UNDP Refurbishes UL Legal Aid Clinic

first_imgFrom right: Louis Arthur Grimes Law School Dean, Cllr. Negbalee Warner; Maarten Barends, UNDP Rule of Law Advisor, who made the presentation on behalf of the organization; along with other members of the Law School.As part of support to institutions in LiberiaThe United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has presented US$30,000 worth of equipment to the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law  at the University of Liberia (UL) for the refurbishment of the Legal Aid Clinic of the law school. The gesture is part of UNDP’s support to institutions in the country, a release from the UL has said.According to the release, the Legal Aid Clinic is aimed at strengthening clinical legal education as well as providing basic but important legal aid services and advice to socially disadvantaged groups on a wide-range of legal issues.Also, it will afford law students the opportunity to put theory into practice at an early stage in their legal career.The Legal Aid Clinic will accordingly be run by law students, who will be supervised by faculty from the law school.Maarten Barends, UNDP Rule of Law Advisor, who made the presentation on behalf of the organization, said he was happy to make the presentation, because UNDP is in full support of the refurbishment of the Legal Aid Clinic.“As long as we support the rule of law, we will do our best to support this project,” Mr. Barends said.Equipment presented included a 15KVA generator, computers, an executive desk, air-conditioners, computer accessories, desktops and many others.Mr. Barends said in addition to giving the Legal Aid Clinic a facelift, the UNDP was providing one 15KVA generator, office furniture,  ICT equipment, four sets of Dell computers with accessories, laptops, a multipurpose MVP HP Color LaserJet Printer, one projector, four desktop computers with LaserJet 410A ink and a variety of stationery to the school.“This gesture from the UNDP to the law school is indeed a fundamental initiative that will go a long way in alleviating some of the challenges the law school faces,” Mr. Barends added, stating that UNDP will work with authorities of the UL to make the Legal Aid clinic fully operational.“The project is the beginning of many more projects the UNDP intends to provide for the University of Liberia, including the provision of support for scholarly publications, scholarships and developing platforms for seminars and dialogues for students and faculty,” Mr. Barends said.Cllr. Negbalee Warner, Dean of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law and who also received the items, praised the UNDP for its continued support to strengthen institutions in Liberia, especially institutions that are geared towards enhancing the rule of law in Liberia.“We are deeply honored by the support that UNDP has extended the law school,” he said. “Refurbishment of our Legal Aid Clinic will now afford current and incoming students the opportunity to increase their experience at the law school in a practical way. The equipment would therefore elevate the teaching and learning experience of our faculty and students respectively.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Gold declarations for first half of 2019 surpass target

