Who Would You Want Hanging Off a Building with You?

first_imgWhat would you do if you could walk on air? That’s the question that our customer Nike put to viral photographer Benjamin Von Wong. And Von Wong replied “I want to showcase everyday people defying gravity a 1,000 feet up in the air.”He didn’t know exactly how to do it, but he didn’t have to worry about having a computer that would stand up to the challenge. Von Wong took his Dell Rugged Latitude 30 stories up the side of a building in Manila, Philippines.©Von WongThe results can be seen on his blog, but I also got a bit of the behind-the-scenes story from Von Wong.Because he didn’t want to wait until he was on firm footing to know if he had the shot he needed, his laptop went out on a wire with him.“Every time I’d jump around, it would crash into the glass,” side of the building he said and described it as “very exciting.”I’d call that putting it mildly. Hanging on the side of a skyscraper while taking photos of social entrepreneurs – not professional models or stunt people – and even at times having someone hold your feet up to get them out of a shot would be vertigo-inducing for many of us.“My rugged did get out of it a little dinged up,” Von Wong said. “But that’s what it’s for!”Yes, Dell Latitude Rugged systems are designed specifically to take a beating, so few dings are no big deal. But with photography as his profession, why would Von Wong have had a rugged laptop even before undertaking this adventure?©Von WongWell, Von Wong doesn’t typically play it safe in a studio. Hanging from buildings is just one way he takes photos that, as he puts it, “people think are photoshopped.” His surreal imagery has been known to involve both fire and water, so he needs a system that can be prepared to face the elements.But why did he choose to place social entrepreneurs in the element of air for this particular project?Von Wong has a passion to connect people and a recent focus on conservation related projects.“I greatly believe in the power of humanity to solve problems,” he told fstoppers this summer. “When we decide to do something, we can.”Some of his recent work is designed to get people talking about plastic pollution. A topic near and dear to Dell’s Social Good Advocate Adrian Grenier whom Von Wong joined on a Dell-hosted panel discussion at last year’s SXSW.Grenier helped Dell understand the breadth of challenges our oceans face today, and now we are creating the first commercial-scale global ocean plastics supply chain. But you don’t have to be a worldwide corporation to make a difference, and that’s what Von Wong wanted to convey in his latest work.“By showcasing everyday people doing extraordinary things, I hope that viewers, will feel empowered to challenge themselves, support others and to pursue amazing life experiences of their own,” he said.I’m glad to see that our Dell Rugged system was there to take a few hits and help Von Wong create his own amazing experience. You can see from the expression of the Manila school children pictured below looking at the just-captured images, it’s pretty jaw-dropping.©Von Wonglast_img read more

Why effective leaders need organizational intelligence

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr If you’re a leader who’s been able to turn a company around or achieve tremendous growth, you might think you can have the same results anywhere. But that’s not necessarily the case. We see it all the time – a successful president/CEO/coach gets recruited to a struggling organization with high hopes, only to fall short of expectations.Oftentimes in these situations, what the leader lacks is organizational intelligence (OQ). None of our organizations operate the same way. We have different personalities to contend with, different expectations from our board members, members/customers, and other stakeholders. Leaders must recognize the organizational differences and know how to maneuver them to be effective.A recent Harvard Business Review article outlines the five competencies of strong OQ:Send messages that reinforce strategy – and minimize other messaging: A key component of leadership is incentivizing employees to do the work needed to achieve organizational goals. How you communicate those goals and employees’ contribution to them is critical. Find ways to reward behaviors that get your team closer to the end-line and constantly reinforce the notion that one person’s success is good for the entire group. continue reading »last_img read more

Repeat robbery offender remanded

first_imgRepeat offender Dwayne Hardy was remanded to prison when he appeared at the Georgetown Magistratesdwayne hardy’ Courts to answer to a robbery charge.The 29-year-old man appeared before city Magistrate Fabayo Azore to answer to two counts of robbery.Hardy denied both charges which stated on June 5, at Mandela Avenue, being in the company of others and armed with a knife, he robbed Devon Singh of one gold chain valued $180,000, property of Ryan Diaz. On the same day, at the same location, he also allegedly robbed Singh of a gold chain valued $400,000 and one gold earring worth $100,000.Hardy, who was not represented by an Attorney, had visible injuries to his left eye which was swollen. Magistrate Azore enquired about his injuries and he told the Court he was involved in a fight with another inmate.Police Prosecutor Deniro Jones told the Court that the case file was still incomplete, and made no objections to bail, but requested a substantial amount.Magistrate Azore refused bail citing the fact that Hardy was charged and incarcerated previously for matters of a similar nature. The case will continue on June 27.last_img read more

