GTT rebrands BlackBerry store

first_img– launches Christmas promotionWith an objective to “do more” for its customers, the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) on Friday morning, officially opened its third Customer Experience Store on Brickdam, Georgetown.The tone was set for an eventful morning at the new Customer Experience Store, which formally housed the GTT Blackberry store.GTT’s CEO Justin Nedd and Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes cut the ribbon to offically launch the new Customer Experience Store in the presence of GTT Head of Marketing Allison Dundas at the 55 Brickdam location on FridayThe Company’s head of Marketing, Allison Dundas, reminded of the ongoing re-branding exercise over the last year-and-a-half.“This is the third Customer Service store launch; we launched at Forgarty’s, the Giftland Mall and now our 55 Brickdam location, formally known as the Blackberry Store. It’s about the colours, the ambience that the customer will experience,” she said.She explained that when a customer visits these stores; they will be able to do all of their GTT businesses in an atmosphere that is comfortable and friendly.“We are making life easier for our customers,” she said.Dundas announced that persons who own a GTT cellphone are able to do so; to help make his/her life easier.“You can sign up for MMG. You can pay your GTT, water and electricity bills, your Courts and Singers bills. You need not come stand in a long line, because it takes time and money,” she said.GTT’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Justin Nedd noted that the company is coming through a period of immense changes. What can be expected, he said, is a much brighter, customer centric store.He explained, “What you can expect is a more engaging environment. We’ve done an awesome job with making the store more customer centric… this is really the signature of what we will do in the future… we are looking at rolling out more products, more offers, more Internet, faster Internet over the next 12 months.” He said it is a commitment to Guyana and the company’s improvement in service, not only in store, but in call centres and any customer service touch point.During the opening, the telephone company also launched its Christmas promotion.“We have handsets that are on sale, selective devices that are on sale. And whatever the cost of that handset, we give you back in top up.You don’t have to worry that you’ve spent $15,000-$20,000 on a phone. We give that money back to you in top up along with free data. Those are some of the great things that are being done for customers this Christmas,” Dundas said.The head of marketing reminded that customers work hard for their money and value what they spend “that’s why we provide quality service and at this time, we want to give back something to you,” she stated.last_img read more

