Ngafuan Hails Outgoing Egyptian Ambassador Lotfi

first_imgForeign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan has praised outgoing Egyptian Ambassador to Liberia for his pivotal role played in cementing the cordial ties between Liberia and the Arab Republic of Egypt. Minister Ngafuan stated that Ambassador Sameh Lotfi has distinguished himself as a dynamic diplomat, who never ceases to identify new opportunities for strengthening the bilateral relations between Liberia and Egypt.A Foreign Ministry release quoted Minister Ngafuan as saying that the Egyptian envoy executed his duties with commitment, excellence and diligence, adding, “We are grateful for the true spirit of representation, which he has demonstrated on behalf of his great nation and people.”Minister Ngafuan spoke at the occasion marking the official celebration of the 63rd Anniversary of the July 23rd Revolution of the Arab Republic of Egypt and at a farewell dinner in honor of Ambassador Lofti, whose tour of duty has ended. He said Ambassador Lotfi’s tenure ends at a time when Liberia is just beginning to recover from the impact of the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD), which claimed the lives of many Liberians and caused social and economic disruption.“We would have loved him to stay a little longer to help us with this recovery from a virus, which he and his country helped us defeat. But the reality of his profession as I have seen is that diplomats are always on the move at the call of duty.” He further said that at the height of the onslaught of the Ebola virus disease in Liberia, the outgoing Ambassador worked tooth and nail to mobilize assistance from the Egyptian Government, in solidarity with the people of Liberia to fight the disease. “Mr. Ambassador, during your tenure, Egypt provided assistance in the form of medical supplies and equipment and doctors at the John F. Kennedy (JFK) referral hospital to assist the Government of Liberia in its combat against Ebola and other challenges of the health sector,” the Minister indicated with deep appreciation. Minister Ngafuan further observed that the relations between Egypt and Liberia have been cordial and mutually respectful and beneficial with Egypt providing technical assistance to Liberia including short-term training program and long-term bilateral scholarship based on Technical Cooperation Agreement between the Egypt Fund for Technical Cooperation with Africa and the Government of Liberia which continues to greatly impact the human resource development of the country. “We are happy that you turned a milestone in the history of your great country and your place in history is well deserved. I want to take this time to congratulate you on this joyous and auspicious occasion. I am particularly impressed by the remarkable progress that your country has made since the transition from the events at the Tahrir Square to democratic elections, which finally saw the ascendancy of President Al-Sisi to power.”Minister Ngafuan stated that the July 23rd Revolution played a significant role in the political and economic development of Egypt. He also noted that the decision to institute a republican government launched Egypt into a new era of Nationalism, industrialization, unprecedented infrastructure development and Agrarian reform at which time Egypt has begun to show early signs of the pivotal role it would play in the non-aligned movement of which Liberia is also a founding member. For his part, Ambassador Lotfi paid a special tribute to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and officials of her government for the cooperation and support accorded him during his three years of diplomatic assignment in Liberia. He stated that those three years have produced a stable development and cordial bilateral relations between Liberia and Egypt. While acknowledging the solidity of the relations and the existing cooperation between Liberia and Egypt, the Egyptian envoy stated that during his tenure, Liberia- Egypt relations was marked by mutual bilateral cooperation with rewarding benefits. He said his tour of duty in Liberia witnessed the visit of high level Egyptian officials including the General Director of the Egyptian Social Fund for Development and the Special Envoy of President, Al Sisi, to Liberia and reciprocal visits of Liberian official to Egypt for training and working of joint committee to be discussed in the near future. While reflecting on the deadly EVD outbreak, which ravaged Liberia, the Egyptian diplomat stated that his country’s refusal to shut its doors was a stance of solidarity with their African counterparts so as to share the country’s struggle to defeat the Ebola epidemic. Ambassador Lotfi also said the celebration of the 63rd Anniversary of the July 1952 Revolution marked a significant milestone in his country’s history, as the occasion corresponds with the inauguration of new projects such as the Suez Canal, which is now ready for navigation and will formally be opened on August 6. He further asserted that the newly constructed two way route promises to nearly triple revenue from the Suez Canal to over US$3 billion per year by 2023. The Egyptian envoy said the new canal will minimize the waiting time for vessels to three hours at most, instead of 8-11 hours and will support the Suez Canal Area Development Project that will turn Egypt into an international logistics center. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

