first_imgARCATA >> Considering the miles and hours that have already been spent on the road this season, nobody cherishes being able to spend a full week at home more than the Humboldt State football team.No need to worry about passports anymore.No need to stress about going into a handful of other states this week.Twenty-fourth ranked Humboldt State and Western Oregon renew their rivalry with a 6 p.m. kickoff tonight at the Redwood Bowl, as the two Great Northwest Athletic Conference heavyweights …last_img read more

first_imgAbout 10.5% of all South Africans have access to the internet, or 4.59-million people, over a third of them – the majority – aged between 18 and 29.The country has 5.3-million personal computer users, making up 11% of the total population. Its online market is dominated by information and social networking websites, according to web information company Alexa, which lists Google.co.za as the top site, followed by Facebook.The top web brand in South Africa is News24, followed by MSN.South Africa’s online advertising industry is worth R319-million and growing rapidly, online retail generates R688-million in sales, and online air ticket sales R3-billion.There are roughly 26 000 South African blogs, read by over 600 000 people.Sections in this article:Internet access Computer access Online advertising Online retailBlogging in South AfricaRelated articlesUseful links Internet access At the end of 2008 roughly 10.5% of South Africans had access to the internet: a total of 4.59-million local web users, or one in 9 people in a population of 43.79-million. This represents a growth of 12.55%, the biggest since 2001.This is according to Internet Access in South Africa 2008, a report released in March 2008 by World Wide Worx, South Africa’s most authoritative electronic communication research company.South Africa’s web users connect to the internet in four ways:Fixed-line narrow-band dial-up via conventional telephone lines, provided by Telkom Fixed-line broadband via asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) connection, provided by Telkom and a third-party internet service provider (ISP)Wireless broadband via GPRS, 3G or HDSPA technology on cellular-phone networks, provided by local mobile-phone service providers MTN and Vodacom Wireless broadband provided by iBurst, from WBS, and other ISPs.Fixed-line dial-up connection has long been the most-used form of internet access in South Africa, which has lagged behind more developed countries’ uptake of broadband.But broadband is set to take over, especially with Seacom, the first of the major new undersea cables, coming into operation in mid-2009. World Wide Worx predicts that dial-up will be all but phased out at this point – dial-up has already dropped from its peak of 1.08-million in 2004 to 700 000 in 2008. Broadband subscriptions, on the other hand, soared from 818 000 in 2007, to 1 308 000 in 2008; a growth rate of 60%.“Once everyone who is connected is on broadband or high-speed networks, the Internet will come into its own as an environment for business collaboration and personal interaction,” says World Wide Worx managing director Arthur Goldstuck.“Broadband has not yet made a major impact on overall connectivity numbers, even while dramatically increasing the usage of those who are already connected,” adds Goldstuck, who has been tracking the internet market since 1993. “The majority of broadband users are simply migrating up the connectivity food chain, from dial-up to broadband.”Telkom’s ADSL offering has been the main driver of broadband adoption in South Africa for the last four years, but has been overtaken by wireless broadband subscriptions, which now outnumber ADSL by 750 000 to 558 000 in 2008. World Wide Worx predicts that ADSL will continue to be the principal form of connectivity for most broadband users until the latter part of 2009.The study shows that the only broadband offering attracting large numbers of new users, rather than upgrading existing users, is iBurst. Until now the growth of iBurst has been held back by availability, but through its relationship with Vodacom it is expected to make a dramatic impact over the next two years.Internet users According to Nielsens Netratings research, published by the Online Publishers’ Association, the user base is becoming more male-dominated, with 58% of South Africans online in December 2008 being male, as opposed to 55% in December 2007. This represents an increase of 3.2%.The audience is also ageing slightly, with the older demographic groups increasing their share the most; with a 0.6% increase, the 50+ group saw the greatest increase.Some 22% had a degree, 15% a postgraduate degree, and 17% had a household income of over R400 000.Computer access South Africa has 5.3-million personal computer (PC) users, or 11% in a population of 47.85-million – one computer for every nine people.This is according to PC Users in South Africa 2006 , a study released in June 2006 by World Wide Worx.The study was conducted by Arthur Goldstuck and Kirsty Laschinger. Its approach was to move beyond a conventional tally of computer sales to establish how long PCs, laptops and servers remain in use once they have entered the market, and how many are in active use. For the first time, this has provided a clear picture of the size of South Africa’s PC user base.