Zimbabwe’s chiefs revive tradition to save the country’s last pangolins

first_imgBiodiversity, Community-based Conservation, Conservation, Environment, Environmental Law, Environmental Policy, Governance, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, NGOs Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Rebecca Kesslercenter_img Asian pangolins are fast dwindling for the illegal international trade, and traffickers are now targeting African pangolins for new supply, raising fears in Zimbabwe that they could wipe out the country’s last pangolins.However, traditional leaders, with the support of the Zimbabwean government, are playing a strong role in protecting the country’s remaining pangolins.They are reminding their communities of age-old myths and beliefs about pangolins, as well as imposing heavy fines on those who harm them, to instill a sense of collective responsibility among the people. ZIMUNYA COMMUNAL LAND, Zimbabwe — Christopher Zimunya, a 72-year-old leader of the indigenous VaJindwi people in eastern Zimbabwe, beamed as he spoke about pangolins. Sitting on the veranda of his small, thriving convenience shop at 22 Miles Business Centre, Zimunya told Mongabay that pangolins are revered in this part of the country, an area known as Zimunya communal land.“Pangolins are sacred here and we guard them jealously,” he said with a smile. “These animals are really beautiful and finding one brings a lot of good luck to the person who finds it and it’s a taboo to kill it.”Asian stocks of the scaly mammals are fast dwindling for the illegal international trade. Traffickers are now targeting African pangolins for new supply, raising fears in Zimbabwe that they could wipe out the country’s last pangolins. However, traditional leaders, with the support of the Zimbabwean government, are taking a strong role in protecting the country’s remaining pangolins. They are reminding their communities of age-old myths and beliefs about pangolins, as well as imposing heavy fines on those who harm them, to instill a sense of collective responsibility among the people.Christopher Zimunya, a traditional leader of VaJindwi people in eastern Zimbabwe, explains the importance of pangolins. Image by Andrew Mambondiyani for Mongabay.Scaly and endangeredPangolins are sought after in China and Vietnam, where the meat is considered a delicacy and the scales are used in traditional medicines for various ailments (although there is no evidence of their efficacy). In 2014, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) warned that more than a million pangolins had been taken from the wild in the preceding 10 years, putting the animals at risk of extinction. All eight species are effectively banned from international trade under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES), but the trade persists illegally nevertheless. Of the four Asian species, two are now listed as critically endangered and two as endangered. The four African species are listed as vulnerable.Zimbabwe has one the strictest laws against pangolin poaching in Africa. The animals are specially protected under the country’s Parks and Wildlife Act, and illegally possessing or dealing in them attracts a prison sentence of up to 12 years, according to Zimbabwe’s Parks and Wildlife Management Authority. In 2015, authorities arrested 84 pangolin poachers in Zimbabwe and sentenced 47 to nine years in prison, the mandatory minimum sentence, according to the Tikki Hywood Foundation. The next year the number of poachers arrested shot up to 114; 52 received nine-year sentences.Trevor Saruwaka, the legislator for Zimbabwe’s Mutasa South constituency, which includes a chiefdom near Zimunya called Mutasa communal land, told Mongabay that many people were unaware of the gravity of pangolin poaching and the severe sentence it carried.“Many are shocked when they appear in court and [are] sentenced to nine years,” Saruwaka said. “The information about the seriousness of the crime is not reaching many people in rural areas and there is [a] need to use government structures everywhere to educate people about [the] seriousness of pangolin poaching.”A pangolin pup rescued from trafficking. Image courtesy of the Tikki Hywood Foundation.Pangolins in traditional beliefIn Zimunya communal land and elsewhere, local chiefs are using traditional beliefs about pangolins to try to fill that educational gap and deter poaching.Sandwiched between Mozambique to the east and Zimbabwe’s Marange communal area in the west, Zimunya communal land is occupied primarily by the VaJindwi. Along the eastern part of this chiefdom in Manicaland province is a treacherous mountain range that forms part of the country’s Eastern Highlands.People here subsist mainly on small-scale crop and livestock farming, selling their surplus produce in the city of Mutare. Poverty is entrenched and worsening as climate change makes farming increasingly unpredictable and difficult.Many people here still adhere to traditional VaJindwi beliefs and practices. They conduct rainmaking ceremonies at the onset of the wet season. Many believe that mystical lions and birds protect the area from evil spirits. They safeguard certain tree species where protective deities are thought to reside, imposing big fines on anyone found cutting them down.Pangolins fit into that belief system, both in Zimunya and elsewhere in Zimbabwe. The animals, known in the local Jindwi dialect as harakabvuka, are extremely rare, shy and mostly nocturnal. Many people in this region have never seen a pangolin, heightening the mythical quality of this reclusive animal. In fact, they use the word harakabvuka to refer to something very rare.Small-scale farming is the source of livelihood for many people in Zimunya communal land. Image by Andrew Mambondiyani for Mongabay.