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  • Which state wins the Origin for first-home buyers?

    first_imgThe case for NSWIn terms of helping hands for New South Wales first-home buyers, there’s rarely been a better time to dive in.As of July 1, New South Wales buyers are enjoying significant stamp duty savings, with the State Government removing all duties on properties worth up to $650,000, and a decreasing scale of concessions on homes worth up to $800,000.Among other bonuses available, first-time owners who want to build their first home can claim a $10,000 First Home Buyer Grant, provided the combined cost of the land and the house doesn’t exceed $750,000.Those buying a new home worth up to $600,000 are also eligible for the $10,000 hit.But CoreLogic Head of Research Cameron Kusher, says grants have questionable value, as vendors and agents know buyers in that price bracket have been given more money to play with.“I do get concerned with first home owner grants, that they just bid up the pricing of properties,” Kusher says.“People know that people have this extra borrowing power now, so they just up their asking price of those lower-priced properties.”Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:47Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:47 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenMonthly Core Index: June00:47The case for QueenslandIn Queensland, the concessions and grants could trump New South Wales’, depending on what you’re buying and how much you’re spending.The Queensland Government has extended the First Home Owners’ Grant for an extra six months from July 1, allowing buyers wanting to purchase a newly-built home – worth less than $750,000 – to claim $20,000 until December 31, when it will drop back to $15,000.The First Home Buyers Stamp Duty Rebate is also still available to Queensland residents on new or existing homes up to $504,999 putting up to $8750 in stamp duty back in their pocket.There are discounts available on purchases up to $550,000.Kusher says cuts to first-home buyer stamp duty are of more benefit than grants.“I think stamp duty concessions are better, and I think stamp duty is a bad tax anyway. We should remove it for everyone,” he says.More from newsAustralia’s best growth suburbs16 Feb 2015Why Brisbane wins property’s State of Origin21 Jun 2017“But if you’re going to try to attract first-home buyers into the market, then I think a stamp duty concession is better than a grant.”Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:51Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:51 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHousehold Debt00:51This information is of a general nature and does not constitute professional advice. You should always seek professional advice in relation to your particular circumstances.The verdictDespite the considerable incentives now in place in New South Wales, Kusher says Queensland wins out, simply because there are so many more houses that fall within the first-home buyer concession price range.“The obvious answer is that Queensland is a better place for first-home buyers, ultimately because the cost of housing is significantly lower than it is in New South Wales,” he says.While the concessions available to first-home buyers in both states are enticing, Kusher says, you need to travel a lot further out from the city in New South Wales before you’ll find a good range of properties that actually qualify for stamp duty savings.“In New South Wales the ultimate challenge is that there’s not that many properties under $800,000, so your pool of potential properties to purchase is quite small,” he says.“I think ultimately the pricing in Queensland is more conducive to first home buyers, and the fact that you get that grant should help as well.” Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:13Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:13 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenAffordability Stamp Duty Changes01:13Queensland or New South Wales?It’s all on the line tonight as the two states square off in State of Origin Game 3.And the stakes are even higher for the thousands of first-home buyers in both states who are battling to get their hands on their first property.So where would you rather be as a first-time purchaser trying to enter the market? Which state has the better of the bonuses and concessions designed to help new buyers compete in Australia’s superheated residential property space?last_img read more

  • Police say Florida woman picks nose, sticks fingers in ice cream

    first_imgA woman in Indian Shores Florida was arrested by police after being caught on camera picking her nose before sticking her fingers in an ice cream container. It was also reported that she did not wash her hands after using the restroom. The incident took place at Lu Lu’s Ice Cream and Candy Shop according to the arrest report.Jung Soon Wypcha (66) of St. Petersburg was charged with criminal mischief and with violating Florida’s anti-tampering act.Police said Wypcha did this on five different occasions which also included her spitting on the container in once of the incidents.In one incident, police said Wypcha spit on the ice cream containers. It is also reported that on June 22 she urinated in an ice cream bucket and emptied it in a sink used by store employees to wash utensils.Police arrested Wypcha on Monday on a $5000 bond.last_img read more

  • The Nelson Daily MS Team Award winners — Team Rear Guard

    first_imgThe 2017 West Kootenay Glacier Challenge to fundraiser ride to fight to improve the lives of Canadians affected by MS (Multiple sclerosis) was another success this past weekend. The extraordinary two-day 222 kilometer ride that takes cyclists a loop around the Kokanee Glacier in the Selkirk Mountains, from New Denver to Slocan, to Kaslo, and back to New Denver with an overnight in Nelson, raised more than $80,000.The Nelson Daily proudly sponsored the Team Fundraising event with the Team Rear Guard setting the bar high once again to capture the title.Team Rearguard includes, Nancy Noiles, Lorne Westnedge, P’nina Shames, Peter Martyn, Jim Noiles, Nolan Allarie and Sheri Sadowick.last_img read more

  • Bandits kill father of 2

    first_imgA father of two was this morning shot dead by two armed bandits who attempted to relieve him of a gold chain at Craig, East Bank Demerara.Dead is 40-year-old Purcell Moore of Cayenne, French Guiana who was gunned downed while leaving his parents residence at Old Road, Craig, EBD.Dead: Purcell MooreDetails will follow in the December 21, 2017 edition of the Guyana Times.last_img