“PCs have a life span ranging three to six years, while laptop computers tend to be used for only up to three years,” says Laschinger, who interviewed most of the country’s major PC manufacturers and distributors for the project.“It was an eye-opener how many vendors of computers expect all users to replace their PCs every two to three years, when the reality is many users ‘sweating their assets’ to get maximum value from the purchase.”Booming sales in PCs mean not only more people using new computers, but also that PCs already in the field remain in use for a longer period, further boosting the user base. But this trend may change once laptop computers overtake desktop PCs in popularity – a real possibility in the next few years.“Laptop computers cannot be upgraded as easily or as cheaply as desktop PCs, so they have a shorter useful life,” says Goldstuck. “You can upgrade a PC bought more than five years ago to accommodate current software, but it’s unlikely you could do that with most laptops. The result is that old laptops are more likely to be discarded than passed on, while old PCs are more likely to have a second life once the user upgrades.”The net result is that booming laptop sales will not have the same cumulative effect on the total user base as do PC sales. Nevertheless, growth will continue, but at a slower pace, in the years to come.Factors that will drive this growth include:Continued strong economic growthThe emergence of the black middle classImproved education levels, including computer literacyThe evolution of the distribution channelImproved affordability of PCs, both as a result of cheaper product and new financing optionsConvergence of voice and dataTechnology improvementsDemand for more server/ storage capability to meet higher levels of corporate governance requirements.Top websitesThe Online Publishers’ Association (OPA) represents South Africa’s top mainstream commercial website publishers.Membership is restricted to internet publishers who:are dedicated to building a sustainable online publishing businesspublish original content on the internetuse online advertising and sponsorship as their primary sources of incomeare committed to best practice in online publishingAccording to the OPA, in the second quarter (April to June) of 2007 the top 20 websites in South Africa were:TOP 20 COMMERCIAL WEBSITESRank Website Publisher Unique browsers Active Reach 1news24.com Media24 980 69021%2MSNMSN705 78415%3mweb.co.za MWeb647 89214%4webmail.co.za Interface 593 29213%5HotmailMSN573 52712%6iol.co.za Independent Online556 44712%724.comMedia24 487 43810%8fin24.co.za Media24 289 9836%9careerjunction.co.zaCareerJunction279 4776%10health24.co.za Media24 260 6796%11iafrica.com Primedia Online257 7146%12yellowpages.co.zaYellow Pages South Africa253 4115%13ananzi.co.za Ananzi238 4155%14Autotrader.co.zaAuto Trader233 4615%15Mail & Guardian Online M&G Online208 6134%16wheels24.co.za Media24 195 9234%17supersport.co.za SuperSport Zone187 3694%18women24.comMedia24 178 6104%19The TimesAvusa165 7994%20Junkmail-zaJunkmail164 2274%Source: South African Online Publishers Association Online advertising Online advertising in South Africa grew at the fastest rate of all countries in the English-language world in 2008, and is likely to repeat this performance in 2009. This is according to the Online Media in South Africa 2009 study, conducted by World Wide Worx in collaboration with the OPA.The findings indicate growth of 32% in online advertising in 2008, after 27% growth in 2007. Actual online advertising spend in 2008 reached R319-million, from R240-million the year before. This is in line with a 2006 study by World Wide Worx, which foresaw that online advertising spend would pass R200-million in 2007. The robust growth, according to the study, is indicative of growing confidence in the online medium.OPA chair Adrian Hewlett attributes the growth to three key trends:Increased awareness of the inherent potential of online advertising has resulted in a growing pool of online advertisers;There has been a considerable boost in digital adoption by traditional media buying and creative agencies, as well as new specialist agencies;Additional publishers have entered the market, further promoting the online proposition and maturing the online advertising market.Another interesting trend that has emerged, is that online advertising spend is set to overtake that of the cinema. The growth forecast for 2009 is 32% for online, while advertising growth in cinema will show very little movement.