The equality watchdog has called for the courts to

first_imgThe equality watchdog has called for the courts to decide if airlines are discriminating against disabled people by refusing to allow them to make simple alterations to tickets bought for their personal assistants (PAs).The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) called this week on businesses like British Airways (BA) to ask themselves if they could be doing more to support disabled people’s access to transport.The watchdog spoke out this week after hearing of the case of Rachael Monk.Disability News Service (DNS) reported last week that Monk was having to pay hundreds of pounds extra to fly to Canada to visit a friend because BA refused to alter a ticket she bought for one of her two PAs, after the PA quit their job and pulled out of the trip.As a result of the DNS story, the US-based agency AviRate – which rates hundreds of airlines across the world on their performance, particularly on the safety and satisfaction levels of passengers – this week downgraded BA’s “quality score” by 25 points, from 65 to just 40 out of 100, which saw it drop from a three-star quality score to a two-star rating.The downgrading means BA’s overall three-star rating will fall to just two stars if it experiences another similar quality or safety-related incident.AviRate said BA’s behaviour towards Monk was “inappropriate” and a “slap in the face”.Despite widespread anger among disabled people at BA’s actions, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which is supposed to promote the rights of disabled passengers to receive assistance when travelling by air, has refused to comment on the issue this week.CAA refused to discuss the subject of PAs and ticket transfers with BA this week and said it would only do so if it received an official complaint from Monk.A CAA spokesman said: “We are naturally concerned to hear that the passenger feels she has been unfairly treated and we would be happy to discuss the issue directly with her.”Monk (pictured), who has cerebral palsy and uses an electronic device to communicate, always needs two PAs with her, and so had to buy three tickets for a long-planned trip to Canada to visit her closest friend, Steph.She started planning the trip at the beginning of 2017 and bought three tickets last July at £460 each.When one of the PAs she had bought a ticket for later resigned and pulled out of the trip, she asked BA to change the name on that ticket so that another PA could travel with her instead.But the airline refused and said she would have to buy a new ticket, which at last week’s prices cost her another £780.This means that she has now had to pay nearly £2,200 for a trip that would have cost a non-disabled person just £460.BA also told her that the £90 BA insurance policy she had bought did not cover the purchase of a replacement ticket.BA told DNS last week that it does not allow disabled passengers to transfer their tickets to a replacement PA because it “could lead to a secondary market of trading in airline tickets”.It said it offers passengers “a 24-hour cooling-off period so they can check that the name on the ticket matches the name on their passport”, and provides “a range of tickets including fully flexible and refundable options and always [advises] customers to choose the product that meets their individual needs”.Monk, from Dumfries and Galloway, who has campaigned for years on disability rights issues, and has previously advised the Scottish government and the Disability Rights Commission, has accused BA of disability discrimination for refusing to alter the ticket.She believes that altering the ticket would have been a reasonable adjustment under the Equality Act.She said this week that she wanted to take the issue “as far as possible”.She said: “I have been overwhelmed by the support of both family and friends, not to mention all of the people sharing my post on Facebook; everybody appears to be behind me.“I don’t just want results from BA for myself, but also for the benefit of all disabled people who require support and may find themselves in a similar situation with any airline.“My message to BA is that I have had to fight all my life, so another fight for the rights of disabled people is something I will not back down on.“I am so very upset and disappointed by the lack of common sense and compassion by the airline.“They have cast a very dark cloud over a holiday that I have saved hard for and was so looking forward too.”She added: “I am pleased to see that BA have been downgraded on quality, as again it shows that people are listening to my situation and understanding the seriousness of BA’s actions.”Rebecca Hilsenrath, EHRC’s chief executive, said: “This situation is no doubt familiar to countless people living with a disability.“Access to transport is a key plank of independent living for 13 million disabled people living in the UK. “Whether or not non-transferable tickets, and the need to pay for PA tickets, in a circumstance such as this constitute unlawful discrimination or grounds for a reasonable adjustment should be tested in court. “For disabled people to travel the distance of others, we need big business to ask themselves if they could be doing more to play their part.”CAA said Monk was entitled to file a complaint about her treatment with an alternative dispute resolution body, a process BA has signed up to.A CAA spokesman said: “Passengers who are unhappy with the service provided by an airline or airport can make a complaint through an alternative dispute resolution process.“Where we find there is a shortcoming in the service provided, we will work with the airport and or airline to make sure improvements are made.”last_img read more

