PORTLAND, Ore — Unlike in the regular season, Warriors fans appear more interested in talking about the actual games than all the off-season speculation.No doubt, Warriors fans will have questions about Kevin Durant’s pending free agency. But they also have questions on Durant’s injury, too. They are also intrigued on how the Warriors will fare against the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. Lots of good messages to clear out of the inbox.I’ll …
10 May 2012While Africa has experienced its best decade of the past 50 years, there are major challenges still to be tackled, African Development Bank Tunisia president Donald Kaberuka said at the opening of the World Economic Forum on Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Thursday.“We should not confuse economic growth with economic transformation,” Kaberuka said, noting that the structure of African economies had not changed fast enough and that countries remained vulnerable to external shocks.Public policy choices should target ways to leverage wealth from natural resources for broad-based, sustainable growth, Kaberuka said, identifying two key drivers for the future: the education of children of the poor as a tool to address generational change, and the development of small and medium enterprises to close the wealth gap.Over 700 participants from more than 70 countries are taking part in the three-day WEF on Africa, the first to be held in Ethiopia.Time for Africans ‘to take ownership’Monhla Hlahla, chairperson of South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), told the plenary that it was time for Africans themselves to occupy centre stage on the continent and to take ownership of their lives and production.African farmers were now in a position “not only to produce coffee beans but also to taste the coffee”, Hlahla said, but added that strong and decisive leadership was required to keep African development on track.She said the future of the contintent called for leaders that were predictable and consistent, and that were able to move Africa up the value chain.No growth ‘if millions are left behind’Kofi Annan, chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa and the Africa Progress Panel, Switzerland, emphasized the need to empower young people and to strengthen health and education to ensure that Africa reaped a “demographic dividend” over the next decade.Annan told delegates that African government policies needed to create equal access to opportunities to avoid dissatisfaction in the future. “We cannot talk of growth when millions of people are left behind,” Annan said.A lack of consensus and vision had led to a situation where each new government in Africa had a tendency to start afresh instead of building on the achievements of its predecessor, Annan said.It was therefore important for more debate to take place to reach consensus on the direction countries needed to take.Bekele Geleta, secretary-general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, told the plenary that it was important for Africans to feel that they had a stake in their countries’ wealth, and that there was free and fair opportunity for everyone.Geleta said the mindset within Africa was changing, with Africans increasingly wanting to shape their own lives and actively engage in their future.Mood of ‘pragmatic optimism’Gao Xiqing, president of the China Investment Corporation, said Africa was in the position of being able to create a new template for its future.However, Xiqing said it was important for African countries to ensure that their growth was as inclusive as possible. In this, he said, Africa could learn from China, which had prioritized growth over development and was now facing challenges such as huge wealth inequality and environmental problems.World Economic Forum chairman Klaus Schwab told delegates that the mood in Africa today was quite different from what it was 22 years ago, having moved from one of cynicism through scepticism and then realism to today’s atmosphere of “pragmatic optimism”.Doug McMillon, chief executive of US retail giant Wal-Mart, told the plenary that, while its $2.4-billion investment in Africa – through the acquisition of South African retailer Massmart – the company was excited by the numbers it looked at before making the decision to invest.“There are a lot of things to be optimistic about in the region,” McMillon said.SAinfo reporter and World Economic Forum
A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… markhachman Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Microsoft#Windows 8 A senior executive at popular retailer NewEgg described the Windows 8 launch so far as not the “explosion” that the company originally planned for, but as slow and steadily improving. From a software perspective, however, Windows 8 will probably not take off until about the second quarter of 2013, said Merle McIntosh, the senior vice president of product management of Newegg North America, in an interview.McIntosh said that while he’s heard stories of retailers planning for discounts of Windows 8 to accelerate sales throughout the holiday season, NewEgg so far has no plans to. On the other hand, the e-tailer will discount televisions, Android tablets and digital cameras. And a newer category, solid-state discs (SSDs), could receive discounts if the supply ramps up as anticipated.NewEgg ranked 172nd on the Forbes 2011 list of the America’s top private companies, with an estimated $2.5 billion in annual sales. Known for its geeky focus on all sorts of technology products, NewEgg’s chief competition is probably Fry’s Electronics, ranked at 200th on the Forbes list, with an estimated $2 billion in sales.It’s believable, then, when McIntosh says that NewEgg, along with Microsoft, Intel, and hardware and software manufacturers, have been planning for the Windows 8 launch for some time. Did it go as planned? McIntosh said that the launch sparked debate, even within NewEgg’s offices.