Dear Editor,Writing in 1968, Gordon K. Lewis, historian and political scientist, described Guyana as “a fascinating complex of strident paradoxes”. The events of the last few months serve as an apt illustration of this diagnosis. First, there was the signature bonus, held in secret for the purpose of underwriting a legal defence in our border dispute with Venezuela. Then the festive season began with the largest retrenchment of workers in living memory, with no coherent plan for their immediate welfare or future employment. Finally came the public release of the revised agreement with ExxonMobil, a revision which shows all the foresight of a blind date (though the timely announcement of another promising new prospect offshore may help to lubricate its reception).For some, these events merit little more than a collective shrug. For others, they raise multiple alarm bells. It is perhaps no coincidence that, writing a generation ago, Lewis also discerned “the disintegration of national consensus” to the point where “the constituent elements of the national debate…are seen by the opposing sides in completely different ways.”One wonders what Lewis would have made of the proposed ‘miniaturisation’ of the sugar industry and Guyana’s faltering first steps towards a petroleum-based economy. His book, The Growth of the Modern West Indies, depicts a scenario where “the mammoth Bookers organisation penetrates into almost every nook and cranny of the Guyanese economy and the Guyanese communal psychology alike.” Lewis gives multiple examples of this syndrome and its symptoms. A few will suffice:1) A weak state, he notes, is no match for a robust multinational: “in the absence of government planning, lines of development were left to the sugar interest.”2) At its zenith, Bookers claimed to control, directly or indirectly, the lives of some 80% of the population. It was, Lewis writes, “a veritable state within a state… an almost separate sovereign kingdom, undertaking and controlling an extensive set of essentially public services which the political state, for want of organisational skills and capital revenue, was unable itself to provide for its citizens.”If some now find the shackles of the sugar industry burdensome, they would at least concede that, after several centuries of cultivating sugar, we have sufficient skills, the infrastructure and the labour in place to support the industry. What do we know of oil? This is an industry in which we have no experience and precious little homegrown expertise. Our record, to date, in deliberations with major players like ExxonMobil displays these deficits. We began by awarding them 600 blocks instead of 60 (in contravention of our own laws). The 2016 revision has failed to address this; and as several analysts have shown, is deficient in many other respects.There has been some talk of ExxonMobil going out on a limb for Guyana, and of the need for us to show some sort of gratitude for this. ExxonMobil is a business with a current market capitalisation of US$367 billion. It has over 73,000 employees and about 2.5 million individual shareholders. As its former head, Rex Tillerson, explained about a decade ago: “We spend (US) $1 billion a day just running our business.”The writer Steve Coll shows how, across time and space, ExxonMobil has carved out a succession of ‘private empires’ by being better informed, better resourced, and more organised than the governments it deals with, both in America and abroad. What exactly is going to make Guyana the exception to this pattern? It will take a lot more than bluster and rhetoric.We are willing to mothball substantial chunks of an existing industry that employs a large portion of our rural workforce with only vague plans afoot for alternatives. We have set aside US$18 million to defend our borders in an international court. Yet we entered crucial negotiations with a petroleum giant, with billions of dollars of revenue at stake, in an almost casual manner. We lacked preparation and expertise, missed vital opportunities to correct earlier errors, and accepted terms and conditions that may constrain us for decades.Was there a lawyer present in the negotiating team? Was there anyone with expertise in the petroleum industry, geology, economics, accounting? Whose data were we relying on for our assessments? Were any analyses and forecasts produced to guide the negotiators?Guyana clearly has a tendency to cultivate a certain sort of relationship with large multinationals. Does anyone note the parallels between Bookers and Exxon? Does anyone see how this story is likely to unfold? Are we all asleep at the wheel?Yours faithfully,Isabelle de Caires
Tomorrow is apparently Take Your Pet to Work Day . . . but according to a new survey, there are plenty of people who don’t need some made-up holiday to bring their dog or cat to their job. The survey found that HALF of dog owners who work at pet-friendly places bring their dog in at least once a week . . . and 20% bring it in pretty much daily. 19% of cat owners also bring their cat in pretty much every day.
