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Planetary Radiometric Dates 1/3 Younger

first_imgThe half-lives of radioactive isotopes may not be as well-known as thought.  One decay rate frequently used to date solar system objects had to be adjusted down to 66% of its former assumed value, impacting theories of planet formation.PhysOrg headlined, “‘Faster-Ticking Clock’ Indicates Early Solar System May Have Evolved Faster Than We Think.”  The old decay rate for samarium-146 (146Sm) was re-evaluated by a team from Argonne National Laboratory, Hebrew University, two Japanese universities and the University of Notre Dame.  The old value of 103 million years for its half-life was recalculated at 68 million years, two-thirds of its previously measured value.146Sm has become the main tool for establishing the time evolution of the solar system over its first few hundred million years. This by itself owes to a delicate geochemical property of the element samarium, a rare element in nature. It is a sensitive probe for the separation, or differentiation, of the silicate portion of earth and of other planetary bodies.The smaller value, “previously adopted as 103 million years, to a much shorter value of 68 million years,” the article continued.  It “has the effect of shrinking the assessed chronology of events in the early solar system and in planetary differentiation into a shorter time span,” the article said.  The story was reported a month ago by Science Daily.The article put a positive spin on this adjustment, saying, “The new time scale, interestingly, is now consistent with a recent and precise dating made on a lunar rock and is in better agreement with the dating obtained with other chronometers.”  It seems they could just as well have said that the other chronometers are now cast into doubt by the adjustment of 146Sm, which was also considered a precise chronometer till now.In any case, it is disturbing that a physical value that is “out there in the world” could be found to be so far off by human measurement.  How many published papers are affected by this change?  Papers often quote radiometric dates to 4 or more significant figures.  Theorists rely on these values.  If values are not discovered but “adopted,” is it possible there was motivation by theorists to “adopt” a different value to create consistency with other chronometers?  Does the new value make the “assessed chronology of events in the early system” more or less plausible?  What will be the ripple effect from here on for a chronometer that ticks 33% faster than previously thought?  Who will go back and correct theories based on the previous value?  These are questions the press releases never ask. (Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Banyana captain ‘excited’ to work under new coach

first_img20 March 2014Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk is optimistic about the team’s future under new coach Vera Pauw, who was appointed to the post last week.The 51-year-old Pauw worked as the Technical Director of the Russian Football Union and was the country’s interim coach in 2011. Before that, she was Netherlands’ Technical Director and women’s national team coach from 2004 to 2010, and led the country to a bronze medal in the European Championships in Finland in 2009.Between 1998 and 2004, Pauw was the Technical Director for the national women’s football team in Scotland.‘Excited’Speaking ahead of a training camp at the University of Pretoria’s High Performance Centre on Wednesday, Van Wyk said: “I’m excited to be reporting for camp and looking forward to the next five days with a new coach and some new faces in the squad.“We’ve been given a new coach who is highly experienced. We obviously expect new changes, a new style of play and this is a challenge we should look forward to as a team.“Our goal is to work hard towards impressing her as she looks to finalise the squad for the qualifiers and eventually the African Women’s Championship tournament. I know she’s seen me play in the past, but I can’t rely on my past experience as we know no place is guaranteed in the national team. We all need to work hard for a spot in the team.”‘Ambitious project’When her appointment was announced, Pauw commented: “I am excited to become part of this ambitious project in which we can develop our girls into international stars.“Safa is aiming high with women’s football. President (Danny) Jordaan has expressed this in his New Year message because women’s football is the fastest growing sport in the world. There are plenty of opportunities in which we can use football to enhance the future of women in general,” said Pauw.“South Africa has massive potential in development structures and I am looking forward to this new challenge of taking Banyana Banyana to the next level,” she added.Forthcoming matchesBanyana Banyana next face Namibia on 26 March before taking on the Comoros in the first leg of the final round of qualifiers for the African Women’s Championship on 23 May. The second leg takes place on 6 June.At the last African Women’s Championship, held in Equatorial Guinea in 2012, South Africa finished as runners-up to the hosts after defeating their long-time nemesis, Nigeria, in the semi-finals.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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Google Partners with Yad Vashem to Digitize the Shoah