“If a person finds a pangolin walking by, it means a lot of good luck. And the number of steps the pangolin takes before it disappears means the number of good years that person is going to live,” Zimunya said. Conversely, harming a pangolin is thought to bring bad luck. “Here we don’t fathom or imagine a person killing a pangolin, worse still selling it. It’s a taboo,” he said.Years back, Zimunya said, when a person found a pangolin, he or she was required to hand it over to the chief, who would then release it back into the forest. “Our forefathers protected these animals; no wonder we still have them today and we must do likewise,” he said.Under customary law, he said, if a person is caught killing or selling a pangolin, the chief would fine the poacher a cow and a sheep — a heavy fine by rural standards— and turn him or her over to the national police.“To us a pangolin is more than just an animal; it is part of our culture. We teach our children to value the pangolin and never to kill or sell it,” Zimunya said. “We still have many pangolins living in all these mountains surrounding us but they are rarely seen and we pray they should be left where they are.”The pangolin’s thick overlapping scales protect it from predators such as lions, but the animal is an easy mark for illegal wildlife traffickers. Image courtesy of the Tikki Hywood Foundation.Chiefs try to stem the poachingZimunya said the system was so far withstanding the rising pressure to poach pangolins: people young and old alike are actively involved in pangolin conservation and report any acts of poaching to the police or traditional leaders, he said, adding that there had been no local arrests so far.Other residents echoed Zimunya’s observations.“If you poach a pangolin here in Zimunya and try to sell it you will definitely be caught because the animal can’t be sold according to our culture. It brings bad luck to anyone who tries to make money from it,” Elijah Ngwarati, a 43-year-old farmer, told Mongabay with a chuckle.Elijah Ngwarati, a resident of Zimunya communal land, eastern Zimbabwe. Image by Andrew Mambondiyani for Mongabay.At a local business center, 38-year-old Leonard Madanhire weighed in, saying it would be difficult for traffickers to recruit locals to poach pangolins because of the respect people have for the animals. Some of the poachers, mostly from China, were offering up to $10,000 for a pangolin, dead or alive, he’d heard. “Yes, it’s a lot of money, but many people are not falling for the money,” he said.Albert Mutasa, a village elder in his seventies who was drinking beer with friends at the business center, said it was important for the elders to teach their children traditional ways to protect wildlife in the area.“We need to teach our children to protect our wild animals and plants. It is our duty as elders to teach the younger generation,” he said.Christopher Zimunya said the VaJindwi of Zimunya communal land weren’t the only indigenous group using traditional reverence for the pangolin to combat poaching. Chiefs in nearby Marange communal land and Mutasa communal land, as well as many others in Zimbabwe are doing the same, he said.The chiefs’ role in pangolin protection has drawn some attention from the broader conservation community.“We are working with the authorities; the chiefs, the police, the judiciary and [rural district] council officials, and they are very proactive in pangolin conservation,” said Hywood of the Tikki Hywood Foundation, which works to raise public awareness and train police and court officials about the pangolin trafficking problem, in addition to rehabilitating trafficked wildlife. “The traction on pangolin conservation in Zimbabwe is very positive,” she said.Tinashe Farawo, a spokesman for the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, told Mongabay that the authority valued the chiefs’ role in curtailing pangolin poaching in the country.“We are working closely with traditional leaders as the custodian of our wildlife to stop poaching and it is helping a lot,” Farawo said. “Chiefs are helping in our educational awareness [campaigns] and people are responding very well.”But there’s a limit to what the chiefs can do in the face of extreme incentives to poach. Early this year, four men under Chief Mutasa in Mutasa communal land were arrested in the capital, Harare, for trying to sell two pangolins. The case is still pending before the courts.It remains to be seen whether people on Zimunya communal land can withstand the lure of big money from international pangolin poachers as worsening poverty pushes many people in the area to the edge.Baby pangolins travel on their mother’s backs. Image courtesy of the Tikki Hywood Foundation.Banner image: A ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii), the species of pangolin that lives in Zimbabwe. Three other pangolin species live in Africa, and four others live in Asia. Image by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0).FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