20 years of freedom – closing the gender gap in SA society

first_imgThis month, South Africa commemorates two decades of democratic freedom in the country and reflects on the journey taken to create a more equitable society for all citizens, says Phumla Williams, CEO of Government Communication and Information System (GCIS).“With the majority of women having suffered three-fold in the apartheid era – for being women, for being black and for being economically marginalised, a key determinant of our progress in building a better society will be to look at how far we have come in closing the gender gap, and on whether today’s society is better for both men and women as a result of our strong human rights culture and our constitutional framework.At a recent Play Your Part/Sowetan Dialogue discussion on our freedom, Advocate Pansy Tlakula, Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission, posed the question to assembled delegates: “Does legislation and policies really translate into a better life for those concerned?”When addressing this question in relation to the rights of women in South African society, she reflected on a case she had dealt with back in the late 1990s which demonstrated how, at times over the past two decades, the application of universal human rights would sometimes be at odds with traditional practices that have been practised for years in the country, and reflected on the impact of this on the people involved.She said: “In the early days of democracy I was confronted with a case of a minor who was married off by her family when she was 14 years old.  We managed to remove the minor from the family and placed her in a place of safety.  We subsequently arrested the person to whom she would have been married as well as the father of the girl and successfully prosecuted them. I was happy that we successfully protected a minor but when she turned 18 years old and could leave the place of safety where she had lived, she had no place to go as she was ostracised from her village for the dishonour she had brought to her family and village.”This case brought into sharp focus the multi-dimensionality of the implementation of human rights which must be balanced with cultural and family values and norms.However, in the years since that time, South Africa has made a great number of positive strides in narrowing the gender gap and creating a more equitable society for women in the country.In the most recent Global Gender Gap Report published by the World Economic Forum in October last year, South Africa had risen to 2nd place in the African country rankings for the continent’s most equal society in terms of gender parity and 17th place overall in the world rankings out of 135 countries.The Report’s Global Gender Gap Index, which has been published since 2006, is a framework for capturing the magnitude and scope of gender-based disparities in a country and tracking their progress over the years.  The report attributed the narrowing of the gender gap in South Africa to the government’s strong commitment to end discrimination against women since the birth of democracy back in 1994.The report also identified South Africa to be the best performing BRICS member country and second best performing individual G20 country in closing the gender gap in the areas of health, education, politics and economic equality.MAJOR LEAP TOWARD EQUALITYIn March this year, the journey towards achieving greater gender equity in South Africa took another major leap forward with the passing of a government bill aimed at empowering women and promoting gender equality. The Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill was passed on 5 March in the National Assembly, a move welcomed by the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities.The Bill calls for the progressive realisation of at least 50% representation of women in decision-making structures.  It also aims at improving access to education, training and skills development. The Bill also seeks to promote and protect women’s reproductive health, and eliminate discrimination and harmful practices, including gender-based violence.The Minister for Women, Lulu Xingwana, welcomed the decision to adopt the Bill, saying: “The women of South Africa have said to us that they cannot wait any longer to share in the fruits of our democracy”.  However, she also pointed out that while significant strides had been made to empower women and promote gender equality, a disproportionate burden of the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment was still borne by women.The fact is that since the birth of democracy 20 years ago, great strides have indeed been made on the journey towards achieving greater gender equality in South Africa.  More girl children than in 1994 are today gaining access to education, passing primary and secondary education, and obtaining degrees at universities.  More women are taking their place in government and key decision-making roles in the corporate environment.  A social security net which benefits in excess of 16 million people, 13 million of which are children, has been created.However, whilst significant challenges still remain, particularly the scourge of violence against women and children and the impact of poverty on women, the introduction of greater legislation that protects the rights of women and oversees the integration of gender equity principles into government and the private sector can only be a good thing.The passing of the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill provides the necessary legislative tools to help drive greater gender equality in the country and promote opportunities for women to enjoy equal representation in decision-making positions across government and the corporate sector.The Bill also aims to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and girls, including those with disabilities, and seeks to address any practices that violate women’s rights to social, political, economic and cultural freedoms.  The Bill also provides for the monitoring of legislation to address discrimination and violence against women, as well as access to services and economic emancipation.According to the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Index, there is a strong correlation between a country’s gender gap and its national competitiveness. Because women typically account for one-half of a country’s potential talent base, a nation’s competitiveness in the long term depends significantly on whether and how it educates and utilizes its women in society.We must bear in mind here in South Africa looks to maximize its position as a proactive member of the BRICS grouping of nations in the global marketplace.  Ultimately, whilst South Africa has come a long way in the past 20 years in closing the gender gap, much work remains to be done if women are to fulfill their potential and make the necessary contribution to the country’s future development and position in the world.  Every citizen, male and female, has a responsibility in helping to make this happen – it is in South Africa’s, and indeed every woman’s, best interests.”First published in The Starlast_img read more