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A traumatised benefit claimant has accused the Dep

first_imgA traumatised benefit claimant has accused the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) of “sheer malice” after it again broke its promise to stop harassing him while he waits to give vital evidence in a child abuse trial.DWP’s contractor Maximus sent David* a text message last month telling him that his employment and support allowance (ESA) could be at risk if he failed to attend an assessment set to take place just two days after Christmas.Disability News Service (DNS) has been reporting on DWP’s continuing harassment of David* since 2016, when former minister for disabled people Justin Tomlinson threatened to stop David’s benefits if he failed to co-operate with an Atos personal independence payment (PIP) reassessment.David has been told by police that his medical file is sub-judice and cannot be discussed with anyone while the legal process is ongoing, and so he cannot allow DWP or Atos or Maximus access to his medical records.He has severe post-traumatic stress disorder, caused by the horrific sexual abuse he suffered as a child, and which has led to several suicide attempts.In 2017, DWP broke its promise not to harass David when Atos asked him to attend a face-to-face personal independence payment (PIP) assessment.Last year, DWP broke its promise again, when it contacted him to tell him he needed to fill in a new PIP form, before later accepting its error and extending his PIP award.But the harassment has continued.On 20 December, he received a text message from Maximus – which carries out assessments under the name of its subsidiary, the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments – warning that his ESA was at risk if he failed to attend a work capability assessment (WCA) on 27 December.When he rang DWP to complain, he was even told by a civil servant that he was fabricating his claim that his medical evidence was sub-judice.David said DWP’s continuing harassment was “completely draining”, “dehumanising” and “extremely distressing”, and he could not understand why the department continually ignored the fact that his medical records were crucial evidence in ongoing child abuse proceedings.He said: “It’s like I can’t escape their gravity of sheer malice and hubris.“I would ask why they repeatedly seek to interview a proven child rape victim.“I’m tired of people thinking I’m a lab animal to be cut open alive.” A DWP spokesperson: “We are sorry for any distress felt by [David].“We are all doing everything we can to ensure he continues to receive the benefits he is entitled to.”The spokesperson said the WCA had now been cancelled, and David had been allocated a member of staff to be a single point of contact with his PIP and ESA.Asked how this latest harassment had happened again, another spokesperson said: “We’ve addressed [David’s] case and a staff member is working with him to ensure he gets the right support.“We don’t have anything further to add but do look into any issues which are raised by claimants, including on their experience with DWP staff and contractors.”A Maximus spokesperson said: “As soon as the case was withdrawn by DWP, we cancelled the appointment and immediately ceased our attempts to contact the customer.”*He cannot be named for legal reasons A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

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Citys Housing Offers Not Cutting It for Homeless Fire Victim

first_imgA former go-go dancer and taxicab robber who had hoped to start life afresh at the Graywood Hotel is the last tenant displaced by the June fire who remains on the streets. Michelle Thompson’s story demonstrates how difficult it is to place some clients who resist housing because of what they have to leave behind: their personal belongings, friends and pets.  Yes, there is a deficit of housing for the 6,700 homeless residents of San Francisco, but there are also clients who are difficult to place even when housing and resources are available. Some 25 percent of those experiencing homelessness in San Francisco have experienced homelessness four or more times in the past, according to a 2015 survey. Thompson said she’s lived a rough life, but has never before lived in a tent. 0% “I’ve been on my own, struggling as a street person, but never homeless. I managed,” she said.Thompson’s road to homelessness is one marked by trauma and at times – as demonstrated by her recent displacement by a five-alarm fire from the Graywood Hotel, the SRO at 3308 Mission St. where she lived for six months – calamities that were out of her control. Thompson shrugs at her fate.  “I’ve been on my own since I was 12,” said Thompson, who is now in her 40s and spent nearly half of her life in prison. The Seattle native ran away from home as a child to escape abuse and never looked back.Her case is also particularly troublesome because she now suffers from cirrhosis of the liver and State 4 hepatitis C.  “I’m dying,” she said. Her status as a fire victim put her at the top of the list for housing in June – but even that stature failed to end in a new place to live. Since July, Thompson has been living in a tent on 15th and Bryant streets with her dog.At the Graywood, Thompson shared a room with her former partner, a U.S. Marine Veteran. The two met shortly after Thompson was released from prison, and Thompson thought that she had at last found some stability.But during the weeks after the fire, Thompson said, the relationship quickly turned hostile. “We were fighting – I walked away. I knew what was best for myself, being on parole,” she said – shortly before she moved into the Graywood, Thompson had served 18 years in prison for a string of armed robberies, she said.After the fire, Thompson’s case was referred to the Human Services Agency, responsible for placing the fire victims in temporary housing.  Thompson’s partner was quickly able to find an apartment through his Veteran Assistance benefits, and Thompson believed her name was put on his lease. Thompson asked to be housed separately, but said she was told that her placement was “only for a family of two” and that she would need to stay with her ex.“I’m not gonna be with someone for a place to stay,” she said. Ben Amyes, Emergency Services Coordinator at the city’s Human Services Agency, said that Thompson got the wrong information. “We were housing them separately. We were never going try to ask them to live together because they didn’t want to,” he said.Several weeks later, the agency offered her a single room in an SRO in the Tenderloin, said Amyes.  But, by that time, someone had given Thompson a dog and she refused to give it up. “When it comes time to house her, she had a [new] partner and a dog, and that was not part of the original appeal,” said Amyes. When she arrived at the Tenderloin SRO that the city placed her in, she said “they also brought the pound with them.”“They expected…they wanted me to give him up,” she said, sobbing violently. She refused. “I know what it’s like to feel abandonment. The only thing I could do is get a tent – So I did.”Randy Quezada, communications manager at the Department on Homelessness and Supportive Housing, said that hanging on to pets was not uncommon. “The bond between people and their animals is significant especially for people who have experienced trauma,” he said.  Nevertheless, he added,  pets “ are challenging in traditional shelters.”Quezada said that his department “doesn’t give up” on difficult cases like Thompon’s. “Every situation is a little different. It means we have to find the right opportunity to connect them to resources,” he said, adding that the Navigation Center at 1950 Mission St., a transitional shelter where clients are permitted to enter with pets and human partners, accommodates those with special circumstances.But Thompson said that she has not been offered a bed at the center, and that she was told by outreach workers that she “wasn’t homeless long enough,” and doesn’t fit the criteria.“But I’m a disaster [victim], shouldn’t I have first priority?”  she said. Most recently, Thompson said that she’s contacted an “old associate” who has offered to rent a room to her, though the offer seems conditional.  “I hope he doesn’t want more,” she said. On the streets, the same pattern emerged – men who tout themselves her friends and offer to protect her belongings from theft then “catch feelings.”“They say they’ll watch your stuff when you leave and we have eachother’s back in the encampment,” she said, referring to her fellow campers. “What happens is they say it’s strictly a friendship thing, but they all catch feelings.”Amyes said that Thompson is still eligible for the city’s subsidized rent program in which the city will cover her rent up to $1,400.   But, like other tenants from the Graywood, “she has to find a place for herself, a landlord that is willing to take her.”That has not happened. Instead she finds herself overwhelmed. Life on the streets isn’t easy – she has been robbed on multiple occasions, lost her medication, and her cell phone has been disconnected for some two weeks. Thompson said she needs help and called the city’s stipulation of finding her own housing after disaster “unfair.”“By no means do I not want housing, I still need housing,” she said. “I’m tired, I’ve lived hell. Now I’m waiting for heaven, or something better. I’m willing to do whatever I gotta do.” center_img Tags: camp • displacement • Fires • homeless • mission street • SROs Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