By Paul LeckerSports ReporterBLACK RIVER FALLS – The Stratford Varsity Reserve team finished sixth and Auburndale was seventh at the Black River Falls Invitational as the 2015-16 wrestling season got underway on Saturday.Nekoosa/Port Edwards won the team title with 161 points, 22 better than Durand. The Stratford Varsity Reserve was sixth with 80 points and Auburndale seventh with 63 points.Winners for the Stratford Reserve were Manny Drexler at 106 pounds and Dilan Dehlinger at 126.Kaleb Bolder had Auburndale’s lone individual title, taking first at 285 pounds. Kurt Jankowski was second at 195 after having to forfeit the championship match due to injury. Keller Wolfe was third at 170 for the Apaches.Auburndale returns to action Thursday with a Marawood Conference dual at Marathon.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com)Black River Falls InvitationalTeam scores: 1. Nekoosa/Port Edwards 161; 2. Durand 139; 3. Adams-Friendship 134; 4. Portage 108; 5. Black River Falls 95; 6. Stratford Varsity Reserve 80; 7. Auburndale 63; 8. Abbotsford/Colby 53; 9. Whitehall 50.106 poundsChampionship: Manny Drexler (ST) pinned Trey Casey (DUR) in 1:41.Third place: Brooke Thurber (NPE) pinned Chance Clement (AC) in 1:58.113 poundsChampionship: Nathan Poches (POR) def. Logan Ruesch (AC) 5-2.Third place: Mavrick Licciardi (ST) pinned Trayton Weister (AUB) in 4:22.120 poundsChampionship: Steve Nawrot (AF) def. Barry Beirne (POR) 9-6 in OT.Third place: Tyler Bender (NPE) def. Michael Poulos (WH) 11-7.126 poundsChampionship: Dilan Dehlinger (ST) won major dec. over Dylan Golke (POR) 12-3.Third place: Craig Elsen (NPE) won major dec. over Lucas Wayne (DUR) 11-0.132 poundsChampionship: Trenton McManus (AF) def. Jordan Sarver (NPE) 6-5.Third place: Dylan Casey (POR) pinned Logan Bauer (DUR) in 3:47.138 poundsChampionship: Casey Boardman (DUR) pinned Jack Bauer (DUR) in 2:43.Third place: Aden Elsen (NPE) def. Josh Goldsmith (BRF) 5-1.145 poundsChampionship: Joseph Aguilera (AC) pinned Makenze Schuh (DUR) in 4:48.Third place: A.J. Corral (AF) def. Kaelen Schmitt (ST) 5-0 in OT.152 poundsChampionship: Trenton Smith (NPE) def. Harry Nawrot (AF) 7-3.Third place: Edgar Velasquez (WH) pinned Blade Bauer (DUR) in 2:24.160 poundsChampionship: Cole Clark (AF) def. Trevor Smith (NPE) 7-1.Third place: Kyle Peterson (BRF) pinned Cohl Routson (POR) in 2:24.170 poundsChampionship: Keaton Kotek (NPE) def. Jasper Dunn (WH) 8-3.Third place: Keller Wolfe (AUB) def. Dawson Gmeinder (POR) 6-2.182 poundsChampionship: Rylan Burrows (AF) pinned Pierson White (POR) in 3:49.Third place: Larz Fedie (DUR) pinned Tyler Leadholm (BRF) in 4:22.195 poundsChampionship: Sam Rogstad (BRF) def. Kurt Jankowski (AUB) by injury default.Third place: Jake Zeilinger (DUR) pinned Cliff Hayes (NPE) in 2:45.220 poundsChampionship: Dylan Jinkerson (NPEW) def. Ethan Osley (BRF) 10-5.Third place: Logan Peterson (ST).285 poundsChampionship: Kaleb Bolder (AUB) def. Gary Garvin (BRF) 4-3.Third place: Clay Peterson (DUR) pinned Collin Bays (AF) in 1:49.
