NRG Systems’ Jan Blittersdorf named chair of American Wind Wildlife Institute

first_imgNRG Systems Inc,Jan Blittersdorf, CEO/Owner of NRG Systems (www.nrgsystems.com(link is external)), was recently named chair of the American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI) (http://www.awwi.org/(link is external)). As a first order of business, Jan attended a meeting in February with top White House officials to discuss new wind energy siting guidelines issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. â ¢ The development, with the Nature Conservancy, of a unique landscape assessment tool designed to identify sensitive wildlife habitat and areas that are likely to have low wildlife risk where wind energy development could be prioritized;â ¢ Launch of pilot study to build a comprehensive research information system, gathering existing wind-wildlife data to support critical scientific research and analysis;â ¢ The release of Enabling Progress (http://www.awwi.org/initiatives/mitigation.aspx(link is external)), a report that provides a review of current wildlife related mitigation practices employed in the United States and how those practices might relate to future wind energy development.‘From the outset, Jan’s collaborative style and vision have provided clear direction to this group,’ says Abby Arnold, AWWI executive director. ‘With her as chair, we will continue to benefit from her leadership and advance our vision of furthering wind energy and addressing potential wildlife impacts.’Jan Blittersdorf previously served as AWWI vice chair.The eight non-profit partner organizations of AWWI include: Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club and Union of Concerned Scientists. In addition to NRG Systems, the remaining ten AWWI industry and utility partners include: American Wind Energy Association, BP Wind Energy, GE Energy, Horizon Wind Energy, Iberdrola Renewables, Pacific Gas & Electric, Renewable Energy Systems Americas, Ridgeline Energy, Shell WindEnergy, and Vestas Americas.For more information about American Wind Wildlife Institute, visit www.awwi.org(link is external).About NRG SystemsNRG Systems’ wind measurement equipment can be found on every continent in more than 140 countries, serving electric utilities, wind farm developers, research institutes, and government agencies. The Hinesburg (VT) company, founded in 1982, has been nationally recognized for its LEED gold-certified manufacturing facility and its employee best-practices. For more information on NRG Systems, Inc., visit www.nrgsystems.com(link is external).# # #last_img read more