Ask Curiosity Anything: Mars Rover Takes Reddit Questions

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Editor’s note: This post was originally published by our partners at PopSugar Tech.Scientists and engineers from the Mars Curiosity rover team took to Reddit this week to answer just about every question Redditors have long been waiting to ask. In honor of the one-year anniversary of Curiosity’s Martian landing, the group of women (cheers to the ladies in science!) covered everything from humans on Mars to a typical day for the rover to the biggest discoveries yet. Here, the most striking facts about the rover and her (yes, apparently Curiosity identifies as female) 12 months spent on the Red Planet.What has been the most significant discovery so far?“The results from our first rock drilling told us that the past environment, when that mudstone rock formed, was suitable for life. The mudstone formed in an ancient river system or an intermittently wet lake bed that could have provided the chemical energy and other favorable conditions for microbial life, if life existed then. This ancient wet environment was not harshly oxidizing, acidic or extremely salty. All the necessary chemical building blocks were available.” — Joy Crisp, Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Deputy Project ScientistWill Curiosity ever be in the presence of a human again?“NASA does plan to send humans to Mars in the future, but it is unlikely we would send them to check out the existing rovers on the surface. Too many other interesting places to explore. Mars has the surface area of Earth, minus the oceans.” — Sarah Marcotte, Mars Public EngagementIf conditions were good for life, why has no hard evidence been found to show that life did exist there in the past?What happened to all of the water that used to be there? “Over millions of years the water evaporated because the atmosphere got too thin to support it in liquid form. Mars does not have a global magnetic field the way Earth does, which helps shield the atmosphere from [being] stripped away by the sun’s damaging radiation. So while there is plenty of CO2 and H2O ice, no liquid is possible. If life arose on Mars, it would have been millions or even billions of years ago, and preserving evidence of life for billions of years is very hard. So the evidence could be there and we haven’t found it, or life didn’t arise. We have to find out!” — Sarah MarcotteCould Curiosity be drilling through Martian bacteria without anyone knowing it due to its strange shape or composition?“We believe that all forms of life will share basic chemical components which the rover can detect, even if they have been sitting around Mars for billions of years. Curiosity [is] not designed to find extant life, but is designed to find those building blocks of life, carbon, nitrogen, O2, sulfur, etc.” — Sarah MarcotteHow advanced would you say Curiosity is in terms of its current A.I. capabilities (Perhaps compared to Google’s self-driving car)?Do you envision a near future possibility that we could deploy a sentient rover on Mars? “Curiosity has autonomous driving capabilities which are constantly being improved. However, for the first year we drive very carefully by using humans to review the pictures and choose the path across Mars. Curiosity has systems to keep herself safe if she thinks it will run over a cliff. However, when we have a far distance to travel and don’t plan on checking out every interesting rock, Curiosity will be able to pick a way point and get herself there.” — Sarah MarcotteWhat type of fuel does Curiousity use?“Curiosity has an MMRTG (Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator) that provides about 100W of power continuously along with a Lithium Ion battery that has ~80 AHr capacity. That’s enough energy to keep us awake and heating/operating for about six to eight hours per day depending on what we’re doing.” — Jennifer Trosper, MSL Deputy Project ManagerA view of the Gale Crater from Curiosity’s perspectiveHow did you come up with the rover’s charming personality for Twitter and Facebook?“Curiosity had the benefit of learning a lot from a previous Twitter account for @MarsPhoenix (2008). It was obvious during @MarsPhoenix that using first person was the best way to go. People were more responsive to the first person and it was easier to fit tweets into 140 characters. Curiosity is a mashup of personalities from three of us working together to do the posts each day. We want to make it fun but educational and interactive.” — Veronica McGregor, Curiosity Social Media TeamWhat does the average day entail for an employee working on the Mars Curiosity Rover Mission?“I am on Curiosity mission operations. In the beginning of the mission my average day involved setting my alarm clock 40 min later each day so I could stay on Curiosity’s schedule. Now, we are on more of a normal schedule. I come into mission ops each morning to take a look at all of the data as it comes down. I analyze the data to understand the health of the rover mechanisms. The team uses this information to plan the next days activities. When I’m done with assessments for the day I typically work in the testbed with Curiosity’s twin testing new software updates.” — Megan Richardson, Mechanisms Downlink EngineerWhat’s the programming language is used to control the rover?“C and C++ using the VxWorks OS running on a RAD 750 processor.” — Jennifer TrosperThe JPL women behind this week’s Reddit AMA.What is the Curiosity team’s most common degrees and educational background?“Mechanical engineering seems to be the majority in the room but we have a scientist and some communications majors too!” — Carolina Martinez, Mars Public Engagement“Most of our team that builds the rover are engineers: mechanical, software, aerospace, electrical, etc. A lot of the team that operates the rover are scientists: geologists, imaging scientists.” — Jennifer TrosperImages via Twitter user MarsCuriosity and NASA/JPL-CaltechMore stories from PopSugar Tech:Hi! A Platform That Turns Social Media Into Stories7 iPhone Sleep Aids For a Better Night’s RestTwelfth Doctor to be Revealed This Sunday — Live on TV!The Audiophile Guide: Speakers, Streaming, and SyncingHow to Go on a Summer (Digital) Break! A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… kelly schwarze Tags:#Curiosity#PopSugar Tech#Reddit#science center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

