Daily Archives: July 31, 2018

Ammbr Reveals Technology For Long-Range Wireless Connectivity Up To 8 km

SINGAPORE, July 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Ammbr Foundation released details on the long-range wireless technology that will make the Ammbr mesh router capable of picking up signals from up to eight kilometers (5 miles).

The Ammbr Wi-Fi router being tested to communicate with other Ammbr routers kilometers away.

The Ammbr foundation intends to help connect the 4.1 billion people who don’t have Internet connections, through the implementation of innovative technology that allows improved connections in rural areas and over longer distances. The key, according to Derick Smith from Ammbr, is tapping into unused frequencies known as television white space (TVWS).

TVWS technology can operate in conditions where line-of-site is not possible due to obstructions such as vegetation and walls, and theoretical calculations show that a 600-megahertz TV white space signal can cover 16 times as much area as a 2.4-gigahertz Wi-Fi signal. The technology will allow Ammbr routers to extend their range up to 8 km, provide a much wider coverage footprint and allow the devices to reach neighbouring routers in areas not possible before TVWS.

TVWS exists due to a lack of use of the full set of terrestrial TV channels available and to protect television broadcasters from interference caused by adjacent analogue TV transmitters using the same channels. As stations transition to more spectrally efficient digital television, many of these broadcast bands will remain vacant and will be available for broadband use. In Africa, many rural areas have close to 100% TVWS spectrum available which makes these areas an ideal candidate for TVWS.

TVWS is part of a wider movement of Dynamic Spectrum Access technologies that seeks to more efficiently make use of spectrum that is only licensed nationally to primary users by allowing secondary users to access the primary spectrum where it is not used in specific regions or at a specific time. Access to TVWS spectrum is made possible by using a geolocational spectrum database that checks what channels a TVWS base station can use at its specific GPS position without causing any interference to neighbouring television receivers.

The UHF band used by TVWS is the sweet spot of the radio frequency spectrum that terrestrial broadcast television has been sitting on for over 60 years – TVWS has finally provided the solution to access this critical high value spectrum for broadband access. Although TVWS trials have been running since 2008 in 20 countries, currently only the USA, the UK, Singapore and South Africa have finalized TVWS regulation. It is hoped that the recent approval of TVWS in South Africa in 2018 will create the catalyst for regional approval of TVWS across Southern Africa – possibly even creating a regional TVWS geolocation spectrum database.

The TVWS spectrum lets Ammbr owners install the routers to connect to the Ammbr network in varied terrain, from dense vegetation to mountainous regions, and up to 8 km away from other Ammbr routers. This is critical in rural communities with low population densities – a key demographic where the last mile is often too costly for operators using cellular technology.

Last week, Ammbr released the demo version of the fully integrated Wi-Fi, television white space (TVWS) and blockchain capable routers – a first of its kind. These routers will be used in a series of trials around the world in places such as Cape Town, South Africa (where a TVWS regulatory framework was published in April) and parts of the United States as well as Europe

Ammbr Research Labs’ (ARL) David Johnson, who has been involved in the efforts to draft these regulations and carried out R&D and trials for the past six years together with the dedicated CSIR TVWS team, described TVWS as “the elusive promise to bridge the global connectivity gap”.

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/724923/Solar_Ammbr_Park.jpg

Japanese Gov’t, Japan World Expo 2025 Committee Beefing Up Bidding Activities to Host World Expo 2025

– Bringing Public-Private Sectors and Pokemon Together Ahead of Decision on Host Country in November –

TOKYO, July 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Government of Japan and the Japan World Expo 2025 Committee (hereinafter “the Committee”) have been conducting activities at home and abroad seeking to host the World Expo 2025. From July 21, the Committee took the initiative to begin an event-oriented campaign in which Pokemon, one of the Committee’s “Special Envoys (Mascot Characters),” boosts bidding activities at the Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo in Ikebukuro and elsewhere in Japan as part of efforts to win the bid to host the World Expo.https://kyodonewsprwire.jp/prwfile/release/M105049/201807256312/_prw_PI1im_lo8G2q8J.jpg

Photo: Campaign Venue

(Video: https://youtu.be/u2_Ra917I-4)

The campaign website “Pokemon EXPO Type Check” was launched in June to help people support the bidding activities together with Pokemon, and “original goods featuring Pokemon and the World Expo bid” began to be distributed from July 21 in the second phase of the campaign. In Japan where summer vacation already started, many people, mainly children and young people, flock to 26 Pokemon Centers/Pokemon Stores (facilities to offer information on Pokemon and sell Pokemon-themed goods) across the country every day where original goods are distributed.

The Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo in Ikebukuro, one of the campaign venues, was crowded with smartphone-carrying children and Pokemon fans from Japan and abroad.

As for “Pokemon EXPO Type Check,” each visitor is diagnosed as one of the designated types after answering 10 questions about Pokemon and the World Expo. Then, each visitor can receive an original photograph (a supporter’s certificate) taken together with Pokemon which varies from one type to another. Fifty-four Pokemon appear in the type check, allowing visitors to be excited about which Pokemon picture he or she can get.https://kyodonewsprwire.jp/prwfile/release/M105049/201807256312/_prw_PI3im_eAp67LKF.jpg

Pokemon EXPO Type Check URL https://pokemon-expo2025.jp/

This campaign is designed to help people enjoy supporting Japan’s bid to host the World Expo together with Pokemon. In fact, it is not only enjoyable but constitutes an activity with social significance. As its rationale for hosting the World Expo, Japan is committed to contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. Each supporter’s certificate of “Pokemon EXPO Type Check” lists the outcome of diagnosis as one of the goals. In short, visitors can touch on the World Expo and the SDGs through Pokemon while having fun, constituting important educational activities on social issues for young generations.

As the host of the World Expo is decided in November this year, each candidate country’s campaign is entering the final stretch. To contribute to achieving the SDGs, Japan, setting out the theme of “Designing Future Society for Our Lives,” has broached the idea of making the World Expo work toward solving problems faced by countries of the world rather than developing itself. To realize the SDGs’ concept of “inclusiveness,” Japan is conducting bidding activities involving not only the Government and business people but also the general public, including children and young people. Pokemon, which is popular among young people who have never experienced a World Expo, and a famous entertainer in Japan have become “Special Envoys” to serve as a bridge between state-level goals and grass-roots level interests.https://kyodonewsprwire.jp/prwfile/release/M105049/201807256312/_prw_PI4im_C32ueACf.jpg

If Japan wins its bid to host the World Expo, it will be the first such event to be held in Japan in 20 years since Aichi Prefecture hosted the World Expo 2005. The World Expo 2025 will attract attention not only from neighboring countries but from around the world with the help of Pokemon’s power.

*If a Pokemon image or relevant graphical content is used, please list the following credit.
(C) 2018 Pokemon. (C) 1995-2018 Nintendo/ Creatures Inc./ GAME FREAK inc.

Logo1: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

Logo2: Logo of Japan’s candidature for the World Expo 2025

Western Cape Economic Development and Tourism on employment growth for 2017

The Western Cape, which contributes less than 15% to the national economy, created 40.7% of all new jobs in the past year.

The Stats SA Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the period April to June 2018 which was released today, indicates that 77 000 new jobs were created in the Western Cape over the past year-representing a 3.2% increase.

The Western Cape also recorded an expanded unemployment rate of 23.2%, almost 14 percentage points less than the national average of 37.2%.

MEC Winde said: The Western Cape continues to be a major contributor to employment in the country, and was responsible for creating 77 000 of the 188 000 new jobs in South Africa in the past year-more than any other province.

Despite this excellent news, the province recorded a large drop of 50 000 jobs on a quarterly basis between the first quarter of the year, and the second.

More than half of these (27 000) were lost in the Agricultural sector which has been battling through one of the worst droughts on record.

The sector is also cyclical and seasonal harvest time job losses would have been recorded in this quarter.

Year on year, jobs in the province’s agriculture sector showed some growth- with 2 000 new jobs created over the period.

MEC Winde said the drought has had a significant impact on the agricultural industry and the quarterly employment statistics in this sector reflect that. However, we are pleased that year on year, we have not seen any negative impact in this sector which is responsible for a large proportion of rural job creation. We have experienced good rains in some parts of the province and believe that this will reflect positively in the agricultural sector’s growth in coming quarters.