first_imgGold declarations by the Guyana Gold Board (GGB) for 2019 are expected to be surpassed by the end of this year in light of the records for the past six months which are higher than expected.This is according to Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman, who at the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) this week revealed that although gold declarations decreased last year (613,072.96 oz compared to 653,754.41 in 2017), there is a “steady and pleasing” upward trend for 2019.“…being higher than projected for the period Jan-June (300,673.80 oz). As at the end of July, we are almost at the 400,000 oz mark, which represents an approximate average of 55,000 oz per month.”He stated that earlier this week, latest reports by the Aurora Gold Mine (AGM), revealed that the company was able to produce some 74,000 oz and that this is a testimony to the AGM being able to overcome the difficulties that threatened its gold production and declaration figures during 2018. Additionally, the Minister acknowledged other successes in the mining and mineral sector.“It [AGM] has shaken off its internal issues dogged it for many months and is returning to full strength and viability…we have three bauxite operations at Linden, Aroaima and Bonasika in Region Three, having welcomed First Bauxite to the fold. In addition, in the petroleum sector, the Petroleum Division should be proud of its achievements as it prepares the nation for first oil in a few months’ time.”In January, the GGB had projected that for 2019, declarations and exportations are to be pegged at 651,000 ounces. This estimation was established in retrospect to the outcome from 2018, which turned out to be an “encouraging year” for the organisation.At that time, the Gold Board had stated that plans were on stream to manage and enhance existing emission control mechanisms, obtain a permanent operation base and fulfil the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force and National Risk Assessment Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism standards and reduce legacy deficit on the Bank of Guyana and the Finance Ministry.It also announced that pending capital projects are expected to be completed during 2019 as well as continued training for staffers of the facility.However, while the Minister spoke of the success of the sector for large miners, small and medium scale miners have constantly decried the hardships they have had to face in the sector. Some small scale miners in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) were forced to suspend their operations at various intervals owing to, among other things, the nearly impassable roads in the area.Meanwhile, People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Presidential Candidate, Irfaan Ali recently signalled a widespread overhaul of the gold industry if elected.Ali recently said that many players in the field have been complaining not only about the deteriorating conditions of the roads but also of increasing taxes. He noted that under his Government, he will remove the Value Added Tax (VAT) on hinterland travel and freight to benefit not only the mining sector but residents and communities.“We have intention to remove the fees imposed by this Government to sell gold and remove the sliding scale imposed and replace with a simple two per cent final tax…perhaps one of the biggest issues we want to address, based on the complaints, will be better roads. That is why we support easier transport for the mining, forestry and communities by reducing travel time and cost. We will do this by investing a minimum of $2 billion annually to support hinterland roads.”He noted that the mining sector is in a state of decline as a result of poor Government policies.“The burdensome taxes have negatively affected recapitalisation and have increased transactional cost. The removal of incentives that brought cost savings to miners and hinterland communities has served to further erode the strides our Administrations would have made.”last_img read more

Legislative bills 99% frivolous

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NOT surprisingly, Assemblywoman “Spankin”‘ Sally Lieber has withdrawn her bill to criminalize the spanking of young children. Apparently, in addition to the heaps of ridicule generated by the press, her colleagues pleaded with her to back off. Lawmakers are anxious to appear at least marginally rational now that an initiative petition to extend their terms in office has been filed. Of course, whacky bills are something of a tradition in the Legislature. Not long ago, a member of the Assembly introduced legislation to require that state buildings be designed consistent with feng shui, an Asian practice relating to the placement and arrangement of space to achieve harmony with the environment. And a few years earlier, there was a bill that would have helped a nudist colony obtain a liquor license. Since the owner of the nudist retreat was a major donor to the bill’s author, the motivation behind this legislation was laid bare. Then there was the state senator who used to introduce several hundred bills each session as a means to secure campaign dollars. Sort of the “I’ve introduced a bill for you, now contribute to my campaign” theory of government. Since the analysis and printing of each bill cost thousands of dollars each, this was not a trivial matter for taxpayers. This lawmaker later went to prison for other transgressions. And while this senator may represent the extreme, members of the Legislature grow increasingly adept at leveraging legislative proposals for the purpose of fundraising. That’s why certain legislative committees are openly referred to as “juice” committees. An experienced eye estimates that 90 percent of the legislation currently introduced is designed to give one special interest an advantage over either its competitors or the taxpayers. Another 5 percent is plain silly stuff like the bill to ban the de-clawing of cats or limiting the number of pages in public-school textbooks. Of the remainder, 4 percent are marginally relevant to the interests of the people, and only the remaining 1 percent could actually be classified as important. The workers’ compensation legislation is an example of the latter, but even there, it took the threat of an initiative to actually spur the Legislature to action. Thus it would be hard to argue that all of our current state representatives take seriously their responsibilities to the public at large. And even on their best behavior, it is difficult to argue that they deserve longer terms. Still, as long as they have their surrogates working to keep them in office by changing the state Constitution with an initiative, it’s only fair that we place other options on the table, as well. First, of course, is reapportionment and taking away the power of lawmakers to select their own voters. Fair redistricting would give the citizens of California the most reform bang for the buck. But how about a part-time Legislature? The full-time Legislature was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 1966 after they were told that a system using professional full-time lawmakers would reduce the influence of special interests. Does anyone think it has worked out as promised? California is one of only four states with a full-time Legislature, and adding insult to injury, our representatives are the nation’s highest paid. Of course, current legislators like the current system now and would oppose such a change but, nonetheless, there ought to be an honest debate about a return to a part-time Legislature. Then there is the unicameral Legislature. Only one state, Nebraska, uses this system, but it seems to work for Nebraskans. Rather than having large overlapping districts, we might be better off with more representatives elected from smaller districts – fairly drawn, of course – resulting in a state government closer to the people. It is worthy of study. Anyone who takes our current lawmaking process seriously has joined the ranks of those deluded folks who thought the emperor’s new clothes were beautiful. Changes are in order, but if we are expected to alter the system to benefit those now in office, let’s also take a look at changes that would benefit the rest of us. Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. Contact him through the organization’s Web site, www.hjta.org. last_img read more