  • Dino Soft Tissue Confirms Creationist Prediction

    first_imgGleanings from the original paper show discoverers excited but surprised. Creationists are excited and gratified.Yesterday’s announcement of dinosaur soft tissue in Nature Communications by scientists from Imperial College London sets a new high hurdle for critics. It’s not really news, since soft tissue in dinosaur bones has been reported for over a decade now (see Bob Enyart’s list of journal papers).  This new paper, however, is noteworthy in many respects that will challenge naysayers:The team used ordinary, common bones from museum specimens. “Models proposed to account for such preservation indicate that it should be the exception rather than the rule,” they noted. “….Here, we examined eight dinosaur bones from the Cretaceous period, none of which are exceptionally preserved.“The outside of the bones gave no hint of what was inside. “Incredibly, none of the samples showed external indicators of exceptional preservation and this strongly suggests that the preservation of soft tissues and even proteins is a more common phenomenon than previously accepted.”The bones they sampled came from both major classes of dinosaurs. “Specimens representing both major dinosaurian clades (Ornithischia [bird-hipped] and Saurischia [lizard-hipped]) and different osteological elements were chosen.”The bones came from different parts of the anatomy. “…an ungual claw of an indeterminate theropod dinosaur…”, “… a hadrosaurid tibia,” “an astragalus of a hadrosaurid” and others.The team took great pains to prevent contamination. “The sections were obtained from the interior of each sample, ruling out modern surface contamination.” Again, “this method rules out the possibility of modern contamination, as the surface exposed is inaccessible to any contaminant.”The team used multiple methods for observation: SEM, TEM, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and focused ion beam (FIB) mass spectrometry.  “These results show that to determine the presence of soft tissue in fossils a new synergistic approach needs to be applied where micro/nano-analytical methods are utilized to their full potential.”They used controls by running the same tests with rabbit bone, another bone lacking the fibers, emu blood and a copper grid. “Sections were obtained from an agglomeration of erythrocyte-like structures and cement surrounding these from specimen NHMUK R12562, fixed emu blood, three fossils showing calcified fibres (NHMUK R4493, NHMUK R4249, NHMUK R4864), rabbit bone and a fossil not presenting sign of calcified fibres (NHMUK R12562). As a control, a mass spectrum from the copper grid holding the samples was also obtained.”Six of the eight samples contained soft tissue. “….in this study, putative soft tissue (either erythrocyte-like structures, collagen-like, fibrous structures or amorphous carbon-rich structures (Supplementary Fig. 7)) was observed in six of our eight dinosaur specimens (Supplementary Table 1).”Two distinct kinds of soft tissue were reported: collagen and red blood cells. “In one sample, we observe structures consistent with endogenous collagen fibre remains …. Furthermore, we observe structures consistent with putative erythrocyte remains that exhibit mass spectra similar to emu whole blood.”The collagen structure had not degraded; it still displayed the quaternary structure characteristic of collagen’s triple-helix configuration. “One sample (NHMUK R4493) also showed, for the first time in a dinosaur bone, a clear ~67 nm banding, that is typical of the banding observed in collagen (Fig. 3e), for the length of the preserved fibre.” The fibers are obvious from the electron micrographs shown in the paper and the popular news.Amino acids were detected that are characteristic of collagen: “The positive mass spectrum obtained from NHMUK R4493 showed peaks corresponding to fragments of the amino acids glycine, alanine, proline and others…. Detection of fragments of the amino acids normally found in collagen supports the results obtained from TEM analysis where the ~67 nm banding is consistent with potential preservation of the original quaternary structure of the protein.”Blood cells were found. Though shrunken in size, this confirms Schweitzer’s original claim of finding blood cells. “The spectra obtained from four different regions of the dinosaur bone containing erythrocyte-like structures are surprisingly similar to the spectra obtained from emu blood.” Why would the dinosaur cells be smaller? “Within the dinosaur samples on average, the erythrocyte-like structures are ~2 μm in length. This is somewhat smaller than erythrocytes of birds, which range from 9 to 15 μm in length; emu blood cells in our sample were 9±2 μm (n=17). The structures consistent with putative erythrocytes in the fossil could well have been deformed and it is quite probable that these structures have undergone some shrinkage during fossilization.”Another standout feature of this paper is the undercurrent of emotion. Scientific papers tend to be stodgy and understated in tone. These scientists used “exciting” twice, and a scattering of other “surprise” words:Therefore, the observation of a ~67-nm banding in the fibrous structures of fossilized samples here is very exciting, as it is consistent with a preservation of the ultrastructure of putative collagen fibres over a time period of 75 million years. Before this finding, the oldest undegraded collagen recorded (based on mass spectrometry sequencing and peptide fingerprinting) was about 4 million years old.The common preservation of soft tissues could pave the way for cellular investigations of extinct animals, shedding light on aspects of physiology and behaviour that have been previously inaccessible to palaeontologists and inaugurating a new and exciting way to do paleontology.Unexpectedly, from three of the samples (NHMUK R4493, NHMUK R4249 and NHMUK R4243) TEM micrographs showed obvious fibrous structures (Fig. 3a,b,c and Supplementary Fig. 10) containing carbon.The spectra obtained from the erythrocyte-like structures are surprisingly similar to the spectra obtained from the whole blood of an extant emu.The paper is timely, seeing that the latest dinosaur movie “Jurassic World” hits the theaters in two days. Reporters, so far, are sticking to their story that the evidence merely demonstrates that soft tissue can last for 75 million years.  This estimate, however, is about 18 times longer than the previous “expert” opinion about the longevity of collagen, especially in its quaternary structure. Can this giant leap be simply assumed? Four million years was already a stretch for many who said soft tissue degrades quickly after death. Moreover, they thought it could only be preserved for 4my under exceptional conditions of preservation—not on common bones in museum collections.Another noteworthy discovery from the current paper is “structures enriched in carbon.” They write, “Elemental analysis using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) established that all these structures are enriched in carbon, in contrast with the surrounding denser tissue/cement.” This raises the possibility of running carbon-14 tests on the samples. None of the authors or reporters mentioned this rather obvious follow-up step. If the bones were older than about 100,000 years, there should be no carbon-14 at all remaining, due to its 5,730-year half-life.Bob Enyart discusses this paper with CEH editor David Coppedge in a special edition of his radio show today (June 10).Bob Enyart keeps a list of objects containing carbon-14 that should have none, such as coal, diamonds and other “dinosaur-era” fossils. A few years ago, he spoke with famous dinosaur hunter Jack Horner, who was the inspiration for the scientist in Jurassic Park, and consultant on all the Spielberg dinosaur movies. When Enyart offered him $23,000 to carbon-date the soft tissue in his T. rex, he refused the generous grant and donation to his museum. Recognizing that Enyart is a creationist, he revealed his real reason: “The spin you guys could get out of this,” he admitted, “would not help us.” But it isn’t spin! It’s a scientific test. Who is interested in facts as opposed to spin? You can hear the whole conversation here.The world’s leading scientists are less scientific than this pastor in Denver. Enyart keeps lists of predictions by creation scientists, many of which have been confirmed. This paper now confirms #2 of his dinosaur soft tissue predictions: “For now, dinosaur tissue will be found not only in rare circumstances, but rather easily, i.e., when looked for.” Prediction confirmed! He was spot on. Did the secular evolutionists predict this? No! They were totally surprised (see the reactions in yesterday’s post). His lists also show that DNA from dinosaurs has already been found, contrary to what the reporters on the current story are saying.Sooner or later, someone will do a carbon-14 test on dinosaur soft tissue. If there is any C-14 found at all, it will defeat the geologic column with its “Age of dinosaurs” ending millions of years ago. Don’t be alarmed if the age comes out to tens or hundreds of thousands of years, because the error bars go out of control beyond dates that can be checked against recorded history, and creationists expect different atmospheric conditions in the pre-Flood world. The point is that C-14 should be completely absent from dinosaur bone—unless dinosaurs died only thousands of years ago, not millions. That’s the Genesis Flood prediction. Want to gamble on who will be right?We want to see a fair, unbiased suite of accurate carbon-14 tests on dinosaur soft tissue. Bring it on. We’ll see who is interested in empirical science.(Visited 804 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享3last_img read more

