Related posts:Costa Rica high court admits challenge to IVF decree Costa Rica’s IVF ban: Why does Supreme Court have jurisdiction over president’s recent decree? Costa Rica government says it will reinstate in vitro fertilization within 6 months Costa Rica’s Solís considers reinstating IVF by executive decree Costa Rica’s government submitted an official report Thursday evening to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) about its progress in legalizing in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures.The San José-based regional court sent two separate requests on Sept. 25 and Oct. 9 asking the government to explain, by Oct. 15, its advances in terms of reinstating IVF and drafting legislation to regulate it. IVF was banned in Costa Rica in 2000.In its response, the government highlighted President Luis Guillermo Solís’ signing last month of an executive decree to legalize IVF, saying the action constitutes compliance with the court’s orders. The government also told the court that both the Social Security System, or Caja, and the Public Health Ministry are working on outlining technical procedures for reinstating IVF.The 17-page document also explains that Caja experts have been providing psychological treatment to couples who have been unable to conceive and unable to try IVF because of the ban. It also lists other government actions such as training courses on sexual and reproductive rights for Judicial Branch officials, as requested by the IACHR.The response also describes the recent setback in legalizing the fertility procedure because of a challenge filed by a group of lawmakers before the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala IV.The lawmakers are challenging the constitutionality of Solís’ decree, meaning it is temporarily suspended pending the constitutional court’s ruling. The government document released Thursday explains all possible legal scenarios for a ruling, including the annulment of the decree.Huberth May, a lawyer for several of the couples who filed the initial complaint about Costa Rica’s IVF ban before the IACHR, said he firmly believes Solis’ legalization decree is constitutional and consistent with the American Convention on Human Rights, “a superior-ranking body that is even above the Constitution.”The lawyer also thinks the country will be forced to comply with the Inter-American Court’s ruling “despite the opposition of Sala IV and of ultraconservative groups who have tried to tarnish the human right to procreation.”IACHR’s next ordinary session is scheduled for November. There’s no deadline to issue a ruling on the Costa Rican government’s report.Plaintiff couples in the Inter-American Court case are hoping for an expedited ruling, considering the justices’ quick response in requesting an official explanation for the Sala IV’s action suspending the decree, May said.Sala IV banned IVF in 2000 arguing that the procedure violates the fundamental right to life. Costa Rica is the only country in the Western Hemisphere to ban the fertility procedure. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered the country to remove the ban in 2012 and make IVF available. Facebook Comments
Related posts:Police sweep targets criminals operating near Costa Rica’s Manuel Antonio National Park Lonely Planet guide documents a changing Central America Life jackets not distributed before Costa Rica catamaran began sinking, killing 3, says president’s office Guanacaste receives first tourist wave of Costa Rica’s high season Many visitors looking to get away from it all are attracted to Costa Rica’s remote destinations. That same quality offering quiet and relaxation, however, can be a disadvantage when it comes to reporting a crime. But a new pilot program is trying to streamline this process by letting local National Police officers file criminal complaints so victims don’t have to travel out of their way.Starting this June, police in Puerto Viejo, Cocles, Cahuita, Flamingo, Dominical, Nosara, Sámara, Playas del Coco and Tamarindo will start taking criminal complaints, according to Public Security Ministry spokesman José Vargas.Between May 20 and 24, 75 police officers were trained at the National Police Academy to take victim statements and file complaints via email to the nearest Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) delegation. The job of investigating crimes will remain with the OIJ.Generally speaking, police in Costa Rica are tasked with preventing crime and OIJ officers are in charge of investigating crimes committed. This means that while police might be the first on the scene if a smartphone is stolen, for example, the victim still has to file a compliant with OIJ in order to file charges.Under the current system, victims in far-flung places like the Pacific beach town of Nosara would need to drive nearly 60 kilometers to Nicoya to report a crime. Some, especially foreign tourists, don’t know that they need to file a separate complaint with OIJ beyond their initial encounter with police. Others decide it’s too much hassle.Vargas said other communities could be incorporated if the project goes well. Facebook Comments
Uber’s questionable legal standing in Costa Rica may soon reach a resolution.The country’s Executive Branch on Tuesday proposed a law that will allow “taxi drivers and services such as Uber to coexist simultaneously, under fair conditions of competition,” according to a press release from the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT).“Our commitment is to progress in a system where taxis and transportation technology platforms can coexist under conditions of fair competition,” said President Carlos Alvarado.“It is an issue that as a country we have postponed for many years, and it was time to make decisions about it.”The bill would designate transportation platform companies such as Uber as public services. The companies would have to register with the Public Transportation Council and enact policies promoting rider safety.Services such as Uber would be subject to a value-added tax of 13 percent. The proposal also says companies that “operated prior to the enactment of this law” would have to pay a registration fee of nearly $13,800,000, which would be earmarked to fund modernizations to Costa Rica’s public-transportation systems, including taxis.Uber did not immediately return a request for comment, but in a September 2018 open letter to the government, the company said that “since our first day of operations in Costa Rica, Uber has sought to be part of the country’s development and to improve transportation options for Costa Ricans.”[UPDATE: Read Uber’s response to the proposed law here.] Taxi drivers have staged repeated protests against ride-hailing services since Uber launched operations in Costa Rica in August 2015. Uber drivers have continued to offer rides, though they often do so surreptitiously to avoid hefty fines from the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP). Uber: Proposed law a start, but ‘far from a proposal that encourages innovation’ This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.Support the Tico TimesThis story was updated at 12:30 p.m. to include Uber’s statement on the legislation. Facebook Comments Related posts:Uber driver threatened in Costa Rica Uber Costa Rica pulls out of job fair over security concerns Uber Costa Rica drops fares 20 percent and some drivers aren’t happy Taxi drivers to demonstrate against Uber in downtown San José
MLN (pronounced ‘Melon’), an early-stage University College Dublin (UCD) student venture, has been declared the overall winner of the 2019 UCD Start-up Stars Programme and has won a €3,000 cash prize.Many employees of medium-to-large organisations are unhappy with their daily commute. Over 50% live outside a direct form of public transport to work, affecting employee retention levels. Such organisations are also reducing the number of parking spaces they have available to staff due to rising costs.To address this issue, MLN is currently developing a secure and real-time in-house carpooling app for medium-to-large organisations to reduce the number of cars on the road, to improve the commuter’s experience, and to increase employee retention levels.The MLN app will enable users to act as both passengers and drivers on their daily commute. The app will use gamification to attract and retain users by providing incentives and rewards for carpooling participation. The MLN dashboard will provide customers with visibility of their carbon footprint reduction, productivity increases and cross-team collaborations. The MLN box uses GPS to automatically detect the user’s commute and an accelerometer and gyroscope to detect collisions and perform vehicle diagnostics.The founders of MLN are; Manal Mukhtar, an undergraduate student in the UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business and UCD Sutherland School of Law and Ellen Le Bas, who has just completed a postgraduate degree in the UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.Manal