July 2019

Keir Starmer delivered a 2000word speech and ans

first_imgKeir Starmer delivered a 2,000-word speech and answered the questions of Labour activists at the Fabian conference this morning. The frontbencher covered the failures of the Tory government during the Brexit negotiations and the next steps for Labour policy. Here’s what we learned…Labour will keep trying to force a general election.“Wednesday’s no confidence vote was just the beginning of Labour’s efforts to secure a general election – not the end,” Starmer said in his speech. “Securing a general election is – and always will be – our priority as it’s the only way to deliver the radical change this country needs.”After the government survived the no-confidence vote on Wednesday, Jeremy Corbyn’s spokesperson did not rule out tabling another such motion at a later date, possibly before the Prime Minister has returned to parliament with a substantive ‘Plan B’ for Brexit.“Motions of confidence can happen more than once,” the spokesperson said earlier this week. This was confirmed again as the Labour leader’s line in his Hastings speech: “We will come back with [a motion of no-confidence] again if necessary.”Labour will keep its conference motion commitment.At Labour conference in September, the Brexit composite motion unanimously passed by delegates pledged: “If we cannot get a general election, Labour must support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote.”Following phase one (voting down Theresa May’s deal) and phase two (seeking an election), Starmer confirmed that we are now “at the third phase of our policy”. He went on to describe the key pledge about “all options remaining on the table” as “a very important commitment”.“It’s a commitment to you, our members and our movement. And it is one we will keep,” Starmer promised in his speech today.Four options have been ruled out: May’s deal, no deal, Canada model, hard Irish border.Starmer ruled out four options today. First, supporting the Prime Minister’s deal, “or any tweaked version of it that may materialise”. The Brexit spokesperson explained: “The deal is so flawed, it is so far from meeting our tests, and the parliamentary opposition to is so great that this can no longer be considered a credible option. A majority of 230 speaks for itself.”It is of some interest that he said “this can no longer be considered a credible option” – as if it were a credible option at one point. There had been rumours towards the end of 2018 that Labour could countenance backing a version of May’s deal, particularly as many argue (and Barry Gardiner has acknowledged) that only the non-legally-binding political declaration part of the divorce deal would need changing.Second, leaving without a deal. This one came as no surprise, as the entire parliamentary Labour Party agrees (apart from Kate Hoey). “No deal simply is not acceptable to us – it never has been. The damaging impact of no deal to people across the country is so profound that no one should be casual about it,” Starmer said.Third, the Canada model favoured by some Brexiteers in the Conservative Party. “A free-trade deal along the lines of CETA – the so-called Canada model – is not acceptable,” Starmer said. “A CETA-style deal would weaken workers’ rights, consumer and environmental standards. It wouldn’t protect supply chains which are vital for our manufacturing industry. And it wouldn’t prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland.”Finally, any Brexit deal that lead to a hard Irish border.Two options remain: Labour’s alternative plan and a public vote.Starmer clearly set out that after ruling out all of the above, there are only two options for Labour: “1) Instructing the government to negotiate a close economic relationship with the EU” and “2) As our conference motion sets out, the option of a public vote”.The Shadow Brexit Secretary conceded that Labour’s alternative plan is “far from perfect” and “involves trade-offs and compromises”. He also acknowledged that the other option, a fresh EU referendum, has “significant support” among Labour members and some Labour MPs. He emphasised that this “has to be an option for Labour”.Responding to audience questions on a ‘people’s vote’, Starmer said: “We’re no longer in the position we were in two years ago. We’re asking a different question, which is how to crash out without a deal. In those circumstances, we have to consider the options laid out in my speech.”Starmer thinks we probably won’t leave the EU on 29th March.“We also need to recognise that – whichever of these options we pursue – the 29th March deadline looks increasingly unlikely to be met,” he said. Listing the pieces of legislation still needing MPs’ approval, Starmer concluded that Article 50 extension is “inevitable”.Asked whether the EU elections taking place this year would affect that extension, Starmer replied: “It’s a pretty open secret that the EU have at least discussed extending until 1st July.” European Labour Party leader Richard Corbett has similarly advised in the past that extension until July would be feasible without the need to hold European parliamentary elections in the UK in May.Starmer is interested in the idea of a Brexit citizens’ assembly.Last month, Neil Lawson of Compass called for a Brexit citizens’ assembly, whereby a representative sample of the public would make a recommendation on the outcome. The idea has since been supported by MPs including Lisa Nandy and Stella Creasy. Starmer revealed today that he is “a fan”, saying: “We’ve got to bring people back into these discussions, whether it’s through citizens’ assemblies or other means”.Keir Starmer reads LabourList.We already knew that. But he has now also quoted a LabourList piece in a key Brexit speech. He said:“But as Andrew Harrop pointed out in LabourList last weekend: “In this moment of national crisis, [Labour] has a responsibility not just to oppose but to offer a constructive path forward.” I agree. It’s now time for an open and frank debate about how we break the deadlock.”Tags:Fabian Society /Labour /Fabians /Keir Starmer /Brexit /#FEPSFAB19 /last_img read more

