Ellen’s Twilight: A Time for Evenhandedness and Constitutional Tolerance

first_imgThe abrupt closure last Saturday of Benoni Urey’s radio station, situated at 10th Street, Sinkor, is a highly disturbing development indeed. A Ministry of Information press release issued Sunday by Deputy Minister Isaac Jackson said the closure action was executed by the Civil Law Court. But the press as well as bystanders and passersby observed a full contingent of officers of the Police Support Unit (PSU) and the Emergency Response Unit (ERU), clad in full riot gear, standing outside the radio station, as though in full readiness for combat.One bystander remarked that the scene was a vivid reminder of the frequent attacks which the Samuel K. Doe and People’s Redemption government launched against the Daily Observer newspaper in the 1980s. What is most disturbing about this terribly unfortunate incident is that this is the third time the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf government has moved to close down a media house. That is apart from the closure in November 2011 of Kings FM, Love FM (now LIB-24) and Power FM/TV. These closures were in connection with a riot at the party headquarters of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), executed on the eve of the election run-off between the incumbent President Sirleaf’s Unity Party and the CDC. The GOL said that in taking that action against the three electronic media outlets, GOL attempted to preempt a Rwanda-style radio broadcast that incited people to riot and kill. The three closures we refer to in this editorial are directly related to actions by these media houses which GOL deemed were particularly critical of the presidency. The first was in 2014 when government summarily shut down The Chronicle newspaper owned and operated by Philipbert Browne. This newspaper had been launching a persistent campaign calling for an alleged “interim government” that it said was in the making to unseat the incumbent national leadership headed by President Sirleaf. The second, which occurred on July 4, 2016, was the closure of the Voice FM operated by Henry Costa, whose highly controversial talk show were very critical of the country’s current political administration. Costa then moved his talk show to Mr. Urey’s LIB-24 FM. Costa’s prime offense this time was a letter allegedly written by President Sirleaf to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alex Tyler, proposing a certain change in the statues. Costa conjectured that the letter had something to do with the Global Witness allegations of several government officials who involved in changing some of the country’s laws and regulations to accommodate the mining interests of the UK-based Sable Mining. Costa, in his talk show last week, interpreted the President’s letter to the Speaker to mean that she was the one whom Global Witness called “Big Boy 1.”That, too, was, in Costa’s typical style, highly explosive; and that may have tipped the sudden action against Urey’s station, which Costa was now using to air his broadcasts.It is not clear how or whether Costa definitively linked the President to any wrong doing by her letter to Tyler. We do not see how the President’s letter to Tyler linked her to any impropriety. Be that as it may, we are deeply saddened by the government’s over reaction. There are two reasons: first, this has brought the whole Global Witness allegations into sharper public focus and has forced people to sit up and think and listen and speak out and do their own investigation in a matter that seemed to be dying down already.We are deeply saddened, secondly, because we cannot see how this closure of yet another media house can help the President’s image—and legacy. There have been numerous criticisms against her administration. However, the one thing that people have unequivocally credited her with is her tolerance of media criticism. Here is a Liberian President who has staunchly followed President Tolbert’s lead in rejecting the iron bar that President Tubman imposed on freedom of speech and of the press. As far as Tubman, Doe and Charles Taylor were concerned, these freedoms were nowhere in the Liberian Constitution. And yet they were—and are—and despite the draconian laws still on our books, President Sirleaf has effectively avoided using them against the media, and actually constantly advocated their repeal.That is why she became only the second African leader to sign the Table Mountain Declaration.We pray that the President will maintain the tolerance she has exercised since her tenure began in 2006 and deal evenhandedly with the media on the high moral ground of constitutional faithfulness and tolerance.At the same time, we urge all our media colleagues to be equally evenhanded and fair to all whom they cover.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Johnathan Abram hopes to return the boom to Raiders’ secondary

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos or video on a mobile deviceALAMEDA — Before he even officially became a Raider, Johnathan Abram told his head coach he’d “light his a** up.”Jon Gruden called Abram Thursday night to inform him he’d be the newest Raider with the 27th overall pick, and said in a video posted by the team, “I’m gonna be calling plays against you this spring and I can’t wait to get after your a**, man.”“Imma light your a** up, coach,” Abram responded. …last_img