Mukhtar, said, “We have thoroughly enjoyed our last 4 weeks at NovaUCD during which we have further developed our start-up idea and we are delighted that MLN has won the 2019 UCD Start-Up Stars Programme. We believe that we are at the cusp of a carpooling revolution and that MLN can be at the forefront when it reaches the tipping point.”Ellen Le Bas said, “We are excited to continue working with NovaUCD to develop MLN further. The network of mentors and fellow entrepreneurs at NovaUCD is a valuable resource to have as an early-stage start-up.”The UCD Start-up Stars programme, now in its 5th year, provides a framework to support UCD undergraduate and postgraduate students who want to work together to develop and grow start-up companies. It has been developed by NovaUCD, the UCD Innovation Academy and UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.Seven early stage ventures, with a total of 16 team members, participated in an intensive mentoring programme which took place over the last 4 weeks at NovaUCD.The aim of this mentoring programme was to assist the students in refining their start-up ideas through a series of structured workshops, including taught content from industry experts, interactive workshops and regular pitching sessions. In addition, each team also received a cash stipend and office space at NovaUCD.Tom Flanagan, UCD Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation said, “I would like to congratulate the founders of MLN on winning the 2019 UCD Start-up Stars Programme and I would like to commend all the students who participated in the programme.”He added, “During the last 4 weeks at NovaUCD this group of talented and entrepreneurial students leveraged our start-up expertise and network to further develop and refine their start-up ideas. I now look forward to seeing these early-stage ventures move forward to successful market launch.”He concluded, “Our ongoing €6.5 million project to develop NovaUCD’s eastern courtyard, which will increase our capacity to house start-ups by over 50%, will be completed very shortly. When opened it will help us to meet the significant and ongoing demand from ambitious entrepreneurs, such as those who have just completed the Start-Up Stars Programme, who want to locate at NovaUCD to leverage our ecosystem to help them grow and scale their businesses.”Following final pitches to a judging panel, MLN was selected as the overall winner as it was considered to have the most commercial potential and the founders received the cash prize of €3,000 sponsored by Xilinx. The six runners-up also received a cash prize of €500 each sponsored by Xilinx.Professor Suzi Jarvis, Founding Director, UCD Innovation Academy said, “The students have worked very hard over these past few weeks on venture ideas they are passionate about. The final pitches are a testament to the work that is being undertaken at UCD to foster entrepreneurial mindsets and the ambition of our students to tackle big problems. This programme is a fantastic opportunity for them to develop an idea and explore its viability in the real world.”Majella Murphy, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School said, “There was a great mix of students from multiple disciplines on the 2019 programme who brought with them diverse ideas and perspectives which are very beneficial to early-stage start-ups.”A total of 30 early-stage ventures and over 75 students have now completed the UCD Start-up Stars Programme over the last 5 years.
In 2016 the course was set to a better world via the establishment of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The global movement to actually achieve these crucial goals is getting into gear, albeit at a slower pace than is needed. More and more of the business and financial world are committed, yet at the same time, the world is experiencing gigantic risks on multiple levels and they are only growing in both numbers and impact.Consider that in the previous decade the world’s economy suffered an estimated loss of 2.7 trillion dollars because of natural disasters. This decade will no doubt show an exponential increase, and inaction on climate change comes with the huge comprehensive cost of 24 trillion dollars. Efforts to slow the pace of climate change so far have had insufficient impact whilst at best, we have 1,000 days to turn the tide.Public-private partnership for the Goals It is increasingly clear that the way forward is one that must be paved by both business and government, but definitely not by government alone. And this is not a matter of trust, but a matter of roles and numbers. For one thing, governments lack the necessary means to bring about the level of change that is needed. We need to consider that ‘the power of business’ has grown tremendously and should be leveraged to grow a stable, sustainable global economy and society. Consider that business corporations account for 50 of the largest economies, operating throughout the entire planet.And consider the investment potential of private capital which is a much larger percentage than public investment potential by now. For instance, the percentage of total capital flows of donor countries’ ODAs into emerging markets has decreased from over 50% to less than 10%, while private capital flows have increased and grown. And last but not least, consider the power of business needed to safeguard consistency in policy, as we are all aware that business was crucial to achieving the Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals and is equally important to maintaining them. Consequently, governments need business like never before.Equally, business needs government: the right frameworks and tax systems are needed to create a system-wide change of internalizing external costs. Business needs good government to set these frameworks of taxes and regulations, to open up markets, create ‘real and fair’ business cases and thus scale up solutions. It has been shown, for example, that pricing externalities for food waste prevention alone adds no less than 92 percent to the value of business solutions addressing food waste.Business’ should be and remain self-criticalBusiness must remain diligent and not succumb to becoming too proud of itself for being part of the solution rather than the problem. While some business is shifting in the right direction, the solutions are not growing at the speed they need to, and the scale is still too limited. If they are to really contribute to the achievement of climate action, our Goals, and the new meaning of capital, business must accelerate and scale up the solutions.A 2017 Global Scan Sustainability Survey, titled Evaluating Progress Towards the Sustainable Development Goals, found that while corporate respondents say their business is responding to the SDGs by developing products or services that will provide solutions, and nearly all report that they are currently contributing or planning to contribute to the SDGs, all respondents agree that society’s progress on sustainable development and the SDGs has been poor thus far.Although more than 75 percent of the companies that took part in the survey have already started addressing the Global Goals, it also raises the question of exactly how companies are really integrating the Global Goals into their business strategies, since only a few companies are actually measuring the societal impact of their work with the Ten Principles and the Global Goals, as was set up by the UN. And although by the end of 2018 numbers have gone up, it is not the steep growth we need.Focusing on the Global Goals and engaging in solutions are definitely beneficial for both business and government and are crucial for a wider system change to create new markets built on sustainable principles, and thus build trust.So, business can and must be a key participator in achieving the Global Goals, and in the rebuilding of trust throughout the world: by demonstrating trust, by giving trust, and by deserving trust. The SDGs bring business the huge gift of learning to be much more holistic and think at a much broader system level, which is key to being successful in the multi-stakeholder era we are in now and is the key to building a stable and sustainable world.Author Bio:Marga Hoek is an international non-executive director, board advisor, author and speaker. She has gained recognition over the years as a successful and innovative business leader in various CEO and executive roles. She is specifically known for her ongoing thought leadership on sustainable business and capital, which led her beginning of 2019 to become honored as a member of the prestigious Thinkers 50 Group, listing world’s most influential management thinkers, mentioning ‘Marga Hoek is a real champion and the only thought leader able to successfully demonstrate how business for good is good business’.Ms. Hoek is an authoritative and inspirational speaker and author of the bestseller books The Trillion Dollar Shift New Economy Business, which both won prestigious (gold) business book awards. She also published numerous articles in magazines such as The Huffington Post, Executive Finance and as a global voice for G7 Climate Change and Cop23.Marga Hoek is a global thought-leader on sustainable business, international speaker and the author of The Trillion Dollar Shift, a new book revealing the business opportunities provided by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The Trillion Dollar Shift is published by Routledge, priced at £30.99 in hardback and free in e-book. To order the book go to www.businessforgood.worldIf you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCocking
Why does Siri sound like Siri – and that we’re instantly able to recognize her voice and that she’s not human? Siri, Ivona, Google Home, and most speech synthesis systems have voices which are based on imitating a neutral citation style of speech and making it sound natural. But, in the real world, our voices convey more emotion and change.In this article, we will talk about speech synthesis as performance, why the uncanny valley is a bankrupt concept, and how academics can escape from studying corporate speech technology as if it’s been bestowed by God.Simon Cocking of Irish Tech News interviewed Dr Leigh Clark, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Benjamin R. Cowan, Assistant Professor, both of University College Dublin, and Dr Matthew P. Aylett, CSO of CereProc Ltd., on their “Siri, Echo and Performance: You have to Suffer Darling.” Their work and argument about next-gen voice technology were presented at the Association for Computer Machinery’s leading conference on computer-human interaction, ACM CHI (pronounced ‘kai’), in Glasgow in May 2019.You’re no fan of how speech technology is developed today – coming down hard on “the mimicry objective”. What is speech synthesis? How is most commonly developed today?Speech synthesis is taking text input and turning it into audio by getting a system to ‘speak’ the words. All computer systems that speak to you (such as Siri, Echo, Google Home etc.) use speech synthesis to convert text input into voice.In the early days, this was all it had to do, but with computers entering the social domain, the requirement for voices to sound natural and to express themselves using emotion and emphasis has also become important. Often to control non-text features (how you say something rather than what you say) text is “marked up” with commands which instruct the system to, for example, speak more slowly, with a higher pitch, or with a calm voice quality.To make voices better, a common approach is to record a speaker then use their voice to build the system. The artificial system will sound like this source speaker because it has used that person’s speech data to create the models and build new utterances. To see how well you are doing you can simply compare your artificial utterance with the original. Does it sound as good? Does it sound as natural? Does it sound the same?But this means that we stop thinking about what the voice is going to be used for and how we are expecting to interact with it. The artificial system is being designed without any concern for user experience. This is what we term the ‘mimicry objective’: if it sounds like the original speaker we are done, we have finished our work and how the voice is used and deployed is a separate problem.This makes it easy for speech synthesis engineers to evaluate their work, it makes it easy to deploy machine learning approaches (we are trying to copy data we have already collected), and the human voice is something users understand immediately so can be used effectively in systems. However, it also means, as engineers, we avoid the difficult questions on how this technology is used.What are the limitations of the mimicry objective?The ‘mimicry objective’ is easy to pursue but also presents some challenges. Without being concerned about the context a system is used in, it is hard to design it well. By pursuing naturalness ‘blindly’, we lose the benefits of “not being real”. For example, non-natural systems are perceived as non-judgmental or having a non-natural voice to makes it clear we are communicating with a computer and not a person.Finally, mimicry is creepy. The so-called “uncanny valley” is often quoted when an artificial system is close enough to a real system to make it feel weird and disconcerting. The question we must ask ourselves is whether mimicking human voices is a good design objective for creating a positive user experience.In fact, there is not much evidence it is a good design approach. So, what should we do instead? Designing voices in context is a good starting point. Thinking about what the voice interaction is expected to achieve can be used to help design a speech synthesis system before a voice is created.Finally, we can also consider how human speakers change their voice for specific purposes, such as in a dramatic performance. When Alec Baldwin satirized Donald Trump, he doesn’t just copy his voice – in fact, his copy is not very close to Trump’s normal voice. Rather it is about what you want tocommunicate and how to get there. Mimicry is an important element of this process, but naturalness is not necessarily the final objective.Your paper states that the mimicry in speech synthesis engine and dialogue systems can be used for evil. Couldn’t that be said of all synthesized speech? Good artificial natural-sounding mimicked speech can be used to deceive people. But that isn’t necessarily the case, it has to be linked to a desire to deceive. For example, there is a big difference between Alec Baldwin mimicking Donald Trump, and someone impersonating a voice in order to call friends and colleagues and extract confidential information. It is not new either, as very good voice artists can deceive people listening to them if they wish to do so.But as with “fake news” there is a lot of demand for technologies that can be used to deceive. Speech synthesis can be used for unethical purposes, and always could be, but highly natural mimicked systems can also pretend to be human. For example, cold calling ten thousand people at once and pretending to be someone working at your bank and asking for PINs and login details. Sadly, the scope for unethical applications is greater with modern speech synthesis, but none of this is possible without an unethical human being behind it.What is the difference between vocal performance and mimicry in speech synthesis? What will that mean for human-computer interaction?If we consider a human actors’ vocal performance, we find a set of tools and techniques actors use to create a performance.– Choosing a speaking style: For example, choosing a tense, aggressive speech style to create a tense and aggressive character.– Expressivity: Being able to alter speech to reflect the content, using emphasis, emotion and timing to enhance the communicative nature of the basic text.– Interpretation: Using speech style and expressiveness to creatively modify the underlying text to support the actors’ interpretation of a story and character. The use of these techniques is often super-natural, in that they reflect natural speech but “more so”.For example, over-emphasis of important text or pauses which are longer or shorter than you would find in natural conversations. For speech synthesis performance we have these features, voice quality and expressiveness, as required functionality, together with control which allows an application to control the interpretation.With speech synthesis, we also have an additional technique sometimes applied toactors in films, the use of audio post-processing to make a voice have a robotic sound (this is not the same as a poor speech synthesis system, and inspiration for this techniques are many in sci-fictionand fantasy genres). But the key issue is the process of evaluation, rather than asking if the voice is natural, it is to measure the user engagement and impact of the interaction.In your experience and opinion, what is needed to move from designing speech synthesis systems for applications like Google and Siri to a performance-based system? What will the difference mean?We are missing a whole generation of designers that are familiar and comfortable with designing speech-based applications and services. Until recently, design and user experience practitioners avoided speech technology preferring to focus on visual and graphic interaction design.This is changing. As designers become more familiar with the tropes and styles of voice user interaction, they will also begin disrupting the traditional design of personal assistants. As these systems become more applied and focused on specific services and applications, designers will start to demand more performance-ready voices and systems that can create a performance interpretation. Then rather than a system phoning a hairdresser and pretending to be human, we will have systems that are artificial and proud of it.If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCocking
For the ones that are on a hunt for the right IT solution provider to accelerate their businesses, Seasia Infotech is the optimum choice! We are a CMMI Level 5 Company and have decades of experience in delivering top-notch software products and mobile & web development services. Our in-depth knowledge and technical expertise help global clients achieve their desired business outcomes!How are you different?Initially, we were the offshore office for US Company doing projects for the US government. This ensured that we have a keen focus on IPRs, process orientation, etc. Later on, we became an independent entity; we carried the same knowledge to our business. As a result, we were a boutique agency that was very focused on quality and delivery processes right from the get-go.Seasia Infotech was introduced to the global markets in 2001 with an aim to offer best in class web solutions and software development services. Our CEO, Mr. R.P. Singh, after evaluating the market trend and client’s necessities, has eventually put all his knowledge and desire into this project, targeting for exceptional customer service.Our services aren’t just limited to timely delivery of the project; rather we emphasize result-oriented services that cater diverse business needs. Whether it is a small business or a huge organization, our custom solutions guarantee enhanced revenues!Why will you do well?Seasia’s certified professionals are always utilizing the best out of their expertise. Whether it is Healthcare, Education, or IT industry, our custom development services are always designed by analyzing the specific demands of an individual.What have been your biggest wins to date?Seasia has been working exceptionally in crafting some of the finest products for its targeted audience. We have created a local search engine “Grotal”, which has listed numerous businesses and individuals providing varied services. Grotal is one of its kind local search engine, which is utilized by a huge number of users across India.Apart from this, we have created several mobile applications and systems that can help users in numerous ways.Who are you trying to attract to your product?The Indians are the targeted audience for “Grotal” that are seeking adequate information about a company or an organization. Seasia is always concerned regarding the promotion for their products that enables us in creating brand awareness in the market.What tips would you give to others looking to build their business?Since we have covered a long glorious journey starting from 2001, Seasia is continuously emphasizing building long-term relationships with our clients. Serving the customers more than their expectations should be the biggest priority, which undoubtedly worked for Seasia Infotech!Another crucial thing that requires adequate consideration is after-sales services. Yes, your clients are always expecting better reliance even after the product has been deployed! Following these two simple steps can take any business to the pinnacle of success.Tell us about your team?We have a bunch of enthusiast web and mobile developers who cover the whole gamut of their respective fields – Front End, Back End, Full Stack, Native as well as Cross-platform development, creative graphic designers, passionate digital marketers, and reliable software testing engineers. You can get all the IT solutions under a single roof when you rely on Seasia’s experienced professionals.What are your plans for the future?We are currently expanding our team so as to cater the ever-expanding needs of our loyal clients. Seasia Infotech (bespoke software development), BugRaptors (Quality Assurance & Software Testing), Woosper (Digital Marketing), and Cerebrum Infotech (products), which is a part of the Seasia Group are working consistently in delivering top-notch IT solutions.Seasia is also working on some creative in-house projects/products that are solely intended to improve the lifestyle of people around the globe. With the use of modern technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality, Seasia would surely contribute to the society in the near future!What are your favorite tech gadgets?Our company is on the cutting edge of the use of gadgets and currently, we have developed an application for e-scooters. Moreover, we have purchased a couple of e-scooters to move around in the office.What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?Smart home devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home are on our list to make our working environment more advanced. With devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home, we can eventually make the best use of technology and develop better systems that are supported by virtual assistant.With a #blockchain, many people can write entries into a record of information & can control how the record of information is updated.Our experience in #BlockchainTechnology helps to expand your business efficiency. Contact our experts!#seasiainfotech #seasiainfotechindia pic.twitter.com/ATsYTDZoY8— Seasia Infotech (@Seasiainfotech) June 17, 2019Anything else you’d like to add/we should have asked?The interview was quite profound and it actually covered the insights to our company. I don’t think there were any topics that weren’t highlighted.How do people get in touch with you?We love to hear, and one can reach us by shooting a mail on the email address mentioned below. Moreover, one can fill the contact us form on our official website and we would get back to them at the earliest. You can always visit the official website of Seasia Infotech to know our services or shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.More about Irish Tech News and the Business ShowcaseWe now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 16000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions.If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCocking Describe the company – the elevator pitch
Today, businesses rely heavily on data. Not to mention, advances in information technologies present a challenge to businesses to constantly be on top of the growth curve. Legacy systems are quickly becoming more inefficient when compared side by side with newer innovations.Furthermore, the exponential speed of change we have today creates more intelligent security threats which can cause a significant amount of money to rectify. Therefore, if your business is getting smarter, why shouldn’t your business processes smarten up as well? Enter LTO Network.LTO Network to Tackle Existing ProblemsOne of these technologies that have taken the world by storm is the Blockchain. There seems to be plenty of blockchain protocols out there which possesses their own strengths and weaknesses. With the threat of hacks and cybertheft constantly looming, blockchain technology presents a possible solution to inefficient legacy systems.Here is where I find LTO Network to be a highly efficient blockchain infrastructure that brings efficiency and is production-ready, developed with privacy and compliance by design. LTO Network is currently the easiest solution for businesses to integrate blockchain technology into their processes where upgrading and interconnecting your existing systems can be done seamlessly.In addition to being easy, the cost to do so is also reasonable as compared to other protocols. In a typical organization, it is common to lose 5 percent of its annual revenue to fraud each year. To put it into another perspective, this translates to potential global fraud losses of up to $4 trillion.Examples of such fraud are:Diploma FalsificationBuying an illegally produced diplomas, seemingly issued by an accredited institution.Altering the grades in a diplomaFake diplomas issued by diploma mills (fake universities). Diploma mills grant ‘degrees’ to people who pay for this service but do not offer any educational training.One such example that came to was a lawyer in Singapore falsifying her law degree certificate in order to improve her chances with obtaining a job. (Source) Though it may seem trivial, the repercussions could raise valid concerns when it comes to the medical world. Such as this instance in Mumbai reported by the Times of India, where doctors were arrested for providing fake medical degrees to 58 specialists.Invoice FraudInvoice fraud can occur in one of two ways;The scammer poses as you and sends fake invoices to your clients with their own bank account details, phone number, and email address.The scammer poses as a regular supplier of yours and sends fake invoices to you.Criminals will often hack into the business’ email accounts in order to gain valuable information about the company’s relationships with clients and suppliers. They will look for details of when regular payments are made and when invoices are sent to customers. Once they have obtained the information they need, they can start to clone invoices and email addresses.They will also look at the way you write and structure your emails and any other information that will help them to impersonate you. In March 2019, it was found that Google and