UK investors ‘still believe in South Africa’

first_img12 October 2012British companies based in South Africa have not been shaken by the ongoing strikes and the recent Marikana tragedy because they believe the country is a good place to invest in the long term, says UK Secretary of Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable.British companies make up over half the foreign direct investment (FDI) in South Africa.Cable was briefing the media in Parliament in Cape Town on Thursday following a meeting with Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.Cable said British companies based in South Africa were “not fazed” by mining sector strikes, but rather considered the long-term perspective when they considered whether or not to remain in a country.SA fundamentals ‘attractive to investors’He said South Africa had a lot of “fundamentals that are attractive to investors”.“I think the assessment of serious investors here is that South Africa is an open economy and approaches foreign investment in a positive and welcoming way,” Cable told MPs. “The regime is a good one.”Cable was accompanied by a delegation of UK small and medium-sized firms and had visited UK company Bombardier, which supplied the Gautrain, while in the country.He said he believed there might be some developments for UK investments in the area of skills and apprentice training.Although value on inward investment had slowed, the number of projects had risen, and Cable said there had been rapid growth in trade between South Africa and the UK in recent months.Although trade has been more or less balanced, South African exports to the UK have recently declined, but Cable said the aim was to achieve balanced trade between the two countries.UK firms ‘considering a number of SA projects’Minister Davies, also briefing reporters, said UK companies were considering a number of projects in South Africa, including a number in business process outsourcing (BPO), which could potentially create as many as 4 000 jobs, as well as investments in the hospitality sector and a plastics manufacturing project.He said the 2015 target of doubling trade between SA and the UK looked unlikely to be met before 2016 and 2017, adding that his department would soon promote a list of value-added products to the UK.Commenting about the bulk wine issue, Davies said there were no environmental regulations in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that made it mandatory for countries to ensure that carbon emissions were kept at the lowest possible level when goods were shipped between two countries.He said flying or shipping goods from one part of the earth to another did not necessary mean that the product necessarily had a higher carbon footprint than those manufactured locally.At times more emissions were emitted in manufacturing a product locally or when consumers had to drive many long distances to buy the product from retailers, he said.The bulk wine issue has cost South Africa about a 1 000 jobs in its bottling sector, because wine destined for the UK is now placed in plastic containers rather than bottles.Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

Mixaloo: The Return of the Mixtape

first_imgWith the rise of MP3s and other forms of downloadable music, the venerable mixtape, which Wikipedia says gained mass popularity in the 1980s, may be going the way of the dodo. It is, afterall, rather hard to give someone an iTunes playlist, not to mention a whole lot less romantic (if that’s what you’re after). But New York-based Mixaloo isn’t about to let the mixtape die.Mixaloo revives the art form of mixtape creation by packaging mixtapes as flash widgets that you can spread via social networks or blogs. These “digital mixtapes” are powered by Clearspring, and while they don’t play full songs (just samples), they do something arguably better: they can make you money.The Mixaloo widget doesn’t just show off you smooth musical taste, but also acts as a mini-store front from which your peers can purchase your creations. We created a Bob Marley-heavy mix (embedded below) that has 14 tracks — Mixaloo puts that at a $15.22 price point. Mixaloo offers a 50-50 profit share (or about 20-40 cents per song) with mixtape makers. Mixaloo also offers a points system. Users earn points for doing things like selling tracks, and recommending related artists that the app suggests during mixtape creation. Points can be redeemed for things like Mixaloo merchandise and audio equipment.Mixaloo entered public beta just a couple of weeks ago, and though mixtape creation is easy and I was very impressed by the sheer amount of albums and songs it has listed — more than 3 million of them (including many obscure live tracks that other music services tend to overlook), there were some hiccups.For example, when trying to get the embed code for my widget, I often got an error saying the widget could not be found — especially after trying to change the widget’s colors or theme. Further, though I got Mixaloo to accept my uploaded cover artwork, it is nowhere to be found on the widget itself. And speaking of the widget, every time I have tried to purchase my mix, it asks me to create an account — I already have an account, but there appears to be no way to log in with it from the widget!The downside of having so many songs in the library, is that Mixaloo has to offer songs protected by Windows Playsforsure DRM. Yuck. It would be great if Mixaloo could offer DRM free tracks from record labels that are open to the idea (like EMI). With the public’s growing distaste for DRM could potentially hamper the growth of the service, but it is a necessary evil if you want to work with most of the major labels.It’s probably premature to say that Apple is losing any sleep over Mixaloo (and the services aren’t really comparable, as iTunes sells to people looking for specific tracks, while Mixaloo hopes to sell people based on the recommendations of their friends). But speaking of making money on the long tail, Mixaloo is a perfect example of a business whose approach to utilizing the long tail is smart. They’re using the distributed nature of social networks and blogs to promote music sales virally to a massive audience on a personal level.“We created Mixaloo to merge that experience with the viral nature of blogs and social networking communities, giving users the added incentive of earning cash for popular mixes. This ‘social record store’ creates a vast network of personal recommendations to increase sales and visibility for artists of all sizes,” said Mixaloo CEO Mark Stutzman. Work out the bugs and Mixaloo could make be a winner. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#web josh catone 1last_img read more