“While online economics in South Africa are different to those of traditional commerce, there is little doubt that a recession in the physical world would make itself felt in the online environment, but the 2009 expectation shows how robust this sector remains,” says Goldstuck.This significant development will further encourage traditional buying agencies to embrace the online medium.The 2008 study also showed that the only other mature Internet market where online advertising appears to be growing faster than South Africa is Brazil. The South American country shows a massive 45% growth for 2008.Other English-speaking markets which traditionally had outpaced South Africa in 2006 and 2007, such as the US, UK, Canada and Australia, declined during in 2008. None managed to achieve 30% growth – growth in the US was a meagre 11% and in the UK growth fell to 22%. Neither country is expected to break through 10% in 2009.Rich media banners – ads that allow the user to interact with them – share top position with the static banner in terms of revenue generating advertising in South Africa.Online retail By the end of 2007, online spending on retail goods in South Africa is expected to have grown by more than 35%, after 33% growth in 2006.The total spent on online retail goods in South Africa in 2007 is expected to be R929-million, up from R688-million in 2006, according to Online Retail in South Africa 2007 , a report released by World Wide Worx in October 2007.These figures exclude the sale of air tickets online, which continue to dwarf the numbers for online retail. The five South African airlines selling tickets online, namely kulula.com, FlySAA.com, Mango, and 1Time between them accounted for R2.3-billion in e-commerce in 2006, almost four times the size of conventional online retail. The figure is expected to rise above R3-billion in 2007.These numbers indicate a dramatic turnaround in online retail in South Africa, which appeared to be stagnating in 2005. The 2006 recovery is being sustained in 2007, with all indications being of even more dramatic growth in 2008.The number of online retail sites has also grown substantially, from 826 in 2005 to 1014 in 2007. This growth has come despite 310 sites – more than a third of those online at the end of 2005 – closing down from 2005 to 2007. However, no less than 498 new sites came online during this time.The online retail market is dominated by 12 sites, which between them account for more than three quarters of online retail sales in South Africa, according to World Wide Worx. They are:The three largest online malls: M-Web Shopping, The eBucks Shop and Digital Mall The two largest online grocers: Pick ‘n Pay Home Shopping and Woolworths The two largest online book retailers: Kalahari.net and Exclusive Books The largest online florist: NetFlorist The largest online wine retailer: Cybercellar The largest online electronics store: Digital Planet The largest online health and beauty store: Ascot Direct The largest auction site: Bidorbuy Blogging in South Africa There were a total of 26 197 blogs in South Africa at the end of December 2007, compared with 25 037 blogs just four months before. World Wide Worx research shows that for the period of January to March 2008, the following activity was reported on South African blogs:Number of blogs (December 2007): 26 179Active blogs: 3 789Percent of active blogs: 14.5%Monthly posts for January 2008: 48 120Average monthly page views in 2008: 5 226-millionMonthly page views for January 2008: 10 448-millionThe key moments, says Goldstuck happened in 2007, and they were the launches of Afrigator, the continent’s first blogging aggregator; Amatomu, the first comprehensive tracking service for blogs and bloggers in South Africa; My Digital Life by ITWeb, which put solid commercial resources and interests behind blogging; and The Times, the first mainstream newspaper to embrace blogs and the social networking environment.As a result, he adds, it is clear that blogging is no longer just a fad, as indicated by the explosion of activity that occurred in July and August 2007. This represents a true tipping point for the phenomenon.According to Afrigator, South Africa dominates the African blog space, with nearly three in every five blogs attributable to the country.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected] articles The media in South AfricaSouth Africa onlineSouth African televisionRadio in South AfricaSouth Africa’s commercial radio stationsSouth Africa’s public broadcasting radio stationsSouth Africa’s community radio stationsUseful links World Wide Worx Online Publishers’ Association Internet access: Telkom MTN Vodacom iBurst Top websites: news24.com iol.co.za www.mweb.co.za webmail.co.za health24.co.za iafrica.com Mail & Guardian Online fin24.co.za bidorbuy.co.za ananzi.co.za careerjunction.co.za motoring.co.za wheels24.co.za supersport.co.za women24.com tonight.co.za autotrader.co.za sundaytimes.co.za busrep.co.za yellowpages.co.za Online retail: M-Web Shopping The eBucks Shop Digital Mall Pick ‘n Pay Home Shopping Woolworths Kalahari.net Exclusive Books NetFlorist Cybercellar Digital Planet Ascot Direct Bidorbuy kulula.com FlySAA.com Mango 1Time Blogging in South Africa Thought Leader Afrigator Amatomu My Digital Life The Timeslast_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest “Farm Service Agency is running out of Direct Operating Loan (DOL) and Guaranteed Operating Loan (GOL) Fiscal Year 2016 funding in June, with a third of the fiscal year still remaining. This substantial shortfall will leave many beginning farmers, and others who cannot be fully serviced by commercial credit under current price conditions, without the loans they need to stay in business. It will also create a backlog and long waiting list for Fiscal Year 2017.”This was the beginning of a letter sent to congressional appropriators from groups including the American Bankers Association, Farm Credit Council, Independent Community Bankers of America, National Association of Credit Specialists, National Farmers Union, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, National Young Farmers Coalition and Opportunity Finance Network. These organizations share the concern about the possibility that farmers and lenders within the agricultural community, counting on FSA loans or guarantees, could see a delay in funding due to a higher than usual volume of interest for those available funds, thus tapping the FSA well dry.Current loan availability depends on the state. FSA grants states each their own allocation so some states may run out of funds before others. So, what does the situation look like for Ohio?