Capetonians make the streets of Observatory their own for a day. (Image: Rory Williams) 20 February 2014Get out your car and on your bike, skateboard or feet. Cape Town’s new Open Streets movement takes an old idea from Bogotá, Colombia, and turns city thoroughfares over to residents, who use the space for breaking down social barriers – and having a lot of fun.Read more on Media Club South Africa: Cape Town’s Open Streets bring the people out to play
The last several weeks I’ve written about a number of common myths of green building. Here’s another: that the energy-conservation features and products we install are enough to ensure that our houses will be top energy performers.The starting point in greening a home should always be the sorts of features I cover weekly in this blog: high levels of insulation, good air sealing and weatherization, efficient heating and cooling equipment, energy-efficient appliances and lighting, and renewable energy systems. But these systems aren’t enough to ensure that our energy bills will be low. How we operate our houses also has a huge impact.To use an extreme example, even a superinsulated house with R-50 walls and triple-glazed windows will use a huge amount of energy if we leave the windows open all winter. Most of us would never do that — but we do leave the lights on and run water unnecessarily all the time. Below are a few strategies to help us save energy through thoughtful operation of our houses:1. Turn off the lightsLighting spaces that aren’t occupied wastes energy, pure and simple. No matter how efficient the electric lighting technology, turning those lights off saves more energy. Turn off the lights when you leave a room; if you can’t remember to do that — or if others in your family can’t — install occupancy sensors that turn off lights automatically after a room has been unoccupied for a certain length of time. (I like manual-on, auto-off occupancy sensors, so the lights don’t turn on when your cat walks into a room.) For outdoor lighting, if we can’t remember to turn lights on and off manually, motion sensors can be used to turn on lights only when needed, and photosensors will turn them off during the day.2. Use task lightingOften, we don’t need to light up a whole room. By turning on lights only where you need them — a practice known as “task lighting” — we can save lots of energy.3. Take shorter showersHeating water is one of the two or three largest energy uses in most homes — and as we improve the energy performance of our building envelopes (insulation levels, air tightness, windows, etc.), water heating becomes proportionally more important. Showers are typically the largest use of hot water in homes, and we can save a lot by not only installing low-flow showerheads (less than 2.0 gallons per minute) but also by taking shorter showers. A shower control that lets you turn the flow down while shampooing or lathering is another great way to save.4. Don’t leave the faucet runningIn the bathroom, avoid the temptation to leave the tap on while brushing your teeth or shaving. In the kitchen, don’t pre-rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, or if you must pre-rinse, turn on the water for just a few seconds to do so — and use cold water.5. Fill up the dishwasherMost dishwashers use almost as much water with a half load as a full load, so you can save a lot of water and energy by waiting to run the dishwasher until it’s full. Maybe you’ll have to buy a few more dishes, but you’ll save money in the long run if this permits you to run the dishwasher only every second or third day.6. Wash full loads of laundryThe same argument for running full loads in the dishwasher applies as well to clothes washers. Wait until you can run a full load.7. Hang clothes outdoorsIn good weather, you’ll save a lot of energy by hanging clothes outdoors. This will also save wear-and-tear on your clothes. (If you need evidence for this, think about where that lint you empty from the dryer trap is coming from!)8. During the summer, operate your house to reduce air conditioning useWith hot days and cool nights (except when it’s very humid), it makes sense to close up the house during the day and open it up at night. During the day close windows and also lower blinds if you aren’t home (to block solar heat gain). Then at night open the house up to bring in cooler night air. In some places or during some times of year, this can totally obviate the need for air conditioning.Achieving energy savings in homes is really a two-part strategy. First, we need the energy-saving technologies and systems in place. But often just as important is how we operate our houses for optimal energy performance. It isn’t rocket science, but it does take some common sense. Fancy technology isn’t the answer for everything.I invite you to share comments on this blog.—Alex Wilson is the executive editor of Environmental Building News and founder of BuildingGreen, LLC. To keep up with his latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feeds.