  • Joburg’s freedom architecture

    first_img24 August 2005Six Johannesburg buildings featured recently in a German exhibition showcasing the city’s energy and optimism – and exploring how South Africa’s new democratic order is being reflected in new buildings going up in its commercial capital.Fast Forward Johannesburg was on show at Aedes Berlin, Europe’s best-known architecture gallery, in March and April 2005.“The name refers to the energetic spirit of Johannesburg,” said Dagmar Hoetzel, curator of the exhibition. “It conveys the dynamism and optimism with which Johannesburg is evolving, and shows how the city is embracing the challenges of transformation and growth.”The exhibition featured: The Constitutional CourtThe Apartheid MuseumThe Walter Sisulu Square of DedicationThe Mandela YardThe Faraday Market & Transport InterchangeThe Metro Mall and Bara Taxi RankThe South African Embassy in Berlin While architecture in South African cities is an agglomeration of European styles – Cape Dutch, Victorian, Edwardian, Art Deco and, more recently, Tuscan – Hoetzel was interested in exploring whether the new democratic order is being reflected in new buildings going up, particularly in Johannesburg.Hoetzel believes apartheid had a profound effect on the country’s architecture, and is still evident.“In no other country does architecture and urban planning bear such vivid witness to history, to politics, and to social division. And these deeply embedded traces of apartheid remain ubiquitous in South Africa today.”Apartheid buildings are almost always recognisable by their closed, exclusive nature, often imposing an uneasy presence not easy to ignore.The new-style architecture is changing the feel of South African cities. In the exhibition booklet, Lindsey Bremner, honorary professorial research fellow in architecture at Wits University, said: “Many who were confined by apartheid to townships and rural bantustans, or to the countries beyond our borders, have converged on the streets of Johannesburg to claim its promise of a better life. Public space is being occupied in new ways.”Hoetzel has been visiting South Africa since 1996, keen to observe the “courageous undertaking of constructing a new country after the end of apartheid”. Since she published an article on Johannesburg in a German architecture magazine in 1997, she has followed the progress of the city’s architecture, noticing a change in recent years.“Only in the recent past I saw something emerge which creates new space. And that is what the exhibition [was] about, not about a style or fashion but about a new culture of planning and building, which creates a new approach to architecture and space.”The new buildings epitomise a young, open society offering creative spaces that allow people to mingle freely among meaningful African artefacts instead of under Cape Dutch gables or Victorian broekie lace balconies.“It is more spatial than visual,” says Mphethi Morojele, architect with Mma Architects, one of the firms represented in the exhibition. “The design space anticipates new ways of how people live. It reflects rural habits within an urban setting – a culture going through a transition.”He says this architecture is more open-ended, giving a sense of identity with the space – allowing for what he calls a “baggy space”.Constitutional Court(Omm Design Workshop and Urban Solutions, 2004)Perhaps the best example of this is the striking Constitutional Court on Constitution Hill, situated in Braamfontein next to apartheid’s notorious No 4 prison and President Paul Kruger’s 19th century Old Fort.It is no coincidence that it lies next to No 4, a prison dating back to the early years of the city, over 100 years ago. No 4 was kept exclusively for black male prisoners, held there under brutal conditions. Also on the site is the Women’s Jail, an elegant Edwardian building imprisoning women under equally inhuman conditions. The imposing Dutch-inspired Old Fort building housed white prisoners.These three apartheid reminders act as the perfect foil for the truly uplifting court building, a very uncourt-like structure. There’s nothing formal or stuffy about it – its double-volume foyer with its angled mosaic pillars, artistic wire light fittings and funky orange couches sets the tone for the 200-piece art gallery and people-friendly court room.The doors are huge wooden slabs engraved in sign language by Durban craftspeople, depicting the 27 themes of South Africa’s Bill of Rights.The inner courtyard of the Constitutional Court. (Photo: Constitution Hill)The building has airy passages, with wooden-slat floors, looking out on tranquil pools, green lawns and indigenous trees. Each judge’s chamber entrance has an individually crafted metal gate, with artworks lining the walls leading to the chambers.In a subtle blend of the old and the new, elements of apartheid structures, such as the rich red bricks from the demolished awaiting-trial building, have been used in the interior of the court room, and on the New African Steps, a walkway between No 4 and the court building.The mix of red brick, bare grey concrete, stone, glass, mosaic and wood finishes combines with the artworks to produce a pleasing, welcoming effect, worthy of the court and what it stands for.