it entered into an agreement with the United Nations Children’s Fund to supply the organisation with Lifeline radios and provide electoral education in Madagascar.Freeplay Energy was a finalist in the 2005 Walpole British Excellence Awards in the British brand-of-the-year category and was nominated for an award in California’s Tech Museum of Innovation’s health category. In addition, its Cape Town-designed Indigo LED lantern was recognised for its innovation, design and engineering at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

SA, Switzerland look to increase trade

first_img21 June 2012 South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies arrived in Zurich, Switzerland on Wednesday to attend a session of the SA-Switzerland Joint Economic Commission. Meetings of the commission, which aims to strengthen economic relations between the two countries, take place alternatively in Switzerland and South Africa. The last session was held in Pretoria in March 2010. Davies is due to hold talks with his Swiss counterpart, Federal Councillor Johan Schneider-Ammann, to address a Swissmem (Swiss association of mechanical and electrical engineering industries) Industry Day, and meet with SwissCham Southern Africa and potential investors. Davies said his visit was important to both countries, as Switzerland was one of South Africa’s major trade and investment partners in Europe. “In 2011, Switzerland was ranked as the eighth largest export destination for South Africa in the world,” Davies said earlier this week. “Moreover, Switzerland ranks as the seventh largest foreign direct investor in South Africa. “Since 2003, Swiss firms have invested more than R17-billion of capital expenditure into projects in South Africa.” South Africa’s exports to Switzerland show an upward trend over the five-year period ending in 2011, with the exception of 2010. “Total exports from South Africa to Switzerland increased over this period from R8.8- billion in 2007 to R21.2-billion in 2011,” Davies said. “This constitutes an annual average growth rate of 30% over this period.” He added that Switzerland, as a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), offered good opportunities for South African exporters, who benefitted from the free trade agreement between EFTA and the Southern African Customs Union. In 2011, 3% (R21.2-billion) of South Africa’s total exports to the world were destined for Switzerland, while 73% of Switzerland’s total imports from the African continent were sourced from South Africa. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

TV journalists attacked in Munger

first_imgTwo television journalists — Shyam Sundar Sushobhit and his colleague Saurabh Kumar — were attacked on Monday, allegedly by National Democratic Alliance candidate Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh’s supporters, for “exposing booth capture” in Bihar’s Munger Lok Sabha constituency. State Chief Electoral Officer H.R. Srinivas has directed the District Magistrate and the Superintendent of Police to lodge a complaint regarding the incident.“I was moving from Munger to Lakhisarai, which also falls under the Munger Lok Sabha seat, when I saw some people running away from a polling booth,” Mr. Sushobhit, who works for a national news channel, said. “I stopped to enquire and found out that bogus voting was going on and the policemen deputed there were doing nothing. I started covering the bogus voting, but the mukhia (village headman) asked me to go away. When I showed reluctance, they charged at me and rained punches on my face. My cameraman Saurabh Kumar was also attacked,” he said.‘No help from police’ Mr. Sushobhit and Mr. Kumar suffered bruises on their faces and their shirts were torn. “We somehow managed to free ourselves from their clutches and fled,” Mr. Shushobit said. The policemen present at the spot refused to come to their rescue, he alleged. Mr. Sushobhit claimed that the men who had captured the booth were supporters of Lalan Singh, who is contesting on a Janata Dal (United) ticket. Mr. Lalan Singh is said to be close to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and is the Minister of Water Resources in the State Cabinet. He is contesting against Mahagathbandhan candidate Neelam Devi, wife of don-turned-politician Anant Singh. Both the contestants belong to the upper caste Bhumihar community.last_img read more

Curbs to be eased gradually from Friday, says J&K Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam

first_imgJ&K curbs: we would like to give it a little time, says CJI On Friday, the twelfth day of restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir, the State administration announced that it is planning to ease the curbs gradually after Friday prayers.Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, in a brief interaction with journalists in Srinagar, said government offices had started functioning from Friday and travel restrictions had been removed from most places.Also Read  “Twelve of 25 districts [in the region] are functioning normally. There are restrictions only in five districts,” he said, adding that they would be gradually removed in the coming days.BSNL is working on restoring landline connections. Mobile and Internet connectivity will, however, continue to be suspended keeping in view possible terror threats and misinformation from Pakistan.Crediting the people and the security forces for maintaining peace in the region, Mr. Subramaniam rubbished reports of violence in the Valley. “There has been no single loss of life nor serious injuries… The credit for this goes to the people of the State and the security agencies. We all know what happened in 2008, 2016 and 2018,” he said.The administration is also considering reopening schools in a phased manner. “It will be opened after the weekend area-wise,” he said. Restriction of movements will also be removed in the next few days.Mr. Subramaniam also said the preventive detentions were being continuously reviewed, without elaborating on when the leaders would be released.last_img read more