Budgeting and public expenditure management

first_imgThe national budget is the main instrument through which the Government collects resources from the economy in a sufficient and appropriate manner and allocate and use those resources responsively, efficiently and effectively. Public expenditure management is one instrument of Government policy. The basic goals of this aspect of Government policy are achieving macro financial discipline, strategic priorities and functional application. These are three complementary and interdependent objectives (Todorovic & Djordjevic, 2009).Reforming public expenditure management in developing countriesLong-term sustainability of institutional reform always demands local ownership, political buy-in, and a degree of comfort among those responsible for implementing reforms. Without the active cooperation of budget managers and key staff members in both the core and line ministries, and without the support from the top political leadership, budget reforms have generally remained largely a paper exercise to satisfy donor demands. The sequencing and time period of the reform process should be very carefully considered to ensure that it fits the absorptive capacity of the system over time and not cause reform fatigue. Moreover, it is important to understand that periodic reassessments of actual costs and benefits of specific budget reforms and midcourse adjustments are necessary for sustainable reforms. It is not difficult to introduce budget reforms; simultaneously, merely introducing reforms is not the goal. Rather, the goal is to help permanently achieve improvements in expenditure control, strategic resource allocation, operational effectiveness and public financial integrity (World Bank, 2005).Code of good practices on fiscal transparencyClarity of roles and responsibilitiesThe Government sector should be clearly distinguished from the rest of the economy. Policy and management roles within Government should be well defined such that, the Government sector should correspond to the general Government, which comprises the central Government and lower levels of Government, including extra budgetary operations. Government involvement in the rest of the economy (e.g. through regulation and equity ownership) should be conducted in an open and public manner on the basis of clear rules and procedures which applies in a non-discriminatory manner. Clear mechanisms for the coordination and management of the budgetary and extra-budgetary activities should be established, and well defined arrangements, inter alia, other Government entities (e.g. the central bank and state controlled financial and non-financial enterprises) should be specified.Clear legal and administrative framework for fiscal managementFiscal management should be governed by comprehensive laws and administrative rules applying to budgetary and extra-budgetary activities. Any commitment or expenditure of Government funds should have a legal authority. Taxes, duties, fees and charges should have an explicit legal basis. Tax laws and regulations should be easily accessible and understandable, and clear criteria should guide any administrative discretion in their application. More importantly, ethical standards of behaviour for public servants should be clear and well publicized.Budgeting and Budgetary InstitutionsGood institutional design of the budgeting process is an important prerequisite of good fiscal performance. Such institutions should be designed to reduce the adverse effects of the principal-agent relationship between voters and politicians. The environment within which the budgetary process evolves strongly affects accountability and competitiveness, which are strengthened by ensuring that the budget is comprehensive, transparent and understood as a management exercise and not just a legal requirement.The common pool problem of public finances can be reduced by centralizing the budgeting process – that is, by introducing institutional mechanisms that force the actors in the process to take a comprehensive view of the costs and benefits of all public policies. Depending upon a country’s political system, this goal can be achieved by means of the delegation approach or the contracts approach.Therefore, the institutional reform of the budgeting process is an essential part of a policy aimed at achieving better fiscal outcomes. This does not mean, however, that a change in legal and procedural rules mechanically produces better results. In practice, institutional reforms are often the result of acute fiscal crises, of times when there is widespread awareness of principal-agent and common pool problems of public finances and a general recognition of the need for change. Better institutions therefore help to make this awareness more durable and thus serve as a commitment device for good fiscal performance.last_img read more

