first_imgThe top image of the port of Sona, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, is sourced from Google Earth and is dated September 2010. The bottom image was taken in April 2011 by SumbandilaSat and shows the extensive tsunami damage in the area. (Image: Sunspace) South Africa’s maritime domain, including the area around the Prince Edward Islands.(Image: Sea Around Us project) Former science and technology minister Naledi Pandor expressed her thanks to Japan for its continuing collaboration with South Africa.(Image: Janine Erasmus) MEDIA CONTACTS • Anacletta Koloko  Science communication unit, South  African Agency for Science and  Technology Advancement   +27 12 392 9338 RELATED ARTICLES • Space science thriving in SA • SA’s space capabilities set to grow • Great astronomy, with or without SKA • Pandor: we did it • New Dawn satellite now in orbitJanine Erasmus The science of earth observation (EO) is gaining ground in South Africa. It gives us a new perspective on our planet, helps us understand our environment, and uses satellite information to anticipate climate variations such as drought or floods. This was the message at the Space Science Colloquium that took place at the University of Pretoria (UP) in early October. Organised by the Japanese embassy in South Africa, along with the national Department of Science and Technology (DST), the event brought scientists from the two countries together to discuss the latest developments in EO, micro-satellites and astronomy. The colloquium was co-hosted by the Nairobi Research Station of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and supported by South Africa’s National Research Foundation. Its theme was Promoting Space Exploration and Earth Observation: Contribution of Japan and South Africa to Humanity.The event coincided with the first day of World Space Week, which was first held in 1999 and celebrates its 13th anniversary in 2012. It takes place every year from 4 to 10 October and this year is held under the theme Space for Human Safety and Security. EO can also help in assessing water quality through the mapping of eutrophication – the excessive growth of plant matter on a water surface when nutrients are present in abundance, often because of the addition of chemicals – as well as fire scar mapping and damage assessment: Another use for EO is to detect change in land use, for instance the growth of informal settlements, and uncover other crucial information that could affect the ecology of an area or the safety of residents. For instance, if the settlement is built on agricultural land or wetlands, or is located near or under electricity pylons, the people and fauna and flora could be at risk. Other EO applications that have a benefit for society are disaster response and management, atmospheric pollution observation, and the monitoring of deforestation.Learning from the experts In the last 80 years Japan’s space industry has come along in leaps and bounds, said former science and technology minister Naledi Pandor, speaking at her last engagement in that position, and South Africa can learn much from the Asian island nation. “We have good relations with Japan, our most important commercial partner in Asia,” she said in her opening address. “They are working with us in areas such as biotechnology, information technology, the development of manufacturing technology capacity, renewable energy, and the development of capacity in space.” These are key areas into which the DST invests its resources, added Pandor. “The Japanese government pays particular attention to three key areas – funding of basic research, strong university partnerships, and strong protection of intellectual rights,” she said. “We are attempting to follow suit, to learn from them.” South Africa’s funding of basic research has grown in the last decade and the country recently established an agency to protect university intellectual property. “We’ve learned a lot from Japan but we can still learn more,” said Pandor. “We need to focus more strongly on university and private sector partnerships if we want to make the most of opportunities.” She named the relationship between industry and universities as a massive opportunity for entrepreneurship and job creation, and added that South Africa has to make better use of the transfer of technology contracts, as well as the expiry of drug patents, to create more opportunities. “We are lucky to have a competent core of scientists who are world-class in technology and innovation, so the base is there,” Pandor said. “Our scientists achieve very well and hold good rankings in the international arena, but we need to grow the ability to commercialise the intellectual property they produce.” South Africa has to work faster to accelerate this commercialisation, she said – if not, it will always be the client of others.Imaging for the good of mankind Climate change specialist Dr Jane Olwoch, MD of the South African National Space Agency’s (Sansa) earth observation division, said that satellite imagery helps people to understand the current situation in terms of land use and degradation. Sansa has a number of operational themes in its EO programme, including environmental and resource management, disaster management, industrial activities, and urban planning and development. Based at Hartebeeshoek, west of Pretoria and Johannesburg, the core business of Sansa’s EO division is data reception and processing, image archiving, dissemination of information, and development of applications. Satellite information is received at Hartebeeshoek, explained Olwoch, and once it is processed by a bank of 14 dual and quad core processors, it is archived in an 