The community and social services sector also recorded a large quarterly decline of 34 000 jobs. This could largely be attributed to NGOs and provincial and municipal government departments experiencing budgetary strain, and taking cost cutting measures to reduce their personnel expenditure.

Private households in the province, largely creators of domestic work, also recorded a loss of 4 000 jobs in the quarter, which also coincided with VAT increases, and several petrol price increases, and putting pressure on household finances.

Positive growth for the quarter was recorded in the construction industry which created 18 000 new jobs, and the transport industry which added 16 000 new jobs in the province.

In the City of Cape Town, jobs in the formal sector grew by 50 000 year on year.

MEC Winde said Just today, a report was released indicating that Cape Town is the technological hub of Africa responsible for creating 40 to 50 000 jobs, and this increase in employment in the metro area is a reflection of the investor confidence we’ve seen in sectors like technology and the green economy. Large corporations like Amazon, Hisense and now also Panasonic have shown a willingness to grow their business here, and the designation of the Special Economic Zone in Atlantis will further help to boost employment figures.

Source: Government of South Africa

Two rifles seized, suspect arrested

Yesterday, a swift response by Nsuze police, Tactical Response Team and K9 Unit members resulted in the arrest of a 37-year-old male in the Montebello area and seizure of two firearms and a number of rounds of ammunition. One of the hospital employees in the area who attempted to enter the hospital with a big bag refused to be searched and was denied entrance. Police received an intelligence about the male carrying rifles in his possession and he was intercepted whilst entering his place of residence.

A search was conducted and two AK 47 rifles with 60 rounds of ammunition were found in his possession. He was immediately arrested and taken to Nsuze police station for detention. He was charged for possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition. He will appear in the Maphumulo Magistrates’ Court today, 31 July 2018. The firearms will be sent for ballistic testing to ascertain if they were used in the commission of crime.

Source: South African Police Service

Ex-Slave Seeks Office in Mauritania to Fight for Freedom

Born into slavery and kept as a servant for 30 years, Haby Mint Rabah is now running for parliament in Mauritania to fight for freedom in a nation with one of the world’s worst slavery rates.

Rabah’s candidacy is a first for the West African country, where more than two in every 100 people � 90,000 in total � live as slaves, according to the 2018 Global Slavery Index.

Slavery is a historical practice in Mauritania, which became the last country to abolish it in 1981. Black descendants of ethnic groups in the south are typically enslaved by lighter-skinned Mauritanians, often as cattle herders and servants.

Rabah, 44, was born into bondage and forced to work from age 5 as a maid and a field hand. She hopes to be a role model and show that freedom and a life after slavery are possible.

“I submitted my candidacy because I was a slave, like my parents and my parents’ parents before me,” she told the Thomson Foundation by phone from the capital, Nouakchott. “And I never saw a slave candidate in elections.”

Mauritania criminalized slavery in 2007, but few slave owners have been penalized. Some members of the political elite deny that slavery still exists, and several activists who spoke out against it have been arrested and even jailed.

Mauritania’s government has repeatedly denied restricting the activities of rights groups or making arbitrary arrests.

‘I know that they exist’

“The day that I’m in parliament I will defend the slaves … because I know that they exist and that they have many needs,” Rabah said. “I’ll be there for them.”

Rabah will stand in the September 1 elections as a member of the Mauritanian Rally for Global Action, the political wing of the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA), in coalition with the more established Sawab party.

Rabah was freed in 2008 with the help of the IRA after one of her brothers escaped and alerted the anti-slavery group.

As a slave, her chores included carrying water and herding animals. Her master repeatedly raped and beat her, Rabah said.

“I suffered every kind of mistreatment,” she added.

Slaves in Mauritania do not tend to escape because they are unaware of their rights and cannot envisage a life beyond slavery, said Boubacar Messaoud, president of rights group SOS Esclaves.

“[Rabah’s candidacy] is something that should encourage slaves to lift their heads … to see that when you are free, you have the possibility to access everything the others always had,” Messaoud said.

Source: Voice of America