Poland winger eyed as a potential signing by new Everton manager Ronald Koeman

first_img The winger pictured in action for Rennes last season 1 Everton have expressed an interest in signing Poland international Kamil Grosicki, who is also a target for German side Bayer Leverkusen.The Rennes winger is currently on international duty with his country at Euro 2016, having helped Poland qualify for the last 16 in France.New boss Ronald Koeman is apparently a long-term admirer of the 28-year-old having tried to sign Grosicki during his time in charge at previous club Southampton.However, with added finances being made available for the Dutchman at Goodison Park, Koeman may be finally set to land his man.Grosicki enjoyed a fruitful campaign for Rennes last season, bagging nine assists and providing three assists.His current deal is due to keep him in France until 2020, yet it is thought that an offer from a Premier League club could tempt him away from the Ligue 1 club.last_img read more

Nonprofit group financially supports governor’s travel

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champ“The purpose is always to lessen the burden on state government,” said Larry Dicke, chief financial officer for the chamber and volunteer treasurer for the foundation. “I can’t recall us ever saying no” to an expense approved by the Governor’s Office, Dicke said. Open government advocates said the memos expose an arrangement between Schwarzenegger and the nonprofit that benefits the governor directly and therefore runs counter to the spirit of state disclosure laws. The group keeps its spending on Schwarzenegger’s office off standard gift reports by classifying the expenses as gifts to the Governor’s “Office,” and not directly to him. “The regulation was not designed to exempt the governor from disclosing all of this,” said Bob Stern, president of the nonpartisan Center for Governmental Studies and a former general counsel at the California Fair Political Practices Commission. Stern explained that the provision was intended for instances when a boss directs a state employee to travel to conferences and other events paid for by an outside group. SACRAMENTO – A secretive nonprofit funded by some of the state’s richest businessmen has spent more than $1.6 million for chartered jets, luxury hotels and private motorcades to ferry Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and aides around Asia, Europe and Mexico in the name of promoting California trade. The expenditures – some dating back to Schwarzenegger’s first full year in office in 2004 – haven’t been broken down until now because the nonprofit and the Governor’s Office decided to stop classifying the expenses as gifts to the governor. That move kept the bills off standard conflict-of-interest reports reviewed by journalists. Schwarzenegger’s office on Monday released memos offering a rough outline of the travel expenses paid by the California State Protocol Foundation, which Schwarzenegger has fundraised for and is run under the auspices of the California Chamber of Commerce. The memos reveal, among other expenses, that the foundation paid over $353,000 for a chartered jet for Schwarzenegger to fly to China in 2005, and over $4,000 a night for his hotel room. On that trip, the foundation also paid $96,306 for airfare and $140,538 for lodging for the governor’s 15-member entourage. “It’s for when a staff member is going and that isn’t the same person determining the trip and benefiting from the gift,” said Stern, who reviewed the memos at the AP’s request. “But here the governor is in charge. He is the one responsible for making the decision to go. He benefits and everybody knows that all along. That’s why they are giving money.” Aaron McLear, Schwarzenegger’s press secretary, stressed that aides in the Governor’s Office – and not Schwarzenegger – make decisions about which staffers go on the trips. He also pointed to an advice letter the foundation requested from the FPPC in 2004 that indicated travel expenses could be considered gifts to an office, and not the office holder. “This is not a gift to the governor, personally, the governor does not benefit personally from these gifts,” McLear said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Pellegrino ‘never imagined’ former teammate Guardiola would be such a success