South Africa takes to space

first_imgSouth Africa’s Sumbandila satellite undergoing vacuum chamber tests at Houwteq, the Denel Aerospace Division facility near Grabouw in the Western Cape. (Image: SunSpace) The SunSpace pioneers: CEO Bart Cilliers, executive chairperson Themba Vilakazi, and Ron Olivier. (Image: SunSpace) Small machine, big technology: the Sumbandila satellite. (Image: SunSpace)Jennifer SternAt the rate technology develops, the impossible becomes possible, the improbable happens daily, and things which were once the province of the technical elite become commonplace.Take satellites, for example. The Russians launched Sputnik, the first satellite, into earth orbit only 50 years ago, but now there are more than 25 000 satellites estimated to be circling the globe – some 16 000 of them inoperative space junk.And – here is the surprising part – not all of those were built by big government programmes with multibillion-dollar budgets. Three of those little specks of matter up there were made in a small laboratory outside Cape Town.It all started in 1992 when Garth Milne, Jan du Plessis, Sias Mostert and the late Arnold Schoonwinkel of Stellenbosch University’s Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering initiated a postgraduate programme to build a satellite.Using a modular construction designed by Surrey Satellite Systems Technology (SSTL) and spending the modest sum of about R11-million (US$1.4-million) over seven years, the student group produced their first satellite in 1999. It was called Sunsat – a contraction of Stellenbosch University satellite.Off-the-shelf componentsWhereas most satellites are usually manufactured from specially designed and built components by companies well entrenched in the space programme, SSTL set out to prove that it was possible to build a satellite from commercially available off-the-shelf components. And Stellenbosch piggybacked on their findings.As with many great endeavours, the first thing most people ask is “Why?” In the case of Sunsat, the answer is not the usual “Because we can,” but the more accurate “To prove we can” – and to prove it without access to the specialised technology that is the preserve of the space programme elites. An equally important aim was to train students in satellite technology, because there’s no better way to learn than to do.Building it was the main objective, but it would always have had a cloud hanging over it (instead of the other way round) if it never got to fly. So the Sunsat group were delighted to get a payload from Nasa – flying a magnetometer and GPS testing programme. With the help of the Hermanus Magnetic Observatory about an hour east of Cape Town, the Sunsat team designed a magnetometer that could fit inside the tiny 600mm by 600mm by 900mm satellite.On 23 February 1999 the 64kg satellite was loaded aboard an American-designed Delta 7926 rocket launcher at Van den Bergh Air Force Base in the US, and blasted into a low level sun-synchronous orbit.Nasa worked out that they needed six months to collect sufficient data for their purposes, and estimated that Sunsat would keep going for about 11 months, so they figured they were safe. But they got more than they bargained for. Sunsat just missed being functional for its second birthday, being bashed out of its orbit by a rogue bit of rocket booster on 22 January 2000.Nasa got a bargain. And so did Sunsat, as launching satellites is not exactly cheap, at about $25 000 (R205 100) per kilogram. Luckily, Nasa picked up the tab on this one.So Sunsat was an unmitigated success. It flew, it did its job, and it lasted more than twice as long as predicted. More importantly, it contributed immensely to the development of high-tech expertise, its main purpose.Going commercialBut a good thing tends to generate an energy all of its own. After Sunsat’s successful launch, the team was approached in 2000 by a party who, for business and strategic reasons, remains nameless. The client was looking for a platform for “earth imaging remote sensing equipment” –  satellite imagery, in English.This created a conflict, as the team was part of the university, set up to do research and teaching – not to fulfil commercial contracts for foreign customers. So they started a company called SunSpace, and moved off campus to Techno Park, a few kilometres down the road. This satellite was much bigger than Sunsat, weighing in at about 200kg.Construction was started in late 2000, and it was delivered in March 2003, but only launched in May 2007. It is still floating about up there, taking photographs of the earth. Even before this satellite was delivered, the client ordered another higher-spec one, which is already under construction. When completed, this will be the fourth satellite built by the group that is now SunSpace.The pathfinderIf you’ve been counting, you’ll notice there is a gap. The third satellite, which is called Sumbandila, was built for the South African government. The name is a Venda word that means “clear the way” or “pathfinder.”Ordered in December 2005, the completed satellite was delivered in December 2006, taking only 12 months to build. It was to be launched from a Russian submarine in the Bering Sea in late December 2006 or early January 2007. But that didn’t happen, and Sumbandila remains sadly earthbound – a depressing state of affairs for an ambitious satellite. And ambitious this project is. It was designed to carry a payload of sophisticated remote sensing equipment that would be dedicated to imaging southern Africa.There’s an interesting aside to this technology. Communications satellites are in a geostationary orbit, with thrusters constantly keeping them in the same position above the earth. Earth orbit satellites like Sunsat and Sumbandila, on the other hand, actually orbit the earth, with the force of gravity maintaining their positions. They only need to use their thrusters (if they have any) to make small adjustments.These orbits are determined by the job the satellites have to do. Sumbandila is intended to take satellite images of southern Africa. When it is finally launched, it will be put into an orbit that takes it over that part of the world at a convenient 10am, about the best time for high-level imaging.So of the three satellites SunSpace has so far built, one is still on earth, waiting for its chance to shine, one is busy sending earth images to its anonymous owner, and one is still up there, but not operational. It’s what some people might call space debris but let’s rather think of it as a permanent orbiting monument to African ingenuity and technological progress.In the words of Ron Olivier, business manager of SunSpace, “I look forward to the day an African astronaut is launched on board an African spacecraft launched on an African rocket from the African continent.’ Big dreams, but 20 years ago, who would have thought there’d be a South African-designed satellite orbiting above our heads?Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected] articlesGoogle to put Africa onlineSouth Africa’s aerospace industry takes offAfrican eyes on the universeUseful linksSunSpaceUniversity of Stellenbosch Hermanus Magnetic ObservatorySouth African Space Portallast_img read more

