Contacts

first_img1.      Kalysheva Ekaterina        [email protected]      Sue Cullinan                       [email protected]      Andreev A                          [email protected]      Perceva Evgeniya             [email protected]      Lossan Alexey                   [email protected]      Mikhail Sergeev                [email protected]      James Lawrence               [email protected]      Miriam Mannak                [email protected]      Pei Guangjiang                  [email protected]   Yingni Lu                              [email protected]; [email protected]   Nagy Abdel Aziz                [email protected]   Enoch Wambua                [email protected]   Svetlana Voronina           [email protected]   Xuehua Li                             [email protected]   Onyekachi  Wambu         [email protected]   Chris Bishop                       [email protected]   John Battersby                  [email protected]   Thabo Seete                      [email protected]   Yuri Shatalov                      [email protected]   Neo Seloane                      [email protected]   Chantal Wellington          [email protected]last_img read more

Call for recognition of sign language

first_img19 January 2012The National Institute for the Deaf (NID) has called for sign language to be recognised as one of South Africa’s official languages.According to the NID, sign language is the fifth most used language in the country, with more people using it, for example, than those who speak SiSwati, IsiNdebele and TshiVhenda.The NID said that about four-million South Africans had hearing difficulty, while 1.5-million were “profoundly deaf”, with 93 percent of the deaf being unemployed.This was revealed during public hearings on the South African Language Bill hosted by Parliament’s portfolio committee on arts and culture in Cape Town on Tuesday.Several organisations and individuals were set to add their input into the Bill. These include the Pan South African Language Board, the Law Society of SA, Afrikaanse Taal en Kultuur Vereniging, Vriende van Afrikaans, and FW De Klerk Foundation.Ernest Kleinschmidt, one of the board directors at the NID, was one of those invited to add his voice to the Bill. He made a compelling appeal for the recognition of sign language.“I’m a deaf person. I’m proud of the language I use,” Kleinschmidt told the house, asking if there were people who did not use sign language in their daily life. He said people used sign language to express themselves, adding that “without communication, we are all deaf and dumb”.Avoidable sufferingHe asked that the Bill be crafted to include sign language as one of the official languages in the country.The NID said many deaf children suffered both at school and at home as they were not understood.Committee chairperson Thandile Sunduza said the South African Constitution had to be amended to accommodate the language.Among other things, the South African Language Bill seeks to provide for the “regulation and monitoring of the use of official languages by national government for government purposes”. It calls for the adoption of language policies by national government departments, national public entities and national enterprises.It also proposes the identification of at least two official languages that “a national department, national public entity or public enterprise will use for government purposes”.Indigenous languagesDuring his submissions, Dr Neville Alexander of the Xhosa Africa Network called for government and non-profit organisations to preserve indigenous languages.“If we are serious about democracy, we should take indigenous languages seriously,” Alexander said, indicating that democracy depended on people being able to communicate with each other.He said the government should review the “language dispensation in this country”.“Languages can cause conflict, but they can also reconcile people,” he said, cautioning that the language debate should not be a racial one.He said languages such as Afrikaans, IsiZulu and IsiXhosa were equal, and called for each province to have a Language Act. Currently, only the Western Cape and Limpopo had legislative pieces governing languages.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Should the Paper Facing of Batt Insulation Face the Inside or Outside?

