When the finalists of the boys’ Class Three high jump final were announced at the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletic Championships at the National Stadium yesterday, all eyes were on Cayman-born high jumper and the Class Three champion and record holder, Calabar High’s Lamar Reid. Not many had their eyes on the Herbert Morrison’s pair of Antonio Hanson and Javier Hall, who both jumped 1.85 metres to take first and second, respectively, and relegate the defending champion, Reid — who scaled 1.75m — to third. Gold medallist Hanson said many people knew of their potential after both jumped personal bests of 1.90 metres at the St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) meet earlier this year, but no one expected them to take the top positions. “People knew we jumped 1.90m at STETHS so they were looking out for us, but they never expected us to win. I knew it would have been hard for us because no one was looking out for us, everyone was looking out for Lamar Reid, the record holder to take this event,” said Hanson. “But we trained hard, trained together and fed off each other’s energy and we came out here and we won … and I expect to beat him (Reid) even if he jumped higher because when he did the last jump I didn’t feel the vibes to jump anymore,” he told The Gleaner. Hall said he expected a tougher fight from Reid. “We expected to win and we came out to win, but he (Reid) never put up the fight we expected so there was no competition. But it is a joy taking back home the gold and silver,” he added. Reid said it was just a bad day. “I feel very bad, I expected to win. But the other team won because I had a bad day today,” he said.
Wolmer’s Boys coach Vassell Reynolds said he is not concerned with anything else but eliminating big-named rivals and reigning ISSA-Flow Manning Cup champions Jamaica College today, when the schoolboy football powerhouses square off in their semi final at Sabina Park, at 4 p.m.Wolmer’s did, recently, eliminate today’s opponents from the Walker Cup quarter-finals, but none of that will matter today, Reynolds reasoned.”My approach from the beginning of the season is not to concern ourselves with the name of a team; the teams dont matter to me, only our next game. We always look to the next game,” warned Reynolds.”We dont know anybody named JC right now!” Reynolds quipped.”The Super Cup is glamorous and there is monetary reward and exposure there, because most people watch it. In terms of prestige, history, folklore, even though our aim is to be in all three finals, I would choose the Manning Cup.”We are confident of our ability as usual, we will be relying on our strength, and we will be focused and confident we will get the job done. We have momentum on our side, we are still unbeaten, we concede the least amount of goals,” Reynolds was quick to underline.He warned his charges that losing today would be unacceptable.”We don’t play against a name, we play against a team. It’s evident this is not the JC of last year, but from we met them in the STETHS CUP (pre-season), we knew they could be a formidable team,” Reynolds added.
The recent crossover of UP stalwart Harrison S. Karnwea to the Liberty Party (LP) has angered a cross-section of Nimbaians who feel Karnwea’s political decision has threatened the county’s solidarity (unity).Senator Prince Y. Johnson (PYJ) has meanwhile described Karnwea’s cross-carpeting to LP as ‘laughable.’“The whole thing still sounds funny to me on the grounds that my junior brother (Karnwea), who has been with a failed UP, will become one of those political bats masquerading the political terrain,” said Sen. Johnson.PYJ, the political leader of opposition Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR), made his reaction clear during a mobile phone interview with the Daily Observer yesterday.His response to Karnwea’s decision to switch parties was prompted by calls from Nimba UP lawmakers that Mr. Karnwea should resign as head of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), the agency overseeing the country’s forestry sector.“It is the will of Nimba lawmakers to decide on what is right, but I think Karnwea’s resignation has nothing to benefit our beloved county, neither the country, because he has nothing significant politically to offer the county,” Sen. Johnson countered.According to him, Karnwea “has no weight to present the county to any politician, least to mention a political party.”Johnson said he has gathered from a well-placed source that Mr. Karnwea wants to become a running mate to Cllr. Brumskine, a decision which he said “has no steam.”The multi-party system of governance calls for one to exercise free political will, “but the defection of former UP partisans is because of shame, and a complete misrepresentation of the culture of democracy,” Johnson opined.