Jamaicas PM hails Land Information Council for advancing GIS in Jamaica

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Jamaica, October 12, 2017 – Kingston – Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has lauded the Land Information Council of Jamaica (LICJ) for pioneering the development and maintenance of a national Geographic Information System (GIS) network over the past 25 years.   He said that more than 50 State entities have implemented GIS in their operations, resulting in greater efficiency in the execution of their mandates.These include the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), National Works Agency (NWA), National Water Commission (NWC), and Social Development Commission (SDC).“Through the innovative use of GIS applications, we are becoming more effective and efficient in harnessing the power of our limited resources. We, however, acknowledge that there is still much more that can be done.  We must think spatially to improve overall planning, monitoring, evaluation, information-sharing and communication,” Mr. Holness said.He was delivering the keynote address at Tuesday’s (October 10) opening of the inaugural two-day Jamaica GIS User Conference held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.   The Prime Minister said geospatial technology is applicable in assisting the Government’s strategic objectives, noting that its use in providing data to inform policy and action is invaluable.“If we know how things are happening and why they are happening, then we can predict where they will happen, who will cause things to happen or who (they) will happen to…what will happen and when (they) will happen.    In other words, geospatial information creates a predictive cycle,” he pointed out.The Prime Minster praised former LICJ Chairperson, Jacqueline daCosta, for her indelible contribution to advancing GIS in Jamaica and modernising and reforming the planning, land policy and land management sectors.  He further commended the National Spatial Data Management Division (NSDMD) for staging the conference in tandem with the LICJ, and urged the participants to explore how best GIS technology can be utilised to expand economic growth and job creation.For his part, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, who has responsibility for the NSDMD, said he is encouraged by the number of public-sector agencies that have been utilising GIS technology.   He noted that these entities have used GIS to create data sets and applications in health, land administration, national security, and natural resources management, which have assisted in strengthening their core business processes and functions.Mr. Vaz noted that the conference, under the theme ‘Geospatial Technologies: Mapping Our Way to Secure Communities’, is relevant and “synergises this Government’s commitment to ensuring the safety and protection of our people”.“I affirm that GIS in Jamaica is poised for great things. As we move forward, I wish to encourage us to continue the work that has begun. I am confident that at the end of these two days, we will have a greater understanding and deeper appreciation of GIS and its contribution to nation building and community development,” he added.The conference, which concludes on Wednesday (October 11) forms part of activities marking the LICJ’s 25th anniversary.Release: JIS Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:last_img read more

FCCs Ajit Pai I hate robocalls as much as you do

first_img Share your voice Samsung, LG, Motorola: How soon can we expect 5G phones? Comment Phones Tech Industry 13 Photos Tags 1center_img Microsoft says FCC broadband maps are off, Uber launches… Now playing: Watch this: 1:12 Ajit Pai wants to knock the stuffing out of illegal robocalls.  Alex Wong / Getty Images Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai says illegal robocalls are the FCC’s top consumer complaint each year. In an op-ed published in USA Today Thursday, Pai said these unwanted calls should be blocked by default. “If Americans can agree on anything these days, it’s that they’re fed up with robocalls,” Pai said. “The scam calls. The calls from foreign countries at 2 a.m. The deceptive caller ID ‘spoofing,’ which happens when a caller falsifies caller ID information to make it look as if they’re calling from your area code.” It can be especially frustrating given how big a part of our lives phones have become. Pai cited the example of a woman who told him she felt overwhelmed by the calls. “She felt like robocallers had absconded with her expensive smartphone,” he wrote.In May, Pai issued a proposal that would allow wireless carriers to block those robocalls for customers by default. Companies would also allow consumers to block calls from unknown numbers themselves. The FCC is set to vote on the proposal Thursday during its Open Commission Meeting. Pai said he expects phone companies to adopt these tools quickly if the proposal passes. In the op-ed, the FCC chairman also said not everyone is happy about his proposal and that robocallers, including debt collectors, have asked the agency to delay its vote. “But the Americans whom I hear from want relief from the flood of unwanted robocalls now. They don’t want us to wait,” Pai said. “I hate robocalls as much as you do.”   The FCC didn’t immediately respond to request for further comment. FCClast_img read more