Colombia Gains Economic Freedom By Fighting Drugs, Corruption

first_img A decade of targeting drug lords and Marxist guerillas is paying off for Colombia, as the rule of law is restored and the economy is starting to flourish, according to the recently released 2011 Index of Economic Freedom by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. “The key to understanding the relationship between economic freedom and prosperity is particularly important in Latin America,” Israel Ortega, a spokesman for the Heritage Foundation, told Diálogo magazine “By improving domestic security, the governments there are bolstering economic security.” Colombia saw the 10th best global improvement in its score on the Heritage index, which ranks 187 countries according to 10 categories that examine economic openness, competitiveness, and the rule of law. Colombia was ranked at 68.0 on a 100 point scale, making it a mostly free country, and No. 45 in the world. By contrast, Hong Kong was No. 1 and the U.S. was No. 9. “Led by Colombia’s 2.5 point gain, Latin America continued to improve across the board,” the Heritage Foundation study said. President Alvaro Uribe, elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006, made national security a top priority, prosecuting a war against both the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and right-wing paramilitary groups. He also waged an aggressive war on narcotics trafficking in collaboration with the U.S. “Over his tenure, peace was restored to large areas of the country and unemployment dropped significantly,” the Heritage report said. Colombia is one of the region’s longest-standing democracies. Recently elected president Juan Manuel Santos won a run-off in June 2010 with 64 percent of the vote. He’s pledged to preserve “democratic security” and advance economic growth. The legitimate Colombian economy depends heavily on exports of petroleum, coffee, and cut flowers, according to the Heritage report. The government is pursuing a policy of deregulation to further its economic growth. Colombia’s government recently eliminated a policy of setting minimum freight prices for the trucking industry. Months of rain last year damaged highways and bridges and caused an increase in transportation costs, rendering the old rules obsolete. “With today’s decision, the system of highway cargo transport goes from one of intervention on prices to one of free, but monitored prices,” said a statement from the office of President Santos. Significant improvements By Dialogo March 24, 2011 Deregulatory policies pay off center_img Overall, 25 of Latin America’s 29 countries posted gains in economic freedom last year. Just three reported a decline. Costa Rica and, surprisingly, Haiti demonstrated significant improvement in 2010. “Overall, the region continues to become more open to trade and investment and to address regulatory reform,” the Heritage report said. “But weakness in intellectual property, the courts, and the rule of law keep most countries in the region mired in or slightly below the middle of the pack.” Chile ranks as the freest economy in Latin America. Its economy is freer than countries like the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany. Last year, Chile became the first South American country to join the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). President Sebastian Piñera and his center-right Alianza coalition in Congress assumed power last March. “Chile has charted a different path than many of its neighbors,” said Ortega of the Heritage Foundation, noting that some governments in Latin America have been tempted to embrace socialism. “Chile’s healthy economic freedom comes partly from its openness to global trade and investment.” Chile benefits from a transparent and stable financial and judicial sector, and there’s little tolerance for corruption, Ortega said. Uruguay has the second-freest economy in the region, with El Salvador and Peru close behind. Mexico’s economic freedom score is 67.8, making its economy the 48th freest in the 2011 Index. Its score declined by 0.5 point, reflecting declines in freedom from corruption and fiscal freedom. The country reported $12.5 billion in foreign direct investment last year, according to the survey. “Since the election of President Carlos Salinas in 1988, successive governments have adopted limited reforms and have begun to alter Mexico’s corporatist economic model,” the Heritage report noted. President Felipe Calderon, of the National Action Party, has achieved key judicial, fiscal, pension, and electoral reforms, but proposals to further liberalize the economy, especially by opening the energy sector to foreign investment, lack legislative support. “Calderon faces a major security challenge from illegal drug cartels,” the Heritage report said. President Calderon has also committed his administration to fight against corruption at all levels of government and in 2008 launched Operación Limpieza, “investigating and imprisoning corrupt government officials in enforcement agencies.” According to the Heritage report, Brazil’s economic freedom score is 56.3, making its economy the 113th freest in the 2011, one which lags behind Chile and Mexico. The score is 0.7 point better than last year as a result of improvements in investment freedom and trade freedom. Brazil is ranked 21st out of 29 countries in the South and Central America/Caribbean region, and its overall score is “below the regional and world averages,” the study said. The state’s expanding role in the economy explains its ranking, according to the study. President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva, first elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006, was barred from seeking a third term by the country’s constitution, created in 1988. In last fall’s presidential elections, Lula’s hand-selected successor, Dilma Rousseff, was elected Brazil’s first female president. “Ms. Rousseff is further to the left than the present administration, but she has pledged not to make a sudden change of direction,” Peter Kennedy, a spokesman for Shaw Capital Management, an investment bank with a large portfolio of investments in Brazil, told Diálogo. “The investors, and voters, believe her so far.” The efficiency and overall quality of government services remain poor despite high government spending as a percentage of GDP, the Heritage report said. Burdensome taxes, inefficient regulation, poor access to long-term financing, and a rigid labor market are barriers to new business growth. “The judicial system remains vulnerable to political influence and corruption,” the Heritage study added. The Brazilian economy has been growing because of increased demand for commodity exports, and over the past decade, economic growth there has averaged around 4 percent, accompanied by low inflation. Brazil has a large agricultural and industrial base, but a growing services sector has accounted for over 60 percent of GDP in recent years. The global financial and economic turmoil’s impact has been moderate. Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Colombia was $7.2 billion last year. Compound annual growth is expected to be 4.2 percent over the next five years. Colombia’s score of 68.0 on the index reflects improved scores for business, investment, labor freedom, and government spending. Colombia is ranked 7th out of 29 countries in the South and Central America/Caribbean region, But there is still room for considerable improvement. “Further growth in economic freedom in Colombia will require deeper institutional reforms that include better protection of property rights and a stronger judicial system,” the Heritage study said. “Corruption remains considerable in many sectors of the economy, and the relatively high marginal tax rates encourage tax evasion.” For instance, money laundering operations in Colombia involving funds from drug-trafficking amount to close to $8.7 billion dollars per year, according to Colombia’s Financial Information and Analysis Unit, based in Bogota. There were more than 42,000 suspicious operations from January 2006-December 2010, the finance ministry said. According to the Heritage study, fighting corruption and narcotics trafficking remains a significant concern, as does the influence of criminal organizations on the police, the military, and some members of the judiciary and civil service. The local chapter of Transparency International is working with Colombian authorities on a number of anti-corruption measures, including ethics and entrepreneurial programs. According to the Heritage report, corruption erodes economic freedom by introducing “insecurity and uncertainty” into economic relationships. The score for this component is derived primarily from Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2009, which measures the level of corruption in 180 countries. Other sources include the Country Commerce and Country Report of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Country Commercial Guide. But there are also major expansions of legitimate international businesses. During the first few weeks of the new year, many new foreign firms announced investments in Colombia. “We think that for the short term we will see an important dynamism in the area of tertiary services, software and information technologies, tourism of businesses and health, audio-visual production, enterprise and logistic infrastructure and different services specialties,” said Adriana Suárez, executive director of INNVEST in Bogota, an economic development agency in Colombia, told Diálogo magazine. last_img read more