Facebook were scammed out of $172 million just with invoice fraud. (Source)These are merely a few examples of how LTO Network are tackling actual problems.LTO Network’s two-phased approachLTO Network is a hybrid blockchain that enables an equal footing for B2B collaboration with its decentralized workflows called Live Contracts, designed to be the trust layer for businesses in a GDPR-compliant way.The Proof EngineBlockchain could have prevented these frauds should add to the support of the organization, adding value to the organization at the same time. Creating an instant ROI. Prevention needs to be widely available to integrate into organizational ecosystems in minutes, making organizations unite against fraud. LTO Networks’ ‘Proof Engine’ allows you to eliminate all types of fraud through securing any type of digital data.It is the trust layer you need in your organizational systems, which is applicable to various internal processes. Integrated in minutes, safeguarding every type of data imaginable. Learn more about safeguarding data.Decentralized workflowsFor the past decade corporates and governments have invested billions of dollars in workflow automation tooling, trying to make processes run like well-oiled machines. But when these organizations have to work together, the efficiency stops. Sometimes, within one organization with different systems, inefficiencies are a daily pain.LTO Network solves this problem through decentralized workflows called ‘Live Contracts’ which link existing stakeholder systems to pre-defined processes (templates) to optimize efficiency for data protection and compliance accordingly to domestic legislation (Asia?—?CBPR, US -Data Protection Laws, EU?—?GDPR compliant standards).Live Contracts are the answer to your business process inefficiencies. Learn more about decentralized workflows.When should you use LTO Network?The Proof EngineBlockchain can prevent these frauds. Additionally, it should add value to the organization at the same time. Creating an instant ROI. Prevention needs to be widely available to integrate into organizational ecosystems in minutes, making organizations unite against fraud. LTO Networks’ ‘Proof Engine’ allows you to eliminate all types of fraud through securing any type of digital data. It is the trust layer you need in your organizational systems, which is applicable to various internal processes.Integrated in minutes, safeguarding every type of data imaginable. Learn more about safeguarding data.Decentralized workflowsCorporates and governments are investing billions of dollars in workflow automation tooling, trying to make processes run like well-oiled machines. However, efficiency stops when these organizations have to work together. Sometimes, within one organization with different systems, inefficiencies are a daily pain. LTO Network solves this problem through decentralized workflows called ‘Live Contracts’.Live contracts link existing stakeholder systems to pre-defined processes (templates) to optimize efficiency for data protection and compliance accordingly to domestic legislation (Asia?—?CBPR, US -Data Protection Laws, EU?—?GDPR compliant standards).Can Live Contracts be the answer to your business process inefficiencies? Learn more about decentralized workflows.When should you use LTO Network?Evaluating the opportunities brought forth by Blockchain opens up on efficiency and security improvements, alternative financing for new business units or expansion.The hype, speculative new assets such as Cryptocurrencies and alternative fundraising means like ICOs, surrounding ‘Blockchain’ has exaggerated the realistic capabilities and applications of this new technology. Businesses, developers, and investors have yet to identify the right applications that are appropriate for distributed ledger technology.DatabasesDatabases have been used for decades to persist state and query data. Decades worth of research has been invested to optimize the different layers of query processing.Permissionless BlockchainsA centralized authority does not manage permissionless blockchains. Therefore, public ledgers are distributed across a dynamic network of peers.Permissioned BlockchainsPermissioned Blockchains represent a hybrid design. They are not centralized to a single entity, yet they are able to authorize a small set of preselected trusted peers that can write state.It is easy to realize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution after looking at these different systems. Everything is a trade-off and different applications have different requirements. Hence, we require different appropriate solutions.LTO Network is applicable to every industry and company with a great number of repetitive processes in their day-to-day operations. LTO also connects and combines your different software solutions (HRM, CRM, ERP, POS). To assess whether LTO Network’s hybrid blockchain software is suitable for your business, we can apply the following depicted decision-model:For more information, you could read my previous article, “Do Companies Actually Need Blockchain?”LTO Network Use CasesTransfrontier Waste Transports in the EUAccording to Sociable’s report, LTO Network won the tender to provide the Dutch Government with a Blockchain-related solution to waste transportation automation with Belgium. Applying blockchain technology will enable all government bodies and companies to get real-time verification of each step in the supply chain.Streamlining transportations has resulted in a great reduction in costs in multiple jurisdictions in reducing the administrative overheads by 36%, saving $7M dollars on the pilot run by The Netherlands and Belgium. The solution is further rolled out in the EU later this year. Watch the solution video here.Live lease agreements on the blockchainA contract describes procedures to execute one or more promises. With LTO Networks’ Live Contracts technology, together with M7 Real Estate and CMS Law, we turn contracts and processes into business rules and data that allow automation. Each party will have control over its own data with blockchain technology and will be able to verify the actions of others, making cooperation secure and payments fully automated.Food traceability on blockchainIn an article for Moonwhale Blog, I discussed Blockchain’s potential in revolutionizing the supply chain. The food supply chain is one of the most complex and fragmented of all supply chains. With production all over the world, producers and intermediaries are difficult to identify and track. This brings uncertainty and risk to all stakeholders in the production chain making fraud and counterfeiting very real problems in the industry. This, in turn, makes the whole food supply chain unfair for some stakeholders.A centralized database already helps with solving complexity and fragmentation issues in a supply chain. But only an immutable decentralized database such as one provided by LTO Network can help solve fraud and counterfeiting issues because its data cannot be manipulated. Therefore, companies should consider exploring a decentralized solution.Together with Capptions and SignRequest, LTO Network has built a food traceability app that utilizes blockchain called FoodFlow for the Nutreco track at the Odyssey hackathon. Nutreco makes protein food that is used to feed animals. Blockchain provides transparency to each stakeholder in the supply chain. In doing so, all parties can track and ensure the product are safe towards the end of the supply chain. This also provides all parties the ability to trace back with credible information when a mistake or error has occurred.The proof engine for software vendorsLTO Networks’ public blockchain is optimized for safeguarding digital data. Various software parties, such as V-ID, Capptions, SignRequest, LegalThings, and Scantrust use LTO Network as an upgrade their existing solutions to serve their customers in a trustless way, simply linking an API.ConclusionWith the huge increase in Bitcoin’s prices, the world will come to know about Blockchain technology once again. Bitcoin’s recent downturn in price from $20,000 to $4,000 has made adopting its underlying technology, the blockchain, difficult since people tend to tie its potential with price nowadays understandably. Despite that fact, the main players are already in the blockchain space and are experimenting with it.LTO Network seems to target B2B like governments, multinationals, and enterprises with its GDPR-compliant decentralized workflows. In my article, “Blockchain Adoption Could Be Closer Than We Think”, I talk about key drivers of blockchain technology adoption starts with both the Public and Private sectors, eventually to the general population. With that, I highly think LTO Network has the right target in mind to fast-track mass Blockchain Technology adoption.More information about Irish Tech News and the Business ShowcaseFYI the ROI for you is => We now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 16000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview, or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions for informative and different articles. Contact us, by email, twitter or whatever social media works for you.Home How LTO Network Tackles Existing Problems With Blockchain Technology If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCocking
Irish sports data, biomarker and athlete performance company Orreco has signed a multi-year exclusive agreement with the USA’s National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) to provide the association with its cutting-edge bio-analytical services.Orreco will immediately commence work as the NBPA’s official bio-analytics provider.Under the new partnership, Galway-based Orreco, a global leader in bio-analytics, will provide expert consultancy to the NBPA, the union for current professional basketball players in the USA’s National Basketball Association (NBA).The consultancy service will focus on athlete blood testing to support and accelerate the recovery of basketball players in order to optimize their performance and health. The goal is to keep more players on the court throughout the season by reducing the number of games lost due to illness.Commenting Michele Roberts, Executive Director of the NBPA said: “We are thrilled to partner Orreco and give our players access to their knowledge and expertise in sports performance science. Our members go to great lengths to take care of their bodies and this partnership will provide them yet another tool to help maintain their health and perform at the highest level.”Orreco, which counts leading NBA teams the Dallas Mavericks and the Atlanta Hawks, as well as English Premier League side Newcastle United FC and elite sports organisations such as USA Swimming and Red Bull High Performance as part of its client base, uses unparalleled science-driven solutions to optimize player performance and reduce the number of playing days lost to illness.Orreco’s female athlete consultancy team also recently worked with the US Women’s World Cup-winning soccer team, specifically around the effects of the menstrual cycle on performance.Dr Brian Moore, CEO of Orreco, said: “At Orreco, we work with some of the best athletes on the planet, deploying our cutting-edge machine learning capabilities to help answer complex performance questions. We are always looking for progressive, forward-thinking partners and we have certainly found that with the leadership and performance team at the NBPA. We are incredibly excited about this partnership and look forward to bringing Orreco’s collective world-class expertise to bear to help NBA athletes optimize performance, accelerate their recovery and reduce the number of days lost to illness.”In addition, under the partnership, Orreco scientists and performance experts will work with NBPA Performance staff to deliver educational workshops at the NBPA medical symposium.Joe Rogowski, NBPA Director of Sports Medicine and Research said: “This partnership is a natural fit, given that many of our players are already utilizing Orreco for their world-class resources. We now look forward to providing all of our members with access to Orreco’s cutting-edge science so that they can better educate themselves on their biochemistry, a goal that we are deeply passionate about. Orreco will give our members the information and biofeedback they need to stay healthy and on the court.”Earlier this month, Orreco announced a multi-year exclusive agreement with one of the USA’s leading NBA basketball teams – the Atlanta Hawks – and has already started providing bio-analytical services to the team.
If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCocking When and where is it on?August 15-19, Convention Centre Dublin and Point Square, and other places around the city.How many years has it been going? Dublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon will be the 77th World Science Fiction Convention. Worldcon has been going since 1939, with a four-year break during World War II. This is the first Worldcon in Ireland.What was the inspiration to start it?A group of readers and writers of the early pulp science fiction magazines decided to meet in New York in 1939. Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov were among those present at the first Worldcon.What exciting things can people look forward to?More than 700 separate events, including author readings and panels, discussions of films, television, comics and other media, science talks and an academic subconference. Arts events include a film festival, exhibitions and talks by comic artists, and science fiction related theatre and concerts including the Irish Video Game Orchestra, the Doubleclicks, Library Bards and Finland’s geekiest women’s choir, Another Castle. There will be two productions by Traveller playwright Rosaleen McDonagh and eleven other theatrical performances. Further information is available on the website and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).What opportunities are on offer for those attending?* Party like they did in 1939 – except now you can meet and spend time with other fans from all over the world. Hear your favorite SFF authors, hang out with them, and discover new writers and books. * Learn about the history of science fiction and fantasy in Ireland and other countries. * Make a fantasy costume and wear it in the Masquerade catwalk and competition. Costuming is a tradition that goes back to the second Worldcon in Chicago in 1940. * Play and discuss board games – Steve Jackson, author of Melee and Munchkin, is the gaming Guest of Honour.Stroll through the art show and Creative Alley where artists make things while you watch. Bid in the art auction. * Dance the night away at a science fiction themed ceilidh and a dance party DJed by author John Scalzi. * Vote for the Hugo Awards (by July 31, see list of finalists) and watch the star-studded awards ceremony on Sunday night. A separate retro themed ceremony to award Retro Hugos for works published in 1944 will be held on Thursday night.Who will be speaking?Authors on the programme include Guests of Honour Ian McDonald and Diane Duane as well as Elizabeth Bear, Marie Brennan, Pat Cadigan, Zen Cho, Aliette de Bodard, Guest of Honour Diane Duane, Joe Haldeman, Roz Kaveney, Mary Robinette Kowal, Peadar Ó Guilín, George R.R.Martin, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Ada Palmer, Rebecca Roanhorse, V.E. Schwab, Catherynne Valente, John Scalzi, Charles Stross, Michael Swanwick, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Jo Walton, and many more.Speakers in science panels and lecturers include Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Vatican astronomer Brother Guy Consolmagno, as well as astronauts Dr Jeanette Epps and Dr Norah Patten. Featured comic artists and fine artists at the con are Afua Richardson, Jim Fitzpatrick, Maeve Clancy and Sana Takeda.What tips would you give to people attending to get the most out of it?Look out for the full programme coming online around August 1, and plan what you want to see most, but also remember that you can’t possibly see everything. Whatever you end up going to will be fascinating and will be your Worldcon.How can people book tickets / when does it usually sell out?Full memberships and day passes are available until August 1 on the website. When sales are closed, they are closed, so book early to avoid disappointment.More information about Irish Tech News and the Business ShowcaseFYI the ROI for you is => We now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 16000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview, or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions for informative and different articles. Contact us, by email, twitter or whatever social media works for you.Home First ever Irish WorldCon, August 15-19, Convention Centre Dublin
