27 July 2011South Africa’s Standard Bank Group has again been named Africa’s top bank in The Banker magazine’s 2011 rankings of the world’s top banks by their Tier 1 capital.It also rose from 106th to 94th place in the list of 1000 top banks in the world.Standard Bank Group Deputy CEO Sim Tshabalala said the bank’s continued rise up The Banker’s rankings table demonstrated the group’s strength and ability to implement its strategy across Africa.“It is particularly pleasing to achieve a top ranking on the basis of objective criteria applied by an independent journal,” Tshabalala said in a statement this month. “The ranking points again to the substance in our strategy to keep Africa firmly at the core of Standard Bank Group.”Leading global journalThe Banker is a leading global journal of the banking sector. Its annual top 1 000 world banks survey is to show banks’ soundness in relation to the Basel requirement of a minimum ratio of Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets of 4% (increasing to 7% by 2019), and a minimum ratio of total capital to risk-weighted assets of 8%.In its July edition, The Banker says that Standard Bank has increased its Tier 1 capital to US$12.06-billion, an increase of 26.15% on the previous year and almost twice as much as the second-ranked bank.“The strong capital position, highlighted by The Banker’s rankings, provides a stable platform for further growth,” Tshabalala said. “We will continue to build first-class, on-the-ground banking franchises in chosen markets in Africa, investing in people, branch networks and systems.”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
zoom Excelerate Energy Bangladesh Limited (Excelerate) has awarded Svitzer a fifteen-year contract to provide marine support services at Bangladesh’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal, to be located offshore Moheshkhali Island in the Bay of Bengal.Bangladesh’s first LNG import terminal will enable Petrobangla, the state owned energy company, to increase natural gas supply in the country by up to 20 percent, sufficient to support up to 3,000 MW of power generation capacity.The construction of the terminal will commence in the fourth quarter of 2017 and is anticipated to be in service by mid-2018.Svitzer will serve the facility with a suite of five vessels – three Robert Allen RAstar 3200 Ocean Going Terminal tugs under construction at the Cheoy Lee Shipyard in China, one 36m Crew Boat under construction at the Penguin Shipyard and the MSV Svitzer Foxtrot from the existing fleet.Svitzer said it would establish a Bangladesh branch office to oversee the operation.“It is a vote of confidence that Excelerate chose Svitzer to support their operations in Bangladesh, recognizing that we have a great deal of experience operating tugs and other support vessels,” Svitzer’s Alan Bradley said.According to Bradley, the contract is in line with Svitzer’s global expansion into the oil and gas terminal towage sector.”
CALGARY (660 NEWS) — Since 1976, Black History Month has celebrated African-American triumphs. As the NHL formally recognizes Black History Month for the first time, a former NHLer is reflecting on the hardships he endured on and off the ice.As a former winger for the Vancouver Canucks and New Jersey Devils, Claude Vilgrain has experienced racism during the three decades he was an amateur and professional player from the 70s to 90s. His first game in the juniors playing in Montreal he was targeted by fans and players for the colour of his skin.They would make “monkey sounds, and say ‘go back to Africa,’” he said. “I was shocked.” It was his first time he had left the protection of his suburb in Quebec City and experienced the blatant racism.“That was the worst hockey game I ever played and after that, I swore I would never let that bother me,” he said.Born in Haiti, Vilgrain moved to Quebec City when he was a child where he fell in love with the game of hockey.“I was always the black kid unless I played with my brother,” he said. “I went through the ‘hey blackie’ or after games kids not shaking my hand.”Though the NHL is making efforts to put racial diversity front and centre, minority players like P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators still endure racism from fans. One man was charged for throwing a banana onto the ice in the direction of Wayne Simmonds, then forward for the Flyers, during a pre-season game in London, Ont.READ MORE: Karl Subban on racism, in-game protests and the power of sportOne of the most famous African-American NHL players is Willie O’Ree, whose known for breaking the colour barrier in the sport. Vilgrain had the opportunity to speak with him many years ago.“I finally met Willie O’Ree maybe 30 years ago, and I heard his story and it was amazing how he managed to play,” he said. “My story paled in comparison to his story.”READ MORE: NHL to celebrate Black History Month for first time The NHL has since created a mobile museum to showcase the role of minorities in the game. Today, there are roughly 20 black players currently on NHL rosters.With files from CityNews’ Brittany Rosen.