STUDENTS FACE MAJOR BATTLE TO FIND ACCOMMODATION – McCONALOGUE

first_imgDeputy Charlie McConalogue says the Government’s failure to address shortages in student accommodation has led to a major crisis in the sector.Charlie McConalogue TDMore than 58,000 students will get their Leaving Cert results tomorrow, but thousands of them embarking on a third level course, will face a huge struggle to secure a place to stay.Deputy McConalogue explained, “Over the past four years we have seen the situation with student accommodation worsen significantly without any tangible action being taken. The most this Minister has done in the issue is commission a report into the situation, which to date has still not been published. The report points to a “significant shortage” in accommodation in all of the main cities, and forecasts that these shortages will remain over the next decade. “The accommodation crisis has been escalating steadily over the past four years, and is undoubtedly being exacerbated by the overall housing crisis engulfing this country. The situation is particularly bad in the main cities, where the majority of students will be looking to rent. Every year students are forced to pay over the odds for very basic accommodation, and in some cases have to take on extended leases in order to secure a house or apartment. Students are spending weeks on end over the summer months travelling to Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick in search of accommodation, often faced with extortionate rents, which is placing a significant financial burden on them and their families.”He added that the current situation is a major source of anxiety and stress, not only for the students who will receive their Leaving Cert results tomorrow, but also for the thousands of others who are already in full time third level education.“Every summer they are faced with the same scenario of trekking around these cities in search of new accommodation for the following semester.“Minister O’Sullivan’s decision to delay the publication of the HEA report is shameful. She should release the contents and start acting on the recommendations. She cannot continue hide behind this document and pretend that everything is ok when the situation is now seriously out of control. New incentives need to be introduced to promote the development of specific student accommodation to increase the number of units available to meet the increasing demand”. STUDENTS FACE MAJOR BATTLE TO FIND ACCOMMODATION – McCONALOGUE was last modified: August 11th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:accommodationCharlie McConaloguedonegalLeaving certlast_img read more

Eleven Student-Athletes To Graduate This Weekend

first_imgFootballDevin Cates, PsychologyZac Rujawitz, MarketingSteven Doran, Astronomy, PhysicsJacob Mury, FinanceDrew Lauer, Information Systems, MarketingVictor Jergens, FinanceErin Morgan, Digital Media Production SoftballTaryn Pena, Elementary Teacher Education Women’s SoccerVanessa Kavan, MarketingTawny Carroll, Health Sciences: Clinical and AppliedPrint Friendly Version DES MOINES, Iowa – A total of 11 Drake University student-athletes are set to walk across the stage and receive their diplomas this weekend at the university’s 147th commencement ceremonies.Among those receiving diplomas are athletes the likes of softball student-athlete Taryn Pena and soccer starter Vanessa Kavan. Each earned All-MVC first-team honors in their senior seasons along with first-team MVC-Scholar Athlete honors as well. Kavan also took home the State Farm MVC Good Neighbor Award at the end of the 2019 season.The graduating class also includes seven members of the football team, including Devin Cates who caught and ran for a total of 627 yards in the 2019 season as a tight end for the Bulldogs. Also graduating from the team is Zac Rujawitz, who led the team in tackles with 68 for the season and recent CoSIDA Academic All-American Victor Jurgens.Below is the full list of student-athletes receiving diplomas upon completion of the fall semester.  Track & Field/Cross CountryKevin Kelly, Communication Leadership (Masters)last_img read more

