A group of students and lecturers from the University of Johannesburg, a solar car, and a deep passion to spread the word about green technology and the wonders of engineering, are on an epic road trip from Joburg to Botswana, via Namibia. The children were excited to see the solar car. Nickey Janse van Rensburg said wherever they stopped even though communities don’t have much, they are passionate about living sustainably and embracing green technology. (Images: Supplied) • Africa urged to invest in artists as visionaries • Mentors dared to be different • Safer stoves for all township homes • World’s oldest dinosaur eggs to hatch their secrets – 200-million years later • #HeartAfrica pulls emotional strings Melissa JavanA group of more than 20 people has driven over 5 000 kilometres from Johannesburg, en route to Botswana, with a simple mission in mind: promote green technologyUsing a solar car as the main vehicle, this team aims to spread the word about green technologies, every time they make a stop on their 12-day trip, which began on 18 June.This is the second solar-powered car designed by students at the University of Johannesburg. The purpose of their trip, which is going via Namibia, is to build awareness about the solar car and how it works, as well as to speak to people about the importance of green technologies in engineering studies.The solar car is called Ilanga II – which means “sun” in isiZulu. Four teams are involved in its journey, namely logistics, community engagement, technical crew and media.Nickey Janse van Rensburg, a mechanical engineering science lecturer and the UJ Energy Movement programme manager, told the news group Engineering News that the solar car could reach a speed of 140km/h. On days when there was not much sun, the top speed was 90km/h, she added.Janse van Rensburg said the Ilanga II could even be plugged into a wall like a mobile phone, if needed, to charge.Warren Hurter, the Team and Technology Manager of the Energy Movement programme, is one of the three drivers taking turns at the wheel on the test run. He explained that the solar panels on top of the vehicle converted the energy from the sun into power in the battery packs. The driver is the only person in the car at any one time.The historySpeaking to UJ Observer TV, the university’s news team, Hurter explained that the car was initially built for the SASOL Solar Challenge, a 5 000km race. The project started in 2011. “Instead of doing our final year paper design project, we decided to build our project – our solar car. So we went out and spoke to some industrial designers to help us.”A lot of research went into the solar car – especially in terms of electronics and mechanical components – he said.The missionOn 23 June, Janse van Rensburg confirmed that they were on their way to Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. “We attempt to drive Ilanga as much as possible, but on occasion, road conditions or time constraints require that we load Ilanga into the truck to reach our next destination.“On average, we drive the car about 100km per day, but the next three days are dedicated to driving the car as much as possible, until the next public lecture in Gaborone.”Janse van Rensburg said the team was showcasing Ilanga II and hosting public lectures. “The UJ Energy Movement aims to share their experiences with schools, students, researchers and people who are interested in pursuing a career in the fields of science and engineering, specifically relating to alternative energy.“The public lectures are designed to facilitate the information sharing as well as viewings of the car and the opportunity to ask questions directly to the team. The public lectures have taken place in Kimberley, Upington, Windhoek and Gaborone,” she said.“These events also serve as a call to action to students, to inspire them towards initiating similar programmes and to motivate them towards a career in the science fields.”The attractionThe media team keep the Facebook page updated with photographs to engage and inform the public about their journey. Stopped at a garage, the question was posed: “What is this solar car doing at a petrol station?”Then photographs showed the car getting some serious attention from the public.The team shared some of their experiences on social media:#UJ‘s Ilanga 2 visit at The International School of Walvis Bay. @UJSolarCar @go2uj @SCIENTIAEUJ pic.twitter.com/tXcWFzYz9d — UJ News (@mediauj) June 24, 2015#UJ‘s Happy campers (Ilanga 2 team) @UJSolarCar on the #AfricanSolarDrive https://t.co/OTrMWxvFhn @go2uj pic.twitter.com/aFsBhvae6M — UJ News (@mediauj) June 26, 2015About the stop at the petrol station, Janse van Rensburg said: “[We were] showing off a little bit, filling up the convoy, getting the community excited about our presence, and refuelling the driver who unfortunately, is not solar powered.”Their biggest welcome so far was in Groblershoop. “Meeting the thousands of kids at Groblershoop and seeing how excited they get seeing Ilanga for the first time is really exciting. In this community, even though they don’t have much, they are passionate about living sustainably and embracing green technology.