Tags:#e-commerce#gaming#hack 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… veronica henry Why You Love Online Quizzes Even as developers continue to churn out more and more mobile apps – especially games – they’re all struggling to figure out how to get enough people to download and use their apps. Perhaps even more important, developers need a way to make money on their apps, and that combination increasingly results in the freemium model – free apps supported by in-app purchases.The trick, though, is to give people a robust enough free app to get them to download it in the first place – but still find a way to convince enough of those downloaders to part with their hard earned dollars?Do it wrong and you’ve just given away something for nothing. Do it right and it can be a lot more lucrative than charging everyone $.99 upfront.What’ the secret? Here are 5 ways app developers get users to pony up real cash:1. The Bait and HookThe psychology here is simple. Lure in the customer with an all-too-accessible free download. With that initial barrier removed, developers then only need focus on creating a fun and engaging gaming experience. After those first few minutes (or hours) of play, it’s that much easier to get the customer’s buy-in to spend a little something to continue the experience. The desire to make it to the next level can be almost addictive. A fully invested customer will be more willing to pay to play.2. Make It EasySome of the most successful games are relatively simple – Angry Birds is a perfect example. But even for the more complex games, the early objective should be to make it as easy as possible for customers to understand the rules of the game and get started. According to veteran game developer Mike Amerson, maker of the hits My Virtual Girlfriend and My Virtual Boyfriend, this is a key strategy. “Make sure the initial engagement isn’t frustrating. Use techniques like tutorials and tips, then allow the user to practice and gain a few wins before she has to face any real challenges. Then as the game progresses, it becomes harder to achieve those same results.” But by then, the customer is already invested. 3. Timely OfferingsOnly after the customer has downloaded the app, has a good feel for it, and may be feeling fairly confident in their ability to win, is it time to drop the in-app purchase suggestion. At key “choke points” in the game, when the developer knows the customer will need just the right tool to obtain a higher level of achievement, a friendly pop up alerts players of the opportunity to make a purchase that will keep the game experience going. The U.K’s Natural Motion, makers of CSR Racing, have mastered this strategy – and have $12 million in monthly in- app purchase revenue to prove it. After working through a few easy levels, it is nearly impossible to win a race without making upgrades or purchasing another car. 4. Introduce New ItemsMobile game developer TinyCo is a proven leader in this next strategy. In its game Tiny Zoo Friends, where kids manage a virtual zoo, the company introduces new farm animals for purchase every week. One animal, “The Cash Cow” (not sure if pun was intended or not), cost one young fan nearly two months’ allowance. According to TinyCo CEO Suly Ali, the revenue from this character alone was in the neighborhood of $50,000. 5. For A Limited Time OnlyOnce customers become accustomed to making in-app purchases, developers then introduce the limited-time- only scenario. Make the next purchase for half off, or at a reduced rate, but only if you buy before the offer runs out. Most shoppers will recognize this strategy from a wide variety of retail environments – because it works. Imposing a time limit to a discount provokes that buy-now-or-lose-out feeling of urgency. It’s the ultimate pay reward system.By some estimates, in-app purchasers spend on average $14 per transaction, which is why freemium has become the dominant means of monetizing apps.For serious players, though, buying a game for $.99 up front is almost always cheaper than a freemium model where you’ll need to ante up a lot more over time. Keep that in mind the next time you download a “free” app. How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Related Posts Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid
Announcing PremiumBeat’s Indie Filmmaker Prize Pack! We’re giving away a GH5, 4 Rokinon cine lenses, $500 in music, $500 from RocketStock, and a pro camera bag. Enter now for your chance to win!The Panasonic Lumix GH5 is the most anticipated camera of 2017, and we’re giving one away for FREE! One lucky winner will get the camera, 4 Rokinon lenses, a CineBags backpack, $500 in royalty free music from PremiumBeat, and $500 in RocketStock credit.For a chance to win, click the Enter to Win button below and enter your email address. That’s it! The contest runs from March 30th until April 24th, 2017 — so sign up now!Congratulations to Harald B. for winning the Indie Filmmaker Prize Pack! I have been using a single prime lens my entire career and I am more than excited to finally be able to do more wide-angle shots. I am definitely most excited about the four Rokinon lenses even though the GH5 is a killer camera. This gear will be used on a daily basis in the building of