US, EU Sign Beef Deal

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Chris ClaytonDTN Ag Policy EditorOMAHA (DTN) — President Donald Trump and European Union officials signed an agreement Friday at the White House that will nearly triple the volume of duty-free beef exports to Europe over time.Trump made the announcement surrounded by members of his administration and representatives from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and U.S. Meat Export Federation. Trump said Europe had not been treating U.S. beef producers fairly.“This is a tremendous victory for American farmers, ranchers and, of course, European consumers because American beef is the best in the world,” the president said.Trump said duty-free beef exports to the EU will increase by 46%. Over seven years, they will increase another 90%. By full implementation, the president said, duty-free exports of U.S. beef will increase from $150 million to $420 million.The president used the event to stress his administration is standing up for farmers. He pointed to the ongoing trade dispute with China. He cited Japan now allowing U.S. beef from older cattle, as well as opening up beef markets in areas such as Morocco and Australia. And the president pointed to $28 billion in aid that has come from his administration because of retaliatory tariffs, largely from China.“They (U.S. farmers and ranchers) were targeted, and we took care of our farmers and ranchers,” Trump said, adding farmers are “great patriots” that are “always targeted first” in trade disputes. “They are always targeted, but we take that target off their backs.”The agreement, which has been in the works for months, allows the U.S. a guaranteed portion of duty-free access into the EU for hormone-free beef. The American Farm Bureau Federation highlighted reports back in March that the agreement was close to being finalized.Jennifer Houston, president of NCBA, said it was great day for American cattle producers, and she thanked Trump for making the agreement happen.“For years, it has been difficult for us to get access to the European Union because of some non-tariff and restrictive tariff trade practices,” Houston said.Sen John Hoeven, R-N.D., spoke about access to markets and credited the president and his team for increasing market access, as well as providing more direct aid to producers.“USDA and the administration are standing up for our farmers while they are negotiating these kinds of agreements,” Hoeven said.Europe and the U.S. have battled over hormones in beef since the late 1980s, which included a case before the World Trade Organization that the U.S. won but the European Union failed to abide by. The EU then pushed for another WTO case against retaliatory measures put in place by the U.S. and Canada because the EU would not recognize science that made Europe’s ban on hormone treatments unjustifiable.The U.S. exported $8.3 billion in beef in 2018, of which the European Union accounted for roughly 3.5% of foreign sales. For the first five months of 2019, sales to the EU have totaled $80.6 million, down about 10% in value from last year, according to USDA data posted on the U.S. Meat Export Federation website.In 2009, the U.S. and EU reached a memorandum of understanding for a new tariff rate quota of hormone-free beef, with the U.S. agreeing to drop retaliatory tariffs against Europe as well.U.S. beef exports to the EU hit $272 million in 2015, but have declined since then, AFBF stated in its analysis. Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay each export more beef to Europe than the U.S., which often competes with Australia for the fourth ranking. By value, the U.S. accounts for about 9% of EU imports.Europe has two tariff rates for beef. One allows 45,000 metric tons of beef without a duty, but has no individual country carve-outs. A second quota allows 66,826 metric tons under a 20% tariff, of which the U.S. and Canada have a combined allocation of 11,500 metric tons.Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, applauded Friday’s announcement in a statement.“This agreement will provide some relief to American ranchers during an uncertain trading atmosphere,” Roberts said. “I appreciate the administration acting on my decades-long persistence in pushing for greater access for U.S. beef in the EU. I look forward to the upcoming EU Parliament vote to seal this deal.”Chris Clayton can be reached at [email protected] him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN(AG/CZ)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Google Giving Away eReaders at Google Books – What Took So Long?

