Miner killed after pit collapses at Konawaruk

first_imgA miner is now dead, and another is seriously injured after a mining pit collapsed at 35 Miles Konawaruk Backdam, Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) on Monday.Dead is 23-year-old Handel Payne, also called “Daggie” of Kaneville Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara (EBD).Information reaching Guyana Times revealed that Payne and others were working in the mining pit when a piece of the mud wall collapsed behind him and struck him in the mid-section. He reportedly fell unconscious by which time the water began to rise rapidly.Dead miner: Handel PayneHe was submerged and subsequently drowned. He was later pulled out and rushed to the Mahdia Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.Reports are another miner received severe injuries, and was currently hospitalised at the Mahdia Hospital. His identity has not been revealed.The pit is reportedly owned by Collin Robertson, 34, of One Mile Extension, Wismar, Linden, who also worked as the jet man.Back in 2015, 10 persons died in a mining pit in the Konawaruk area after it collapsed. The incident saw 17 miners being buried under a pile of dirt and rubble but seven of them made it out alive with varying injuries.The others remained trapped under the dirt where they eventually perished. The 10 trapped miners were Leyland Jones, Jason Trotman, Vick Bernard, Frank Bernard, Desmond Martins, Raymond August, Brian Bank, Trevon Phillips, Nanmore Kurt and another man identified only as ‘Michael’.The deaths were blamed on heavy rains in the area, improper mining design and poor safety practices at the mining camp.Meanwhile, with respect to the mining death on Monday, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) has launched an investigation. The body of Payne was transported to the Mahdia Hospital Mortuary to await a post-mortem.last_img read more

