Matherson convinced KC can win Champs

first_imgKingston College (KC) standout sprinter, Jhevaughn Matherson, one of the athletes on whom KC’s ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships title ambitions to dethrone Calabar High School rests, is looking to clock fast times and help his school win the championship next month.Matherson has personal bests of 10.37 in the 100 metres and 20.97 over 200 metres.There was agony for KC last year when he aggravated an injury which forced him out of the Class Two boys’ 200m, as they eventually slumped to a 15.5-point loss to Calabar.This year, however, the athlete maintains he is eyeing nothing less than glory.”I know I am a champion, so it’s just my competitive drive that is my motivation,” he said.”There is always going to be major expectations, but season after season it gets better handling them. The main aim is to break 21.00 seconds in the 200m and go low 10 seconds in the 100m, 10.10 if possible, that’s the aim right now,” he assured in an interview.A fight for bragging rights and the prestigious Mortimer Geddes Trophy will again ensue from March 15-19 between four-time consecutive champions Calabar High and their bitter rivals KC inside the National Stadium.The Purples have won the title 31 times, Calabar High 24 and Jamaica College third with 21 titles.BETTING ON HIS TEAM”Calabar are incredible competitors, but I have to go with my school for this one. You can’t count out yourself,” stressed Matherson.He recently sizzled with a smooth 21.69 on return from injury in the Class One boys’ 200m at the Queens/Grace Jackson meet at the National Stadium.Many are contending that the Red Hills Road-based institution will cop title number 25 this year, but the sprinter says his school will be coming all out to stop them.”We are all confident, we think we can get it this year (win Champs), we are just motivating the younger guys and see if they can repeat what we the seniors do,” he outlined.The KC star stressed that people can expect “medals and possibly records”.last_img read more

Soweto through a high-tech lens

first_imgA close up of the Gigapan robotic camera Nqobile Thusi, grade 11 and SaneleMthetwa,Grade 10.Both learners are part of the Gigapanproject. The Klipspruit Valley “Chicken Farm”Informal settlementImages: Khanyi MagubaneKhanyi MagubaneNo sooner has the bell signalling the end of yet another school day been rung than the raucous sound of hundreds of students streaming out of Lavela High School in Zola North, Soweto, can already be heard. But for a small group of students another world is just opening up.The 27 students chosen to take part in an exciting new project are diligently working away on their computers in the newly installed computer lab, where they are learning more about Gigapan.Gigapan is the name of a high-resolution robotic camera, developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the US and project is an initiative developed to assist children from different backgrounds to understand each other and their worlds better. It is backed by funding from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s International Bureau of Education. Other partners on the project are the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Google and National Geographic. The computers in the lab were installed by Gauteng Online, a project of the Gauteng Department of Education.The Soweto school is one of only four selected for the project, and it will be working with other children in the US and Trinidad and Tobago. It was selected for Gigapan after it worked with Unesco last year to lead discussions about Aids with a school in Australia.Panoramic views in fine detailThe Gigipan camera has the ability to capture