first_imgRelated Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Today, Yad Vashem and Google have begun an ambitious project to digitize the Holocaust museum’s extensive collection of materials. Starting today, a user can directly access over 130,000 full-resolution photographs from Yad Vashem’s photo collection via the Google search page. Google has implemented experimental optical character recognition technology for the project. OCR, it is hoped, will make photographs and other documents lacking in metadata easier to find by search in different languages. In a statement, Google’s Israel research and development director, Yossi Matias, commented that the Yad Vashem project fits into Google’s overall mission ” to bring the world’s historical and cultural heritage online.” There is also a social component to the project, according to the same statement.“This initiative will not only bring this valuable information to a much wider audience worldwide, but it will allow people around the world to contribute, by identifying the stories behind photos and documents, adding their own stories and knowledge to the site.”The digitization project, which will eventually see all of the memorial’s materials digitized and available online, is the latest step in a partnership between it and Google. Two years ago, They launched a Yad Vashem YouTube channel to showcase a series of videos of Holocaust survivor testimonials.More recently, they have launched a Persian-language YouTube channel to educate Iranians about the Holocaust. It previously launched Hebrew, English, Russian, Spanish and Arabic versions. Yad Vashem, located in Israel, is the world’s largest memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. Founded in 1953, it is also the world’s largest repository of materials related to that historical tragedy. Tags:#E-Learning#Google#international#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market curt hopkinslast_img read more

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Powering Down Google’s PowerMeter, Microsoft’s Hohm

first_imgChecking Your Electricity Use on GoogleEnergy Monitoring Tools from Google, MicrosoftMore Power Monitoring to the People!Greenbox Home-Energy Monitoring Still on the BurnerHome Dashboards Help Reduce Energy UseFinding the Smartest Use for Smart MetersPodcast: Home Energy Monitoring, Part 1 Podcast: Home Energy Monitoring, Part 2Q&A: Power metering devices Q&A: What demand management devices and software are currently available?“Momentum is building toward making energy information more readily accessible, and it’s exciting to see others drive innovation and pursue opportunities in this important new market,” Google said in a blog post that also mentions the White House initiatives. “We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished with PowerMeter and look forward to what will develop next in this space.”An evolving energy-management landscapePowerMeter users can download data they have stored in their account any time before the September 16 cutoff. A competing online energy-management tool, Microsoft Hohm, is still up and running — but not for long. As Microsoft announced on June 30, it will follow Google’s lead and soon shut down Hohm, which is due to retire on May 31, 2012. Hohm’s effectiveness, like that of PowerMeter, has hinged on how much information users input about their home and its energy use. And, as did PowerMeter, Hohm works best when it incorporates customer-usage data fed directly from partner utilities, which, in Microsoft’s case, are currently limited to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Seattle City Light, and Xcel Energy. As technology site Ars Technica noted, “the timing of the announcement suggests that Microsoft only developed Hohm for strategic reasons.”Another system that offers usage tracking through partnerships with utilities, OPOWER, still seems to be attracting users and adding employees. Key to the apparent success of this service is that it includes general usage information about other homeowners in the community, thereby adding peer pressure to the incentives to save energy.Anything to help overcome that apathy. The White House recently announced new initiatives aimed at making the electric grid more energy efficient, reliable, less polluting, and more consumer friendly. The term “smart grid” is used in the White House press release, mainly in reference to tools and services designed to help consumers monitor their power usage in real time, and manage it economically.Indeed, there’s plenty of evidence to show that currently available monitoring and power-management technology can save consumers money on their energy bills. The trick, in many cases, is getting people to actually use the dashboards, sensors, transmitters, and monitoring services. As one industry analyst observed, apathy can be a bigger obstacle than ignorance when it comes to cutting energy consumption. That issue may have come into play with PowerMeter, Google’s energy management tool, which, the company announced last month, will be retired from service on September 16 because it didn’t catch on as hoped. RELATED ARTICLES last_img read more

