IT skills plan for homes

first_imgIT skills plan for homesOn 1 Jan 2004 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Organisations are to be encouraged, again, to offer their staff HomeComputing Initiatives (HCI) schemes as part of a renewed push to increase ITliteracy in the UK. Guidelines are due to be published on 26 January by the Government’s Officeof the e-Envoy to build on the commitment outlined in the Skills Strategy paperwhich aimed to help adults gain IT literacy as a third ‘skill for life’alongside literacy and numeracy. Employer-provided HCIs will enable companies to loan computers to theiremployees as a tax-free benefit. The added appeal for HR and training professionals could come from thepotential to reduce National Insurance contributions, but many employers havebeen slow to appreciate the benefits, despite tax breaks being in place since1999, and rallying calls for IT empowerment from prominent government figures.Chancellor Gordon Brown, for example, has been vocal about “bridging thedigital divide” since October 2000. Home-study modules are usually provided in the schemes, commonly coveringthe European Computer Driving Licence. The computers should appeal to employeeswho want to boost their IT skills and to have an first or second computer athome to be used for general ‘family learning’. Two organisations which recently took up the HCI option are the Royal Mailand the Royal London Society for the Blind (RLSB). The RLSB implemented itthroughout 2003 for its workforce at its Kent HQ and engineering factory andemployment services in North London, where computer access is limited. “Accessibility and inclusiveness are clearly important and we need toreflect this in the benefits available to staff,” said senior RLSB ITtechnician Simon Perryman. “The board was equally convinced by thepotential to increase IT literacy across the organisation. In fact, one of thesenior managers was the first to sign up to the scheme,” he said. www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/specialist/salary_sacrifice.pdf Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Emirates First Class review; the meals, the cabin , the service

first_imgDate: 25-05-2014Flight: EK424  Dubai -PerthAircraft: Boeing 777-300ERCabin: First ClassDuration: 10 hours ( 9,047 Kilometres)“When you want to sleep Mr Broadfield, just let me know and I’ll turn the stars on.”Oh-kay then.What Toby the chief steward meant was somewhat opaque at that point. All would be revealed after dinner service.The greatest compliment one can pay a guest in an Arab house is to offer them a small cup of traditional watery, cardamom-scented coffee and a fresh date. If you are not offered these them, you are bring told politely that you are not wanted. It is considered an insult of some proportion. Naturally the first thing one gets given on boarding an Emirates flight is a small cup of the utterly addictive coffee poured from a traditional, long necked coffee pot. The date was superb too. Courtesies observed, it was time for push back and the long taxi to runway 12L. We would track via Male on the Maldives, the only land we would see for the entire flight.Emirates, home based in the filthy-rich, super glitz desert super city of Dubai, has become one of the major players in global aviation and it’s managed to achieve massive growth and significant revenues in a few short years. Part of its success has been it’s service which is extraordinary. The food offer also plays a large part in attracting high-end travellers to Emirates long haul first and business cabins.There was the usual pampering with hot, fluffy towels and offers of water or juices and a nibble or two to pique the appetite. Then the onslaught began.Emirates famous caviar service was the first cab off the culinary rank. Even those who under normal circumstances probably aren’t l that fond of raw, salted fish eggs fall all over themselves to get at caviar because of its association with luxury living, the rich and famous, good looking people in perfect dinner dress looking like they belong in a Tiffany ad and, of course, champagne. In this case a 2004 Dom Perignon.It was impeccably plated on fine white china. A small mound of chopped egg white, a separate pile of chopped yolk, a dob of sour cream, some minced white onion and a quarter of a lemon wrapped in muslin with a bow. On the side, a handful of blinis which were the onoly disappointing item on the plate: tough and a little dried out. But there was no taking away from the simple beauty of one of the world’s most luxury foods washed down with one of the world’s most luxurious champagnes. It puts you in a good mood. It’s not encouraged, but should you wish for more caviar, they’ll crack another jar for you. My advice: never gorge on caviar, it’s a bad look and caviar should only ever be served in small amounts – it keeps anticipation and a certain sense of luxury alive. If vodka and caviar is more your speed, the amiable crew will crack a bottle of chilled Grey Goose for you.Appetisers began with a “traditional” local Arab mezze: a spectacular array of breads and dips and small fried snacks and salads, The individual serves are tiny, as they should be (it’s still a massive plate of food) and the effect is, as designed, is a variety of small, well-flavour bites stimulate the appetite and the senses.First passengers eat when they wish with dishes cooked ala minute (notwithstanding the plates are prepped first on the ground) and plated with good garnishes and an eye for composition. (All of Emirates senior cabin staff go to cookery school where they learn about plating up and making dishes attractive).This dishes are surprisingly good for airplane food. Red Thai chicken curry actually tasted like, um, red Thai chicken curry. It was a cooled down, westernised and sanitised version but the key components of good Thai cookery were evident, particularly that hard-to-define “freshness” that good Thai cookery is renowned for. The various spices, pastes, sauces and herbs which go to make up the complex Thai red curry sauce were all present and accounted for. Tidy dish.Machbous is a classic Emirati dish made with a variety of proteins including goat and lamb. This was a seafood machbous and in spite of its somewhat bland traditions, it kicked a goal in terms of proper fish cookery: moist and sweet at its core.The only fail was not unexpected. Ther most difficult dish to cook in the air has to be steak. To ensure the hygiene chain remains unbroken – from supplier to ground kitchen to ground handlers to galley and finally to the plate – steak has to be all but cooked on the ground with a final heating for service. Anyone who has ever eaten a par cooked steak (at a big wedding or hotel business event) knows just how mealy and grey and flavourless they can be. To its credit, Emirates managed to plate a steak with a surprising amount of pink at its core (but medium to well done). I suspect that if they had their way most airline executive chefs would choose not to offer a grilled steak because, well, they’re on a hiding to nothing, so to speak. But it is impossible for first tier airlines to take steak off the menu, such is it’s status among conservative male travellers – still the majority demographic at the front end of the aircraft. And so the steak remains.The food experience on Emirates is in the Top Five world wide. Having said that, airlineratings.com hasn’t travelled in the first class cabin of all the world’s first tier carriers for the purposes of our “restaurant review” program so our observations need to be taken in that context. Mind you, we’ve done a lot of air miles in our pursuit of good food and service (and rating accordingly) and Emirates is impressive in every way: service, food and wine.Big tip: The airline is number one for cocktails. Toby, the affable chief steward/purser made two of the most impeccable, well-balanced mojitos I have drunk anywhere – on the ground or in the air. They were extraordinarily well made drinks. Cheers Emirates.And then after the meal service had concluded, Toby, returned to make good on his promise to “turn the stars on.”He first made my bed – comforter, douvet, chocolate on the pillow – and then with a cheery wave good by, Toby left me to sleep in the slowly dimming cabin light. And as the lights dimmed, the entire ceiling lit up with a thousand stars – the emanations from a forest of optic fibres hidden in the head liner. Not only was it beautiful, it also aided sleep.Until next time. Zzzzzzzzz.last_img read more

