Should The LTA Be Allowed To InstallA Spy Machine?

first_imgI read with dismay that the Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) said it does not possess the equipment that is needed to actively monitor the quality of the country’s telecoms networks, Cellular News reports.According to the article, the director of the LTA said at a hearing that the lack of the equipment was enabling some companies to under report their traffic and avoid full regulatory payments to the government. Further, the lack of detailed technical supporting documentation that such equipment would provide is hampering any attempts to enforce shut-down notices on companies that are suspected of fraud.As a student of information technology (IT) and communication, I am taking aback by the LTA desire to undertake such arrangement without a national legislation. The invading of people’s privacy should be protected by GSM providers in all forms. The machine that the LTA is talking about here is a “Spy Machine”. This equipment is called the Consolidated ICT Regulatory Management System (Cirms). This system is designed to track calls, invade GSM users’ privacy and to prevent telecoms customers from being overcharged.This system has both positive and negative implications and it should be backed by a national legislation if the LTA must succeed. Without a national legislation the process will be illegal and violation of the GSM users’ privacy.It can be recalled that the telecommunication operators in Malawi have similar tussles on the matter but was later defeated by the by Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (Macra) over the Consolidated ICT Regulatory Management System (Cirms). Macra bought the Cirms – which was later popularised as ‘the Spy Machine’ – from a US-based company, Agilis International, at a cost of USD6.8 million and by August, it had paid USD2 million.Since its acquisition, operators have been protesting its installation claiming it would infringe on the public’s right to privacy. They later ended in court over the matter.Here in Liberia, the LTA is claiming that without said equipment it cannot enforce shutdown on GSM companies’ violators. The fact here is that, this machine perform beyond that point of enforcing shut down. It is a spy machine and GSM companies are under obligation to protect the privacy rights of their users. This could lead to a crises between the GSM companies and the LTA.Telecommunication operators in Malawi still insist that using the high-tech call tracking equipment is a violation of their users’ rights, their services and will compromise obligation and duty they have to their subscribers.They also based their argument on the laws of Malawi saying Section 21 sub section c of the Malawi Constitution call for the protection of personal privacy. But parliament which has the bragging rights in the formulation of laws in the country overwhelmingly supported the controversial machine.In their submission, they also challenged the directive by Macra to all telecommunication operators to provide it with subscribers’ call detail records.Spy fearsAmid much tussling over the system’s use, MACRA put its foot down and it almost switched on the machine, only to be stopped in its tracks when politicians and human rights activists challenged the implementation by seeking a court intervention.On October 14, 2011 the High Court in Blantyre indeed stopped the Malawi government from switching on the machine.The court gave an order to MACRA restraining it from getting Call Details Records (CDRs) from the country’s telephone operators.  Lawyer Ralph Kasambara was hired to challenge the rolling-out of the machine.The kind of information CDRs provide include who called which number; details of calls received; time and duration of calls; location where call was made or received; SMS sent and received; type of handset used and other detailed subscriber information.Malawi telecommunication operators already provide summarised data from the CDRs and MACRA is not currently able to access detailed subscriber information. But the new system would allow MACRA access to information about the calls made by anyone in the country.In the initial dispute over the matter, Information and Civic Education Minister Patricia Kaliati echoed what her predecessor had said: that the machine would only be used to improve the quality of services being offered by the operators and manage traffic.Government has backed MACRA’s intention to implement the Consolidated ICT Regulatory Management System CIRMS Project, arguing that it will help the Malawi Revenue Authority recover lost revenue.What will happen in Liberia if the LTA shall have installed such machine, looking at the political loyalty of our government officials? Will people rights to their privacy be protected? Let the LTA be open enough and tell the Liberian people the fact about this machine and its function in totality.About the author: Charles B. Yates is a student of IT- Networking and Communication at the National Institute of Information Technology (NIIT), Delhi, India. He can be reached on +91-9818-048750.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Baraza upbeat he can guide Sofapaka to title