a month agoAndy Carroll delighted to be fully fit and back at Newcastle

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Andy Carroll delighted to be fully fit and back at Newcastleby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveAndy Carroll is delighted to be fully fit and back at Newcastle United.Carroll is desperate to make up for lost time and prove the doubters wrong.He said, “When I left Newcastle I was enjoying my football. I was scoring goals. Yes, it’s been pretty tough since.“I’ve grown up massively. I’ve made mistakes in the past but I now know what life is all about.” last_img

Rep LaFave plan removes overregulation from Michigans natural resources laws

first_img Categories: LaFave News 26Sep Rep. LaFave plan removes overregulation from Michigan’s natural resources laws State Rep. Beau LaFave, of Iron Maintain, today announced a plan to decriminalize and repeal dozens of non-violent offenses outdoor enthusiasts might unknowingly commit.LaFave said his legislation will help ensure the punishment fits the crime when it comes to offenses laid out in Michigan’s Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act.“Failing to put your name and address on your ice fishing tip-up shouldn’t land you 90 days in jail – but it could, under current law,” LaFave said. “The same punishment could currently apply if you allowed someone with a learning disability to drive a four-wheeler or tied your boat up to a neighbor’s pier.“While some of these actions are not advisable, I think we can all agree that you shouldn’t be thrown in jail for forgetting to wear your ‘hunter orange’ hat.”LaFave’s plan, laid out in House Bill 6362, would eliminate scores of non-violent misdemeanor offenses and reduce others to civil infractions punishable by fines, but not jail time.“Even a minor misdemeanor conviction can have serious consequences on Upper Peninsula residents,” LaFave said. “People have to shell out money for court costs and lawyers. Worse yet, it becomes harder for them to find jobs to help support their families.“While I am a fervent supporter of justice, we must draw a line at lunacy. It’s time to take a serious look at the consequences of overregulating the enjoyment of our great outdoors.”The legislation was referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.###last_img read more