Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes has charged the graduating class of the Wisburg Secondary School to consider careers in Information and Communications Technology (ICT).Graduates of the Wisburg Secondary SchoolThe Minister was at the time addressing the 17th Annual Graduation and Prize Giving Exercise of the Wisburg Secondary School on Wednesday.Minister Hughes told the students that Guyana was rapidly progressing with a brand-new business model that includes a focus on increased entrepreneurial activities; a new oil and gas (or hydrocarbon) industry; an expanded manufacturing sector; and a broader agricultural sector that includes agro-processing.“My point is that Information Technology is the key element of these industries. In fact, ICT is important to every single industrial sector in these times we live in.”Minister Hughes advised the graduates to pursue higher education, whether it be at a university or technical/vocational institution or online. She noted that across the board, secondary level students are turning in better performances in the subjects that are most needed in the world of work, and in the world of higher technology.“I want to remind you that “you are the chosen generation, because of the technological skills required in today’s world, you are naturally proficient in. You know that minicomputer called a smart-phone better than I do. Many of you are creating apps, establishing your own small businesses, promoting your services and products on your Facebook page, Whatsapp and other social media applications,” Minister Hughes said.The graduation saw teachers, eager graduates and their proud parents gathered in the school’s auditorium to witness this rite of passage.
“Everyone’s in a good mood,” said Cayton, a 10-year veteran. “They’re all going home to their families. I’ll be working tomorrow, but I’ll be able to get home to have some dinner, so it’s fine with me.” The same went for Julio Delgadillo, who signed on as a taxi dispatcher three months ago. As he hailed cabs and pointed travelers in the proper direction, he noted that even the most fatigued voyagers seemed pleasant. “They treat me OK,” he said. “Everyone’s pretty relaxed. Right now, it’s slow. After Thanksgiving, on Sunday, that’s when they’ll really start coming through.” But for Renee Kahsay, a customer service agent with Hawaiian Airlines, that’s just fine. Everyone’s got their anxieties about making flights on time, she said, but they calm down soon enough. She gets her share of odd questions, as well, with passengers wondering if people speak English in Hawaii (they do), whether you need a passport to travel there (you don’t) and if they can get a hotel room because they foolishly packed their house keys inside a bag that got delayed (they can’t). “I like the high energy,” said Kahsay, a seven-year employee working the 5:30 a.m. shift. “You’re not sitting in a cubicle, looking at papers all day. There’s always something happening at the airport.” At the skycap check-in outside the Northwest Airlines counter in Terminal 2, Duane Gray and his co-workers lugged bags and examined tickets. He’s worked the Thanksgiving shift for 25 years, watching things ebb and flow. People got a little touchy about their travel after 9-11, but now everything is copacetic. “I’m thankful just to be here, brother,” he said. “Just living and working, that’s what it’s all about. I’m very thankful.” email@example.com 818-713-3738160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat Kings“This is the best day of the year,” Rutledge beamed. “We like the busy day. We’re always looking for the new question. The new problem. And it ain’t yesterday’s problem. It’s. Happening. Right. Now.” Those problems and questions were pretty minor as he prepared for his last shift before returning to Palos Verdes to get ready for a big Thanksgiving dinner. In his 22 years working the desk, he’s heard some crazy questions, most egregiously when a woman missed her connection from Hawaii and found herself with a box full of rapidly aging fresh fish. He found her the closest fridge. As Rutledge fielded queries about where to find the closest restroom or the Super Shuttle, Michael Cayton and Elder Castro were wheeling through the pickup zone to make sure no one double-parked. The airport security officers started their day at 4:30 a.m., easing traffic congestion as they patrolled the curbs on bikes. Robert L. Rutledge hopped out of bed at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, brewed some coffee, knotted his plaid tie and cheerfully headed off for Los Angeles International Airport. With nearly 2 million passengers expected to converge upon local airports through Sunday, working one of the busiest travel days of the year would seem like an arduous task. Throw in the normal stress of the holiday, the traffic, last-minute deadlines and everything else, and tempers would normally be short, wits frayed. But not for Rutledge, a retired oil refinery engineer who volunteers at the Travelers Aid Society information desk. For the 78-year-old in the red blazer and sensible slacks, and seemingly everyone else who showed up for work at LAX, things were downright peachy.