“Why jump from place to place like a bat only because the UP has failed to deliver on its campaign promises?” PYJ inquired, noting, “They will be paid for their good job at the ballot box on October 10.” A member of the UP Legislative Caucus, Representative Worlea Saywah Dunah, urged Karnwea to resign his post as Managing Director of Liberia’s Forestry Development Authority (FDA) “without the least delay.”Like Senator Johnson, Rep. Dunah and Mr. Karnwea are prominent sons of Nimba County, hailing from Zoe-Geh Statutory District, a predominately Gio/Dan region. Mr. Karnwea recently resigned from the governing UP and joined the opposition, LP, of Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine. The decision has been described by some politicians as a blow to the candidacy of Vice President Joseph Boakai, who is seeking the presidency at the October polls. VP Boakai has denied being frustrated, particularly by Karnwea’s defection.Meanwhile, Mr. Karnwea, speaking to our reporter from Geneva, Switzerland, where he is attending the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA2020) meeting at the World Economic Forum, questioned the political identity of those that are calling for his resignation. “Who are they that want me to resign my post in government? Do I owe them an explanation for my actions? If they have the power, let them fire me,” Karnwea challenged. But Rep. Dunah said his demand for Karnwea to quit, which is being misunderstood by Karnwea’s supporters, is intended to save him (Karnwea) and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf from future political embarrassment.According to Dunah, Karnwea’s action has elevated former Senator Kekura Kpoto’s popular call to “Put your clothes where the sun shines.”“The FDA managing director’s position is a cabinet job and so for Karnwea to keep the job in the sunshine, while looking to secure the next sunshine, is tantamount to undermining the UP. By that, Mr. Karnwea is keeping his cabinet job to campaign against the very cabinet he is working for in an attempt to unseat that government and remain in the next government,” Dunah observed. He added: “Whatever the torrent contains, we are not interested, because it is elementary that intellectuals and factual scarcities invariably lead to mudslinging. So we resist such situation, because it undermines and exposes our candidate, VP Boakai, who is running on the achievements President Sirleaf has made.” According to him, the UP has some critical decisions to make, adding that, “If Karnwea should stay in the cabinet his role could be viewed as King David’s advisor Hushai in the Bible with the rebellious son Absalom.”Dunah recalled how the Trojans did not know what was in the belly of the wooden horse, but “here the UP saw the fanfare of Karnwea’s transfer,” and he questioned, “Should the party’s leadership pretend that this dangerous politics has no bearing on the upcoming elections?”“And so our call for Karnwea to resign is simply a call to save him and the President from embarrassment, a saving gesture not understood by him and his so-called followers. The murky waters of Liberian politics, which Kpoto epitomized is the historical shame to all of us. But in all honesty, to remain in a cabinet and become an opposition is an exhibition of the highest level of Kpoto’s sunshine philosophy that is only self-seeking, unanchored and reveals a desperation of a kind of power greed politicians percieve.”He further noted that it is desperation and greed that lead man in different ways, adding, “If the Karnwea conundrum is allowed to stand, it will not only make Liberia the laughing stock of global politics, but will be recorded in the Guinness Book (of Records).”Dunah said that as a follower of Christ Jesus, who said “no man can serve two masters,” he will not want to be Karnwea in that cabinet room “where everyone knows that whatever policy decisions they make and issues considered are not protected from the opposition, represented by Mr. Karnwea.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The training program was held at the EFCC Training Center in Karu, outside Abuja from November 12-22, 2019 with the objective to enhance the investigative capacity of the LACC staff, …Nigeria’s anti-graft chief tells LACC PersonnelIbrahim Magu, Executive Chairman of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has urged 10 personnel of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Agency (LACC) to combine the fear of God and patriotism to fight corruption in Liberia, a release has said.According to the release from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja, Magu gave the advice to the LACC personnel during the closing ceremony of a two-week capacity building program held for them.The training program was held at the EFCC Training Center in Karu, outside Abuja from November 12-22, 2019 with the objective to enhance the investigative capacity of the LACC staff, and provide a platform for the observation of judicial proceedings related to anti-corruption cases.Chairman Magu, who spoke through Dr. Aminu Gusau, the EFCC Director for Organizational Support, said “You will have to be prepared and see how best you can fight corruption. You will have to use the fear of God and combine it with patriotism to defeat the monster of corruption.”He cautioned the Liberian trainees that by not taking their training serious would mean a betrayal of the trust: “…betrayal of trust in the sense that you’re not being patriotic as Liberians, and by extension, you’re not even being patriotic to the continent of Africa.”Ambassador Al-Hassan Conteh, on behalf of President George Weah, congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari for granting the Liberian Leader’s request for a bilateral partnership program between the LACC, and EFCC in