first_imgmarshall kirkpatrick Google announced today that it is running a contest for the next ten days where visitors to the controversial and under-loved Google Books site can win a Sony Reader eBook device. Literature-related trivia will now be hunted for using the site’s new search inside the book feature and people who find the right answers will be entered into a drawing to win a Sony Reader device.The contest is the kind of traditional marketing that more web applications could benefit from and will no doubt introduce many new people to the features of the service. Our question, though, is this: why not do this every day of the year? At under $300 retail price (and you know Google could get a deal) it would cost around $100k to give one away every day. How much do you think the Google Books team has spent on legal defense in the last year? Millions of dollars, we’re sure. Tags:#news#web Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Our guess is, in as much as people know anything about Google Books, it’s that the service is in a protracted legal battle with the publishers of the books it’s indexing. We’d guess almost no one knows about the service’s new magazine search or the excellent mobile version of the site.Last month we reported that Google plans to go into the eBook sales business by allowing vendors to sell eBook copies through Google Books.Why not give away a free reader every day and bring all the people to the site that a promotion like that surely would? Heck, give away three every day. At this point the project has to be bleeding money and yet how often do you hear people talk about it? If eBooks are really a big part of the future, a few hundred thousand dollars spent by Google to promote their offering in this market sure would be money well spent. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

Color Grading Quick Tip: Keyframing In DaVinci Resolve

first_imgFor most colorists, keyframing isn’t the most enjoyable part of the coloring process. However, DaVinci has one tool that can make keyframing your footage a whole lot easier.Images from Blackmagic DesignIf you’re working DaVinci Resolve, then chances are you’re key framing on a daily basis. You might be using keyframes to make basic adjustments with your grade or to shift around your power windows, adjust masks, etc. and there’s no denying that keyframes are a very necessary part of the process for any Resolve colorist. However, so many colorists (especially more amateur ones) are manually adjusting their keyframes and spending far too much time adjusting them than they need to.While some colorists come from a visual effects background and are very familiar with keyframing through their use of Adobe After Effects or other similar software, many colorists are former (or current) editors. While editors usually have a basic understanding of keyframing, there is a tendency for them to do things the slow way when it comes to this aspect of the craft.As it pertains to DaVinci Resolve, the most common type of keyframe that most colorists use is the ‘dynamic keyframe’, which allows Resolve to interpret in between two keyframes. For example, if you want to have a gradual amount of blue seep into your footage, you could use two dynamic keyframes to represent the different color points, and Resolve will then interpret the fade for you.While that seems easy enough, what about scenarios where your shot is more complex? Let’s say you need to adjust your grade (or window) very frequently in a shot, and don’t want to constantly stop to add another keyframe manually by right clicking and selecting ‘add dynamic keyframe’. Well there’s a very simple solution, and it’s right on your keyframe window.On the window next to the ‘lock track’ icon, there is a small keyframe icon as seen in this image below:When selected, every change you make in your color session automatically creates a new keyframe within DaVinci Resolve. This a small but very powerful feature. It can speed up your grading sessions immensely, especially where lots of windows or specific grades are needed. So if you do a lot of keyframing in DaVinci Resolve, then definitely turn on the auto-keyframe tool whenever you can. You’ll thank yourself when your day finishes on the earlier side.Looking for a few more DaVinci Resolve tips and tutorials? Here you go!DaVinci Resolve Workflow: How to Prep for a Color SessionDaVinci Resolve Workflow Roundtrip BreakdownTips for Coloring Talking Head Interviews in DaVinci ResolveGot any keyframing tips and techniques to share? Let us know in the comments below!last_img read more