It’s perhaps the most obvious distinctive trait of humans. Where did language come from, with all its diversity?Science indicates that babies’ brains are the best learning machines ever created.Children come equipped with the hardware and software to pick up a language, even though it is not instinctive (otherwise, all children would speak the same language). A new study from the University of Washington Institute of Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS), published on Medical Xpress, found that toddlers can even pick up two languages easily.Credit: I-LABSWhen exposed to a second language like English for just an hour a day by a caretaker speaking ‘parentese’ (the characteristic style of speaking parents use with their babies), the children readily gained “an average of 74 English words or phrases per child, per hour” compared to 13 words or phrases in the control group. Moreover, the children retained the ability to speak and understand these words 18 weeks later.“Science indicates that babies’ brains are the best learning machines ever created, and that infants’ learning is time-sensitive. Their brains will never be better at learning a second language than they are between 0 and 3 years of age,” said co-author Patricia Kuhl, co-director of I-LABS and a UW professor of speech and hearing sciences.Does Evolution Explain Language Diversity?At a recent workshop in Vanuatu in the South Pacific, Michael Gavin of the University of Colorado was struck by the diversity of indigenous languages spoken by participants. Some 16 distinct languages were spoken in a nation where villages with different tongues were sometimes within eyesight of one another. Writing in The Conversation, Gavin puzzled over this diversity concentrated in a small area, knowing it doesn’t translate equally around the globe. There may be 40 languages in the island nation just 100 kilometers long and 20 kilometers wide. Why so many?We could ask this same question of the entire globe. People don’t speak one universal language, or even a handful. Instead, today our species collectively speaks over 7,000 distinct languages.And these languages are not spread randomly across the planet. For example, far more languages are found in tropical regions than in the temperate zones. The tropical island of New Guinea is home to over 900 languages. Russia, 20 times larger, has 105 indigenous languages. Even within the tropics, language diversity varies widely. For example, the 250,000 people who live on Vanuatu’s 80 islands speak 110 different languages, but in Bangladesh, a population 600 times greater speaks only 41 languages.Gavin is not satisfied with the brainstormed hypotheses that try to explain these patterns of language diversity. Typically, they suppose that:The tribes have a different history.The tribes have different cultures.Mountains or oceans divided them for a long time.Tribes think, “We hated them, so we don’t talk to them.”And yet experts don’t have any better explanations.The questions also seem like they should be fundamental to many academic disciplines – linguistics, anthropology, human geography. But, starting in 2010, when our diverse team of researchers from six different disciplines and eight different countries began to review what was known, we were shocked that only a dozen previous studies had been done, including one we ourselves completed on language diversity in the Pacific.Latitude might be correlated with language diversity, but it certainly did not create it.This sounds like a setup for Gavin to crow about what his team found. But next, he says, “The results varied a lot from one study to another, and no clear patterns emerged.” He apparently includes his study in the failed lot. Gavin dismisses hypotheses that confuse correlation with causation, such as the notion you can fit more languages closer to the equator. “Just because a group of people crosses an imaginary latitudinal line on the map doesn’t mean they’ll automatically divide into two different populations speaking two different languages,” he quips. “Latitude might be correlated with language diversity, but it certainly did not create it.”Modeling the FallacyAnd yet that’s just what Gavin’s team proceeded to do: confuse correlation with causation. He built a model based on assumptions about rainfall, population size and group size, and applied it to Australia before he knew how many aboriginal language groups exist. Surprise! The model very closely predicted the actual number! But what does this have to do with the price of tea in Mandarin Chinese? Nothing. A model about patterns of geographical distribution of languages says nothing about how they originated. Presumably, Australia