“We have not run out of funds here yet, but we certainly could,” said Steve Mauer, Ohio FSA Executive Director. “We’ve had a lot of demand for our loan programs and that is simply indicative of the farm economy.”“When things start to get tight in any particular allocation category then the funds will begin to be pooled nationally which we have seen happen, but we still have control of some of our other state allocations.”If more allocations begin to run out, farmers could see a delay in loans granted for this year and a waiting list for loans granted for 2017, but this wouldn’t be a first.“This is not new to the agency,” Mauer said. “When we run out of money nationally to support our loan making, then we have to wait until somebody appropriates more money.”FSA’s fiscal year still has some time left in it as it runs until the end of September.Despite the possibility of funds not being available at their usual times, Mauer said that doesn’t mean that they won’t be accepting applications from farmers looking for loans. Local FSA offices will still have the ability to approve loans, but they may not be able to fund them until more money is made available.last_img read more

first_imgThe use of mobile applications to enhance business processes across a wide variety of industries is no more news. Many companies and business organizations are steadily integrating app development strategies to improve engagement, enhance efficiency, and boost various work processes across a wide range of industries. But, businesses can safely and efficiently adopt artificial intelligence.Now that many enterprises have begun shifting their attention to mobile app development, there is a need for every forward-thinking mobile app development company to consider changing from its traditional ways of developing applications to adopting new innovative development strategies. Artificial intelligence is one technology that has been receiving increasing interest in recent years.It is quite challenging to get along with any technology without first familiarizing yourself with its concepts.When it comes to developing apps with artificial intelligence, any pragmatic mobile app development company should be able to understand the various processes involved. This post is designed to enable entrepreneurs and small business owners to know how best they can safely and efficiently adopt artificial intelligence via app development.Understand the Concepts of Modern AIAny technology will need to be understood and become familiar to your business, and same applies to artificial intelligence (AI). There is a need for any mobile app development company or app developer looking to build intelligent enterprise apps to take the time to become familiar with the various abilities of the technology. Businesses looking to delve into the AI space must first understand the profitability of such technology and be willing to go into partnership with relevant organizations.Getting online in search of credible information about AI technology is an excellent way to start.The main aim of doing this is to acquire a rich knowledge of AI and its constituents, such as predictive analytics and machine learning and how they can be applied within your organization. Several organizations provide a wide array of resources and information online to which people can quickly get themselves acquainted with the basic concepts of AI.Explore Different IdeasThere are so many resourceful products that any mobile app development company can build through AI integration. But this can only be possible when problems solvable by AI are identified. Using solvability as a guide is why it is imperative for app developers to take the time to explore different ideas, even while focusing based on AI app development.Businesses need to seek out ways by which AI capabilities can be added to their existing products and services.The best way AI can play a meaningful role in an organization is by identifying problems that this technology can solve. Ultimately, there should be specific use cases in which AI integration would provide an added value while solving business problems. Interestingly, there is rarely any mobile app development company that wouldn’t benefit from AI adoption. Whether it is for machine learning, image recognition, or natural language processing, the role of AI in app development cannot be underestimated.Assess Its Potential ValueOnce various possible AI implementations have been identified, prioritizing concrete value is the next important thing to consider. Value can be done by assessing the potential financial and business value of the tech’s implementations. There