Should you get your pet’s DNA tested? Scientists urge caution

first_img E.K.: Dogs and humans are very similar to one another, so you can use the same technology to look at dog DNA or human DNA. With these direct to consumer tests, for dogs or humans, often you’re not looking at every single part of the genome. You’re just looking for changes, or mutations, that are linked to some kind of disease or condition.Q: How accurate are the tests for dogs that are now on the market?E.K.: With genetic tests for humans, there have been so many studies that look at whether or not a certain mutation in your genes actually leads to you developing a certain disease. There just isn’t this massive body of work on dog genomes. So many of these tests are telling owners that their dog could get a certain disease without any major studies on how likely that is to happen. The science needs to catch up.Q: What are the dangers of potentially inaccurate test results?L.M.: In my veterinary practice, I’ve seen more and more people coming in with results that show their dog has a chance of developing conditions like epilepsy, heart disease, and degenerative muscular disorders, and they want to make treatment decisions right away. They’re ready to pay for more tests or medical interventions that the dog might not actually need, that could be quite expensive, and that could be invasive for the dog. In some cases, people preemptively end their dog’s life if they think their dog is predisposed to a degenerative disease, because don’t they want their pet to suffer.Q: Genetic testing kits for humans are regulated. Why aren’t pet tests? GIL COHEN MAGEN/REUTERS/Newscom Should you get your pet’s DNA tested? Scientists urge caution You’ve probably seen an ad for a company that wants to tell you about your genome. Just spit in a tube, send it in, and you can learn about your disease risk.Now, you can do the same for your pets, at least according to nearly a dozen—and growing—companies on the market. But how accurate are these tests—and why are these businesses not subject to the same regulations as those that analyze human DNA?Science chatted with Lisa Moses, a veterinarian affiliated with Harvard Medical School in Boston, and Elinor Karlsson, director of vertebrate genomics at the  Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Both are authors on an opinion piece published today in Nature about these and other potential issues with the booming pet genomics industry. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Q: What kind of pets are being tested?Lisa Moses: It’s overwhelmingly dogs. There are some tests for cats, but right now it’s about 90% dogs.Q: Why would an owner want to get their pet’s DNA tested?Elinor Karlsson: A lot of dog owners are interested in what breeds are in their dog, or some fun facts, like how big their dog could get. But there’s also testing for somewhere between 100 and 200 different genetic variants that have been linked to disease.Q: Is the process of testing a dog’s DNA different from testing a human’s? A sample of dog saliva contains enough DNA for a genetic test. Veterinarian and researcher Lisa Moses L.M.: With any new technology, regulation often lags behind, and for humans, there’s been more time for conversations to take place, and rules have been established that govern how the tests are vetted. With veterinary medicine, there hasn’t been a formal and systematic discussion about the ethics related to these new technologies. We need to start talking about this, because right now a lot of people are in the dark.Q: What might happen if this industry continues to go unregulated?L.M.: I worry that if the tests don’t improve, people are going to notice that their dogs don’t actually get the diseases they’re at risk for. I don’t want people to lose the idea that there is tremendous value in genetic testing, if we do it right. We really do have the potential to figure out that our patients get diseases long before they do permanent damage, if we are able to make this happen.Q: How can we improve genetic testing for pets?L.M.: We need to start with a conversation that encompasses the international veterinary community, the testing industry, and the scientists. We have to come up with some mutually agreed upon ways to report these results, and figure out how to validate them. We’d need to have transparency on how the tests are done, how the science is done, and talk seriously about data sharing. There’s a consortium, the International Partnership for Dogs, and they’re trying to do some standardization and data sharing. But, it’s brand new and I don’t know yet how successful they’re going to be.Q: What kind of things could we learn from pet genetics, if we do it right?E.K.: Dogs carry a lot of the same diseases humans do. By studying dogs, we could learn a lot about the causes of things like cancer, or diabetes, and use that information to develop new treatments for humans. By Frankie SchembriJul. 25, 2018 , 1:00 PM Evolutionary biologist Elinor Karlsson Michael J. Butts Lisa Moses last_img read more

Barcelona beat Juventus 3-1 to clinch fifth Champions League title

first_imgBarcelona were crowned kings of Europe for the fifth time after beating Juventus 3-1 in a superb Champions League final at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday, capping their magnificent season with a treble of titles.Goals from Ivan Rakitic in the fourth minute, Luis Suarez in the 68th and Brazilian Neymar at the end of stoppage time sealed the Catalans’ second treble, following their feat in 2009, after they also won the La Liga title and Spanish King’s Cup.”It’s incredible, a dream, something unique,” Suarez told Spanish television. “To win these competitions you have to suffer, if not it’s not worth it, and today we had to suffer to win the match.”It was the Italians’ who had the bitter taste, though, as Juve, who became the first team in the history of the competition to lose six finals in total, having also now been defeated in their last four.”We believed we had a chance of pulling off this great feat but we didn’t manage it and the best team won,” said Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. “In football that doesn’t always happen but this time that was the case.”Barca overcame a nervous start when a sublime combination, in which all 10 outfield players touched the ball, eventually saw Neymar feed captain Andres Iniesta, who picked out Rakitic to score the fourth fastest goal in a European Cup final.Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who won the World Cup in Berlin’s Olympic stadium in 2006 with Italy, denied Barcelona a second goal in the 13th minute with a superb one-handed save to keep out a Dani Alves shot.advertisementThe 38-year-old stopper again came to the rescue three minutes after the restart and Juve then grabbed an equaliser against the run of play through former Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata.However, Juve’s joy was short-lived as Lionel Messi had an effort that Buffon could only parry to Suarez who followed up with an almost identical goal to the Italians’.Neymar then had a goal disallowed after his header bounced off his own outstretched hand to deceive the diving Buffon, much to the forward’s frustration.Juventus, the second oldest team in a European final with an average age of just over 30, fought bravely but ran out of steam as Neymar scored with the last kick in stoppage time.That goal took the tally for Barca’s Latin American trio of Argentine Messi, Uruguayan Suarez and Brazilian Neymar, known in Spain as ‘MSN’, to a stunning 122 this term in all competitions.It was also Xavi’s last game for the Catalan club while fellow midfielder Iniesta became the first Barca player to feature in four finals as he equalled Clarence Seedorf’s record of having played on the winning side four times.last_img read more