first_img1 Mauricio Pellegrino has admitted he did not expect former team-mate Pep Guardiola to be so successful as a manager.The pair, who won the LaLiga title playing alongside each other at Barcelona during the 1998/99 season, will be in opposing dugouts on Wednesday evening when Pellegrino’s Southampton attempt to end the unbeaten record of Guardiola’s Premier League leaders Manchester City.While Pellegrino has yet to lift silverware as a coach, Guardiola has an extensive medal collection, picking up three Spanish league titles, three Bundesliga titles and two Champions League trophies during prosperous spells in charge of Barcelona and Bayern Munich.“I never imagined that he can achieve something like he did,” said Pellegrino, who joined Barca on a season-long loan from Argentinian club Velez Sarsfield.“But obviously as soon as I arrived, Pep was one of these type of players always looking for new ideas, asking how we were training in Argentina, in different places.“And also he had a good reading on the pitch and it’s something that after (he finished playing) he translated much better outside the pitch.”Barca’s 1999 title success proved to be the final of Guardiola’s six LaLiga wins as a player with the Catalan club before he moved on to Italian sides Brescia and Roma before eventually hanging up his boots following brief spells in Qatar and Mexico.For Pellegrino it was his introduction to European football and he went on to enjoy a productive six-year stay at Valencia, winning two league titles and the 2004 UEFA Cup, as well as playing in two Champions League finals.The 46-year-old former centre-back retains fond memories of his single campaign playing with Guardiola at the Nou Camp under manager Louis van Gaal.“We were team-mates and I think we had a beautiful moment together,” Pellegrino added.“We won the league, for me this experience in Barcelona was really good because I discovered a lot of things in European football“My career in Europe started in Barcelona, I’ve always got nice memories of this moment.” Pep Guardiola is arguably the world’s most successful manager last_img read more

Gamblers’ Anonymous Convention to be held in Ballybofey

first_imgA gamblers’ anonymous convention is being held at the Villa Rose Hotel & Spa in Ballybofey this weekend.The theme for the weekend is “experience, strength, and hope.”The convention will provide assistance for men and women who have a problem with gambling and are seeking help to stop, or for those affected by gambling addiction. Gam-Anon is a fellowship for people; husbands, wives, family, close friends – all those who have been affected by gambling.Gambling is one of the fastest growing addictions in Ireland today.There has been a huge rise in the number of young people affected by gambling, mainly because of ease of access to online gambling.For further convention details contact (087) 2431911 or see the Gamblers Anonymous website www.gamblersanonymous.ie Gamblers’ Anonymous Convention to be held in Ballybofey was last modified: March 3rd, 2017 by Elaine McCalligShare 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:Ballybofeygam-anongamblers anonymouslast_img read more

#NotionsbyNicole – Your Job Cannot Make You Happy

first_imgI’ve been a fan of Simon Sinek for years, and as such, I am subscribed to get a daily e-mail with a pearl of wisdom.  I typically share these on various social media channels as I feel that great content and little tidbits that make you think are better shared than hoarded.This week, I received the following quote:  “Bad days don’t make it a bad job. Good days don’t make it a good job. Like a relationship, it’s the general feeling we get when we think about our work, and not the excitement or stress on any particular day, that defines our fulfillment.”Amen, and I’d like to expand on that.  Not only does a bad day not equal a bad job nor a good day make a good job, your happiness is not determined by your JOB.I have seen quite a few tweets and LinkedIn posts lately from people who will equate their mood to their job satisfaction or how their day at work has been.  It’s simply not that simple.  Happiness comes from within – true happiness is up to you.  Yes, we can take pride in a job well done or in helping to solve a problem.  However, that’s not happiness, that’s pride in our work.  I read a book with my neighborhood book club lately called “Happiness is a Habit,” and I encourage you to read it if you have not had the chance.  There are over 40 “habits” in the book to practice, and spoiler alert: not one of those habits was related to our jobs.  In fact, many of them were related to self-care, spending time with those that energize us rather than drain us, giving back, etc.Rachel Hollis discusses the idea of happiness in her book “Girl, Wash Your Face:  Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be.” One of the “Lies” in her book is “The Lie:  Something Else Will Make Me Happy.”  She discusses the tragic misstep in making your happiness dependent on something happening. In the business world, it can sound like this:”When I have my dream job, I’ll be happy.” “When I reach this level in my career, I’ll be happy.”Sound familiar?  What are you waiting on?  How long will this take, and are you okay with being “unhappy” in the meantime? Growing old is not a luxury afforded to all.  What if you find yourself standing and the pearly gates (or whatever your faith equates with the end of your time on earth), and you have a full list of work-related accomplishments, job-related satisfaction, and there was no time for yourself, your loved ones, or your friends as you were busy building this career, constantly overwhelmed, so that you could finally be “happy?”Starting today, what steps can you take toward true happiness that comes from within?  What one thing can you do today to take responsibility for your life and your happiness?Choose to be happy.last_img read more

