Digital broadcasting one step closer

first_img7 August 2008The government has approved the Broadcasting Digital Migration policy for South Africa’s conversion of television broadcasting signals from analogue to digital, while also approving the local manufacture of set-top conversion boxes.The migration has been made necessary due to developments in telecommunications technologies, which enable a more efficient use of the radio frequency spectrum, as well as ensure better quality of pictures and sound.Once migration begins, television users will have to purchase locally manufactured set-top boxes which convert the digital signal for use on currently available analogue TV sets.The decision to promote local manufacture of the set-top boxes in high volumes will provide a boost for the local electronics manufacturing sector and help create additional jobs.Subsidised set-top boxesThe government has also agreed to help approximately five million of the poorest television owning households, by providing up to 70% of the cost of set-top boxes. Funding for this subsidy could possibly be sourced from the Universal Service and Access Fund.In February 2007, the government agreed that South Africa’s digital signal would be switched on on 1 November 2008, and its analogue signal switched off on 1 November 2011.This allows for both the digital and the analogue signal to be broadcast concurrently for a “dual-illumination” period of three years.According to the Department of Communications, it is on track to start broadcasting a digital signal on 1 November 2008, and will provide digital broadcasting and mobile TV by 2010.Increasing access to informationDigital broadcasting enables providing services in a multiplicity of languages, thereby increasing access to information, while it will also allow viewers to access on-screen programme guides for the various channels.The inclusion of a return path compatibility feature enables the user to send and receive messages through the set-top box, which could see them serve as important tools for access to government information and services in the future.The feature could enable the provision of fully interactive e-government services over the digital network, such as accessing, filing and submitting various government-related forms, without the viewer having to leave the comfort of their own home.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

New growth path to create jobs: Patel

first_imgSource: BuaNews The South African government has identified several sectors with the potential to create new jobs as the country embarks on a shift to a more labour-absorptive economy, says Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel. The recession took a heavy toll on South Africa’s economy, with some 870 000 people losing their jobs in 2009 and households suffering from falling incomes and high levels of debt. The domestic economy contracted by an estimated 1.8% in 2009 as a result of a decline in consumption spending and weak investment growth. Discussions had been held with companies, industry associations and organised labour on matters such as the exchange rate, industrial policy and trade policy. He added that the new growth path, aimed at stepping up the fight against poverty and unemployment in South Africa, would recognise the crucial role of the private sector in creating new jobs. Advisory panel 24 March 2010 Delivering his department’s budget vote in Parliament in Cape Town on Tuesday, Patel said the new growth path would include a focus on manufacturing, infrastructure development, rural development and agro-processing, and the “green” economy. Patel said recovering the jobs lost in 2009 would require a major improvement in the employment performance of the economy, with a focus on decent work opportunities and “better social outcomes”.center_img Patel said an important policy focus for his department would be the creation of sustainable livelihoods and addressing the challenge of enterprises in the informal or “second economy”, adding that the government would also be looking at ways to improve the performance and impact of public institutions that were vital to economic development. “We call this the development of a new growth path,” he said. “The central ideas in the developmental growth path are to enhance the labour absorbing capacity of the economy … and to find ways to connect knowledge and innovation to the challenge of jobs and growth,” Patel said. “What started as a financial crisis rapidly spread to the real economy and impacted on jobs,” Patel said. “Real GDP fell by 1.8% in 2009 but is expected to start growing to 2.3% this year, rising to 3.6% in 2011.” While South Africa’s economy had started to show signs of recovery, Patel conceded that regulatory reforms that encouraged employment were needed. Patel further announced the formation of a special ministerial advisory panel, which he said will serve as an ideas forum. “I am pleased to announce that we have made good progress in establishing the panel since my announcement of the idea some two weeks ago here in Parliament.” Reforms to encourage employmentlast_img read more