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SA leads way in wine tourism

first_img10 July 2007France has much to learn from South Africa and California on the subject of wine tourism, a special seminar heard at Vinexpo, the global wine industry’s biggest trade show, in Bordeaux last month.Wines of South Africa CEO Su Birch detailed the successes of South Africa’s wine routes at the seminar, speaking of a “collective approach to wine tourism” that has allowed for the formation of 18 wine routes in the Western Cape province, each with its own distinctive personality.“One winery alone can’t market a region,” Birch said. “Wine routes work best when properties work together with a common goal … and where they cultivate a marketing proposition.”To illustrate this, Birch spoke about the long established and successful Stellenbosch Wine Route, but also about Durbanville’s focus on Sauvignon Blanc, Elgin’s focus on biodiversity, and Franschhoek’s on gourmet food.She emphasised the importance of working with the local tourism office, finding marketing approaches that reflect the strengths of an area, and holding fairs and unusual events to attract visitors in the off-season.Catherine Leparmentier of the Great Wine Capitals organisation described Birch’s presentation as “useful, to the point and, as usual, the South Africans used the most beautiful imagery. The South African contribution was of extreme value.”Francois Lurton, CEO of France’s Domaines Francois Lurton, said the “great advantage of the New World is their flexible hours, whereas it is very rigid in France, with the 35-hour week and little working at weekends.“In South Africa and California, they have a fantastic ability to organise opening times so people can come when they want.”Other speakers at the forum included Marimar Torres of the Spanish Torres family and owner of Club Marimar in California’s Russian River Valley, and Maryan Bautovich of Schramsberg Wines, also in California.Speaking to WineNews after the seminar, Birch said that wine Tourism had grown to the point where it was now “an integral part of any wine producing area’s marketing strategy.”In South Africa, she said, the wine tourism industry had “grown organically and expanded at an expotential rate, fuelled by passionate individuals and product owners.”She stressed, however, that the job was far from done. “We cannot ignore the importance of delivering a professional and unique experience.”Source: Wine.co.zalast_img read more

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The Harsh Reality For Mobile Developers Trying To Hit The Top Of App Store Charts

first_imgdan rowinski Getting app downloads and increasing user retention is a problem for every app publisher, from the indie developer to big, established brands to the current flavor of the month (think Angry Birds, Candy Crush, Temple Run). Even though the incumbents in the App Store and Google Play have the same type of problems that many other app publishers face, they also have mastered the art of acquiring and retaining users. Hence, they hold the keys to the house that are the top rankings in the app stores. According to analytics company Trademob, only 2% of the top 250 app publishers in the Apple App Store are newcomers while only 3% are new to Android’s Google Play store.  The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology What is your apps problem? Foremost, it may be low on signal and high on noise (it is not original and just not good enough). Really, there a lot of apps and many, many of them are just not that good. A generic game or brand app can get lost in the nearly two million entrants between the two stores. Second, the environment for mid-market apps is really, really thin. Only one in every 10,000 apps generated more than $1 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to Trademob. Third, you probably do not have the money to compete with the top of the heap of the app stores where all the money is made. Top app publishers have large marketing budgets and teams dedicated to nothing but getting their app seen (through public relations campaigns, advertising or cross promotion to social networks, television and other apps).  Related Posts Even if your app is not generating hundreds of thousands to millions of downloads, there are things you can do to hold to the users you do have. Localytics offers three tips for retaining and engaging app users after they have downloaded your app.Optimize customer acquisition: Tie customer acquisition sources (e.g., Facebook ads, cross promotion) to the long-term retention, conversion rates and most importantly lifetime value of app users. This focus shifts acquisition resources to those providing the highest quality customers.Engage / nurture customers:  Use tools such as in-app messaging to communicate with customers within the app. You can provide special offers, nudge customers through conversion points (e.g., registrations) and request customer feedback as input to app development.Continuous improvement: Use app analytics to discover opportunities to continuously improve the app experience, remove bottlenecks, smooth app user flow and move popular content and features forward.Check out the infographic below from Trademob on app downloads and the difficulty in breaking into the top ranks in the app stores. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#analytics#app development#App Store#Google Play You just spent months building an app with the hopes that it would be a boon for your business or usher your way into the lucrative world of top end app publishers. You have Candy Crush dreams and Evernote aspirations. After you publish your app, nobody downloads it. Those that do download it aren’t coming back into it more than once or twice. “This sucks,” you tell yourself over your morning (and afternoon) Ramen noodles. See also Making Android Pay: 5 Tips To Topping The Charts On Google PlayMaking noise in the App Store and Google Play is harder than ever. At last count, Apple has more than 900,000 apps in the App Store while Google boasts more than one million in its Android market. Even if you have the chops to develop an app and push it out, the competition is fierce for mobile users’ time, attention… and dollars.Nearly two-thirds of developers do not break even with their app investments. Most apps average much less than 50,000 downloads (which may seem like a lot, but it is not the peak of app store performance). Gross downloads are not always a sign of success. If one million people download your app but only use it once, that is also a failure of execution and retention. According to data from mobile analytics and marketing firm Localytics, 66% of app users open apps between one and 10 times. Only about 34% of users open an app 11 or more times, as of the third quarter of 2012 (and that number is up from 26% for the same time in 2011).  Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagementlast_img read more