Developments in Development Earthshaking

first_imgThe other earth-shaking real estate and development topic du jour is, of course, SB35, which passed last week in a bid to get housing permitted faster. Our state legislature has now pulled the trigger on this hotly debated piece of legislation, and if Twitter is any indication, the governor is supportive. The idea is to force municipalities to approve housing developments as a matter of course, aiming to reduce or eliminate time-consuming hearings, appeals and other delays. The bill makes some key distinctions — the streamlining only goes into effect for the type of housing on which a municipality is not meeting its state-set goals. San Francisco is reaching its production goal of market-rate housing, so those projects won’t be streamlined, unless things change by the time it goes into effect Jan. 1. Affordable housing, however, we are far behind on, so buildings that include 100 percent below-market-rate housing will be streamlined by the bill. Supporters (it was championed by San Francisco’s own former D8 supervisor and state Senator Scott Wiener) cheered its goal of efficiently speeding up production of much-needed housing. Detractors are concerned that it will simply steamroll communities that have valid concerns about what’s being built in their neighborhoods, including parking, traffic impacts, design and affordability levels. If the city falls behind on its state goals on market-rate housing even by a hair, activists will lose a lot of their bargaining leverage there, too. In fact, quite a bit has happened at the state level recently — a $4 billion housing bond is going on the ballot that would create funding and fees on certain real estate transactions, which would go into the state’s housing coffers. Plus, as two affordability advocates write in the San Francisco Examiner, an adjustment was added to a bill that would have allowed the city to force projects using the state density bonus to still include the local (higher) portion of below-market-rate housing. The adjustment gives the state the power to decide whether or not San Francisco implements that bill — which advocates say effectively kills it.On the one hand, it does seem like it might be a little late to be thinking about how to build more housing (might have been nice to start 30 years ago or so). On the other hand, if these are the answers, they are welcome, because the bubble or boom or whatever you want to consider it is still hanging around:The most recent American Communities Survey (interim mini-census) shows that San Francisco is more crowded than it was last year, and generally a touch younger. And our annual median income is now officially six figures: We’ve surpassed $103,000 a year.Sure, rents have stagnated a little and slapdash luxury condos are selling for a little less, but this is still a city where an uninhabitable scorched heap of a building sells for more than $1 million. Or where a condo with exposed pipes for some bizarre reason running along the ceiling still appreciates in already somewhat nutty value over a few years.And, if you’re on a budget, staying under that elusive $1,500 line on monthly rent, you’ll likely be looking at barely more than 300 square feet of living space, RentCafé shows. Berlin is on that list of sought-after locations RentCafé studied, and offers comparatively palatial spaces for the same price — I wonder how, and if, that may change, now that a court has ruled the city’s rent-control law, really a little closer to a rent cap, unconstitutional.For all my talk this week about state initiatives, our local public figures been busy, too. SocketSite reports that Planning is asking the developer of the Mission Bernal plot where Cole Hardware used to stand (and may again) to take advantage of local density bonus laws and build higher than the allotted zoning. Curious to see how that one will play out, given that following this recommendation would mean the developers suddenly need to do all sorts of things they didn’t before, like include below-market-rate units and go through a public hearing.But that is small potatoes compared to the potential showdown that activist groups are apparently hoping to bring to the Mission District: Members of the Plaza 16 coalition, the avowed foe of the 1979 Mission Street project at 16th, went to the Planning Commission to request that the hearing for that project be held in the Mission. No word yet on whether or not Planning will facilitate this. The last big public meeting in the Mission for that project was, um, spirited. Tags: development • Developments in Development • housing • real estate Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0%center_img Developments in Development is a “weekly” column recapping real estate, housing, planning, zoning and construction news.With Mexico City still reeling — though working valiantly to recover — from the Sept. 19 earthquake, there’s been no shortage of local what-iffery. And I’m going to join in, because now is as good a time as any to grapple with the unpleasant possibility: We could be next. Aside from doing some personal preparation (If an earthquake hits, how will you make sure you have access to your medication, your important documents, cash, food, water? Do you know where you’ll meet your family members if you can’t call them? Do you have a basic plan? Check our series on disaster training). We have a few handicaps as a city when it comes to seismic activity. For example, a good portion of the city — and, yes, a good portion of the Mission — is built on soil that will essentially be quicksand if the big one hits. See, for example, this map. This is why the city is mandating seismic retrofits — though nearly 500 buildings have missed their retrofit deadline. last_img read more