“We’ve met such diverse communities and different people – from government officials and ministers, school kids, rural towns, et cetera. [There have been] chance meetings on the side of the road where literally hundreds have gathered in minutes to see the solar car and the reaction is always the same – lots of excitement and lots of curiosity.” The team’s preparation and maintenance procedures consist of a morning and evening check of each and every component, nut, and bolt. Driver and vehicle safety are of utmost concern to the them. ChallengesThe team was, as far as possible, attempting to mimic race conditions and refine preparation and maintenance procedures, Hurter said. “This consists of a morning and evening check of each and every component, nut, and bolt. Driver and vehicle safety are of utmost concern to the team, and hence we check the car stringently before any driving is done.”Time management was another concern, as well as ensuring they actually drove as many kilometres as they set out to do. “Seeing as we have a fairly new team, attempting to nurture cohesiveness and unity, and the ability to act as a singular unit has pushed the students up a steep learning curve, but this always expected and was one of the objectives of the trip.“The team is getting better and sharper every day, and exceeding our expectations – although cold nights and colder showers at camp have probably been a bigger challenge!”
Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting mike melanson Related Posts DEMO, the conference where companies get six minutes on stage to present their product, kicked off this morning with VentureBeat’s Matt Marshall talking social. “It’s all about social,” said Marshall, explaining that social media companies like Facebook have grown at an unprecedented pace. It took half a century for IBM to hit $1 billion, whereas it only took Facebook a handful of years, he said.With that in mind, let’s take a look at three companies that presented this morning at DEMO and hope to latch on to the ever-expanding social web.AboutOneAboutOne describes itself as a “location to manage memories and household information.” In short, it looks almost like a Facebook for the familial unit, but with much more utility in mind. It serves as a place to not only store family-related documents (like instructions for the babysitter) but also information like car insurance and other useful documents. The site connects with other services via API, so that you don’t even need to enter all of this information manually. Key in your car’s VIN number and AboutOne can automatically import the model, make, year and everything else into the system. The service also serves as an online location to store all sorts of other family-related documents, such as pictures and scans of your children’s artwork. From this data, users can create newsletters for friends and family and even create online baby books, which they can then order hard copies of.PhotoRocketPhotoRocket jumps in the try to handle a key space in the social web – photo sharing. Facebook’s photo sharing feature is one of its most popular, but photo sharing doesn’t end there, with a plethora of other popular services. Where does PhotoRocket come in? It attempts to help users “share photos instantly in one step” to multiple destinations from a variety of platforms. Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen an app attempt this, but it’s all in the execution. Just last week, we saw Chute display a similar product, but PhotoRocket tries to edge out competition with an important feature – integration.PhotoRocket is available on Windows, Mac and iOS (What? No Android?) and shares content to Facebook, Twitter and a host of other sites. According to the company, it steps beyond competition by integrating directly into the operating system and letting users right-click on files, use a browser button or an app to share. Social EyesSocial Eyes, an ambitious app that lists among its competition some big hitters like Skype, is a “social video service that instantly connects you to your friends and groups of people who share your interests.” So how does this differ from Skype? Social Eyes is a video and text chatting service that is centered on your existing social graph. You sign in using your Facebook login and it automatically populates your list of contacts according to your Facebook friends that have also signed up. Social Eyes also does something Skype doesn’t do – it organizes other users around interests, so you can join groups like “Current Events” or create your own group based on your interests. Beyond that, you can also record and send video messages to other users, so not everything has to be live. What keeps Social Eyes potentially a bit more above board than other live video chat services like Tiny Chat or Chat Roulette is its authenticated identity by way of Facebook Connect. Using Facebook Connect leads to greater accountability, and wearing of pants, than purely anonymous systems. Tags:#conferences#DEMO 2011#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Sherwood can’t see Spurs winning titleby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood doesn’t rate his old club as title contenders.Liverpool are top on 42 points, a point clear of Manchester City, with Spurs five points back after making one of their best-ever starts to a Premier League campaign.”I was surprised Mauricio said that because he’s been playing it down for a number of years now, saying we’re on a different project here at Tottenham – they absolutely are,” Sherwood told Sky Sports.”But when you look through the side, the likes of Lloris, Trippier, Rose, Harry Kane, Eriksen, Moura who comes off the bench and sometimes starts, Son, they can play in the top-four teams.”You could pretty much put them up for sale and they would go for big, big money to probably the best teams in Europe.”The only reason they aren’t title contenders in my opinion is because I’ve got such a soft spot for Man City and I think they are far and above everyone else.”