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One-Second Video Apps? What The Number Of Seconds In Your Videos Says About You

first_imgIn all of these attributes, the six seconds of Vine are meant to provide a window for other viewers to inhabit a fleeting instant behind another person’s pair of eyes, a very Being John Malkovich moment indeed. Six seconds is just enough time to create a compelling story, to pack enough information about an occurrence, to show viewers what had just happened. I’ve made the mistake of joking once about a one-second video app. To me, one-second videos just seemed so out of touch with reality, and yet so in the trend of ultra-short mobile video platforms that a one-second app would statistically, and satirically, be the next best thing to do.Only a week later, I would flip through a magazine to see that Drew Barrymore just loves using her one-second video app. What? It was like the bad moment in a horror movie when the punk kid who sneers at Freddy Krueger only ends up getting swiftly annihilated in a vengeance killing.I realized— oh. It’s here. It’s already here.1 Second Everyday is an app that lets users record one second of every day of their lives, effectively creating a lifetime supercut for the purpose of capturing and evoking memories. One second, the app stresses, is all it takes to bring back a whole day’s events. And it’s taking off. Creator Cesar Kuriyama states that his app’s downloads are in the hundreds of thousands.The reality of a one-second app shouldn’t have come as such a surprise. Every new video application attaches another seemingly arbitrary number of seconds to cap off the clip. Instagram Video’s is 15, and Vine’s is six. The new video record-and-edit app MixBit’s is 16.But what do these numbers actually mean, if anything? What do the seconds in a clip say about what and how much one can convey, about the process of creation, about the user themselves?Vine’s video technology itself is not new, but the format is revolutionized when the users are given limitations to what they can do. Like Instagram and Twitter before it, a confine to what can be created only fosters creativity. Uniform photos, 140 characters, six seconds—through constructing boundaries to work within, they’re giving users a challenge.Vine users have stepped up to the plate. The app is notorious for the culture that has thrived since its inception, a grassroots movement spurred by competition, creativity and early-adopting youth.But highly produced, artistic videos are not Vine’s mainstay. The essence of “The Now,” and the instant gratification of immediate share-ability is what users tend to explore in their videos, capturing raw, unedited, in-the-moment slices of life. The app has been used to record and share certain cultural moments as well, making Vine videos a tool for real-time and citizen journalism. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement One second, it turns out, is just for you. 1 Second Everyday also provides a window, but only for the user to look back into the past. The app lets users take a one second video of every day of their lives, which the app then sutures together to create a supercut of the user’s month, year, generation.Of course, other people can view the compilation, but one second is just not long enough to convey an accurate story about that day for an outsider’s eyes. The app’s main purpose is to reveal a window for the user themselves to look in and shed light on the past, a tool to trigger memory.Kuriyama states, “I have seconds that look incredibly boring, but represent ridiculously meaningful events in my life, and I have seconds that look gorgeous, but may have been relatively insignificant days of my life. Each second is a secret code to myself that only I know the hidden meaning of.”According to Kuriyama, viewing one second of an event is just enough time to evoke a whole memory of an event, or an entire day. Recording just one second of an occasion also lets users spend their extra time not recording or not taking photos to be present and experience the moment as is.A five-second difference in video length between Vine and 1 Second Everyday might not seem to amount to a lot, and in the physical sense, it does not.But the truth is, it’s harder to film short. It’s more difficult to convey a story in six seconds or in one second. The basics have to stay in, and clarity is a must. The questions then become how and who? How does one creatively and intelligently fit enough information into a few-seconds clip? And who is watching?If you are seeking to share an experience, a few more seconds to unpack the moment will be necessary. If the viewer is just you, you might only need one second to convey all the message you need.Images and video courtesy of Geeks Hut, 1 Second Everyday, The Cupcake Dude What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Related Posts stephanie ellen chan Tags:#1 Second Everyday#video apps#Vine last_img read more

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