VALUABLE MUSIC INSTRUMENTS STOLEN IN RAID ON SHOP

first_imgAn investigation has been launched into the theft of a number of valuable music instruments in a shop in Letterkenny.Raiders appeared to have a list of ‘go to’ products which they took in the robbery earlier this week.Among the items stolen were a number of piano accordions and also a number of fiddles. But the raiders are understood to have ignored equally expensive items.The exact cost of the instruments stolen is not known.Gardai believe the instruments will either be sold here but more than likely across the border for the Christmas market.People who have ben offered such instruments for sale at a knock-down price are asked to contact Gardai.     VALUABLE MUSIC INSTRUMENTS STOLEN IN RAID ON SHOP was last modified: December 20th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:letterkennymusic instrumentsrobberylast_img read more

Kenya on the mend

first_imgNew Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga is the leader of the Orange Democratic Movement, which claimed victory in the country’s disputed 2007 election. (Image: ODM) Raila OdingaKhanyi MagubaneFollowing months of post-election violence in Kenya, a country on the mend is now emerging. On 17 April 2008 opposition leader Raila Odinga was sworn in as the country’s new prime minister. His appointment is part of a power sharing deal brokered at the 11th hour amid fears that talks had reached a deadlock.In his address at the ceremony, Odinga said the cabinet’s top priority would be to resettle those still living in rough conditions because of the post-election violence and paid tribute to the patience of the Kenyan people while the negotiations were conducted.This patience was rewarded on 13 April when President Mwai Kibaki, who won the election in December 2007 under a shroud of controversy, announced that he had finally buried the hatchet with Odinga, his main political rival.The power sharing processThe journey to the power sharing agreement between Kibaki’s Party of National Unity (PNU) and Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) hasn’t been easy. At the end of February, the two men signed the National Accord and Reconciliation Act, which called for an equal sharing of power.However, the negotiation process hit a snag when the two parties were unable to reach an agreement on how to share power. The main point of contention was that since his appointment as the country’s president, Kibaki had already appointed half the cabinet from his own party.Odinga insisted that the deal should not just be about an equal number of members from both parties occupying ministerial portfolios – it had to be about an equal share of the important ones too. At issue were the foreign affairs, cabinet affairs, energy, roads and local government portfolios.When it became clear that the PNU would not yield to the ODM demands, Odinga threatened to walk out of the talks. Fortunately an agreement was finally reached during late night talks on Saturday 12 April.On Sunday afternoon, in a state address broadcast on TV throughout the country, President Kibaki told the nation of this successful conclusion following weeks of hard talking.Besides the expected appointment of Odinga as prime minister, he also announced that the post of local government minister would go to Musalia Mudavadi, one of Odinga’s closest allies, who was also given one of the deputy prime minister posts.The foreign affairs portfolio stays within the PNU, as do the roads and energy portfolios. The cabinet affairs portfolio was done away with.Kenya’s largest cabinetThe government now includes 40 ministers and 52 deputy ministers, with posts divided equally among Kenya’s ethnic communities. It is also the largest cabinet that Kenya has had since independence.Although there have been concerns about the large number of salaries which will now have to be paid, government says that although this seems like a high price to pay for balancing the interests of all concerned, it is a small price to pay for peace in the country.The inauguration makes Odinga only the second prime minister in Kenyan history. Founding president Jomo Kenyatta was prime minister for a year before his title was changed.At the ceremony, held at the State House in Nairobi, Muslim, Christian and Hindu religious leaders led a prayer ceremony before Odinga took his oath of office in Swahili. Reading his oath, Odinga said: “I, Raila Amolo Odinga, do swear that I will be faithful to the president of the Republic of Kenya and to serve it with all my heart, and that I shall preserve, protect and defend the constitution of Kenya by law established. So help me God.”Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who acted as a mediator during the protracted process, was among the dignitaries who witnessed the ceremony. Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni and other East African leaders also attended the historical event.Related storiesSA sends relief aid to Kenya Useful linksGovernment of Kenya History of KenyaKenya newslast_img read more