As EVM tampering complaints rise, EC agrees to look into them

first_imgThe State Election Commission (SEC) has denied charges of widespread malfunctioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs), but assured to put in place a mechanism to assess all such complaints, including those made by opposition parties, senior officials have said. The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have alleged EVM tampering at several locations during polling for the Assembly elections and the Lok Sabha by-election in Satara on Monday. State Congress president Balasaheb Thorat on Tuesday wrote to the SEC, demanding that all EVMs be put inside strongrooms and jammers be installed around counting centres. The result of individual rounds must be declared the moment the counting is completed for that round, the Congress leader said. He alleged EVM-related issues at 221 places, including Ghatkopar and Goregaon in Mumbai. Satyajeet Tambe, president of the Maharashtra Youth Congress, expressed doubts of EVM manipulation on Twitter. “Nobody in Maharashtra believes in #ExitPolls … Infact people are so furious & angry … they feel there is serious possibility of EVM tampering. Anger is so bad that it might create a Law & Order situation in state. Election Commision should take care and watch this closely (sic),” he tweeted.In one of the incidents triggering the complaints, several voters in Navlewadi village of Koregaon constituency in Satara alleged that the VVPAT slip showed votes cast in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) when they had voted for a different party. A senior SEC official said, “These are baseless complaints and it is not possible to divert votes through machines and VVPATs. However, we will look into it.” In another incident, two people were stopped carrying machines in a private vehicle in Chandrapur. The incident took place in the Ballarpur constituency, from where Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar is contesting. However, officials said the machines were part of the reserve stock and most likely demo machines kept for display purposes with the local offices. Congress candidate Arif Naseem Khan from Chandivali also claimed to have caught private vehicles ferrying EVMs in his constituency.According to the SEC’s own report, ballot and control units of EVMs and VVPATs were replaced in 865 instances across the State. Ahead of the elections, the opposition parties had demanded that paper ballots be used instead of EVMs, and had even announced a protest march on the issue in Mumbai on August 21.last_img read more

BMW The North Face bring a lightweight camper concept to CES 2019

first_img 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous 0 Concept Cars Self-driving cars: Stay up to date on all the latest news in autonomy. CES 2019 schedule: It’s six days of jam-packed events. Here’s what to expect. More From Roadshow CES 2019 BMW All the cool new gadgets at CES 2019 Post a comment 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better 85 Photos 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value Tags Share your voice BMW Review • 2019 BMW X1: A standout in its class More about 2019 BMW X1 The wild-looking camper uses a new type of exterior fabric. BMW Designworks Camping might not seem like a high-tech endeavor, but BMW’s Designworks subsidiary has found a way to use futuristic materials for a pop-up camper. In partnership with outdoor clothing company The North Face, the concept was designed to imagine “the future of protection from the elements,” BMW says.The camper uses a new type of fabric developed by The North Face called Futurelight. Though details are scant, the material uses what the company calls Nanospinning technology. Tiny holes allow for air ventilation throughout the material, yet it remains fully waterproof to keep occupants comfortable within the camper. The Futurelight fabric stretches over a geodesic-dome frame that was co-designed by BMW and The North Face.BMW Futurelight Camper concept BMW Designworks The material recalls BMW’s use of a fabric outer skin on the 2008 GINA concept car, which could adjust its shape by moving the fabric surface. BMW says the Futurelight fabric allows “more venting than ever before” despite its impermeability. The camper concept was intended to show that the fabric could be used for things other than clothing, the automaker says.BMW Designworks has a bountiful back catalog of stylish and forward-looking design concepts. The company builds gorgeous electric-car chargers for Ionity, for instance, and has styled sleek-looking hydrogen filling stations for Shell. Designworks also worked with Virgin Hyperloop One to come up with a luxurious interior for the proposed windowless Hyperloop transportation capsule.last_img read more