images in great detail. Although at first glance they look like any other picture, they have been created by the software in the system joining together anything from 40 to 400 images. When these images are made available on a website the viewer is able to zoom in as much as 600-million pixels, enabling them to see something as detailed as a logo on a t-shirt or a street sign.CMU’s Professor of Robotics, Illah Nourbaksh, came to South Africa in April to teach pupils how to use the camera and the robotic arm that guides it, and he took the first pictures of Soweto that were loaded onto the site.Sanele Mthetwa, a 14-year-old grade 10 pupil, explains with pride how the project works, “We take snapshots, post them on a website and other kids in similar programmes around the world ask us questions about our lives.”What Mthetwa is referring to is the rare partnership between a few selected high schools around the world that have been given the Gigapan robotic camera. Students log on to a website where they can look at pictures posted by their partner school and if there is something of interest they see, the students are then able to zoom in and take a “snapshot”. There is a conversation box attached to the snapshot, enabling students to satisfy their curiosity with endless questions that they ask each other.Lavela’s partner school is Falk High School in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania in the US. Every day after school the Soweto pupils rush to the computers to see what their American friends have uploaded.The Soweto learners have fun taking snapshots and asking their American counterparts about their local community. In turn, they too answer questions about the panoramic pictures of Soweto.Grade 12 learner Asanda Songca, appointed the student leader of the project, had to gather together a group of interested students who would take part in the training session with Professor Nourbaksh. “The biggest challenge I had was to find students that were interested and committed to this project. It was important that we had a vision for the project. So far we are getting there, everyone is cooperating.”Capturing the disparate communitiesRecently the students decided to go to the top of the Klipspruit Valley Bridge in Soweto to take pictures. From this point the economic disparity between local residents can clearly be seen. A marsh and the Klipspruit Valley River separate residents living in dire poverty in a squatter camp (informal settlement) on the one side and residents living in big houses and relatively better conditions on the other.Two grade 11 pupils, Sanele Mpanza and Sibusiso Thusi, along with deputy principal Lulama Thobejane, mount the robotic camera at the top of the bridge. With their teacher’s guidance, the pupils decide that they will take a 180-degree panoramic shot of the Kliptown Chicken Farm squatter camp, and the surrounding Foxlake, Dlamini and Rockville townships.After some fiddling with the settings and punching in coordinates, the camera takes over and snaps away by itself. The students check the images on the camera, take a few more and then decide that they have taken enough for the day.For Thobejane, the project is exciting as it opens the eyes of students to a high-tech world that they didn’t know before. She says that through Gigapan her students have now joined a global community, “People from diverse cultures and origins must communicate, with the hope of making the world a better place.”The pupils have a six-month deadline to have the project up and running, after which they will be assessed on their progress.Useful linksGigapanGauteng online Gauteng Department of EducationThe Robotic institute of CMUUnescoNational Geographiclast_img read more