Open Source: Interoperability Problems Spook Enterprise Adoption

first_img2007 was a year where Open Source saw big gains in its acceptance. Open Source as applied to enterprise software, mobile applications, and social/collaborative software have all been popular and have seen a lot of growth.But one problem that continues to haunt Open Source is interoperability of all the pieces. And there often are a lot of pieces. On the one hand, Open Source licensing encourages innovation because there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. It’s very rare to find an Open Source solution that can’t be decomposed into at least a half dozen or more Open Source components.This is clearly one battle where Microsoft’s monolithic approach to architecture shines. Dig into a Java project, and you’re likely to find a list of components that include things like Lucene, Hibernate, MySQL, JSF, Richfaces, Tomcat, Spring, Xerces, and many more. Yikes! How can you keep track?The trick is to get a stack of integrated Open Source products that all work in harmony. Popular frameworks and stacks that combine many components together can ease the problem, but headaches still abound.Enterprises customers are wary of these kinds of problems and are delaying adoption because it it. These customers need assurance that these stacks of software can be updated without breaking their applications.“There is generally a lack of certifiable quality when it comes to solutions that build on multiple open-source components, where a change in one underlying component can break the entire solution,” Kim Polese of SpikeSource said. “As long as this remains a concern for enterprises, open-source vendors will not realize the rates of adoption they are hoping for, and adoption beyond the enterprise into SMB [small and midsize business] customers will also be limited.”A recent report of the Open Solutions Alliance also cited Open Source interoperability as a major problem. Companies like SpikeSource are addressing interoperability, but there is much more that still needs to be done.last_img read more

Facebook Puts An End To Apps That Beg For Likes

first_imgFacebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Tags:#Facebook#facebook apps#Facebook developers#Facebook Pages#games#Likes#Policy changes Related Posts center_img The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos You’ll now see fewer spammy applications begging you for Facebook Likes.On Thursday, Facebook made some changes to its Platform Policies that will stop app creators from asking users to Like their page in order to view special videos, win prizes, or get other giveaways. First reported by The Next Web, this policy change means that Facebook-linked apps will have to get people to like them the old fashioned way—simply because they do. This ban on Like incentives for app pages goes into effect on November 5. This doesn’t just affect games you play on Facebook—a wide variety of consumer brands and publishers have Facebook-connected apps, and there’s a good chance some of them have hit you up at some point to Like their page. That’s a common reason why Facebook users sometimes complain that the site reports them as having clicked Like on a page when they don’t recall doing so. Developers can still give incentives for other behaviors, like logging in with their Facebook account or checking into a store location on Facebook. They can also offer promotions and contests—they just can’t ask users to Like a page in order to participate in them.In a post, Facebook engineer Harshdeep Singh described the new policy:You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.In addition to the Likes policy getting stricter, Facebook now requires developers to disclose whether their games include mandatory or optional in-app charges. The move to be more transparent about pay-to-play games comes on the heels of the European Union demanding developers and app stores to be clear about the real price of playing mobile games. Lead image by Luca Sartoni. selena larsonlast_img read more