Vanessa Grey Hair Designs HAIR EXTENSION SCRUNCHIE UP DO DOWN DO SPIKY TWISTER – Another good buy

first_imgThe quality of my pieces is such that you cannot tell the difference between them and real hair! SummaryReviewer Nathalie DuboisReview Date2019-02-07 09:38:59Reviewed Item HAIR EXTENSION SCRUNCHIE UP DO DOWN DO SPIKY TWISTER (20 Strawberry with Blonde Tips)Rating 5.0 / 5  stars, based on  109  reviews New with tags, very comfortable easy and secure fit. I swapped the gray to a lighter silvery white, and am pleased usually ~ even though i altered the band they were being on, so i could use them a minimal fifferently the service was fantastic ~ i purchased quite a few.Was a bit unhappy as could have carried out with more hair as it was a little bit sparten and the color wasn’t what i hoped it would be.As my pure hair is so slender i do have to wrap this spherical my bun 2 times for it to stay on – this is my fault as i have slender hair, but anyone with thicker hair wouldn’t need to do this. The seem and come to feel of this hairpiece is natural hunting and feels all-natural much too.Excellent products and best match for my hair.Once once more outstanding color – you likely would will need 2 of these to use collectively for more fullness. Make sure you could you make a fuller one that would be remarkable.I am expanding my hair, its all types of lengths and the ends are blond, this piece will get me through loads of negative hair days, thanks very much.She has found the best way to wear them is to use twoits good quality, good price and it does stick out Good value, good product and great servicecenter_img Greats scrunchy hairpiece thank you.Merchandise was as said and arrived on time.Really like this scrunchie seems really fantastic.Terrific support, terrific item.Have attempted this in my hair, but doesn’t stay in that perfectly as i have wonderful hair. Does glance like a hair piece when i have it in even if i mix it into my hair.Features of HAIR EXTENSION SCRUNCHIE UP DO DOWN DO SPIKY TWISTER (20 Strawberry with Blonde Tips)Lovely Natural Looking UpDo Curly Body Creating Twister ScrunchieColour shown is 27T613 – Strawberry Blonde Mix.Synthetic Fibres – Japanese kanekalonNew with tags, very comfortable easy and secure fit. An instant hair boost!The quality of my pieces is such that you cannot tell the difference between them and real hair!Lovely Natural Looking UpDo Curly Body Creating Twister ScrunchieAlright but a bit shorter than envisioned and a little bit flimsy bought related from pound store a few yrs again which was thicker but transformed hair coloration now.Of course, i would endorse any of these hair extensions. I imagine they are a amazing strategy by someone. This is an fantastic hair match for me and i wear it normally.Fantastic fun hair do swift resolve for a hair do in the morning straightforward to use would endorse for a excellent hair model.So so pleased built my day these days when this arrived its amazing appears great blends into my very own hair genuinely fantastic cant tell diference the colour is amazing arrived super swift.Had a great deal of nice reviews when sporting this, blended nicely with my hair.Kinda liked it, but really altered it relatively, myself.Colour shown is 27T613 –Charming color and will make you feel a million pounds.Have masses of comment about this and persons are suprised when i say it is a hair piece would reccomend.Have experienced hundreds of responses matches my hair specifically, adore the way it presents the hair a completly unique fashion to a normal ponytail.I got this to have on to a wedding ceremony with my personal hair, but i felt the colour was various from my personal, but i will don it elsewhere, its superior top quality, superior rate and it does adhere out spikey, particularly as i wished, explained just as seller claims, speedy supply also.My spouse purchased this – she raves about vanessa grey items, and when once more, it has arrive up trumps. She has observed the most effective way to don them is to use two, for fullness, spherical her (quite slim, pretty quick, ponytail), then clip it in with a two hair grips for stability. It appears terrific, and she would hugely propose.Synthetic Fibres – Posted on February 7, 2019Author Nathalie DuboisCategories Hair ExtensionsTags Vanessa Grey Hair Designslast_img read more