my commercial and creative filmmaking career.THIS CONTEST HAS ENDEDWhat’s in the Indie Filmmaker Prize Pack?Panasonic Lumix GH520.3MP MOS Sensor4K, UHD, HD VideoInternal 4:2:2 10-Bit 4K Video5-Axis Sensor Stabilization; Dual I.S. 20.76x 3.68m-Dot OLED Viewfinder3.2″ 1.62m-Dot Free-Angle TouchscreenAdvanced DFD AF System; 6K & 4K PHOTOISO 25600 and 12 fps Continuous ShootingDual UHS-II SD Slots; Wi-Fi & Bluetooth4 Rokinon T1.5 Cine DS Lenses (Micro Four Thirds Mount)24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm Cine-Style LensesMicro Four Thirds MountT1.5 to T22 Exposure RangeMulti-Layer Coating to Reduce FlareDual Side Focus and T-Stop ScalesDe-Clicked Aperture RingManual Focus and ApertureCineBags CB25B Revolution BackpackBlack/Charcoal ColorFits Mirrorless Camera and Accessories17″ MacBook-Sized Laptop CompartmentFour Exterior PouchesOversized ZippersCargo Straps with Heavy-Duty BucklesCompression Foam Harness, Hip BeltLarge Carry HandleWaterproof with Pull-Out Rain CoverDistributes Payload Evenly for Comfortable CarryingFront Organizer Pouch for Media Cards, Business Cards, Pens, Passport, and Travel Documents$500 in RocketStock AssetsAfter Effects TemplatesLight LeaksLens FlaresFilm Grain OverlaysDigital DistortionTransitions$500 in PremiumBeat Royalty Free MusicCurated Royalty Free MusicThousands of Exclusive Tracks and SFX100% Copyright ClearSafe for YouTube and VimeoSimple LicensingTHIS CONTEST HAS ENDED About PremiumBeat.comPremiumBeat.com is a royalty free music website that provides high-quality tracks and sound effects for use in new and traditional media projects. Our focus is the streamlined licensing of curated music — a better selection means less time searching for the perfect tracks for your projects.PremiumBeat works with professional composers from around the world to ensure the library remains high quality and constantly expanding. With thousands of tracks in more than thirty music styles, our music is ideal for websites, online videos, mobile apps, television, radio, feature films, and other professional applications. About RocketStock.comRocketStock.com is a unique provider of exclusive After Effects templates and video assets for motion designers, filmmakers, video editors, and cinematographers. Their curated collection promises universalized project design, similar features across projects, and intuitive workflows.
1 dead in Cavite blast, fire NBA: Russell Westbrook named ‘Shaqtin’ a Fool’ MVP After the defeat to China, Dooley said “the team had many meetings and all of them positive but direct to the point why things happen in football.”“I know we would do great, but we still have a lot to learn,” Dooley added.The Azkals now have six points from two matches, two points ahead of Yemen which battled Nepal to a goalles draw in Kathmandu. Tajikistan remained winless from two matches.The Azkals face Yemen on Sept. 5 at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod. Only the Top 2 teams from the group will qualify for the Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates in 2019.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ CONTRIBUTED PHOTOThe Philippine Azkals survived a late Tajikistan uprising for a thrilling 4-3 win to firm up its hold of the top spot in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers at Republican Central Stadium in Dushbane. Captain Phil Younghusband opened the scoring with a free kick in the 28th minute, before a brace from Javier Patinño off two assists from Mike Ott put the Azkals on their way to what looked like a comfortable victory before 15,000 fans in the Tajik capital.ADVERTISEMENT What ‘missteps’? Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES MOST READ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Patiño scored with a composed finish from just inside the box in the 42nd minute, before grabbing his second with a breakaway goal off another fine pass from Ott.But Tajikistan struck twice in quick succession with Parvizchon Umarbaev scoring from the spot in the 57th minute off a questionable foul called on Amani Aguinaldo and Dilshod Vasiev finishing off a quick counter four minutes later, setting the stage for a nervy finish.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutLeftback Daisuke Sato restored the two-goal advantage for the Azkals with a long range strike with 10 minutes remaining but Manuchekr Dzaliliov late strike put the game back on a knife-edge and the Azkals would feel relief more than anything after another unconvincing display on the heels of the 1-8 friendly loss to China.“The players did a great job,” said Azkals coach Thomas Dooley. “They where focused from the beginning and tried to do everything we talked about, even in the free kick.” Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage View comments