first_img0Shares0000Sofapaka FC head coach John Baraza issues out instruction to his players during their Kenyan Premier League match against Sony Sugar on April 15, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaNAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 16- His immediate former boss Sam Ssimbwa might have ruled out Sofapaka’s chances of fighting for the Kenyan Premier League title just four games into the new season, but the man who takes up his boots, John Baraza, bears different sentiments.After their 3-1 loss to leaders Mathare United on February 25, Ssimbwa who resigned last week on the back of sabotage claims said that the team had not yet shown tenets of being champions and would only be playing to finish the season in a respectable position. However, Baraza who was elevated to the post of coach after the Ugandan’s exit believes they will be a force to reckon in the race to this year’s title despite currently sitting six points off the leaders.“He might have had his reasons to say that. But I have been with these players from the beginning of the season and I know their potential. They have the experience and if we do things in the right way, we are strong contenders for the title,” Baraza told Capital Sport.Baraza, suited for the occasion took charge of his first match in charge of the club on Sunday but his charges were held to a 1-1 draw by visiting Sony Sugar who played almost half the match with 10-men.Baraza was pleased with the point, but was left ruing the missed opportunities.New Sofapaka head coach John Baraza was well suited for the occasion on his first match in charge against Sony Sugar on April 15, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya“We fought well, but my problem is the scoring. We did just like I had asked them to do; possess and pass the ball around. But we couldn’t convert the chances we had. This is work in progress and we will work on it. We will get it soon,” a confident Baraza added.The draw left Batoto ba Mungu six points off leaders Mathare United who suffered their second defeat of the season, losing 2-1 to Posta Rangers at the Camp Toyoyo.Two goals from Kennedy Otieno and Jockins Atudo off set plays in the opening 13 minutes saw Mathare tackle a mountain and though Clifford Alwanga halved the deficit before thehalf way mark in the opening half, it proved to be tough for them.“If we can keep the momentum that we saw in the second half and correct some few mistakes. We gave way too many balls. If we can work on that then we can create more and force a good start,” the coach said after the game.“You have to be disappointed for not getting the three points but not extending the lead at the top. I think what is important is that the disappointment can be a huge learning lesson from the youngsters,” the coach further noted.The loss saw them retain a one point lead over Gor Mahia who have a three-match deficit owing to their participation in the CAF Confederation Cup.For Posta though, it was a priceless win that took them fourth on the log, a welcome result especially after their loss away to Zoo Kericho.AFC Leopards forward Ezekiel Odera celebrates his goal, mourning his Mother. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYAMeanwhile, AFC Leopards remained third after Zoo scored late to deny them a win, the visitors fighting for a 2-2 draw at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.Interim coach Dennis Kitambi who is on his final month at the den was disappointed with the result especially in the manner they conceded the equalizer late on in the game.“We have to fix our defense and a bit of goalkeeping because we conceded such a soft goal. But there has been improvement in the team hopefully we can fix the small areas of weakness and we will be good,” Kitambi said.Sony Sugar FC head coach Patrick Odhiambo issues out instruction to his players during their Kenyan Premier League match against Sofapaka on April 15, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaElsewhere, Chemelil Sugar started life without head coach Patrick Odhiambo on a good footing beating new boys Wazito FC 3-1 at their Chemelil Complex backyard. Odhiambo decamped to neighbors Sony at the beginning of the week.The win saw Chemelil move to sixth on the log with a match at hand.KPL weekend results:Kariobangi Sharks 0-0 Nakumatt, AFC Leopards 2-2 Zoo FC, Posta Rangers 2-1 Mathare United, Tusker FC 0-0 Vihiga United , Sofapaka 1-1 Sony Sugar FC, Nzoia Sugar 1-0 Bandari FC, Chemelil 3-1 Wazito FC, Ulinzi Stars 0-0 Thika United.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Messi woos Griezmann, hopes Neymar stays in Paris

first_imgBut Messi layed on the compliments for the diminutive No.9.“Good players always have an understanding and he’s at an exceptional moment in his career,” said Messi.The Barcelona man told Mundo Deportivo he hoped Real Madrid’s pursuit of Paris Saint Germain striker Neymar would come to nothing.“The truth is that wouldn’t please me at all,” said Messi of the prospect of meeting his former teammate in Madrid’s all-white shirt.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Lionel Messi says Antoine Griezmann would fit the picture at Barcelona © AFP / PAU BARRENAMADRID, Spain, Jun 7 – With Antoine Griezmann’s reported transfer to Barcelona inching closer, Argentine superstar Lionel Messi described the French striker as a “great player”, Spanish sports daily Mundo Deportivo reported on Thursday.“He is clearly a great player,” Messi said when asked about the Atletico Madrid striker, although he said he was “not 100 percent sure” if the French striker would make the move to Catalonia.last_img read more