Facebook’s Zuckerberg Says The Age of Privacy is Over

first_imgmarshall kirkpatrick The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told a live audience yesterday that if he were to create Facebook again today, user information would by default be public, not private as it was for years until the company changed dramatically in December.In a six-minute interview on stage with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, Zuckerberg spent 60 seconds talking about Facebook’s privacy policies. His statements were of major importance for the world’s largest social network – and his arguments in favor of an about-face on privacy deserve close scrutiny.Zuckerberg offered roughly 8 sentences in response to Arrington’s question about where privacy was going on Facebook and around the web. The question was referencing the changes Facebook underwent last month. Your name, profile picture, gender, current city, networks, Friends List, and all the pages you subscribe to are now publicly available information on Facebook. This means everyone on the web can see it; it is searchable. I’ll post Zuckerberg’s sentences on their own first, then follow up with the questions they raise in my mind. You can also watch the video below, the privacy part we transcribe is from 3:00 to 4:00.See also: Why Facebook is Wrong: Privacy is Still ImportantZuckerberg:“When I got started in my dorm room at Harvard, the question a lot of people asked was ‘why would I want to put any information on the Internet at all? Why would I want to have a website?’ “And then in the last 5 or 6 years, blogging has taken off in a huge way and all these different services that have people sharing all this information. People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time. “We view it as our role in the system to constantly be innovating and be updating what our system is to reflect what the current social norms are. “A lot of companies would be trapped by the conventions and their legacies of what they’ve built, doing a privacy change – doing a privacy change for 350 million users is not the kind of thing that a lot of companies would do. But we viewed that as a really important thing, to always keep a beginner’s mind and what would we do if we were starting the company now and we decided that these would be the social norms now and we just went for it.”That’s Not a Believable ExplanationThis is a radical change from the way that Zuckerberg pounded on the importance of user privacy for years. That your information would only be visible to the people you accept as friends was fundamental to the DNA of the social network that hundreds of millions of people have joined over these past few years. Privacy control, he told me less than 2 years ago, is “the vector around which Facebook operates.”I don’t buy Zuckerberg’s argument that Facebook is now only reflecting the changes that society is undergoing. I think Facebook itself is a major agent of social change and by acting otherwise Zuckerberg is being arrogant and condescending.Perhaps the new privacy controls will prove sufficient. Perhaps Facebook’s pushing our culture away from privacy will end up being a good thing. The way the company is going about it makes me very uncomfortable, though, and some of the changes are clearly bad. It is clearly bad to no longer allow people to keep the pages they subscribe to private on Facebook.This major reversal, backed-up by superficial explanations, makes me wonder if Facebook’s changing philosophies about privacy are just convenient stories to tell while the company shifts its strategy to exert control over the future of the web. Facebook’s Different StoriesFirst the company kept user data siloed inside its site alone, saying that a high degree of user privacy would make users comfortable enough to share more information with a smaller number of trusted people.Now that it has 350 million people signed up and connected to their friends and family in a way they never have been before – now Facebook decides that the initial, privacy-centric, contract with users is out of date. That users actually want to share openly, with the world at large, and incidentally (as Facebook’s Director of Public Policy Barry Schnitt told us in December) that it’s time for increased pageviews and advertising revenue, too.The Flimsy EvidenceWhat makes Facebook think the world is becoming more public and less private? Zuckerberg cites the rise of blogging “and all these different services that have people sharing all this information.” That last part must mean Twitter, right? But blogging is tiny compared to Facebook! It’s made a big impact on the world, but only because it perhaps doubled or tripled the small percentage of people online who publish long-form text content. Not very many people write blogs, almost everyone is on Facebook.Facebook’s Barry Schnitt told us last month that he too believes the world is becoming more open and his evidence is Twitter, MySpace, comments posted to newspaper websites and the rise of Reality TV.But Facebook is bigger and is growing much faster than all of those other things. Do they really expect us to believe that the popularity of reality TV is evidence that users want their Facebook friends lists and fan pages made permanently public? Why cite those kinds phenomena as evidence that the red hot social network needs to change its ways? The company’s justifications of the claim that they are reflecting broader social trends just aren’t credible. A much more believable explanation is that Facebook wants user information to be made public and so they “just went for it,” to use Zuckerberg’s words from yesterday. (Why didn’t Arrington press Zuckerberg on stage about this? The rise of blogging is evidence that Facebook needs to change its fundamental stance on privacy?)This is Very ImportantFacebook allows everyday people to share the minutiae of their daily lives with trusted friends and family, to easily distribute photos and videos – if you use it regularly you know how it has made a very real impact on families and social groups that used to communicate very infrequently. Accessible social networking technology changes communication between people in a way similar to if not as intensely as the introduction of the telephone and the printing press. It changes the fabric of peoples’ lives together. 350 million people signed up for Facebook under the belief their information could be shared just between trusted friends. Now the company says that’s old news, that people are changing. I don’t believe it.I think Facebook is just saying that because that’s what it wants to be true.Whether less privacy is good or bad is another matter, the change of the contract with users based on feigned concern for users’ desires is offensive and makes any further moves by Facebook suspect. See also: Why Facebook is Wrong: Privacy is Still ImportantBecome a friend of ReadWriteWeb on our Facebook Page. Tags:#Analysis#NYT#social networks#web center_img Related Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