could still speak one language even with all the model parameters intact. We could turn his own quip around: “A model might be correlated with language diversity, but it certainly did not create it.”Gavin ends with an admission of expert ignorance about this question:Language diversity has played a key role in shaping the interactions of human groups and the history of our species, and yet we know surprisingly little about the factors shaping this diversity. We hope other scientists will become as fascinated by the geography of language diversity as our research group is and join us in the search for understanding why humans speak so many languages.Evolutionists will be sure to deliver via perennial subscriptions to Futureware.Update 7/24/17: A researcher at the University of Portsmouth is speculating, “Physics of bubbles could explain language patterns.” What? Language patterns follow a law of physics? No intelligence allowed? Dr James Burridge’s idea “is driven by a long-held interest in spatial patterns and the idea that humans and animal behaviour can evolve predictably,” Science Daily says. Now we’re speechless.A common evolutionary tactic of pulling the wool over people’s eyes is called Red Herring, a version of Sidestepping. These are forms of distraction. They ignore the big question towering over them and draw the public’s attention to some little question they are working on, in order to look busy so as to deserve more funding. Origin-of-life scientists do this by looking for some particular set of “building blocks of life” but ignoring the necessity of a blueprint for the building. Evolutionary paleontologists do this by finding some particular fossil that “might” be an ancestor, ignoring the complexity of the animal it represents. Darwinian geneticists perform divination on genes to concoct phylogenetic trees, distracting attention away from the origin of complex specified information in the genes. Here, Gavin is all concerned about patterns of language diversity, while the big questions are screaming, Where did language come from? Why is it unique to humans? And why are there so many diverse languages, given that the human mind is capable of learning any one of them at birth?The Bible gives an answer that fits the data. Human beings—and humans alone—were created in the image of God, who is the Logos, the Word, the communicator. The Creator’s words have meaning. They are not just signals like bird calls or ape hoots. The first human pair had a God-given language from the beginning, with which they could communicate with their Maker. That was not lost after Adam and Eve sinned; we find God speaking to Cain, Noah, and Abraham. But when human population size grew after the Flood, they disobeyed the command to disperse and multiply, and instead wanted to form one idolatrous civilization in defiance of the one true God. Knowing it would lead to a totalitarian one-world government in rebellion, the Triune God (notice pronoun “Let Us“) mercifully confused their languages at Babel, forcing them to separate and form separate tribes. In a sin-cursed world, we can deduce this was an act of mercy, creating tension between nations that could offset the capacity for one-world government. Now in our time, however, advances in technology are making the threat of global governance a real and present danger. From the Babel experience, we can predict that another judgment is coming. Fortunately, the Bible has told us about it.There has been differentiation of languages since Babel, clearly: look at how the Romance languages diversified after the Roman Empire. English is a hodge-podge of words borrowed from Angles, Saxons, Normans, French, Germans, Italians, Latin and other sources. But that doesn’t explain the origin of language. It’s analogous to how animals and plants have diversified within their created kinds, except in the case of language, human intelligence is involved making decisions about how to assign meanings to sounds and organize them with rules. That’s why we have grammar books and language teachers. Through-and-through, language is explained by intelligent design, not evolution. Notice how in the book of Acts, the sudden ability of disciples to speak foreign languages to gathered crowds in Jerusalem was a miraculous, God-given sign. It’s as if God can install “apps” with this ability into the brain’s operating system when He chooses.The Creator knows all languages and dialects. He is not so concerned about one language over another as He is about the meaning of His message to mankind: “Repent and believe the good news” that Christ died and rose again to rescue sinners. In heaven, there will be people from all nations, tribes, languages and tongues, praising God with the same song of salvation. Until then, the task of Christ followers is to translate the Word of Christ to the far reaches of the globe so that speakers of all 7,000 languages can hear and respond not just to