Driving in South Africa

first_imgSouth Africa has excellent road infrastructure, a selection of reputable vehicle hire companies, great weather and plenty of stunning scenery – which all combine to make self-driving a viable and enjoyable option. If you’re thinking of taking the long way round, here are a few tips.Self-driving is a good option when visiting South Africa. (Image: Gauteng Film Commission)Brand South Africa reporterWhen visiting South Africa, the self-driving option is a viable and enjoyable way to get around the country. South Africa has excellent road infrastructure, large vehicle hire fleets run by international and local rental companies, great weather and plenty of stunning scenery. If you’re thinking of taking the long way round, here are a few tips to enhance your trip.Car hireMost international and reputable local car rental companies (see the links on the right) are represented at South Africa’s main airports and in most city centres. Vehicles may generally be picked up at one branch and dropped off at another branch at your destination. Please be aware of the terms and conditions of car-hire in South Africa, relevant to the company you use.It is advisable to take out the insurance offered by the vehicle rental companies, unless you have specific travel insurance cover in place. All major credit cards are accepted.Driver’s licencesAny valid driver’s licence is accepted in South Africa, provided it bears the photograph and signature of the holder and is printed or authenticated in English.However, vehicle hire companies may also require an international driver’s licence. It is worth confirming requirements with your travel agent or the vehicle hire company when making your booking.This holds for additional drivers as well, who must be identified when you hire your vehicle. Remember to carry all your documentation with you when you travel, as traffic officers will expect to see it if they stop you for any reason.Keep left, buckle up and think in kilometres‘Keep left, pass right’ is the general rule of driving in South Africa. This also applies to highway (freeway) driving.Cars in South Africa are right-hand drive vehicles, with the gear shift operated with the left hand.Distances, speed limits (therefore vehicle speedometers) are measured in kilometres, and fuel gauges in litres, so be aware of this when travelling long distances to avoid running out of fuel.The wearing of seat belts is compulsory for all front seats and back seats (if present). Using mobile phones and devices while driving is against the law. While using an in- car hands-free system is permitted, use cautiously if you are travelling in an unfamiliar area.Speed limitThe general speed limit on South Africa’s national highways, urban freeways and other major routes is 120km/h (75mph). On secondary (rural) roads it is 100km/h (60mph). In built-up areas it is usually 60km/h (35mph), unless otherwise indicated by road signs. If you incur a speeding fine with a hired car, the rental company will pay the fine, passing on the charge to your account, with an admin fee.Drinking and drivingNaturally, drinking alcohol before and while driving is against the law. The South African Road Traffic Act 93/96 has been in effect since March 1998. Whether you are driving in the city or on rural roads, these laws are extremely important to obey. These laws are in place to help protect the community and to make sure that drunk drivers are reprimanded.The legal blood alcohol limit in South Africa is less than 0.05 g per 100 mlThe legal breath alcohol limit in South Africa is less than 0.24 mg in 1000 ml of breathAccording to the Automobile Association of South Africa the rule of thumb when considering the minimum allowable amount of alcohol consumed before driving is a maximum of one unit of alcohol per hour, which constitutes 10ml of pure alcohol, based on an adult weighing 68kg. Our bodies can process only one unit of alcohol each hour. However, it is important to be aware that if you weigh less than 68kg your body will need more time to process the same amount of alcohol. In simple terms, this means that 2 drinks over the space of one hour will put you over the limit. Below is a breakdown of alcohol units per drink type:1 x 75 ml glass of wine = 1 unit1 x 250 ml glass of wine = 3.3 units1 x shot/shooter = ½ unit in most instances1 x spirit cooler = about 1.25 units1 x beer = 1.5 units or possibly more1 x cider = 2 units1 x 25 ml tot of spirits = 1 unit1 x cocktail = Between 2 and 4 unitsAnything more would impede your driving ability. In general, it is advisable not to drink at all if you are planning on travelling long distances or in areas with which you may not be familiar.Fuelling upThe various types of petrol (gas) available in South Africa are: unleaded and lead replacement 97-, 95- or 93-octane (often referred to as “super” or “premium”). The 95- and 93-octane petrol is available at higher altitude (non-coastal, interior areas such as Gauteng and Mpumalanga), as well as 93-octane. While, at the coast, your choice is between 95- and 97-octane.Diesel is available with 0.05% sulphur content and 0.005% sulphur content.Most vehicles available from car-hire companies use unleaded petrol, and cars older than 10 years use the various octane types.Fuel is sold per litre (1 US gallon is equivalent to 3.8 litres).South African petrol stations are not self-help, with attendants to fill the car, check oil, water and tyre pressure, as well as offer to clean your windscreen, if required – these services more often than not enjoy a R2 or R5 gratuity, or according to your discretion.Fuel stations are called ‘garages’ in South Africa, and can be found on both the main and country roads in urban and rural areas. Most are open 24 hours a day, although some rural stations may keep shorter hours. Be aware that distances between towns (and therefore between petrol stations) are considerable in some parts of the country, so remember to check the fuel gauge before passing up the opportunity to fill up.Fuel can be paid for with cash or general credit and debit cards (MasterCard and Visa most often. NOT usually American Express or Diner’s Club.) Some smaller or more rural stations may always not accept cards. Check with the attendant before filling up on payment methods available. Most filling stations have on-site ATM banking facilities available.Driving around the countryOur road infrastructure is excellent, so driving between cities and towns is a viable option – and, given the stunning scenery in many parts of the country, a highly enjoyable one.However, South Africa is a huge country not easily traversed in a day, so plan your journeys carefully. If you’re not used to driving long distances, rather break the journey, as fatigue is a major contributing factor in motor vehicle accidents.While most national roads are tarred and in good condition, the more rural the road, the more likely it is to be pot-holed and poorly surfaced.Road informationCurrent information on the conditions of roads can be obtained through the Automobile Association of South Africa. The AA also provides invaluable guides for road users in the form of strip maps tailored for specific destinations and information for tourists on accommodation en route.Traffic signs are generally pictorial or in English.Toll roads and e-tollsBefore you set off, check your route. Many of the national roads between the major centres are toll roads. Check the fees before you leave, and make sure that you have either a credit card or cash to pay.Toll fares for a light passenger vehicle vary from under R10 to around R200, depending on the toll plaza – and you may pass through three or four of these before you reach your destination.Electronic toll collection (or e-tolls) is in place in Gauteng. Your car has to be identified electronically, via an e-tag for example, and a toll is deducted from a toll account. Visitors to Gauteng can register for an e-toll account, or buy day passes. Visit SA National Road Agency’s e-toll website for more info.See Automobile Association: Toll fees in South Africa – includes information on fees, locations, vehicle classifications and costs for frequently travelled routes.SafetySouth Africa has a high rate of traffic accidents so drive defensively and exercise caution when on the roads – especially at night – and keep a wary eye out for pedestrians and cyclists.Drivers of minibuses and taxis can behave erratically, and often turn a blind eye to rules and road safety considerations.In many of South Africa’s rural areas, the roads are not fenced, so watch out dogs, chickens, sheep and even horses or cows on the road. These can be particularly hazardous at night.Large antelope crossing the road can also pose a danger in certain areas – if you see road signs depicting a leaping antelope, take it slowly, especially towards evening.Never stop to feed wild animals – it is dangerous and you can incur a hefty fine if you do so.In general, be aware and keep your wits about you. It’s a good idea to drive with your doors locked and windows up, especially in cities and at traffic lights.Don’t ever stop to pick up hitchhikers. If you are worried about someone on the side of the road, report it to the police station in the next town.Ensure your car is locked when you park it and do not leave anything in sight. Lock things away in the trunk – known as the boot here – or the glove compartment (cubbyhole).Emergency numbers to save into your phone:ER24 paramedics: 084 124Police/Fire Department: 10111Ambulance: 10117Arrive Alive Call Centre: 0861 400 800Netcare Emergency: 082 911Read more: Safety tips for travellersReviewed October 2015Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