A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… “Not working full time takes away almost all credibility,” writes Aberman on his company’s blog. “If your idea is so great, why haven’t you committed to it? Why should I invest and risk my money if you’re not even fully committed?”Credibility, for first-time entrepreneurs, is crucial, he adds. One of his keys to successfully attaining venture funding is building credibility through traction. As Aberman points out, investors don’t necessarily look for the best ideas, but rather the best teams of entrepreneurs. When you don’t have a reputation to bring to the table, having traction for your product generates credibility that can catch the eyes of investors. Traction shows potential investors that there is a market for your idea – an advantage you’re going to need when trying to raise funds, especially if you’re not in Silicon Valley. Aberman stepped on some toes when he said “unless you’re part of the Silicon Valley in-crowd and you have traction, you’re not going to raise venture capital,” but corrected himself in the comments on his blog and on Twitter. Undoubtedly, there is a much larger pool of cash in Silicon Valley, and Aberman points out that raising capital elsewhere is not entirely impossible, but what he meant was that raising capital in the Valley is harder without being part of “the in-crowd.”His other suggestions focus on the importance of finding a passionate technical co-founder and submitting to the fact that customer acquisition is a constant uphill climb, but these ideas, as Aberman admits upfront, have “been made before, multiple times, by people smarter than myself.” The crux of his argument seems to focus on credibility, which generates an equation-like string of logic. Working full time on your project and generating traction creates the credibility that first-time startups need to break into the “in-crowd” of venture funding which relies heavily on reputation. “How do first-time entrepreneurs gain momentum and raise money? They build something that people like and use,” says Aberman. “If you can do that, then you just have to convince VCs that you can keep doing what you’re doing.” Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… chris cameron We hear a lot about how starting a company takes some serious entrepreneurial DNA with traits like ambition, drive, relentlessness, and above all, passion. But some might argue that these are just the good sounding attributes that can lead to success; what about the other characteristics that may not sound so great? According to WePay co-founder Rich Aberman, starting a company also requires some arrogance and naïveté, so here’s his advice on founding a startup straight from the entrepreneurial front-lines.Aberman and his partner Bill Clerico started working on WePay, a site that helps groups and organizations collect money electronically, back in August of 2008 and have since raised $2 million in funding after participating in Y Combinator‘s incubator last summer. In a recent blog post, he equates starting a company for the first time to jumping in a boxing ring with “the champ” and thinking you can take him, hence the arrogance and naïveté; no matter how much work you’ve done to get ready for this moment, nothing has prepared you for the force of that first punch. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Tags:#start#tips 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
mike melanson For those of you tirelessly campaigning for a dislike button, it looks like it’s arrived, at least in some format. Facebook has upgraded its comments plugin and now allows users to up- and down-vote other comments, finally giving us the ability to simply disagree, no ifs ands or buts about it.While the company has been very careful, it seems, not to use the word “dislike”, clicking the “up” arrow is synonymous with “liking”, so we can only assume that clicking the “down” arrow would be a “dislike”.In the new comment plugin, comments are not only threaded, meaning each user can reply directly to another user, but more information is shown on each person, including their job and company, or network, and their comment record. The system also allows for up- and down-voting, a la Reddit – actually, the whole comment system is very Reddit-esque.Image via All Facebook.To see the new comment system in action, take a look at Facebook’s latest blog post. Each comment begins with one point and a vote up or down raises or lowers that rating by a point. Comments can go into the negative, but so far we haven’t seen any effect from these ratings – simply the indicator that others disagree with it in some way. If you reload the page over time, too, you’ll notice that your comment stays at the top, so you can manage your comment and conversation. We wonder if we’ll see highly rated comments float to the top and negatively rated comments disappear, as on Reddit.For now, it looks like the upgraded plugin is only active on Facebook and not on third-party sites, but the move certainly encroaches on the territory of commenting systems like Disqus, Echo and Intense Debate. Beyond third-party comment systems, however, we’re really curious as to when this might hit the Facebook user stream. We’ve already seem some interesting activity on the new Facebook groups feature, with more active posts rising to the top and negating the usual newest to oldest order. Allowing users to vote on posts and on individual comments could really alter the entire dynamic of Facebook. That sort of functionality is already in place, with the “Top News” view of your user stream, it just isn’t so blatant. Not to mention, we support threaded comments wherever they may be found – they just make sense. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Related Posts A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Tags:#Facebook#news#web
Posted on 9th August 2018Digital Marketing FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+share HomeDigital MarketingMarketing Day: Pinterest Promoted Videos, Amazon voice-commerce & more Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.From Marketing Land:Pinterest opens up wide-format Promoted Videos to all advertisersAug 8, 2018 by Amy GesenhuesLaunched in May to a limited group of brands, the max-width video ad units are now available to all advertisers via Pinterest’s Ads Manager.Ramp Up Your Amazon Ad Game: 5 tips for successAug 8, 2018 by Digital Marketing DepotAmazon has emerged as the primary purchase channel of the US consumer. Nearly two-thirds of US households have Amazon Prime, and a whopping 92 percent of people who begin their purchase journey on Amazon buy on Amazon. But do you know how to leverage Amazon’s growing ad opportunities?How Bing is enhancing search and apparently growing as a resultAug 8, 2018 by Adam DorfmanSure, Google is still bigger, but contributor Adam Dorfman notes that Bing has been introducing significant innovations. Here’s why the underdog search engine is worth another look.Marketing analytics platform CaliberMind launches ABM ConverterAug 8, 2018 by Barry LevineThe new offering lets marketers convert their current platforms to account-based marketing, at what CaliberMind says is a fraction of the time or cost.Bridg announces ‘first CDP’ for brick-and-mortar retailersAug 8, 2018 by Barry LevineCoupled with a CRM, the new platform will link deterministic and probabilistic profiles of customers to help target active as well as lapsed ones.Swrve’s new platform enables ‘payload’ targeting and triggeringAug 8, 2018 by Barry LevineThe company says this is the first real-time use of granular data within an event for defining audiences and deciding when to send messaging.Report: Amazon internal data suggest ‘voice-commerce’ virtually nonexistentAug 8, 2018 by Greg SterlingContradicting consumer surveys, article claims only 2% of device owners have made purchases through smart speakers this year.Recent Headlines From MarTech Today, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Marketing Technology:Is your organization ready for a dedicated MO function?Aug 8, 2018 by Debbie QaqishMaybe you’re eager to get a marketing operations function started at your company, but is it really ready? Contributor Debbie Qaqish explains how to figure that out.CDP AgilOne partners with Criteo to prevent wasting ads on an already-sold customerAug 8, 2018 by Barry LevineSince it tracks offline purchases as well as online activity, the CDP can tell the remarketer when the sale has already been made.Snapchat revenue reaches $262M in Q2, but daily active users drop to 188MAug 8, 2018 by Amy GesenhuesCompared to its first quarter reports, the company reported a 2 percent drop in the number of daily active users on the app.Online Marketing News From Around The Web:Best Practices for Your Cold Email Subject Line for Sales, MailshakeCan Breaking News Break Through on Facebook?, Facebook NewsroomHow To Create Kick-Ass Marketing Reports Through Progressive Detail, PortentSidestep the Dreaded Writers Block with These Content Repurposing Ideas, Business 2 CommunityThe post Marketing Day: Pinterest Promoted Videos, Amazon voice-commerce & more appeared first on Marketing Land.From our sponsors: Marketing Day: Pinterest Promoted Videos, Amazon voice-commerce & more Marketing Day: Pinterest Promoted Videos, Amazon voice-commerce & moreYou are here: Related postsLytics now integrates with Google Marketing Platform to enable customer data-informed campaigns14th December 2019The California Consumer Privacy Act goes live in a few short weeks — Are you ready?14th December 2019ML 2019121313th December 2019Global email benchmark report finds email isn’t dead – it’s essential13th December 20192019 benchmark report: brand vs. non-brand traffic in Google Shopping12th December 2019Keep your LinkedIn advertising strategy focused in 202012th December 2019