What it deserves

first_img– Ron Watson Arleta Let’s build the fence Re “Bush asks Congress to OK $1.4 billion aid to Mexico” (Oct. 23): President Bush wants to give Mexico $1.4 billion of our taxpayer dollars. After his meeting with Bush, Mexican President Calderon had the gall to say the U.S. is not doing enough to stop the flow of arms and etc. “southward.” Let’s stop the flow northward and use the $1.4 billion plus the $50 million planned for the other Central American countries and build the fence. Let’s man it with the helicopters, surveillance planes, drug-sniffing dogs, etc., that were to be sent to Mexico. Drones (the Predator would be fun), and the military would also help stop the flow northward. – Carol Milton Woodland Hills Ours do inhale Re “Supervised injection site for addicts weighed” (Oct. 19): So, San Francisco is trying to create an injection site where addicts can “shoot up” heroin, cocaine and other drugs. One need only take a look at L.A.’s City Council at City Hall to see how effective that program’s been. – Bruce Jones Eagle Rock Fires With all these fires, where were our elected leaders – before this started? Every year, all the fire chiefs warn them when and where there will be major fires, yet their calls are never heeded by our so-called leaders. The politicians always seem to have plenty of money to spend on their futile wars on drugs, and even more on futile wars with other countries. Why do we have 100,000 National Guard troops, and several hundred thousand military troops, if not to help in such emergencies? Clearly, these could be deployed as needed ahead of the known fire paths, instead of sitting on their bottoms waiting for somebody’s next war to start. The real war is right now, folks. Look out your backyard. – Richard Borbely Simi Valley Actually visit Re “Council payroll” (Your Opinions, Oct. 19): I am sure Councilman Zine’s office gets several thousands of letters and even more phone calls, on a daily basis. I have gotten up out of my easy chair and actually visited his office in Reseda and made friends with his staffers (Irma and others) who are always cheerily available with great advice and directives. With their help and the Neighborhood Watch meetings, my neighbors and I have cleaned up graffiti and furniture dumping, closed down a drug pickup corner, and generally improved our quality of life here in Reseda. When trouble arises, we have names of people who are readily available to come out and help us. City government works for us. However, letter writer Dave Mahar needs to drive over there and talk to real people. – Mary McMannes Reseda Our own drug abusers Re “Boo McCartney” (Your Opinions, Oct. 15): The writer blames the Beatles for introducing drugs to the USA. Let me inform him that the American entertainers were using marijuana and cocaine before the Beatles were born. (In case he did not know). – Alan Falconer Northridge160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Re “Emergency taxation” (Your Opinions, Oct. 21): I enjoyed Winnetka Neighborhood Council President J.J. Popowich’s letter bemoaning “… elected officials not using neighborhood councils as the advisory panels they were established to be” when it came to the emergency phone tax scam. Such political naivet might be refreshing if his Pollyanna-ish view of L.A.’s city leaders’ contempt for the neighborhood council system didn’t mean more money out of his own pocket. The fact is, Popowich, you got your clock cleaned by a council of public trough-slobbering toadies and a slimy mayor who wouldn’t grant you any more consideration than he showed his own wife. Los Angeles has the representation it deserves. – Dink O’Neal AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Burbank Just nuts Re “Bush asks Congress to OK $1.4 billion aid to Mexico” (Oct. 23): Why is President Bush giving Mexico $1.4 billion? Let’s see, we have how many hospitals that have closed? Aren’t we running low on water in some places? Didn’t someone say we need more money for the fence even though it was voted on – that’s another story? And for the drugs coming from Mexico, just build the fence first. And let’s see what happens. I mean let’s do something other than the same old thing that we all know will never work – throwing money at a country that is corrupt. last_img read more

Photo library: Buildings and structures 6

first_img{loadposition tc}Click on a thumbnail for a low-resolution image, or right-click on the link below it to download a high-resolution copy of the image.» Download Buildings & Structures contact sheet (1.1MB) » Download full image library contact sheet (10.5MB) Cape Town, Western Cape province: The Cape Town International Convention Centre in the heart of the city’s commercial district. Photo: Rodger Bosch, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Cape Town, Western Cape province: Inside the Cape Town International Convention Centre in the heart of the city’s commercial district. Photo: Rodger Bosch, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Cape Town, Western Cape province: Inside the Cape Town International Convention Centre in the heart of the city’s commercial district. Photo: Rodger Bosch, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Cape Town, Western Cape province: The Cape Town International Convention Centre in the heart of the city’s commercial district. Photo: Rodger Bosch, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Cape Town, Western Cape province: The Cape Town International Convention Centre in the city centre. Photo: Rodger Bosch, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Cape Town, Western Cape province: Inside the Cape Town International Convention Centre in the city centre. Photo: Rodger Bosch, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Cape Town, Western Cape province: Interior of the Cape Town International Convention Centre, in the city centre. Photo: Rodger Bosch, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Cape Town, Western Cape province: Inside the Cape Town International Convention Centre, in the city centre. Photo: Rodger Bosch, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Cape Town, Western Cape province: Inside the Cape Town International Convention Centre, showing a Brand South Africa stand. Photo: Rodger Bosch, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES 6: {loadposition bd}Having trouble downloading high-resolution images? Queries about the image library? Email Janine Erasmus at [email protected]last_img read more

