…data management centre to be builtAn expansion of the existing network will be necessary, but National Data Management Authority (NDMA) Head Floyd Levi is optimistic that by 2020 citizens will access hundreds of Government services fully over the Internet.NDMA Head Floyd LeviDuring a recent interview with the media, Levi was asked by Guyana Times about the likelihood of Government meeting its self-imposed deadline. At the time, Guyana had just signed a loan agreement with the People’s Republic of China, which would allow for money for the US$37 million National Broadcast Network Expansion.“We do have the network in place. And the network is now being expanded. What is needed for Government services to be online is what we like to call the e-services part of it, where the Government Ministries themselves are providing that service to citizens through online media.”“So you already have a couple of Government agencies that are doing online services, like GRA (Guyana Revenue Authority) and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that a number of educational institutions are doing the same thing.”The Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA) was another agency that Levi noted had moved its enrolment online. The benefits of this, according to Levi, was that persons would not have to leave their homes and communities that may have Information Communication Technology (ICT) hubs to access services at a centralised location.Levi also noted that the National Broadcast Network expansion would cater for the building of a data management centre. He explained that the Government’s network used fibre-optic cables as well as microwave technology. All of this, he said, will be improved.“This is purely bandwidth on the Government’s network. But we do use Internet service that we buy from GTT. So, for those components that require Internet service, we’ll get those from GTT.”ServicesAt the Inter-American Development Bank’s annual Caribbean Civil Society meeting in June of this year, Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes had said that ordinary citizens and businesses would, by 2020, be able to access more than 200 public services online.“So imagine your driver’s licence application (or) that application for a TIN number; all these services can be done online, and, therefore, we have to start heading in that direction… And the Private Sector, you are going to be left behind also if you continue to do this the old way,” she related, as she stressed that the Private Sector should avail itself of technological opportunities to improve customer service.Meanwhile, IDB Country Representative Sophie Makonnen had also stressed the need for countries to keep up to date with advancing technologies. With new technology, Makonnen noted, there are new ways to solve old problems, such as inadequate health care.A few days before that meeting, stakeholders were introduced to the concept of exponential technologies (ET) and their importance in developing small economies like Guyana’s. A presentation was made by Dr Nicholas Haan, the Track Chair and Vice President of Impact at Singularity University (SU). SU is a Silicon Valley think-tank that offers educational programmes and serves as a business incubator.During his presentation, Dr Haan pointed out that, in recent years, there have been major technological transformations which have created opportunities for agencies to rethink the way they serve people.“Humanity is currently witnessing, at this very time, a major transformation never ever seen before; a transformation into a digital era where every single one of our social systems – our food system, our energy system, our health system, our government system, etc – every single one of those is being transformed by technology and other global trends.“This creates incredible opportunities if you’re leading a corporation or if you’re an entrepreneur, and it creates incredible opportunities for Governments around the world to rethink the way to best serve the populace,” Dr Haan had posited.He went on to talk about how ET has advanced and developed over recent years to create new concepts such as artificial intelligence programmes that operate in real time with no human control and 3D printing.
SAN JOSE — In addition to filling the Erik Karlsson hole, the Sharks will be looking to absorb a major absence at forward on Friday.Evander Kane will miss the Sharks game against the Colorado Avalanche at SAP Center, sidelined by an injury that head coach Pete DeBoer says is unrelated to the head shot that he took from Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara on Tuesday.The Sharks coach declined the opportunity to label Kane’s injury as “upper or lower body,” saying that it’s “kind of in the …
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Kolt Buchenroth and Matt ReeseThe Lake Erie Bill of Rights was passed by the citizens of Toledo in a special election held on Tuesday, Feb. 26. According to the results from the Lucas County Board of elections, the measure was passed by a vote of 61.4% to 38.6% with only 8.9% of voters turning out to the polls.There was a failed attempt to get this on the 2018 November ballot in Toledo. The effort to get LEBOR on the ballot was supported by out-of-state interests but it could have a very real in-state impact for a wide range of businesses. LEBOR opens up the possibility of thousands of lawsuits against any entity that could be doing harm to Lake Erie. This includes agricultural operations.“Farm Bureau members are disappointed with the results of the LEBOR vote. Our concern remains that its passage means Ohio farmers, taxpayers and businesses now face the prospect of costly legal bills fighting over a measure that likely will be found unconstitutional and unenforceable,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. “Nevertheless, Farm Bureau members remain committed to finding and implementing real solutions to the lake’s challenges.”LEBOR grants rights to Lake Erie and empowers any Toledo citizen to file lawsuits on behalf of the lake. It gives Toledoans authority over nearly 5 million Ohioans, thousands of farms, more than 400,000 businesses and every level of government in 35 northern Ohio counties plus parts of Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York and Canada. LEBOR was passed despite the prevailing legal opinion that many of its provisions are unconstitutional.“It says the lake should be free of pollution and things that could harm the lake. It makes the lake act as a person almost who can bring charges against people for harming it,” said Leah Curtis, director of agricultural law for Ohio Farm Bureau. “There is a concern that agriculture would be one of those industries that would be charged or sued with these lawsuits that could potentially come out of this charter amendment. It could really apply to anyone —not just agriculture — anyone who does something that might end up harming the lake. It could be a leaky septic system or other industries that may have permits that put limitations on what they can and cannot do. The Lake Erie Bill of Rights also invalidates those permits if those permits allow for any harm to Lake Erie. It has wide reaching effects. It has issues for lots of areas.”The day after LEBOR was approved by Toledo voters, Wood County farmer Mark Drewes filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality and legal status of the Lake Erie Bill of Rights. Drewes’ suit was filed in the Federal District Court for Northern Ohio.Drewes Farm Partnership is a family crop operation in Custar with a significant history of being dedicated to improving water quality. Drewes is on the board of directors for The Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association and a long-time member of Ohio Farm Bureau.“Mark’s farm is an example of the right way of doing things,” Sharp said. “He’s employing a variety of conservation practices, water monitoring systems, water control structures and uses variable rate enabled equipment and yet he’s vulnerable to frivolous lawsuits. We are proud that our member has stood up against this overreach, and his efforts will benefit all Farm Bureau members, farmers and protect jobs in Ohio.”OFBF has historically engaged in precedent setting court cases that potentially affect its members. Farm Bureau will actively assist Drewes and his legal team throughout this litigation to ensure members’ concerns are heard. OFBF’s legal staff will monitor developments, lend agricultural expertise and provide supporting information about agriculture’s efforts to protect water quality.Drewes is represented by the law firm Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP, which has extensive experience fighting against onerous government action.“The Charter Amendment is an unconstitutional and unlawful assault on the fundamental rights of family farms in the Lake Erie Watershed — like the Drewes’ fifth generation family farm,” said Thomas Fusonie, a partner at Vorys and one of the counsel for Drewes. “The lawsuit seeks to protect the Drewes’ family farm from this unconstitutional assault.”The suit argues LEBOR violates federal constitutional rights, including equal protection, freedom of speech and is unenforceable for its vagueness. A request for preliminary and permanent injunction was also filed seeking to prevent enforcement of the law.“Farmers want and are working toward improving water quality, but this new Toledo law hurts those efforts. Mark Drewes understands this, and it’s Farm Bureau’s job to back his important actions on behalf of Ohio farmers,” Sharp said.
