5 VPNs to consider very carefully on Google Play Store

first_imgBy Ray WalshUnless you have been lost at sea for the past 10 years, you have probably heard about Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and the benefits that they can provide. With a trustworthy VPN for Android, you can pretend to be in a different country by concealing your IP address with one belonging to the VPN provider.The very best VPNs provide access to servers dotted all around the globe in anything between 35 to 100 countries. This lets you bypass geo-restrictions to access content that is usually locked to that region. Some examples of popular content that VPN users unblock includes locally televised sports competitions from around the globe, Netflix US, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Spotify, and BBC iPlayer.What’s more, by letting you “spoof” your IP address to a foreign country, internet uses can also bypass local censorship and restrictions. In some countries, such as China, huge amounts of websites are blocked. However, even in some European countries, some online content is restricted by ISPs on behalf of the government – meaning that a VPN is necessary to gain free access to the entire World Wide Web.Some websites are blocked due to political reasons, meaning that news is not always freely accessible. Other times websites may be blocked for religious or moral reasons. Whatever the reason for wanting to unblock content, a VPN is the ideal solution.As if unblocking more content wasn’t reason enough to get a subscription, reliable VPNs also provide encryption so that all the data coming and going from your devices is private. You may not realize it, but your ISP is able to tell everything you do online.Furthermore, in many countries, ISPs are forced to retain your web browsing history and communications metadata on behalf of the government. This is a massive invasion of privacy, that a VPN can completely mitigate against by ensuring that all your data is securely encrypted before it leaves your device.VPNs also provide privacy from the websites you visit by concealing your IP address, and can protect you from revealing your real IP address to potential hackers on P2P services, or while accessing the internet from public WiFi hotspots. Click here to find out more about these apps.A careful choiceThere can be no doubt that a VPN is one of the most useful and versatile tools available on the market (as evidenced by the fact that around 40% of internet users have used one before at some time). However, simply heading over to the Google Play Store and typing in the word VPN to the search bar is not necessarily a good idea.There are hundreds of VPNs on the market, and many of those are services that have been specially set up to steal data from consumers. When you connect to a VPN with an app, all your data must pass through its servers. As a result (like your ISP) it is possible that it could monitor your traffic. This means that you need a trustworthy service that promises never to retain any logs of the traffic that passes through those services.The very best VPN providers are dedicated to privacy, but there are just as many (if not more) that are deliberately set up with troubling privacy policies that permit the VPN provider to harvest your data and sell it to third parties. This is best thought of as an umbrella that has been manufactured full of holes.As if that wasn’t enough, some VPNs actually lie about the level of encryption that they provide. Or have services that are full of IP leaks, DNS leaks, or WebRTC leaks. Some have even been discovered that install spyware onto devices to track you on behalf of marketing firms. That means that in addition to stealing your data to make a profit, they are also providing a false sense of security (which also means that your ISP and the government may still be able to track all your data even with the VPN switched on).VPNs to avoidTo help you out, and stop you from falling into a trap, we have decided to pinpoint some of the worst offending VPNs in this article. So that you know which VPNs – that appear high on the Google app store – are actually concerning services that you should never download.And remember, VPNs are a perfect example of why you should often take the customer rating score that appears next apps with a grain of salt; consumers do not always fully understand the privacy and security aspects of the apps that they download and are often fooled into using dangerous apps due to other people’s positive ratings!Hola VPNThis free VPN service is an absolute terror, which is shocking considering that it has 150 million subscribers worldwide. Hola serves adverts, and its privacy policy lets it sell your data to third parties. Hola shares its users’ email addresses with marketing partners and it sells traffic data to its parent firm Luminati.Hola was also discovered to be fraudulently stealing and resells user bandwidth through its parent company Luminati. This allows random people to use your bandwidth and IP address (meaning that you could theoretically be busted for illegal activities performed by those users). And, Hola suffers from both DNS and WebRTC leaks, which means it isn’t even providing digital privacy for its users.BetternetThis is another dodgy VPN that has been found to do some pretty invasive things. The software was found to contain tracking libraries and the privacy policy lets it collect and share data with third parties. In addition, it belongs to the marketing firm Anchor Free and it serves adverts to its users. It also permits advertisers to place cookies on people’s machines via the API and is considered spyware by a CSIRO study on dodgy VPNs.HoxxVPNThis service has more than 5 million users worldwide. However, it is a service that you should definitely avoid. The privacy policy lets it collect data and sell it to third parties, and it is known to collect both connection logs and usage logs from its users. That means you are simply taking the power to track you from your ISP to your VPN; which could actually be worse if the VPN provider is extremely untrustworthy. This would appear to be the case, because Hoxx admits that it will track users on behalf of the authorities, meaning that it is not providing watertight privacy. Plus it suffers DNS and WebRTC leaks too.Hotspot ShieldThis service is not as dodgy as some of the other services in this guide. However, it does belong to the marketing firm Anchor Free – and it does serve adverts – including by injecting them into web pages and your browser. In addition, it has a less than desirable privacy policy (for its free service).While that free service is extremely popular, the VPN is based in the US which means it could be served warrants and gag orders. And it is generally not up to par when it comes to providing strong digital privacy. Not the worst service ever, but there are much much better services on the market.PsiphonThis VPN has been downloaded by around 30 million users, which is troubling because it has a terrible privacy policy. The VPN collects data from users, seels it to advertisers, and serves targeted ads using their data. Not good for your privacy.Written by Digital Privacy & VPN Expert, Ray Walsh from ProPrivacy.comMore information about Irish Tech News and the Business ShowcaseFYI the ROI for you is => We now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 16000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview, or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions for informative and different articles. Contact us, by email, twitter or whatever social media works for you.Home If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCocking 5 VPNs to consider very carefully on Google Play Storelast_img read more