Kimberly White/Getty Images Anyone making less than $66,000 a year can file their taxes for free. Oftentimes, that’s easier said than done.Intuit, which makes TurboTax, makes it difficult for people to find the free option, according to ProPublica. Instead, searches on terms such as “irs free file taxes” steer potential tax filers to for-pay versions of its service, according to the publication. Intuit, along with H&R Block, has lobbied for years to prevent the Internal Revenue Service from building its own free online tax filing system because it would compete with their products, according to ProPublica. Members of Congress pushed to prevent the IRS from offering free online filing as recently as this month, the publication reported.The IRS has agreed not to make online tax filing free as long as tax-preparation companies, who have formed an industry group called the Free File Alliance, provide free services to taxpayers making less than $66,000. Locating Intuit’s free service, however, requires a lot of work, according to ProPublica. ProPublica went to Intuit’s TurboTax website and clicked on the “FREE Guaranteed” option but was tagged as a potential paying customer. The reason: Intuit doesn’t offer its free version from its website, ProPublica said.ProPublica discovered the free version for filers with less than $66,000 in income is called the Freedom Edition. Once the publication had that information, a Google search brought up the right result. But the Intuit site still tried to channel ProPublica back to a for-pay version, it said. Clicking on a link titled “Start for Free” on the page led to a for-pay version of TurboTax, while clicking on “See If You Qualify” led to the actual free filing option.TurboTax also offers a product called Free Edition, a no-cost version for users with simple filings. Eligibility for Free Edition isn’t based on income, but rather on filing circumstance, such as W2, standard deduction and child tax credits.TurboTax spokesman Rick Heineman said pricing for TurboTax products is listed on the company’s Products & Pricing page. “This information is made clear to customers before they begin to file,” he wrote. TurboTax Free File Program, which is on a page whose URL reads https://turbotax.intuit.com/taxfreedom/, is the Intuit product used as part of the income-based IRS Free File. Heineman said the TurboTax Free File Program “contains no cross-marketing or selling of ancillary products or services.” Comments Tags 4 Share your voice Software
Share “All the pieces are coming together” for St. Vincent and the Grenadines Kathryn Folliott TORONTO — With Mandarin Oriental just announcing its official debut on Canouan in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, news of another new resort for the island chain, from a well-known brand, is expected be made public within the next few weeks.St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Minister of Tourism, Sports and Culture, Cecil McKie, in Toronto this week to meet with industry partners and media this week, said “all the pieces are coming together” and construction on the new-build resort, on the main island of St. Vincent, should begin within the next three months.Interest in the Caribbean destination, always something of an off-the-beaten-track gem, has ramped up with the debut of the new Argyle International Airport. Open since February 2017, the airport is part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ years-long plan to attract international flights and – slowly but surely – boost its status as a tourism hotspot.Lift out of Canada for the 2018-19 winter season includes flights with Air Canada Rouge, with year-round nonstop Toronto to St. Vincent flights ramping up to twice weekly on Thursdays and Sundays in high winter season. ACV’s just-released Sun Collection 2018-19 brochure offers seven hotels in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.From the U.S., carriers servicing St. Vincent and the Grenadines include American Airlines out of Miami starting Dec. 15, and Caribbean Airlines ex New York (JFK).“We’re getting there slowly but surely,” says Glen Beache, CEO, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority. “We’ve done well for our first year of operations [with Argyle International Airport]. We need to have the room stock too.”Glen Beache, CEO, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority; Shelley John, Director of Sales, Canada for the St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Minister of Tourism, Sports and Culture, Cecil McKieBeache adds: “I’ve never seen so much interest paid to St. Vincent and the Grenadines as I have now, with the new airport.”More news: CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionWhile the destination is keen on attracting new hotel development, the first priority, as Beache notes, is “to keep the hotels full and give everybody the best experience possible.”St. Vincent and the Grenadines isn’t exclusively an upscale destination, but with islands like Mustique and Canouan, it’s easy for travellers – and travel agents – to make that assumption. “I think in the past it was marketed [as a luxury destination] and I think that was a mistake,” says Beache. The goal now is to go in the direction of four-star resorts.Some of the most popular resorts on the islands and cays – there are 32 in all, but only nine are inhabited – are Palm Island Resort, Petit St. Vincent and Buccament Bay Resort.The ‘new’ Mandarin Oriental, Canouan is in fact the former Pink Sands Club, Canouan. Mandarin Oriental announced the rebranding and an extensive renovation back in October 2017, and just this week Mandarin Oriental announced that the resort’s transformation was officially complete.More