On Wednesday 44 year old Eddy Cerant took condom use to an entirely new level… at least in recent history. Police say the man, now charged with possession of controlled drugs used a transparent condom to store cocaine. Related Items:Eddy Cerant charged with possession of controlled drugs, man found hiding drugs in condom, man gets 9 months in prison and deportation after being found with drugs coming in on a flight from Grand Turk It is still important to curtailing sexually transmitted diseases and even a new mosquito borne virus, namely ZIKA is fended off with the use of a condom. A tip to Police led to the search, arrest and conviction of Eddy Cerant. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, September 12, 2016 – Condoms; first introduced in the year 1855 as a means of birth control with their popularity and importance soaring once HIV/AIDS became an epidemic. The man entered a guilty plea on Friday and is sentenced to 9 months in jail for the crime; after which he will be deported to Haiti. Add to the strange choice of a hiding place for the cocaine, the man hid the 144 grams or four ounces of illicit drugs in his anal area; that is where Police found it when he was searched after disembarking a flight from Grand Turk on September 8, 2016.
1) Do an a/b split on your email blast and send half in the morning, half in the afternoon and see if one responds better than the other. Do this several times to see if you can determine a pattern.2) Test html and text versions of the same email. Text may but ugly, but ugliness did not stop Frankenstein’s monster from getting a bride!3) If the first email does not succeed, send it again. Very often response is better on the resend (and resend of the resend) than on the original deployment.4) Make sure your html does not have too many images because this can cause spam filters to go into hyper drive.5) I know spam filters supposedly hate the word “free,” but test it, you may be surprised. “Free” does work in some cases.It is a good idea to send out a re-qualification effort on controlled books over a three-week period. The first is deployed on Tuesday, the follow up nine days later on Thursday and a final follow up six days later on the Wednesday. Very often, the response on Wednesday is higher than the previous Thursday’s response. Why? I don’t have a clue, but that is what makes being the rule-maker fun! Despite best intentions, it seems as though response to email efforts is still difficult to predict. Quite why this is, I am not sure, but the “usual” rules of marketing just don’t apply to an email effort, be it for new subscriptions, renewals, re-qualifications or other products.Even the rules that have been established do not apply all the time. I am constantly told not to send an email out on Friday, yet many of the email blasts I send on a Friday get good results. The problem is, what works this Friday may not work next Friday, but there is no obvious reason why. I am told the best time to send an email is at 6:00 am, so the email is in the recipient’s inbox when they start to look through their email. I tried this. It failed the first time, worked the second time, and the third time most of the messages seemed to get delayed since many of the responses came back the following afternoon.Until the rules are standardized and predictable, you need to be the rule maker. Try a few simple tests to see what works and, just as importantly, doesn’t work for you.
Sarah Tew/CNET If you have a serious home-theater system, or even a semiserious one with three or more components, a universal remote control is a wonderful thing. The best universal remotes can unify all those different device clickers into a single wand in a way that can feel magical. All of the best universal remote options have superior ergonomics, with more intuitive button layouts and a better feel than standard remotes. And many of them work with your smartphone or voice systems like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. My family and I have used many of the remotes on this list to control my main home-theater system for months or years at a time. At various points they’ve controlled multiple devices including my TVs, AV receivers, game consoles, Roku streamers and even a cable box DVR. My family uses the system as much as I do, and my main criteria in a universal remote is making it simple enough for a child to operate.Here are my favorite choices for best universal remote over the years that are currently available, in ascending order of price.Note that CNET may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site. Read the Logitech Companion review My pick for the best universal remote for the money, is the Companion, a real remote tied to a Harmony Hub. Since the Harmony Hub handles the actual command sending you don’t have to aim the remote and risk one of your devices missing a command — which leads to confusion and delay. The remote is slick and easy to hold, and the battery lasts for months. In my years of using it at home, the main things I missed are backlighting behind the keys and a remote finder. Logitech Harmony Companion: $105 Sarah Tew/CNET Read the Logitech Harmony 650 review Caavo Control Center: $60 plus service fee Read the Logitech Harmony Express preview Read the Amazon Fire TV Cube review Read the Caavo Control Center preview See at Amazon Comments Logitech Harmony wrote the book on the universal remote control, and these are its most basic clickers I can recommend. The main appeal over a cheaper, non-Harmony-based remote controller, or the clicker that comes with your cable box, is the activity-based control. Press the “Watch TV” or “Listen to Music” buttons and the remote controller turns on all the relevant devices (such as your smart TV, blue-ray player, cable box and AV receiver), switches to the right inputs and maps the keys to that activity (Volume to the receiver and Channel up/down to the cable box, for example). Unlike more-expensive Harmonys (below), which use a universal remote app for setup and control, you’ll have to use Harmony’s Mac- or PC-based software to program the remote. The 650 and 665 also rely on IR (infrared) codes emitted from the front of the remote — if you want point-anywhere convenience, you’ll have to spend up for a system with a hub.The 665 is the only one currently listed on Harmony’s site but the 650 is identical (aside from color and number of devices each can control) and can often be found for less, especially refurbished. Harmony Elite: $250 Now we’re getting into big spending territory. The Elite’s main draw over the Companion is its screen, and for most users it’s just not worth it. The touch screen makes it more versatile than cheaper models, especially for calling up favorite channels and Roku apps, and the full backlighting is great. Unfortunately, both suck a lot of battery power so you (and your family) will need to remember to park the remote in its dock on the reg. The Hub is the only clicker on this list that doesn’t actually include a clicker. Instead, you control everything using the Harmony smartphone app — or by talking to your Alexa or Google Home speaker. The hub itself nestles deep in your AV cabinet, blasting out Infrared, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals to your equipment. This Harmony smart control is a great system if you live on your smartphone, but for most people investing in a real remote is worth the extra few bucks. Share your voice See at Amazon See at Amazon Amazon Fire TV Cube: $120 Logitech’s newest all-in-one remote control is its most voice-centric yet. Like the Caavo, you can use voice commands to control stuff by talking into the smart control, but unlike Caavo, the Express can talk back in Alexa’s voice. It’s like having a miniature Alexa speaker in your hand. After a couple months as my family’s main remote I find myself wanting an actual power button — you have to say “Turn on the TV” or “Watch Netflix” or even “Turn off the TV” to get stuff to happen — but my main quibble is its high price. As Harmony’s only remote with a finder function, however, this is still the one I’d get if money wasn’t an object. The wacky Cube is a mashup of universal remote controls, Fire TV 4K streamer and Amazon Echo speaker. It comes with a remote but its keys are sparse and rudimentary: real device control happens via your voice. The Cube has an IR blaster to control your gear and a mic sensitive enough to hear your commands over the blare of music. On the downside, you’ll need to keep your old remotes around for many functions.This controlling device is often sold for as little as $80 or less, so definitely wait for a sale — or Prime Day — before buying it. Sarah Tew/CNET Logitech Harmony 650/665: $50 Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Logitech Harmony Hub: $70 TVs Media Streamers Logitech Harmony See at Amazon Sarah Tew/CNET Sarah Tew Amazon Bluetooth Best Buy Google Logitech Roku Tags Read the Logitech Harmony Elite review See at Amazon 4 See at Best Buy Caavo’s Control Center is one of two non-Harmony remotes on this list and is also the second-cheapest, but there’s a catch. To get Caavo’s advanced features, you’ll need to shell out bank for the service fee. It costs $4 per month, $40 per year or $130 for the lifetime of the remote. Unlike Harmony, Caavo Control Center includes an HDMI switch in addition to the smart remote. You plug your stuff into the switch and it handles the rest, including automatically recognizing your gear during setup. Caavo has its own voice control system and onscreen display to help you find stuff to watch, the clicker itself is simple and elegant and the remote finder is gold. Like the hub-based Harmonys below, Caavo doesn’t require line of sight (the switch acts as the hub) and will also work with voice commands from Alexa and Google Home speakers. Logitech Harmony Express: $250 See at Amazon