Newark Airport investigates drone sightings that halted arrivals

first_img Normal #EWR operations have resumed after arrivals were briefly held by the FAA due to reports of drone activity north of the airport earlier this evening. We’re coordinating with the FAA & fully supporting all federal law enforcement authorities as they investigate this incident— Newark Liberty Airport (@EWRairport) January 23, 2019 Newark Airport briefly suspended arrivals Tuesday after drones were reported at a nearby airport. Gary Hershorn / Getty Images The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday briefly suspended arrivals at New Jersey’s Newark Airport after drones were spotted nearby.A pair of drones were seen flying 3,500 feet (just over 1 km) over the smaller Teterboro Airport, which is about 17 miles away from Newark — the 11th busiest airport in the US — at around 5 p.m., an FAA spokesperson confirmed via email.A pilot told air traffic control that one of the devices came within 30 feet (9 m) of his plane, according to the BBC. Drones Tech Industry Post a comment How NASA is creating air traffic control for drones “Normal #EWR operations have resumed after arrivals were briefly held by the FAA due to reports of drone activity north of the airport earlier this evening,” Newark Airport tweeted at 7:03 p.m. local time. “We’re coordinating with the FAA & fully supporting all federal law enforcement authorities as they investigate this incident.”The disruption lasted about 90 minutes, The New York Times reported, and ended after there were no further drone sightings. “We are monitoring reports of drone activity, which the FAA is investigating. The impact to our operations has been minimal so far,” United Airlines, Newark’s largest carrier, said in an emailed statement. “We are working closely with the airport and the FAA to return our operations to normal as quickly as possible.”Drones caused major delays at London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports over the past month. The FAA didn’t immediately respond to a request for further comment.First published at 4:36 a.m. PT.Update, 4:53 a.m. PT: Adds full United statement. Drone assassins: They’re cheap, deadly and available in your local store.Eyes in the sky: California’s fires face a new, high-tech foe. Tags Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice 0 1:56 Droneslast_img read more

Pampered puppy cannot be a good guide dog

first_imgPuppies with overly attentive mothers are less likely to succeed at completing a training programme to become guide dogs for blind and visually impaired people, according to a study. Researchers embedded themselves at a breeding facility, taking videos and closely observing 23 mothers and their 98 puppies for their first five weeks of life.”We documented things like her nursing position, how much time she spent looking away from the puppies and how much time she spent in close proximity to her puppies or licking and grooming them,” said Emily Bray from University of Pennsylvania in the US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfA statistical analysis of all of this data revealed differences across the mothers, with some being particularly attentive and others less so.When researchers tracked the puppies a couple of years down the line, they found that those with mothers that were more attentive were less likely to graduate from the training programme to become guide dogs.In particular, those dogs whose mothers nursed more often lying down, as opposed to sitting or standing up, were less likely to succeed, researchers said. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”It is remarkable. These puppies were with their mom for only five weeks and it is having an effect on their success two years later. It seems that puppies need to learn how to deal with small challenges at this early age and, if they do not, it hurts them later,” Bray said.If a mother is lying on her stomach, the puppies basically have free access to milk, but, if the mother is standing up, then the puppies have to work to get it, researchers said. “A hypothesis might be that you have to provide your offspring with minor obstacles that they can overcome for them to succeed later in life because, as we know, life as an adult involves obstacles,” said Robert Seyfarth from University of Pennsylvania.Researchers conducted a second part of the study after the puppies had gone to live with foster families and then returned for specific guide-dog training.The dogs, at this point young adults at 14 to 17 months old, were given tests to measure their cognition and temperament.A test of cognitive problem-solving skills, for example, involved a game with which the dog has to perform a multi-step task in order to reach a treat.Tests of temperament included observing the dogs’ reactions, such as how long they took to bark to an umbrella being opened or to entering a room with a mechanical cat they’d never seen before, researchers said.”We saw that some dogs were calm and collected and solved problems quickly, while others were more reactive and perseverated at the problem-solving tasks,” Bray said.Dogs that did well at the problem-solving tasks and took longer to bark at novel objects were more likely to succeed in the guide-dog-training program, researchers said. The study was published in journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.last_img read more