news: Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterMore rooms are on the way at Black Sands Resort, now under construction on St. Vincent with 40 villas and a 200-room hotel.Meanwhile agents should be on the lookout for more hotel news from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, says McKie. “We welcome discussions with anyone with interests in our islands. The government has offered to partner with investors. We have an open door policy.”The islands also have plenty of draws for visitors, including a full list of festivals and events, kicking off at the beginning of the year with the Bequia Music Fest. In the summer Vincy Mas “is the hottest Carnival in the Caribbean, and the safest,” says McKie.Shelley John, Director of Sales, Canada for the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Office, says travel agents can hear all the news from the islands at upcoming roadshow events in St. Catharines, Oakville, Kingston, Ottawa and Montreal, taking place Sept. 24 – 28.For more details see discoversvg.com. Tags: St. Vincent and the Grenadines << Previous PostNext Post >> Thursday, July 26, 2018 Posted by About Latest Posts Kathryn FolliottEditor at TravelweekKathryn is Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 1995. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Hong Kong, Jerusalem, the Swiss Alps and the Galapagos Islands among her favourite destinations. Latest posts by Kathryn Folliott (see all) “They need to go where the bucks are”: Agents on ACTA partnership – April 18, 2019 As the cost of doing business climbs, host agencies, retail groups say they have options – April 4, 2019 As of 2021 Europe-bound clients will need to apply online for a visa waiver and pay a fee – April 3, 2019
Tuesday, August 28, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by TORONTO — It’s a sign of the times that news services have taken to compiling lists of fake news items, in an effort to weed out the real stories from the not-so-real.Wire news service The Associated Press says it’s dedicated to fact-checking misinformation that is shared widely online, and alerting users with roundups of fake news. Recently that roundup included WestJet.Not that the airline had done anything wrong. On the contrary, AP was drawing attention to an online ticket scam involving WestJet that the airline has been pushing back against for years with consumer warning advisories and blog posts.It’s the age-old Facebook-based free ticket scam, using WestJet’s branding.“THE FACTS: WestJet Airlines is not giving out two free tickets to celebrate its birthday despite an offer circulating on social media,” says AP.The scam asks users to fill out a survey to receive a pair of 332 remaining tickets. Afterward, users are asked to share the ad and type “Thanks for tickets #Westjet!” in the comments field. It then says users can click the ‘Claim Now’ button to enter their personal details.More news: Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughtsThe advertisement “is not a legitimate offer,” says WestJet spokesperson Morgan Bell. Bell said more information about dealing with scams is available on the airline’s advisory page.The ‘Not Real News’ roundup with the WestJet item came out in recent days but the scam has been circulating for years. “I don’t understand why Facebook allows these scammers to freely post their frauds,” says one post on WestJet’s advisory blog. Here’s why WestJet landed on the Not Real News list With files from The Associated Press Travelweek Group Tags: Facebook, WestJet Share
Content security specialist Civolution has joined CDN provider Akamai’s NetAlliance partner programme for digital media solution partners. Civolution’s NexGuard pay TV technology will be integrated with the Akamai cloud platform to support over-the-top video content delivery for premium consumer video-on-demand and business-to-business activities.‘’This is about creating value, for the movie and pay TV industries by providing early-window content at a premium rate, and for consumers, who will now be able to access and watch a recently released movie in their home theatre,’’ said Alex Terpstra, CEO, Civolution. “We are very pleased to join Akamai’s NetAlliance partner programme. Our forensic watermarking integration with the Akamai HD Network is an important step toward enabling new offering of premium VOD for OTT delivery.’’
The Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) has agreed a multi-year contract for Ku-band capacity on the Eutelsat 21B satellite that provides reach over the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.The ASBU will use the capacity for broadcast content exchanges between member broadcasters in a region extending from Morocco to Bahrain and from the Mediterranean to Yemen, Sudan and Mauritania. It will also use it to extend its footprint into Europe.“Eutelsat 21B with its best coverage both in elevation and performance provides ASBU as a gateway between North Africa, Middle East and Europe to our programme exchange centre in Algiers for distribution,” said ASBU director general, Salaheddine Maaoui.The ASBU includes 30 active broadcaster members and 25 associate members and provides a platform for radio and television exchanges of news, programming and sports across the Arab world.