Choosing Your Preferred Method of Being Rejected

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now My friend Amy wrote this post. Her post inspired this post.Some people hate cold calling. They say that they hate being shut down. They hate being rejected. They want to prospect using some method in which they won’t be told no and won’t be rejected.So these cold-call-avoiders switch their effort from dialing to other prospecting methods they believe will be easier, more effective, and won’t come with the hard dose of reality that is not having anything really valuable to offer (the most common root cause of being rejected). But in doing so, they are choosing some other form of rejection.Here is some pure, unadulterated truth for those who want it, need it, and are big enough to take it.Your Personal RejectionWhen you send an email asking for an appointment or checking in and nothing comes back, you have been rejected. Your dream client can much more easily click the button that deletes your email than they can dismiss you on the telephone. But the end result is the same: you made no progress.When you connect with your dream client on the social media sites and connect with people without asking them for a commitment of time, you have been rejected. The barriers to connect on social sites are very low. But if you haven’t scheduled an appointment, the end result is the same as if you had called and been rejected.When you rely only on inbound marketing and your dream client stumbles upon your site, takes a quick look around, and bails without having filled out your lead collection form or downloading your white paper, you have been rejected. The result of that visit was a giant goose egg.Can You Handle the Truth?If you avoid picking up the phone, the truth is that you have two problems.The first problem is that you are too sensitive. You don’t like to feel the rejection because you are attaching too much meaning to it. You’re taking it personal. Business is personal, but this rejection has nothing to do with you. Your dream client has been burned agreeing to meet with salespeople who created no value. She rejects almost everyone. Which is a nice segue into your second problem: value creation.If you don’t want to be rejected, you have to differentiate yourself by focusing your prospecting message on the value you can create for your dream client. If you ask for a commitment from your dream client, especially the commitment for time to explore an opportunity, that pitch needs to come with a strong sales call value proposition. Your dream client needs to know what she is getting out of it.Until you learn not to have any feelings about the rejection that comes with cold calling and learn how to make your message about value, you can choose to take your rejection in whatever form that best suits you. But you won’t improve your sales results by avoiding making your calls.QuestionsWhat is your preferred method for being rejected?Is it better when your rejection doesn’t feel personal, when you don’t have to hear it?How do you feel about having your emails ignored? Is that an easier form of rejection?What would you have to change to feel different about making your calls and dealing with “no?”last_img read more

Zakir Musa buried, curfew-like restrictions in Kashmir Valley

first_imgZakir Musa was working to merge Hizbul Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Mohammad into mega group  The police said the body of Musa, who was trapped inside a three-storey house in Tral’s Dadsara area on Thursday afternoon, was found near the encounter site on Friday morning. The firing had stopped on Thursday night and the combing operation was suspended in the first light of the dawn, an official said.Describing it “a major success”, the police said one AK-47 and one grenade launcher were recovered from the encounter site.The house where Musa was holed up was completely destroyed in the fire-fight. Police sources said Musa refused to surrender and lobbed grenades when encircled by security forces on Thursday.Curfew defiedHundreds of local youth defied curfew and reached Tral’s Noorpora, Musa’s home town.Hailing from a well-off middle class family, Musa’s father is a senior government official, his brother is a doctor, and his sister is a banker. The news of his killing fuelled nocturnal protests in many parts of the Valley, with youth burning tyres and raising pro-Musa slogans.The authorities on Friday set up barricades on all major roads in Pulwama, capital Srinagar and Anantnag to contain protests. No vehicles were allowed on many stretches. Concertina wires were set up to seal all volatile pockets in the Valley. Educational institutions were closed for the day and all examinations in the Kashmir valley were postponed. Mobile internet was also slowed down as a precautionary measure.Differences with HurriyatMusa replaced slain militant ‘commander’ Burhan Wani in 2016 but quit the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) on May 13 in 2017 after developing differences over the modus operandi adopted by the latter. He later threatened to punish Hurriyat leaders for “being soft” and “un-Islamic in their approach”, driving a wedge between his Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK)-based United Jehad Council, headed by Syed Salahuddin.In 2017, Musa’s name first appeared in an Arabic publication close to the Al-Qaeda. Later, the Al-Qaeda formally announced establishment of a new Kashmir-based terror group Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, headed by Musa. In between, Musa was also seen as being close to the Islamic State by the security agencies, and the brain behind unfurling of black IS flags in Srinagar. The Global Islamic Media Front, the online propaganda distribution arm of Al-Qaeda, has also mentioned Musa’s name. The body of Al-Qaeda-affiliate Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind chief Zakir Rashid Bhat alias Musa, 25, was buried in Pulwama’s Tral on Friday. The authorities imposed curfew-like restrictions in vast parts of the Valley, especially south Kashmir and capital Srinagar.Also Readlast_img read more