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Brighton striker Aaron Connolly mixed emotions for Republic of Ireland debutby Paul Vegas12 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBrighton striker Aaron Connolly was left frustrated with his Republic of Ireland debut.The 19-year-old Albion striker went off the bench with just 11 minutes remaining of the Euro 2020 qualifier in Georgia.He had two chances to score, forcing a solid save from keeper Giorgi Loria and then firing into the side-netting in a cameo which lit up an otherwise attritional 0-0 Group D draw in Tbilisi.Connolly said: “Like every striker, I feel I have to score that at 0-0 in a game like that. I should have scored. It’s disappointing, but I feel proud as well.”The confidence levels are quite high because of last week (scoring twice against Tottenham) and I felt if I came on, I would make an impact.”I feel like I did but I feel like I should have scored as well. It’s disappointing.”
Ohio State’s 2014 football team received its national championship rings this morning. There are, of course, many benefits to wearing a championship ring: they look cool, they go with everything and they remind people that you are a national champion. There’s a downside, though: they hurt your video-game skills. You know how hard it is to win a FIFA game with this ring on? Feel me @jbbigbear we just take it for granted without it— Joe Burger (@jburgs37) March 27, 2015Perhaps the people who design the national championship rings should figure out a way to make them lighter so it’s easier to score goals in FIFA.
TORONTO – Three Toronto police officers have been found not guilty of sexually assaulting a female colleague on a night of heavy drinking after an Ontario judge said the woman’s testimony was “fraught with problems.”Justice Anne Molloy told a Toronto court Wednesday she “looked in vain for corroboration” of the woman’s version of events on Jan. 17, 2015, but couldn’t find any evidence to support her account.Leslie Nyznik, Joshua Cabero and Sameer Kara had pleaded not guilty to a charge each of sexual assault. All three hugged supporters after the verdict was handed down. The complainant was not in court.Nyznik, the only accused to testify, said during the trial that it was the female colleague’s idea to return to a hotel room rented out by two of the accused where she instigated sex with all three men.The woman — a parking enforcement officer whose identity is protected by a publication ban — had testified she had several drinks during the course of the night and was unable to stop the men from having sex with her.“I was powerless, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t stop what was happening,” she testified.The judge said the case came down to the reliability and credibility of the woman, which she found lacking. There were many problems with the complainant’s evidence, Molloy said, finding some aspects “simply untrue.”“Given frailties of evidence I simply cannot be sure to make a finding of criminal guilt,” she said.Molloy said, however, that she didn’t necessarily believe Nyznik’s testimony, which “appeared to be scripted or rehearsed” and rang false at times. But the judge said she could not reject it as untruthful.Nyznik’s lawyer said outside court that his client looks forward to having his life back and going back to work.“Mr. Nyznik is very happy to finally have this process behind him,” Harry Black said. “He took the stand and he faced the allegations and he has answered them and he is now vindicated.”During trial, court heard Kara had invited the complainant to join in on a “rookie buy night” where rookie officers buy drinks for the veterans. The two, who worked out of the same division, had become friends, court heard.Kara and Nyznik booked a room at the Westin Harbour Castle that day and began drinking there that afternoon, court heard.Around 6 p.m., the three men went to CC Lounge and Whisky Bar with other officers, court heard. Shortly before 9 p.m., the female parking officer arrived at the bar. She wasn’t there long before the group moved to the nearby Pravda Vodka Bar.Court heard Kara was so drunk he had to be helped back to the hotel room around 10 p.m.The woman and Nyznik told court differing accounts of what happened after.The woman testified she walked with one of the accused to the Brass Rail, a strip club. She later conceded under cross examination she took a cab, blaming her memory lapses on intoxication. A police officer, who was with the accused and the woman, later told the court the group hailed a cab to the strip club.Around midnight, the woman ended up in a hotel room with the trio, periodically blacking out, she told the court. She testified she was at the whim of the three officers, all constables in a downtown Toronto division, who took turns having sex with her against her wishes.She testified that she believed she had been drugged, but she said she didn’t know when, where, how or by whom. The judge didn’t buy her version of events, comparing it to security video obtained from several bars and a downtown hotel.