AllForCrypto, A New Type Of Cryptocurrency Marketplace A new online cryptocurrency marketplace is on its way to completely revolutionize how users buy and sell online. Welcome, AllForCrypto! Being the first-ever online marketplace that will accept cryptocurrency only, this new e-commerce platform will be a fully secure, transparent and profitable system for buyers and sellers, thanks to blockchain integration and use of cryptocurrencies. No more fraudulent purchases, no more undelivered products to the buyer, and no more ridiculous seller fees.CEO, William Leen, previously sold on eBay as an eCommerce Trader and witnessed first hand the difficulties which buyers and sellers experienced.“There were unhappy sellers who experienced fraudulent chargebacks, and unhappy buyers who never got their products after paying for them. As blockchain and cryptocurrencies became more and more popular among the masses, I thought that there has to be a better way to trade online. And then, AllForCrypto was born.”AllForCrypto gives buyers and sellers the ultimate advantage, peace of mind and transparency to trade online. Buyers and sellers can use cryptocurrency and non-chargeback fiat payments as well as AllForCrypto’s own token, AFCT, which you can buy. Cryptocurrency payments are safe from fraud thanks to the blockchain ledger. The seller is just as protected as the buyer since everything is stored on the blockchain.No payments or information can be altered. Buyers are also protected when making purchases with AllForCrypto’s escrow account. Funds are locked away for 30 days until the Buyer confirms receipt and satisfaction of the items. What’s more is that sellers and buyers no longer have to worry about tedious currency conversions for making purchases, reducing transaction costs and increasing security for everyone. AllForCrypto has partnered with some of the most credible, reliable sellers to offer top quality products to buyers, with more attractive sellers fees than eBay or Amazon, which gives the product prices a competitive edge.AllForCrypto will accept only cryptocurrencies, as well as its own token, AFCT, which you can now buy on Waves Exchange and due for an IEO launch, on Shortex, August 5th, 2019!AllForCrypto has been top-rated in the following ICO rating sites:– ICO Top Rate = A1– CryptoTotem = 8.9/10– ICO Marks = 8.8/10-Trackico Rating = 5.0 / 5.0-Coincodex Rating = 4.7 / 5.0-Icokite Rating = 4.7 / 5.0Benefits of the AllForCrypto cryptocurrency marketplace:? Transparency and peace of mind?The seller is just as protected as the buyer since all data is stored on the blockchain and cannot be altered?No more tedious currency conversions since all payments are made with cryptocurrencies and non-chargeback fiat payments? More attractive seller fees than eBay and Amazon for sellers, and competitive product prices for buyers? Zero fraud? Lower transaction costsBuy Our AFCT Tokens Now To Avail Of Incredible Advantages!Our current AFCT is a token based on Waves blockchain technology. The token is fully secured on one of the safest cryptocurrency wallets in the industry today. AFCT token holders are assured of the value of the token even in the volatile cryptocurrency market.By using the tokens, sellers can receive discounts, bonuses, reduced fees and also purchase special promotions for their items. Buyers will also be eligible to receive discounts on various items for purchase. More news will be announced soon that you won’t want to miss, so stay tuned on our social media channels below:FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedInYouTubeTelegramOur Trusted PartnersNotable partners and supporters include Waves, Foundico, CryptoTotem, Track ICO, CoinCodex, ICO Spotters, CoinKinja and AirdropsMob.While the digital space is saturated with e-commerce platforms, AllForCrypto wishes to embark on a new path; one where both buyers and sellers equally benefit from the transparency, value, low cost and safety which cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology have to offer.Visit the AllForCrypto website here: http://AllForCrypto.org/ and don’t forget to follow their social media channels which are packed with exciting updates, news and engaging content every day.Read more about the AllForCrypto project in the Whitepaper.Visit allforcrypto.org for more details and how to get involved.Contact Email: email@example.comInvestment Opportunities: firstname.lastname@example.orgMore information about Irish Tech News and the Business ShowcaseFYI the ROI for you is => We now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 16000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview, or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions for informative and different articles. Contact us, by email, twitter or whatever social media works for you.Home If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCocking
A team without people who complain is a dead team. Complaining is a sign of life if people are willing to rock the boat and risk reopening the difficult issues others want to believe have been put to bed (but in truth haven’t been). Some of those who complain may be the people on your team who are invested in the team being better than it is – although there are always some who are just bad apples.When no-one’s complaining, when your team is one of unworldly positivity and harmony, be afraid, be very afraid.Megan Reitz is Professor of Leadership and Dialogue at Hult Ashridge International Business School. John Higgins is a research fellow at Gameshift, a coach and consultant. They are authors of Speak Up: Say what needs to be said and hear what needs to be heard, (Pearson, £14.99).Author Bios:Megan Reitz is Professor of Leadership and Dialogue at Ashridge Executive Education at Hult International Business School. She speaks, researches and consults to help organisations develop more open, mutual and creative dialogue. She is the co-author of Speak Up (2019). Follow her on Twitter @MeganReitz1Speak UP, complain, Irish Tech NewsJohn Higgins is an independent researcher, coach, consultant and author. He has published widely with the Ashridge Executive Masters and Doctorate in Organizational Change, most recently with The Change Doctors: Re-Imagining Organizational Practice (Libri, 2014) and is co-author of Speak Up (2019).More information about Irish Tech News and the Business ShowcaseFYI the ROI for you is => We now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 16000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview, or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions for informative and different articles. Contact us, by email, twitter or whatever social media works for you.Home By Professor Megan Reitz and John Higgins (July 2019)Nobody likes a whinger, someone who endlessly rocks the boat and never opens their mouth except to say something negative. Or someone who persistently comes up with problems (and no solutions) or who, when they say “Can I just say…”, derails the meeting and makes it go on for ever.As a team leader you probably have some rules of thumb about what you want from your team. Being positive and having a ‘can-do attitude’ are probably a couple of them.But what happens when you use your power and authority (and as a leader you have it, however “flat” everybody claims the organisation is these days) to shut down the complainers? When you roll your eyes or close up the conversation before the negative voices have a chance to speak out? What happens when only the positive gets talked about?You create a fantasy world. When all that can be spoken of is couched in the positive, real difficulties, doubts and misunderstandings get hidden. People lose the ability to be honest with each other. If you go too far in silencing complaints, avoiding issues that don’t have obvious solutions or shushing people who have the courage to tell it like it is, you can wind-up infantilising people into the attitudes of compliant kids. Your team starts to play by the ‘rules of the game’ – and create a ‘fake believe’ culture that on the surface looks rosy, but underneath is far from it. If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCocking It pays to encourage your team to complain You create a vipers’ nest of bad feeling. Just because complainers get silenced, formally or informally, doesn’t take their feelings away. When complaining gets outlawed, then it turns really negative – into bitching, moaning and whining – the bad BMW of a team. Make sure the unpopular voice gets heard – and take responsibility for making sure it’s heard well. Coach and support the person to land their ideas so they are seen as constructive rather than destructive. Don’t get seduced into scapegoating the naysayer, because as the team leader you’re the one that sets the tone. Use your power as a force for good in the team, don’t pretend you don’t have itCreate time and space for REAL debate to happen – use your authority to become the naysayer if the conversation lacks opposition, or authorise others to play the role of the devil’s advocate. Notice how over-packed agendas and the need to be busy creates superficial focus and consensusSee the positive of a complaining culture – people who complain can still be committed to the team; they may still care. They may well be the ones who give a damn and aren’t willing to become actors playing a role, going through the motions. What then can you do as a team leader to create a culture of healthy complaint within your team so you can tap into a source of useful energy? You cut yourself off from important insights and energy. For a conversation to have legs you need to have naysayers, people who will oppose the views of the majority (or the opinion formers of the group). Complainers can bring with them the power of opposition, be the critical voice which forces ideas to be tested in the fire, to be made more robust. In all walks of life most of the really bad ideas that get implemented are the ones that started off life as being seen as unquestionably good. Complainers, when coming from a place of good intent, are healthy brakes for a team’s groupthink, they’re the ones that have the potential for making sure there’s less haste and more speed.