Cultivating a Creative Culture with Justin Dauer Innovation Show podcast ep 169

first_imgCultivating a Creative Culture with Justin Dauer “Language shapes our behaviour, and each word we use is imbued with multitudes of personal meaning. We must carefully orchestrate our speech if we want to achieve our goals and bring our dreams to fruition.” – @andrewnewberg #innovation #ThursdayThoughts https://t.co/JFP3LOvjfo— Aidan McCullen (@AidanMcCullen) July 18, 2019More information about Irish Tech News and the Business ShowcaseFYI the ROI for you is => We now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 16000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview, or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions for informative and different articles. Contact us, by email, twitter or whatever social media works for you.Home We create human-centred interactions and experiences in our field. Empathetic purpose drives our every decision. Mobile First? In reality, it’s humans first. This same mentality turned inward, forms the cornerstone of something amazing: a creative culture. Designers and front-enders have a unique advantage in solving the cultural problems in business that are sucking the life out of us. Several, in fact. The principles discussed in this book derive from the perspectives and skillsets we already use daily: empathy, objectivity and, yes, ample creativity. We discuss: The Sunday Night Work “Dreadies” Agency work burnout 100% Billable Time The need for Mental White Space Examples of Great Cultures Toxic Meetings Poor Feedback Ego as the Enemy Humility Redesigning Day One for New Hires When to Leave a Company How to Ensure You Find the Right Cultural Fitcenter_img If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCockinglast_img read more

Dell Technologies Cork hosts Future of Work conference in recognition of United

first_imgTo mark the United Nations’ World Skills Day recently Dell Technologies Cork hosted the Future of Work conference at their customer solutions centre. This year, UN World Skills Day is focusing on life-long learning which aligns with Dell Technologies commitment to empowering its employees to do more. Employee Resource Group, GenNext hosted the conference which focused on the pressing challenges facing future generations and making sure that everyone can achieve success by expanding the opportunities that await them.Dell Technologies staff who attended the event were able to develop an understanding of how emerging technologies are reshaping the way we work, live and learn. Speakers at the one-day event covered topics including AI, IoT, data and Blockchain and outlined how technology can empower us to achieve more. The conference highlighted some of the findings of Dell Technologies Realizing 2030 report which outlines how life-long learning and upskilling are critical to navigating the transformational changes we are witnessing and benefiting from the immense possibility emerging technologies will bring over the next decade.Keynote speaker at the event, Marie Moynihan, Senior Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition said: “The top skills of the future will be social intelligence, transdisciplinary approach, creativity, design thinking, and computational thinking. The key is not to be afraid but be curious and an early adopter. Read, listen, learn and be open to pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone. At Dell Technologies we are committed to promoting innovative thinking, developing our talent and empowering everyone to realise their potential.”Vice President EMEA Centres of Excellence and Cork Site Leader Dell Technologies Ireland, Bob Savage said: “Congratulations to all the members of the GenNext Cork Chapter Core Team who have done a fantastic job organising and encouraging participation at this conference and other events throughout the year”.“GenNext has established a network where all Dell employees can engage in activities to advance their career across four key areas, business development, professional development, community involvement and social and professional networking. Initiatives such as this informative conference highlight the importance of the next generation looking to the future and upskilling, so they are well placed to succeed in the world of 2030”.last_img read more