Neighborhood Notes Off Top Planning Imposters and Victorian gets a makeover

first_img 0% This, he said, will be great for business. When Off Top first opened last April, it did business out of the front corner of the space. It soon expanded to take up a whole front half of the store, which was apparently a smart move. “We doubled our sales,” Ramirez said, explaining that now they take in $6,000 to $10,000 a month in revenue. But when they move into the new space, with its higher visibility and more room to be creative, Ramirez is projecting the business will take in $20,000 a month. “Having restaurants and stores around will help us a lot,” he said. Their rent will also help. At their current spot, Ramirez said they were paying $1,700 to share the space, and soon they will only have to pay $1,300. He said he persistently spoke to the Mission Economic Development Agency about leasing the space. (Mission Local also rents space from MEDA.)  What’s more, he said, last year he and his business partner, Daniel Rayes, were paying the rent out of their pockets. “In November, it started paying for itself,” he said. Ramirez is no stranger to doing business. In a past life, he was a mortgage lender in Sacramento, but became disillusioned and moved to San Francisco. After living out of his car for a time, he opened his store in the Mission. Once the move is complete, he’s hoping to turn a real profit, he said. “It feels amazing,” he said. “My kid (business) can finally walk now.” Planning Department Imposters Fake Planning Department notes went up around the site of a proposed three-story, 12-unit housing project at 25th Street and San Jose Avenue. The Planning Department was not happy. The note, complete with Planning Department letterhead, reads: Dear Neighbor: An outside group wants to demolish the Victorian at 350 San Jose Ave … so they can erect a huge building (condos) with an additional 3rd Floor featuring a 4-BR penthouse $$$ with balconies overlooking Juri Commons Park. This will dramatically change your park & your neighborhood. Please contact Megan at SF Planning Dept. today to oppose their plans before it gains any traction or city approval. Thank you. Of course, the Planning Department was less-than-thrilled. Megan Caplin, the planner for the project, sent out a letter shortly after false notes went up, notifying neighbors that the letters were indeed a hoax. “We are alarmed by this falsification of official materials and are disappointed by the author’s attempt to mislead neighbors,” the note reads. Caplin urged neighbors — and the imposters — to contact her with any questions or concerns. Moreover, on Tuesday, an environmental review was filed for the project. In an email, a neighbor named Edward Stiel said he supported the environmental review, citing a shadow that would be cast over Juri Commons Park, not enough off-street parking spaces, and the density of the project being out of scale with the neighborhood. The project would indeed double in height — from 21-feet-tall to 40-feet-tall, per the proposal. It will include four parking spaces total, with 12 bicycle spots. Stiel said he did not know who the note impersonators were. House transformed for the indie movieA Victorian on South Van Ness between 20th and 21st is going through some transformations, albeit temporary ones. Over the month of May, a film crew will be shooting part of a movie called The Last Black Man in San Francisco in the Mission, and in particular at the Victorian (where, full disclosure, this reporter lives.) The front of the house has a completely new look: set crews erected walls composed of wood and painted to look like stone. The wall is overlaid with real and fake vines. One of the designers explained all the hullabaloo. “We wanted to mask the garage to make it look like an original Victorian from top to bottom,” the designer said, explaining that Victorians originally did not come with garages. The film follows a young man who occupies and tries to renovate a house his grandfather built in San Francisco. The movie is primarily being shot in Hunters Point, but the Mission is also getting its fair share of screen time.Fake walls and vines at the Victorian on S. Van Ness. Photo by Julian Mark.Creativity Explored, Mind PlaceJoin Creativity Explored, a studio and art gallery for artists with developmental disabilities, for its opening reception of Mind Place on Thursday, May 10, from 7 to 9 p.m. The exhibit, which runs through July 12, explores the “psychology of place.” It will feature artistic depictions that lead “the viewer on a journey to ethereal environments that are physical, yet based on the mind.” The artists: Ian Adams, Jay Herndon, Camille Holvoet, Laron Bickerstaff, Kathy Wen, and Marilyn Wong. Curated by Visual Arts Instructor Leeza Doreian.Orange Moon by Marilyn Wong. Off Top is growing up The Mission-based cap designer Off Top is growing fast – so much so that it’s finally getting its own space on the corner of 19th and Mission streets June 1. Co-owner Armando Ramirez, 29, said the move will allow the one-year-old cap-embroidery business to focus on its own branding. Right now, he shares a space with a hair salon on Mission Street, closer to 20th. “Here, it feels like we have roommates — we share the vibes,” he said. “It’s great and I love it, but our own space will give us our own home and atmosphere.” center_img Tags: mission street • San Francisco Planning Department Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

first_imgSAINTS half-back Jonny Lomax has been ruled out of England’s Gillette Four Nations squad on medical grounds.The 21-year-old, who was named in Steve McNamara’s initial squad on Monday, has torn ankle ligaments sustained in the weekend’s Engage Super League Grand Final defeat to Leeds Rhinos. Lomax will now require surgery.Leeds Rhinos stand-off Danny McGuire has been called into the squad and will report, along with the rest of the players, to England’s training camp in Loughborough on Wednesday.England start their Gillette Four Nations campaign on Saturday October 29 when they take on Wales at Leigh Sports Village (2.30pm) with tickets priced at just £10 adults and £5 concessions.The tournament moves to Wembley Stadium on Saturday November 5 when Wales face New Zealand at 1pm before England clash with Australia at 3.30pm.England’s remaining game against New Zealand will be played at the KC Stadium in Hull on Saturday November 12 (6pm) and tickets are priced from £20 adult and £10 concession.The 2011 Gillette Four Nations final will be played at Elland Road, Leeds on Saturday November 19 (6pm) and tickets are priced from £20 Adult and £10 concession.Tickets for the 2011 Gillette Four Nations can be purchased by calling 0844 856 1113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uklast_img read more

first_imgHATTON’S Travel, our official coach provider and sponsor of the Sponsor’s Lounge at Langtree Park, is running a great trip to the Saints v Catalan match in August.For just £379*, you can enjoy a six-day trip to one of the highlights of the season.Anyone who has visited Catalan knows what a special experience it is and Hatton’s Travel’s package takes in the best the region has to offer.It includes:Trip runs from July 31 – August 5 2013B&B Overnight accommodation outbound & return in Southern ParisThree Nights Bed & Breakfast at the Ibis Perpignan CentreTransport to Game on Saturday 3 AugustTickets for game NOT includedTo find out more call Hatton’s Travel on 01744 811 818 or log on to www.hattonstravel.co.uk*this doesn’t include your match ticketlast_img read more