natural communication (design in nature and conscience), but to the special revelation of the gospel. (Visited 673 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Nal’ibali Storytime has been published in four more official languages in a drive to promote the joy of reading and a love of books among South African childrenDriving into Franschhoek is always a very special trip. The mountains loom over the little town protectively, concealing its beauty secretively. But once you are on the main road through the long, wide valley, it opens up and spreads its treasures before you, willing you to come closer, sample its delights.And a trip to the French Corner just before the book opens on the main Franschhoek Literary Festival, is even more special, for this is the Book Week for Young Readers. The days are set aside for promoting reading and a love of books among children and teens. It is a vibrant time of hope and inspiration, and the perfect time to launch the Nal’ibali Storytime book in four new languages.The reader is published in a partnership between the Sunday Times and Praesa, the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa. This year, through a donation of funds from readers and the Little Hands Trust, Times Media, the publisher of Sunday Times, has translated Nal’ibali Storytime from English into Afrikaans, Sesotho, isiXhosa and isiZulu. This is in line with Nal’ibali’s support and promotion of reading development in English as well as African languages, say the publishers.The launch took place at Wes Eind Primary School, amid earthmovers and mud as the school undergoes a significant transformation. The media centre is brand-new and sparkling, with shelves still waiting to be filled. It is a sunny room, with a view across the school and to the mountains beyond. Read and the world out there is yours for the conquering, it seems to say.Grade 7 pupils filed in quietly to listen to a reading of the story Mnr Haas ontmoet Mnr Mandela (Mr Rabbit meets Mr Mandela), by Chris van Wyk. “Reading is a place you can go on your own for solace, to follow your dreams, to learn about the world,” said Patti McDonald, a consultant to Times Media Education and the driving force behind Nal’ibali, in welcoming the children.She quoted Nelson Mandela, saying: “It is important to read in your mother tongue. Reading in another tongue speaks to your head; reading in your mother tongue speaks to your heart.“We are thrilled that we have been able to bring the magic of Nal’ibali to reach even more children. We hope that giving them the opportunity to read in their mother tongue language will develop and grow their love for reading.”The books target the foundation and intermediate phases of school, and promote the idea of reading for enjoyment. Each Sunday, an excerpt is published in the Sunday Times for children and schools, libraries and others to collect. Together, they make up stories, written and illustrated by South Africans, for South African children. The storybook is the extension of this weekly publication.The launch took place at Wes Eind Primary School, amid earthmovers and mud as the school undergoes a significant transformation (Images: Lorraine Kearney)Quintus van der Merwe, from Vriende van Afrikaans, delighted the children with an anecdote of meeting Mandela himself, before getting down to reading the story. The room was rapt as he told of the travels of Mr Rabbit into the big city. Coming to the end, there was laughter and clapping, and Van der Merwe’s colleague, Ria Olivier, said: “I watched you enjoying the story, and seeing how important it is to be able to read.“Mr Rabbit was not so clever because he could not read. You must learn to read, and practise reading. Eventually you will be able to get a good job. Lees is lekker; lees kan ons ryk maak (reading is lovely; reading can make us rich),” she said.McDonald encouraged the children to become active citizens: “The more you read, the more active a citizen you can be.” Van der Merwe also had some advice, telling the children they should read the stories to their younger siblings and old grandparents.Storytime was introduced for the first time in English in 2013. The popular children’s book, aimed at children in primary school, consists of compelling short stories written by leading South African authors and comes complete with colour illustrations, say the publishers. It has also been changed from a single edition into two separate books: one for Foundation Phase, and one for Intermediate Phase readers. CTP printers have printed 18 000 copies for free.Staff and children at the school also received copies of the recently launch Nal’ibali Children’s Literacy Charter. The multilingual charter lists the different kinds of literacy experiences children should have to best enable them to learn to read and write, and is a guide for parents and educators to putting these conditions in place.Further copies of Storytime will be donated to Nal’ibali’s network of more than 100 reading clubs in the Western and Eastern Cape, Gauteng, the Free State, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal.