SA men sixth at Rowing World Champs

first_imgKirsten McCann and Kate Johnstone were also second in the B-Final of the lightweight women’s doubles skulls in 7:22.16. Australia claimed the win, while Sweden came home in third. South Africa’s lightweight men’s fours rowing team finished sixth in the A-Final at the World Rowing Championships in Chungju, South Korea on Sunday. After a slow start in the heats, the South African crew had to contest the repecharge round to progress. They, however, found their form to win in 5:58.43 and clinch a semi-final spot. ResultsOlympians Naydene Smith and Lee-Ann Persse finished sixth in the women’s pairs A-Final in a time of 7:39.26. Victory went to Britain in 7:22.82. “The final was a lot closer than we anticipated and we had to work a lot harder, but we are very, very happy with our results.” Britain won the race in 3:16.12, Italy placed second in 3:21.70 and South Africa stopped the clock in 3:22.90. The men’s pairs combination of Shaun Keeling and Lawrence Brittain placed second in the B-Final in a time of 6:41.08. Britain took the win with the South African pair overhauling Serbia late in the race to finish in the runner-up position. 2 September 2013 SAinfo reporter “It’s the first time for two of us to race internationally and the first time as a crew to race internationally,” Kilpatrick told the Road to Rio website. The combination that won Olympic gold in London in 2012 has changed slightly, with Matthew Brittain sidelined for a year with a back injury. Michael Voerman has taken his seat and joined up with Sizwe Ndlovu, John Smith and James Thompson. MedalSouth Africa’s only medal was won earlier in the week at the Para-rowing World Championships when the lTA mixed coxed fours crew of the cox Gavin Kilpatrick, Shannon Murray, Lucy Perold, Dieter Rosslee and Willie Morgan won a bronze medal. Victory in the medal-decider went to Denmark in 5:55.68, with New Zealand in second in 5:57.28 and Great Britain third in 5:59.98. South Africa crossed the line in 6:11.99.last_img read more

Benjamin Logan AFNR students “soil your undies” soil test

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Benjamin Logan AFNR students participated in an odd but helpful soil test these past two months. The students each got a pair of white cotton underwear and they buried them around the Benjamin Logan land lab and field. The students left the underwear in the ground for two months. The object of this test is to see how healthy the soil is by seeing how much of the underwear are left. The less of the underwear that are left the healthier the soil. This is because of the microbial activity. This past week the students dug up their underwear and were able to evaluate the health of the soil. The area by the creek had the most microbial activity. This project was found on modern farmer (https://modernfarmer.com/2018/07/soil-my-undies-challenge-has-farmers-burying-underwear-in-their-fields/). This is a good test that the students can do back at home on their own ground.last_img read more