Wilmington man accused of secretly recording young girl

first_imgBernardo Garcia-Robles (Photo: New Hanover Co. Sheriff’s Office) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A New Hanover County man is in jail accused of secretly recording a young girl.48-year old Bernardo Garcia-Robles is charged with two counts of secret peeping and indecent liberties with a child.- Advertisement – Wilmington Police say a 911 caller said Garcia-Robles was recording video of the child.Police arrested Garcia-Robles in the 5700 block of Market Street.He is in the New Hanover County Detention Center under a 100,000 dollar bond.last_img read more

Public library breaks ground for future Pine Valley location

first_img The new library will serve more than 100,000 residents who live in a five-mile radius of the location.Construction will begin and is expected to be complete in early 2019.The library will replace the existing Myrtle Grove library and will offer additional parking and expanded space for learningresources, library programs and services, and community meetings. 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 Settings WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — In order to help service more people in the community and make reading more accessible a new library is coming soon.The New Hanover County Public Library broke ground on the future Pine Valley library.- Advertisement – last_img read more

BBT identifies cause of outage as customers left frustrated

first_imgThe bank did not provide an estimate on when services would be back up and running. For people here in the Cape Fear, the service outage changed plans they had.“We got paid today, so I’m like ‘OK, well I’m going to go pull out some money for laundry and then get something to eat, so we can do our errands today.” And it said insufficient funds. So I’m like that’s a bad feeling because I know we got paid today and puts me in a bind cause we got stuff that we gotta do today,” BB&T customer, Joye Smith, said.Related Article: Amazon offers to help employees start delivery businessBB&T first reported the issue on its Twitter feed yesterday evening.At this time, many of our services are unavailable, including digital banking, Phone24, and ATM. Thank you for your patience as we work diligently to restore your services. We will continue to provide updates here and on https://t.co/mww5FRNlBb.— BB&T (@BBT) February 22, 2018BB&T says it operates more than 2,000 financial centers in 15 states and Washington, DC. The said it does not believe a cyber-attack caused the problem. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — BB&T customers face a second day of frustrations as the Winston-Salem-based bank says many of its services remain offline.Just after 9 a.m. the bank posted an update on its Facebook page says the issue was caused by an equipment malfunction in a data center.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Area hotels filled with Florence evacuees

first_img00:00 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 Settings LELAND, NC (WWAY) — Hotels that stayed open in our area are full of coastal residents escaping the hurricane. Some are even completely full.Residents share how fearful they are of what is yet to come with Florence. Many are worried that they may not have a home to go back to.- Advertisement – “You know, it was a Category 4 for awhile, then a 3, and we just don’t want to take any chances. Human life is more important than material things,” Mark Campbell of Carolina Beach said. “We’ve met a lot of nice people here who are in the same situation that we’re in, so it’s kind of comforting to know that we’re not in it alone.”“We’re just hoping that everything is in tact when we return,” Oak Island resident Maryanna Dunn said. “And we just built the house two years ago. So it is on stilts. It’s 19 feet high up. So who knows?”Dunn says they were lucky to get one of four rooms at the Best Western in Leland that accepts pets. She says the hotel has been kind enough to let more people bring their pets for an extra fee.last_img read more

Columbus County recovery update new food distribution sites shelter info

first_imgFlooding in Columbus County (Photo: Viewer submitted) COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Florida Baptist Association has set up a post in Columbus County to assist residents.  At this time, they are assisting with clean up, cutting and removing downed trees, and installing tarps.If you need assistance with any of the above mentioned items, please contact (904) 253-0502.- Advertisement – Distribution sites have been established at the below locations.  These sites have MREs, (ready to eat meals), water, and tarps available for Columbus County residents in need.  The NC Forest Service and the National Guard are at each location to assist with distribution.  Distribution hours will be from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.The site locations are subject to change depending on community needs.Bolton Fire DepartmentBrunswick Fire DepartmentChadbourn Fire DepartmentEvergreen Fire DepartmentFair Bluff at the old auto parts storeHallsboro Fire DepartmentLake Waccamaw at the BB&T located in the Hills PlazaNorth Whiteville Fire DepartmentTabor City Fire DepartmentWhite Marsh/Welches Creek Fire DepartmentWilliams Township Fire DepartmentThe Columbus Baptist Association has a distribution site set up at the Barefoot Church/ old Big Lots building located 20 Whiteville Plaza in Whiteville.Related Article: More money heading to NC fishermen harmed by FlorenceDistribution of donated items began at noon on Thursday and will last until all items are passed out.  The available items are non-perishable food items, water, and cleaning supplies.  Additional resources will be arriving later.As a result, distribution will begin again Friday at 8:30 a.m. until all supplies are distributed.The shelter at East Columbus has reopened to serve those in need in the Eastern portion of the county.  The shelter at Guideway Elementary School has closed.  Edgewood Elementary School, South Columbus High School, and West Columbus High School shelters are open.Waste Industries will resume normal trash collection services today, Thursday, September 20, 2018.The Columbus County Transfer Station opened today at 7:30 am.  They will close today at 4:00 pm.  All storm debris and construction/demolition materials must be taken to the Columbus County Transfer Station.  Household trash will be accepted at this location until Thursday, September 27, 2018.last_img read more