Experienced Englishman Bob Houghton’s tumultuous yet productive five-year stint as Indian football coach came to an end on Saturday in controversial circumstances after a bitter stand-off with the AIFF, which had charged him for racially abusing an Indian referee.Houghton, who has been facing an inquiry from a three-man AIFF panel on charges of racially abusing Indian referee Dinesh Nair in an international friendly against Yemen last year, tendered his resignation, bringing an end to his eventful association with Indian football since June 2006.A release from the AIFF said that the racial abuse charges against Houghton has been dropped in the absence of evidence while the coach has decided to quit due to personal reasons.”The AIFF has perused the reply filed by Robert Douglas Houghton to the show cause notice dated 25.03.2011 issued to him. It has also conducted internal investigations through an inquiry committee and a report has been submitted to the AIFF.”Based on the report of the inquiry committee, the AIFF feels that in the absence of any definitive and concrete evidence the allegations against Houghton cannot be sustained and therefore the AIFF agrees to withdraw all charges and allegations made against him,” the AIFF release said.”However, Houghton, for his personal reasons, does not wish to continue working in India and in his position as the Head Coach of the Indian Football Team. Houghton has therefore tendered his resignation. His resignation is accepted by the AIFF. The parties have mutually agreed to terminate the employment contract of Houghton,” it added.advertisementThe AIFF did not say anything about the compensation to be given to Houghton whose contract was to run till 2013.For the past few days after Houghton submitted a written reply to the AIFF panel on April 11, there had been reports of negotiations going on between Houghton and the federation to settle the issue.Houghton had in his reply to the show cause on March 23 had denied the racial abuse charges levelled against him, terming them as “baseless”.But apparently, the initiative for a negotiated settlement had come from Houghton’s side as he did not want his reputation to be sullied.Sources said the AIFF agreed to drop the racial abuse charges if Houghton quits immediately, which he did on Saturday.- With PTI inputs
zoom Norway’s mapping services company NAVTOR is to spend the next three years helping the EU chart a route towards autonomous vessels as it was selected to represent the maritime industry in the ENABLE project – conceived to prove, verify and validate the safety of autonomous vehicles in Europe. The company said that it now received funding to investigate the concept of shore-based bridges, a steppingstone on the path to autonomy.ENABLE was originally proposed by the car industry, before the EU widened its scope to take in the full spectrum of transport, including ships.NAVTOR’s role in ENABLE, which runs through to October 2019, will focus on testing the validity of the software element of a remote bridge concept. This will be built upon continuous data sharing between vessels and land, with key navigation functions migrating from the crew to office-based teams.“We believe autonomous vessels will be a reality within the next 10 to 15 years,” NAVTOR e-Navigation Project Manager Bjørn Åge Hjøllo said, adding that the shore-based bridges will be “a vital part of realising that vision.”NAVTOR launched the initiative with a pre-project meeting for 16 European experts, representing some of Europe’s leading research and development institutions, in its hometown Egersund last month. Other ENABLE participants include IBM, Philips Medical Systems, Renault, Tieto and Siemens.
zoom South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has received an Approval in Principle (AIP) for its floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) hull design from classification society ABS.ABS and HHI worked together with the objective of developing a technically feasible and class compliant FPSO hull design, using the latest technologies while maintaining high safety standards.The AIP demonstrates the design substantially complies with Class and Regulatory requirements, giving regulatory agencies and other key stakeholders confidence in the design, according to ABS.The design basis is storing 2 mbbl of crude oil in the barge-shaped hull, applying mainly shipbuilding standards, and combining offshore production facility features, such as a 25-year lifetime without drydocking, and structural reinforcement for topside structure installation.“The newbuilding conversion FPSO hull design can be built for about half the cost as compared to a conventional FPSO hull,” Jae-Eul Kim, HHI Senior Vice President, Shipbuilding Division, said.“In the current difficult energy market, the competitive ready-to-convert FPSO hull, with AIP from ABS, offers a practical approach to floating production units—enabling stakeholders to take confident financial investment decisions,” Kim concluded.