BJP divided over Raje fate Cong goes for jugular

first_imgA party insider told Millennium Post that senior leaders are in a fix on whether to retain or remove Raje. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah will take a final call on the matter only after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is back from his US trip.The BJP, which has been defending Raje, was on the back foot when the Congress flashed signed documents (dated August 18, 2011) by Raje, favouring Modi, in a press conference recently. The document signed by Raje and filed by Modi’s immigration attorney Ghersons with the UK authorities endorsed his claim of facing political persecution in India.  Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIHence, he deserved to be given a resident status. The conclusion of Raje’s letter was “she was making the statement on the condition that it wouldn’t be known to the Indian authorities.”According to sources, Raje has already admitted to senior party leaders in Delhi that it is her signature, but insisted that she has done nothing wrong as per Indian law. However, a section of party leaders refused to buy Raje’s theory, suggesting that she should step down from the CM’s post in  the party’s interest, especially when crucial state elections are round the corner. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindSensing that things were going haywire and realising that she was facing the worst crisis in her political career, Raje on Thursday met party MLAs in Jaipur to flaunt her support and popularity before the Union ministers. On Thursday morning, she met over 20 BJP leaders – her Cabinet colleagues, MLAs and BJP functionaries –at her official residence, where a section of media were heckled by security officers.Many feel that the meeting was part of a pressure tactic on BJP leaders in Delhi, indicating the kind of support she enjoys from the party’s Rajasthan unit. “Going by the situation, if something (bad) happens, then there are possibilities that she might float her own party,” said the party insider. However, Rajasthan Health Minister Rajendra Rathore has ruled out Raje’s resignation, saying: “There are media speculations that the Central leadership will ask her to resign. But all I want to say is that she is not going to resign.”Meanwhile, the Congress intensified its protest against Raje. The CPI-M and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), too, have demanded her immediate resignation. “Vasundhara Raje knows that the signature is hers and she has never denied it. At this late stage, I don’t think anybody will buy if she comes up and says that they are forged or falsified. I hope BJP will also not buy that argument,” said Congress leader Sachin Pilot.He added: “Unfortunately for BJP, they have to realise the inescapable truth is that she has broken the law. She has transgressed the Indian law knowingly and the flying statement, which shows that she was trying to help Lalit Modi get travel documents, is in violation of law and by no means the BJP can continue to defend the indefensible.” “Where is the zero tolerance to corruption, Mr Prime Minister,” Pilot questioned.last_img read more

Your neighbourhood may make you obese

first_imgMoving to a neighbourhood with a high obesity rate is likely to make a person become overweight, say researchers who suggest that your social circles can inadvertently influence your weight. “Social contagion in obesity means that if more people around you are obese, then that may increase your own chances of becoming obese,” said Ashlesha Datar, a senior economist at University of Southern California in the US. “In other words, living in a community where obesity is more common can make sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy eating and overweight or obesity more socially acceptable,” said Datar, one of the authors of the study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfObesity is linked to many factors, including eating and exercise habits, genetics and the environment. Research shows that living in certain communities carries a higher risk of obesity than living in other communities, but this association has been challenging for scientists to explain. Researchers studied military families to assess whether living in communities with greater obesity increased their own risk of being overweight or obese. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveMilitary families, they reasoned, cannot choose where they live –rather, they are assigned to installations. Some of those installations are in counties with higher rates of obesity. “We found that the families assigned to installations in counties with higher obesity rates were more likely to be overweight or obese than those assigned to installations in counties with lower rates of obesity,” Datar said. The researchers recruited families of US Army personnel at 38 military installations in the country to participate in surveys and measurements. In all, 1,314 parents and 1,111 children participated. Three-fourths of the parents and about one-fourth of the children were overweight or obese – reflective of the national rates. Researchers found that the family’s risk of obesity may increase or decrease, depending on the county obesity rate where they live. Moving to a county with a lower rate decreases the family’s chances of becoming overweight or obese. To assess whether shared environments could explain these results, the study accounted for extensive data on the food and activity opportunities in the county and neighbourhood, such as gyms and grocery stores.last_img read more

