13 July 2012South African sprint newcomer Anaso Jobodwana will be attending his first Olympic Games in London. It’s been a very fast rise to the biggest stage of them all for the teenager. He has surprised a lot of people, not least himself.The reason for his own surprise was the fact that he was sidelined by injury for the 2011 season. One’s expectations after such a lengthy layoff are bound to be modest, but thankfully for Jobodwana he has returned to action with a bang.In 2010, he had shown huge potential by clocking 20.95 to win the South African Schools 200 metres title, but, given his injury-filled 2011 he hadn’t expected to make the jump he has in 2012.Returned to South AfricaEarlier this year, Jobodwana was based in the US and was studying at Jackson State University at Oxford in Mississippi. However, he returned to South Africa recently because the university system in the US does not allow athletes to compete on the European circuit.It was in Oxford on 14 April that the former Selborne College schoolboy achieved his first Olympic qualifying time in the 200 metres, stopping the clock in 20.32 seconds, well inside the required mark of 20.55.It really shouldn’t have come as a surprise, considering that he had run a 20.66sec 200 metres indoors in March, a feat which earned him All-American honours. He had also run two times close to the qualifying standard shortly before he made his breakthrough.The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, however, requires that an athlete achieves the required standard at least twice, with one of those being recorded in international competition.Second qualifying timeWith only two weeks to go before Sascoc’s qualification deadline, Jobodwana ran his second qualifying time in Velenje, Slovenia, clocking 20.50 to take victory at the 17th International Athletics Meeting in Honour of Miners Day.On 4 July, he became one of 14 athletes added to the 125 South African athletes previously announced in the Olympic team on 6 June.Jobodwana’s best time of 20.32 seconds, which is number one among African athletes in 2012, places him 22nd in the world this year.But don’t lose sight of the fact that he is just 19 years of age. Jobodwana is likely to improve his performances even more and London 2012 could well play an important role in an even bigger challenge from the South African at the 2016 Rio Games, which was what he was focused on until his unknown form turned out to be better than he expected.GoalHis goal for London is a place in the semi-finals, which is a pretty big one, given the fact that he hadn’t even considered qualifying for the Olympics six months ago.In an interview with the Mail and Guardian, he said: “I want to try and bring my time down – that’s the goal at the moment – but I’m hoping to make the semi-finals.“I haven’t set any real targets for the Games, though, and I haven’t written anything down, so I’m not putting pressure on myself.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
That’s not to say that Chrome OS itself doesn’t have worthwhile features of its own – like its built-in security mechanisms or its auto-update system, it’s just that these aren’t the kinds of things that sell it to an end user. The questions consumers want answers to are what does it do that’s special? What does it look like? And for now, the answer is “it’s basically just a web browser.”Revolution? Maybe Not Just Yet.At the end of the day, Chrome OS is an exciting, but not fully realized, vision. Although it has potential, the world may not be ready for a web-based netbook right now. Also, the technology needed to make the Wi-Fi only netbook useful without an internet connection isn’t up to full speed either. At the end of the day, the netbook will be marginally more useful than an iPod Touch – when connected, it’s amazing. Offline, not so much. While you might not rush right out to buy a Chrome OS netbook when they first launch, there could come a time – sooner than you think – when it becomes a reasonable choice. When the majority of apps work offline and you’ve fully transitioned away from desktop apps, a web-connected netbook, especially one that’s affordable, could easily become your everyday computer. That day hasn’t arrived yet. For now, Chrome OS is an exciting glimpse at the future of computing, but not a practical device for the majority of users. Disclosure: Sarah Perez freelances for Microsoft’s Channel 10 blog, but is not a Microsoft employee. Her primary web browser is, in fact, Google Chrome which she uses exclusively. Google’s major goal with Chrome OS is to moving computing off our personal hard drives and into the cloud…the Google cloud. To accomplish such a feat, they’ve made the web browser the OS. Everything you need (in theory) is accessible through the included Google Chrome browser, the same browser the company currently offers to Windows users with Mac and Linux versions expected by the end of this