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first_img19 May 2014South African President Jacob Zuma has expressed concern over the activities of armed rebels on the continent, and has called on the African Union (AU) to take steps to bring about stability.Zuma’s call, made in a statement on Sunday, come in the wake of the abduction of 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria and the bomb attacks that left 10 people dead in Kenya last week.He said the AU’s Standby Force needed capacity, adding that South Africa aimed to discuss the security situation on the continent at the next African Union Peace and Security Council gathering.“It is crucial to build a stronger and a well-resourced African Union to take forward the promotion of peace, security and the socio-economic advancement of the continent,” Zuma said.“Part of the capacity needed by the AU is the establishment of the African Standby Force for rapid deployment in crisis areas without delays.”Zuma also spoke out on the abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls by militant Islamist group Boko-Haram, calling on the kidnappers to release the children without further delay.Regarding the bombing and killing of civilians in Kenya, Zuma said the targeting of unarmed and innocent civilians was deplorable. On Friday, a bomb attack at a Nairobi market left 10 people dead and scores wounded.“The South African government reiterates its condemnation of all forms and manner of terrorism. South Africa believes that terrorism, in any form and from whichever quarter cannot be condoned.”Zuma also called on the people of the Central African Republic to work towards peace in their country. “The people of the CAR have endured enough strife and conflict. We urge all leaders in the CAR to unite the people behind a common vision of peaceful co-existence and national unity.”He reiterated his full support for the African Union international support mission to the Central African Republic, while calling on all parties in the CAR to cooperate fully with the mission.Source: SAnews.govlast_img read more

FBI Raids Web Hosts Over Wikileaks Advocates’ Operation Payback

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… marshall kirkpatrick The FBI has reportedly raided a Texas web host and worked with international authorities to search servers in pursuit of the anonymous leaders of the group Anonymous, who blocked the website of PayPal earlier this month in retribution to the company’s decision to stop its customers from making donations to Wikileaks. That according to an affidavit posted in part by the legal watchdog website The Smoking Gun today. Dallas host Tailor Made Services was raided on the 16th of December, the site reported.“These coordinated attacks, investigators allege,” writes The Smoking Gun, “amount to felony violations of a federal law covering the ‘unauthorized and knowing transmission of code or commands resulting in intentional damage to a protected computer system.’” How several hours of inaccessibility constituted damage to the system was not described in the part of the affidavit posted online.According to the affidavit, the investigation included the co-operation of authorities in Canada, France and Germany. As for code, the LOIC DDoS software believed to be used by Operation Anonymous remain available on the social code site Github and on SourceForge. Thousands of people have downloaded it from those sites. The software allegedly makes it easy for a user to donate their computer’s bandwidth to repeatedly messaging a target server until it is rendered inaccessible by other users.The ephemeral group Anonymous, or Operation Payback, co-ordinated a series of such attacks earlier this month against Paypal, Mastercard, Visa and others. These global leaders in money transfer were criticized for preventing their customers from donating money to the controversial website Wikileaks, despite the site having been convicted of no crimes. Clearly a sufficient number of people in the FBI believe the denial of service attacks may constitute felony-level damage to computer systems, but others have argued that the campaign falls broadly within the tradition of non-violent civil disobedience and political protest.FBI Agent Allyn Lynd, whom The Smoking Gun reports signed the affidavit, has been in the technology news media before. He lead a 2009 raid on at least two Texas web hosts over an alleged federal crime concerning unpaid bills to AT&T and Verizon. Those raids disrupted a number of co-located but unrelated businesses, including some that allege the disruption cost them millions of dollars. In this latest affidavit, Lynd argued again that he may need to disrupt some other servers temporarily in order to achieve his goal of determining which servers were relevant to his investigation. Due to the document’s incomplete publication, whether any sense of irony was appreciated is unclear.No information has been made available to date regarding any FBI or other law enforcement investigation of the denial of service and other technical attacks made against the Wikileaks website.center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#international#news#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Bensonwood Enters the Passive House Market