“Her evidence as to the symptoms she was experiencing is inconsistent with the objective video footage,” Molloy said. The judge also said the woman’s testimony that she was drugged was not plausible.Nyznik, meanwhile, said on the stand that the woman didn’t appear intoxicated during the night and instigated sex and oral sex with the officers at the hotel room.He said the woman surprised them when she entered the cab that was to take Nyznik and Cabero back to the hotel where Kara was sleeping.
WINNIPEG – The Manitoba Metis Federation says it is taking the province to court in a dispute over planned hydro projects.Metis federation president David Chartrand met Tuesday with Crown Services Minister Cliff Cullen and Manitoba Hydro to discuss a deal between the federation and the Crown utility.In March, Premier Brian Pallister quashed a $67-million deal that had been negotiated between the federation and Manitoba Hydro to help support a transmission line to Minnesota. The premier called it “persuasion money.”The federation said at the time it would file for a judicial review to overturn the decision because, it argued, the agreement was legally binding.“We were hoping that the province would have come forward with a position of an olive branch, given that we believe strongly that the agreement was negotiated between ourselves and Hydro,” said Chartrand.“They are not willing to sit down and they are going to overrule Hydro, which we believe they don’t have the legal right to do.”He said the federation has given its lawyers the green light to go ahead with court action, probably within the next week.Cullen said the two sides have agreed to disagree on the matter.“They feel it was an agreement,” he said. “Our understanding is that it’s really a proposal.”Cullen said the ball is in the Metis federation’s court.“It’s really up to them on how they want to proceed,” he said. “We’ll wait and see what their undertaking is.”Despite the disagreement on the transmission line, Cullen said the government is committed to consulting with the Metis federation.Nine of 10 Hydro board members resigned in March over what they said was Pallister’s refusal to meet with them to discuss important issues, including Indigenous rights.
TORONTO — Hydro One Ltd. and Avista Corp. have formally requested that the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission reconsider its order denying approval of the $6.7-billion takeover of the U.S.-based energy utility.In a 34-page filing on Monday, the two companies say the commission erred in reaching its decision because it “misapprehended” the political risks that Ontario’s ownership stake in Hydro One poses to Avista, understated the value of the transaction’s benefits to ratepayers, and incorrectly based its conclusion about possible provincial interference with Avista upon perceived harm to Hydro One shareholders.Hydro One and Avista requested that the commission rehear the order to accept additional evidence, including a letter from Ontario’s deputy minister of energy and testimony from Hydro One’s new president and CEO.If a rehearing is granted, Hydro One and Avista requested expedited proceedings that conclude by the end of January, two months before the March 29 closing deadline in the merger agreement and subsequent expiration of Hydro One’s funding for the transaction.Washington state regulators had said they would not allow Ontario’s largest utility to buy Avista for fear the provincial government, which owns 47 per cent of Hydro One’s shares, might meddle in Avista’s operations.The U.S. regulator cited Premier Doug Ford’s move to force former Hydro One CEO Mayo Schmidt to retire, which was followed by the resignation of the entire 14-member board, as evidence that the province was willing to put political interests above those of shareholders, including those that own a majority of the Ontario utility’s stock. Companies in this story: (TSX:H)The Canadian Press