Patience in planting this spring may pay off later

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Planting season around Ohio didn’t really start to ramp up until the first part of May, causing farmers in the Buckeye State to lag behind much of the rest of the Corn Belt. Bill Mullen, Director of Agronomic Services with Seed Consultants says that the later time frame for this year’s planting may be ideal for a successful 2015.last_img

Local communities benefit from Trees to Textbooks funding

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Fifteen rural Ohio school districts and their corresponding counties and townships will share $2,054,354 from the sale of timber from Ohio’s state forests, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). This is an increase in the amount of funding available to local schools; last year a total of $1,765,245 was distributed.ODNR Director James Zehringer visited Central Elementary School in McArthur to attend a Trees to Textbooks ceremony and to help Smokey Bear share his fire safety message with the students.“This program provides an excellent opportunity for these communities to benefit from the natural resources found right in their backyards,” Zehringer said. “We understand how important these funds are to the local schools, counties and townships as they work to provide their students and residents with a great education and safer communities.”“These revenues are an investment in the education and maintenance of our local communities,” said Robert Boyles, ODNR deputy director and state forester. “Well-managed public and private forests have far-reaching benefits for us all.”Through the ODNR Division of Forestry’s Trees to Textbooks program, a percentage of the revenue generated from state forest management activity goes to the county, township and school district in which the activity took place. To see which local communities received Trees to Textbooks funding, go to http://forestry.ohiodnr.gov/portals/forestry/pdfs/ttt/TreesToTextbooksFY15.pdf.The ODNR Division of Forestry is responsible for the care of nearly 200,000 acres of state forests. State forestry experts manage these woodlands for overall health and diversity, soil and water conservation, improved wildlife habitat and a variety of recreational opportunities. Selected trees or areas of woodland are harvested through a competitive bid process that includes requirements for sound management practices. All work is conducted by certified master loggers under strict monitoring.last_img read more