What is the future of self-driving car regulation?

first_imgDriverless cars are making serious progress. Waymo’s most recent disengagement report showed that the self-driving car software performed much better in 2016 than it did in 2015. Despite the cars traveling more miles overall, the software system had fewer disengagements.California requires that all companies testing self-driving cars submit a disengagement report each year. Disengagements include any event in which the software was turned off—not necessarily because of an accident, but often because of a perception discrepancy issue or a bug.  See also: Toyota unveils autonomous cars for 2020 Tokyo OlympicsWaymo’s vehicles had 0.80 disengagements per 1000 miles in 2015. Last year, the software had only 0.20 disengagements per 1000 miles. That’s a four-fold improvement and an impressive step forward for the technology. Over the course of 635,868 testing miles, there were a total of 124 disengagements in 2016—most of which occurred on streets, not highways, freeways, or interstates. In 2015, the cars traveled 424,331 miles with 341 disengagements. While there is still a way to go before these vehicles are in widespread use, these statistics show how autonomous cars are advancing at a fast rate. How will these vehicles be regulated once they hit the streets? While California requires disengagement reports and permits, not all states do. Here is the current state of autonomous vehicle regulation and where it is headed in the coming years. State regulations filling the gapCurrently, multiple states are developing self-driving car regulations. In December, Michigan became the first state to pass comprehensive self-driving car regulations. Four bills were signed into a law that allows for testing and use of self-driving cars on public roads. The law also legalized self-driving cars, ride-sharing and truck platoons. Most surprisingly, it stated that a driver is not required to be in the vehicle. The regulations also make the issue of liability clearer; MDOT requires that all automakers take on full liability for accidents in which the vehicle is driving autonomously and is found at fault.  Additionally, Massachusetts state senator, Jason Lewis, introduced a bill this January that would tax self-driving cars in the state at a rate of 2.5 cents per mile. The reasoning behind this tax is that it would ideally prevent car owners from operating their self-driving cars without reason. Without a driver, people may send their vehicle to complete errands, enroll it as part of a ride-sharing network, or have it drive around the block to find free parking—but Massachusetts lawmakers don’t want that extra traffic congestion on the roads. The bill would also require all autonomous vehicles to be fully electric. As a result, the tax would also help cover the state’s loss of the current gasoline tax. When it comes to driverless cars, states are making sure that their regulations are heard. In December, Uber decided to test its self-driving cars on San Francisco streets, after successfully testing them in Pittsburgh. However, in doing so, Uber completely bypassed California’s law that requires companies to apply for a testing permit. When Uber refused to comply with the state law, California stripped their vehicle registrations, and Uber moved its cars to Arizona.Clearly, there need to be fundamental nationwide regulations so that the country does not end up with a patchwork of self-driving car laws. Only a dozen states currently have self-driving car legislation which adds to the confusion as these autonomous vehicles continue to be tested on public roads and highways.  More widespread regulations neededThe government released their Federal Automated Vehicles Policy last September, with the goal of establishing a framework for self-driving car regulations. The policy proposes having a 15-point list of safety expectations, though no firm regulations are in place so that the technology’s advancement is not hindered. The U.S. DOT also announced a Federal Committee on Automation in January to work on the pressing matters facing transportation today. Yet with a new transportation secretary in place, and with self-driving cars advancing, states are still creating their own autonomous legislation.  While this is understandable, we must think about the practicality of these legislative actions. A state level law may end up reaching further than state lines. The nature of cars is that they will travel across state borders. If all states create their own self-driving laws, tech companies and manufacturers will have to abide by the lowest common denominator: the strictest law. While that may have been practical and easy enough for car manufacturers to do for California’s emissions law, it’s unlikely to be as simple for self-driving cars.Until there are widespread regulation standards, states may want to keep this in mind, as it is not practical for self-driving vehicles to operate differently when they cross a state border. This would become especially difficult regarding AVs morality. There needs to be a standard of performance. Some philosophy experts suggest that self-driving cars should be regulated similarly to the drug-approval process. These experts recommend testing autonomous cars in phases. First, regulators may simulate unforeseen situations for autonomous cars to drive through which may mirror pre-clinical trials. From there, self-driving cars could move into environments that require additional decision-making skills. As each trial is successful, the vehicles can slowly be rolled out in new settings, on more roads, and eventually, in new cities. These experts assume that over time, as the cars grow smarter, market restrictions will relax. While this process may take time at first, once the technology is refined, the regulatory process will become more efficient.  These philosophy experts recognize that self-driving cars learn from failure and experiences. Those that shy away this “trial and error” approach may prefer self-driving cars drive perfectly before they hit the streets, but that is not how experiential learning works. Cars on test tracks or only in certain cities will not be enough. They will need to demonstrate their skills on real and varied roads to prove their worth. Perhaps, government regulators could determine acceptable performance standards with help from states and technology or manufacturing companies so that there is a baseline before the vehicles move onto the next phase. There will also need to be standards for autonomous vehicle morality.  More collaboration between the government and the private sector will be necessary as we move forward to determine the best regulatory process for self-driving cars. Whether that ends up being similar to the drug approval process, or something else entirely, a combination of differing state laws across the country is not the most efficient solution for this technology. Two senators recently announced their plan to move forward on self-driving car rules this year, and stated the need for Congress to assist innovators in bringing this technology to the roads. Current federal vehicle safety standards assume a human operator so there is a need for change. Standards and laws that accommodate the new autonomous technology now will enable a smoother transition into a driverless world in the decades ahead.  Seth Birnbaum is the CEO and co-founder of EverQuote, the largest online auto insurance marketplace in the U.S.  Tags:#autonomous cars#driverless cars#Internet of Things#IoT#self-drivng#Waymo 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle… Related Posts Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and…center_img For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… Seth Birnbaum IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A…last_img read more