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MARK Flanagan and Paul Clough have retained their

first_imgMARK Flanagan and Paul Clough have retained their spots in the England Knights set up.The 29-man squad includes eight new faces as they build up to their debut in the Alitalia Cup.After a strong season with Warrington, prop Chris Hill is rewarded with a call up.Other notable inclusions are Castleford Tigers impressive hooker Daryl Clarke and Huddersfield Giants exciting full-back Greg Eden.The Knights will play Ireland and Scotland in the Alitalia Cup commencing next month.England Knights Squad:Jodie Broughton, Tom Burgess, Daryl Clark, Chris Clarkson, Paul Clough, Mike Cooper, Kieran Dixon, Greg Eden, Rhys Evans, Liam Farrell, Mark Flanagan, Luke Gale, Ben Harrison, Chris Hill, Josh Hodgson, Danny Houghton, Jack Hughes, Michael Lawrence, Shaun Lunt, Jermaine McGillvary, Richie Myler, Larne Patrick, Stefan Ratchford, Chris Riley, Matty Smith, Scott Taylor, Jordan Turner, Joe Wardle, Joe Westerman.last_img read more

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Bus driver cited in Friday crash that sent students to hospital

first_imgBRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Brunswick County school bus driver has been cited for a crash Friday that sent more than two dozen students to the hospital. Friday afternoon two Brunswick County school buses were involved in a wreck. The collision on NC 211 sent more than two dozen students to the hospital. Now the Highway Patrol has cited the driver of the second bus, Cary Felton, who investigators say was responsible for it.- Advertisement – The first bus was operated by Marcia Pitroski, who Highway Patrol says stopped to make a left turn. Jeffery Mize was driving a truck and stopped behind the first bus. Mize also had a 7-year-old child in the truck with him. The second bus involved was driven by Felton, who Highway Patrol says was distracted by students on the bus and hit the truck in front of him.Troopers cited Felton with failure to reduce speed.Investigators say there were no life-threatening injuries.Related Article: Brunswick teacher wins lottery contest, puts money towards other teacher’s projectThe students on the buses were from Virginia Williamson Elementary School.last_img read more