Simple Methods for Measuring Air Flow

first_img Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. This article is only available to GBA Prime Members UPDATED on April 15, 2016.To commission a ventilation system or a forced-air heating system, or to troubleshoot problems with these systems, it’s essential to be able to measure the rate of air flow through registers and grilles. Most home performance contractors measure air flow with a flow hood. Flow hoods vary in accuracy, but they all share one attribute: they are expensive (generally $1,600 to $3,200).If you want to measure air flow, but you can’t afford a flow hood, you may be interested in using one of the inexpensive approaches to air flow measurement described in this article.Iain Walker, Craig Wray, and Max Sherman, three scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), examined the accuracy of commercially available flow hoods in a 2002 paper, “Accuracy of Flow Hoods in Residential Applications.” Although most of the flow hoods they looked at provided fairly accurate measurements in commercial buildings with large HVAC grilles, they were often inaccurate when used in homes. “Potential errors are about 20% to 30% of measured flow, due to poor calibrations, sensitivity to grille flow non-uniformities, and flow changes from added flow resistance,” the researchers wrote.When it comes to measuring air flows, the researchers noted that the level of accuracy required to identify room-to-room residential pressure imbalances is +/-25%, and for ensuring room load and comfort requirements it is +/-20%. For such purposes, a flow hood with a potential error of 20% to 30% isn’t ideal.Robert deKieffer, an energy consultant from Boulder, Colorado, has also looked into the problem of flow-hood accuracy. “The Shortridge flow hood I used wasn’t anywhere close to accurate,” deKieffer told me. “They charged $75 to calibrate it, and I still got a bad number after it came back. I thought, ‘Wow — I spent a couple thousand bucks for this tool and it… center_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log inlast_img read more

What You Should Buy After You’ve Purchased a Camera

first_imgHave you finally made the jump to purchasing the camera you’ve been eyeing for some time? Here’s the gear that you should get next.Top image via The Film Look.Now, obviously once you’ve purchased a camera, you already know the vital things you need like batteries, a lens, and a memory card. However, once you’ve gotten the basic body build and recording capability you need, the next step can be tricky. First things first: you should consider the type of shooting you’ll be doing with the camera. Don’t think about your skill set or budget just yet. Let’s look at a few pieces of gear to consider. Nifty FiftyA tried-and-true staple of low-budget filmmaking is the 50mm lens. There’s something comforting and practical about being able to throw a cheap, light, and visually friendly lens on in no time. The benefit of shooting with a cheap f/1.8 50mm is the shallow depth of field you can get. This is will give you that warm, cinematic look that is so popular — as well as allowing you to shoot in less exposed environments.The Best Set of Go-To LensesThe Best EF Lenses for Filmmaking Under $1000How to Choose the Best Lenses for Your DSLR CameraTripodThe next most logical step for production is a durable tripod that fits the parameters of your camera. If you own a small DSLR or mirrorless camera, it makes sense to buy a tripod that’s sized accordingly. As the Film Look states, consider splurging a little bit and purchasing some hefty tripod legs, then you can always upgrade the head on your tripod as you upgrade camera size.5 Amazing Tripod Camera MovesFilmmaking Hack: Create a Handheld Camera Rig for Less than $5SliderOnce you’ve mastered the art of panning and tilting with your tripod, the next step will be actual dynamic camera movement. Purchasing a slider is something of a contentious point for filmmakers. Either you want to take the full DIY approach and build one yourself, or you could save some time and frustration and go for the name brand that you know and love. Either way, if you’re looking to improve the look and feel of your work, having a slider on deck will guarantee some solid B-roll and micro-tracking shots that will boost the overall value of your production.DSLR Slider Guide For Solo ShootersLone Operator? Make Your Next Purchase a Motorized SliderDIY Hacks: 10 Cheap Tripod Dolly Options to Try at HomeMicrophoneAnybody who has ever worked with any camera knows the in-camera microphone is complete garbage. But that’s okay because finding cheap, good-quality audio recording solutions is easier than ever. RODE currently runs the show with their on-camera Video Mic Pro, which attaches directly to the camera. This spares you from relying on a boom or finding another crew member. However, to capture even better audio, if your subject is stationary, you can attach your microphone to a stand (that could be part of your microphone purchase). Like the tripod and lens, just consider the type of video work you’ll be doing.The Best Microphones for Sit-Down InterviewsRode Announces the VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun MicrophoneLightingLighting can be a difficult area to break into right away. Learning the various color temperatures and types of light and their particular settings can take some time and experience. But, for starting out, it can’t hurt to snag a few cheap LED lights and stands. The Film Look recommends also purchasing a cheap reflector if you’ll be consistently shooting interviews or in static locations.LED Lights Under $500 Every Filmmaker Needs On SetGo Remote with Compact LED Lights4 Cheap Practical Lights That Can Work Wonders On SetBuy UsedIt never hurts to buy used equipment. Almost every camera I’ve ever owned I’ve purchased used, and there’s never been anything wrong with them other than a few nicks and dings (which did not affect the overall performance of the camera). Buying used is a great way to save money, and it will allow you to accrue more gear more quickly.What You Need To Know When Buying a Used DSLRlast_img read more