“So we planned with our partners to be prepared for an explosion,” McIntosh said. “Did we really believe there was going to be one? Even within our own building, there were some people that thought that this was going to be the next coming of God, and other people were saying, this will be the next coming of God, but not until next year sometime. What we wanted to make sure with our own customers and our own business is that we were ready for any event. So yes, we were prepared for some pretty big upside on the software side of the equation, and the hardware side of the equation, and it is has been steadily improving. But it did not explode, as I think you know, coming out of the gate.”McIntosh said that it was important to divide the Windows 8 launch into two areas: sales of the software itself, and sales of the corresponding Windows 8 hardware, such as traditional notebooks, convertible tablets and pure tablet implementations.“On the software side it has been slow going, and I think it will be that way until the pricing normalizes sometime next year,” McIntosh said, declining to provide actual sales numbers. “But on the hardware side, we’re starting to see some slow but steady increases in notebooks, and as the tablets become available, we’re starting to see some good sides of the tablet part of the equation as well.”Windows 8 Hardware: Slow and SteadyFor its part, Microsoft has pointed to comments made by chief executive Steve Ballmer that describe the sales of its Windows RT tablet, Surface, as “fantastic.” But that’s also left hardware partners like Dell and HP scratching their heads a bit, and initially focusing on Windows 8 devices for businesses.On the hardware side, McIntosh said that NewEgg hoped to be able to sell “well into six figures of units this quarter, [and] we’re hopeful that a significant amount will be Windows 8.” Traditional clamshell notebooks and ultrabooks will be strong sellers, he said. McIntosh didn’t identify any specific Black Friday promotions, but he said the company would be doing “hundreds and hundreds of deals” across various hardware categories.To date, the majority of the company’s Windows 8 device sales are coming from notebooks and desktop PCs, a spokeswoman said in an email. Sales between these two categories have been pretty evenly split. Tablet sales are growing, and NewEgg expects this trend to continue next year, she said. Unfortunately, NewEgg did not break out which notebook hardware categories – clamshell devices, ultrabooks, convertible tablets or tablets – had seen the strongest actual sales.NewEgg may get aggressive with older Windows 7-designed ultrabooks and machines that lack touch screens – not because manufacturers are jettisoning older products into the market, “but because we have some aggressive ambitions in market share,” McIntosh said. NewEgg snapped up inventory of Windows 7 hardware from August through October, anticipating healthy demand. And so far, that’s been the case.“What I do think will happen, generally speaking when we get to Cyber Monday, and the early part of that week – if demand stays strong, that’s one thing. But with even the slightest bit of worry, deals across the board will present themselves,” McIntosh said.Windows 8 OS Sales Expected to Ramp Next YearFrom a software perspective, however, Windows 8 is a different animal. McIntosh said that the Windows 8 launch had been nothing like Windows 7, which, in total, sold more than 100 million copies in six months, and made it Microsoft’s fastest-selling operating system. “It doesn’t even come close,” McIntosh said. “As you know … the Windows 7 launch was coming in to solve a Vista problem, and there was lots of lots of pent-up demand for it. And so for the launch – at launch – the Win 8 stuff doesn’t compare, really.”To date, he said, NewEgg has sold about half the number of Windows 8 copies that it originally stocked, “which is pretty good,” McIntosh said. “My own personal take is that I think it’s great – the software’s great, the touch part of it is great. … I think it will take hold, but I think it’s going to be midway through the first half next year, probably at the end of the first quarter, going into the second quarter, when it really gets some momentum. That’s my opinion.”Microsoft, of course, was suspiciously quiet about Windows 8 in the weeks leading up to the launch, and hasn’t said much since. That’s a different way of doing things than, say, Apple or Amazon, both of which usually trumpet a massive amount of sales in, say, the opening weekend.But McIntosh said that NewEgg wasn’t inclined to discount Windows 8 much during the holiday season, although other retailers might.“From a Windows 8 software perspective, we might be doing some short-burst promotions. … We’re hearing stories that the $69 package [to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro] is going to get into the $20 range at some point here in the quarter, and we’re just not inclined to play there,” McIntosh said. “We may do some things prior to Black Friday, but we’re not going to go wading into that. We don’t think we need to. “Believe it or not, we are selling at full price, although the volume is not as great as we would like,” McIntosh said. “But you know, I’m not inclined to lose a bunch of money when I don’t think we need to.”Image captured from Microsoft Webcast. Related Posts