capacity development, technical assistance and information exchange.Amb. Conteh said the Government of President Weah believes that corruption constitutes a major impediment to national development: “It erodes faith in government because of mismanagement and misapplication of public resources. It weakens accountability, transparency and justice. Corruption shortchanges and undermines key decision and policy-making processes. It stifles private investments which create jobs and assure support from donors”, he said.Conteh also thanked Chairman Magu for collaborating with his counterpart, Commissioner Charles Gibson, the then Acting Chairman of LACC for “acting expeditiously in concretizing this capacity building program,” which he said is central to Liberia’s current development plan, the Pro-poor Agenda for Development and Prosperity (PAPD).Professor Ladi Hamalai, Commandant of the EFCC Training Academy, urged the LACC personnel to go back home, and engage the civil society organizations to ensure prevention, which is a very important component of curbing corruption.Head of the LACC trainees, Isaac Davies, expressed gratitude to the Government and people of Nigeria for affording them the opportunity to build their investigative capacity: “These lessons have been insightful, challenging, and reaffirming. They have energized us to renew our commitment to ensure better stewardship of our nation’s resources. We look forward to replicating the things we have learned and observed here, sharing these skills with our colleagues and applying them to our daily work.”The LACC trainees included Abraham B. Sheriff, Deputy for Intelligence/Enforcement Division, Isaac Davies, Internal Auditor, Attorney Margaret Nigba, Legal Officer and Rebecca Kiawoin, Procurement Officer. Others were Patricia Barnaby, Assistant Asset Declaration Officer, Bernice W. Karlar, Asset Management Assistant, Vivian Blamah and investigators Emmauel Tarlue, Sonja Gibson and Rahoff Solomon.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A Donegal truck company boss has warned other drivers to be vigilant after €1,500 worth of diesel was syphoned out of one of his trucks while the driver slept.Haulage company boss John McLaughlin of JML Transport in Convoy said gangs of fuel thieves are now targeting trucks both in Ireland and England.Mr McLaughlin’s truck was emptied of almost 1,200 litres of fuel in just seven minutes as the driver slept in a lay-by in Derbyshire in England last week. The trucking boss has an anti-theft device which alerts his phone went fuel is being emptied out of any of his vehicles very quickly.But unfortunately for Mr McLaughlin he was at a wake and his phone was on silent.“I got the calls but never heard my phone. My driver was sleeping and didn’t hear a sound.“That is how professional these gangs are. They are roaming both Ireland and England and making a fortune out of it. “I was able to tell from my anti-syphoning monitor that it took these guys just seven minutes to empty my tank.“Because of the increasing price of fuel, this kind of thing is big business now.“If they hit a few trucks in a night with a store tanker then they could easily clear up to €10,000 a night,” he claimed.Mr McLaughlin, who is well-known in Irish trucking circles, also revealed that Irish drivers are being gassed in their cabs while abroad.“Gassing is becoming more and more common. The drivers wake up with headaches and the next thing they know is that their load has been stolen. “Thankfully that hasn’t happened to me but I have spoken to two drivers who it has happened to,” he said.And the Donegal businessman said he calculates that the situation is only going to get worse predicting that diesel will push up to €2 a litre before Christmas.“If it’s lucrative for gangs to do this now, you can imagine the profit then.“Many people have stopped driving altogether but people in the haulage industry have to keep driving to try and make a living. “It’s going to get to the stage that it simply won’t be worth it,” he said.WARNING AFTER TRUCK EMPTIED OF €1,500 OF DIESEL AS DRIVER SLEPT was last modified: September 13th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:convoydiesel stolenJohn McLaughlintruck
WHITTIER – Amy Rodriguez is a Leader in Training at the Boys & Girls Club.For Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 100th anniversary, the Whittier club held an open house Tuesday evening, and Rodriguez, 15, helped give tours to visitors. Children ages 7-18 come to the club after school for recreation, sports and homework help. Among other activities, the club offers computer classes, basketball, volleyball, pool, Foosball and other games. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventIn Whittier, between 100 and 200 children attend the club every day, said Executive Director Samantha Ridout. Rodriguez has been going there for nearly 10 years and knows most of the other members. She has three siblings, all of whom walk to the club after school. Teen volunteers are treated like “mini-staff,” helping the program’s regular staff in the gym, snack bar and front desk, said Rodriguez. “I’m a floater,” she said. “I make sure all the other Leaders in Training are doing their jobs.” If she went straight home after school, she said she would be using the computer instead of playing basketball, doing art and computer projects and monitoring other “mini-staff” at the club. “We try to give kids a sense of belonging,” said Program Director Oscar Hernandez. “We put their pictures all over the walls – it gives them a sense of ownership so they feel that this is their club.” In the arts and crafts room, children have painted the previously white cabinets with their names, stars, flowers and other personalized pictures. In the computer room, children’s pictures hang on the wall. On Tuesday, 8-year-old Christian Silva organized a bumper pool tournament with friends. “I just started the tournament today,” he said. “I used to be the champion at this until some new kids came.” Silva has been coming to the club for about two years, staying until his mom finishes work and picks him up, he said. Matthew Hamby, 11, played pool with friends Tuesday. “I used to go home and play video games,” he said. He’s been coming to the club for about four months. He said he likes it because he’s made a lot of friends. Whittier College students volunteer at the club, helping children with computer lessons. The club also organizes outside excursions, taking teens to the Speed Zone, the movies and other outings. Some children also attend a science camp at the Yosemite National Institute and YMCA camp. For the future, Ridout said the club hopes to open a second satellite program; it now serves about 100 children each day at Katherine Edwards Middle School. “The staff and kids develop a relationship of caring here,” said Ridout. “Kids know we’re going to support them, and they can try new things here. Outside, they’re exposed to drugs, gangs and people who are not interested in school. We try to help them make positive choices.” email@example.com (562)698-0955, Ext.3026160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Investment opportunities in South Africa will be promoted to global business and other international stakeholders at Davos-Klosters.Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will lead the South African team to the World Economic Forum annual meeting this month. (Image GCIS)The South African delegation to the 48th World Economic Forum meeting this month will be led by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.The annual meeting of global leaders from business, government, civil society, academia and arts and culture, takes place from 23 to 26 January in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.The forum is an important platform used by South Africa to market and showcase the country to global business and other key international stakeholders. Ramaphosa will be accompanied by several ministers and business leaders, with Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba taking the lead in promoting investment opportunities in South Africa.Brand South Africa will be part of the delegation, showcasing “South Africa: an ideal partner for growth”.This year’s meeting takes place under the theme “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”, with some 2,500 participants collaborating to find ways of solving global challenges such as sustainable development, inclusive growth and managing the Fourth Industrial Revolution. “The 48th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting therefore aims to rededicate leaders from all walks of life to developing a shared narrative to improve the state of the world,” the forum notes on its website.Co-chairs of the event include: International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde; Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg; general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in Belgium Sharan Burrow; director-general of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva Fabiola Gianotti; IBM CEO Ginni Rometty; ENGIE Group CEO Isabelle Kocher; and the founder and president of Mann Deshi Mahila Bank and Mann Deshi Foundation in India, Chetna Sinha.American President Donald Trump has also announced that he plans to attend.For more information about the World Economic Forum, visit their website.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published a notice seeking sources for Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine as part of its FMD preparedness initiative. FMD, a foreign animal disease endemic in Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East, can affect all cloven-hoofed animals, including pigs, cattle and sheep. FMD rarely infects humans and isn’t a food safety issue, but an outbreak in North America, which currently is free of it, could negatively affect meat exports and domestic meat sales.The National Pork Producers Council in February urged lawmakers and the Obama administration to make dealing with an outbreak a priority. “Improving preparedness for an FMD outbreak through development of an adequate vaccine bank must be a priority,” testified NPPC immediate past president Dr. Howard Hill, a veterinarian and pork producer from Cambridge, Iowa, before a subcommittee of the House Committee on Agriculture. According to USDA, the goal of the request for information is to identify vaccine manufacturers that can supply the types of FMD vaccine needed, in the amounts needed and in the appropriate timeframe. The information provided by the manufacturers will help APHIS make decisions on how to increase FMD preparedness.The agency also will use the information to determine future budget needs to enhance the vaccine stockpile. U.S. law prohibits live FMD virus from being on the U.S. mainland, so APHIS currently contracts with foreign vaccine production companies to produce finished vaccine from the antigen stored at Plum Island Animal Disease Center, off the coast of Long Island, N.Y. But only a limited number of FMD strains are covered by the antigen stored at Plum Island, and under current production contracts, only 2.5 million doses of vaccine could be produced within three weeks of an outbreak. FMD crisis drills show an estimated 10 million doses would be need in the first three weeks, with a possible 40 million additional doses.