Bellamy Mansion Museum combines local chefs fall foods for Harvest Dinner

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Bellamy Mansion Museum is bringing Cape Fear area celebrity chefs for a Harvest Dinner on November 1.Guests will enjoy an exclusive multi course meal prepared and presented by chef Dean Neff from Pinpoint Restaurant and chef Lydia Clopton from Love, Lydia.- Advertisement – Event Coordinator Carolyn Gonzalez says the event will help with Museum programs and also “help with the house’s extensive damage from Hurricane Florence.”  She adds, “it’s going to be a lot of fun for everyone.”Chef Neff says that “cooking is not allowed in the Museum so all dishes will be prepared on the grounds over a flame.”  He also says “the dishes will reflect fall foods of the time the Museum was a family home.The event will take place at the Museum from 6 to 9 pm on November 1.  Tickets include wine pairings and a unique brew from Wilmington Brewing Company, live music and a silent auction. Tickets are $150 per person + tax.Related Article: Wilmington chef Dean Neff named as James Beard SemifinalistSpace is limited and reservations are required. For more information click here.last_img read more

Lake Waccamaw PD Man breaks into gas station by falling through roof

first_img Surveillance video shows the man trying to use the crowbar to get out of the gas station.Police say this video is from a case the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office is investigating, but they are working together on two separate cases that happened the same night. Lake Waccamaw PD was given permission to share the video.The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office says this crime happened on last Saturday, just before 3:00 a.m.Related Article: Cape Hatteras park vandalized during shutdownDeputies responded to Sam’s Pit Stop at 1128 Green Swamp Road South in reference to an alarm.  When they arrived, they saw the glass on the front door broken.  Investigators believe the suspect entered the building through the roof, damaging the A/C unit.The Sheriff’s Office said they are not releasing additional surveillance footage, as the incident is still under investigation. COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Lake Waccamaw Police Department is asking for your help in locating a person they believed broke into a gas station.Police say the man fell through the roof of Sam’s Pitt Stop, and left a crowbar behind.- Advertisement – last_img read more

first_imgAdvertisement The Sony Entertainment Network has been ‘soft-launched’ prior to a major marketing campaign that will begin on 1 November.The streaming service, which also offers a download-to-own option, offers a global catalogue of over 10 million tracks on Sony Tablet and other Android-based tablets and phones. The UK service offers 7 million tracks.A Sony spokesman said the company’s aim was to appeal to the owners of MP3s players who have used the devices simply to listen to CDs they already own. Some estimates suggest that 85 per cent of iPod owners listen primarily to music they have simply ripped from their own collections. – Advertisement – Tim Schaaff, President of Sony Network Entertainment, said the launch “marks one of our many significant steps to satisfying the mobile demands of our current consumers while opening up our cloud-based music service to completely new audiences.”The Music Unlimited service, which will operate in nine countries, allows users to build their own playlists for £9.99 per month, or simply to listen to themed stations for £3.99. Sony Tablet users who are first-time subscribers will get a 180-day trial of the Basic subscription plan.The service will be available via PC, TV, Walkman MP3 players, tablets and other connected Sony devices, such as blu-ray players. Sony Ericsson mobile phones and the PlayStation games console will also be compatible, as will all other Android phones and tablets.Source: The Telegraphlast_img read more

first_imgAdvertisement “Focus on creativity; knowledge is over-rated.” – Google’s Access Field Development Director, Kai WulffKampala, Uganda – November 20, 2012: Mobile Monday Kampala, the Ugandan chapter of the global network of mobile industry professionals, visionaries, developers and entrepreneurs, today hosted over one hundred delegates as speakers discussed “how the democratization of mobile broadband” will impact lives.The discussions were centered on the opportunities presented by broadband internet such as tools that enable us work from home, video conferencing, cloud-based storage and backups; and how high-speed internet accessible via mobile devices influences our behavioral and consumption patterns. – Advertisement – Delivering the keynote, Google’s Access Field Development Director, Kai Uwe Wulff called for creativity in content creation and sharing rather than holding on to content.“Information can’t be catalogued, can’t be made useful to other people without being shared,” he said.“Knowledge is over-rated. Focus on creativity,” he added.He encouraged delegates present, as users of the various broadband solutions, to change their mindset from making complaints about service providers to giving themselves more control by “voting with their money”.“Changing the market is the job of the consumer. You vote with your money,” noted Wulff.“Those mobile operators are the reason we are communicating. If you do not like their business model, change it,” he added.Expectedly, his view was echoed by the attending Executive Director for Uganda’s National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U), Mr. James Ssaka.“It’s not the role of UCC to make sure if someone advertises 4G connectivity they actually provide it,” said Ssaka, making reference to his personal experience with Ugandan service providers. He revealed that he had been switching between various service providers due to poor QoS.Government’s regulatory bodies have recently faced criticism for being too lenient to service providers, something that has contributed to increasingly poor Quality of Services (QoS), especially in the telecommunications industry.Other speakers included MTN Uganda’s Chief Marketing Officer, Ernst Fonternel, who discussed the future of telecommunications, and Babak Fakhamzadeh, a developer whose web application, Dérive, recently won UN’s World Summit Award 2012.Dérive app is a web-based mobile app that facilitates a randomized meander through an urban environment by prompting the user with tasks that forces him to experience his direct surroundings in an unconventional way, heightening the experience of the city for the user, while essentially playing a game. Because this experience of the urban environment does not rely on the actual physical location, but still results in a meaningful and unique experience, it’s the exact obverse of conventional tourism.The event was sponsored by Smile Communications, and the company’s Head of Sales and Marketing, Mark Pritcard explained how Smile is “helping bring about an internet revolution in Uganda through 4G LTE” – the latest standard in the mobile network technology tree that previously realized the GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSxPA network technologies.About Mobile Monday KampalaMobile Monday Kampala (MoMoKla) is a community of mobile industry visionaries, developers and influentials fostering cooperation and cross-border business development through virtual and live networking events to share ideas, best practices and trends from global markets.MoMoKla was formed on January, 20th 2010 by a group of 40 founding members consisting of professionals in Uganda’s telecommunication, academia, media and ICT sectors. The chapter was launched officially on March 8, 2010 (Women’s Day).last_img read more