80-terabyte online catalogue, with older data held in a 760-terabyte tape library. The archive goes back to 1972 and is a rich resource, she said, holding, among other data, about 1 900 images captured by the now-defunct SumbandilaSat, South Africa’s second commercial satellite. These are available at no charge. Sansa EO is also responsible for the redistribution of imagery from other sources such as the Ikonos EO satellite and TerraSAR-X – these, however, are not free. “We want more people to access our data, and understand what we can derive from it,” Olwoch said. The catalogue is available online at http://catalogue-sansa.org.za Keeping an eye out from the sky Dr Waldo Kleynhans, a senior researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s remote sensing research unit (RSRU), is one of a team of experts that is developing EO applications for South Africa. Two of these projects involve the detection of anthropogenic – man-made, caused by humans – land cover change, and maritime domain awareness, involving the monitoring of South Africa’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and territorial waters. In the first instance, said Kleynhans, the objective of the RSRU project was to develop a change alarm that is able to detect the formation of new settlements and can accurately distinguish between the spread of settlements and natural cycles. “Human settlement expansion is the most pervasive form of land cover change in South Africa,” said Kleynhans. However, to ensure accurate readings, a bi-temporal approach is not always appropriate. This refers to readings that are taken only twice. For example, the land may become drier in winter but a computer, given only a summer and winter reading, will interpret the natural event as a change. “The temporal frequency should be high enough to distinguish change events from natural cycles such as the seasons.” The change alarm program uses Nasa’s moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer on board the Terra and Aqua satellite platforms, which covers the earth every two days or so and delivers images with a resolution of 500 metres – this is the dimension of each pixel in the image. The data are analysed using two change detection methods, both developed by the local team. They are the extended Kalman filter change detection method, and the autocorrelation change detection method. Moving on to the maritime application, Kleynhans named piracy, illegal fishing and oil spills as a few of the potential problems in South Africa’s maritime domain. Monitoring is currently achieved predominantly through transponder-based systems such as satellite automatic identification or long-range identification and tracking, as well as terrestrial-based radar systems such as those situated in Simon’s Town, the seat of the South African navy. “Terrestrial based radar systems are effective but only cover a fraction of South Africa’s total EEZ, which extends over 1.5-million square kilometres,” said Kleynhans. “South Africa has more sea than land to monitor, because the land area is just over 1.2-million square kilometres.” Satellite data and newer technologies such as synthetic aperture radar, he said, play an important role in monitoring this extensive piece of ocean, which includes the area along the coast and also that around the Prince Edward Islands – Marion Island and Prince Edward Island – situated some 1 800km southeast of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is used mostly from the air, from an aircraft or satellite, and uses the flight path of the platform to electronically simulate a large antenna or aperture. The captured information is then used to generate high-resolution remote sensing imagery. SAR is viewed as a potential addition to current maritime monitoring efforts, said Kleynhans, and using the technology, thousands of square kilometres can be surveyed in a single overpass. An international collaboration between bodies such as Pretoria University and the US office of naval research has yielded a system known as the International Collaborative Development for Enhanced Maritime Domain Awareness. “It’s an open source platform,” said Kleynhans, “which everyone can use. We are one of five countries contributing to the database.” The program and web portal is under development by researchers in Chile, Ghana, the Seychelles, South Africa and Mauritius. It provides information that can be freely accessed and analysed by the global maritime community on issues such as wave detection and oil spills. UP’s contribution focuses mostly on vessel detection. Even if a ship switches off its transponder, said Kleynhans, the program will still be able to detect it and in fact, disabling a transponder is often a cue to illegal activity, meaning that the relevant naval or coastal authorities can be alerted in time. “With historic vessel location information, intent detection algorithms are currently being researched, with particular emphasis on illegal fishing and piracy,” he said.last_img read more