What else can we automate?There are a lot of other devices that we could add to our home automation system. Many of our appliances can be connected to the internet and to IFTTT or Wink. We could replace our door locks with smart locks that use Bluetooth signals to unlock when an authorized person approaches. At the moment, we have no plans to add any additional devices until we have some clear idea of what useful functionality it will provide. Enthusiasts of “the Internet of Things” imagine a world in which all or our devices seamlessly communicate with one another, anticipating our wants and needs, and satisfying them with little need for direct commands from us. The reality is: we’re not quite there yet.I didn’t set out to make our house a “smart home” filled with a bunch of devices communicating with each other. One device at a time, though, I find myself sliding in that direction. Some of my devices communicate with one another, although often not so seamlessly. Sometimes they do what I want without an explicit command. I am enjoying playing with the technology. However, I couldn’t point to enough convenience to justify the effort and expense if I weren’t enjoying the process. RELATED ARTICLES Let there be controllable lightMy first step into home automation came when I was tasked with procuring light bulbs for all of the light fixtures in the house. I knew we wanted LEDs in most fixtures. Like most other seemingly simple choices, I decided to complicate it by reading about the differences between various light bulbs. It turns out that LEDs are not only available in different intensities, but also in different light temperatures. Good nightThe Wink Relay has two buttons. If you use it to replace a single wall switch, one of the buttons can be used for something else. Since the Hue switch for the nightstand lamps always seems to be on my wife’s side of the bed, I decided to use it to turn off the nightstand lamps. When you turn off a Hue light using Wink, it takes at least a few seconds to happen and sometimes much longer. People used to joke about being so tired that they could turn off the light switch and be asleep before it got dark. In my house, that is literally a realistic possibility. Editor’s note: This is one of a series of guest blogs by Reid Baldwin about the construction of his house in Linden, Michigan. For a list of previous blog posts on GBA by Reid Baldwin, see the “Related Articles” sidebar below. You can read his entire blog here. Excuse me, your door is openThe next challenge involved our doors. At several times since we have lived in the house, we have found that exterior doors have been accidentally left open. (The real solution turns out to be door knobs that the dog cannot open, but that is a different story.) Could we use this technology to get a notification when that happens so that we can go close the door?Toward this end, I purchased a GoControl Home Security Suite that came with three door sensors. I installed one on each of our exterior doors. Then I set it up to send me a notification if the door stays open for more than 5 minutes. I tested it. It worked. However, since then, I have gotten about 10 false alarms for every time that the door has actually been left open. Maybe I will eventually discover a way to make it reliable enough to be useful. In the meantime, this application is a failure.The security kit also included a motion detector and a siren. To my wife’s relief, I haven’t hooked up the siren. I have attempted to use the motion detector to control the kitchen lights. The lights are programmed to go on when there is motion in the kitchen. That works most of the time, but with enough delay that you are usually reaching for the switch by the time the lights come on. The lights are programmed to go off when there has been no motion for 20 minutes. That works sometimes. Some light temperatures provide more soothing ambient light while others are more suitable for task lighting. Then I read about Hue light bulbs. These bulbs come in three types: white lights that have adjustable brightness, white ambiance lights that have adjustable brightness and temperature, and colored lights that have adjustable brightness, temperature, and color. I bought these for many of the fixtures. I also bought the Hue Hub. The hub communicates with the bulbs through a radio protocol called Zigbee. The hub also communicates with cell phones via wi-fi or the internet.One feature I like is the ability to use the lamp on the night stand to wake me up. The lights come on, at a low intensity, at a programmed time. Then, they gradually