East Africa ICT Ministers pledge to accomplish One Area Network integration

first_imgAdvertisement The ICT ministers from Kenya, Uganda & Rwanda have pledged to accomplish the ‘One Area Network’ integration initiative at the Connected East Africa Summit that’s taking place in Kwale Sub-county, Mombasa.This is a follow-up on the Regional inter-Ministerial Committee that was formed during the Transform Africa Forum held in Kigali in 2013 that mainly looked into breaking regional barriers in harmonization of ICT across the East African countries.Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana reassured delegates at the Summit – “We’re working towards replicating the achievements of the One Area Network initiative, which has resulted in lower calling costs on regional data charges.” – Advertisement – The Committee reported it’s progress and demonstrated its interventions in building an integrated ICT infrastructure and policies. The projects that are currently underway include the East African Broadband ICT Infrastructure Network (EAC-BIN), One Area Network and the EAC Medicine Registration and Harmonization project.“Our costs are not alarmingly high but we are not satisfied. We are aware that cost is a very significant factor when you talk about access. We are looking at a number of ways to address this, including reviewing the taxation regime,” Kenya ICT Minister Fred Matiang’i added.last_img read more

A beginners guide to Uber in Kampala

first_imgAdvertisement Uber, the innovative app that connects riders with drivers at the push of a button is now available in over 475 cities in 75 countries across 6 continents, including Kampala. This means there’s no waiting on the street or walking through unfamiliar neighbourhoods to find transport. Uber is a convenient way to get a safe, reliable and affordable ride.The Uber app can be downloaded free from your Appstore for Android, iPhone and Blackberry 7. If you want to be part of this transport revolution here are six facts that will make you Uber savvy.Request a rideOnce your Uber App is open, Uber automatically uses GPS and Wi-Fi to pick up your location, alternatively you can enter the address for your exact location to request a ride. All of this can be done from the comfort of your home, office or whenever you need a ride. – Advertisement – To have a safe ride, ensure you’re getting in the right Uber. This can be done by checking that the license plate number of your car and driver match the one shown in the app.How to Uber: Credit: HitMama     Get a Fare EstimateDid you know that Uber allows you to view a fare estimate before requesting your ride? This makes it possible to budget before you even take a ride. The estimate gives you a bracket cost from a minimum to maximum amount you can pay for each trip. There are no hidden costs or surprises at the end of your trip.  Split the fare with a friendWhen travelling with friends, colleagues or family there’s no need for you to pay for the trip alone. Uber has a cool feature that allows you split the fare equally between you and your travel companions, making it an even more affordable ride. Upon completion of your trip a receipt is emailed to you to show how much was charged from your account.    Estimate your time of arrivalUber is deeply committed to rider and driver safety, this is why the Uber App allows you to share your estimated time of arrival (ETA) and location with your loved ones. This enables them to track your trip and know where you are when you are traveling with Uber.[related-posts] Five-Star ratingFeedback at the end of each trip is essential to ensure that Uber continues to provide a world class service to riders and drivers. Upon completion of a trip a you and your driver need to rate each other and provide additional information about the trip. The rating is more than a thumbs up or down – it accumulates to show an overall quality performance of the driver-partner and affects future opportunities on the Uber platform. SupportThe support team at Uber is available 24/7 to assist with any issues you might encounter during a trip. Uber also has a rapid response team dedicated to answer any urgent issues.Uber is moving millions of global citizens every day by offering affordable and reliable rides at the touch of a button. The technology is creating thousands of economic opportunities and enabling smart cities of the future.  Do not be left behind, download the app and be part of this exciting global revolution.last_img read more

EU Mulls Stricter Controls on WhatsApp Skype

first_imgImage Credit: Forbes Advertisement The European Union will in September propose subjecting internet services like WhatsApp and Skype to similar rules as traditional telecommunications companies, a spokesman said Wednesday.The European Commission, the executive arm of the 28-nation bloc, is set to recommend tighter privacy and security for services like Facebook-owned message service WhatsApp and Microsoft‘s video phone portal Skype.Spokesman Christian Wigand said that “we can confirm that the commission is working on an update of EU telecoms rules” next month to “ensure a high level of protection for people and a level playing field for all market players”. – Advertisement – “The commission is analyzing to what extent so-called over-the-top service providers like WhatsApp and Skype are providing services that are equivalent to those provided by traditional telecoms operators,” Wigand said.“The commission is considering whether the scope of the current EU rules needs to be adapted, to maintain consistently high levels of consumer protection, security of networks and servers, and to ensure that regulation does not distort competition.”A Commission source told AFP that while it was necessary to “stimulate innovation by new players” they had to “make sure there were fair rules for everyone”.[Agence France Presse]last_img read more