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Gov’t Committed To World-Class Customer Service Delivery

first_imgStory Highlights Amidst complaints about less-than-desirable public-service delivery, the Government of Jamaica is pushing ahead to achieve world-class customer service through the more than 200 public-sector institutions islandwide. Principal Director of the Modernisation Programme Implementation Unit, Wayne Robertson, acknowledges that services offered by some agencies are at a higher level than others, noting that some entities are using technology to facilitate the ease with which customers’ transactions are conducted. This is consistent with one of the Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan goals, which commits the Administration to “foster world-class customer service and professionalism in all public institutions and to create mechanisms for efficient and effective delivery of services”. Amidst complaints about less-than-desirable public-service delivery, the Government of Jamaica is pushing ahead to achieve world-class customer service through the more than 200 public-sector institutions islandwide.This is consistent with one of the Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan goals, which commits the Administration to “foster world-class customer service and professionalism in all public institutions and to create mechanisms for efficient and effective delivery of services”.Since April 2017, the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation Division (PSTMD), which was created to streamline activities aimed at boosting government efficiency, has been engaging technocrats in the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), civil society and other groups at service excellence visioning workshops.These engagements form part of the Public Sector Modernisation Programme and are in line with the Administration’s undertaking to develop a Service Excellence Policy that outlines the core principles, values, standards, strategies and accountability mechanism that will promote and institutionalise service excellence to facilitate consistency in service quality.The purpose of the workshops, in which the wider public will also be engaged, is to establish a clear definition of service excellence and identify the underlying principles, values and standards that should drive the framework underpinning this across Government.Director General of the PSTMD, situated in the Office of the Cabinet, Veniece Pottinger-Scott, tells JIS News that the workshops are part of the wider transformation and modernisation agenda, aimed at establishing a culture of service excellence across the public sector, especially in the MDAs, which have a duty to provide services of the highest standard to internal and external clients.“It is an imperative. Without it, things are not going to improve at the rate anticipated in terms of growth and economic development over time. The public service workers’ image, for the most part, is nowhere near where we want it to be. It’s somewhat negative, and we think that it is very critical that that image be improved,” she says.The Director General says the objective is to create an overarching framework that sets out how customer service improvement should be undertaken in the public sector.‘Part of what we are doing is to start the visioning process of what that ought to look like by way of shaping the elements that must comprise a Policy,” she informs.Mrs. Pottinger-Scott indicates that a survey of the status of customer service in the public sector was done to provide a baseline for future evaluation of the Policy and to establish the status of customer service across the public sector, and specific issues to be addressed.This survey was done by a consulting firm, Hurwich, and overseen by a steering committee comprising representatives nominated by Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Agencies.It also provided both quantitative and qualitative snapshots of service experience in seven high-impact areas of Government, namely health, business facilitation, revenue collection, security, justice, agriculture and social security.Some of the issues raised by clients included insufficient signage and poor accommodation at facilities, long waiting times and systems being too paper-based, limited facilities for the disabled, and lack of simple communication and transactional web services for customers.Mrs. Pottinger-Scott said public-sector workers interviewed during the assessment acknowledged the need for change in the culture of service and indicated their willingness to work to this end.The Cabinet Office will also be working with MDAs to improve weaknesses identified during the assessment.But this is not the only action being taken by the Administration. Over the past 20 years, successive Governments have implemented initiatives aimed at improving the quality of public-service delivery.One such is the biennial Public Sector Customer Service Competition introduced in 2001, which seeks to nurture and inspire a culture of service excellence by rewarding and recognising entities and individuals delivering world-class service.Over the years, a number of entities have gone the extra mile to improve the customer experience by reducing the waiting time to access services.Among these are the National Health Fund (NHF); National Housing Trust (NHT); Administrator General’s Department (AGD); Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) and the Registrar General’s Department (RGD).Principal Director of the Modernisation Programme Implementation Unit, Wayne Robertson, acknowledges that services offered by some agencies are at a higher level than others, noting that some entities are using technology to facilitate the ease with which customers’ transactions are conducted.“But it needs to go wider than what we currently have. We need to get to a stage where all service providers are providing online solutions and are fully sensitising customers around various options,” he adds.Referring to some of the successes in the public sector, Mr. Robertson notes the introduction of a colour-coded ticketing system by staff at the Percy Junor Hospital, Spaldings, Manchester, which he says has alleviated some of the challenges encountered by clients.“We have seen improvements at PICA. There are (still) some challenges which they have, but we have seen improvements. If we do a trend analysis for the past 10 years, we (would) see (the) improvements there,” he further states.Mr. Robertson also lauds Tax Administration Jamaica’s (TAJ) introduction of online solutions for client convenience. He, however, emphasises the need for greater sensitisation of persons to get them to the point where they are in “e-base mode to automatically go to our laptops or desktop computers or cell phones when paying a tax, rather than go into the offices”.“We are seeing a heavy strain being placed on the internal machinery at some of these offices, because customers are not fully utilising the online option. So, we recognise there needs to be greater sensitisation on a more ongoing basis so that it resonates with customers that we need to use these options more frequently,” he adds.Despite these notable improvements, there are still lingering grey areas for some clients.Chairman of the Manchester Parish Development Committee, Anthony Freckleton, who attended a visioning workshop, says that body is working with the local municipal corporation to make Manchester “a parish of choice to live, work, raise families and do business”.He says one of the Committee’s first tasks is to focus on improving service delivery at health clinics, especially to the elderly.“They have to be at the clinics by 5:00 a.m., and when they get there they don’t have anywhere proper to sit (and as such), are exposed to the elements. To me, that should be dealt with without any delay,” he arguesHe further notes that the level of service in the public sector varies between urban and rural areas, adding that “some workers do not treat people as customers, since their life doesn’t depend on it”.Mr. Freckleton hopes that the new culture of service excellence being embarked on will permeate through every level of the public sector and be enforced by indexing it to workers’ evaluations., emphasising that “your salary increases must depend on or have some relationship with the level of service (provided)”.Another workshop participant, Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network, (JYAN) council member, Malike Kellier, tells JIS News that he wants to see a Policy “that is inclusive and not exclusive of any person, group or entity”.While acknowledging efforts being made to accommodate the disabled through the provision of signage and other services, he underscores the need for “some level of sensitivity and care” to be shown when dealing with the disabled on the streets.Mr. Kellier recounts an incident reported to him by a person with hearing impairment who claimed he was wrongfully ticketed by a police officer. He says the person tried to explain using sign language, but the police officer “got very flustered and issued him with a ticket (anyway)”.“I wouldn’t say that we are at our best or our lowest, but there is still a far way to go in improving how we provide services to various groups within our society,” Mr. Kellier contends.last_img read more