Many of the more dramatic changes we have seen in India in the last 35 years came after the liberalising reforms of the early 1990s, which affected everything from the TV we watch to the shoes we buy. But the changes are far from being wholesale ones or even entirely predictable.,Many of the more dramatic changes we have seen in India in the last 35 years came after the liberalising reforms of the early 1990s, which affected everything from the TV we watch to the shoes we buy. But the changes are far from being wholesale ones or even entirely predictable. Instead, they offer up more arenas in which to debate who we are, what we want and the kind of society we want to live in.We build malls and sometimes visit themFor a time, the Citi Centre mall was just a 15-minute walk from my flat in Mylapore, Chennai. On my way, I would pass old temples, a huge garbage dump and an open-air fish market. I would drink coconut water on the way, saving myself from an expensive carbonated drink once inside. The mall itself-an ugly, faux renaissance construction-towered above this varied landscape and sported a gigantic metal generator to one side. Most people came to the mall in cars or on motorbikes and the roads around it were always jammed. I’m one of those who don’t like malls. But I did like the air-conditioning from April to July and going from one shop to the next without being sideswiped by a motorcycle or lashed by the sun.The rise of the consumer citizenGone are the days of relatives bringing mixies, jeans and lipsticks from abroad. Everything is available here now and there are thousands of billboards to remind you of just what you should aspire to have. On one hand, there is a greater openness to the outside world and more awareness of that world by the common woman and man. On the other, the divides between the “haves” and “have-nots” look more severe and callous. We are told the good life will trickle down, yet, looking around even so-called middle class areas, while professional salaries and purchasing power have risen, the lifestyles continue to be subsidised by the low-wage labour of the service class.advertisementThe way we move aroundCheaper domestic flights have intensified social and business networks as north, south, east, and west are within a few hours of each other. On the road, we are moving faster and in bigger vehicles. But we’re doing so on the same narrow, pot-holed roads as before. So we topple over each other, get stuck in smoke-filled jams, and in our haste, crush into one another, making Indian roads the deadliest in the world. Meanwhile, on the Delhi Metro, one mid-20s commuter told me that now she takes the Metro to work instead of the bus, cutting her commute time to half. Coining a new phrase and sensibility, she called her new way of getting around, “Delhi up-down”.We are being watchedOn the same Metro platform, CCTV cameras watch commuters’ every move, or so they say. At airports, movie theatres, central markets and elsewhere, we are searched. The management of these new technologies has created new industries of surveillance and is directed by a new techno-managerial class. Individuals in this class who are corruption-free are held up as beacons of hope, yet corrupt practices are still the rule rather than the exception.We are on the world stage of literatureLate JNU English professor Meenakshi Mukherjee was ambivalent about the success and hype of Indian English fiction. With a hint of lament, she would speak of her students who all wanted to be the next Arundhati Roy. Novels have become a way to judge a nation’s cultural worth, and hence they are political and cultural emblems, which is why we debate every shortlist, prize and prize refusal, though only when an Indian author is involved.There is more English that is less EnglishLast year while teaching at IIT-Madras, two things became clear to me. One, all of my students were very smart and second, each had a different command over the English language. One of them explained it this way: In school, English was taught to them as a “subject” but never as a “language”. As English has gone from being a colonial language to a global one, more Indians speak it; lower-class and lower-caste Indians rightly demand it, but the question of how and if it will be meaningfully incorporated into the education of Indians remains unclear.We walk and talk and message and blogEnglish has enabled some Indians to gain jobs in it and at call centres, but much more significantly, cellphones and the Internet have enabled Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Malayalam and many more languages to flourish in new ways and move across borders like never before. In an average day, we speak at least three languages to different people for different things, often picking words from different languages to produce a melange that says it just right. The genius of Indian life surely resides in the multilingual reality of the day-to-day.advertisementWhat we eat has changed, and