When leaders fly kites, go on a drive: Modi, Netanyahu in Ahmedabad

first_imgPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday played host to his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, in his home State of Gujarat. The visiting dignitary lavishly praised Mr. Modi, calling him “a leader with vision” while heralding the beginning of a new era in India-Israel relations and partnership.Mr. Modi and Mr. Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, went on an 8-km roadshow from the Ahmedabad airport to Sabarmati Ashram. Thousands of spectators danced, clapped and waved as the motorcade drove past.Dozens of two-storey-high posters with the smiling faces of both Prime Ministers were seen along the convoy route, as they drove together in an open vehicle, while artistes and schoolchildren performed dance shows in dozens of stands set up on the way.Mr. Modi took the couple to the ashram where they paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi and subsequently, flew kites standing on the Sabarmati riverfront.Next, they flew off to Deo Dholera village to inaugurate the campus of iCreate, a new incubation and entrepreneurship centre to promote innovation.Chanting Jai Hind, Jai Bharat and Jai Israel, Mr. Netanyahu expressed willingness to join Indian entrepreneurs for inclusive development.“I am delighted to be here. The world knows about iPads and iPods. There is one more ‘i’ that the world needs to know about, that is iCreate. Israel wants to build partnership with you. We are your partners and I want Israeli youth to come to India,” he said, addressing a gathering of some 1,500 people comprising industrialists, entrepreneurs and businessmen.“PM Modi and I are both very young and both very optimistic. We are young in our thinking and optimistic about the future of our countries,” Mr. Netanyahu added.Mr. Modi underlined the importance of innovations, creativity and technology and Israel’s contribution. “Israel has proved to the world that commitment of the people, not size of the nation takes the country forward. In India, we are working towards making the entire system innovation-friendly, so that ideas are formed from intent, innovations are formed from ideas & New India is formed from innovations.”Water on tapThe two Prime Ministers also witnessed the demonstration of a vehicle that is equipped to conduct desalination of seawater. Designed with a modified jeep, the vehicle costs approximately $111,000. Mr. Modi said the vehicle would be stationed in the Banaskantha border district where the BSF and villagers can both benefit from it. After inaugurating the innovation centre, both PMs flew down to Vadrad in Sabarkantha district to visit the Centre of Excellence (CoE) for vegetables set up with the help of the Israel Foreign Ministry.last_img read more

India at Asian Games

first_imgIndia is a member of the South Asian Zone of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), and has participated in the Asian Games since their inception in 1951. The Indian Olympic Association, established in 1927, and recognised in the same year by the International Olympic Committee, is the National Olympic Committee for India.India was one of the first five founding members of the Asian Games Federation on 13 February 1949, in New Delhi; the organisation was disbanded on 26 November 1981 and replaced by the Olympic Council of Asia. India has also hosted the tournament on two occassions – the inaugural 1951 Asian Games and another one in 1982.India is one of the only seven countries that have competed in all the editions of the Asian Games. The other six are Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Thailand. India has won at least one gold medal at every Asian Games, and always ranked within the top 10 nations of the medal table except in the 1990 Asian Games.India’s performance at Asian Games in the past: Games Rank Gold Silver BronzeTotal 1951 Asian Games2151620511954 Asian Games5548171958 Asian Games7 5 4 4 13 1962 Asian Games3 10 13 10 33 1966 Asian Games5 7 3 11 21 1970 Asian Games5 6 9 10 25 1974 Asian Games7 4 12 12 28 1978 Asian Games6 11 11 6 28 1982 Asian Games5 13 19 25 57 1986 Asian Games5 5 9 23 37 1990 Asian Games11 1 8 14 23 1994 Asian Games8 4 3 16 23 1998 Asian Games9 7 11 17 35 2002 Asian Games8 11 12 13 36 2006 Asian Games8 10 17 26 53 2010 Asian Games6 14 17 34 65 Total 5128168 249545India’s medals by Sports: Sport Gold Silver Bronze Total Athletics 70 73 76 219 Wrestling 8 13 30 51 Boxing 7 15 26 48 Tennis 7 5 12 24 Kabaddi 7 0 0 7 Cue Sports 5 4 6 15Shooting 4 15 22 41 Field Hockey 3 10 4 17 Golf 3 2 0 5 Equestrian 3 1 6 10 Diving 2 1 2 5 Chess 2 0 2 4 Football 2 0 1 3 Rowing 1 7 8 16 Swimming 1 1 5 7 Water Polo 1 1 1 3 Weightlifting 0 5 10 15 Sailing 0 4 8 12 Archery 0 1 2 3 Cycling 0 1 2 3 Volleyball 0 1 2 3 Wushu 0 1 2 3 Badminton 0 0 7 7 Judo 0 0 5 5 Squash 0 0 4 4 Canoeing 0 0 1 1 Gymnastics 0 0 1 1 Taekwondo 0 0 1 1last_img read more