Two charged after Letterkenny incident in which Garda car damaged

first_imgTwo people have appeared in court charged in connection with an incident which resulted in a Garda patrol car being damaged.The pair, a man and a woman, appeared at Sligo District Court facing charges arising out of the incident in Letterkenny on Sunday afternoon. The two who appeared were Jonathan Glenn, of Raphoe and Dionne Woods from Convoy.Ms Woods was charged with allowing herself to be carried in a vehicle while Mr Glenn faces a series of charges including the unlawful taking of a car, failing to stop for Gardai, having no insurance and dangerous driving.Ms Wooods was released on bail.Mr Glenn, who is in his 30s, was remanded in custody and is to appear at Letterkenny District Court next week by videolink.Judge John Kilraine was told that there may be further charges arising out of the incident.No details were given of the incident which the pair were charged in connection with.Two charged after Letterkenny incident in which Garda car damaged was last modified: January 19th, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:courtdamagedonegaldrivingincidentpatrol carsligolast_img read more

Man United survive late scare to earn victory over Everton

first_img Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade 3 Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Pogba pounced on the rebound to his saved penalty BEST OF A lapse in concentration saw Everton gifted a penalty with ten minutes to go, which Gylfi Sigurdsson converted to set up a nervous finish.Mourinho’s men usurp the Toffees in eighth place with a win that was not always straightforward as the visitors displayed flashes of the confidence brought by three successive league wins.It was an entertaining game watched by the young Thai footballers that were rescued from a cave earlier this year – the guests of honour as United won their first match since the international break.Martial’s movement was proving a handful and referee Jon Moss pointed to the spot after a challenge by Gueye. The Everton midfielder avoided a booking shortly after earning his first, but his team-mates argued that he got the ball and it should not have been a penalty at all. 3 Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won no dice Romelu Lukaku, dropped to the bench after eight scoreless club matches, came on in the 65th minute to whistles from the Everton fans that once adored him.Everton were then gifted a way back into proceedings with 13 minutes remaining after Pogba gave away possession as stupidly as the sliding challenge that followed from Smalling on Richarlison inside the box.Sigurdsson stepped up to smash home the penalty and Lukaku mistimed a header as nerves began to jangle.Tension built as both sides pushed to score, with Martial wasting a glorious chance when put through one-on-one in stoppage time. It mattered not as United celebrated three hard-fought points. Sigurdsson made things interesting from the spot MONEY huge blow RANKED Anthony Martial continued his fine goalscoring form as Manchester United held on for a 2-1 victory against Everton at Old Trafford.Paul Pogba put the home side in front by tapping in the rebound to his own missed penalty and turned provider for Martial to his fourth goal in three Premier League games with a superb curling effort. Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Pogba and Martial secured the win Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions REVEALED Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Those pleas were ignored and Pogba put a finger to his lip after slotting home at the second attempt after Pickford impressively denied the penalty that came at the end of a long, stuttered run-up.The offside flag rightly denied Marcus Rashford a quickfire second and Fred thumped wide, but Everton ended the opening period on top with Sigurdsson’s header followed by a Theo Walcott attempt.United would extend their advantage after the break. Pogba’s ball to the edge of the box was met by a superb first-time effort by Martial, whose shot bent into the bottom corner in front of the Stretford End.United fans were soon celebrating again – albeit this time at the visiting supporters’ misfortune as Bernard beat the offside trap, rounded David De Gea, only to hit the side-netting. ADVICE 3 REVEALED Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? LATEST FOOTBALL NEWSlast_img read more