increase in intensity. I find it a much more pleasant way to wake up than a buzzing alarm clock.After setting this all up, we discovered that the lights go back to a default each time they are turned off and then on again at the wall switch. If the default was not what we wanted, we had to get a phone out and adjust it via the Hue app. Nobody wants to go through that each time they want to turn a light on. In order to take advantage of the Hue features, you need to leave the wall switch on and control the lights via Hue.For some areas of the house, we invested in switches from Hue. For other areas of the house, we ended up just not taking advantage of the light bulb features. The light bulbs are grouped into rooms and each switch is associated with a room. For each room, there are a few predefined scenes with different light temperatures and intensities, such as “Relax”, “Read”, and “Concentrate.” Defining additional scenes is straightforward. When you push the “On” button of the Hue switch, it comes on at the last selected scene. Pressing the “On” button additional times cycles through other scenes.My wife ordered an Amazon Echo for the family room/kitchen area. Her motivation was the ability to stream music. I discovered that with a little setup the Echo provides an alternate way to control the lights. For example, if I say “Alexa, turn kitchen lights off,” the lights turn off. In search of utilityI decided I was approaching this wrong. Instead of going through the millions of ways I could automate things looking for something that would be useful, maybe I should start with something I actually wanted to automate. I wanted the porch lights to come on near sunset and go off near sunrise. If our porch lights took Hue bulbs, that would be pretty straightforward to accomplish. But they don’t take bulbs, they have the LEDs built into the fixture. They are controlled by three-way wall switches, one near the front door and one near the door to the garage.As I said at the beginning of this post, I didn’t set out to create a “smart home.” By this time, however, I was interested in this home automation stuff. I found some replacement switches with built-in timers that would probably have been the simplest solution. That is not what I did. Unable to find replacement switches that interact directly with IFTTT, I decided to obtain a home automation hub and switches that would communicate with the hub.The fact that the existing switches were 3-way switches limited my choices. I decided to go with switches from GE that support 3-way switches. For a home automation hub, I decided to go with a Wink Relay. The Wink system supports two different radio protocols that are common for home automation: Zigbee and Z-wave. The GE switches are available for either protocol.Since I already had a bunch of Zigbee devices, I selected the Zigbee version. The Wink Relay replaces one or two wall switches. There are a number of limitations, though. It cannot go where you have a gang of three switches. It also cannot replace any 3-way switches. The best place I could find was the switch in the master bedroom controlling the light on the balcony. I installed the Relay and the GE switches and tried to get everything to communicate.It turns out I had a few misconceptions. The Wink Relay could not do what I wanted it to. I needed a Wink Hub. Wink had recently released a new hub product, so I ordered one of those. Next, I learned that although Wink supports both the Zigbee and Z-wave protocols, it only supports the Z-wave version of the GE switches. So I ordered one of those and replaced the Zigbee version.Now, at sunset, IFTTT sends a message to Wink, which then sends a message to my GE switch, which turns the porch light on. We used to ask, “How many people does it take to change a light bulb?” In home automation, we should ask, “How many products and services does it take to turn on a light?” There also are a bunch of potential triggers from sources other than your devices, such as The Weather Channel and ESPN. The possibilities are vast. The useful possibilities are much less vast. My first experiment with IFTTT was to make some of my Hue light bulbs turn to red whenever a Detroit Red Wings game started. I made it work. After it happened a few times, I turned it off because it was annoying. LessonsBefore you choose a home automation hub such as Wink or SmartThings, look for explicit statements that the devices you have are supported. Similarly, after you have chosen a hub, look for an explicit statement that any new device you are considering is supported before you buy it.Don’t count on home automation for anything “mission critical.”If you are building new and plan to use Hue or some other type of smart light bulbs, minimize the number of wall switches. Don’t use 3-way switches. Whenever possible, use a single switch to control a bunch of lights. Plan on controlling the lights through switches that work with the automation.Plan on having lots of hubs. In the closet where my home automation stuff resides, I have a Wink hub, a Hue hub, a hub for the garage door opener, and a hub for my weather station (which doesn’t yet interface with either IFTTT or Wink). That is in addition to the cable modem, the wi-fi router, and a backup drive.One unintended consequence of my experiments in home automation is