Building brands in a voice-activated world

first_img 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Voice technology has made great leaps in the past few years. Speech recognition error rates are approaching human levels, and machine learning continues to improve the ability to understand the nuances of natural language such as meaning or intent. Last year, 20% of Google’s mobile search queries were voice queries. While Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon dominate with widely used assistant, Facebook and Samsung as well as a handful of other brands are exploring how to incorporate voice into their customer experience.Voice represents a logical next step in the evolution of how we interact with information. It’s more natural than using a touchpad or keyboard, takes less brain power, and creates even more opportunity for tech to move further into the background where it doesn’t require precious attention. And it’s quickly getting to a place where it will deliver what consumers want most from it: A fully integrated experience that connects their platforms and devices with a layer of context and a smarter assistant that incorporates preferences and behaviors to get predictive.The broadest application for voice tech with consumers will continue to be realized through digital assistants, primarily through smartphones and home devices. The more a voice assistant can connect with the user’s personal data, the better it will be at layering personal context and making recommendations. According to a report compiled by JWT 60% of smartphone users agree that “if voice assistants could understand me properly and speak back to me as well as a human can, I’d use them all the time.” continue reading »last_img read more

Chenango County alerts of possible virus exposure at 2 bars

first_imgNORWICH, N.Y. (WBNG) — The Chenango County Health Department is alerting individuals that a person who tested positive for COVID-19 was at two establishments on July 18. HOW CONTACT TRACING WORKS Anyone who was at Park Place or Broad Street Tavern is asked by the Chenango County Health Department to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms. The health department says the infected person told them they were at Park Place Sports Bar and Grill from 9 to 11 p.m. and Broad Street Tavern from 11 p.m. to midnight on July 18. The department says the person visited these places during their infectious period. They were not infected at these establishments. Both establishments are in Norwich, N.Y. Symptoms of COVID-19 include coughing, fever and shortness of breath.last_img read more