By Nishant AroraNew Delhi, Dec 26 (IANS) As smartphones went through a couple of noticeable innovations in the hardware department in 2018 — especially Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven cameras and improved battery — the rise of 5G-ready and foldable devices stole the limelight.While players like Huawei, LG, Motorola and Apple secured patents on foldable devices, South Korean giant Samsung took a definitive lead, showcasing a real one in November when Justin Dennison, Senior Vice President of Mobile Marketing, took out a foldable smartphone from his jacket at a New York event.Reports surfaced that Samsung plans to launch its first foldable smartphone in March next year and the shipment volume would be at least one million.The smartphone would fold inward and sport a 7.4-inch screen when unfolded and have a 4.6-inch display like a regular smartphone when folded.When it came to 5G, Samsung again pushed the envelope and announced 5G-enabled smartphones with US telecom carriers Verizon and AT&T that would hit the market in the first half of 2019.Chinese player OnePlus joined the bandwagon in December, announcing it will release a commercial 5G smartphone with carrier network EE in the UK in 2019.According to Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research, 5G devices will soon be a reality.”Form factors like foldable phones along with 5G technology will act as a catalyst impacting the upgrade rate of premium smartphones,” Pathak told IANS. “These features will help smartphone original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to differentiate their offerings. One of the aggressive marketing campaign will surely be about to launch the ‘first 5G’ smartphone in a region/country or price segment,” he added.”Smartphones have not seen much disruptive innovations for a long time now — in form factor and display. Samsung has now achieved a technical breakthrough in display manufacturing,” noted Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CyberMedia Research (CMR).Rest of the year saw major innovations in the camera department, with almost every player in the market infusing AI into sensors to do the job of clicking that perfect moment for you.An early innovator in smartphone camera technology, Huawei in April brought a Leica-designed, triple-camera system in P20 Pro smartphone which became its USP.Samsung later announced two smartphones — Galaxy A7 with three-rear camera and Galaxy A9 with the four-rear camera system — with AI embedded into it.The year also saw Chinese electronics major Xiaomi’s meteoric rise in India, increasing its market share quarters after quarters on the back of its popular Redmi series.In a bid to break the notion that it is just a smartphone brand, Xiaomi also amplified its products portfolio in categories like fitness and health, smart home, smart travel and more — using AI and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. OnePlus 6T became the flagship killer of the year in the Rs 30,000-Rs 40,000 segment. Topped with a bigger battery and some hardware improvements, OnePlus 6T made for a highly desirable smartphone in the premium category.As smartphones scouted for innovation, data went dirt cheap.Smartphone users in India are now consuming an average 1GB data per day and spending more than 90 minutes on online activities daily across the entry-level, mid and premium segments, revealed a Nielsen India report in September.”The advent of high-speed 4G Internet, less-expensive mobile handsets and a correction in call data charges have encouraged the speedy adoption of smartphones in India,” said Abhijit Matkar, Director-Technology IPG – Nielsen India.With a rise in smartphone ownership, India was expected to end the year with over 500 million smartphone users, said US-based media agency Zenith.Beyond smartphones, mobile handset market also saw a mammoth rise and to meet the demand of the mass market, new Chinese and Indian vendors launched affordable handsets with latest features, some even under Rs 5,000.Backed by robust growth in smartphone as well as smart-feature phone categories, an estimated 302 million mobile handsets will be sold in India in 2019 — the highest ever in a year — said technology research consulting firm techARC.Of the 302 million mobile handsets, 149 million (49.3 per cent) will be smartphones, 55 million (18.2 per cent) will be smart-feature phones and the remaining 98 million (32.5 per cent) will be feature phones.With data prices breaking all records — thanks to cheaper plans from carriers like Reliance Jio and affordable yet powerful smartphones now available on shelves — the smartphone and mobile growth in India would only swell further.(Nishant Arora can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)–IANSna/vmadvertisement