is no need to embark on an adventure that has no business value as it will only amount to a goose chase. To this end, it is imperatively essential for any mobile app development company focusing on adopting rich AI features to ensure that the company’s initiatives are directly tied to the business value.Understanding what the financial value is for the company can go a long way to help developers prioritize effectively based on near-term visibility. Visibility can be best achieved by looking at the dimensions of feasibility and potentiality.Get ready to Integrate DataIn case you do not know, Artificial Intelligence is all about data. Enterprises looking to take this route must be organizationally and technologically prepared to start building apps and integrating them with AI capabilities. Integrating an app with AI-enabled capabilities is why it is essential to set goals while ensuring to work with professional AI consultants. These are the people that will help to ensure that clean data is integrated into the process.Several legacy systems are designed with multiple data silos in which internal corporate data is kept.To this end, there is a need to work as a team or collaborate with an experienced mobile app development company which can be very helpful, particularly when it comes to creating high-quality data for ML. The best way to develop accurate and rich data is by sorting out inconsistencies from the various data sets that would be integrated into the development process.Don’t Overlook StorageNo developer or app development company can effectively adopt AI solutions without considering the storage requirements for the task.All aspects of storage make it essential for app developers and other development agencies to ensure that they consider implementation.AI systems require substantial data volumes to enable the development of accurate models. Unfortunately, these computing objectives cannot be effectively achieved without including storage as part of the AI plan. In AI there will always be the need for fast, optimized storage solutions right from the onset of the system design.ConclusionWhile artificial intelligence is recommended for virtually all enterprises across a wide range of industries, it is, however, imperative that they take the time to analyze its potential and how the technology will help to boost business value before going down this road. China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Ricky Brown Tags:#AI#artificial intellgence#business Ricky Brown is an energetic content strategist and marketer at App Development Companies, the platform that helps you to find best IT Partner for your app, web and software requirements across the globe. AI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Themlast_img read more

first_imgThe International Cricket Council is leaving no stone unturned to prevent match-fixing during next year’s World Cup.”We have taken necessary steps to check match-fixing. We now have more people in the fold to keep a check on these matters,” said Lorgat in New Delhi on Thursday.He was speaking at a press conference organised by ICC’s broadcast partner for the World Cup, ESPN Star Sports, which was attended by Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Sir Vivian Richards and Arjuna Ranatunga.He even addressed the security issue in the wake of the Varanasi blasts, saying, “These things are a fact of life. But we have a system in place to take care of it. Safety and security are our prime concern. We have a security delegation that has been working on it for a month now.”Touching upon the much-debated Decision Review System (DRS), Lorgat said, “It’s a new technology and is still being tested. We won’t be able to implement the DRS during the league phase as it won’t be logistically possible. But it will be used during the knock-out stages and I hope it will be appreciated.”Highlighting the excitement surrounding the World Cup, he said, “it’s the topic for discussion even at the Ashes. I have just returned from the Ashes in Adelaide and the talk there often centres on the World Cup.””It’s the sub-continent’s Cup,” he added and said, “It’s going to be even greater than the last one.”To make sure that it’s a crowd puller the ICC has ensured that tickets are affordable. “Sharad Pawar, the ICC president, had clearly instructed long before the plans were afoot that the tickets were affordable.”advertisementEarlier, tournament director Ratnakar Shetty pointed out that apart from the six India matches, which are expected to be crowd-pullers during the league phase; it will be a challenge for the host associations in various states to bring in the crowds in non-India games.In the same vein, he praised the government’s effort in “relaxation of the multiple entry visa for the foreign spectators”, which will help in bringing in the crowds to the stadium.Shetty also stated, “emphasis during this World Cup is not the number of seats (that will be occupied), but the facilities that will be provided.””Good facilities for spectators, media and broadcasters are our primary concern. In keeping with this agenda we have renovated the Chennai Stadium, the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai and the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.”last_img read more