first_imgBetting on steady growth ahead, the New Hampshire firm has expanded its line of prefabricated building components to include wall, roof, and floor panels intended for Passive House buildings. Bensonwood launched the PHlex brand as an outgrowth of its 9-month-old Tektoniks line as it sensed rising interest in buildings that can meet the strict energy and airtightness requirements of Passive House certification. The company was founded by Tedd Benson in 1973 to help revive the craft of timber framing. It’s since branched into a line of prefabricated single-family houses called Unity, and runs a custom design and construction firm. With the introduction of PHlex, Bensonwood joins a growing number of companies that see increasing consumer demand for high-performance houses assembled from factory-made components.RELATED ARTICLESPassive House Building in the Digital AgeFactories Gear Up for Passive House BuildingBringing Passive House to Production BuildingPrefab Passive House Partnership Hits a MilestoneUnity Homes Combines Prefab with Energy Efficiency “Since Passive House has finally started to gain traction in the mainstream, we thought that we have a lot of things figured out in our system that dovetailed very nicely with Passive House requirements, specifically in terms of airtightness,” Bensonwood Chief Operating Officer Hans Porschitz said in a telephone call. Tektoniks is the production line building system developed by Bensonwood that can be used in Bensonwood and Unity homes. Components also can be bought by outside firms that need the high-performance building parts but not the design services that Bensonwood has to offer. The availability of airtight building parts that arrive on the job site insulated and fitted with windows helps fill a void in the industry, Porschitz said. “There are a lot of architects and Passive House consultants who can design Passive House buildings, but they sometimes run into challenges when it comes to execution,” he said. “There’s not a high level, a broad base, of Passive House builders out there. They’re growing but they’re not quite there yet.” How the panels are made The exact makeup of the panels varies depending on the climate zone where the house will be built. The amount of insulation needed in Maine is obviously far different than what a designer would want in South Carolina, so the thickness of wall and roof panels would differ accordingly. A typical wall panel would start, on the inside, with a service cavity that may or may not be insulated, then an airtight layer of 7/16-inch oriented strand board (OSB), and then a structural framed wall of I-joists or sawn lumber. The exterior sheathing might be OSB — typically, Huber’s Zip System OSB — or a continuous layer of wood fiber insulation, depending on need. Cavity insulation is dense-packed cellulose. Porschitz acknowledged that there are some doubts in the industry that OSB can make a reliable air barrier. But, he said, Bensonwood has a source of good quality OSB, and blower door tests show the components can easily hit airtightness requirements for Passive House building. Bensonwood’s production facility in Keene, New Hampshire, uses sophisticated equipment from the more developed European panel market, including a computer-controlled cutting station for framing and a robot that picks up and delivers building materials where they are needed. (See the photos in the gallery above.) Once the panels roll off the production line, they can be shipped to the job site for assembly. As other high-performance panelizers also argue, using factory-produced components drastically reduces room for error on site. Crews that put the houses together mostly have to focus on the intersections between panels — where the roof meets the walls, for example, or where walls come together at a corner. Buildings can be dried in very quickly, and there is virtually no waste generated at the site. On the Bensonwood or Unity side of the business, the company typically sends a least a couple of people to the site to oversee assembly of the building. But Porschitz sees a future where Bensonwood customers are doing more of that work. “We want to get away from where we have to be involved in every aspect,” he said. “We are in a transition phase from having our own crews to ultimately having partner builders who are certified and trained to install these enclosure systems without a direct advisor from us on site.” How much do these buildings cost? Production-line efficiencies are aimed at delivering high-performance houses at progressively lower prices. But as other manufacturers also have found, building to the Passive House standard on a state-of-the-art production line isn’t necessarily cheap. How expensive? That’s hard to say, because the cost depends so heavily on the climate-driven specs for the building, as well as the distance the components must be shipped. The vagaries make it complicated for buyers and builders who are used to thinking about the cost per square foot, not the cost of the components themselves. “The price per square foot of living space is a very gooey metric,” he said. “We’re trying to get away from that.” Instead, Porschitz said, the object is to come up with a flat rate for a particular wall or roof section, depending on the required R-value, as the component sits on a truck in the company’s yard. Change is coming to a hidebound industry Building houses from prefabricated parts is more common in parts of Europe than it is in the U.S., but a number of design/build firms are adopting production-line techniques in an effort to boost the quality and availability of high-performance houses. Among them are smaller firms such as Phoenix Haus, Ecocor, and GO Logic, as well as a few larger companies, like Katerra. All of them are looking to change the way people shop for and buy new homes, while prying the building industry out of its 19th-century mindset. Porschitz said that increased media attention to the Passive House standard, a growth in conference attendance, and more inquiries from potential buyers helped convince Bensonwood of the opportunities for growth in that part of the market. “In the past,” he said, “Passive House was like a buzzword that people picked up on a fancy website but they didn’t quite know what they were talking about. What we’ve found is more and more professionals are getting certified with that level of expertise and knowledge, and that tells us that more and more want to put it into their buildings.” Porschitz, who with a colleague went through Passive House training at the Yestermorrow school in Vermont earlier in the year, thinks that smaller companies may have the edge as prefabrication takes hold. Larger firms have the financial backing to advance to the next level of technology, but they may be managed by executives who come from other industries. “What they’re lacking is the knowledge about the product,” he said. “They’re not carpenters.” Bensonwood is still a relatively small company, with $20 million to $30 million in annual sales and still overseen by its founder and his wife. “Tedd has always been fascinated with Passive House,” he said. “We’ve been eyeing it. Well-insulated enclosure systems have always been a big part of what we did as a company. It has always been on our radar.”last_img read more