year. As exciting as that vision is, we have to wonder if people – especially the mainstream netbook users the OS is aimed at – are ready for this big of a switch. And more importantly, is the technology itself ready to make the change a comfortable and seamless experience? …but is it Better?After digesting yesterday’s news, some lingering questions remain. Was this the OS everyone was hoping for or has Google let us down? You Can’t Just Install Chrome OS – You Have to Buy a New NetbookTo begin with, one of the more surprising reveals that came out of yesterday’s news is that the OS cannot be installed on your own computer. Oh sure, there are downloadsavailable that use Google’s open-sourced code to create bootable builds tech-savvy users and developers can play with, but the official word from the search giant is that anyone wanting to use the “real” Google Chrome OS will have to purchase a new netbook to do so. You cannot simply download it from the web and install it on any machine.Part of the reason for this restriction is driver support. Google is working with carefully selected manufacturers to offer a handful of netbooks running the OS in the coming year. By going this route, they don’t have to provide an entire ecosystem of drivers for every piece of hardware out there – they can pick and choose which ones to support. They’ll likely limit the number of peripherals supported, too. According to what was said yesterday, the company will support “mass storage devices” (think USB flash drives and digital cameras) but were cagey on how they plan on offering printing support. All they would say is that they’re planning on an “innovative approach” when it comes to printing, whatever that means. Hopefully, they’re planning to do something more than just integrating with Kinko’s and FedEx’s online document services, for example. Printing, (sorry Google) is not a web app just yet. No Other Web Browsers SupportedAnother big disappointment is the company’s decision to limit all web surfing to the one included browser, Google Chrome. Firefox and Safari users are out of luck – no other browsers will be supported. But before you cry out “antitrust!,” be warned – Google has this covered. The code base used to build the OS is open-source – that means anyone take the code and create their own version of Chrome OS. As was carefully – and haltingly – explained by Google’s VP of Product Management, Sundar Pichai, other browser makers can take the code and build their own OS if they want to. But let’s get real – Firefox Chrome OS? We don’t think so. The reality is that fans of other browsers are simply out of luck if they want to use this operating system. Offline Access is Limited. Your New Netbook is Now a Brick. One of the questions that got glossed over during the Q&A session at the end of the event is how Google’s OS plans to deal with offline access. The world is not blanketed in Wi-Fi yet, so what can this web-based OS do without the web? Surprisingly, the answer given didn’t refer to any subsidized deals with cellular providers regarding deals to offer built-in 3G connectivity for the new netbooks. Instead, Pichai explained that the OS was built for use with Wi-Fi. Of course, a handful of Google products use Google Gears, a technology that makes websites available offline. For example, Gmail uses Gears to create an offline version of your webmail inbox which you can use to read and respond to email until internet connectivity becomes available again. At that point, all the changes are synced back to Google’s servers. Although Google didn’t specifically refer to Gears when answering the question, there’s no reason to doubt that it will work in Chrome OS’s web browser the same as it does now in the standard Chrome browser.However, Pichai did make note of Chrome OS’s support for HTML5, an upcoming revision to the core markup language used to build the web. In the new specification, a key feature is offline support for web apps. However, web application developers will have to rebuild their apps in order to use HTML5, so users will be dependent on each individual company to make this change. While it’s believed that one day this spec could make the whole web an offline app, the reality is that most developers have yet to implement this technology in their services yet. Even by Chrome OS’s launch next year, there’s no reason to believe the landscape will have changed significantly by then. Do You Really Need an OS or Just the Chrome Web Browser?Finally, the big question regarding Chrome OS is why? What can the OS do that any operating system running the Chrome browser cannot? Based on what was shown yesterday, the answer is very little. Chrome OS’s brand-new features consist of two things: application tabs and panels. The panels are persistent windows that pop-up in front of your web browser’s main window. For example, Google Chat, the company’s IM service, can live in a panel that stays on top no matter what window you’re viewing. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts sarah perez 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Application tabs, meanwhile, are special tabs that give you easy access to your most frequently used web apps from the browser. Any page tab can be made into an application tab with one click and the resulting “tab” is represented with the colorful icon for that site or service. While that’s certainly a cool feature, it alone isn’t a major selling point for the OS. That would be like saying you have to buy Mac OS X because of the dock or Windows because of the taskbar. You need a million of these little features combined to add up to a compelling reason to buy an OS. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… It’s the morning after the big Chrome OS event where Google executives and engineers revealed a myriad of details about the company’s first attempt at creating their own operating system. The highly anticipated news conference was tracked all over the web, liveblogged by technology sites, and Twittered so much that it’s still listed as a “trending topic” as of this morning.But now that the news is out, has Chrome OS lost its shine? People had high expectations for Google’s new operating system but the end result doesn’t look like the revolutionary, “change the world” product many had hoped for.Yes, Chrome OS is DifferentDon’t get us wrong – Google’s OS is different than whatever Windows, Mac, or Linux build you have running on your computer today. The new OS does away with desktop applications entirely – everything you use on Google Chrome OS runs on the web. Of course, the company hopes you’ll use a lot of Google products like Gmail and YouTube, but it doesn’t limit you to just Google-branded services. In the built-in applications area, there are also links to other web apps like the online TV streaming service Hulu.com and music sites Lala and Pandora. To be fair, Chrome OS even links to Yahoo and Microsoft’s webmail offerings right out of the box. Tags:#cloud computing#Google#NYT#Trends#web
A ruling last year in Nevada reducing reimbursement rates for owners of grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) systems gutted the state’s solar industry, cutting the installation of new PV systems by 90% in the first quarter of the year.In reaching their decision, utility regulators accepted arguments that net metering amounted to a subsidy for solar customers and a $160 million burden for non-solar customers. But according to two new studies, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada was wrong — distributed solar offers a benefit to all ratepayers, whether they own solar systems or not. One of the reports is a collaboration between SolarCity, the country’s largest solar installer, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Their conclusion, vetted by academics at Stanford University, was that residential solar systems deliver net benefits to ratepayer of between 1.6 cents and 3.6 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity, according to a summary of the findings published by Utility Dive.The PUC last December reduced net-metering rates from the retail to wholesale level and increased base service charges. The changes also affected existing solar customers even though they had invested in solar on the assumption they’d get full retail price for electricity fed into the grid. The PUC’s decision prompted SolarCity, Vivint Solar, and Sunrun to stop doing business in Nevada altogether. SolarCity also closed a training center for solar workers it had just opened in Las Vegas. New study takes more factors into considerationSolarCity said earlier findings on the value of solar in Nevada were incomplete. The new study, it said, used an assessment tool provided by the Nevada PUC and took into account 11 different benefit variables that could be used to quantify the costs and benefits of distributed solar, UtilityDive said.The analysis used by regulators in their decision late last year used only two of the 11 variables because there wasn’t enough time or available information to use all of them.“[I]n December 2015, the [PUCN] stated in their NEM tariff order that ‘For other than the avoided energy and energy losses/line losses, there is insufficient time or data in this proceeding to assign a value to the other nine [benefit] variables,’” the report says. “Going forward, we offer our analysis as a resource to assign values to the ‘other nine variables’ identified by the PUCN.”Noah Long, director of NRDC’s western energy project, said in a blog that the new study was an effort to “calm the debate, and add a measure of reason” to the bitter proceedings in Nevada.