“The building needs to be as active as possible – the court will not be a monument, it will be a people-inviting place,” says Paul Wygers, an architect at Urban Solutions, one of the project consultants.What lingers in the mind walking around the court and the prisons is that two of the 20th century’s greatest fighters for human rights, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, were incarcerated in No 4.Apartheid Museum(Gapp Architects, Mashabane Rose Architects, Britz Roodt Vernootskap and Linda Mvusi Architects, 2003)Built in 2003, the Apartheid Museum sits incongruously alongside the amusement park and casino of Gold Reef City, whose owners paid R100-million to build the museum as part of their social responsibility obligations.The harsh and stark contours of stone, rusted and galvanised steel, red brick, wood, glass and concrete of the Apartheid Museum are utterly appropriate for capturing the history of apartheid.The exterior of the museum is dominated by grey, concrete walls and metal, with seven bare pillars of freedom rising into the sky, in sharp contrast to the green field and small lake alongside the museum.The concrete theme continues inside the building, with smooth grey walls and concrete floors, offset by minimal windows. The display rooms consist of tall halls, circular silo-type rooms, smaller low-roofed rooms and two windowless prison cells. They provide a perfect backdrop for the multitude of monitors continuously showing apartheid newsreels and interviews, and striking displays like 121 nooses hanging from the ceiling, representing the number of political prisoners hanged during apartheid.The Apartheid Museum. (Photo: Apartheid Museum)“This is a minimalist building reflecting the fact that apartheid buildings were born of incarceration,” says project coordinator and architect Sidney Abramowitch. “We wanted to reflect the harshness, crudity and horror of apartheid. We wanted something so different because apartheid was so different.”The visitor weaves a route inside and outside of the museum, taking in the history of apartheid, being constantly bombarded by sights and sounds.The curatorial team was appointed before construction began, and the building contractor appointed while designing was still in progress, in a unique collaborative effort to mould the two teams’ thinking along the way.All communities in the country were consulted, from groups in the Richtersveld in the far Northern Cape, including San bushmen, to groups in the far south, says Abramowitch. In all the projects displayed in Berlin, relevant communities were consulted.A visit to the museum leaves one with indelible flashes of apartheid and its effects on the nation, captured not only by the images in the museum but also by the powerful architecture.Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication(StudioMAS architects, 2005)The Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication, half-way complete, is clearly going to add significantly to Johannesburg’s collection of post-democracy 21st century architecture.Erected in Kliptown, Soweto on the original soccer-field sized square that in June 1955 was the meeting place of the Congress of the People – assembled to ratify the Freedom Charter – the new square is seeped in symbolism.The square consists of two squares, one symbolising the old apartheid South Africa, the other the new, democratic South Africa. The latter square is made up of nine blocks representing the country’s nine provinces, and decorated with crosses symbolic of the first democratic votes placed on ballot papers.A winding snake pathway will be built between the two squares, a reminder of the snaking queues of voters in 1994.At the northern end of the pathway will be a tall tower on the north side, referred to as the Freedom Charter Monument. A flame, inside the tower and called the Flame of Freedom, was lit by President Thabo Mbeki on 26 June 2005 in a 50th anniversary of the 1955 event. The roof of the tower is cut in an X shape, the “mark of freedom”.The tower has been constructed in a conical shape, a classical African shape – evidenced in the Great Zimbabwe ruins and traditional African fishing baskets. Opposite this tower is a cyclindrical tower which will contain a “kwashisanyama”, a Zulu word meaning “a place to prepare food”.The square will also make allowance for upwards of 600 hawker stalls, largely along its southern border, in and around the preserved first shops along Union Street.With the square the architects, StudioMAS, are making a statement: this is a square in Africa, where hawkers are integral to life, where cooking is done in an open area, where shapes are reminiscent of long-held traditions, and where the African sun shines down brightly from wide expanses of sky.Pierre Swanepoel, founder of StudioMAS, says of the new style of architecture: “It consists of buildings for the people by the people. We are different people with different economic realities.”Mandela Yard(Peter Rich Architects, 2005)This building is in recognition of Nelson Mandela’s early foray into the city in the 1940s, as well as the first real acknowledgement of the community of Alexandra, one of the city’s oldest freehold townships for blacks, now a squalid, overcrowded ghetto, progressively neglected over many decades.Mandela Yard under construction. (Photo: Urban Solutions)The Mandela Yard Interpretation Centre is directly opposite the backroom occupied by Mandela, where he lived for his first year in the city. Still under construction, it consists of a three-level steel structure containing shops, restaurants, training facilities, a jazz archive, library facilities, an interpretation walkway and two piazzas.The building is built over Hofmeyer Street, taking in two street corners. Visitors will be able to move through the building, taking in exhibitions telling the story of the lives of Alex residents, and cross over the bridge, getting elevated views of the township through large windows.Architect Peter Rich says there has been extensive community consultation prior to the finalisation of the plan. “This is the first time the people’s voice will be heard,” he says.Only residents will be allowed to take up stall and restaurant space. In addition, 10 Alexandrans have been identified as potential members of a heritage team.The simplicity of the architecture echoes the architecture of the small Alexandra houses, particularly in the provision of public spaces. Backyards are an integral feature of the houses, often with attached seating