Hey Kids Want to Be Smarter and Friendlier Play More Video Games

first_imgMarch 21, 2016 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals 4 min read Register Now »center_img Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. You might want to sit down for this, my fellow parental units: New research suggests that gaming for a few hours a week helps kids be better problem-solvers, in class and on the playground.  I know, I know. I really don’t want to hear this either. My teen and tween sure do, though. They’re both beyond addicted to Xbox (and both currently grounded from it, too, but that’s a different story).Back to why playing video games might not be the devil after all. The results of a study published recently in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology suggest that children who game for five or more hours per week fare better in school than their peers who don’t.Cue the collective jubilation of young gamers everywhere.Per the research, further detailed in a Columbia University publication earlier this month, “high” video game usage was linked to 1.75 times greater chance of “high intellectual functioning,” and 1.88 times the odds of “high overall school competence.”Related: Taiwanese Parents Now Legally Required to Restrict Their Tech-Addicted TeensThe study also found that, likely due to the live, multiplayer social nature of many video games today, kids who gamed a lot were more socially engaged overall. They also reported fewer relationship problems than peers who played less or didn’t play at all. Perhaps this because an increasing number of video games encourage players to work together toward a common goal.The findings might come as a surprise to many, particularly when weighed against earlier research that points to the opposite, not to mention the general sentiment that video games hamper children’s ability to focus on less attention-hogging tasks. On the other hand, they might be surprising if you’ve gotten wind of other similar recent studies that connect gaming and good grades.In this particular study, however, 13 researchers from the School Children Mental Health Europe project went a step beyond surface academic and social-emotional correlations. Drawing off of data supplied by parents and teachers of about 3,000 child subjects (ages 6 to 11) in six European Union countries, they concluded that children who game often during the week not only had an edge academically and socially, but also generally “suffered no emotional or mental health problems,” according to the Games and Learning Publishing Council publication GamesAndLearning.org.Related: How to make a career in the Gaming Industry”I think what we’re seeing here is the evolution of gaming in modern society. Video games are now a part of a normal childhood,” participating researcher and Columbia professor Katherine Keyes told U.S. News & World Report. “It’s no longer that kids who play a lot video games are the isolated, techy, brainy kids. What we’re seeing here is that kids who play a lot of video games are socially integrated, they’re prosocial, they have good school functioning and we don’t see any association with adverse mental health outcomes.”Keyes also noted that parents shouldn’t take the study’s findings as a green light to let their kids game their hearts out. “We caution against over-interpretation, however, as setting limits on screen usage remains an important component of parental responsibility as an overall strategy for student success,” she said in a statement detailing the study’s findings.In conclusion, Keyes and her fellow researchers assert: “Playing video games may have positive effects on young children.” They were, however, careful to point out that more analysis on the topic is needed.No emotional problems as a result of hours of gaming? Hmm, interesting, I say, as I routinely witness my obsessive young gamers (and their many friends) forgo food, family outings and even trips to the bathroom in their endless pursuit to shoot and kill anything that moves in Call of Duty or Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. They would also game nonstop over completing homework and hanging out with their friends in-person, if I allowed them to. But these are just one frustrated mother’s anecdotal observations. What do I know anyway?Related: How Playing Video Games Made Me a Better Entrepreneur Perhaps no parent or teacher who participated in the study dared to admit on paper that the child they answered questions about is so hooked on video games that he literally begs and screams for the controllers back when it’s time to quit playing. Wait, it’s probably just my kids who do that. If you see them, please tell them dinner is getting cold and I miss them.last_img read more

Road blocked due to accident

first_img (Image: Inrix) Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailUPDATE: The road reopened shortly before 10pm A road is closed in a Staffordshire Moorlands village following an accident this evening. Park Lane in Knypersley is blocked in both directions and there is slow traffic from Harlech Drive to Woodland Street. Traffic is reported to be getting heavy on A527/ Tunstall Road all the way back to Millhayes Sports Ground Northbound but has cleared Southbound. Inrix, the traffic data company, reports recovery has been called to the scene – with the accident thought to have taken place at around 6.30pm. A StokeonTrentLive reporter who went to the scene said: “I can see two police cars, there are no ambulances. “Cars coming from Biddulph Moor direction are diverting down Moorland Street.” One eyewitness reported police, paramedics and firefighters were at the scene earlier, although we are yet to confirm that independently. Read MorePolice warn cyclists not to ride on motorways in West Midlands Want to keep up to date with the latest traffic and travel news?Each day Stoke-on-Trent Live journalists bring you the latest news on the roads and railways across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire, South Cheshire and further afield to help keep you on the move. For the very latest updates on roads including the M6, A500, A50 and more, visit our dedicated traffic and travel news channel here. We also run a live news feed each weekday, which you can access on our website’s homepage from 7am to 9pm from Monday to Friday. And for more as-we-get-it updates on the roads across the region and beyond, join The Sentinel’s traffic and travel Facebook group here.last_img read more