“I Support Liberians’ Right to Peacefully Protest”

first_imgMr. Cummings addresses the intellectual gathering.-Says CummingsAlexander B. Cummings, political leader of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) over the weekend declared that he is in support of the planned June 7 “peaceful protest.”Mr. Cummings made the statement at program making the 44th edition of Dr. Kofi Annan Intellectual series held at the National Polit-Bureau of Liberia (NPBL), a local intellectual center in Clara Town, Bushrod Island that discusses issues of national concern.“I support the rights of people to assemble, associate peacefully and responsibly voice out their disagreement, because it is their constitutional right,” Mr. Cummings said.He condemned government for “creating a hostile environment for people, who want to peacefully protest which he said is not acceptable.”On recent development, Cummings also described as unfortunate the recruit of ex-rebel generals to intimidate peaceful Liberians, who are critical of the government.On the topic, “What are those economic and political policies needed to be put in place by government to sustain growth and citizens peaceful co-existence,” he said the solution to revise the country’s economic status depends on the seriousness of the government, and functionaries to practice accountability, transparency and promote Liberian-owned businesses.Mr. Cummings welcomed by residents of Clara TownAccording to him, if the government fails to give an account of the US$25 million and the L$16 billion, no investors will see Liberia as a serious country to bring in huge amounts of money for investment purposes, “because there would be no assurance of getting back the money invested”.Cummings named corruption, intimidation of the press, the opposition and the constant disrespect of the rule of law as major contributing factors that would scare away investors from the country.He called on the government to revisit its tax environment; and give easy access for businesspeople to the Free Port of Monrovia to import new goods, “because there is an urgent need for the government to provide credit to Liberia-owned businesses.”Cummings said the government has failed on the growth of the economy, noting that every indicator to stabilize the economy has gone backward in the last two yearsHe added, “the Liberian dollar has lost its value on the market; prices are very hard and unemployment is at the peak, which is not a good sign for our economy.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Mapping Our Friendships Over Time and Space: The Future of Social Network Analysis

first_imgTags:#Analysis#web What new things could we discover if social network analysis took time and space into account, in addition to the raw connections between people? In most cases, social network analysis today is limited to discovering friend connections, community leaders and outlines, influential people and personal friend recommendations – in a static or snap-shot kind of way. If new factors could be taken into consideration, specifically changes over time and space, then social network analysis could discover things like emergence or decay of leadership, changes in trust over time, migration and mobility within particular communities online. That’s very valuable information that the social web has barely begun to tackle capturing.That’s the topic of discussion in a new paper by Shashi Shekhar and research assistant Dev Oliver, spatial data scientists at the University of Minnesota, titled Computational Modeling of Spatio-temporal Social Networks: A Time-Aggregated Graph Approach (PDF). The paper was highlighted on the blog GIS and Science today. We’ve excerpted and put in context key points below.The Impact of Space and Time on NetworkingSpace and time are big factors in determining the diverse friend connections that different people form. Or, as Shekhar and Oliver put it, “Spatio-temporal constraints (e.g., geographic space, travel, schedules and diurnal [daily] cycles) play a major role in determining baseline homophily due to reasons like opportunity and minimization of cost and effort.”In other words, if we don’t pay attention to the way space and time factor into our lives, if we just see who knows whom and who chatters about what, then we’ll have a very blunt understanding of the world. Diurnal cycle in, and diurnal cycle out (!) businesses and software users seem likely to call for more clarity than that in the future.Consider the diagram below, for example, from Shekhar and Oliver’s paper. It might look a little intimidating, but if you follow it step by step from left to right, it’s not. Today we might look at a group of four participants in some network and just see the final timeframe of connections (t10). You can see who knows who and who doesn’t know who. But imagine if time were taken into consideration as it is here. You can see how this particular mini-network unfolded from the first connections, through the end-point. That’s a much richer understanding of this group.Look at poor little Node 3, for example, in the bottom of the square. It took them longer to go from Visitor to Friend than it took anyone else, in each of the relationships Node 3 formed. Node 2 at the top, on the other hand, looks friendly and effective at building strong relationships quickly.Social network analysis services see these differences in the way people interact already and they see the way changes in spacial relations impact them, but it’s a very nascent field.“We see the spatio-temporal effect manifest in Twitalyzer data during conferences, tradeshows, and live events (e.g., SXSW),” says Eric Peterson, creator of professional Twitter analysis service Twitalyzer. “The results are pretty obvious in our data: individuals who exhibit an otherwise ‘normal’ level of Impact, Influence, and Engagement in our data go ‘off the charts.’ “The simplest explanation is that there is a compressing effect on an individual’s network when they are more spatially proximate (e.g., can grab a drink and interact face to face.) When this happens, especially when it happens over a short period of time, people’s scores change, their networks expand (typically, although we have seen contraction), and their ‘chatter’ (in your words) becomes more focused.”As Yet Unanswered Time-based Questions of Value for Any CommunityHow is trust or leadership changing over time?Who are the emerging leaders in a group? What are the recurring changes in a group? How long is the tenure of a leader in a group? How long does it take to elevate the level of trust such as a relationship changing from visitor to friend?Now imagine that kind of temporal and spacial analysis being performed on much larger networks, over greater periods of time. “This added dimension or set of data points is out there and generally widely available as ‘exhaust data’, so to harness it and factor it in with the rest of the social graph would be truly valuable,” says Eileen Burbidge, a London angel investor at White Bear Yard and a former product manager at Skype, among other positions.“From an investment (i.e. value creation) point of view, spatio-temporal data has the potential to add an element of value, context and relevance to otherwise ‘flat’ data points.“Take LinkedIn for example. I use it to see who in my network knows (and might endorse) whom, but I’m often cross-referencing/checking a person’s contacts by their work history to discern if a specific contact was established at one spatio-temporal point vs another (ie relevancy)… The ability to build this into social network analysis would be extremely valuable as space and time offer tremendous context and relevance to social connections and relationships. “ Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting The Hard PartsThat could very well be the kind of sophisticated social network analysis that service providers aspire to in the future and that their customers seek. Identifying some basic opportunities doesn’t mean it will be easy to get there, however. Shekhar and Oliver say this points to the need for “a central role for computation and computational models, not only to scale up to the large and growing data volumes, but also to address new spatiotemporal social questions related to change, trends, duration, mobility, and travel.“The need for computational efficiency conflicts with the requirement for expressive power of the model and balancing these two conflicting goals is challenging.”If each historical moment of our relative connective history becomes no longer exhaust data, but points on a chart, that sure is going to be a challenge in the computational efficiency department! Presumably, it will just be timestamped changes of state that will be preserved.Scaling that analysis is one challenge, finding new ways to recognize, tell and leverage the stories unearthed by analysis of that data is a whole other challenge.Shekhar and Oliver cast themselves into the abyss of that data-centric future with their conclusion: “We welcome collaboration towards identifying datasets and use-cases to evaluate the potential of TAG [the time aggregated graph model] to address spatio-temporal questions about social networks.”Good luck guys, may you help open up this whole new frontier to us all. You’ve certainly articulated something that a whole lot of people are going to be very interested in in the future.Right: A slice of Veronica Belmont’s closest Twitter buds, per Mailana, a system without reference to time. From The Inner Circles of 10 Geek Heroes.Title photo: Blinded by the Light, by Flickr user Jule_Berlin 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… marshall kirkpatricklast_img read more