Women’s Tennis Heads to Evansville and Southern Illinois

first_imgSouthern Illinois will host Northern Iowa prior to squaring off with the Bulldogs on Sunday. The Salukis will be looking to remain on top of the conference stands as they are 3-0 to start league play. SIU has three players with 10 or more dual match singles wins, led by Ana Sofia Cordero with a 12-6 record. DES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University women’s tennis team makes its final road trip of the season this weekend as the Bulldogs travel to Evansville on Saturday and Southern Illinois on Sunday. Drake enters the weekend with a 11-10 record and is 1-2 in MVC action after falling at Missouri State and Wichita State last weekend. The Bulldogs are led by senior Maddie Johnson, who is on a seven-match singles winning streak and holds a 11-3 record. Freshman Joely Lomas, who enrolled in Jan., holds the top doubles record at 12-5. Evansville is winless in MVC action and has an 8-15 overall record. The Purple Aces are led by Kennedy Craig, who has a 13-6 dual match singles record and is the only player with a winning record. Evansville has struggled in doubles as well with all three courts having a losing record. The Bulldogs closes out the regular season at home next weekend when they host Bradley on Saturday, April 23 and Illinois State on Sunday, April 24. Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Cubs put three past Sudan in CECAFA

first_imgCubs(white) in action against Sudan yesterday(Photos by FUFA Media)CECAFA U17 Challenge cup 2018Uganda 3-0 SudanWednesday, 18-04-2014Gitega, BurundiThe Uganda U17 national side, the Cubs recorded their first victory in the ongoing CECAFA challenge cup in Burundi as they defeated Sudan 3-0.After drawing 1-1 with Tanzania on Sunday, Peter Onen’s boy made no mistake as they put Sudan to the sword in their second game.Onen who gave his players the freedom to play offensive football in the match against neighbours Tanzania. His philosophy never changed despite making one change into today’s game.  Attack minded midfielder Asaba Ivan paved way for forward Idd Abdulwahid for the game against SudanUganda’s goals were scored by Andrew Kawooya-a brace (Proline Soccer Academy) and Moses Bakkabulindi (Vipers Junior Team).With revised fixtures, following failure by some teams to raise squads for the tournament, Uganda is now guaranteed of a place in the next stage.The Uganda Cubs Starting XI against Sudan1. OLUKA GEORGE WILLIAM (GK)2.JAGWE MUSA3.KAFUMBE JOSEPH4.EKELLOT IBRAHIM5. KIZITO MUGWERI GAVIN (cpt).6. KIRYA GERALD7.BAKABULINDI MOSES8.KAWOOYA ANDREW9.MPANGA MULA10. KAKAIRE THOMAS11. IDD ABDUL WAHIDComments Tags: BurundiCECAFA U17Challenge CupcubsPeter OnenTanzanialast_img read more

Fulham v Aston Villa: Sidwell is recalled

first_imgFulham midfielder Steve Sidwell is restored to the starting line-up for the game against his former club, with Pajtim Kasami dropping to the bench. Youngster Lasse Vigen Christensen is among the substitutes for the first time.Aston Villa are without skipper Ron Vlaar and Antonio Luna, who are both injured.Fulham: Stekelenburg; Riether, Hughes, Senderos, Riise; Dejagah, Parker, Karagounis, Sidwell, Kačaniklić; Berbatov.Subs: Stockdale, Zverotic, Richardson, Kasami, Duff, Ruiz, Christensen.Aston Villa: Guzan, Herd, Baker, Clark, Bacuna, El Ahmadi, Delph, Westwood, Agbonlahor, Weimann, Benteke.Subs: Steer, Lowton, Helenius, Albrighton, Bowery, Sylla, Tonev.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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Hopping Fish and Other Darwin Mysteries