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Initials of John Lewis and Alfre Woodard affixed to the USNS John

first_img Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter May 13, 2019 Ed Lenderman Initials of John Lewis and Alfre Woodard affixed to the USNS John Lewis Posted: May 13, 2019center_img Ed Lenderman, 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – At NASSCO today, a meeting of Washington and Hollywood, in the name of civil rights and…the naming of a ship under construction.For all of their many accomplishments, it’s safe to say longtime Georgia Congressman and noted civil rights leader John Lewis and well-known actress and political activist Alfre Woodard have never donned protective welding gear.But there they were, prior to a traditional keel-laying ceremony, practicing affixing their initials to a ship named for Lewis.Recall, last September, we were at NASSCO, for the start of construction for the Navy oiler USNS John Lewis, another traditional ceremony called “the cutting of the first steel.”NASSCO is building six oilers for the Navy, all named after noted civil rights figures.The 79-year-old Lewis, the son of sharecroppers in rural Alabama, was a civil rights movement leader long before he became a 16 term Congressman. And his oratory skills were on full display at a San Diego shipyard: “My philosophy is very simple,” he said.“It’s in keeping with the dream of America, if you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to stand up, say something speak up and speak out. We’re one people, one family, not just American family, but world family.”When not in front of the camera, the Oscar-nominated and Emmy-Award winning Woodard has been a tireless advocate for human rights. So it was only appropriate that she be the ship’s sponsor. Georgia Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis and Hollywood actress and civil rights activist Alfre Woodard practicing their welding skills at NASSCO, about to affix their names to a ship under construction that’s named for Lewis, Woodard is the ship’ sponsor pic.twitter.com/ltVK8y4kWC— Ed Lenderman (@EdLendermanKUSI) May 13, 2019last_img read more

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