20 October 2005An agency that will coordinate South Africa’s efforts to combat climate change was launched at the National Climate Change Conference in Midrand, Johannesburg this week.Minerals and Energy Minister Lindiwe Hendricks told the conference that the move was in line with the Kyoto Protocol, which requires developing countries to establish a designated national authority (DNA) to participate in clean development mechanism (CDM) activities in promoting sustainable development.The CDM is a mechanism established to combat climate change and promote sustainable development, and in the process assist developing countries to meet their sustainable development objectives.South Africa’s new agency will regulate CDM activities in SA, promoting the country to attract investors and project developers.Already, it has received four project design documents from the private sector, one of them being for the Kuyasa Low-Cost Housing Project in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, which is registered as the first CDM project in Africa.These projects, if implemented, will help reduce South Africa’s emissions by 21 million tons by 2012 and generate an estimated R618-million from the sale of certified emissions.Hendricks said the effects of climate change on the country’s biodiversity was significant and that regions most affected by prolonged drought cycles would be more vulnerable in coming years.“We run the risk that our grandchildren and great-grandchildren may not be able to enjoy the visual splendor of the fynbos of the Western Cape or the daisies of Namaqualand,” she said.Hendricks said the country’s energy efficiency strategy set out a national target of 12% improvement in energy efficiency by 2014, which would contribute towards a reduction in carbon emissions.The minister said South Africa also needed to look “keenly” at nuclear energy as a means of reducing carbon emissions and meeting the needs of a growing economy.Source: BuaNews Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
We got our hands on the new version of popular Twitter desktop app Tweetdeck that will be delivered to all users tomorrow and we’re pretty excited about what’s been added.If you’ve never used Tweetdeck, it’s the most powerful application available for sending and receiving Twitter messages. It’s about to become even more awesome.Tweetdeck includes support for groups, for columns of persistent search results and a number of cool third party services are integrated right inside the interface. What’s coming next? Language translation, StockTwits integration, forwarding by email, switching to one column view and extensive support for conversation topics by hashtag. It’s quite an impressive upgrade for an already very feature-rich application.Part of my Tweetdeck set-up, click to view full size.Language translation is now available in the drop down “more actions” menu inside every user profile next to a tweet. It’s a pretty rough translation, as these things always are – but how cool is that anyway? Twitter is a very international phenomenon – now we can grunt at each other across languages a little more effectively.Stocktwits is a fast-growing startup that hosts conversation and news tracking around the stock market. Now Tweetdeck will let you tie in your Stocktwits account and create Friends, Portfolio, Recommended, Commentary and “all” columns. We expect that to be quite popular.Hashtag Support comes in the form of a new drop down to the right of your message composition window, displaying one-click links to add any of your 10 most recently used hashtags. When you reply to a message that included a hashtag – that same hashtag will be automatically appended to your reply. That’s going to keep conversations much more coherent.User Search lets you set up a column to search for any username – see what people are saying to and about people of interest.One Column View is a quick little button you can hit to zip your full screen Tweetdeck down into just one column, the easier to watch it next to a browser with. Click it again and it will expand to full size.There are a number of other new additions, from easier group management to email forwarding of tweets to some API access improvements. There may be some changes users don’t like, as well. All we can say for now, having just used it for a little while, is that the most powerful Twitter interface available is not slowing down – it just keeps getting better. If you’d like to befriend the ReadWriteWeb staff on Twitter here are our accounts – we’d love to meet you too! 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… marshall kirkpatrick Tags:#Product Reviews#web
Casino’s have long been leaders in collecting massive amounts of details about their customers. Casinos like MGM Mirage and Harrah’s Entertainment keep multi-terabyte databases on millions of their customers, tracking all sorts of minutiae to help them personalize customer incentives, and to ultimately help them maximize their own profits.On-line heavyweights like Google have even larger databases. Google collects user data from AdSense, AdWords, Google Toolbar, Analytics, GMail, Feed Reader, Google Checkout, Youtube, Google Maps, and other on-line assets.Technology has made it easier and easier to track and aggregate data about customers, and many companies are seeing what advantages the technique can bring to them. Many companies have started initiatives to mine customer data to their advantage. But does the investment in all the number crunching really pay off? Maybe not.The Wall Street Journal quotes Stanford business professor Robert Sutton as criticizing the overuse of data analysis and data mining. Sutton admits that simple spreadsheets aren’t sophisticated enough to be able to model all the nuances of running a big company, but the opposite extreme of developing complex data models may not be much better at determining how to best run an organization.Much of the problem is that historical data wasn’t created in a vacuum. There were likely many external forces that significantly influenced a previous set of events. Trying to make predictions from the past is a trap that is easy to fall into, and the results of the policies based on those predictions can be painful when played against a different backdrop.The Journal quotes an example from Babson College management professor Thomas Davenport of lenders and investors losing massive amounts of money with subprime mortgages. Long term historical data showed that default rates followed a pattern based on the credit score of the borrower. When the pattern changed, lenders who had made bets based on the previous trends lost big.Techniques like modeling, simulation, data analysis and data mining can all provide useful information, but the results of these exercises need to be interpreted within the context of the assumptions of the underlying data. Without that context, the true meaning of the numerical results can’t really be assessed.