10 months agoLIVE FROM SEVILLE: Griezmann free-kick wins point for Atletico Madrid against Sevilla

first_imgLIVE FROM SEVILLE: Griezmann free-kick wins point for Atletico Madrid against Sevillaby Andrew Maclean10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWhile some of Europe’s top leagues were enjoying their winter break, the sun was shining bright in the south of Spain for Sunday’s highly anticipated La Liga fixture between Sevilla and Atletico Madrid.The sublime conditions only furthered the excitement within the stadium for what was an enthralling contest between second and third on the table.The opening 25 minutes played out much as you would’ve expected from both sides; the hosts controlled the majority of possession early while Diego Simeone’s dogged outfit were happy to sit back and soak up the pressure. Despite their control down the middle of the ground, Atleti afforded their opponents far too much space on the wings, with Jesus Navas having a field day against makeshift left-back Saul Niguez.The Spaniard’s dominance almost paid off when, on the 30th minute mark, his teasing cross was floated to the back post, only for Sergio Escudero to send his header two metres over Jan Oblak’s goal. With their tails up, Sevilla’s relentless attack resulted in the match’s first goal after 36 minutes through Wissam Ben Yedder. After Andre Silva’s long range strike smacked off the post, the resulting corner saw Ben Yedder in the right place in the right time, receiving a pass from Daniel Carrico on the edge of the six yard box and finishing neatly past Oblak for his ninth La Liga goal of the season.The home supporters weren’t celebrating for long, however. With the last kick of the half, Atleti’s superstar, Antoine Griezmann, drew his side level with a superb curling free-kick that left goalkeeper Tomas Vaclík fixed to his line.The 15 minute interval done nothing to quell the growing tension from both sides. Referee Mateu Lahoz awarded three yellow cards within the first nine minutes of the second stanza – and would hand out 12 by the final whistle – as the match ramped up in intensity with both sides searching for another goal.Ben Yedder once again found himself in a wonderful position inside the box after receiving Roque Mesa’s knockdown. But this time the Frenchman’s shot, which had Oblak beat, dragged across the far post. With eight minutes remaining, it was Griezmann who would squander Atleti’s best chance of winning the game. Must to the confusion of an otherwise strong Sevilla back three, the World Cup winner found himself onside, but his tame effort was hit straight at the outstanding Vaclik.The result means Barcelona can extend their lead at the top of the table to five points with a win over Getafe on Sunday night. TagsOpinionAbout the authorAndrew Maclean FollowShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

20 days agoMan Utd keeper David de Gea eyeing off Elche

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd keeper David de Gea eyeing off Elcheby Paul Vegas20 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United goalkeeper David de Gea could buy Segunda Division Elche.Sport says should the deal was to go ahead it would cost the Spain international around €18million (£16million), as reported by Sport.Jose Sepulcre, Elche’s maximum shareholder, had been negotiating a possible sale with player agent Christian Bragarnik, but talks have cooled recently.De Gea has a strong connection with Elche – he is a season ticket holder at the club and spent part of his childhood in the area, with his father having been born there.Elche are currently in 12th place in the Segunda Division table. last_img

Packers Plus files appeal of court ruling fracking technology patent is invalid

first_imgCALGARY – Packers Plus Energy Services Inc. has filed an appeal of a Federal Court of Canada ruling in December that declared invalid its patent for a well-completion technology that has helped usher in the shale oil and gas boom in North America.In a filing with the Federal Court of Appeal, the Calgary-based fracking technology company asks that its patent be upheld and that its patent infringement claims be supported.Defendants it names include Houston-based Weatherford International and Baker Hughes, along with producer Harvest Operations Corp. and service firms Essential Energy Services and Resource Well Completion Technologies Inc. of Calgary.In the December decision, the judge ruled that Packers’ patent isn’t valid because it was an “obvious” improvement on existing techniques and had been publicly disclosed before the patent application was filed.Packers’ system, patented in Canada in November 2002, is used to control and separate high-pressure injections of liquids and sand used to break up tight underground rock and free the oil and gas to be produced from horizontal wells, a process called hydraulic fracturing or fracking.It says in court documents the technology invented by Daniel Themig has been used in more than 10,000 wells since 2001 and has helped Packers grow from 30 employees to almost 1,000.last_img read more

Omar condemns selective outrage in Kashmir

first_imgSrinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday hoped that there was equal condemnation against rights violations by militants in the state as when the security forces are accused of it. His remark comes a day after a 12-year-old boy, who was taken hostage, was killed in a gunfight in Bandipora district’s Mir Mohalla area along with two other militants. The police however, accused the militants of shooting the boy dead. Taking to Twitter, Omar said: “I wish there was as much outrage in Kashmir against militants when they take a young boy hostage as there is when security forces are accused of human rights violations. “Selective outrage is cowardly and hypocritical.”last_img