A soldier firing an M-4 carbine.Nearly three years ago, Amethi’s young MP Rahul Gandhi unveiled the foundation stone for a Rs 408-crore factory in his constituency. The Gandhi scion commended the jawans of the Indian Army for laying down their lives to defend the country in regions as geographically diverse,A soldier firing an M-4 carbine.Nearly three years ago, Amethi’s young MP Rahul Gandhi unveiled the foundation stone for a Rs 408-crore factory in his constituency. The Gandhi scion commended the jawans of the Indian Army for laying down their lives to defend the country in regions as geographically diverse as the Siachen Glacier and the dunes of Rajasthan. “It is our duty to ensure that top-of-the-line and world-class equipment be made available to them,” he added. There was also a history to his statement. Just two years earlier, the army projected a requirement for over 4 lakh sophisticated 5.56 mm carbines, a compact automatic weapon meant for close quarter combat. Two types of carbines were required-2 lakh close combat carbines to be imported and licence produced and 2 lakh protective carbines would be made by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). These would equip nearly half the 1.1 million-strong army. The deal was worth Rs 6,583 crore, easily the world’s single largest contract for importing small arms. With an assured order for nearly three lakh carbines, including 1.6 lakh imported weapons that would follow from the close quarter battle (CQB) contract, Amethi was set to become India’s hub for sophisticated small arms.Over two-and-a-half years later, Rahul would be embarrassed to be associated with the project. The factory buildings at what will be the OFB’s 41st plant are just a year away from inauguration. It turns out that putting up the buildings was the easy part, for the defence ministry does not have a carbine to build in the Rs 13.6-crore plant. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and OFB designed weapon have failed to pass the army’s tests. Its plans to import carbines continues to be stuck in red tape. “Without a weapon being selected, we cannot order the specialised machinery required to build them,” says an OFB official. The factory is a testimonial to bureaucracy, bungling and delays in the defence public sector and a yawing capability gap staring at foot soldiers fighting Maoists in central India, insurgents in the North-east and in Jammu and Kashmir.advertisementRahul laying the foundation stone of the Rs 408-crore factory at Amethi.The factory project has drawn heavy fire from the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) whose report calls it ‘ill-conceived and tardy’ and has asked the government for an urgent review. But the clump of empty factory buildings is only part of the story. It will be at least five years before a jawan in either Siachen or Rajasthan can hold a weapon that rolls out of the plant. With the army unhappy with the indigenous INSAS rifles and using the sturdy but ageing AK-47 for its counter-insurgency operations, the requirement for new assault rifles and carbines remains as important today as it was five years ago: “Right now, the infantry is utterly neglected and is desperate for a modern assault rifle or a carbine,” says a senior infantry official.The need was first felt in October 2005, when the army cited an ‘urgent operational requirement’ for a new close quarter carbine. This is officialese for a virtual alarm. The army was progressively phasing out the British designed 9 mm 1A1 ‘Sterling’, a weapon with a distinctive banana shaped magazine developed after the Second World War and mass produced by the OFB since the 1960s. The DRDO designed compact INSAS carbine (among a troika including an assault rifle and light machine gun) had been rejected a decade earlier. In April 2006, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) green-lighted the proposal for a new carbine producing factory and a site-selection committee zeroed-in on two sites: the OFB’s Field Gun Factory (FGF) in Kanpur and surplus land at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) plant in Korwa, Amethi.The DRDO’s 5.56 mm MSMC (left) and the OFB’s Amough carbine.It is still unclear why the OFB wanted to set up a new factory when three of their small arms factories at Tiruchirapalli, Kanpur and Ishapore near Kolkata were running at less than half their capacity. Even its busiest Rifle Factory at Ishapore, with a capacity of 80,000 assault rifles had been producing just 50,000 rifles for the past three years. “Producing small arms to expand the facilities at any of these three locations would mean spending just Rs 50 crore,” says an OFB official. It was not the first time that a factory was being set up for political considerations, but the OFB did not even learn from its earlier experience of setting up its 40th factory, the ordnance factory in Nalanda, then defence minister George Fernandes’ gift to his constituency. The project was to be completed in 2005 but despite a spend of over Rs 2,160 crore, it is yet to be commence production.advertisementThe Korwa factory will be completed by 2011 but has no weapons to produce because the army and MoD are yet to finalise a design. The OFB’s Tiruchirapalli