Wayne County dairy manure storage inventory survey

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest In early January 2017, the Wayne County Extension office in partnership with the Wayne County Farm Bureau, Wayne County SWCD and NRCS, the Wayne County Ag Success Team and the Wayne-Ashland Dairy Service Unit, mailed a survey to 339 Wayne County dairy farms to determine the current manure storage capacity on those farms. Addresses of dairy farms were provided by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and included both Grade A and Grade B milk producers. The purpose of the survey was to gather base-line information to assess how prepared Wayne County dairy farms are to comply with Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) type of clean water/nutrient management legislation. Surveys were returned in early February of 2017 and Ohio University Environmental Studies graduate student Janessa Hill tabulated survey responses and prepared summaries of the results.SB 1 legislation became effective on July 3, 2015 and currently covers the Western Lake Erie Basin and contains specific provisions regarding manure application and prohibitions against application of manure (and granular fertilizer) during winter months and when soils are saturated. Depending upon who you talk to, it is expected that this type of legislation will move state-wide in the future, possibly within two to five years. In order to comply with the winter application prohibitions and other manure application provisions, the general consensus of persons who work with manure management and write manure management plans, seems to be that most farms should have 9 to 12 months of manure storage. The SB 1 law provided medium-sized facilities (200-699 dairy cattle) a year to comply with the regulations. Small agricultural operations could apply for a two year exemption before compliance. The entire SB 1 legislation text is available at: http://tiny.cc/OHSenateBill1.The dairy farm manure storage survey was designed to collect information regarding the type of manure storage present on dairy farms along with the storage capacity and typical manure application timing. Additionally, the survey asked farms to rate the degree of financial hardship that would be experienced if legislation similar to SB 1 was extended to Wayne County and additional manure storage had to be added.The goal is to use the collected survey information in conversations with legislators, policy makers, and other elected officials to provide a better understanding of the on-farm situation within the county. It is hoped that this baseline data might help to guide legislators as they craft water quality/nutrient management legislation and avoid unintended consequences for agriculture. The results of the survey have implications for compliance time frames, environmental considerations and the social fabric of the community. The information collected regarding the financial cost and hardship that will be incurred by adding additional manure storage has to be considered in any future clean water/nutrient management legislation.According to Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) statistics, there are 32,000 milk cows in Wayne County. Surveys mailed back to the Wayne County Extension office represented a total of 14,811 dairy cows or about 46% of the ODA statistic number. The overall survey return rate was 33%. The majority of dairy farms who completed the survey indicated the use of both liquid and bedded pack manure storage systems for their milking herd, with bedded pack manure storage the dominant form of manure storage for the heifers and calves. When asked about a nutrient/manure management plan, 44% of the survey respondents stated they do have a current nutrient and manure management plan and 43% said they did not. With regard to manure storage capacity, 52% of the responding farms have less than three months of liquid manure storage, 36% have three to six months of storage, 5% have seven to nine months of storage and only 3% have 10 to 12 months of storage. With regard to solid manure storage, survey results indicate that 23% of the responding farms have less than three months of storage and 34% have three to six months of storage, 14% have seven to nine months of storage and 8% have 10 to 12 months of storage.In terms of financial hardship, farms were asked to choose a statement that would best describe their situation if they had to construct additional manure storage to allow nine to 12 months of storage capacity. Approximately 20% of the survey respondents checked “It could not be done in my current dairy situation. The dairy operation would end.” Another 40% of the survey respondents checked the statement; “It could be done but at great financial hardship and greatly increasing risk of business failure.” Another 14% of the respondents checked the statement “It would be done as part of the cost of staying in business.” In a follow up question, 43% of the respondents stated they would not accept a government program if cost share support was provided to help finance the cost of additional storage to stay in business, while 11% said they would need 50% cost-share financing and 27% said it would require 75% cost share financing.More information about the survey and survey summary documents with results to all the survey questions are available on the OSU Wayne county extension website at: http://go.osu.edu/Waynedairymanuresurvey.last_img read more