against the walls of the structures, a feature, says Rich, reminiscent of structures in the rural setting, allowing easy “socialising space” in a central area.Rich says of the new African architecture: “Apartheid didn’t produce public spaces of note, the new style is trying to reinvent those spaces.”Faraday Market & Transport Interchange(Albonico Sack Mzumara Architects and Mma Architects, 2003)It seems apt that minibus taxis and traditional healers share the same space in this market on the south-western edge of the city – one is much a feature of large cities, the other a long-entrenched feature of African life, easily transported into the city and used by even the most sophisticated city dwellers.Traditional remedies on sale at the Faraday Market. (Photo: Lucille Davie, City of Johannesburg)The Faraday Market in downtown Johannesburg consists of a series of small open halls, divided into 280 separate stalls with pull-down doors, and open spaces planted with striking, indigenous coral trees. There are also consulting rooms available for healers, with attached bathrooms, used for ritual cleansing purposes. The doors of the consulting rooms are low, forcing customers to bend to enter, a sign of respect to the healer.Stalls spill out into the passageways with an amazing array of dried herbs, roots of all shapes and sizes, and dozens of bright blue packets of bark, laid out on the ground. The pungent smell that emanates from the market comes from the plant matter but also from the range of dried animal organs, skulls and dried small animals like rock rabbits or even complete donkey legs.The corrugated iron rooftops of the market, held up by steel girders, are constructed in wave-like shapes, providing a sense of being in the veld, with its pleasing rolling hills, in contrast to the angular shapes of the surrounding factories and warehouses.The tall roofs allow sunlight to stream in; the hard-wearing, simple materials allow the earthiness of the traders’ goods to be appreciated to the fullest.Metro Mall and Bara Taxi Rank(Urban Solutions, 2003 – 2005)Both buildings, the Metro Mall in the Johannesburg city centre and the Bara Taxi Rank in the heart of Soweto, have the same purpose: to cater for a transport and trader terminal in a people-friendly way, by providing spaces to traders which allow them to maximise the passing trade.Both have been created to be hard-wearing and low maintenance, using robust materials like red face brick and concrete finishes.The Metro Mall, on three levels and taking a whole block, is designed to accommodate 25 buses serving 35 different routes, with holding facilities for 2 000 taxis, servicing an estimated 100 000 commuters. There’s space for some 800 traders, inside the building and along the ground floor exterior in Bree and Sauer streets.The exterior of the Metro Mall. (Photo: Urban Solutions)The impressive double volume entrances, decorated by local artists in mosaic and tall wooden sculptures, act as “collection baskets” to draw people into its interior.A range of items is on sale in colourful stalls: fresh fruit, spices, cellphones, kitchenware, and for non-commuters or commuters with a longer wait, pool tables.With this building, the architects strove to create a mixed use structure that blends with city buildings in the vicinity, allowing easy access and freedom of movement inside the building. The building has also turned a rapidly deteriorating side of the city into a vibrant, people place, at the same time providing a formal home for both taxis and traders.“The Metro Mall is an demonstration of the passion with which all stakeholders, from client to trader representatives, have addressed the challenges in making a building of civic pride,” says the architects, Urban Solutions.The challenge for the architects of the Bara Taxi Rank brief was to allow space for buses, taxis and informal traders, at a bustling intersection – directly opposite the largest hospital in the country, the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, situated along the township’s main arterial, Old Potchefstroom Road, a thoroughfare that carries 35 000 vehicles each day.Over a four-year period, agreement with all the parties concerned was reached. Construction started in 2004, and will continue until 2006, in five phases.The rank stretches over 1.3 kilometres, with a width of 50 metres, with landmark towers, decorated with mosaic by local artists, marking the entrances to the rank. Over 70% of Soweto commuters use this interchange.Previously, traders and taxi drivers jostled for space outside the hospital, with tourist buses increasingly adding to the space pressure.The rank can hold 500 taxis in holding bays, with 160 taxi loading bays, 35 long-distance taxi loading bays and 20 bus bays. There’s space for 500 traders, with stalls of varying sizes. Commuters can walk along a long, concrete-pillared arcade which runs the length of the site, along which traders are positioned.The unfinished concrete look of the complex provides a utilitarian finish, broken by brightly coloured entrances, landmarks for the rank. Its openness allows for plenty of “baggy space”.South African Embassy, Berlin(Mma Architects, 2003)Located in Berlin, this is the first embassy building South Africa has erected abroad in 27 years, and the first to be planned by South African architects.The architects pulled off a balancing act with a building that blends into the German capital while simultaneously fittingly representing South Africa – both its aspirations to become a pluralistic, democratic society, and its cultural (and especially architectural) identity, one that shifts between the European and African contexts.About 9 000 people visited the exhibition. “The response was good,” says Hoetzel. “It was well reviewed by national and international magazines and newspapers.”Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