so have weFor 30 years, a great-uncle of mine owned two restaurants near his house in Nainital and took great pride in the fact that he never ate at either of them. We are known for being particular about our food. Yet, many have relaxed these restrictions and mark status in other ways. We eat and drink more kinds of things more quickly in more places than ever. But are we satisfied? Now, the middle classes are succumbing to lifestyle diseases like diabetes and obesity, while the rural and urban poor are stuck with an extremely high rate of childhood malnutrition and stunted growth.We like to think we have replaced caste with classIt’s true that we look (and in some ways are) more alike as we sit side-by-side, from north to south, in salwar-kameez or pair of jeans, yet the vast majority of our marriage arrangements are still airtight, and who sits in an office and who in a slum still has everything to do with your father’s name. The post-Mandal Commission era didn’t bring back caste divisions; it just showed they never went away.How we say, “I love you”When it had been decided, in 1961, that my parents would marry, they went on a few outings to Connaught Place. Soon anonymous notes were slipped under the door of my father’s relative’s house, saying their behaviour was not setting a good example. Many years later, on a cool February evening, I was walking near the Delhi University campus with a female friend when three boys on a motorcycle stopped to grab at us. When we complained to a guard standing at a nearby college gate, he explained, “But madam, it is Valentine’s Day.” Earlier in the day, Hindutva activists had overturned chairs at the local Nirula’s to scare away couples and made a mess of an Archie’s card shop in Kamla Nagar market. The style of love is changing, but it still poses a problem.Rashmi Sadana is the writer’s book English Heart, Hindi Heartland: the Political Life of Literature in India is forthcoming from the University of California Press
zoom Qatar-based maritime and logistics company Milaha has acquired its largest container vessel to date, the 3,768 TEU boxship Majd.The new ship will be one of the 17 container vessels that the group operates, and is part of the group’s strategy to optimize its container shipping network with larger tonnage to meet increasing customer demand for capacity and cost efficiency in a competitive market.“Majd will be phased into our existing network and will gradually replace smaller tonnage,” Abdulrahman Essa Al-Mannai, Milaha’s President and CEO, said.Milaha currently fully owns and operates a fleet of over 80 vessels, including LNG and product tankers, offshore support vessels, container and bulk vessels, among other vessel categories.Built by South Korea’s STX Shipbuilding, Majd features a length of 246.8 metres and a deadweight of 44,985 metric tonnes.
Sunday night’s star-studded fundraiser at the Geffen Playhouse and the pre-show host committee dinner grossed over $1.5 million, a record, for the Geffen Playhouse’s education, outreach and artistic initiatives.Elton John And Lady GagaCredit/Copyright: Invision/Jordan StraussMulti-award winning composer and a Geffen Playhouse Board Founding Trustee Quincy Jones presented the Distinction in Service Award to Ariel Investments President Mellody Hobson and distinguished filmmaker George Lucas. Tony nominated director Jason Moore presented the Distinction in Theater Award to producer David Furnish and internationally renowned singer/songwriter and performer, Sir Elton John.George Lucas & Mellody Hobson and Sir Elton John & David FurnishCredit/Copyright: Invision/Jordan StraussCastle star Nathan Fillion served as Master of Ceremonies for Backstage at the Geffen, an irreverent evening of laughter, music and stories featuring personal “backstage” memories and musical performances by stars of the stage and screen including: Anjelica Huston, Samuel L. Jackson, Beau Bridges and Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director, Randall Arney. Virtuoso violinist, Lee England, Jr. who, coincidentally, played for Mellody Hobson and George Lucas’s wedding, performed his version of “All of Me” by John Legend. The multi-faceted actress, singer, dancer and choreographer Toni Basil choreographed 12 dancers who performed a hip hop version of “Swan Lake.”David Geffen served as Honorary Chair of the event; Linda Bernstein Rubin and Loretta Everett Kaufman Co-Chaired the Backstage at the Geffen committee. Pamela Robinson Hollander and Martha Henderson Co-Chair the Geffen Playhouse Board of Directors. The evening was beautifully produced by Gil Cates, Jr. and directed by Randall Arney.The curtain rose to wild applause as Lady Gaga, surprising everyone including the honorees, took center stage to perform “You and I” accompanying herself on the piano before joining the audience for the remainder of the show.Monies raised benefit the Geffen Playhouse’s artistic initiatives including new play development, playwright commissions, and second productions, as well as the not-for-profit’s award-winning education and outreach programs which help bring the excitement of live theater to more than 15,000 disadvantaged youth, seniors and veterans annually.Backstage at the Geffen title sponsor City National Bank, returning for the sixth year, was joined by presenting sponsors Audi of America, Clay Lacy Aviation, Louis XIII, and Robert K. Kraft, with special thanks to UCLA.Source:PR Newswire