Top Trends of 2010: App Stores

first_imgThose are some of the highlights from the world of app stores in 2010. The overall trend in this market segment is going steeply upwards, especially for mobile app stores, and we don’t see that abating any time soon. Let us know in the comments what app store you frequent the most and your opinion of it! What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces richard macmanus Tags:#2010 in Review#Features#mobile#NYT#web#Year in Review center_img Web App StoresWhile app stores have been mostly a mobile phenomenon, Apple and Google are going to launch app stores for web applications very soon – and Mozilla has already released a prototype.All three companies have very different strategies. Apple’s Mac Web App Store will probably look and feel a lot like iTunes and it will offer apps curated the same way the iTunes App Store is today, with many of the same restrictions. Google Chrome App Store will operate inside of Google’s Chrome browser. It will be open to all apps that operate on the open web. Mozilla’s Open Web App Store is a technology prototype that will let any website host its own web app store. The Mobile Web has been a huge trend in 2010 and one output of that has been the emergence of app stores. It started of course with Apple’s App Store for the iPhone and then iPad. Then we saw other app stores come onto the scene: Android Market, Nokia’s Ovi Store, Microsoft’s Windows Phone Marketplace and others. In addition to these OS-based app stores, there are independent outlets catering to multiple types of OS (like GetJar), carrier app stores, device app stores, tablet app stores and retailer app stores like Amazon’s forthcoming Android one. So it’s been a very busy field! Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of 2010.ReadWriteWeb’s 2010 In Review:Top 10 Semantic Web Products of 2010Top 10 RSS and Syndication Technologies of 2010Best BigCo of 2010: FacebookTop Trends of 2010: App StoresMost Promising Company For 2011: SimpleGeoTop Trends of 2010: Internet TVTop 10 Startups of 2010Top Trends of 2010: PrivacyGrowth of Apple & AndroidThe two leading OS app stores are Apple’s App Store and the Android Market. Both have grown significantly throughout 2010.At the start of the year, Apple’s App Store had about 120,000 apps and the Android Market 20,000. Now, iTunes is carrying over 300,000 apps and has had over 7 billion downloads – according to statistics on Wikipedia. By comparison, Android has around 175,000 apps and has had 2.2 billion downloads, according to AndroLib. So while Apple’s App Store is nearly twice as large, Android Market has had the most growth over 2010.Source: WikipediaIndie App Stores: GetJar The biggest app store success story this year outside of Apple and Android has been GetJar, which is one of the top 3 app stores in the world with over a billion downloads across 200 countries. The store now hosts over 70,000 mobile applications for all major platforms, including Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Symbian and others. In October, it launched a promotion to give away millions of free mobile games to customers who visit the company homepage at GetJar.com.Unlike other app stores, GetJar doesn’t rely on the sale of apps to generate revenue. Instead it charges publishers for sponsored app placements on its site.Lots of Apps, But Usability an IssueWhile app stores have prospered and proliferated in 2010, the usability and design of many of these stores leaves much to be desired. A common complaint is that it’s difficult to find the best apps, due to the overwhelming quantity of apps to choose from. The iTunes App Store, for example, has fairly broad categories and little personalization options. We ran a poll at the end of October asking which was your least favorite app store. The results should be taken with a grain of salt, because the lesser used app stores didn’t attract as many votes. Nevertheless, according to our readers the Android Market needs the most improvement.Android Market 29.25%Blackberry AppWorld 16.71%Ovi Store 15.88%iTunes 11.7%Windows Phone Marketplace 11.7%GetJar 8.08% Palm App Catalog 5.85%Other: 0.84% App Recommendation SitesGiven that the app stores themselves are having problems filtering apps, other services have arisen to help with this. As ReadWriteMobile editor Sarah Perez reported from the Open Mobile Summit in November, app recommendation sites are doing a great job at driving downloads. Some app recommendation sites and services to check out include ?Appoke (a combo Android app, store and social network), AppStoreHQ and its recommendation engine at appESP, Applolicious, Chomp, AppsFire, AppBrain, Appboy, AppAware, Smokin Apps, iApps.in (a semantic search engine for apps), 16apps, Apptism, Freshapps, ScatterTree, Frenzapp (a cross-platform app and recommendation engine that looks at what your Facebook friends like), Sidebar (a recommendations platform for developers), Chorus, Appsaurus and Appitalism. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Related Posts last_img read more