Etsy Experiments with New Recommendation Engine

first_imgHandmade marketplace Etsy is experimenting with its own recommendation engine technology called the Etsy Taste Test. The tool, available at tastetest.etsy.com, offers you a short quiz where you click photos of things you like. You can choose to look at either photos of items for women or items for men. The end result is a list of recommended items matching your taste… in theory at least; the experiment is still very new and results can be mixed.Still – an algorithm for artistic crafts? Sign us up!How Well Does It Work?We heard about the experiment from a post on Fred Wilson’s blog today, ?a VC with an investment in Etsy. However, it appears that the experiment was announced in Etsy’s forums back on Dec. 7.So how well does it work? It’s hard to say – in tests, I was fairly happy with around 65% of the results, but then, I find it hard to not love so much of what I see on Etsy. There were some odd recommendations, though – things I would never buy for myself, not in a million years – but they didn’t dominate the results by any means. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#NYT#Product Reviews#Recommendation Engines#web sarah perez Etsy certainly isn’t the only site to offer recommendations these days – the Internet is using custom-built taste graphs like these (along with Facebook user profile data, of course) to build incredibly personalized, unique experiences for many Web services’ end users. Amazon has been tweaking its recommendation algorithm for years, even offering developers large cash prizes to improve upon it. Facebook recommends pages you might like, Apple recommends music and apps. My6Sense recommends what you should read. And taste graph-building technology Hunch seems to figure out your likes based on series of simple questions.  (It’s downright creepy!)How well does Etsy do in comparison? Well, it’s a start… but there’s plenty of room to grow.center_img Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting So I like purses…Some commenters on Wilson’s site tell a different story. Says RJ Johnston, the engine “performs as expected” and recommendations were “mediocre.” Another, Sebastian Wain, pointed out that the algorithm it uses must not be too advanced: “I chose one robot and in the end a lot of robots appeared (I just liked that robot!)” (Hmm, maybe that explains all those purses, too.) However, a third, Aynsley, says ” I finished in less than a minute and loved my results.”The different experiences may be chalked up to how regular a customer you are on Etsy. Aynsely and I aren’t. I love to browse Etsy, but choose to spend my money elsewhere when I have it to burn (mostly on gadgets, phones and computers, to be honest). For new customers like us, a taste graph can serve as a great introduction to the millions of items on the site. Or to be more precise: Etsy says 7.7 million items are currently listed. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more