Kei rail steams ahead

first_imgJanine ErasmusSouth Africa’s Eastern Cape region has been described as the crucible of modern South African history and identity. The eastern part of the province, where the former black homelands of Ciskei and Transkei were located in the 1970s and 80s, has inherited a legacy of under-development as a result of the so-called independent status foisted upon them by the apartheid government during the homeland phase. But that is about to change.The area is to receive a much-needed boost with the re-opening of the rail route that runs between the port city of East London, and Mthatha, 235 km to the northeast. Both freight and passenger services on the 281-km stretch of line came to a halt in 1988, as the route was carrying less than 400 000 tons of freight a year and came to be regarded as low-density.Kei Rail received its operating licence on 5 February 2008 from the Rail Safety Regulator (RSR). Both passenger and freight services will be offered; 1 March has been officially named as the starting date of the Kei Rail passenger service while freight services will commence later in the year. It is hoped that the latter will reduce the high levels of heavy-duty traffic on the road between the two towns, thus cutting down on the costs of road maintenance and repair.The resurrection of the route is expected to “lay a firm foundation for future economic expansion in the impoverished eastern half of the province”, says Eastern Cape Member of the Executive Council for Safety, Liaison and Transport, Thobile Mhlahlo.A passenger service between East London and nearby King Williams Town is also expected to commence before the end of March 2008.“This is a great day for the people of the Eastern Cape,” said Mhlahlo. “They will now have a safe and reliable transport option in an area with limited options. The revival of the Kei Rail line, which has lain dormant for many years, has been a focus of the Department of Roads and Transport for some time now. ”Rich in historyThe railway between East London and Mthatha dates back to 1916. The re-opening of the long-dormant route is only one component of a wider socio-economic initiative of the Eastern Cape provincial government intended to increase economic activity and job creation and alleviate poverty in one of South Africa’s poorest, yet most historically rich, provinces.Mthatha, in the OR Tambo municipality, was previously known as Umtata, and between 1976 and 1994 was the capital of the former black homeland of Transkei.Statistics reveal that 88% of the households in this area live below minimum poverty level, and 77% of the economically active population is unemployed. A massive 93.3% of inhabitants live in rural conditions.Many prominent South African leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu hail from this part of the province. The Nelson Mandela National Museum, situated in Mthatha, is visited by thousands of local and international tourists every year. Development of a better public transport route to the town is expected to attract even more tourists.Great economic potentialThe area has never been allowed to reach its full economic potential. The Glen Grey Act of 1894, which was driven by mining magnate Cecil John Rhodes, took away the land rights of the indigenous people in certain areas and pushed them into reserves, leaving the way open for industrial development and exploitation of the lands which were historically theirs.The Glen Grey Act, and other legislation such as the Land Act of 1913, which limited land ownership for black people to black territories, as well as the so-called land betterment schemes, had a profound effect on the region. These schemes effectively stifled traditional African techniques of agriculture and animal husbandry that, in hindsight, were better adapted to local soil and climatic conditions than the government-initiated strategies that replaced them.In addition, the railway line, once established, took resources away from the area. With limited opportunities to earn a living, workers were forced to seek jobs further afield. Many of them left the area to take up employment in the mines in Johannesburg. Agricultural and mineral produce was shipped out, destined for bigger markets.Eventually the economy of the area became so stagnant that the decision was taken to close the passenger and freight services.Transport is a developmental priorityDeteriorating transport infrastructure has also played a role in the depressed economy of the region because of limited access to markets and labour. The Eastern Cape provincial government has identified transport as a vital component in economic growth. It has accordingly earmarked R1.48 billion to improving transport infrastructure as part of its 10-year provincial growth and development plan, which is designed to reduce poverty and attain sustainable levels of economic growth and job creation.The timber industry, in particular, will benefit from the resumption of rail services – it is estimated that more than 2.4 tons of timber will travel on Kei Rail over the next 20 years. A strong transportation network will facilitate the movement of timber products to foreign markets. The improvements to the East London-Mthatha line will also benefit the agricultural industry, with the shipping of 1.4 million tons of grain and 500 000 tons each of red meat and wool. Additionally, 200 000 tons each of fertiliser, lime and fuel are forecast.Phasing in the serviceLaunched in 2003, the R117 million Kei Rail project created jobs for more than 500 skilled and semi-skilled people in the initial phase and to date has afforded more than 1 400 people the chance of employment. The Eastern Cape government envisions the creation of 28 000 jobs over the next 20 years through the project.Initially the train will run on weekends only, and during the day – because pedestrians have become used to the empty rails and they are often found walking on the line. So for safety purposes the train will only operate when it is most visible.The Department of Roads and Transport also conducted an awareness programme to inform people of the dangers of an operational railway line. This took the form of a poster campaign and a radio and print advertising campaign, as well as flyers and visits to communities along the line. Learners participated in a colouring-in competition, and industrial theatre visits were arranged for schools in Butterworth, Komga, Dutywa and Viedgesville – these communities are situated along the railway line.Railway police to ensure commuters’ safetyA related initiative of the Eastern Cape provincial government is the launch of the Eastern Cape Railway Police Unit, in collaboration with the South African Police Services and Metrorail. The launch took place on 11 February and forms part of the provincial government’s Safety and Security Month programme. The unit aims to be 1 000-strong by 2010 to ensure the safety of commuters who will be visiting the Eastern Cape to watch matches during the Fifa World Cup.Said Mhlahlo at the launch, “Today we are making history as the province of the Eastern Cape by reintroducing strong security measures that guarantee the safety of our people when they use trains.“Our main objective is to have a law enforcement contingent, which is founded on democratic values and observance of human rights, which are matched by issues of development, cooperation and peace. The new unit’s duty is to provide a security service to the people who use the trains.”The numbers of the Railway Police Unit will soon be swelled with the deployment in December 2008 of 215 student constables, currently enrolled at the Police Training College in Bhisho, the capital of the Eastern Cape.Rail services in South Africa have experienced high levels of crime in recent years, but with the new Railway Police Unit on patrol the government hopes to restore the confidence of citizens in the rail service, easing the daily traffic congestion on the roads.Partners in the Kei Rail resuscitation project include the Eastern Cape Department of Roads and Transport, Sheltam Grindrod, the South African Rail Commuter Corporation (Metrorail), Transnet Freight Rail, and Rail Focus.Useful linksKei RailEastern Cape Department of Roads and TransportEastern Cape Provincial GovernmentBuffalo City municipalityOR Tambo district municipalityMetrorailTransnetSouth African Police ServicesThe Construction Education and Training AuthorityStatistics South Africa onlinelast_img read more