Here are the Five African Inventions to Look out for this Year

first_imgMamaope jacket invention. Photograph: Brett Eloff/The Royal Academy of Engineering Advertisement 2017! we hope to see and expect much more this year, ranging from innovation, to tech, to fintech, and so forth. Earlier this week, we mentioned one innovation that was carried out by a Ugandan graduate – Brian Turyabagye, who has [and his team] come up with a biomedical smart jacket that will tackle misdiagnosis of pneumonia. His innovation/invention has been seen trending online since the start of this year. However, a side from Brian’s invention, BBC News Africa has listed down five [Brian’s Invention inclusive] of Africa’s Invention to look forward to this year.All the inventions listed below are all interesting, if all are put into consideration, Africa will been seen somewhere this year.An electricity grid for the whole village – [Use’s Steamaco Tech] Problem: According to Yale Environment 360, a total of 1.3 billion people worldwide currently don’t have electricity. Getting people in rural areas on to the national grid is proving too difficult and traditional solar panels generate meagre amounts of energy. – Advertisement – Solution: Steamaco makes solar and battery micro-grids which can work for a whole village. They are small electricity generation and distribution systems that operate independently of larger grids.How it works: Steamaco’s technology automates the regulation of electricity. So, if the system detects there will be a surge in demand for electricity, it will automatically send a text to all customers on the grid saying that the electricity in houses is about to be cut off so that the hospital can keep on going.A jacket that detects pneumonia – [Mamaope Jacket] Problem: According to reports by UNICEF, pneumonia kills half a million children under five in sub-Saharan Africa every year, with the region accounting for half of all global deaths from pneumonia of children under five. Most of these cases are due to pneumonia being misdiagnosed as malaria.Solution: Ugandan graduate engineer Brian Turyabagye has designed a biomedical “smart jacket” to quickly and accurately diagnose pneumonia. The Mamaope jacket measures a sick child’s temperature and breathing rate. It can diagnose pneumonia three to four times faster than a doctor and eliminates most possibility for human error.How it works: A modified stethoscope is put in a vest. It is linked to a mobile phone app that records the audio of the patient’s chest. Analysis of that audio can detect lung crackles and can lead to preliminary diagnoses.[related-posts]A tablet to monitor your heart – [Cardio Pad] Problem: It is difficult for people in rural areas to travel to the cities to see heart specialists. There are just 50 cardiologists in Cameroon, which has a population of 20 million people.Solution: Arthur Zang invented the Cardio Pad – a handheld medical computer tablet which healthcare workers in rural areas use to send the results of cardiac tests to specialists via a mobile phone connection.How it works: Cardiopads are distributed to hospitals and clinics in Cameroon free of charge, and patients pay $29 (roughly 72,200 UGX) yearly subscriptions. It takes a digitized reading of the patient’s heart function. In a few seconds the results of a heart test are sent to a specialist clinic in the capital.Hair inspiration app – [Tress] Problem: A lack of accurate information about how to achieve certain hairstyles and where to find a high-quality stylist.Solution: Three software engineers – Priscilla Hazel, Esther Olatunde and Cassandra Sarfo – invented Tress, an app to share ideas about hairstyles.How it works: It is described by Okay Africa as a kind of Pinterest or Instagram for hair. Once you have downloaded the app, you can follow other people who are sharing their hairstyle. You can search specifically by place, price range and the type of hairstyle your want, from relaxed hair to cornrow.You can then scroll until your heart’s content through people who have uploaded pictures of themselves with that style, tell them how much you like their style, ask how long it took, and even arrange to meet up with someone to style your hair.A currency for paying online workers – [BitPesa] Problem: There are online workers, specifically web developers, in Africa who people outside the continent would like to employ but it is difficult or prohibitively expensive to get their wages to them. Some don’t have passports, and so don’t have bank accounts either.Solution: Bitpesa uses Bitcoin to significantly lower the time and cost of remittances and business payments to and from sub-Saharan Africa.How it works: Bitpesa uses the crypto-currency bitcoin as a medium to transfer cash across borders. Bitcoin is a system of digitally created and traded tokens and people keep their tokens in online wallets. It then takes the Bitcoin tokens and exchanges them into money in mobile money wallets – a popular way of paying for things in places like Kenya and Tanzania.BitPesa is already used to pay online workers – a company called Tunga is using it as a way of getting wages from clients abroad to web developers in Uganda.Africa 2017 Inventions1 of 5 Electricity grid invention. Image Credit: Getty Images Mamaope jacket invention. Photograph: Brett Eloff/The Royal Academy of Engineering Cardio Pad. Image Credit: BBC News Africa Tress Invention. Image Credit: Getty Images Bitpesa Invention. Image Credit: Getty Imageslast_img read more