John Spencer expects the next Lions coach to take a year out

first_img Press Association “We have always had a totally open mind about the appointment and still have. We have one Six Nations and a summer tour to go and a lot can happen,” Spencer said. “We look at the form of coaches in the same way as the players are examined. There is a long time to go yet. “We could well look outside the Six Nations, but I haven’t heard of any proposals for that at the moment. “We would expect them to give 100 per cent of their time to the Lions. That would be the best preparation and we are looking for best principles.” Wales head coach Warren Gatland was at the helm for the triumphant 2013 tour to Australia, but Spencer refuses to view the Kiwi as the favourite. “I couldn’t say if Warren is in a strong position. We have to keep an open mind until the last minute and look at teams in the Six Nations and summer tours,” Gatland said. “He has obviously been very successful. As far as the New Zealand tour is concerned it is a blank sheet. Everyone has to have a first tour. “If you get into the lions culture and values you can understand it pretty well from scratch.” The successful candidate and his assistants will be appointed by the board towards the end of the summer upon completion of the home nations’ visits to the southern hemisphere in June. Spencer, speaking at the announcement of Standard Life as the Lions’ principal partner, insists fortunes over the next six months will be pivotal to the decision. British and Irish Lions manager John Spencer has revealed that only a head coach able to take a year-long sabbatical will be considered to lead the 2017 tour to New Zealand. Recently-appointed England head coach Eddie Jones is an outsider, according to Spencer. “I think it would be unusual for a coach who has just come in to be suddenly considered for the Lions,” he said. “I’m not sure (Rugby Football Union chief executive) Ian Ritchie would talk to me very favourably if we suddenly asked him for a 12-month sabbatical after a couple of months in office. But anything can happen.” last_img read more

KAVC International participating teams confirmed, draws conducted

first_img Tags: KAVC. NSSFtop The KAVC-NSSF serves off on Friday evening at the MTN Arena in Lugogo (File Photo)The 2018 KAVC-NSSF International will serve off on Friday evening at the MTN Arena in Lugogo.The teams that will be participating at this year’s tournament have been confirmed and drawn into respective groups.A total of nine foreign teams will be taking part this time round in both the Men’s and Women categories.These include Rwandan sides UTB, APR, REG and Gisagara, Rainbow from South Sudan and Tanzania’s Misenyi, in the Men’s Category.For the Women, Rwanda has produced two teams in APR and RRA. Tanzania’s Misenyi completes the fold of foreign teams participating in the women’s competition this time round.The teams have been drawn alongside the local based sides with all pools featuring four teams except Pool A (men) and Pool B (women) which have three each.Rwanda’s APR won the men’s category last year. Rwanda Revenue Authority are the women’s defending champions.The list of teams participating in the NSSF-KAVC International for the year 2018:WOMEN.1) RRA2) APR3) IPRC Kigali4) Rainbow V.C5)Misenye V.C6) Nkumba Univ7) KCCA8) KAVC-A9) Ndejje Univ.10) Espoir11) COBAP12)Sport-S13) VVCMEN.1. APR2. REG3. UTB4. Gisagara5. Rainbow V.C6. Misenye Team7. Misenye Team 28. KCCA9. Airforce10. KAVC-A11. KAVC-B12. U-2313. Prisons14. Sport-S2018 KAVC NSSF INTERNATIONAL Draws.MENPOOL A1. SPORT S (Uganda)2. UTB (Rwanda)3.KAVC (Uganda)POOL B1. APR (Rwanda)2. MATTRIXX (Uganda)3. AIRFORCE (Uganda)4.KAVC U-23 (Uganda)POOL C1. KCCA (Uganda)2. RAINBOW (S. Sudan)3. REG (Rwanda)4.PRISONS(Uganda)POOL D1. Western (Uganda)2. SKY (Uganda)3. MISENYI (Tanzania)4.GISAGARA (Rwanda)WOMEN:POOL A1. Nkumba (Uganda)2. APR (Rwanda)3. KAVC (Uganda)4. Misenyi (Tanzania)POOL B1. COBAP (Uganda)2. RRA(Rwanda)3.Ndejje (Uganda)POOL C1. VVC (Uganda)2. Sport S (Uganda)3. KCCA (Uganda)4. Espior (Uganda)Match orders:1 Vs 32 Vs 41 Vs 42 Vs 3Except for Pool A men and Pool B womenPool A men-UTB v Sport SPOOL B women-Cobap v NdejjeComments last_img read more