Colenso SAPS, the Ladysmith Fire Department, EMRS and Sharaj Ambulance Services responded to the scene.Multiple occupants of the vehicles were injured. They were treated at the scene and then transported to hospital.On Saturday night, a truck crashed down an embankment on the same road, killing the driver.For the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. 3 vehicles collided on the Colenso / Pieters road this morning (Wednesday).The cause of the crash is unknown at this stage, but it is alleged that the vehicles were trying to overtake during misty conditions in the area.2 vehicles were still on the roadway after the crash, which caused traffic delays.The driver of the vehicle that was off the road was trapped in the car and had to be freed using the jaws-of-life.RTI officers controlled passing traffic, as traffic flow was obstructed due to the 2 vehicles on the roadway. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite
When two women went missing last week, it sparked a massive police manhunt.The missing 18-year-olds have both since been found. The teens were reported missing last Tuesday and could not be reached as their cell-phones were allegedly turned off.The first teen was found near the RTI base on Friday night. She was returned to her parents, unharmed.On Saturday afternoon, Dog Unit (K9), Tactical Response Team (TRT) and Crime Intelligence Gathering (CIG) officers raided a house in the Egerton area, where they found the other missing teen, in the home of a wanted suspect.Police had tracked a cell-phone of the wanted man to the house. When police raided the house, both the teen and a 26-year-old man were hiding in the home belonging family. The teen was hiding in a cupboard. The man’s parents were at home and were aware that the two were in the house.It was only after police entered the house that the couple came out of hiding.The man, who was wanted by police in connection with a fraud case in Rosebank, was arrested. He is scheduled to appear this morning (Monday) in court. The teen was safely returned to her family. It is not believed she is in any way linked to the charges the man faces or was even aware that he was a wanted suspect. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite
1 person died and 5 people were seriously injured when a driver allegedly lost control of her vehicle and crashed into a tree in Settlers Drive this morning (Wednesday).The driver died on scene.All the injured were stabilised on scene before being transported to hospital by EMRS paramedics for further treatment.Police, Public Safety and towing services were also on scene.Follow breaking news on our website or our Facebook page WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite
WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite A driver lost control of his vehicle and rolled into open veld on the Helpmekaar Road near Umhlumayo last night (Sunday).4 people were injured and treated by EMRS and Sharaj Ambulance Services.After being stabilised at the scene, the injured were transported to hospital.It took officers more than an hour to clear the roadway.
61-year-old Mr Danny Maharaj lost his life after an argument between him and his son turned deadly on Wednesday night last week.Mr Maharaj’s funeral was held yesterday (Tuesday). He was cremated.Mr Maharaj’s son, Navesh, attended the funeral after being released on bail. Navesh has been charged with his father’s murder.“After his release on bail, Navesh Maharaj attended the funeral of his father and paid his last respects,” said his attorney, Dinesh Lutchman.His next court appearance will be on May 5. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite
Residents of the house quickly contacted Public Safety to get help in removing the reptile. Local snake removal experts were called to the scene, with Eugene Jonck doing his very best to find the snake and safely remove it from the premises.However, his attempts were in vain, as the snake appeared to have already slithered away. The entire room in which it was first seen was searched, and even the outside of the house, to make sure the snake was not in the immediate area.By this time, Public Safety Officer OJ Maritz had responded to aid in the search for the elusive snake.Every nook and cranny was searched, but the snake seemed to have disappeared into thin air.The residents heaved a sigh of relief that the scary serpent was no longer in their home, where it could possibly harm their children or themselves. The screams of a domestic worker echoed through Calendula Avenue this morning (Tuesday) as she ran out of a house after spotting a snake under a bedThe domestic worker was carrying out her daily routine and was picking up a bed to clean under it when she came face-to-face with a snake that was “short, thick and had big red eyes”.Terrified, she stopped dead in her tracks and then bolted out of the room. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite
WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite More details have emerged of the high-speed N3 chase which saw a woman attempting to escape from police despite being shot at. The woman’s age has been confirmed by police as 21 years old.According to Estcourt police spokesperson Lt Colonel TM Mabaso, the woman had stopped at a petrol station in Warden.“The car was driven by a white female driver who put in R200’s worth of petrol at Warden,” said Lt Col Mabaso. The woman failed to pay the attendant and sped away.N3 Highway Patrol stationed at Harrismith spotted the vehicle on the N3 passing Harrismith at high speed, and gave chase.Highway Patrol chased the vehicle until the Tugela Plaza, but it had smashed through the tollgates 5 minutes earlier. More police and RTI units joined together in the chase. At one stage, six police and RTI vehicles were chasing the fleeing woman at over 180km/h.According to Lt Col Mabaso, the driver attempted to sideswipe an SAPS Highway Patrol van that had pulled up next to her. For the officer’s protection and the protection of other officers and members of the public, shots were fired at the vehicle in an attempt to stop it. Even when police shot out the tyres of the Nissan Micra, the driver did not stop or even slow down.A roadblock was set up near Estcourt, with the southbound lane of the N3 closed by police. With nowhere to go, the woman stopped the vehicle and police stormed the car.The woman was arrested for theft and detained in Estcourt before being sent back to Warden.She faces numerous other charges (she has no valid driver’s licence and the fact that the car was reported stolen).
The Hare Krishna Movement held the Festival of Chariots on Saturday afternoon.Devotees dressed in colourful clothes pulled a huge chariot through the streets in aid of pleasing the Lord.The procession began from Dakita Fashions in Salem Place and ended at the Hare Krishna Temple in Centenary Road.At every step, prayers and songs were chanted by the enthusiastic worshippers. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite