Fire destroys building in Albert Street

Fire destroys building in Albert Street

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Drought roadshow debate a major success

Drought roadshow debate a major success

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Identifying small species at IngulaIdentifying small species at Ingula

Identifying small species at IngulaIdentifying small species at Ingula

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Younger generations pose biggest cybersecurity threat to businesses

Younger generations pose biggest cybersecurity threat to businesses

first_imgYounger generations have been revealed as the biggest security threat to businesses as one in ten (10%) Millennials admitted that they would knowingly use a work device that was under cyber-attack. Meanwhile, 42% of Gen Z office workers confessed that they have lost a device that was linked to their work email account.The survey of 500 Irish office workers was commissioned by specialist IT solutions distributor, DataSolutions, and carried out by Censuswide in May 2019.Lifting the lid on some of the biggest cybersecurity threats facing businesses today, the study found that 19% of all Irish office workers have sent sensitive work-related information to the wrong email recipient. Furthermore, 14% of Irish office workers have copied sensitive company data from previous or current employers for their own use.The findings also reveal that 28% of Gen Z employees admitted to having access to company information or private logins from a previous employer, followed by Millennials (16%), Gen Xs (9%) and Baby Boomers (8%).Gen Z was also found to be the most suspicious generation when it comes to hackers targeting devices used on a daily basis. In fact, Gen Z office workers topped every category as the most concerned group in relation to the hacking of internet connected devices including game consoles, wearables, smart security cameras, and smart TVs.For example, 25% of Gen Z office workers are worried about their wearables (such as smart watches) being hacked, compared to 15% of Millennials, 19% of Gen Xs and 15% of Baby Boomers.Overall, the survey found that across all generations, the devices that Irish office workers fear most being hacked are their smart security cameras (31%), followed by smart home alarms (30%) and smart home voice assistants (28%).Commenting on the survey findings, Dave Keating, Group Security Director, DataSolutions, said: “It’s clear from our survey findings that Irish office workers, albeit some more than others, are cautious because of the threat of cyber-attacks.“While it is a positive sign that the younger generations place an emphasis on internet security, we can see that this awareness doesn’t always translate into action. For example, when the WhatsApp security breach occurred earlier this year, everybody was talking about it, but how many people immediately went on and actually deleted or upgraded the app on their phone? I’d say fewer than you think.“That’s why employers cannot take for granted that their employees will take steps to stave off an attack when they have other work commitments or if it impacts on the use of their devices. Business leaders need to remain alert to the dangers that human error and carelessness can pose. “The fact that one in ten Millennial Irish office workers would choose to still use a device that they know is under cyber-attack is a clear indication that business leaders need to safeguard themselves by putting the right solutions and strategies in place. “If they don’t, the security and possibly the future of their organisation is at stake. As we will be discussing at this year’s Secure Computing Forum in the RDS on 12th September, cyber-attacks and breaches can be detrimental, not only in terms of costs and resources but also more critically, reputations. We will present lots of useful tips and advice on how to safeguard against cyber-attacks.”last_img read more

IGIST creating positive female space hero role models with LS Larson

IGIST creating positive female space hero role models with LS Larson

first_imgHow important is it for people to use the app, and / or for the book to stand on its own merits too?I think the compelling story in the book stands on its own, but the app really enhances the reading experience. With the app, readers can transform the black and white illustrations in the book into colorful animations and unearth hidden animations by scanning other parts of the book, like the front cover. Readers can even turn themselves into a hologram and add their favorite characters to their photos with Character Stickers in the IGIST app.The response from readers has been really positive. One of my favorite pieces of feedback came from The Write Way blog. They said we “made reading fun again.” I think using the app to interact with the book is the most fun way to experience IGIST. If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCocking How can people find out more about you & your work?You can follow @igistuniverse on Instagram to get a behind the scenes look at our epic book tour and sneak peaks of Book 2 concept art. We’re also on Facebook and Twitter @IGIST_studios. I’m @ls_larson.Who are you sci-fi writer heroes?H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, and Aldous Huxley to name a few. The Time Machine and Brave New World were two of my favorite stories I read growing up. Asimov’s Foundation is one of my favorite series. I’m also a huge fan of the fantasy genre and authors like C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?Those were great questions. Thank you for having me.More about IGIST, available from Amazon here.IGIST follows the challenges and triumphs of Emi, a 14 year-old Earthling girl that dreams of getting into the renowned Intergalactic Institute of Science and Technology, or IGIST. The odds are stacked against her however. As humanity has spread across the galaxy they have grown to look down on the Bygones left on the brain-drained backwater of planet Earth and have no interest in stopping the Plague that ravages the people left there.As Emi strives to become the first Earthling in 20 years to gain admittance to IGIST she meets an incredible cast of out-of-this-world characters: business tycoons from the asteroid belt, yak-men of the Warden Corps,  snobby Martians, holographic deep-space Scouts, and of course her droid sidekick Sadee. Immerse yourself in the universe of IGIST, and find out if Emi has what it takes to save her home.Download IGIST on iOS: https://t.co/d3M5t1T6mo or on Android: https://t.co/oZilThSy3l As old stars die, new stars are born! #YAauthorTakeover pic.twitter.com/uhvemKiDTc— WATCH ? LISTEN ? READ ? (@YoungEntmag) May 2, 2019More information about Irish Tech News and the Business ShowcaseFYI the ROI for you is => We now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 16000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview, or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions for informative and different articles. Contact us, by email, twitter or whatever social media works for you.Homecenter_img Interesting interview with L.S. Larson, author of IGIST and President at AxonIGIST, creating positive female space hero role models with L.S. LarsonWhat is your background briefly?My name is L.S. Larson. I grew up in Washington State on the Olympic Peninsula in the small town of Forks, which is actually where Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series takes place. I now live in Arizona and run a company calleIGISd Axon, which is known for making body cameras and the TASER device for law enforcement and civilians.I wrote my first book 10 years ago after I had just finished my second tour in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, serving as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps. This book called Senator’s Son was about my experience in the Iraq War. In the years that followed, I put most of my time and energy into my day job at Axon and raising my family. My daughters then inspired me to start writing IGIST.Does it seem like a logical background to what you do now?Yes, I’m still at Axon and so for my day job, I collaborate with engineers and other technologists. I’ve learned a lot from the smart and talented people I’ve had the great opportunity of working with at Axon. Working there has expanded my worldview and so has raising a family. A few years ago, my oldest daughter, Kendall, who’s now 10, sat in on an earnings call with me. After the call was finished, Kendall said something very interesting to me.She asked why weren’t there any women on the call. That was an eye-opening moment, specifically the phrase: you can’t become what you can’t see. So instead of just sitting back and hoping there would be someone my daughters could look up to in a lead role in something like Back to the Future or Harry Potter, I decided to create a series where there was one.It’s a big reason I wrote my latest book, IGIST. Research shows that only 11% of physicists and astronomers are women. Only 8% of mechanical engineers are women. There’s a massive gender gap within STEM professions. My hope is that IGIST will inspire my daughters and more young women to study STEM. My ultimate dream is that 10 or 12 years from now when the first person walks on Mars, she’ll be a scientist who was inspired to explore space from reading IGIST as a kid.1 min pitch for what you are doing now?200 years in the future, Earth is not so nice a place. A plague has turned the planet into a dystopia and has terrorized the bygones left on Earth. Meanwhile, humans in the cosmos push the boundaries of space exploration, opening up new vistas for humanity. The best and brightest explorers and scientists are educated and trained at IGIST, the Intergalactic Institute of Science and Technology, kind of like an MIT in space. The IGIST series follows Emi, a 14 year-old Earthling, who dreams of becoming a great scientist like her mother, studying at IGIST, and learning how to create an antidote to save the universe from the plague.Readers can experience Emi’s stellar adventure as a traditional paperback book and they can get transported to the future and immersed in the cosmos with the IGIST app that brings the book to life with beautiful photorealistic illustrations, cinematic CG animations, and Augmented Reality filters which are also really fun. We’ve found that IGIST really appeals to kids who historically haven’t been readers. It’s also been a hit with critics. One described IGIST as “Star Wars meets Harry Potter.” Another said “IGIST reads like the Da Vinci Code.”Congrats on the book, did you enjoy writing it, what was your inspiration?Thanks! Creating IGIST was a lot of fun mostly because of the people I got to work with. I actually collaborated with my oldest daughter Kendall on the story. I would write a chapter before work and then Kendall would read the chapter that night and give me her feedback. Kendall and my younger daughters, Kaylee and London, inspired me to get up at 4 AM every morning and write IGIST. Another big inspiration for me came from Axon, which as I mentioned earlier, makes the TASER device.The inventor of the TASER was a NASA scientist named Jack Cover. When Jack was a kid, his favorite book series was called Thomas A. Swift and His Electric Rifle. The Tom Swift series inspired Jack to become an inventor and he actually named the TASER device after Tom Swift, who in every book plot would come up against an existential crisis and save the day with one of his inventions. I think of Emi, the protagonist of IGIST, as a strong and smart distant relative of Tom Swift.A few years ago when I was mapping out the first IGIST book, I had noticed that my daughters, nieces, and nephews enjoyed apps like TikTok and games like Fortnite which do a great job of utilizing the amazing technological capabilities of smartphones. Yet, E-readers and most E-reading apps have shied away from innovating the digital reading experience in favor of a flat, relatively boring platform. My goal with the IGIST app was to create an immersive digital reading experience that took advantage of the smartphone’s incredible functionalities.When I was mapping out IGIST and came up with the plague, an amoeba-like monster that gobbles up anything in its path, I envisioned it popping off the screen, surprising the viewer. And so the first “Sputnik” animation was born. I had a blast creating the IGIST app with a super talented team of animators, illustrators, and computer programmers. We’re all proud of the first IGIST Immersive Novel experience.How many books do you plan / hope / intend to write in the series?I’ve mapped out five IGIST books. I’m also working with other authors on stories we’re developing as Immersive Novels in the IGIST app. I think we’ve created a new medium of storytelling with our app and I’m excited to build out this platform with other storytellers.How soon you do think / hope / wish some of the things come to pass?I’ve really enjoyed watching my daughters grow up. The last ten years has flown by. The last year has been particularly special as my family and I have travelled around the world launching IGIST. We were in Edinburgh in June and we’re currently in Nice, France. It’s been a thrill for me and Kendall to meet fans and discuss IGIST with journalists like yourself. I wish I had more time to relish all the fun.last_img read more

Structured Data on Blockchains helps Real Estate

Structured Data on Blockchains helps Real Estate

first_imgUniversity College of London (UCL) which was one of the beneficiaries of Ripple’s $50 million University Blockchain Research Initiative scheme last year, recently held a conference looking at how Blockchain technology is likely to impact the construction industry. At the event, a leading barrister Jeremy Barnett spoke about how he believed Blockchain technology is able to add tremendous value for the owners of Real Estate.” Take as an example a new shopping center. If all the critical information about the project was held on a Blockchain, the landlord would know at every stage during the construction of the building who had done what and why.This would create a time stamped and immutable record which could be used for a variety of requirements -insurance, bank financing, paying contractors and even potential litigation if this were to occur at a future date. This data could even be used to help in the fractionalization/tokenization of outlets within the shopping center, to identify who is to receive ongoing rental income.Therefore having “Structured data”, one is able to add value to an asset such at a property”.The suitability and safety of a building is an important issue, especially in the UK, where there are potentially corporate manslaughter charges that could be bought against company directors. Company directors are potentially personally liable in the event of an accident and are at an even greater risk if an employee’s life is lost while at work e.g. shop or office workers, or potentially tenants (in the case of a property company).If data on a building is held in a structured and digitised manner, it would be possible for Smart Contracts to be used to identify when maintenance checks need to be carried out -automatically notifying when health and safety checks are required i.e. inspections on lifts, fire extinguishers etc.On a more sober note, the barrister Barnett said“That if such a system had been used in Grenfell Tower, we would not only know who had made critical decisions about design and materials, but also it would be possible to automate many of the processes that take place, such as monitoring of fire alarms and sprinklers, to make the buildings safer. Using such a system, all those who design, build, operate and own new buildings will be able to comply with the onerous rules that will be introduced by new Fire Safety Regulator.”In a recent report from Harvard Business Review, which looked at How Blockchain Will Change Construction, it cited a number of examples of how the technology is being applied in the property sector.According to Propulsion Consulting founder Marc Minnee, who is advising on a large project in Amsterdam,“Blockchain provides a platform for clearly cascading work products down the chain and holding everyone accountable for completing key tasks,”. Meanwhile, the risk consultants at Aon,believe that 95% of building construction data currently gets lost on handover to the first owner.Briq, a California-based Blockchain firm, is using a Blockchain-powered platform to create a “living ledger” of everything about a building — from the initial sod of earth being dug, to the latest safety inspections and thus potentially minimising risks for those who own and insure the property.It is possible, in conjunction with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT),that Blockchain technology can store date in a very collaborative manner by sharing relevant data with those entities which need access to it. A combination of Blockchain, AI and IOT would be able to identify potential risks and alert relevant parties when maintenance and inspection specialists are required. This would greatly minimise potential liabilities and so reduce the costs of owning and managing Real Estate.For more #Digital Bytes like this email Jonny.Fry@TeamBlockchain.netMore information about Irish Tech News and the Business ShowcaseFYI the ROI for you is => We now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 16000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview, or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions for informative and different articles. Contact us, by email, twitter or whatever social media works for you.Home If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCockinglast_img read more

Blockchain To Help Sustainability The Circular Economy Approach for 2019 and beyond

Blockchain To Help Sustainability The Circular Economy Approach for 2019 and beyond

first_imgWhen talking about sustainability the general public often thinks about environmental sustainability only. However, sustainability researchers and activists have a much broader definition: sustainability is defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Such an approach, aiming at a good livelihood for all, has to consider both natural systems as well as human systems and think them together.Sustainability problems like the climate and biodiversity crisis, economic inequality, poverty pose great challenges to humanity. To help tackle this situation, the United Nations have defined the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the objective to produce a set of universal goals that meet the urgent environmental, political and economic challenges facing our world.These goals are broadly defined, very often interdependent, and include 169 sub-targets. The SDGs cover environmental, social and economic development issues including poverty, hunger, health, education, global warming, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, urbanization, nature conservation, environment protection and social justice. The SDGs provide a common and agreed framework to address our most pressing sustainability issues. To reach these goals it will not only be necessary to work together across sectors, industries, countries and communities but also to find new ways of how to organize our societies and their economies.Blockchain based applications provide many opportunities to help us create a more sustainable world:TransparencyThe lack of transparency along the supply global supply chains poses challenges regarding fraud, pollution, human rights abuses and other inefficiencies. Sustainable behaviour of individuals and companies is therefore currently hard to track and not well rewarded. In this context Blockchain has the potential to provide an unprecedented level of transparency, with a shared, decentralized database where immutable and encrypted copies of the information are stored on every computer (node) in the network.This enables otherwise trust-less parties, such as individuals and firms that do not know each other, to engage in near frictionless peer-to-peer transactions. This type of transparency has applications along the supply chain of good and services and in institutional settings, for less corruption and more accountability.Supply chainSupply chains represent a complex network of distant, separate entities that exchange goods, payments, and data across a dynamic, continuously evolving landscape. Their underlying architecture has many similarities to how Blockchains are set up. Blockchain-based solutions can therefore help us trace the provenance of goods and services along the supply chain, to unambiguously identify a product’s input materials, including the material’s quantity, quality and origin.The Blockchain protocol, as a decentralized network with distributed and transparent data structures, allows a disparate group of network actors to exchange data relatively seamlessly from anywhere in the world, replacing traditional centralized data structures (client server architecture, multiple document copies, data inconsistencies, or in many cases still paper copies) with a distributed ledger, in almost real time, so that auditing can be automated.Institutional weaknessBlockchain and similar distributed ledger technologies have the potential to mitigate institutional weaknesses though transparency of processes, restricting deception, corruption and uncertainties. For example:Traceability of DonationsBlockchain provide near real time transparency of what happened to the money that has been donated to charity organizations, supporting civil society accountability by tracking funds and ensuring they support the cause of the donation, tackling bureaucracy and corruption, and releasing funds where needed without sophisticated banking infrastructure.State CorruptionBlockchains can provide near real time transparency of what happened to taxpayers money and international loans, and how the funds have been reallocated, preventing corruption and tackling public mismanagement. By providing an unprecedented level of security of the information and the integrity of records it manages, guaranteeing their authenticity,Blockchain-based applications eliminate opportunities for falsification and the risks associated with having a single point of failure in the management of data and funds. It can also help overcome data silos in traditional bureaucracies in which public entities are reluctant to share information among themselves. Blockchain eliminates the need for intermediaries, cutting red-tape and reducing human intervention.Reduction of bureaucracy & transaction costsBlockchain-based machine consensus and smart contracts have the potential to reduce transaction costs and bureaucracy in many industries and across jurisdictional borders, introducing many new use cases in governance, government and impact assessment especially across jurisdictional boundaries, inclusion of the underbanked and undocumented of the world and disintermediation, making some clearing institutions or governmental institutions obsolete thereby reducing power asymmetries.Governance, Government and Impact AssessmentBlockchain based applications can provide solutions that contribute to:CO2 emission reductionReducing the necessity of physical commute to a government office (ie: to pick up a new driver’s licence, apply for tax number, register a car, etc.), fossil fuel emission could also be cut down.Impact assessment & global governance toolBlockchain is especially useful for cross-jurisdictional governance where cost effective, transparent and auditing measures can be implemented into the protocol, making monitoring and enforcement of all sustainability goals easier.Unfortunately, until now, monitoring and reducing our impact on the planet has been difficult, mostly because access to data is limited. Combining Blockchain with AI and IOT will allow us to draw better data for impact assessment and evaluation and make collective sustainability behavior across groups and geographic boundaries more transparent, leading to quicker results and feedback loops.Lean & Transparent GovernmentReduce cost of bureaucracy through more efficient e-government tools saving taxpayers money.Inclusion of undocumented and underbanked populationMore than one to two billion people worldwide are unable to prove their identity to the satisfaction of authorities and other organizations?—?often excluding them from property ownership, free movement, and social protection as a result. Additionally, a lack of identity prevents credits, loans and thus prevents entrepreneurship. Blockchain can solve part of the problem by allowing for complementary, decentralized and self-sovereign identity solutions, as well as by removing the need for verification from costly intermediaries such as banks or other institutions, thanks to its peer-to-peer nature.Disintermediation and Power AsymmetriesBlockchain-based applications are also seen as a development vehicle which can help to empower people directly and mitigate power and information asymmetries, replacing certain aspects of clearing institutions or governmental institutions with smart contracts. One example could be applied in the renewable energy sector: Once on the grid, renewable electricity is indistinguishable from electricity from conventional sources. Existing mechanisms, such as renewables certificates that are traded between parties, needlessly take up time, energy and resources.These certificates could be replaced by a system that monitors renewable electricity generated on site, feeding data into a blockchain. This would result in the automatic creation and distribution of certificates. Furthermore, the prevalence of smart meters and other IoT devices, could enable P2P energy trading, where owners of distributed grids efficiently and legitimately sell excess power to anyone within an open market.Incentivizing behavior with purpose-driven tokensBitcoin and the token governance rules specified in the Bitcoin blockchain protocol have introduced a new form of value creation, where a network of actors agree on a specific goal, and value is created when someone proves that they have contributed to such goal.Cryptographic tokens issued through smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain (or similar blockchains) can now be used to incentivize individuals and corporations to act in a sustainable manner, incorporating gamification mechanisms. Such incentives can be a key to reaching a sustainable future and tokens can be used as a representation of the rewards collected for:riding a bike, walking, public transportation instead of using a car (CO2 emission reduction);using energy efficient devices, turning the lights off (energy consumption reduction);undertaking actions to help natural resources, like planting trees, cleaning a beach, reduction of food waste, recycling of goods (sustainable actions);staying in environmentally friendly hotels, using Blockchain-based solutions to track sustainability of holiday service provider (zero-carbon footprint holidays)Remaining on the basic values ??of the new eco-friendly culture, the EarthBi project fits perfectly into the sustainable economic model of the future, using Blockchain technology both for transparency and token-based behavior incentivization purposes. The Benefit Corporate Bio Valore World S.p.A or BVW, which promotes and develops EarthBi is a new Italian solution that, thanks to the combination of its own bioplastic and the innovative blockchain technology, joins the movement dedicated to environmental sustainability.In fact, with the aim of reducing the pollution caused by plastic materials, EarthBi bioplastics are realised using patented and innovative production processes, which include the use of the blockchain to ensure transparency in the traceability of the entire production chain.Not only that, but EarthBi also opts for the digital world by creating ERA, its own ERC-20 utility token and launching its own IEO “Initial Exchange Offering”. EarthBi thanks to its ERA utility token will allow buyers to obtain more quantities of raw material and/or discounts on design products made out of bioplastics, thus helping mass adoption of such materials.Blockchains, smart contracts and token inventive mechanisms have a great potential to facilitate a more sustainable world. However, change does not happen by itself. Technology is just a tool, and, only if applied correctly, will it facilitate smart choices by producers and consumers, governments and corporations. However, it is still in its early stages, with many technological, legal and network effect challenges ahead.Furthermore, token engineering is a new domain, as most tokens today only represent assets, but the few experts in the field are slowly raising awareness on the fact that tokenized structures need to be translated into everyday applicability for the improvement of local livelihoods, taking a range of different agents into account and including existing physical and social infrastructure.See more by Eloisa Marchesoni here.More information about Irish Tech News and the Business ShowcaseFYI the ROI for you is => We now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 16000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview, or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions for informative and different articles. Contact us, by email, twitter or whatever social media works for you.Home Blockchain for Sustainability : The Circular Economy Approach. If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCockinglast_img read more

Are Smart Cities the Answer To Rising Populations

Are Smart Cities the Answer To Rising Populations

first_imgBy Kevin Curran, Senior IEEE Member and professor at Ulster UniversityIt’s nothing new that worldwide, populations are growing – the UN estimates that the global population will reach 50 billion by 2055. Humans are also living longer and are increasingly congregating in metropolitan areas. Today, there are 47 megacities, or cities with more than 10 million inhabitants, and this figure is always increasing. The size, population number, and complexity of these urban spaces creates many social and environmental challenges. With a correlation between the size of cities and electricity, heating, water, industrial fuel usage and waste production it’s apparent that the consumption of resources, efficiency and operational effectiveness of a megacity comes down to its infrastructure.Technology offers the solution to this. Smart city technologies, when implemented correctly, can scale, allowing growing populations to be serviced more easily. While a truly smart city is designed from the ground up, many cities are now integrating technologies that operate over the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve public services. Some argue that the future growth of the planet’s population can only be sustained through scalable smart city technology.A smart city involves integrating IoT into traditional infrastructure. BigBelly, for example, is a solar-powered bin that can compact its contents to increase its effective capacity fivefold, and alert rubbish collection services when it is full. Because of this, it requires less frequent collection visits than conventional bins – meaning rubbish collection services can save time, use less fuel and produce less air pollution as each visit is efficient, effective and necessary.Indeed, to ensure cities better accommodate growing populations means connecting smart infrastructure in existing infrastructure’s place, or otherwise designing anew from the ground up. New technologies must be designed and used with resource stability and large numbers of inhabitants in mind.Issues that arise in megacities, such as air pollution and safeguarding natural resources, require multifaceted solutions because they are so complex that they’re difficult to conceptualise. As such, data collection is the first step towards understanding, and mitigating, the issues. This is where the IoT and smart sensors can play a critical role.Sensor-enabled devices are already helping to monitor the environmental impact of cities, collecting details about sewers, air quality, rubbish, and energy consumption. But, connected technologies can also be used to increase awareness and visibility into individual energy and resource use. IoT-enabled thermostats can make transparent decisions to turn heating on based on fluctuating energy costs. Moreover, smart IoT water management sensors, in combination with data analytics programmes, can provide consumers with increased visibility into the amount of water they use. Devices like smart meters that increase visibility into usage have been proven to save money, as well as conserve natural resources.While existing connected devices are helping, the issue is true smart cities have to be designed from the ground up rather than overlaid onto cities that have buildings and infrastructure from decades, or even centuries, ago. There is still too much legacy infrastructure, too many providers – such as established telecommunications, energy, transport companies – holding back the true emergence of smart cities.On top of this, there are also problems too when a city relies on a central technological hub to control its core infrastructure. Already, many cities have been paying large amounts when subjected to ransomware attacks. While pilots in many aspects of smart cities are being rolled out around the world, none can claim to be smart but pockets of many cities’ infrastructure are becoming smart.The potential of connected technology and smart cities is huge and goes far beyond this. There are still issues that aren’t fully understood or easily addressed but as new technologies emerge and are carefully applied, cities will be able to better manage evolving issues and their environmental impact. Moreover, as more devices become internet-enabled and machine learning and data processing improves, we are likely to see increasingly more innovative ways that the IoT will contribute to managing growing megacities whilst reducing their impact on resources.More information about Irish Tech News and the Business ShowcaseFYI the ROI for you is => Irish Tech News now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 16000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview, or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions for informative and different articles. Contact us, by email, twitter or whatever social media works for you and hopefully we can share your story too and reach our global audience.Home Are Smart Cities the Answer To Rising populations? If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCockinglast_img read more

Top 5 movies to watch these school holidays

Top 5 movies to watch these school holidays

first_imgThe midyear school holidays are here, so children have lots of time on their hands and need entertainment.What better way to keep entertained than to enter a whole new world by watching the latest, greatest movies currently out on the shelves at local DVD stores!Here are our top 5 latest movies we think you should definitely watch:1-  The Avengers: Age of Ultron. The first Avengers movie was both critically acclaimed and a box office success, generating over $1.5 billion, as well as being nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. The second film in the series brings back all of the ensemble cast of the first movie. Time to battle the baddies again! 2- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. As you all probably know by now, the Hunger Games means science fiction war adventure aplenty! The latest installment in the Hunger Games series may just wind up being the best. See what you think…3-  Jurassic World. Set 22 years after the events of the first Jurassic Park, dinosaurs come back to the silver screen! Do we need to say more?4- Spectre.  The latest movie in the James Bond series has Daniel Craig yet again starring as the sophisticated and suave British secret agent with a licence to kill. Bet you’re dying to see all the wonderful little gadgets and weapons he has at his disposal this time round!5- Star Wars:  The Force Awakens. Disney is poised to have a huge 2015 with the latest Avengers movie (see number 1 on our list), as well as a return to the big screen for one of the most beloved film series ever, Star Wars. May the force be with you as you load up this ‘audience favourite’ into your DVD player! WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite last_img read more

Africa liberations day celebration a resounding success

Africa liberations day celebration a resounding success

first_imgAfrica Day was launched on the 25th May 1963 when countries in Africa that had achieved freedom came together  to sign a declaration to form the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) which was transformed into the African Union (AU) in 2002.This has brought together African states to collectively address the problems and challenges facing Africans.It is time for us to pay tribute to the people of Africa which supported our struggle for liberation, politically, materially and militarily and by giving us refuge, often at great cost to themselves.“Africa Day is an occasion to remind ourselves where we come from in a journey to overcome colonialism and oppression across the African continent and also to rededicate ourselves on the journey that we have to travel to build this continent to eliminate poverty, underdevelopment and create a better condition for future generations.We will use this period to promote African identity, entrench African values and ethics as well as strengthen existing collaborations in the continent and also promote the African Union flag and anthem during this month”, added the Mayor.Mr Mchunu stressed that the issue of xenophobia which has been blamed for a number of violent incidents in KwaZulu Natal recently, was most disappointing.He mentioned that there are elements of criminality that took advantage of the situation and robbed people of their goods thereby making their actions resemble xenophobic attacks.“I think  it is important for us to remind ourselves that Africa played a pivotal role for our freedom, and we have to enjoy our fruit of freedom with them” said Mr Mchunu.Local artists as well as artists from Nigeria and Congo spread peace and harmony with their African songs and dances. The Honourable Mayor of Uthukela District Municipality, DCP Mazibuko, together with Mr Willies Mchunu the MEC of Transport, Community Safety & Liaison invited all residents within the district of Uthukela to celebrate Africa Liberation Day on Monday the 25th May 2015 at the Indoor Sport Complex.The celebration featured varied aspects of art, culture and heritage of all Africans living in the District and support messages from different stakeholders.Africa Day presents an opportunity for South Africans to reconnect and recommit themselves in support of all government interventions to develop a better Africa and a better world.The Africa month is a declaration and celebratory statement of pride which fosters inclusivity for all role players and stakeholders. It is also a call for action for individuals and groups from all backgrounds and walks of life to join the movement for change.“Our Freedom Charter stipulates that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white. It is in this context that we all have to stand up and denounce xenophobic attacks in the strongest terms possible.During apartheid, Africa opened its doors and became home for many South Africans who fled the persecution of the apartheid government.For many decades Africans fought side by side with South Africans in a war against apartheid contributing to the freedom we have today” said the Mayor. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite last_img read more

Truck stopped with cargo of 3000 juvenile crocodiles

Truck stopped with cargo of 3000 juvenile crocodiles

first_imgThe truck was carrying close to 3000 juvenile crocodiles  when it was stopped and searched.  The officers had spotted crocodiles peering out of the cargo hold as they drove past and it was stopped. As officers questioned the driver, they realised it had an expired permit to transport the crocs. Pandemonium then broke out as some of the truck’s cargo managed to break free; one was killed by a passing vehicle as others attempted to escape.Farmers in the area also responded, fearing that the crocodiles might take up residence in the Tugela River and threaten livestock on their farms.N3TC officers, wildlife officers, farmers and the driver were left scrambling to catch the fleeing reptiles.At this stage, it is unclear if any managed to escape, but those on scene doubt it.The crocodiles were being transported to Limpopo. However, because of the permit issue, they are now being returned to where they came from, accompanied by wildlife officers.The cargo was secured using shade cloth supplied by a local farmer. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite A truck that was stopped by N3TC officers on the N3 near the Winteron turn-off last night just after 6pm left officers scrambling to catch its deadly escaping cargo…  The scene would only be cleared after 9pm.last_img read more

Dancing competitively at Town Hall

Dancing competitively at Town Hall

first_imgEmnambithi/Ladysmith Municipality’s sports section, along with UThukela FEDANSA, hosted a developmental dance competition recently called the Human Rights Dance Festival.Ballroom and Latin American dancers gathered in numbers at the Town Hall to compete in the sport. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Before the competition began, there were developmental phases where dancers were taught and expertly trained in the different dances, as well as mastering the techniques on different levels. Dancing is recognised as a sport and Emnambithi/Ladysmith Municipality has sponsored a floating trophy where schools are encouraged to be part of dance.The school that won the trophy was Mnambithi Primary.  This school and the principal have constantly been supportive of dance as a sport, and lots of young and enthusiastic dancers are from the school.The moves on the dance floor were breathtakingly beautiful!last_img read more

Burst pipe turns Agra Road into a river

Burst pipe turns Agra Road into a river

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Water is gushing out in Agra Road after a pipe burst in the early hours of this morning (Monday).Motorists who use that route are advised to drive carefully, as there is literally a river of water cascading down the road.Phone calls have been made to uThukela, but as of now, nothing has been done about the situation and water continues to pump out of the pipe.last_img

Chess workshop at Town Hall

Chess workshop at Town Hall

first_imgThe KZN Chess Association held a District Chess Workshop on February 22 at the Town Hall.Present were representatives from Estcourt, Bergville, Indaka and Emnambithi/Ladysmith municipalities.The workshop was facilitated by KZN Chess Association president Sandile Xulu (kneeling in the photo), as well as Lulama Qobo.Among the points discussed at the workshop was the formation of chess clubs in the uThukela District municipal area. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsitelast_img read more