small arms plant had 1,300 acres of surplus land that was fenced but it wasn’t even considered. The OFB’s FGF in Kanpur had 200 acres of surplus land. This was not to be. The OFB rolled out a number of excuses why its Kanpur factory could not be used to manufacture the carbine. Why Amethi was chosen is anybody’s guess because the MoD specifically instructed its site selection committee to ‘use only available surplus defence land to avoid problems like land acquisition and rehabilitation and to avoid overall expenditure’.BREECH LOCKThe world’s largest procurement of small arms-over 6 lakh carbines and rifles worth over Rs 11,000 crore-for the army and police forces has been delayed by over five years due to development delays and bureaucratic hurdles in the defence ministryWhat: Close Quarter Battle CarbineHow many: 43,318 to be purchased, 1.6 lakh to be manufacturedHow much: Rs 4,400 croreStatus: Cleared by Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in February 2006. RFPs issued twice and cancelled. Army yet to issue fresh RFPs.What: New Generation Protective CarbineHow many: 2,18,320 carbines to be designed and made indigenouslyHow much: Rs 2,183 croreStatus: Cleared by DAC in February 2006. OFB design rejected by army in 2009. DRDO design selected with modifications. Trials slated for early October 2010.What: New Generation Assault RiflesHow many: 2,00,000 weapons to be imported off the shelfHow much: Rs 4,949 croreStatus: Cleared by DAC in November 2009. It was meant to replace the 5.56 mm INSAS rifles in frontline army service. RFPs to be sent out to manufacturers. When HAL offered the OFB 34 acres, it did not take into account the fact that this land was barely sufficient for the factory. The OFB ended up asking the Uttar Pradesh government for more land to build houses for the factory employees, a request that is still pending. Meanwhile, DRDO and OFB efforts to design carbines for the huge army order hit road blocks. The OFB’s ‘Amough’ a 5.56 mm carbine that superficially resembled an AK-47 was rejected outright by the army several times between 2006 and 2009. The DRDO-designed 5.56 mm modern sub machine carbine (MSMC) was also pronounced unfit for induction by the army. The OFB and DRDO were asked to work together on a new design. Last year, the two partners modified the DRDO’s MSMC carbine and now plan to hand it over to the army for trials in early October. DRDO officials say the carbine could be ready for production within a year but only if it passes the army’s stringent trials. If these delays weren’t enough, the carbine deal was nearly scuppered last year by a whiff of corruption when former OFB chairman Sudipta Ghosh was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Ghosh had allegedly received bribes from several vendors including Singapore Technologies, a bidder for the army’s carbine contract as well as a prospective collaborator to build 48,000 weapons in India for the home ministry.The army, meanwhile, is having troubles of its own trying to import a new CQB carbine which it had so desperately wanted five years ago. It sent out a request for proposals (RFPs) to several global small arms manufacturers like Heckler and Koch, Colt and FN Herstal in April 2007 but withdrew it a few months later. A fresh proposal was sent out in April the next year but withdrawn in June 2009. Army officials say a series of factors repeatedly scuppered the contract: insisting on weapon sights (not made by small arms firms), disagreements with other partners like the OFB, and offset clauses mandated for purchases over Rs 300 crore. If fresh RFPs are issued today and all goes well, army officials estimate at least two more years just to acquire new carbines.advertisement”The problem is a cumbersome acquisition procedure involving the army, the ministry, defence production ministry and defence acquisition council, each with their own bureaucracies,” says defence analyst Brigadier Rahul Bhonsle (retired). OFB officials say part of the problem has to do with the army’s vacillation. “The army is not clear on what it wants. Their last carbine RFP did not even specify the calibre of the weapon,” says B.S. Bhatia, former member of the OFB. With the carbine import-and-build proposal now buried under a pile of pending requests for infantry modernisation bulletproof jackets, helmets and night sights-the army plans to float yet another RFP for two lakh assault rifles worth nearly Rs 5,000 crore. One more proposal to add its already bloated pending wishlist.With no weapon in sight to make at a plant which is fast nearing completion, the OFB made a last ditch attempt to make it relevant. Last year, they suggested that the plant be used to manufacture sporting rifles, another fact heavily criticised by the CAG. In the current stalemate the CAG has questioned the necessity for continuing with the Korwa project and asks for a cost-benefit analysis of setting up a new factory, now just an academic argument. The world’s largest small arms buy is already a big embarrassment for the MoD.