St. Bernard’s girls all business in first-round playoff rout of Fremont Christian

first_imgEureka >> Every bit of the experience gained from being a two-time NCS section champion was on display for the St. Bernard’s Academy girls basketball team on Wednesday night.The Crusaders flipped the switch from the regular season and turned on playoff mode — and Fremont Christian was their first victim.St. Bernard’s (17-8 overall) started the game on a 12-0 run and never looked back, cruising to a 78-32 North Coast Section Division 5 playoff victory over the overmatched Warriors (12-9) at …last_img read more

Alfonzo McKinnie to return vs. Cleveland

first_imgSubscribe to the Mercury News and East Bay Times for $40 a year and receive a free Warriors championship coffee table book.CLEVELAND – The development will not be as anticipated as Stephen Curry’s return earlier this week. But for a Warriors team both clawing for wins and healthy bodies, they received a dose of good news.Warriors reserve wing Alfonzo McKinnie will be available Wednesday when the Warriors (16-9) play the Cleveland Cavaliers (5-18) after missing the past nine games because of a …last_img read more

Sharks waiting for veteran defenseman to take charge

first_imgSAN JOSE — This would seem like the ideal season for defenseman Tim Heed to take a step forward and become the type of player that can dress for a large majority of the Sharks’ regular season games.After all, the Sharks traded Justin Braun to the Philadelphia Flyers in June, creating a chance for a right shot defenseman to establish himself on the third pair. It made sense that Heed, after he signed a one-year contract in July to return for his fourth season in the Sharks organization, would …last_img read more

Oracle Buys Eloqua: Can It Digest Another Cloud-Based App Vendor?

first_imgCognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… IT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now antone gonsalves Related Posts center_img Now that Oracle plans to gobble up yet another company for its growing portfolio of cloud-based software, the question is whether the company can chew everything it puts in its mouth.The business applications maker said Thursday that it would buy Eloqua for $871 million. Eloqua’s apps measure the effectiveness of marketing and sales projects. Oracle plans to make the company’s software the centerpiece of its “Marketing Cloud” product line.The acquisition will fill out the cloud-based services offering Oracle hopes will grab business from rival Salesforce.com. Earlier this year, Oracle closed a $1.9 billion deal for Taleo, a maker of online human-resource management software, and a $1.5 billion purchase of RightNow Technologies, which makes software for managing customer service.Oracle’s ChallengeOracle suddenly has a lot of cloud software to make work well together if it wants to give customers a reason to lease multiple applications. The task won’t be easy, given that the multi-vendor software was never designed “to fit together like Legos,” said Andrew Frank, analyst for Gartner, said.Taleo is a customer of Eloqua, so that portion of the integration challenge may be easier. But the extent of Oracle’s success will be determined when its services go up against products from Salesforce.com, IBM and SAP. “Whether it fits together well is a question for the market to determine,” Frank said.On paper, the acquisition gives Oracle an apples-to-apples comparison with Salesforce.com, which provides integrated marketing, sales and service management applications. Oracle needs the same all-in-one portfolio, because its rival “continues to have a strong win rate against Oracle in CRM (customer relationship management),” said Richard Sherlund, a managing director of equity research for investment bank Nomura, in The Wall Street Journal.Oracle is certainly willing to pay for what it wants. The company offered Eloqua shareholders a 31% premium over the Wednesday closing price. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2013.Based in Vienna, Va., Eloqua was founded in 2000 and went public in August. Customers include Sony, Johnson & Johnson, VMware and Siemens.Cloud-Based Marketing Apps Are HotMarketing applications are favorites of vendors building out cloud-based services, because the data-intensive software is a good fit for cloud deployments, Frank said. Data centers that run cloud services are built to handle lots of data and to provide the computational power needed to analyze that data.In addition, marketing software needs to be integrated with other cloud services, such as social media. An added value is the fact that the applications are accessible to the mobile devices now expanding in the enterprise.As a result, researchers like Gartner see an increase in spending on cloud-based marketing services, and Oracle doesn’t plan to be left behind in the race to grab those dollars.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Tags:#cloud computing#Cloud Providers#Oracle last_img read more