  • Is hearable tech really the latest thing in wearables?

    first_imgCate Lawrence Tags:#audio#Bose#FIIL#headphones#Hearables#hearing#Internet of Things#IoT#Jabra#Valencell#wearable Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Follow the Puck Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Accuracy is crucial in wearable biometricsAccuracy in biometric wearables is critical for enabling the most compelling use cases in sports, fitness, and health. Valencell technology gives hearable devices the ability to continuously and accurately measure blood flow signals even during extreme physical activity or when the optical signals are weak.These signals can be translated into accurate, motion-tolerant biometric data, including continuous heart rate, VO2 and VO2 max, resting heart rate, heart rate response, heart rate recovery, continuous energy expenditure (calorie burn), cardiac efficiency and heart rate variability assessments.Dr. LeBoeuf noted,“I can tell you some of the challenges in today’s technology marketplace. One of the biggest noise sources is that you often pick up the cadence of the person’s motion rather than the heart rate — picked up so strongly by optic signals that it dominates. You can’t trust it to give good values. For example, the step rate and the heart rate are often the same for runners — they need to be separated. Another example is sunlight. We had to remove this data, and that took a substantial amount of R&D. We have state-of-the-art technology, and we’ve also developed physiological filters to use the body’s own info to support the filtering process. Many times body processes work in relation to each other.”Dr. LeBoeuf remarked that the hearables market is increasing, with in-ear products dominating most of their queries:“We have been a bit surprised that most of the market pull for mobile health wearables is coming from companies interested in ear-worn products,” said LeBoeuf. “Because the ear location can be employed to measure more biometrics more accurately than for the wrist location, most of Valencell’s medical collaborations have focused on small earpieces that can be worn 24/7.”It’s likely that Valencell’s place in the hearables innovation will continue to grow over the next few years, particularly as they offer product licensing and patent licensing, to enable customers to create custom-designed biometric hearable and wearable devices. Will we reach a time when hearables outsell other wearables? It’s entirely possible if this year is anything to go by. How Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua… While wearable tech has been thrown a few curve balls over the last 12 months, leading to ultimately a consolidation in wearables (think Fitbit’s purchase of Pebble Watch) and a decline in the sale of wearable devices, one subset that continues to advance significantly is hearable tech. From wearable in-ear language translators to Sgnal’s fingertip phone calls to Horus, a machine learning powered device that provides a verbal account of the world around for the hearing impaired, biotech is creating amazing innovations.See also: Hearables market could reach $16B in 2020With experts predicting that the hearables market could surpass $16 billion by 2020, the sky seems to be the limit. One organization enjoying the success of audible tech is Valencell, a company that develop performance biometric sensor technology and provide patent-protected technology to consumer electronics manufacturers, wearable and hearable device makers, sports and fitness brands, medical device makers, and gaming companies for integration into their products. I spoke to their founder and president, Steven LeBoeuf, to learn more.Valencell has invested years into the research and development of its PerformTek sensor technology, independently validated by the Duke Center for Living, North Carolina State University, the Human Performance Laboratory and a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine.With dozens of granted patents and 60+ patents pending around the world, Valencell’s technology continuously and accurately measures real-time biometric and physiological data that powers meaningful customer engagement. Valencell’s PerformTek technology enables wearables and hearables to continuously measure biometrics such as heart rate, blood oxygen levels, blood pressure, heart rate variability, respiration rate,VO2 and other parameters for health and fitness assessment.Ten new Valencell-powered products came to market in 2016, many of them hearables, including the Bose SoundSport Pulse, Jabra Elite Sport, Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition, and the FIIL Carat Pro, which are all wireless earbud devices. Valencell also continues to provide patent licenses to a broad range of innovative and exciting companies. In all, there are 17 Valencell-powered products currently in the market, with a strong pipeline of additional products scheduled to launch in 2017.“This year we saw the market for hearable devices take off, particularly in the sports and fitness market, where consumers are frustrated with the user experience and accuracy of low-performance wrist-worn devices and looking for high-performance wearables and hearables in form factors that better fit their lifestyles,” said Dr. LeBoeuf.“The marketplace has discovered how combining Valencell’s accurate sensor technology with compelling audio experiences can drive consumer interest and engagement. Consumers use audio earbuds during exercise far more often than wrist-worn fitness trackers, and the combination of new wearable technologies has made the dream of seamless audio sport computers a reality.”last_img read more