first_imgThe chieftans of evolutionary theory insist that their doctrines have come a long way since Darwin.  Discoveries in molecular biology, population genetics, biogeography, paleontology have left the Victorian concepts of evolution outdated and antiquated, they would say.  Yet a look at the evolutionary literature shows otherwise.  Simplistic just-so stories, Darwinian phrases like “survival of the fittest” and “missing link,” iconic fossils, and antiquated principles continue to be the rule, as the following articles illustrate. Just-so hopping lungfish and leaping media:  The media are in a frenzy again at the observation that certain lungfish move their fins under the water in an alternating pattern suggestive of walking, suggesting that this provides clues to the mythical Darwinian day when fish moved onto the land.  Science Daily, for instance, titled its report in epic Apollo lingo, “A Small Step for Lungfish, a Big Step for the Evolution of Walking.”  Not to be outdone, Live Science wrote with the power of suggestion, “‘Hopping’ Fish Suggests Walking Originated Underwater.”  It’s not just reporters saying this.  Neil Shubin, leading evolutionist of Tiktaalik fame, said, “This shows us – pardon the pun – the steps that are involved in the origin of walking.”  No one seems to be asking why, after hundreds of millions of years in the evolutionary timeline, they haven’t evolved feet.  One motive might be for Shubin to regain priority with his inner fish.  Still smarting from a Jan. 2010 find of trackways in Poland (Live Science), he put out the bait, and Live Science took it, that the Polish fossils were made by fish, not tetrapods.  Science Daily’s coverage also supported this motive: “The discovery suggests that many of the developments necessary for the transition from water to land could have occurred long before early tetrapods, such as Tiktaalik, took their first steps on shore.”  For video of the “walking” lungfish, see Live Science. So simple it’s silly:  One of the appeals of Darwinian theory is its apparent ability to solve mysteries in nature.  Who doesn’t like a good mystery story?  In “Biologists solve an evolution mystery,” PhysOrg promised its readers CSI about why guppies have not evolved for half a million years.  “Guppies in the wild have evolved over at least half-a-million years – long enough for the males’ coloration to have changed dramatically,” the press release begins. “Yet a characteristic orange patch on male guppies has remained remarkably stable, though it could have become redder or more yellow. Why has it stayed the same hue of orange over such a long period of time?”  Drum roll, please.  The short answer is: “Because that’s the color female guppies prefer.”  Elementary, my dear flotsam.  (Don’t ask why female tastes didn’t evolve in all that time.)  It takes a UCLA professor to explain this: “Sometimes populations have to evolve just to stay the same,” said Greg Grether.  Maybe this is just a rare exception that proves the rule.  Nope; Grether “noted that there are many examples in which there is less variation among populations of a species than life scientists would expect.”  With copious appeals to jargon, Grether and his academic professionals assure us that evolution can produce both drastic variation and stasis, all using the same theory. Missing links:  That hoary Darwin-brand chestnut “missing link” appeared in an article on Science Daily, claiming that “Evolution Reveals Missing Link Between DNA and Protein Shape.”  Don’t look for missing links in the body of the article; it appears someone just decorated the headline with the roasted chestnut to attract attention.  The confident-sounding article claims that evolutionary theory informed a team at Harvard Medical School on how to predict protein folds from the DNA sequence.  “The international team tested a bold premise: That evolution can provide a roadmap to how the protein folds.”  A closer look at what they did, though, shows evolutionary theory to be the packaging rather than the roadmap.  They examined “accumulated evolutionary information in the form of the sequences of thousands of proteins, grouped in protein families that are likely to have similar shapes,” the article said, but the meat of the story concerned using their intelligent design to create an algorithm that was partially successful at predicting “remarkably accurate shapes from sequence information alone for a test set of 15 diverse proteins, with no protein size limit in sight, with unprecedented accuracy.”  Any confirmation for evolutionary theory will have to wait: “Synergy between computational prediction and experimental determination of structures is likely to yield increasingly valuable insight into the large universe of protein shapes that crucially determine their function and evolutionary dynamics,” one of the researchers said.  If it’s likely to yield insight into evolutionary dynamics, the insight hasn’t yet arrived, in other words. Survival of the fittest:  What could be more a mark of human intelligence than language?  Yet PhysOrg headlined, “Survival of the fittest: Linguistic evolution in practice.”  The reader who dives into the article will struggle to find anything Darwinian in there, except by analogy, as explained in the caption: “A new study of how compound word formation is influenced by subtle forms of linguistic pressure demonstrates that words which ‘sound better’ to the speakers of a language have a higher chance of being created, suggesting that, like biological organisms, words are subject to selection pressures that play a role in deciding which words become part of a language over time.”  Surely humans who decide what they like are not using an unguided, purposeless process of nature.  This would be like Darwin’s fallacy of comparing artificial selection (a form of intelligent design) to natural selection. Victory through falsification:  Let’s jump to the last sentence of an article on PhysOrg for a clue to why evolutionists may feel uncomfortable with it: “This should cause a rethink of how the symbiosis between mitochondria and eukaryotic cells originally developed – one of the most controversial topics in biology.”  