2010 New Year’s Resolutions from the RWW Geeks & Friends

first_imgTags:#Digital Lifestyle#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Forget losing weight or finding the perfect life partner: All we want to do is make 2010 the biggest geek-out year ever.The ReadWriteWeb crew have collectively planned to take over the world next year by honing our nerd super-powers. From programming in Python to building AI houses, we’ve resolved to be smarter, more curious, more technical and way geekier than we were last year. Read our resolutions, and definitely let us know what you plan to do to be the best geek you can be in 2010. The editor-in-chief himself, Mr. Richard MacManus, is known for his fascination with machine-to-machine communication via the Internet of Things. This year promises to be an interesting one at the MacManus residence if Richard’s resolutions hold true.“One of my goals for 2010,” he said, “is to experiment with Internet of Things in my own house and life, using tools like Pachube and sensors. We’ll see how that goes…”We wish you lots of luck, boss! If all goes well, you’ll be a prime candidate for the first episode of Geek Cribs, and we’ll all be very, very jealous. Our own ReadWriteStart warrior, Dana Oshiro, is going to be a busy bee this year.“I’m finding that the coolest ideas come out of academic institutions and enthusiast groups before they’re ever thought of as business-related products. In 2010 I plan on attending more hackathons, dev camps and emerging tech conferences like SIGGRAPH.”In addition to all that conference-hopping, Dana’s going to be doing some web work of her own. “Honestly, I need to revamp my personal website Villagers With Pitchforks. I haven’t changed the design in years.”Alex Williams, our resident enterprise expert, is also known in certain circles as an experienced podcasting pro. His resolution is something the ReadWriteWeb team would all love to see happen.He told us that he wants to use 2010 to “make an informative and entertaining podcast for ReadWriteWeb Enterprise that is lively, smart and fun.”What do our friendly readers think? Would you like to listen to awesome news about what companies and people are moving and shaking in the world of enterprise technology? What folks do you most want Alex to talk to, and what topics would you find most interesting? And where would you be most likely to listen to a RWW podcast? At your laptop, in your car, while walking your dogs? Let us know in the comments! Our newest startup blogger, Chris Cameron, said he wants to use 2010 to press the flesh and put faces with names, so to speak.“Since I’m the new kid on the block and fresh out of J-school with my M.M.C., my new year’s resolution is to get acquainted with as many people as possible in the web/tech/startup industry and develop a healthy amount of sources.”As seasoned journos, it’s our sworn duty to protect cub reporters from no-account rabble rousers, so we asked Chris who he specifically wanted to meet this year. He replied, “I’d love to develop some contacts from the bastions of the Web (Twitter, Facebook, Google, Digg, etc.).”You’re in good company, kid. We’d like to meet those guys, too. Just kidding! As a RWW blogger, you’re sure to have Kevin Rose and Biz Stone on speed dial in no time. We wish you luck. Another ReadWriteNoob is Abraham Hyatt, our intrepid Production Editor. He’s got a full slate of resolutions this year.He told us he wants to have more one-on-one time with “the bloggers I read every day, the people whose tweets I look forward to, the friends who surprise me with what they post.”He also said he’s going to start paying attention to things outside the tech sphere and his geographical scene. “I want to change the fact that I have no idea what’s changing in journalism in China.”And finally, Abraham let us in on how he’s keeping his finger on the pulse of technology. “I want to learn from my 5-year-old niece as she begins using the Web. I just hooked her up with her first kids browser and the way she interacts with the Web will be a hint of what’s to come for all of us online in the next decade.”Add in learning how to code and blogging more, two of his other resolutions, and Abraham’s got a full dance card for the rest of the year! As for me, I plan to learn Python this year. I’ve realized in 2009 that it’s harder to be a tech writer when you don’t have a hacker-esque depth of understanding about APIs and web apps. After talking to Leah Culver, Mark Jeffrey and a bunch of other really smart programmers, I think Python is a great place to start learning about programming languages. So this year, I’m tackling a 900-page O’Reilly book, and I’m not giving up until I have a working web app of my own! Next up, Haskell.Via Twitter, we heard from a few of our friends, including entrepreneur Renato Valdés Olmos, who pointed us to this pretty web app for those without resolutions who yearn to start small. And everyone’s favorite O.G (that’s “original geek” in these parts), Chris Pirillo, just couldn’t resist the opportunity to get sassy. “My geekiest new year’s resolution,” he said, “is 2560×1600.”So, what great and glorious plans have you got for 2010? Will you be hacking your way to entrepreneurial greatness by starting your own web company? Will you be building hardware? Are you resolving to start a new career path, go to a new conference or meet a lifelong tech hero?Let us know your resolutions in the comments! jolie odell Related Posts center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Mobile Devices, Internet TV, & Geolocation Services Top Targets for Cyber Attacks in 2011

first_imgAs 2010 wraps up with a month full of leaked documents, DDoS attacks and spam and database breaches, it’s hardly surprising that security experts are predicting a rise in cybercrime in 2011. According to McAfee Labs, the top targets in the coming year will be some of the most popular technologies, services and platforms, including mobile devices, Internet TV and geolocation services.“We’ve seen significant advancements in device and social network adoption, placing a bulls-eye on the platforms and services users are embracing the most,” says Vincent Weafer, senior VP of McAfee Labs. “These platforms and services have become very popular in a short amount of time, and we’re already seeing a significant increase in vulnerabilities, attacks and data loss.”Exploiting social media tops the McAfee list of threat predictions, and of the sites that will be “most riddled with cybercriminal activity,” McAfee points to those with URL-shortening services at the forefront. According to McAfee, there are more than 3,000 shortened URLs generated per minute, and these are easy for cybercriminals to utilize for spamming and scamming and to direct users to malicious websites. McAfee also warns of geolocation services, with real-time tracking of where people are and what they’re doing, as providing new opportunities for criminals.Personal Data, Corporate DataIt’s not just personal data that will be threatened by these sorts of attacks. As mobile devices become more ubiquitous in the workplace, attacks will follow, says McAfee, noting that the “historically fragile cellular infrastructure and slow strides toward encryption” will make mobile devices a target, putting both personal and corporate data at risk.McAfee also points to Internet TV as a new target, criticizing a “‘rush to market’ thinking by developers.” McAfee says that “suspicious and malicious apps” will expose privacy and identity data. Furthermore, the move to connect more physical devices will also raise the effectiveness of botnets. Apple’s VulnerabilityApple users, long blasé about viruses and malware, would be wise to pay attention to security, says McAfee. As with all the areas that the security company has identified here, the increasing popularity of the Mac OS platform – along with a “lack of user understanding of proper security for these devices” in McAfee’s words – make Apple a clear target for future attacks.While most of the predictions focus on “cybercrime,” McAfee Labs also suggests that “hacktivism” will become the “new way to demonstrate political positions in 2011 and beyond.” Look for more WikiLeaks-like events, with increasing sophistication. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#NYT#security#web Related Posts center_img audrey watters Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Location Efficiency