The Impact of Social Media on the Ugandan Society Today – Pros

first_imgAdvertisement In this era, if/once you’re not on social media, you become the talk of the topic. It’s away people are connecting with on another – from Family, to Friends, and Relatives, Co-Workers, Business Customers, and so forth. Social sites/platforms such as: Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, Telegram, SnapChat and many more sites are some of the platforms Ugandans have embraced today.In the year 2017, Uganda’s social status has grown in quite a number of ways. In my opinion, this is how social media has impacted the Ugandan life:Business Promoting and Affiliation Programs Although social media sites have cons, in our society today the pros are more. Social media has aided businesses to develop by channels of advertising through ads and commercials. Social media saves time for the business in such a way that its easy to communicate with targeted customers for free. This brings us to the topic of it usually being cheaper to advertise through these sites which saves quite a lot of money for the business in other words it lowers the marketing to a certain significant level. – Advertisement – Communication made easier The increasing popularity of these social sites has increased the means of communication between people in Uganda. They save a lot of time since one can send files and other kinds of information other than giving them to the other person face-to-face which may be complicated since these two people could even be in different countries. Social networking sites often tend to unite people since they’re working together to achieve a specific objective.Promoted work experience They have also allowed different workers and bloggers to achieve their set goals. Through these social networking sites, they’ve been allowed to share their experiences and articles, they have also led to one getting job offers and great carriers. LinkedIn, the helps promote user work experience is the best example for this scenario.[related-posts]The other side (FACE) of social media;Talk about addiction issues They’re are quite entertaining but can often lead to addiction which is not quite healthy for any ones being. Since these networking sites are found on different devices, if one over uses the devices it could lead to different diseases such as headaches, eye problems and repetitive strain injury etc.Lower’s workmates motivations It also tends to lower the motivation level of workers, diverting their attention and wasting their time from doing productive works required from them. This is one of the biggest problems, work places are facing. Workmates get more addicted to WhatsApp or Facebook ending up messing organization work. Organizations take matters in their own hands, and shut down/block these platforms during work hours, in addition suspend or fire any employee found using them within work times.Online extremism to teenagers Kids at the age of 15 and below can be greatly affected by social media. The reason is that sometimes people share photos on social media that contains violence or sex, which can damage the behavior of kids and teenagers while growing up. Other children use these platforms as a way of bullying others. This enforces negative impacts on overall society as these kids and teenagers involve themselves in crime related activities.Exposure to cheap popularity People have gone to be more public about their personal lives – gaining cheap popularity. Because intimate details of our lives can be posted so easily, users are prone to bypass the filters they might normally employ when talking about their private lives. This is highly dangerous because a lot can be exposed which can put ones life in danger.WhatsApp has been a place for nudity to Ugandans. From celebrities, to university students, to mothers, and those that want to be recognized in the community. For recent, a female Ugandan artist; Angela Kalule’s video went viral showing her B***** and other parts of her body.Misinformed/Misinformation Ugandans have also used social networking sites to gain information about different topics which are of value to them. These different things could be related to; medicine creation, entertainment, job interviews, business transactions and so many more. Like I mentioned above, everything has a down side to it and in this case, some people could get wrong information and in some cases, such things could cost them their jobs.For instance; last week, a Job Ad about Bank of Africa recruiting enumerators to carry out an “Integrated Financial Consumers” survey was trending on WhatsApp till the banking institution had to pass a public notice informing the public that the Ad was a hoax.“This is being the handiwork of unknown unscrupulous persons and should therefore be disregarded,” BOA writes in a press statement.Writer’s Note: Therefore, from my point of view, I conclude saying that social media has done more good than harm since it has helped Uganda as a whole develop.last_img read more

The Phantom 9 Now Available in Uganda Supports upto 1TB of Expandable

first_imgTecno Phantom 9 launched in Uganda. File Photo Advertisement Tecno Mobile have finally made available their latest handset, the Tecno Phantom 9 in Uganda and Kenya, after its official release in Nigeria.The anticipated smartphone becomes Tecno’s second launched device this year — after the Spark 3 and 3 Plus in May. It also happens to succeed the Phantom 8 that launched in 2017. The one year delay in launching isn’t commented on, but we assume is to perhaps innovate it more without rush considering it as one of the company’s high-end smartphones.On the other hand, its delay explains the new unique specs & features that have been embedded on the phone. This shows how the company is keeping up with the latest smartphone-tech trends. – Advertisement – In our recent article, the specifications and features we mentioned are the very ones we are seeing on the new devices. Unlike the price, we predicted UGX1M considering that its predecessor cost UGX1.4M, the Phantom 9 is priced at a RRP of UGX919,000.The price becomes our first impression considering a high-end smartphone is UGX481,000 short its predecessor. The colors available we only have come across the Lapland Aurora variant.Specifications and FeaturesThe Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by) comes with a 6.4-Inch FHD AMOLED display with a water-drop notch. Comes with a screen resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels and a screen aspect ratio of 19.5:9. The display is protected with a Corning Gorilla Glass 3.On speed, and storage, the Phantom 9 runs on Android 9.0 (Pie), Mediatek MT6765 Helio P35 chipset, an Octa-core processor with a GPU of PowerVR GE8320 and a non-removable battery of 3,500mAh. This is all coupled with a 6GB RAM and an internal storage of 128GB, expandable to 1TB first of its kind on any Tecno mobile.In terms of its imaging and video, the Phantom 9 comes with a rear camera setting. The sensors — 16MP primary + 8MP ultra-wide angle + 2MP depth sensor with an aperture of f/2.2. The front-facing camera meanwhile is embedded in the water-drop notch, with a 32MP sensor and an aperture of f/2.0. All cameras support 1080p at 30fps video recording.Connectivity, the Phantom 9 supports a 3.5mm standard audio jack, Wi-Fi, BlueTooth V5.0, microUSB v2.0, USB-OTG, and GPS.The most talked and hyped feature is its in-display fingerprint scanner first of its kind on Tecno smartphone. The same feature we have come to see smartphone manufacturers like; Huawei, Samsung, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Nokia embed in their newest handsets.Price, Color and AvailabilityThe Tecno Phantom 9 is price at a RRP of UGX919,000 available in all Tecno shops in Lapland Aurora color option.last_img read more