  • 5 Threats Smart Devices and the IoT Could Pose

    first_imgCEOs in Troubled Waters (with Myriam Joire from… A Review of Instagram Marketing by Matthew Lucas Frank is a freelance journalist who has worked in various editorial capacities for over 10 years. He covers trends in technology as they relate to business. We’re in the middle of a full-fledged revolution in technology. Since the birth of the Internet, we’ve been privy to a host of major landmark changes in the way we exchange information (and live our lives), from Wi-Fi to smartphones capable of mobile browsing. Now, we’re seeing the dawn of more diverse smart devices, from televisions to refrigerators and stoves, and we’re beginning to connect them all together in shared systems in a technology known as the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s all very exciting, and futuristic, but there could be some serious threats associated with IoT technology when we start to adopt it as consumers. These are a few of the most important ones we need to consider: Interconnectivity. One of the biggest advantages of IoT technology is also one of its biggest weaknesses: its local network-based connectivity between devices. The idea is to have a centralized system of different devices, such as your thermostat, refrigerator, television, smartphone, and tablet, all working in close conjunction with each other on a single, comprehensively controllable network. This is great in theory, but it also means any one vulnerability in the system—such as a weakness in one device—could expose the entire system to the threat. Every step forward in interconnectivity is also a step up in vulnerability, and it’s something we need to be prepared for. Newness. IoT devices are also new, which means two things. First, many users will be flocking to adopt these devices, making them ripe opportunities for hackers to cash in on. Second, they won’t have been tested in a live environment, which means that even if they’ve gone through extensive security testing, there are almost invariably some weaknesses that cybercriminals will be able to exploit. The first few generations of any technology are exceptionally vulnerable, and you can bet opportunistic hackers will be eager to take advantage of this. Coordinated attacks. There’s also the possibility that the plethora of Internet-enabled devices in circulation could help cybercriminals more efficiently or effectively launch DDoS attacks (Distributed Denial of Service attacks) on their victims. This may not necessarily affect external consumers of IoT devices; instead, a committed hacker may purchase a number of independent smart devices, then program each of them to operate as a separate unit in a scheme to radically increase traffic to a particular destination to overload the servers there.Personal information. Using Internet-capable smart devices in the context of your own home is highly convenient, but it also means you’ll be exchanging more personal information than usual. If you come to rely on these devices as extensions of your own life, you could end up making them gold mines for information about yourself.Hardware issues. Apart from attacks on the software side, the potential rise of potentially billions of connected IoT devices poses risks related to hardware, particularly as it relates to maintenance. The potential market for IoT hardware, while massive, also includes its own risks, including hardware connectivity, hacking and overall potential for malfunctioning. While the software can be hacked, the hardware side remains a threat as well.CaveatsThere are also a few caveats to consider before you get too worried about the threats your own smart devices pose: • Residential value. Most hackers are opportunistic, and smart about the attacks they execute. They won’t risk getting caught in some low-value residential pull; instead, they’re more likely to focus on corporate vulnerabilities, or targets of extreme wealth and value. This means residential consumers of IoT tech have less to worry about than they may initially suspect. • Cat and mouse. As fast as hackers are working to exploit the weaknesses of IoT technology, developers are working to correct them—in fact, many have employed former hackers to help them uncover and fix these weaknesses early on, before they become a problem. The frequency of software updates and patches makes it even easier to keep your smart devices protected against potential threats. • Risk mitigation. Finally, remember that most exploited vulnerabilities are ones that tech owners themselves can prevent with a handful of basic best practices, such as making sure your Wi-Fi network is encrypted, using different, strong, hard-to-guess passwords, and not giving your login information to anybody. Taking these basic precautionary measures can instantly protect you against the majority of cyberattacks, and should be taken by every member of your household or business. These threats don’t mean we shouldn’t keep pursuing IoT technology, and it certainly doesn’t mean we need to be afraid of it in any way. These are merely considerations developers and consumers should bear in mind before launching or buying the first-generation smart devices that seek to fill our homes with more technological sophistication. In time, our best developers and companies will likely iron out these wrinkles, but it’s important to pay attention to the details in the meantime. Related Posts Tags:#IoT Frank Landman Uber vs Lyft: Battling for Supremacy 4 Ways You Can Make Your Workplace an Engine of…last_img read more