That’s right; biologists from down unda are wielding the dork side of the farce to destroy an evolutionary icon, the engulfing of a prokaryote by a bacterium to evolve the first eukaryotic cell.  Is that an unkind epithet?  Here’s what they said: “The University of Sydney research investigated the bacterium Midichloria mitochondrii – named after helpful Star Wars microbes, called Midi-chlorians, that live inside cells and grant the mystical power known as The Force.”  OK, that’s poetic license, but the upset is real: “Our results challenge the paradigm – shown in every biology textbook – that mitochondria were passive bacteria gobbled up by a primordial cell,” one team member said.  Whether their new paradigm amounts to an improvement can be gauged by the number of times they used words like perhaps, could have, might have, and probably.  Then that last sentence comes, leaving its own doubts.  “Causing a rethink” does not guarantee “arriving at a satisfactory answer.” Howdy, pardner:  What do you know, an extinct meat-eating Komodo-dragon-like animal hung around past its evolutionary cue.  PhysOrg tells us that “varanopids had a longer co-existence with animals that eventually evolved into mammals than previously believed,” the article claims.  “They suggest that the dental and skeletal design of varanopids, reminiscent of the Komodo dragon of today, may have contributed to their long survival and their success.”  They even hung around through the infamous Permian Extinction Event (“a poorly understood extinction event in the history of life on land”) that supposedly took down 90% of living species.  It was sleek, well-built, successful, and durable, only to drop off the scene 35 million years after the evolutionary ancestors of mammals appeared, then re-appear as a look-alike on the island of Java in time to hunt humans for dinner.  Evolution works in strange ways. Order from chaos:  Anyone thinking evolutionists have their phylogenetic diagrams all wrapped up should read the opening of an article about the mollusk fossil record in Current Biology.1  “While the seven classes within the phylum Mollusca are clearly defined morphologically and molecularly, relationships between them have long been contentious,” the summary begins.  “Two recent phylogenomic studies take an important step forward with intriguing implications for their evolution.”  Nothing like finally taking a step forward after 150 years of confusion.  So what was found?  After several paragraphs about the problems, and presentation of competing phylogenetic trees without consensus, the wizards gave some Bayesian hand-waving over software, they got most of the groups to line up according to evolutionary expectations, except for the troublesome Scaphopoda, that remains a “known unknown” in their otherwise positivistic paper.  The success they claim, though, lies not in answers, but questions: Probably the most important achievement of these studies is the firm establishment of the Aculifera and Conchifera groupings; this finding is particularly exciting as it shows that some of the most vexing questions of molluscan evolution remain wide open. We find shelled molluscs on one side of the tree and molluscs with serially repeated sclerites and spicules on the other; so, which represent the ancestral condition? Are the spicules and sclerites of the Aculifera and the shells of the Conchifera in fact homologous? And can these features be recognised from more distantly related lophotrochozoan relatives or in fossil ancestors? …. We may be bidding farewell to the ‘hypothetical ancestral mollusc’; but the fight over molluscan evolution may even now just be warming up. At least we have a clearer idea of what the battlefield now looks like. If this is an important “step” at all, it appears to be a step before the step; a step where the fingers do the walking, laying out a battlefield map before sending in the troops. Stop the presses!  The ghost of Lamarck was seen at Columbia University Medical School!  Long thought dead, Lamarck with his theory of inheritance of acquired characteristics has been a has-been ever since Darwin proved him wrong, right?  According to this article, “researchers have found the first direct evidence that an acquired trait can be inherited without any DNA involvement,” in the form of small RNAs that can reversibly pass on an acquired benefit to offspring.  “The findings suggest that Lamarck, whose theory of evolution was eclipsed by Darwin’s, may not have been entirely wrong.”  By logical implication, that would make Darwin not entirely right, too, although historians well know that Darwin started his own slip-slide toward Lamarckism in later editions of The Origin.  Obligatory homage to Lamarck in the form of a giraffe picture accompanies the article.  Paul Kammerer, a researcher persecuted in the 1920s for his paradigm-threatening work on the midwife toad, might be miffed at the claim that Columbia found “the first direct evidence” for Lamarckian inheritance, though his claims remain highly suspect and controversial. 1. Maximilian J. Telfordsend and Graham E. Budd, “Invertebrate Evolution: Bringing Order to the Molluscan Chaos,” Current Biology Volume 21, Issue 23, R964-R966, 6 December 2011. Learning the schemes of the Darwinian storytellers is a requirement for one’s intellectual security, to avoid being swept up in the euphoria of an alleged all-encompassing theory that explains everything.  And yes, it does.  It can accommodate contradictions, opposite outcomes, and falsification.  It’s invincible.  So is the “Stuff Happens Law” (9/22/09, 9/15/2008).  But how informative is that?  Even if true, it’s not very useful.  Full of jargon, icons, trappings, slogans and promissory notes, Darwinism is the Stuff-Happens Theory that pretends to explain everything, therefore explains nothing (except job security for storytellers). Exercise:  Interpret the empirical data in the stories above without using evolutionary theory.(Visited 52 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA communicators call for mobilisation behind 2010 Fifa World Cup™