Where To Get A Chromecast Now, And Why You May Want To Wait

first_imgGoogle’s $35 Chromecast TV-streaming device remains in high demand. A month after launch, retailers still can’t keep the tiny gadget on its shelves, whether real or digital.Last week, Google Play showed a September 3 ship date for the product, but it has since pushed that back to 2 to 3 weeks. Best Buy showed some inventory for a brief, shining moment on Monday, and unlike Google Play, the retailer even promoted the rare offer of free Netflix for three months. Sadly, it too has vanished. And there’s still no joy on Amazon, with or without the Netflix offer. [Update 8/27: Appears that Best Buy has refreshed its stock.]If you’re a would-be Chromecast customer trying to get your hands on this elusive device, take heart: If you absolutely must have it right away, there are ways you can snag this streaming stick. Where To Buy Right NowSee also: 5 Cool Chromecast Hacks and WorkaroundsThings change on a moment-by-moment basis, but as of this writing, you’d be hard-pressed to find Google’s streaming media player at any of the usual suspects—i.e., major electronics retailers or Google Play.That’s no surprise. Whenever a new device grabs a lot of attention, people tend to stockpile them. Sometimes they hoard products for family and friends, but often enough, it’s a business move. High demand allows opportunistic types to sell inventory at an inflated cost.Indeed, a quick search on eBay reveals several Chromecasts for sale. Some even offer the Netflix deal, which means they were originally purchased early in the launch phase. A Craigslist search shows similar results in sub-sites all over the country. These sales aren’t necessarily a bad way to go, since the prices—which start at around $40 and go up to $50 or $60 and beyond—aren’t prohibitively expensive. But bear in mind that you’re likely doing business with an individual or small operation, not a large reputable company with customer satisfaction or return policies. So standard eBay and Craigslist cautions apply, like checking reviews/ratings and never sending cash or paying with a debit card.Why You May Want To WaitSee also: What You Can Watch On Chromecast And HowGoogle just sent out a software update that blocked AllCast (née AirCast), a popular Android app that allowed users to stream local media and other files to Chromecast.According to a Google+ post by Android developer Koushik Dutta, who created the AllCast app, Chromecast’s latest firmware update not only blocks the functionality, but does so on purpose. Heads up. Google’s latest Chromecast update intentionally breaks AllCast. They disabled ‘video_playback’ support from the ChromeCast application.Given that this is the second time they’ve purposefully removed/disabled[1] the ability to play media from external sources, it confirms some of my suspicions that I have had about the Chromecast developer program: The policy seems to be a heavy handed approach, where only approved content will be played through the device. The Chromecast will probably not be indie developer friendly.Dutta seems to be accusing Google of going out of its way to block external streaming sources, though when I reached out to the company, a Google spokesperson flat-out denied that: We’re excited to bring more content to Chromecast and would like to support all types of apps, including those for local content. It’s still early days for the Google Cast SDK, which we just released in developer preview for early development and testing only. We expect that the SDK will continue to change before we launch out of developer preview, and want to provide a great experience for users and developers before making the SDK and additional apps more broadly available. So if streaming from an Android device is a make-or-break feature for you, just know that you may have to wait for it regardless of whether you buy the product now or not. (Streaming from a desktop, however, still seems to work fine via tab casting.) Ultimately, my advice is to go with Google Play and wait the couple of weeks for delivery. Unless you’re a savvy eBayer or Craigslist treasure hunter, sticking with an official channel will offer the most peace of mind and ensure that you’ll definitely get your goods. Plus, you won’t pay extra and you’ll have a warranty with your purchase. Your mileage may vary, but in my book, that’s worth waiting an extra week or two. Feature image by Madeleine Weiss for ReadWrite. UPDATE August 27, 2013: Best Buy appears to have gotten more inventory. How long it will remain in stock, however, is anyone’s guess, but it’s worth noting that the sale page does feature the Netflix offer for now. Hopefully this retail channel will remain open.  Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Tags:#cloud#connected TV#media#streaming Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img adriana lee How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo…last_img read more

Train, mobile services hit as rain wreaks havoc in Bihar

first_imgIncessant rain since Friday night has wreaked havoc in Bihar, including the State’s capital, Patna.In view of the forecast of continuous rain, a red alert has been sounded in 13 districts in north Bihar.In Patna, the situation has become alarming and the stagnant rainwater has forced people to remain inside their houses.In Rajendra Nagar, Kankarbagh, Kadam Kuan and Patliputra colony, rainwater entered houses, forcing people to move to higher floors or other places.Telephone lines and mobile services have collapsed in these areas, with massive shutdown of electricity since Friday night.Schools and offices have been closed.Train services too have been temporarily suspended, especially on the Gaya-Koderma, Ara-Sasaram and Samatipur-Darbhanga routes.“Several trains have been affected on several routes because of heavy rain”, said Rajesh Kumar, Chief Public Relations Officer of East Central Railway.The State Disaster Management Department has sounded a red alert, especially in 13 districts of north Bihar, in view of the heavy rain on Saturday.“District officials have been have been asked to be fully prepared to face the sitaution”, said Disaster Management Department Principal Secretary Pratyay Amrit.Meanwhile, the Water Resources Department too has sounded an alert as water levels in the Ganga and the Gandak have been rising, causing pressure to embankment at some places.At most places, the Ganga is flowing above the danger mark. In Patna too, the river is flowing above danger mark.In the State capital, the situation is worse as people are marooned in waterlogged areas, with heavy rain pouring since Friday night. At hospitals, rainwater entered wards, causing major inconvenience to patients.“What to do…it seems all the drainage system of Patna has been clogged and water has become stagnant…worse, it is still raining”, said Atul Kumar, a doctor in Rajendra Nagar.last_img read more