  • Three Things To Watch: Pokes Enter Grind Through January

    first_imgMark Cooper of the Tulsa World pointed out that Solomon has scored in double digits only three times in his three years in Stillwater, so we’ve got a ways to go for him to be a consistent offensive threat but spatial awareness and improving hands are wonderful sights for a team lacking star power inside.He rocked a smaller Iowa State team inside to the tune of four blocks and had a monster swat in Lawrence for a team scrapping to stay in it, so let’s see how that trend plays out.The flaws are apparent (foul trouble, general awkwardness at times) but if he can continue evolving as Jawun’s pick and roll mate and stay in the game late we could have something here. Legit post players only come around once in a while and a 6’9″, 250-pound Jayhawk killer is warmly welcomed in these parts.3. Find Our Place in the WorldThe schedule was tough last week (KenPom Nos. 7 and 23) but now the Pokes will get a shot to pick on someone their own size with Ken Pom No. 31 K-State coming to Stillwater and traveling to No. 34 Texas Tech. The top shelf in the conference with West Virginia and Kansas are viable number one seeds, Baylor and Iowa State will chase them, then there’s the rest of us.Playing a continually improving Texas Tech team and a feisty K-State team are winnable games that will continue to unveil the ceiling for this squad.ScheduleWednesday Night in Stillwater against the Kansas State Wildcats (8 p.m. on ESNPU): Coach Underwood takes on his alma mater for the first time.Saturday Afternoon in Lubbock against the Texas Tech Red Raiders (1 p.m. on ESPNU): Tubby left the cupboard full of seasoned upperclassmen before he split for Memphis. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. And reasonably so. But what’s not laughable is what he could provide to the team.Already one of the top offensive rebounders in the country (rebounding 17 percent of OSU’s missed shots, No. 9 in the country), there were a couple developments on Saturday: his pick-and-roll rim running with Jawun and continued development at rim protecting.Solomon!! https://t.co/pQohe8ipYX— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) January 14, 2017center_img We’re fully into Cowboy basketball and cold winter nights at Gallagher-Iba. Here are three things to chew on this week.1. Every Day Guys Get BetterCall it maturing, call it turning over a new leaf, call it what you want but these teams are outmanned most nights and finding ways to stick around. Whether it’s been riding Jawun like Seabiscuit in the non-con, Carroll emerging as a viable third banana or forming a new identity as a team that owns the offensive glass and turns you over, there’s now an identity and a direction to build on.Jeffrey Carroll now has seven 20-point games out of the 17 #okstate has played. His career highs coming into the season was 18.— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) January 14, 2017There’s plenty of evidence to draw from but Exhibit A is Jeff Carroll. Undeniably Carroll is one of the most improved players in the Big 12 moving from 8.2 points/game and 33 percent from three to 16.8 points per game and 43 percent from deep.Solomon drilled KU inside (collect your winnings if you saw that coming) and Davon Dillard played functional minutes against serious competition. Having a basketball coach who has a plan and a capability to develop anyone not named Markel Brown is something we’ve sincerely missed.Davon Dillard commits a felony on a first round pick. https://t.co/zw1dLNPcq6— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) January 14, 2017Now, my question is this: How do they trend over the course of a season? Eddie’s teams were got better and better until you had a different team in March than you did playing rum-dums in November. And I think that’s what I’m most excited to see, how do Underwood teams trend.2. Mitchell Solomon… Mitchell Solomon?!If I told you on Friday Solomon would take over deep in the second half in the Phog, you would reasonably respond:last_img read more

  • Tulsa Coach Philip Montgomery Calls 2017 OSU Gundy’s Most Talented Team

    first_imgTulsa head football coach Philip Montgomery discussed his upcoming game with the Oklahoma State Cowboys this week in his weekly press conference. He was quite liberal with his adulation for the Pokes.“Obviously Coach Gundy has done a marvelous job there,” said Montgomery. “What is it, five out of the last seven years, they’ve had 10-win seasons. I’ve had the opportunity to go against them in a couple different occasions.“The one thing I’ll say about their football team this year is I think it’s probably the most talented I’ve ever faced with him as the head coach there. They have a ton of weapons offensively. They have a ton of experience offensively.”AdChoices广告He also mentioned moving Tre Flowers around and how that’s going to make the defense more successful.“We know we have our hands full,” he added. “Anytime you go to Stillwater, great environment. I know the paddles will be beating against the side, and there’s not much room on the sideline. What an exciting matchup to kick off the college football season.”I honestly think Oklahoma State could be playing the writers here at PFB and people would think it’s an exciting matchup. Such is the college football offseason.But unlike the writers here at PFB, Tulsa actually has some talent. And Gundy warned fans looking for an easy first 60 minutes that Montgomery is a stud and will have them ready to roll.“I think he has been the driving force for what they’ve had down there, when he took over and what he has done to that Tulsa program,” said Gundy last week.“They’re very good, but I would caution everybody, as I’ve done with our defense, in that there haven’t been many rollover years with him. With his calling plays and running offenses at other schools where he was at, there would be a group of guys leave and people thought, ‘OK. Now they’ll settle down,’ but that wasn’t the case and they went out and got 5,000 yards with some new guys.”Gundy went on to say that he wants Tulsa and OU to win every game they play except for the one against Oklahoma State. Last year, all three won a combined 31 games which is insane. That’s unlikely to happen again, although somebody will get win No. 1 on Thursday night. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more