Complete Internet Blackout in Egypt (Updated)

first_imgAfter blocking Twitter on Tuesday and, intermittently, Facebook and Google on Wednesday, the Egyptian government has upped the ante, throwing a complete Internet access block across the whole of the country. Additionally blocked are Blackberry service and SMS.Reports are pouring in, many to Twitterers via landline, that the country has been “cut off” and is now a “black hole.” 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Breaking#international#news#NYT#politics#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Reports from Cairo, Alexandria and elsewhere in the country indicate the block is wholesale and countrywide. CNN’s Ben Wedeman commented, “No internet, no SMS, what is next? Mobile phones and land lines? So much for stability” and asked “Will #Egypt totally cut communications with the outside world?”That depends, I think, on whether the idea now is to disrupt communications between groups of protesters or to lay a blackout curtain across Egypt to mask a total crackdown. As many as eight protesters, three in Cairo and five in Suez, have been killed, along with one policeman. I think if landlines and mobile go, the question must become, is the Egyptian government planning a wholesale massacre? (AP has raw footage of security forces converging, then killing a protester. Please be warned. This is some vicious shit.)Those in and outside of Egypt have pledged to keep as much in connection to one another using whichever avenues remain. This is one of those times, however, in which the presence of functioning traditional journalists will pick up from the citizens who had been reporting on the ground. UPDATESSome reports indicate landlines are down. Further reports indicate Vodafone will be shutting down mobile service and Facebook videos uploaded by those who retain Internet connection are getting deleted. Can anyone confirm? Egyptian interior ministry’s “decisive measures” may be code for “massacre” now that the Internet’s largely dark. Egyptian Internet cut-off documented by Rensys. Big four Egyptian ISPs, on which the majority of Egyptians, and Egyptian businesses and organizations, rely are offline.As of 12:35 p.m. (PST), all communications seem to be cut off “except landlines from 5 star hotels & Nour ISP” according to a source in the region (but not in the country). When rumors hit the protesters that the Egyptian Museum was going to be looted due to abrupt police abandonment, they ringed it with their own bodies to protect it. Another source, a journalist said:“Latest I’ve read/heard confirmed: 1) 93 percent of ‘net traffic blocked. Only one ISP, Noor, is still up and running.2) Cell service cut off, per government order, in various places — may be countrywide now, but what I read suggested that they asked it to be selective (probably not in tourist destinations, for example). 3) Some landlines, particularly in Cairo, are reported down as well.” Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… curt hopkins Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