CAC Urging Vigilance While Shopping Online

first_img Consumers are also being encouraged to shop on reputable websites such as Amazon, to avoid having their personal information compromised by persons with criminal intent. The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) is advising consumers to be vigilant while conducting businesses online. Story Highlights The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) is advising consumers to be vigilant while conducting businesses online.Speaking at a JIS Think Tank on November 30, Information Technology Manager at the CAC, Andrew Evelyn pointed out that the Agency does not have the legal power to pursue merchants who reside overseas.“Our Consumer Protection Act solely protects our local consumers and also our merchants. In that regard, when you are doing an online transaction with an overseas merchant, it is your duty and responsibility to take very special care in doing these transactions,” Mr. Evelyn explained.The Information Technology Manager noted that citizens should use websites that are secure, adding that one way to determine the security of a website is by looking at the site’s address.“Check the first five characters in the website name, it should start with ‘https’ as that indicates that the website protects highly confidential online transactions like online banking and online shopping,” Mr. Evelyn said.“It is very important that a website is encrypted as if it is not, then your credit card information and password are sent over the internet in clear text, meaning persons with the right software, can clearly see your password,” he added.Consumers are also being encouraged to shop on reputable websites such as Amazon, to avoid having their personal information compromised by persons with criminal intent.“The more reputable websites spend a lot of money to improve their security and they have well-established procedures to handle complaints and to provide redress or compensation to the consumer if the purchase is not satisfactory,” Mr. Evelyn advised.The CAC Representative also informed that persons can research reviews of a website through avenues such as betterbusinessbureau.com, www.yelp.com or ripoffreport.com.Mr. Evelyn also urged consumers to desist from conducting transactions online, while utilizing free internet connections.“Don’t make purchases online when connected to free internet. Persons with criminal intent, will put up these connections to lure you into using it, where they will capture the information entered and [then] they are able to figure out your credit card information,” he pointed out.Consumers are also encouraged to use a third-party payment platform such as PayPal, to avoid using their credit card information on several sites.“Using a third-party application helps to keep your information protected as you are unaware of how well your information will be kept on some websites. Therefore, an application like PayPal that invests a lot in their infrastructure will protect your identity and credit card,” he added.Mr. Evelyn also advised that persons should create stronger passwords; update their browsers; regularly check credit card statements; and avoid purchasing from links shared in spam emails. Mr. Evelyn also advised that persons should create stronger passwords; update their browsers; regularly check credit card statements; and avoid purchasing from links shared in spam emails. last_img read more

