SANTA CLARA – Last Sunday, lineman Damontre Moore was cooking and watching his 6-month-old son at his house outside of Dallas, wondering if he would ever play in the NFL again.This Sunday, he made the play that sealed the 49ers’ 36-26 win over the Arizona Cardinals at Levi’s Stadium.With the Cardinals down four with 31 seconds left, Moore tracked down receiver KeeSean Johnson from behind and forced a fumble that was recovered by safety Jaquiski Tartt at the Arizona 30. The 49ers later scored …
The Manor Gardens Primary School quizteam scored 51 points to win the 2011International Kids Literary Quiz, 16points clear of their runners up, SummitHeights Public School from Canada with 35.(Image: Manor Gardens Primary School)MEDIA CONTACTS• Carol Lottering+27 31 261 1401RELATED ARTICLES• SA whizz-kid in line for Google award• SA students tops at science awards• Education in South Africa• Student boffin is top programmerNosimilo RamelaPupils and teachers from Manor Gardens Primary School in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, are celebrating after the school’s team won the 2011 International Kids Literary Quiz in New Zealand on 19 July.Grade seven pupils Alexandra Breckenridge, Matthew Robbins, Emily Spencer and Sarah Herrington represented South Africa in the event, taking on teams from the UK, US, Canada and New Zealand. The annual event tests the literary knowledge of children between 10 and 13.Wayne Mills, a New Zealand quizmaster and senior lecturer at the University of Auckland, founded the quiz in 1991 to motivate youngsters to read more and see the activity as a type of sport. Mills wanted good readers to be rewarded and be celebrated by their schools, just like sporty children are.Over the past 20 years the competition has grown into a popular annual event among youngsters in the different participating countries, with hundreds of teams vying for a chance to represent their nation in the final. Some 400 teams in the UK alone took part in the regional finals this year.Manor Gardens Primary School beat 150 teams from schools around South Africa in their regional finals held in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.Teams have to get through 10 rounds of 10 questions in the regional finals. The questions cover a range of topics in children’s books, including weapons in literature and witches.Bookstore Exclusive Books sponsored the competition in South Africa, offering cash prizes and book vouchers to each of the winning teams.Manor Gardens principal Carol Lottering said the school’s teachers, pupils and parents were proud of the team.“They have shown that there is some good in our education. You often hear negative things about education in this country, but here is a public school that has competed internationally and won.”‘Emphatic win’Competition organisers Kids Lit Quiz congratulated the young South Africans for their outstanding win.“The South African team from Manor Gardens in Durban was comprehensively strong in all the categories and won this year’s final emphatically,” it said in a statement.The Durban school team won the contest with 51 points – which is 16 points clear of runners up Summit Heights Public School from Canada, with 35; and last year’s winners Cockermouth School from the UK, with 27 points.Lottering said that the team which helped prepare the pupils for the competition as well as the school’s media centre teacher, Isobel Sobey, had a big role to play in their success.“It was a joint effort by the teachers and parents, who worked together to assist the children. The teachers emphasise the importance of reading in the same way the parents do at home.”The school’s Facebook page has been flooded with congratulatory messages since news broke of their triumph. South Africa’s Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga was among the many who posted celebratory messages on the page. “You make the country proud,” she wrote.The school has also written a message on Facebook on behalf of the team to thank all their supporters for the encouraging words.“We are truly overwhelmed with the support and the lovely messages. Alex, Emily, Matthew and Sarah are absolutely thrilled with the response and thank their school friends, teachers and everyone who has followed the team on this momentous journey.”
The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts Tags:#mobile#web Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement marshall kirkpatrick What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Cross-platform mobile push notification and in-app purchase service Urban Airship announced two new features this morning that mobile savvy marketers are sure to find compelling. In a world fast becoming more mobile, more real time and more data-centric, these technologies are very well timed. Hopefully they’ll be self-correcting enough that app users won’t be driven crazy. The company’s new Push Composer is a simple web-based publishing platform for publishing messages that will be delivered to app users’ iOS, Android or BlackBerry screens. Messages can be scheduled ahead of time and delivered to groups of users segmented by a variety of tags. The second new feature, UA Reports, displays daily metrics about notification open rates by time of day. With nearly 10 million notifications sent each day, Urban Airship says it intends to offer mobile marketing benchmarks, best practices for maximizing engagement through push and more data-centric insights in the near future.An Unusual CompanyWe first wrote about Urban Airship eighteen months ago, when the then tiny startup unveiled its plans to act as a technology middle-man for app developers interested in outsourcing the infrastructure required to take advantage of the new push notifications and in-app purchasing on the iPhone. The company was founded by a scrappy group of engineers with a bizzarre story: their previous employer collapsed overnight, offering company computers in lieu of final checks, they built and sold an online bacon delivery website and a number of them were fortunate enough to receive unemployment payments for bootstrapping entrepreneurs under an innovative program from the state of Oregon. Then they built Urban Airship. Led by serial innovator Scott Kveton, the company started landing customers fast and furious.Fast forward to today and the now venture-backed startup says it has more than 7500 customers, using the company’s services in almost 16,000 different apps, and adds an average of 43 new customers each day. In addition to push and in-app sales, the company was powering some of the first experiments with iOS content subscription. Urban Airship’s list of customers is long and interesting, from Target to the Guardian, Warner Brothers, the Vancouver Canucks and Groupon. That’s right – this little startup powers the push notifications for the fastest growing tech company in