first_imgDelta is retaining a nine-across configuration in its 777 refurb. Photo: Delta Air Lines. Delta Air Lines is shunning the cattle class herd to retain nine-across economy class seating as it undertakes a major renovation of its international Boeing 777 fleet.The decision to stick with Boeing’s original game plan for its popular twin means Delta’s 777s will have the widest economy class seats in its fleet at 18.5 inches.It bucks the trend among many airlines to add another seat to each row of economy class to make 777 seating 10-abreast and reduce seat width by more than an inch (2.5cm).A similar tendency has afflicted operators of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliners, where narrower seats in a nine-across configuration have become common.The economy class crunch is a reaction by legacy airlines to historically low fares and increased competition from low-cost carriers.It is designed to boost the revenue generated by aircraft but has been offset partially by new seat designs that optimize available space for passengers.Yet some airlines have resisted the temptation to cram in passengers shoulder-to-shoulder and continue to offer the more spacious nine-across 777 configuration.Delta also offers an economy seat pitch of 31-32 inches on it 220 main cabin seats as well as 11-inch inflight entertainment screens, personal power ports and Gogo Ku Wi-Fi connectivity.READ: Airline chiefs warn against legroom regulation.“The comfort of our passengers is a top priority,’’ a Delta spokeswoman told AirlineRatings.“By maintaining 9-abreast seating in the Main Cabin as we modify our 777s, we’re able to offer wider main cabin seats and more preferable seat options.”Delta’s first refurbished 777, a 296-seat 777-200ER, took to the air Monday on a flight from Detroit to Beijing.The aircraft is also equipped with 28 Delta One suites giving each passenger a private space accessed by a sliding door, an 18-inch IFE screen and a 24-inch wide lie-flat seat.delta cattle class crush Boeing 777sDelta One. Photo: Delta Air Lines.In between are 48 Delta Premium Select seats that are 19 inches wide and have a 28-inch seat pitch. These come with a 13.3-inch IFE screen, adjustable head and footrests and elevated service.The aircraft comes with full-spectrum LED ambient lighting that is customized to match the phase of flight as well as free in-flight entertainment in all cabins.The airline plans to have all eight of its 777-200ERs and 10 777-200LRs retrofitted by the end of 2019.last_img read more

first_imgWe really wish Twitter would have implemented threaded replies into the service when it first launched. This would’ve made it much easier to track conversations across Twitter. Instead Twitter users have to rely on a host of conversation tracking services to fill the void that Twitter has left wide open. Summize, now Twitter Search, is one of the best services for tracking conversations on Twitter. While many tools exist, only a handful correctly deliver on their promise. Tweader is the latest Twitter conversation tracker to hit the market. However, it doesn’t deliver on its promise correctly either.Using TweaderTweader is very simple to use. All that is required is the ID of the message in the conversation you’re trying to track. You can find the ID by clicking on the time-stamp of the message. Clicking on the time-stamp will take you the page of the twitter message. At the end of the url for the message will be 9 digits. This is the ID number of the message. Tweader will grab any part of the conversation that happens before the message that you entered. You can view the conversation in three different styles: regular, chatty, leftward. These styles provide a very basic styling that changes the background image behind each message.Broken PromisesThere are a host of problems with Tweader, which is why we feel it doesn’t do what its designed to do in a way that’s beneficial to users. As aforementioned, the service only tracks conversations that happen before the message you enter. Providing information of the entire conversation is what we call “tracking the conversation”. Isn’t that the purpose of the service? Why are we only receiving what comes before and not after? Secondly, Tweader is relying heavily on what Twitter says. Instead, the service should use semantic technology to gather context clues to provide better conversation results. If it had it might have provided the correct response for this conversation:On the other hand, Twitter Search had no problem keeping track of the same conversation:Words of AdviceAnyone can throw together a bunch of code that pulls the information that Twitter already provides. In doing so, you’re creating a half-baked product. Creating something useful requires you to go the extra mile and provide what several other services are too lazy to provide. Tweader has a great user interface and it’s dead simple to use. However, none of this matters because it doesn’t correctly deliver on its promise. Tweader will be useful for those that don’t “tweet” much. However, if you’re an @ reply fanatic, stick with Twitter Search. corvida 1 Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Tags:#Product Reviews#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts last_img read more

first_imgEpisode #24- Google has 70% marketshare and served 7.9 billion searches in December Marketing Takeaway: Be authentic. If not, you will get caught.  If your product doesn’t get good reviews, fix the product. Intro Marketing Takeaway: Search marketing is important, and if you just spend time on Google you’ll get 70-90% of what you need. https://sp2.img.hsyaolu.com.cn/wp-shlf1314/C2060/IMG4580.jpg” alt=”last_img” />

center_img It’s Just Advertising The challenge around using coupon-based services is really two-fold. First, as a result of the advertising model, a business would pay money for accessing the site’s audience. But another issue is that businesses are at risk of cheapening themselves. Your existing customers, who pay full price for your product or service, might feel betrayed when they see that you are offering the same product or service at a discounted price. It changes their opinion of your brand as well as their experience with it. Social Media Inbound Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack The Challenge: Big Investment & Risklast_img read more