Close A court in California has slapped a $7.3m (£4.6m, €6.6m) fine on taxi-app firm Uber for not disclosing enough information about its operations to regulators, besides recommending suspension of its operations across the state.The ruling, by an administrative law judge of the California Public Utilities Commission, came as a result of the company withholding data on the number of requests for rides from people with disabilities, causes of accidents and places where drivers tend to turn down ride requests, the Associated Press news agency reported.The judge held that failure to disclose the information violated state laws passed in 2013 that allowed firms such as Uber to operate.The news is the latest blow to San Francisco-based Uber, which is fighting numerous legal battles with governments around the world over its business practices.A spokeswoman for the ride-sharing giant called the ruling deeply disappointing and said the company would appeal the decision.We will appeal the decision as Uber has already provided substantial amounts of data to the California Public Utilities Commission, information we have provided elsewhere with no complaints, spokeswoman Eva Behrend was quoted as saying.Juan Matute, associate director of the Lewis Centre and the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California in Los Angeles, said the fine was not that significant to the firm, which is valued at an estimated $50bn.The $7.3m fine and the data they are asking to provide is not that significant in the grand scheme of things, he told the Los Angeles Times.This would seem like a small consolation to improve their chance of success with other regulatory issues that could have a bigger impact on them.Ubers app allows consumers with smartphones to submit ride requests which are serviced by drivers in the area who use their own cars.The company, which is backed by the likes of Google and Goldman Sachs, has faced protests from taxi companies the world over for its use of crowd-sourced drivers, some allegedly unlicensed.
Share Austin Price / The Texas TribuneA customer uses a credit card to pay for lunch. A new law in Texas will enable retailers to ask for photo identification with credit or debit card purchases and turn down a transaction if buyers won’t show it.A law that takes effect in January will allow Texas merchants to ask for photo identification for credit and debit card purchases – and turn down transactions if a buyer won’t show it.The aim of the law — which the Legislature passed during the regular session that ended in May — is to reduce debit and credit card fraud. Though merchants will sometimes pick up the tab for money lost to fraud, it often falls to banks to absorb the losses and replace compromised cards. “We end up taking a lot of losses,” said Kevin Monk, executive vice president and chief operations officer at Alliance Bank, based in Sulphur Springs. “One card breach can have a significant impact.”Merchants can ask to see photo ID, but contracts they have with credit card companies often bar them from declining a transaction if a customer refuses to show it. “I think most people, like me, were surprised that merchants cannot already do this,” said state Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, who authored the legislation. “The intent of the law is to give Texas businesses the right to take this common sense step of asking for an ID for a credit card transaction,” especially as fraud and identity theft become more common. Payments made using a mobile wallet are exempt from the photo ID measure.Despite the law’s intent, Hughes said that some credit card companies “are taking the position that their agreements (with merchants) will supersede or override” it.Because the new law says merchants may – instead of must – decline a transaction if ID is not provided, “it’s not necessarily requiring them to violate their contract,” said Colin Marks, a professor at St. Mary’s University School of Law and an expert on contracts. Credit card companies could tell merchants that the law “doesn’t require you to turn (customers who don’t show ID) down, and you contractually agreed that you would not,” he said.That’s what Keith Strama, a lobbyist for Visa, suggested to lawmakers during hearings on the bill in April. He said that the law would be confusing to retailers.“The last thing we want to do is get in a legal dispute about how this bill applies to our contracts,” Strama said.Strama told legislators the measure could penalize Texans without photo identification who rely on debit cards issued by the government for certain benefit programs. He added that the law goes against an industry push to get customers’ information out of the hands of store clerks who could be bad actors.Several other groups opposed the legislation, including a state retailers association whose lobbyist suggested that letting employees determine which customers must show an ID could be perceived as discriminatory or biased.Stephen Scurlock, executive vice president of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas, said at the hearings he was “baffled” by the “hostile fire” the bill had drawn. “It is totally permissive. There are no liability shifts. There are are no mandates, and there are no penalties.”Losses from fraud are a major concern for community banks across the state, said Scurlock, whose organization pushed for the measure.Litigation would likely be needed to determine if state law overrules the credit card companies’ contracts, Marks said. A card company, for example, might sue a Texas merchant that declines to process card transactions.Even if the state law takes precedence over current contracts, supporters and opponents of the measure don’t think it alone will stymie many instances of fraud. They say chip-card readers and biometric identification – like the fingerprint used to unlock some phones – could help better protect card holders. And they hope progress will be made on different fraud prevention technologies by 2023, when the law is set to expire.“I don’t think it will stop a significant amount of fraud,” Monk said of the new law. But “I think anything we can do will help.”
Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Researchers from Harvard University and the University of Hawaii at Manoa recently announced a new method for organizing nanowires and carbon nanotubes across large areas: blowing bubbles. Bubble blowing, or blown-film extrusion, is a well developed technique used in industry, such as in plastic-film manufacturing, where polymers are melted and inflated into balloons that can be collapsed and cut. However, this is the first time that this approach has been used in nanoscience research. The scientists suspended each type of nanostructure in a polymer-based liquid and created large bubbles using a circular die and controlled pressure. The very thin wall of each bubble (a few hundred nanometers thick) contains an even, well organized and aligned distribution of nanostructures. When an expanding bubble is placed against a surface, the bubble wall is transferred to it. This allows a thin film with a controllable nanostructure density and pattern to be deposited onto relatively large wafers, plastic sheets, and curved surfaces.“This ability is necessary for many proposed optical and electronic applications for nanowires and nanotubes but, so far, other methods cannot be extended to the large-scale assembly of nanowires and nanotubes on both flexible and rigid substrates,” said Harvard scientist Charles Lieber, the paper’s corresponding author, to PhysOrg.com.Lieber and his colleagues worked with two types of nanowires – silicon and cadmium sulfide – and both single- and multi-walled carbon nanotubes. In each case, they were able to produce bubbles with diameters greater than 25 centimeters (cm) and heights greater than 50 cm. The films were transferred to various surfaces: a silicon wafer 20 cm in diameter, a flexible plastic sheet with dimensions of 22.5 cm x 30 cm, and a half cylinder 2.5 cm in diameter and 6 cm long.The researchers say that by using larger dies and learning how to gain greater control of the expansion process they could potentially create bubbles up to a few meters in dimension as is achieved in today’s plastic-film industry. This means that films larger than one meter across could be produced and transferred, opening up the potential of new large-area electronics applications using nanowires and nanotubes.Lieber and his colleagues illustrated this potential by using a silicon-nanowire blown-bubble film to create a large array of nanowire-based transistors on 7.5-cm-diameter plastic sheets. The transistors’ properties and performance compare to, and often exceed, those created using other assembly methods. By using higher performance nanowires, the scientists expect that significant improvements are possible.“Our method has the added advantage of being a more straightforward and efficient approach than other techniques in terms of making functional nanodevices over large areas,” said Lieber.The scientists do concede that the nanowire density and wire-to-wire distance of the silicon-nanowire film currently achieved are “modest,” but can be further increased by preparing a higher concentration polymer suspension of nanostructures. However, they say, those values are still useful for some applications, such as biological sensor arrays and display screens.This research is discussed in the May 27 online edition of Nature Nanotechnology.Citation: Guihua Yu, Anyuan Cao and Charles M. Lieber, Nature Nanotechnology, 2007, 2, 372-377.Copyright 2007 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Citation: ‘Blown Bubble’ Method Disperses Nanostructures Over Large Areas (2007, June 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-06-blown-method-disperses-nanostructures-large.html New technology gives insight into how nanomaterials form and grow A blown-bubble film (bubble diameter is 35 cm, height is 50 cm) that has coated the surface of two silicon wafers. Credit: Charles Lieber, et al.