first_imgIn addition to this Energy Solutions blog, Alex contributes to the weekly blog BuildingGreen’s Product of the Week, which profiles an interesting new green building product each week. He is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. To keep up with his latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed. We spend a lot of time and money making our homes more energy efficient. Whether adding insulation, upgrading windows, replacing incandescent light bulbs, or replacing appliances, our efforts to use less energy save us money and help the environment. But what about where we live?The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just released a report on “location efficiency” — the idea that where we live has an impact on our energy consumption. The findings are clear and profound. In conventional suburban development, an average American home uses 108 million BTUs (British Thermal Units — a measure of energy consumption) per year for operation (heating, cooling, lighting, etc.). But that same house uses 132 million BTUs per year in transportation energy use — for a total of 240 million BTU/year. In other words, for that average home, 55% of its total energy use is for transportation, and 45% is for operations.Now, if the house is located in a “transit-oriented development” (a pedestrian-friendly place where residents can walk to restaurants, basic services, and public transit), the transportation energy use drops to 39 million BTUs per year — just 26% of that home’s total annual energy use of 147 million BTU/year (see chart). The study was conducted by Jonathan Rose Companies, which has long championed “Smart Growth” and affordable housing. You can read about this new study on BuildingGreen.com. RELATED ARTICLES The authors of the report examined the relative energy benefits of energy-efficient design and location for homes. They show that a family living in a conventional (non-energy-efficient) home in a transit-oriented neighborhood will spend a lot less on total energy than a family living in a 20% more energy-efficient home (built to Energy Star standards) in a conventional suburban development. More energy for commuting than for operating the officeOur own publication, Environmental Building News, drew similar conclusions with commercial office buildings in an article “Driving to Green Buildings: The Transportation Energy Intensity of Buildings,” in September 2007. In that article, we reported that for a typical American office building, 30% more energy is consumed getting workers to and from the building than the building itself uses for operating — and if the office building is built to modern energy codes (ASHRAE 90.1 – 2004), the transportation energy use is 2.3 times the operating energy use.All this is significant, as pointed out in an EPA press release, because buildings and transportation together account for 70% of U.S. energy consumption and 62% of greenhouse gas emissions. Most statistics about U.S. energy use by buildings, including those quoted by Vice President Al Gore and Architecture 2030 founder Ed Mazria, FAIA, consider only building operations, not how we get to and from those buildings. As the Jonathan Rose Companies study for EPA and our own research in 2007 point out, where we build can be even more important than how we build.It’s little surprise, then — especially with gasoline prices trending upward — that real estate values in transit-oriented areas have been holding their own or rising, while real estate values in automobile-dependent suburbia have been falling.In a 2010 book, “Foreclosing the Dream: How America’s Housing Crisis is Changing Our Cities and Suburbs,” William Lucy, Ph.D., a professor of urban and environmental planning at the University of Virginia School of Architecture, shows that foreclosures during 2008 and 2009 have been occurring more frequently in the car-dependent outer suburbs than in central cities and closer-in suburbs. “Location is more important than ever, and how location is interpreted has changed,” argues Lucy. He believes that there is desire by homeowners for more convenient locations, smaller units, and less driving hassle. These factors are all affecting property values.What’s the old saying? “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” Americans, like auto makers, are waking up to the reality of unstable and rising gasoline prices, and this is influencing their choices in home buying. That’s a good thing. Location Efficiency Trumps Home Energy EfficiencyHouses Versus CarsGetting Around Without Fossil FuelsResilient CommunitiesReduce the Need for DrivingDriving Our SUVs to the BP ProtestsGetting Off Fossil Fuelslast_img read more