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Elizabethtown airport gets state money for improvements

first_img “These grants will allow airports to become safer, and better serve the pilots, passengers, and businesses that use them,” Division of Aviation Director Bobby Walston said in a news release. “Airports are a critical part of our transportation system, and these projects will help improve the link between our state and national and global markets.”The other airports received funding are:Ashe County: $18,112 for a runway extension, precision approach path indicator (PAPI) installation and an obstruction survey;Elkin Municipal: $1.3 million for runway extensions;Fayetteville Regional: $1,139,670 for airport improvements;Laurinburg-Maxton: $275,000 for replacement of the instrument landing system localizer;Pitt-Greenville: $1,100,070 for taxiway pavement rehabilitation;Richmond County: $160,373 for apron reconstruction and hangar relocation;Rockingham County/NC Shiloh: $266,400 for apron rehabilitation;Smith Reynolds (Winston-Salem): $172,000 for land acquisition and obstruction clearing;Statesville Regional: $12,045 for taxiway lighting rehabilitation and guidance sign installation, new PAPIs, runway end identifier lights and windsocks;Tri-County (Aulander): $57,940 for a waterline extension to the terminal building.The Division of Aviation is responsible for state airport and aviation system planning and development. It also provides funding to communities for constructing and improving airports throughout the state.Related Article: Cape Fear neighbors give public input on Cape Fear CrossingThe NCDOT says airports and aviation-related industries contribute $31 billion to North Carolina’s economy each year, according to a 2016 report. Curtis L. Brown Jr. Field in Elizabethtown. (Photo: ElizabethtownAirport.org) ELIZABETHTOWN, NC (WWAY) — Curtis L. Brown Jr. Field in Elizabethtown is one of 11 airports across North Carolina sharing nearly $4.7 million in state money for improvements and upgrades.The facility will get $126,000 for site work on the new terminal building and $35,000 for paving at the terminal parking area.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Columbus Co deputies search for breakin suspect multiple guns stolen

first_imgSurveillance photos have been released from a break in that happened in late November. WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — Columbus County Sheriff deputies are searching for the man they say broke into a Whiteville home last month and stole multiple firearms.The crime happened on Bill Hooks Road in Whiteville between November 27 – 29. The report was made on the 29.- Advertisement – Deputies say multiple firearms, a Yeti cooler, a compound bow, and cash were taken.(Photo: CCSO)Surveillance photos were released of a person of interest that deputies would like to speak to.The suspect vehicle is a white Nissan Murano SUV with North Carolina tags. The SUV appears to be between a 2003-2007 model.Related Article: Man charged with kidnapping, rape in New Hanover CountyIf anyone can identify the person or vehicle pictured, we ask that they please contact Columbus County Sheriff’s Office at 910-640-6629 or Text-a-Tip.last_img read more

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MAKEAWISH Supply teen visits Oklahoma City Thunder

first_img Shab’e Bryant just returned from spending time with the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team.He spent two years with Make-A-Wish hoping one day he’d get this once in a lifetime experience.Bryant has been a big fan of the Thunder for years.Related Article: Fantastic freshmen help Duke blow out KentuckyWe’ll have more on his incredible story coming up Friday on WWAY News. SUPPLY, NC (WWAY) — This story is sure to put a smile on your face!A Brunswick County teen just got back from having his dreams become a reality.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Early voting sites open in 9th District primary for US House

first_imgBLADEN COUNTY, NC (AP) — Republican and unaffiliated voters can start casting early ballots in the North Carolina special congressional election prompted by findings of ballot fraud.Early-voting sites open on Wednesday through May 10 in the 9th congressional district’s eight counties. Six counties have just one early-voting site open on weekdays during regular business hours. Bladen County has one site.- Advertisement – Republican primary candidate and State Sen. Dan Bishop of Charlotte raised the most money through March. The National Association of Realtors’ political action committee is spending more than $1 million to support Realtor Leigh Brown.A Washington, D.C. anti-tax group’s political action committee endorsed Bishop and bought ads targeting GOP rival Stony Rushing. The Club for Growth says Bishop can win the GOP nomination without a September run-off between the top two finishers.last_img read more

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911 call released after body washes ashore in Carolina Beach

first_img In the 911 call, that good Samaritan said he tried to pull Dickerson completely out of the water, and that he did not seem to be breathing. The man also said he thought he saw Dickerson walk past them on the boardwalk earlier.Good Samaritan: “Sorry, this is the first time I’ve seen something like this, so I’m freaking out a little bit.”Dispatcher: “I understand. I want you to focus on talking to me. You did pull him out of the water, correct?”Related Article: Could this be the last year Carolina Beach has carnival rides?Good Samaritan: “I did. I dragged him away.”Dispatcher: “Okay. I understand that he was in the water and I don’t want you to touch him again if you’re not comfortable, but did he feel cold to the touch?”Good Samaritan: “Yeah, he’s definitely cold.”The official cause of death will be determined by the NC Office of The Medical Examiner.CBPD says no foul play is suspected at this time.The investigation is ongoing. CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The Carolina Beach Police Department have released the identify of the man whose body washed ashore last week.Police say 69-year-old Thomas James Dickerson, of Chapel Hill, was found unresponsive by a good Samaritan Thursday night near the Carolina Beach Boardwalk.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Robinho becomes Istanbul Basaksehirs latest reinforcement

first_img SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a7617b59&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=128&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Veteran striker Robinho has joined Istanbul Basaksehir who are currently leading the Turkish Super Lig. The 34-year-old, who is best remembered for his spells at Manchester City, Real Madrid and AC Milan, has so far managed 8 goals and 2 assists throughout the current season.The Brazilian will be reunited with Emmanuel Adebayor who was also on the Citizens‘ books from 2009 until 2012. Istanbul Basaksehir also boast the likes of Eljero Elia, Gael Clichy and Arda Turan in their ranks and are occupying first place after collecting 35 points from their first 17 matches.WhatsApplast_img read more

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Yahoo launches Weather app for iPhone and Yahoo Mail app for iPad

first_imgAdvertisement Yahoo has been steadily concentrating on the mobile platform ever since Marissa Mayer has taken over as the new CEO. It has acquired smaller companies like Snip.It and Summly and also revamped its email client by integrating it with Dropbox. Now, Yahoo has added two new apps called the Yahoo! Weather and a tablet version of its Yahoo! Mail app.At first glance, the Yahoo Weather app is sure to take your breath away. Unlike traditional weather apps that show numbers and generic animation of sunshine or storm clouds, Yahoo’s weather app is more image-centric showing what the weather actually looks like in that part of the globe. These images are sourced from Flickr, where users as a part of the Project Weather Group, submit photos of their current location. – Advertisement – By giving it a social aspect, Yahoo! is cleverly using a workforce that is spread around the globe and also ensuring that you never see two same pictures when the weather changes. Besides the current temperature and image, the app is also surprisingly detailed giving other relevant information like precipitation, wind and pressure, a radar map, and more.The Mail app, on the other hand, offers a clutter-free interface and sorts all the emails in an easy way to help manage them. The app also lets you view your mails in full-screen and recognizes gestures that let you flip to your next email with just a swipe.You can download the Yahoo! Weather app from the App Store and the Yahoo! Mail for your tablets from thePlay Store or the App Store.Credit: BGRlast_img read more

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Dropbox Targets Businesses Adds More Sharing and Search Features For Enterprise

first_imgAdvertisement Dropbox, now at 300 million users globally, says that there are 4 million businesses today using its cloud-based platform to store, distribute and share documents. But of those, only around 80,000 have opted so far to use Dropbox for Business, the company’s premium enterprise tier launched this year. Today, the startup is making a move to sweeten the deal, unveiling a host of new features to enhance Dropbox for Business. They include a lot of new (and more secure) ways to share documents, and an interesting move that points to Dropbox’s bigger platform ambitions: the introduction of full-text search.It’s also adding two new APIs for developers to have more flexible ways to show documents to users. There are currently over 300,000 apps that integrate the Dropbox cloud platform, according to Ilya Fushman, the company’s head of product. – Advertisement – The moves come as Dropbox, now valued at around $10 billion, is tipped as an IPO candidate. It’s not clear whether Dropbox is currently profitable, but boosting paying subscribers — Business it Dropbox’s highest service tier and costs $15 per user per month at a minimum of five users — will undoubtedly help the company firm up its bottom line as it gears up for an IPO and seeks to avoid the fate of Box, whose own public offering has been delayed.Another interesting scaling move: the company is now focusing on opening and ramping up a new international headquarters in London. Fushman, who I met in London earlier this week along with Dropbox’s EMEA head Johann Butting, tells me that international accounts for 70% of Dropbox’s business, and Europe (despite some controversy) is the biggest part of that and around one-third of customers. The UK is the company’s number-two market after the U.S.Here’s a rundown of the new features:Security and controlDropbox has been in the news of late with question marks over, in light of all of the NSA revelations, whether it is as secure as other cloud-storage platforms. Edward Snowden, in fact, described it as “hostile to privacy” earlier this month. But while Dropbox (along with other tech giants) continues to fight Washington over more transparency, it’s making moves for more security on another level, now available for early access to Dropbox for Business users.It’s introducing view-only permissions for shared folders, so that those creating files can set them in such a way that only approved people are able to edit them; and it’s extending that further with password-protection and links that can expire after a specified period of time. “For example, if you’re sharing information with a contractor, you can set those links to expire when the project is over and be assured your contractor won’t have access to those files,” Fushman notes.Search and HarmonyThe full-text search, Fushman tells me, was build completely in-house (and by a team outside of the many acqui-hires the company has made over the last several months). Rolling out over the next few months, the idea here is that the search will be significantly deeper than what’s currently there, which only allows users to search by file name. Fushman would not say what the longer-term plans are with search but when you consider the other services that Dropbox has been building, acquiring and integrating –  Carousel for images, Mailbox for email — I suspect that we will see a big capability boost in search to eventually include other services on the Dropbox platform as well.The other interesting area in terms of document improvements is in a widening of Dropbox’s Project Harmony. This was debuted earlier this year and was Dropbox’s big move to start rendering and editing Microsoft Office documents better on Dropbox. Now the company says it will be extending this to Android as well.APIsLastly, Dropbox is making some API improvements. Aimed at developers, they will basically let apps that integrate Dropbox-based documents more flexibility in what can be linked to — either in the form of a Shared Folder or a Document Preview. One of most interesting aspects of the new APIs is that, when a user does choose to download a shared document, it remains linked to the original file, so that if and when the master file gets modified, the downloaded version is updated, too.It’s moves like these that will make Dropbox a more functional platform for business users — taking it beyond simple, dumb storage and into the realm of products that keep users engaged and less likely to churn to other providers.There is still a long way to go, though. Although cloud services have most definitely disrupted how a lot of companies run their businesses, they are still far from ubiquitous, with many companies either working with legacy infrastrucutre for on-premises solutions, or simply not wanting to take the risk of pushing everything into the nebulae.For now, Fushman says that Dropbox is not yet offering an integrated on-premises/cloud solution, either for storage or to work with its indexing functionality. That’s but one area that the company might tackle to find more relevance with the business users it so clearly would like to court.Source TechCrunchlast_img read more

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DISTREE Africa 2015 opens with 270plus senior executives confirmed to attend

first_imgAdvertisement NAIROBI – The 2nd annual DISTREE Africa begins today with more than 270 delegates registered to attend the three-day event. DISTREE Africa runs from June 10th to 12th in Nairobi, Kenya. DISTREE Africa gives technology and consumer electronics (CE) brands and distributors a unique opportunity to hold pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings with senior executives from the region’s most influential retailers and e-tailers.Farouk Hemraj, Director and Co-Founder at DISTREE Events, said: “Hundreds of one-on-one meetings have already been pre-scheduled between delegates at DISTREE Africa 2015. Hundreds more will be arranged on-site during the next three days. We thank all delegates and sponsors for their continued support of the event.”“DISTREE Africa is a highly focused trade event,” added Hemraj. “Our proven event format provides business benefits for all technology and consumer electronics (CE) suppliers looking to expand their channel reach in Africa and tap into the region’s fast-growing markets.”DISTREE Africa 2015 is supported by Huawei and Quantum as Platinum Sponsors; distributors Mitsumi and Redington as Gold Sponsors; plus Acer and Brother as Silver Sponsors. DISTREE Africa also includes a comprehensive conference programme with a mixture of keynotes, workshops, panel discussions and awards sessions. Major brands including AMD, Belkin, Dell, HP and Lenovo among others are also participating. – Advertisement – Event Partner GfK will deliver an opening keynote entitled ‘Technology & Home Electronics Markets – Africa 2015’. The popular 60 Seconds to Convince Awards will take place at DISTREE Africa 2015, giving brands the opportunity to deliver a one minute pitch for their latest product on the main stage at the event.DISTREE Africa 2015 will also see the introduction of the DISTREE Diamond Awards in the region for exhibitors at the event. The recipients of DISTREE Diamond Awards will be determined using on-site feedback from retailers. The DISTREE Diamond Awards will cover 11 separate categories.“DISTREE Africa removes the complexity from channel management and channel development for technology suppliers. By bringing together vendors, distributors, retailers and e-tailers in one place at one time, the event creates new business opportunities for all delegates,” added Hemraj.“African markets represent a significant and sustained growth opportunity for technology and CE brands in the years ahead. We undertake extensive research of the channel landscape to ensure that the top buyers from across the region are invited to attend DISTREE Africa,” concluded Hemraj.last_img read more

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Siemens CT Cosmos to Build 70MW Solar Facility in Nigeria

first_imgAdvertisement CT Cosmos, a Nigerian based firm and Siemens have concluded a memorandum of understanding to construct a 70MW solar power facility in Panyam, Plateau State.The $170 million project is expected to be completed in a less than two-year period and will supply the power produced into the national grid.Solar power plants have a short completion period which could as short as 12 months, whereas construction of traditional gas/coal fired power stations could take as much as one to three years longer. – Advertisement – The 70MW ac solar power plant is the first in a series of large solar power generating facilities proposed by CT Cosmos for various sites in Nigeria.Siemens General Manager, Power and Gas, -Nasir Giwa, expressed Siemens commitment to delivering the, project and stated that“Siemens looks forward to working with CT Cosmos in delivering state-of-the-art technology and services to the Nigerian people who urgently require stable electricity to help meet the country’s rapid development.”The project will be located near Jos, in the Plateau region of Nigeria which has minimal cloud cover and records one of the highest solar radiation indices in the country as per SolarGIS latest baseline data.[Via]last_img read more

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Mahindra Comviva Strengthens its Leadership Position in Digital Music Portfolio in Africa

first_imgAdvertisement Mahindra Comviva, one of the global leaders in providing mobility solutions, has today announced that it has partnered with Mondial Multimedia, a leading partner of mobile media platforms in Africa.This tie-up with Mondial Multimedia will further strengthen Mahindra Comviva’s digital music content portfolio in the continent.With this partnership, Mondial Multimedia will provide the most popular content from local artists like Josey, Serge Beynaud, Force One, Arafat DJ, Zouglou Makers, Abou Nidal, Rico Amaj, TNT, DJ Leo, Molare. With over 300,000 tracks on board and over 200 Content Providers, – Advertisement – Mahindra Comviva is one of the largest Content aggregator in Africa, Middle East and Asia. In Africa alone, the company has collaborated with over 150 content partners including local and international content providers/copyright bodies/ local artists and production houses in the region.Speaking on the partnership, Atul Madan, Head of Digital Services, Mahindra Comviva said, “We are constantly working towards revolutionizing the music market in Africa by providing localized content, identifying independent artists and labels, and disseminating music across the region.”“Our partnership with Mondial Multimedia is a testament of our efforts in emerging as the leader in the digital music space. Mondial Multimedia works closely with a number of local artists to source an extensive selection of digital music content that cater to the diverse tastes of consumer’s in the region.”He further added “This partnership coupled with our proven expertise in deploying and managing music services for operators across multiple growth markets, will further drive the success of managed music services and infotainment services in Africa.”Olivia Sandrine A. BRAUD – Mensah, Excutive Director, Mondial Multimedia said “We are pleased to partner with Mahindra Comviva in bringing a platform to empower the youth. Mahindra Comviva’s unrivalled expertise in digital music, VAS Technologies and deep understanding of the African market helped us bring this initiative to life. We bring a diverse range of content from Africa that will allow mobile operators to drive the quantity of users on their networks and meet the growing needs of subscribers across markets.”last_img read more

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STARTERS ORDERS Friday

first_img[dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Friday 28 NovemberRACING1.10 MusselburghBoruma 11/4 > 7/42.05 NewburyConeygree 4/1 > 11/42.40 NewburySound Investment 13/2 > 4/14.25 WolverhamptonHadaj 14/1 > 6/1What’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321last_img

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McNair Invests 175 Million in Shaping Business Leaders at Rice

first_imgAddThis Share2 CONTACT: Terry Shepard PHONE: (713)737-6280E-MAIL: tshepard@rice.eduMcNair Invests $17.5 Million in Shaping Business Leaders atRiceCogen Founder’s Gift Meant to Power Jones School ofManagementInto National Leadership Robert C. McNair, the Houstonentrepreneur who built Cogen Technologies into the world’s largest privatelyowned cogenerator of electricity and thermal energy, is making a majorinvestment in the production of a different kind of power—the sort that willshape the economy of the future. McNair and his wife, Janice, have made one of the largest giftsever by individuals to Rice University—$17.5 million to the Jesse H. JonesGraduate School of Management, the university announced today.”Rice University is one of the premier schools in the country,and it will only be a short time before the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School ofManagement attains a similar stature among graduate business schools,” BobMcNair said. ”The city of Houston and the entire southwestern United States willbenefit from the contributions a premier graduate business school, such as theJones School, can make to our business community.”Janice and I are proud to be a part of the Rice Universitycommunity and to assist the Jones School as it takes a giant stepforward.”Said Rice President Malcolm Gillis, himself an economist: ”Weexpect that this major investment in the Jones School will allow the McNairs andRice University to cogenerate business leaders, research and teaching vital forHouston, the region and the nation in the 21st Century.”The McNairs have a keen appreciation of how the JonesSchool—joined with Rice’s strengths in engineering and the social sciences, andour expanding collaborations with the Texas Medical Center—intends to rise tothe topmost ranks of the nation’s business schools.”Gilbert R. Whitaker, dean of Rice’s Jones School, said that theMcNairs’ gift would make possible new facilities and programs that leverageRice’s strengths.”Bob is very interested in bringing innovations and technologydeveloped at universities such as Rice to the marketplace,” Whitaker said. ”As amember of the Rice Board of Trustees, he understands that the Jones School canbe a very important catalyst in this process through the development of conceptsand ideas, as well as leaders, for established and emerging businesses andindustries. This major investment by the McNairs in the Jones School willmarkedly enhance our ability to serve the Houston business community and itsworld wide markets.”McNair, 62, founded Cogen Technologies in 1984, and as CEO ledit to become one of the world’s largest cogeneration companies. Itsnatural-gas-fired plants—such as those in New Jersey that supply about 13 percent of New York City’s electricity—set a standard for the East Coast in highefficiency and environmental cleanliness. In 1999, Enron Corp., one of theworld’s leading electricity, natural gas and communications companies, purchaseda majority of Cogen’s assets.A wide-ranging civic leader, McNair is senior chairman of theBoard of Trustees of the Houston Grand Opera Association, and a member of theboards of Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine, the Houston Museum ofFine Arts and the Greater Houston Partnership. He was elected to the TexasBusiness Hall of Fame in 1997. McNair also is prominent in sporting circles,leading a group seeking to bring a National Football League franchise toHouston. Under the colors of Stonerside Stable, McNair and his wife breed andrace thoroughbred horses, including Touch Gold, winner of the 1997 BelmontStakes; Coronado’s Quest, one of 1998’s top three-year-olds; and Chilukki, thisyear’s leading two-year-old filly.In 1988, the McNairs established the Janice and Robert McNairFoundation which has focused on education. The McNairs’ past gifts for educationinclude funding to endow the chair of the director of the James A. Baker IIIInstitute for Public Policy at Rice University. Other significant gifts weremade to Baylor College of Medicine to endow the McNair Scholars M.D./Ph.D.program; endowing the McNairs Scholars program at the University of SouthCarolina, where Bob McNair earned his bachelor’s degree in 1958 and received anhonorary doctor of humane letters degree in 1999; to Columbia College, JaniceMcNair’s alma mater, to fund construction of the Barbara Bush Center for Scienceand Technology; to fund numerous education initiatives for inner city youth inHouston; and for a scholarship program in Forest City, N.C., where Bob McNairattended high school.Their latest gift to Rice is a major boost to the university’scomprehensive reshaping of the Jones School of Management. Since coming to Ricetwo years ago from the University of Michigan, Whitaker has launched anexecutive MBA program, increased faculty size and depth in critical and emergingdisciplines, led a revamping of the curriculum, and initiated forward-lookingmanagement education programs.Rice University, on the nation’s third coast and in itsfourth-largest city, in early August was named by Kiplinger’s Personal FinanceMagazine as the best value in the nation among private universities. Rice is aleading research university distinguished by its selectivity, superior teaching,small size, individual attention, and collaborative and interdisciplinaryculture.###last_img read more