“The ‘solar wars’ in Nevada have been heated, and as in many heated debates, reason is often the first victim,” Long said. “Advertisements on both sides have attempted to demonize the other…“This report shows that a policy that fairly compensates consumers for their production of clean distributed (onsite) energy and the excess they return to the grid serving all NV Energy customers has big benefits for all Nevadans,” Long continued. “The full value of those benefits ought to be part of the discussion when it comes to setting utility rates for NV Energy customers. That’s why this study includes a range of benefits not previously considered by the Public Utility Commission of Nevada, including: Cutting the amount of energy the electric utility needs to purchase and the number of new power lines that need to be built; and reducing fossil fuel power plant emissions and their health impacts.”Long said the NRDC was initially “a bit apprehensive” about taking part in the study when approached by SolarCity but in the end decided to join as a co-author “because we saw a need for a thorough analysis of the costs and benefits of rooftop solar generation in Nevada that could improve a contentious debate.”He adds that Nevada regulators said that they needed more information about the costs and benefits of distributed solar, and that they would consider the “full scope of benefits” in upcoming rate cases. NV Energy, the state’s main electric utility, argued that retail net metering shifted the costs of maintaining the grid to non-solar customers and was, therefore, unfair. Not so, the new report claims.“While a net cost would indicate that NEM [net energy metering] is providing a subsidy to solar, our results conclude that the opposite is true: rooftop solar provides a net benefit to all Nevadans in the range of 1.6 to 3.4 cents per kilowatt of solar production,” the study says.“Assessing this full set of ongoing costs and benefits from the roughly 257 megawatts (MW) of existing NEM solar systems already deployed or in the pipeline in Nevada, we calculate a net value of $7-14 million per year to all Nevadan utility customers,” the joint report said. RELATED ARTICLES Retail Net Metering Will End in NevadaMajor Utility Wants Lower Net-Metering RulesNet-Metering Survives California TestLearn How Solar Friendly Your State IsWisconsin Alters Net-Metering RulesAn Introduction to Photovoltaic SystemsMaine Completes Value of Solar Study Brookings study also finds value in solarA second study from the Brookings Institution notes that the dialogue over net metering in some states has been thoughtful, but in others “the ferment has prompted a cruder set of backlashes.”“All of which highlights a burning question for the present and future of rooftop solar,” the authors said, “Does net metering really represent a net cost shift from solar-owning households to others? Or does it in fact contribute net benefits to the grid, utilities, and other ratepayer groups when all costs and benefits are factored in?“As to the answer, it’s getting clearer (even if it’s not unanimous),” the study continues, “Net metering — contra the Nevada decision — frequently benefits all ratepayers when all costs and benefits are accounted for, which is a finding state public utility commissions, or PUCs, need to take seriously as the fight over net metering rages in states like Arizona, California, and Nevada.”Although net-metering does raise legitimate cost-recovery issues, the paper says, “far from a net cost, net metering is in most cases a net benefit — for the utility and for non-solar ratepayers.”The Brookings report cites studies in Vermont, Mississippi, Minnesota, Maine and even Nevada that found that net metering generally benefits all utility customers. A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab concluded that even substantially higher numbers of net-metered solar customers than exist today would have a “relatively modest” impact on average retail rates.“In short, while the conclusions vary, a significant body of cost-benefit research conducted by PUCs, consultants, and research organizations provides substantial evidence that net metering is more often than not a net benefit to the grid and all ratepayers,” the Brookings report says.“As to the takeaways, they are quite clear: Regulators and utilities need to engage in a broader and more honest conversation about how to integrate distributed-generation technologies into the grid nationwide, with an eye toward instituting a fair utility-cost recovery strategy that does not pose significant challenges to solar adoption.”
Three personnel of 120 Border Security Force were seriously wounded on Saturday night when a powerful remote controlled bomb was detonated near Telipati, Imphal east district in Manipur, at 11:30 p.m. The personnel were taken to the J.N. Institute of Medical Sciences in the same district.No underground organisation has claimed responsibility for the blast.There is a permanent police picket at Telipati which is dominated by people originating from Bihar. Police have registered a case. So far there is no breakthrough in the investigation.