DEO office requests DRM Sealdah Div to arrange special train services

first_imgKolkata: The District Election Officer (DEO) of South 24-Parganas has written to the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Sealdah division urging him to make arrangements of some special train services for smooth disposal of huge number of polling personnel in connection with the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections in Bengal on Sunday, May 19.”After the conclusion of the poll process and subsequent submission of poll-related materials like EVMs, VVPATs and the like at the corresponding receiving centres, the voting personnel will start returning to their residences, many of which are located in far away scattered places from the South 24-Parganas district in which a number of booths are located in remote areas. Such large scale movement cannot be done by buses. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”So we have sought additional train services,” a senior official in the DEO office in the district said. The last local train from Diamond Harbour to Sealdah leaves Diamond Harbour at 22.15 pm. However, on Sundays, there are times when it remains cancelled. The DEO has urged the DRM to ensure the services of this local train at 22.15 or 22.30 pm and also make arrangements for a special train at 1 am on Monday to cater to the rush of the polling personnel. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateDEO Y Ratnakara Rao has also urged the DRM to make similar arrangements for plying of the last trains leaving from Baruipur, Lakshmikantapur, Namkhana and Canning stations for Sealdah and special trains late at night to manage the heavy rush. It may be mentioned that the entire Gosaba Assembly constituency under Joynagar Parliamentary constituency that has 257 booths and nearly half of Patharpratima Assembly constituency with 136 out of 293 booths are located in remote riverine locations. The district administration’s elaborate arrangements have ensured that polling personnel reach these places 48 hours in advance. “We have made all DCRCs weather-proof taking lessons from the 2009 Lok Sabha elections when 200 EVMs were damaged due to inclement weather and machines were procured from Hyderabad on a war footing to address the crisis situation. “A large part of the district, being located in the coastal belt, experiencing natural calamity is always on the cards. So we need to be prepared fully in advance,” the senior official added. The Eastern Railway authorities have already responded and have assured to make the necessary arrangements.last_img read more

HALs Nieuw Statendam more staterooms and an even bigger Pinnacle Suite

first_img SEATTLE — Holland America Line’s newest 2,666-guest Pinnacle-Class ship will have eight more staterooms than its sister ship, a redesigned Pinnacle Suite – the largest on the ship – as well as reconfigured Family Staterooms.Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam is set to debut in December 2018. While much of the ship’s design will be similar to sister ship Koningsdam, the first Pinnacle Class ship, Nieuw Statendam will have exclusive public spaces and its own style, says the cruise line. Meanwhile Nieuw Statendam will still offer all the stateroom innovations introduced on Koningsdam, including single-cruiser accommodations, as well as a wider range of suite configurations. “As with every new ship, we’ve listened to guest feedback and made our own assessments that have led to exciting changes to Nieuw Statendam that will enhance our stateroom experience across every category,” says Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford. Nieuw Statendam adds five more ocean-view and three more interior staterooms, bringing the total stateroom count to 1,339. More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthThe ship has 103 oceanview and 280 interior staterooms ranging from 225 to 266 square feet. The ship will also have 851 verandah or verandah spa accommodations, bringing the total staterooms that have a verandah, including suites, to 912.The 32 family oceanview staterooms range from 222 to 231 square feet and have been reconfigured for more living space. The family staterooms accommodate up to five passengers and have two bathrooms and extra closet space. The 12 single ocean-view staterooms for solo cruisers range from 127 to 172 square feet and are located on the forward main deck.Meanwhile the Pinnacle Suite is an expansive 1,290 square feet with a bedroom, living room, dining area, dressing room and private verandah with whirlpool. Nieuw Statendam’s Pinnacle Suite was reconfigured to offer an open-concept design with the living room and dining area in one large space. Forty-three Neptune Suites and two Neptune Spa Suites range from 465 to 855 square feet. Guests in these accommodations as well as the Pinnacle Suite have access to the exclusive Neptune Lounge with the personalized service of a concierge. More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionThe 14 Signature Suites are up to 400 square feet in size, and the 104 Vista Suites range from 260 to 356 square feet. Special amenities, include oversized bath towels, fresh flowers, a pillow menu, mini bar and one-touch phone concierge service.Spa Suites or Verandah Spa, Outside Spa or Inside Spa staterooms are located near the Greenhouse Spa & Salon, and come with yoga mats for use during the voyage and an iPod docking station. Friday, March 16, 2018 Posted by Share HAL’s Nieuw Statendam: more staterooms and an even bigger Pinnacle Suitecenter_img Travelweek Group Tags: Holland America Line << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more