first_imgWhat about the advice to put it on the “warm-in-winter” side?If that really mattered, do you think the U.S. building code would have dropped the requirement to use paper-faced batts? The warm-in-winter suggestion says that if you’re trying to limit the diffusion of water vapor, put the vapor retarder on the humid side of the wall, where … uh … it’s not able to retard much vapor.In a really, really cold climate, it may matter, but even in Maine and Ontario, vapor retarder paint would be a better way to go. If you want to slow down the vapor diffusion, why not do it before it hits the drywall?So just relax. If your building inspector wants you to put the kraft paper on the “wrong” side, take another look at the graph above and be comforted that it doesn’t really matter. Then go get yourself some unfaced batts (and do your best to install them to Grade I quality).~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~* Speaking of fiberglass batt insulation, Carl Seville (a.k.a. the Green Curmudgeon) wrote another article on poorly installed batts recently, with photos of Knauf fiberglass. Rather than being a bully, like Guardian did to me a couple of years ago, they commented on the article and asked for a dialogue on how to get better installation in the field. Kudos to Knauf!† My friend Abe Kruger likes to say that you should treat building inspectors like wild animals. You have to approach slowly and quietly because they spook easily. In the HERS rater class I taught in Toronto this week, I used that analogy but before I could get to the reason why they’re like wild animals, one of the students said, “You mean we can shoot them?” Why doesn’t it matter?First, the kraft paper is a vapor retarder meant to reduce the potential for moisture problems caused by diffusion. That sounds like a good idea, but the vast majority of moisture problems are caused by air leakage, not diffusion, even in places like Maine. Do the air sealing; stop worrying so much about vapor retarders. Second, if you install it the wrong way, it’s unlikely that you’ll have a problem. I suggest you read Joseph Lstiburek’s paper, Mind the Gap, Eh! The graph below, from that paper, shows the water vapor permeance of kraft paper as a function of relative humidity.As you can see, the permeance of the kraft paper rises as the relative humidity rises and hits 10, the point at which we describe a material as vapor permeable, when the RH is 60%. The upshot here is that if you put the kraft paper on the wrong side and it gets wet, it won’t trap moisture. The wetter it gets, the better it dries. If you put it on the right side, where the humidity is, it’s not much of a vapor retarder, because that’s where it becomes vapor-permeable.Also on the graph is the permeance of polyethylene. As Dr. Joe says in the article, “Plastic vapor barriers really are vapor barriers when things get wet. Not so asphalt-saturated kraft paper. And most walls with asphalt-saturated kraft paper thank the building science gods for the difference.” RELATED ARTICLES Do I Need a Vapor Retarder?Vapor Retarders and Vapor BarriersForget Vapor Diffusion — Stop the Air Leaks!When Sunshine Drives Moisture Into WallsQuestions and Answers About Air BarriersQ&A Spotlight: Vapor Barriers Redux Joe Lstiburek Discusses Basement Insulation and Vapor RetardersJoseph Lstiburek: Air Barrier or Vapor Barrier?center_img If you install fiberglass batt insulation* with a kraft paper vapor retarder in a home, which way do you face the vapor retarder? To the inside of the home or the outside of the home? For many building science questions, the answer is, “It depends.” For this one, however, the answer is clear.SPOILER ALERT: The answer is in the next paragraph — so if you’d rather wait and find out when you see the movie in the theater, don’t read any further.The answer is: It doesn’t matter. Nope. You can install the paper facing however you want — as long as the building inspector† lets you, of course. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard.last_img read more

Kinvey Service Fixes Crack In Facebook’s Open Graph Back-End

first_imgFacebook’s Native Mobile Problem With Open GraphIn 2010, Facebook attempted to redefine the meaning of “verbs” in the Web Era. The company’s Open Graph turned users actions (such “Jon ran” or “Susie listened”) into status updates, tied to Web apps. The Open Graph opened up a new world of data to Facebook and its developer community. But there was a hitch and, like many of Facebook’s recent issues, the source was mobile. In the Mobile Era, Facebook’s Web-centric approach has caused it many problems, from monetization to user experience in its mobile app on iOS and Android.On the other hand, Facebook’s biggest strength is its ability to make connections between its users’ friends, what they “like” and what they do. The more threads that Facebook can tie to a user, the better able it is to sell advertising to them. That makes Open Graph the biggest single innovation Facebook has introduced in the last few years. Integrating Open Graph has been a problem since the it was announced in 2010 and expanded in late 2011 to include the new Timeline profile. Apps with Web-based back ends, such as Spotify, have been easily able to use Open Graph but the option for most native developers was beyond their means. But developers with “native” mobile apps had to go through extraordinary lengths to tie the Open Graph to their applications and only a handful of well-funded startups (such as Instagram or RunKeeper) with big development teams have been able to pull it off. The problem was that the backend systems for native mobile apps are difficult to optimize to Open Graph. Kinvey’s Middle PointA startup in Boston is aiming to fix that. Kinvey, a “Backend-as-a-Service” provider for mobile application development, has created a simple way for native developers to connect their apps to Open Graph and allow users to use easily use more “verbs” on their timelines from their smartphones and tablets.  Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#app development#Facebook The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology dan rowinski Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Open Graph functions by pulling in data from Web endpoints by connecting the action (verbs like “run,” “cook,” “listen” etc.) with metadata from the Web app. So, if I am baking cookies, I can hit the “I baked cookies” button on some webpage and Facebook will crawl for the metadata associated with that action and post it to Timeline. This works only because the webpage has metadata, stored on the Web, that Facebook can crawl. Mobile apps do not often have this type of metadata available to be searched, nor any backend system or URL that Facebook can crawl. Kinvey has a simple solution. It takes the metadata (known as the “object”) from a mobile app and hosts it on its own servers. It then takes that data and creates its own Web endpoints for Facebook to crawl. It is a clever bit of integration. Kinvey is not changing the basic nature of Open Graph nor doing anything extraordinarily technical, rather it is creating a new middle point between a developers’ apps and the Open Graph – with an interface that lets them push or retrieve data. Kinvey sets up the entire system on its own and handles the data flow for the developers.Good For Everyone?The benefit for mobile developers is clear: they can extend native apps actions to Facebook’s entire population and make them accessible on Timeline without creating an entirely new structure.Facebook benefits because it does not have to completely reconfigure Open Graph to serve the large native mobile developer environment. Plus, it gets previously unavailable data from smartphone and tablet users. This could significantly help Facebook spread through the app ecosytem just as it has already done with Web pages. Users get the benefits of Open Graph on the Web extended to mobile applications.last_img read more