that I have much more information about what occupants of the house do. I have a record of what time various doors were opened and closed. I have a record of when people walked through the kitchen. If I chose to look, I could tell what time people turn out their lights at night. The Foobot’s air quality readings sometimes indicate activities that are outside our norms. I have no desire to spy on my family and they trust me not to use the data against them. For some families, this level of data gathering may cause issues. The universe of possibilitiesMany devices are now designed to be controlled via the internet using a cell phone app. However, the cell phone app that is specific to the device isn’t the only one that can control it. A web service called IFTTT (If This Then That) allows you to control devices based on information from other devices and from outside services.IFTTT has partnered with many manufacturers so that devices can accept commands to do things from the IFTTT service and can send signals to the IFTTT service to trigger actions. This allows you to have one device trigger another device to do something. For example, your garage door being opened can trigger your thermostat to go from “away” mode to “home” mode.A Hue dimmer switch comes with a wall plate that makes it more or less blend in with Decora wall switches, but we prefer leaving it on a countertop. The “on” button cycles through pre-defined scenes. The middle buttons brighten or dim the lights. The Internet of Things Takes Center StageGet Ready for Smart AppliancesSmart Thermostats Are Getting CheaperNest Glitch Leaves Some Homeowners ColdHome Energy Monitoring, Part 1 Home Energy Monitoring, Part 2Home Energy Monitoring, Part 3 BLOGS BY REID BALDWIN Choosing and Installing an ERVHeating and CoolingWalls and Insulation Energy Efficiency and Garage Space for an Airplane The Foobot and the furnaceWhat other things might be useful to automate? I have an air quality monitor called a Foobot. Among other things, it detects the level of particulates in the air. If the level of particulates gets higher than desired, one suitable response is to turn the furnace fan on so the MERV 13 filter can remove particulates. Could that be automated?The little screen on the Wink Relay lets you do the things you would normally do through the Wink App without getting out your phone. It is installed in place of a single or double wall switch. At least one of the two buttons controls whatever was previously controlled by the wall switch. It also is capable of doing some of what a Wink Hub does, although in a more limited way.There is a Foobot interface for IFTTT, but not for Wink. My thermostat is an Emerson Sensi which has an interface with Wink but doesn’t have one with IFTTT. (Wink, IFTTT, and all of the other players in this field are continuously adding new interfaces, so this information may rapidly become obsolete.) However, there is a Wink interface to IFTTT. So, having already installed the Wink hub for the porch light issue, I didn’t have to buy anything new. A little programming set it up. When the particulate level exceeds a certain threshold, Foobot sends a signal to IFTTT, which sends a signal to Wink, which sends a signal to the thermostat to turn the fan on. When the particulate level drops below a lower threshold, Foobot sends a signal to IFTTT, which sends a signal to Wink, which sends a signal to the thermostat to set the fan back to “Auto.”One flaw in this setup is that Wink cannot change the fan setting alone. Instead, it also sets the heating/cooling mode and temperature setpoint. These parameters get hard-coded into the automation. If we decide to change the setpoint on the thermostat for some other reason, then Wink will set it back to the hard-coded value. For example, if Foobot detects particulates greater than “X,” it turns the thermostat to fan on, 72°, heating mode. All I really wanted it to do was turn the fan on and leave the mode and temperature setpoint alone. To avoid that, I would have to remember to go into Wink and change the rule any time I want to change the thermostat. Needing to make extra changes is exactly the opposite of automation, so I consider that experiment a failure.I sent a question about this to Wink technical support. The response was that Wink programmers envisioned people doing all of their thermostat control via Wink. I don’t want to go that far. If this technology takes off, there will be battles over which products gets to be in control of what.
A Harvard professor tasked by FIFA with recommending human rights obligations for soccer’s governing body has concluded that World Cups should be removed from countries if hosts are failing to eradicate abuses.John Ruggie, who formulated business and human rights principles for the United Nations, was mandated by FIFA to produce a report largely in response to concerns about the mistreatment of workers in 2022 World Cup host Qatar.Among his conclusions, Ruggie writes “where FIFA is unable to reduce severe human rights impacts by using its leverage, it should consider suspending or terminating the relationship.” Ruggie says that should apply to any entity FIFA has a relationship with – from World Cup hosts to sponsors.FIFA’s latest statues include a commitment to protect “all internationally recognized human rights.”