history. Say what you will about Groupon (I’m no fan) but that’s impressive.As we discussed in depth when it was revealed that push notifications were coming to the Twitter iPhone app, push enables new forms of interaction with mobile apps. Beyond increasing user engagement, push offers users opportunities to interact with apps in ways that are real-time, synchronous and rich with flow. The interruptive nature of push allows for finer-tuned prioritization of certain messages from certain sources. Push is a big deal, and Urban Airship makes it easy and systematic for app developers to implement it.From its humble beginnings, the startup has now grown to 25 employees, has taken over a spacious office in Portland, Oregon and is quickly hiring many of the most cutting edge engineers, designers and sales people in that tech-rich town. The building now houses a number of mobile startups, including former Twitter engineer Alex Payne’s forthcoming BankSimple. A publicly available mobile device testing lab is in the works as well, gathering devices from manufacturers around the world for anyone to come and test their apps on. Moving Beyond Speaking to GeeksUrban Airship says that companies come to it to save time and money on deploying push notifications, but there’s far more than can be done once the customers are in the door. The startup is building new features quickly – some go over well (like RSS to push) and others have been slower to gain adoption, like the feature the company calls “rich media push.”The two features the company is releasing today speak to a new audience, though. While the legacy product is ultimately an API play, the new features adress the needs of marketing organizations. Both features are being tested with existing customers but will be made generally available once that testing is complete.The new Push Composer is like a little blogging platform, or a Twitter client, but for writing Push Notifications. An attractive UI allows anyone to compose short messages, schedule them for delivery and segment the audience based on tags that users may have opted-into or that a mobile app provider applied to people themselves. For example: one group of recipients might like the Portland Trailblazers, another group may be people who have opened a push notification within the previous 24 hours. Tagged groups can be whatever you like. Click send and boom, the message will be sent and received in seconds.At launch the Composer does not allow users to determine what screen in an app gets opened when a notification is viewed, but the company says that may be offered in the future. Right now when recipients view a notification, the app simply opens up its front page.Even more interesting are the new UA Reports. At first the reports are simple. They just track app opens, time in app, and push volume over time.In time, Urban Airship hopes to see what kinds of data their customers want and to offer a wide variety of information based on that data it collects, cross referenced with other data sources. The company says it believes that app developers will eventually make decisions based on the data the reports deliver: what kinds of notifications get the most response? What kinds of features are users best alerted to by push? Which features or content types should be more prominent in the experience of the app? The company says, for example, that one of its magazine customers found that push notifications and icon badges for its mobile apps were being opened more often at 9 PM than at any other time of the day. In response, the magazine now regularly pushes new content and notifications around 8:30 to prime the pump for evening readers.Push notifications are great for keeping users engaged with apps, but some mobile devices handle them better than others. On iOS they are frankly terrible – though rumors are flying that drastic improvements may be forthcoming. Will putting push composition in the hands of marketers lead to notification overload, a declining user experience and consumer backlash? That seems like one of the risks, but one that Urban Airship hopes to tackle with data-based education about best practices. The company says it has one full time engineer dedicated to metrics right now, but does not offer any formal training or guidelines in pushing just right instead of too much.“2011 is the year that mobile apps need to prove their value,” says Urban Airship’s Jason Glaspey in the company’s announcement today. “With thousands of apps fighting for consumer attention and an average app lifespan of one month or less, developers and marketers need powerful tools.”With a full-speed-ahead attitude and plenty of momentum, Urban Airship will now try to provide just that kind of tools. Hopefully the data analysis the company shares with its customers will help keep trigger-happy push composers in check and not lead to an overwhelming flood of notifications. Time will tell. It looks like this new mode of communication is about to become easier and smarter than ever before.
The new air traffic control tower at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St. James, was officially opened and commissioned into service by Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Robert Montague, on Thursday, May 17.The tower is one of two built at Jamaica’s two major international airports, at a cost of $2.5 billion.Speaking at the opening ceremony, Director General of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA), Nari Williams-Singh, outlined some of the features of the state-of-the art facility.“The tower is fitted with an industry-leading air traffic management system. This has positioned Jamaica as a leading air traffic management environment, with the most advanced equipment available on the market to improve the safety of air operations nationally and globally,” he said.“The system includes a new Voice Communications Control System; a Time Control System, an Automatic Terminal Information System, microwave, fibre-optic and copper infrastructure; a Meteorological System; a Fire Detection and Signaling System and an Airport Lighting system, with remote control functionalities” he added.Mr. Williams-Singh pointed out that the new technology will allow the Authority to satisfy international requirements and to remain apace with improvements to technology in aviation.“As we carefully manage the risks and complexities of new systems and technologies, we continue to foster the adoption of advanced avionics and satellite-based procedures, performance-based navigation (PBN) and other fail-safe mechanisms, procedures, systems and structures, which make our industry safer, more resilient, incident-proof and efficient,” he saidThe new towers were built under the JCAA’s comprehensive modernisation programme to upgrade and replace major components of its communications, navigation and surveillance systems.