Bangladeshi elite silent Scrollin

first_imgBangladeshi students sing the national anthem as they take part in a protest over recent traffic accidents that killed two students in Dhaka, on 4 August 2018. – ReutersThe recent attacks on unarmed students by political workers and the police in Bangladesh are an alarming development that warrants independent investigation, writes Scroll.in.The Indian news site called it ‘organic demonstrations’ that “grew into a peaceful civil disobedience movement, bringing the Bangladesh capital to a halt and spreading to other parts of the country.”After the protests continued for a week, alleged cadres of the ruling Awami League assaulted the unarmed protestors as well as journalists who were documenting the attacks, said a Scroll.in article referring to Human Rights Watch.The protests followed the death of two students on 29 July when a speeding bus ran them over in Dhaka city. The young student protesters demanded road safety.In the article ‘Bangladesh has damaged its democratic credentials with the latest crackdown’, Scroll.in said the crackdown on the protestors lasted for days and left hundreds injured.“The ruling Awami League maintains that Bangladesh is a democracy, and that the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-Jamaat coalition and self-seeking members of civil society are to blame for the protests, which were aimed at destabilising the government and, by extension, the country,” the article mentioned.It went on to say: “A further difference between a democracy and an autocracy is that, in a democracy, any claims – even those made by the government – must be supported by evidence to keep the public’s trust.“In an autocracy, however, government claims are projected as the only accepted truth, and claims contrary to that are deemed lies regardless of the overwhelming evidence.”The article written by Ikhtisad Ahmed also reads: “The Bangladesh government has dealt with the protesting students who wanted road safety in the same way as all other dissidents.”Scroll.in pointed out that just a few months ago, in April and May, demonstrations by university students that the government reform quotas in government jobs, saw the Awami League promise an outright abolishment only to renege on its word, and retaliate against the students with violence.“Some people have defended the government action against the protestors,” Scroll.in wrote, adding that the truth is that the school students who took to the streets inconvenienced the Bangladeshi elite, whom even the government dares not inconvenience..“The patronage and silence of the elite allows the government to rule with an iron fist, and the government’s patronage and silence allows the elite to increase their economic privileges,” it said. “The government attempted to justify the violence using its well-worn strategy of labelling dissenters ‘anti-state’.”The Indian news site also mentioned that it is becoming clear that Bangladesh’s ruling and elite classes are becoming increasingly unpopular among its citizens.The article quoted a few lines from the autobiography of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: “The leaders were thereby creating an atmosphere of terror so that nobody would dare criticise the government. The government was assuming that hired goons could stifle people’s demands. That such measures have never succeeded, and would not succeed in this case did not seem to have occurred to them.”The full text of the article is here: last_img read more

Party Politics Texas Edition Ep 27 From Harvey A Flood Plan Emerges

first_img 00:00 /18:28 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: After saying no, Gov. Abbott does about face and gives Houston $50 million for Harvey rebuild Texas Health and Human Services coming under fire — Harvey relief failures and loss of staffTrump taps Willett and Ho for 5th Circuit Court positionsDallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, talks 2020 Presidential bidHarris County bail system heads to courtThen the gents take a good look at the Texas Water Development Board drafting the first ever flood plan—what might that mean? By the way, don’t forget to check out our national episodes of Party Politics, too.Party Politics is produced by Edel Howlin and our audio engineer is Todd Hulslander. Listen Xcenter_img Chron.comFlooding during Harvey along Royal Shores Drive, Kingwood, Texas.Always lots to talk about in Texas politics, on this episode of Party Politics: Texas Edition, co-hosts Jay Aiyer and Brandon Rottinghaus discuss:  This article is part of the Party Politics podcast Share last_img read more

Roku Hardware GM Chas Smith Set to Retire in Early 2019

first_img Popular on Variety Smith, who is 58, joined Roku in March 2010 as VP of sales, leading online sales of the company’s media players. In August 2012, he assumed the role of GM of original equipment manufacturing to lead the Roku TV business. In December 2015 he was promoted to his current role.Prior to Roku, Smith headed his own consulting company, catering to companies in the digital media market on sales and marketing strategies. Before that, he worked at Avid Technology for 10 years, most recently as GM of its worldwide video division. Before joining Avid in 1996, he worked at Digidesign, a digital-audio technology company, where ran worldwide sales and marketing. Earlier in his career, Smith was a keyboard player for a Scottish rock band and was a music writer for radio and TV advertising jingles. Chas Smith, general manager of Roku’s hardware business, plans to retire and is expected to leave the company at the end of the first quarter of 2019, Roku announced.The company said it has a search underway with an executive-placement firm to find a successor for the exec. Smith is senior VP and GM of Roku TVs and players, overseeing retail sales and partnerships for the company’s line of hardware products.Roku CEO Anthony Wood credited Smith with the idea for Roku’s smart TV business, leading the company’s efforts to be the top licensed smart-TV platform in the U.S. The lineup of Roku TVs includes models from brands including Best Buy’s Insignia, TCL, Sharp, Hisense, Philips, Sanyo, RCA, Hitachi and Magnavox.“Over the last several years, Chas has been instrumental in transforming our business. We all wish Chas a long, healthy and happy retirement as he enters this new chapter in his life,” Roku CEO Anthony Wood said in a statement.center_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more