Square’s Next Move: Jump On A Platform

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#acquisitions#Braintree#e-commerce#Gokul Rajaram#Mobile Payments#online payments#Payments#PayPal#square#Stripe Related Posts PayPal just bought Braintree. But the payments giant wasn’t the only company having conversations with Braintree, a Chicago-based startup known for its appeal to app developers.Square, a mobile-payments company focused on elegant design and smaller merchants, appears to have been interested in Braintree, too.And that suggests that Square is rethinking what it is and how it should play in the vast, convoluted world where money moves.Three People At A Square TableReadWrite recently heard of a meeting between Braintree CEO Bill Ready, Square CEO Jack Dorsey, and Square CFO Sarah Friar. When we asked Ready about the meeting, he didn’t deny it happened—far from it.“I know Jack and Sarah from the industry and have a lot of respect for them for Square,” Ready recently told ReadWrite. “I’ve had a lot of conversations in the past, like I’ve had with a lot of players.”It’s not clear what they discussed, but there’s a lot to talk about. (An exceptionally polite and pleasant Square spokesperson declined to comment.) 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market owen thomas Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… It first helps to understand what the companies do: While they both nominally offer payments-related services, their products and customers have almost no overlap.Square offers a physical credit-card swiper for use with smartphones and tablets and a more integrated cash-register substitute built around Apple’s iPad, the Square Stand. Along with that hardware, it offers a flat-fee payments service.For the consumer, very little changes—they still swipe a credit card, though Square can send receipts by email or text message instead of printing them on paper. Merchants—typically small stores, service providers, and small chains with less than 10 locations—get a simplified fee structure. Though Square has just recently expanded into e-commerce with its Square Market, it primarily helps sell goods and services delivered person-to-person, in the real world.Braintree, by contrast, is a back-end payments processor; its brand is all but invisible to consumers. It started out as an e-commerce alternative to PayPal and other services that let retailers charge credit cards online, but more recently, it’s found a lucrative, fast-growing niche in providing credit-card processing to mobile-app developers.Last year, it bought Venmo, a person-to-person payments-app maker, which gave it a consumer-facing brand. Before PayPal announced its acquisition, Braintree was in the process of turning Venmo into a mobile wallet that let users enter a credit card once into a Braintree-powered app, and then use that card with other Braintree clients without having to reenter it in every app.Touching In PersonWhere Square and Braintree begin to overlap is in the world of services. The same magical idea that lets you order a coffee at Blue Bottle and pay for it by saying your name also lets you pay for an Uber ride by opening up a car door and walking out. In both cases, a charge is made to a stored credit-card number kept securely in an account stored on a server.“We want to carry every transaction,” Square’s Dorsey recently told the San Francisco Chronicle.That ambition can’t be fulfilled if Square merely serves small “micromerchants” in physical environments. It must also tackle the virtual opportunity.A Square OpeningThere are signs that Square is thinking bigger. The Braintree conversation is one—though an acquisition would have strained Square’s resources and challenged its identity.Another sign is Square’s recent hire of Gokul Rajaram to run its product engineering. Rajaram is an expert in software platforms from his years at Google and Facebook.“Platform” is a term often loosely thrown around in technology. Many companies claim to run platforms; few actually do. A true platform provides a system for exchanging value based on a kind of technological codependence. The platform operator provides the underpinnings for other software developers to create useful applications on top of it. Those applications, in turn, build the value of the platform.Today, Square stands almost completely alone. It builds a beautifully integrated system of hardware, software, and services, which lets it move swiftly and decisively when it sees opportunities to improve its product. But it has little interaction with other software makers, which seems like a lonely way to do business.It has begun to loosen its grip. Last year, Square launched a much-publicized partnership with Starbucks, though the actual implementation to date has been disappointing, a kludgy affair involving poorly trained baristas and confusing barcodes. More recently, it announced that its customers could port data from Square’s proprietary Register software to Intuit’s QuickBooks.Those are tentative measures—perhaps tests as much internal as external, to see if Square can learn to play well with others.But eventually, Square must open up.How Square Can Round Itself OutUpstarts like Square cannot count on incumbents like PayPal ineptly missing new opportunities—like the emerging businesses of smartphone and mobile-app payments that let Square and Braintree spring up in the first place. While Square now processes more than $15 billion a year in payments, it’s less than a tenth of PayPal’s size.One obvious product to lead with is its distinctive “pay with name” feature, which it now calls Auto Check In. This could be the basis of a service it offers to other app makers—one that might benefit from Square’s distinctive and trusted consumer brand, which unlike, say, “Braintree” or “Venmo,” many people now recognize as a means of payment. A familiar Square icon would signal to smartphone users a simple message: You don’t have to reenter your credit card here.Square may never have a completely open API, since it trades in people’s finances and merchants’ business data. But it may offer tiers of access, or a system of invitations to select developers who complement Square’s commerce-focused offerings—and who could then build out Square-compatible systems for merchant’s own websites.Courting those developers, a constituency Square has historically ignored, will be a trickier matter. It may need to do an acquisition of its own—perhaps Stripe, another San Francisco-based payments startup with which it shares principles of elegant design, not to mention some prominent investors.Stripe CEO Patrick Collison’s famous devotion to customer service and his intellectual rigor would make for a good cultural fit with Square. The prospective combination of Stripe’s Collison and Square’s Rajaram ought to strike fear into the hearts of PayPal CEO David Marcus and Braintree chief Bill Ready, if they have any sense.Can Square add another side to its business—adding services for app developers to its elegant hardware, software, and payments? Without it, Square seems to be missing a leg.last_img read more

Women’s doubles badminton final: Jwala-Ashwini take 1-0 lead

first_imgStarting the hunt for possible three gold medals at stake for the Indians on the final day of the Commonwealth Games, the showgirls of Indian badminton — Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa — made a good start in the women’s doubles finals on Thursday morning. Playing at a comparatively packed Siri Fort Stadium, the Jwala-Ashwini combine took an 11-10 lead in the opening game against Singaporean pair of Shinta Mulia and Yao Lei. Earlier, the Indians had a disappointing start as they conceded 0-3 lead to the favourites Shinta-Yao. However, a confident Jwala continued with her attacks finally giving India a lead that continued till the end of the game. They won the first set 21-16.last_img read more