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Daily deal companies are here to stay according to consumers

first_imgShareDavid Ruth713-348-6327druth@rice.edu Amy Hodges713-348-6777amy.hodges@rice.eduDaily deal companies are here to stay, according to consumersNew study by Rice and Cornell researchers shows sustained interest in daily deals among consumersDespite recent news reports questioning the long-term viability of daily deal companies, a new study from researchers at Rice University and Cornell University shows that the companies are more popular than ever among consumers.”The key finding is that there is no evidence of waning interest among consumers of daily deal promotions,” said Rice University’s Utpal Dholakia, co-author of ”Daily Deal Fatigue or Unabated Enthusiasm?” ”In fact, the more deals purchased by an individual, the more enthusiastic they seem to be.”Dholakia, professor of management at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business, and Sheryl Kimes, professor of hospitality management at Cornell University, examined consumer perceptions of promotions for nine daily deal companies: Groupon, LivingSocial, Travelzoo, Gilt City, OpenTable, BuyWithMe, ScoutMob, eversave and Restaurants.com. The researchers surveyed 973 respondents in August; 655 were daily deal users and 318 were not.Dholakia said the study is good news for daily deal companies, who have been hit hard in recent weeks with reports of the industry’s decline. Even previous research by Dholakia found that not enough businesses are coming back to daily deals to make the industry sustainable over a long time.The new study shows significant opportunity for growth among consumers, as only 16.7 percent of the research panel’s population has used daily deals before, and the majority of non-users (90.6 percent) haven’t bought a deal because of awareness or access issues.”We see significant further opportunity for trial and use of daily deals by current non-users,” Dholakia said.Overall, daily deal customers tend to have little interest in being seen as different or ”fringe” in their shopping patterns, are not very careful with their personal finances and do not think about spending issues all the time. They are interested in trying new products and services to have new experiences to talk about and influence others. They are attracted to a deal because it is a deal, and are likely to be less sensitive to the actual terms of the offer made by the merchant.”All of these psychological characteristics indicate that the underlying motivations for purchasing daily deals are complex and multifaceted, having to do with more than just saving money,” Dholakia said.The study brings into question one of the basic beliefs held by most in the daily deal industry. ”There is a theory that consumers must be offered ‘deep’ discounts (50 percent or more) to be interested in daily deals,” Dholakia said. ”Our research shows that a significant number of consumers will continue to buy the deals even if the discounts are slightly smaller. This is a significant finding because my previous research showed that businesses find huge discounts to be unsustainable. The industry seems to be operating under the opinion that deep discounts are the only way to be successful, but that’s not the case.”The study was funded by the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research and Rice University. To read the complete new study and previous research papers by Dholakia on daily deal sites, visit www.ruf.rice.edu/~dholakia.To set up an interview with Dholakia, contact David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, at druth@rice.edu or 713-348-6327. AddThislast_img read more

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Historian Douglas Brinkley available for State of the Union interviews

first_imgFacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis ShareDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduNoted presidential historian Douglas Brinkley available for State of the Union interviewsHOUSTON – (Feb. 11, 2013) – Noted presidential historian Douglas Brinkley is available via Rice University’s television interview studio today and tomorrow for national television interviews discussing President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday evening.Brinkley, who is a professor of history and fellow in history at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, interviewed Obama shortly before Election Day for a Rolling Stone magazine cover story. Brinkley, along with other historians, has been a regular guest of the president for roundtable discussions on various historical topics.Rice University has a VideoLink ReadyCam TV interview studio. ReadyCam is capable of transmitting broadcast-quality standard-definition and high-definition video directly to all news media organizations around the world 24/7.To schedule an interview with Brinkley, contact David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, at david@rice.edu or 713-348-6327.-30-Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Follow Brinkley on Twitter @ProfDBrinkley.Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities byU.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music,Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/AboutRiceU.last_img read more

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