Passive Hot Air from Everyday Materials

first_imgAt the Unity, Maine, headquarters of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), engineer Jay LeGore has harnessed the power of the sun to replace about 200 gallons of propane a year.Located far from fire hydrants, MOFGA’s exhibition hall was still required to have sprinklers to meet fire safety codes. The large, timber-framed structure, which sees 60,000 visitors each year during the Common Ground Country Fair and also houses the association’s offices, sits in the middle of a former potato field, with no fire hydrants nearby. Instead, 15,000 gallons of water are stored in pressurized tanks in a building adjacent to the exhibition hall.To keep the tanks from freezing, the shed had been heated with a propane-fired furnace. To save fuel while serving as an experiment and example for demonstrations, Jay designed and built a wall-mounted solar air heater. Narrow vertical slots at each end of the collector allow air to flow from inside the shed, through a two-inch channel formed between the outside of the shed wall and black painted metal roofing panels that are horizontally installed. An inch and a half away from the metal panels are double-wall polycarbonate panels, commonly used for glazing greenhouses.The metal panels get hot enough so that, on the 75°F day I was there, the air coming from the collector was noticeably warmer; a thermostat said 85°F. More important, after two long, cold winters without any other source of heat, the temperature in the shed never went below 40°F.A squirrel cage blower forces air through the solar heater channels. I asked Jay why he hadn’t taken advantage of the stack effect and reduced electricity use by installing slots at the top and bottom of the panel instead of at the ends where a fan was required to move the air. He said that the stack effect would work great during the day, pulling in cooler air at floor level and releasing warmed air at the top of the panel, but that at night, the cycle would reverse and actually pull heat out of the building. Flaps could be used to stop that process, but in the interest of keeping things as low-tech, passive, and reliable as possible, the horizontal, fan-assisted arrangement was a better solution. He added that photovoltaic panels could have been used to power the fan, but the initial cost would have been prohibitive and the payback period too long; also, the shed was already tied to the grid.The total cost for the system, which could be used for supplemental heating in workshops, barns, basements, commercial buildings, or other spaces where south-facing windows would not be preferable? About $1,000 for the panel components, and another $1,000 for the squirrel cage blower and control equipment. The payback period is about three years.last_img read more

Arunachal FM warns of Kargil-like situation in North-East

first_imgArunachal Pradesh Finance Minister Kalikho Pul has raised an alarm and warned of a “Kargil-like situation” brewing in the North-East.Pul told Headlines Today that Chinese personnel are constantly intruding into Indian territory. He said that the Chinese are easily able to come into many of the north eastern regions, especially Tawang and Anjaw districts.”The situation is alarming for the last seven-eight years. Chinese personnel are constantly intruding into our territory. Names of our villages are written in their area. China has better infrastructure on their side…while our connectivity to the border areas is very poor,” Pul said.Pul has asked the Indian government to take steps to better the infrastructure in the border areas which are lying vacant, otherwise, he has warned, a “Kargil-like situation” may develop in the state.For more news on India, click here. For more news on Business, click here. For more news on Movies, click here. For more news on Sports, click here.last_img read more