first_imgMinister of Transport Sibusiso NdebeleThrough the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, we can tell the story of Africa – tell her story because we are proud.At the fourth and final 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ communicators’ conference, hosted today by the National Communications Partnership (NCP), speakers including Minister of Transport, Mr. Sibusiso Ndebele and Dr. Irvin Khoza, Chairperson of the 2010 FIFA Organising Committee called for all South Africans and Africans to come together to ensure that we host an event that will be talked about by generations to come.“As a country and continent, we will need to pull together. The 2010 FIFA World Cup calls for unity of our people because together we can do more,” said Minister Ndebele. Dr. Irvin Khoza said that South Africans must realise the enormity of the opportunities that are being generated through the tournament. The World Cup will be delivered on a far bigger scale than the Confederations Cup.  To date, for example over 14 000 applications have been received for the volunteer programme.Dr Irvin Khoza, chairman of the 2010 FIFAWorld Cup Organising Committee According to Khoza, the psychological readiness of the nation is critical. “There is one show on the road at the moment and a psychological adjustment from all South Africans is needed.”Khoza said that South Africans need to be thinking of the World Cup as a 30 day commercial for the country that will be watched by billions around the globe. “The extent to which the tournament changes lives will be largely determined by the degree to which we use the tournament to build up to 2010.”The 11th June 2010, with the opening of the World Cup is arguably South Africa’s next defining moment. Historically, we have successfully hosted Rugby and Cricket World Cups, continental and global football tournaments, global conferences and four peaceful democratic elections, but never anything on a scale that is arguably larger than the Olympics.Khoza affirmed that the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee has a very good understanding of what is needed for next year’s event. “We must be relentlessly positive,” he said. “As South Africans, we have the tendency to be self critical. We should see everything in perspective and importantly, see the positive stories.” He referred to outstanding progress that has been made by 2010 FIFA Organising Committee over the past five years, through the building of six new stadiums in less than four years and the potential legacy that will be generated in terms of job creation, tourism, trade and investment.“We must be proactive and stay ahead of the story – not merely reacting to everything being said,” he added. The 2010 story is one of a continent that is being redefined in a historic way.“We must be Pan-African,” Khoza concluded. “South Africa 2010 must be pan-African in word and deed, as we stage a tournament that inspires all of Africa.” This tournament must ensure that our African teams feel like they are playing at home, as we celebrate Africa’s home-grown heros.” From Cape to Cairo, Khoza reiterated that Africa must stand together as never before –  to create a sweet chorus singing the same song in perfect harmony.“This World Cup is the real thing. You must feel that there is something happening in this country. The banners you use must be larger than life. Every street corner must be filled. We must feel that this show is in town,” Khoza concluded. About the International Marketing of South Africa (Brand South Africa) The International Marketing Council of South Africa was established in August 2002 to help create a positive and compelling brand image for South Africa. At that time, the world was unsure about what to think of South Africa, with many different messages being sent out by various sources. This did very little to build the country’s brand and it was evident that to attract tourism and investment there was a need to co-ordinate marketing initiatives to make them more effective. This led to the creation of the IMC, whose main objective is the marketing of South Africa through the Brand South Africa campaign.  There are many benefits to having a consolidated brand image, with the most important being that a consistent Brand South Africa message creates strategic advantages in terms of trade and tourism for the country in an increasingly competitive marketplace.About the National Communications Partnership Government Communications (GCIS) and the IMC are the custodians of the NCP. This partnership is aimed at forging alignment of communication among government and private-sector marketing and communication specialists.For further information:Margaret DingaloDirector: Stakeholder RelationsInternational Marketing Council of South AfricaTel: +27 11 483 0122last_img read more