The Trillion Dollar Shift Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals Business for Good

first_imgBy @SimonCocking review of The Trillion Dollar Shift: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals; Business for Good is Good Business. Available from Amazon here. See more reviews here.Winner of the Gold Axiom Business Book Award 2019 in the Philanthropy / Non Profit / Sustainability category.Over the past 30 years, the world has seen great social improvements. Technology has been developing at an enormous pace and is helping to solve our most pressing social and environmental challenges. Yet, despite this success, our current model of development is still deeply problematic. Natural disasters triggered by climate change have doubled since the 1980s, violence and armed conflict now cost more than 13 percent of GDP. Social inequality and youth unemployment is worsening around the world, and climate change threatens the global population with tremendous environmental as well as social problems. Using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a framework, this book sets out how business and capital now have a real opportunity to help resolve these problems.With clear and plentiful examples and cases of how businesses are making a difference, relevant facts and figures to support the cases, and inspiring and instructional information on how businesses can create sustainable value, this highly readable book is a must-read for businesses (large and small) that wish to genuinely support the delivery of the SDGs.The Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) drive change and offer a narrative and an opportunity to all to speak in one language on sustainability. They provide us with a clear set of targets for 2030. Through following the SDGs, opportunities abound for business and capital to unlock markets which offer endless potential for profit while at the same time working towards the Sustainable Development Goals. This book illustrates for business how to make the much-needed Trillion Dollar Shift.Things are moving quickly. From global warming to #climatechange it is now increasingly being called #climateemergency as the time to do something to remedy the situation becomes shorter and shorter. We are potentially sailing into a difficult and challenging future if we can not turn around our CO2 emissions and many many other negative environmental practices. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals identified by the United Nations aim to provide the structure for how we, and companies and countries and communities can help to try and achieve a better and more livable planet for ourselves.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”>?</span>Marga Hoek’s book is a great compendium which explains in more detail why it makes sense for us to embrace these 17 SDGs as soon as possible, and why it is important for our own survival. Through out the book there are a series of concise case studies from various well known multinationals. These is both potentially inspiring, if they are actually serious about their actions but also a source of concern if it is only the latest in what has been a series of greenwashing by many of these companies in the past.As the Chinese expression continues to demonstrate, we live in interesting times, both highly critical to our own survival and potentially, also the harbinger of a new, more sustainable way of living. As many are saying, we have no planet B, so we really need to achieve these changes quickly. If this guide helps to educate, inspire and motivate companies to deliver what needs to be done then we will all be thankful.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”>?</span>The call to business and capital, from business and capital https://t.co/qyMuKB6eyv via @GreenBiz— Marga Hoek (@margahoek) July 18, 2019More information about Irish Tech News and the Business ShowcaseFYI the ROI for you is => Irish Tech News now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 16000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview, or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions for informative and different articles. Contact us, by email, twitter or whatever social media works for you.Home If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCockinglast_img read more

Gaming group Chamber staff visit orphanage on Mandela Day

first_imgGreat Bingo, together with the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce & Industry, did their bit on Mandela Day by visiting an orphanage in Ladysmith.The friendly team provided the little ones with sweet hampers, vegetables, lunch, gardening tools and toys.The children had a great time mingling with the visitors, and also got to play on a jumping castle.A great time for a good cause on Mandela Day!For the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsitelast_img

20 students rewarded with bursaries

first_img20 students from Ladysmith, Bergville and surrounding areas were rewarded with bursaries this morning (Saturday) at the Crown Hotel.The bursaries will allow them to study overseas. The students have received full scholarships from the government of India and they will jet off to India for 3 years to study.Emnambithi/Ladysmith Municipality will assist with visas, passports, processing of applications, transport to the airport and paying for the students’ landing fees, which amounts to about R7000.A short programme was rolled out at the Crown Hotel this morning, which was attended by the students and their parents, as well as council and municipal officials.After the programme, a scrumptious lunch was served to all. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsitelast_img read more

What is a dad

first_imgFather’s Day, as it is known, is celebrated to pay tribute to all the fathers of the world. In short, it is dedicated to fatherhood, the second most wonderful relationship after motherhood.While fathers do anything and everything for the betterment of their children, this day allows kids to pay their sincere admiration and respect towards their dad.So, on the occasion of Father’s Day, while you are buying flowers, greeting cards and gifts for your father, do not forget to pen down a short and sweet poem explaining the meaning of a dad. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite A dad is always proud of your triumphs when things go wrong. A dad can be patient and helpful and strong.A dad is a person who is loving and kind. And often he knows what you have on your mind. He’s someone who listens,suggests and defends. He can also be one of your very best friends.last_img read more

Minister of Home Affairs visits Steadville

first_imgMinister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba visited Steadville yesterday afternoon (Saturday).Speaking to a large crowd at the Steadville community hall in Area J, Minister Gigaba gave a lecture on Chris Hani who fought for democracy during the liberation struggle and was assassinated in 1993.Song and dance was also showcased at the function, with many councillors from the area and also Emnambithi/Ladysmith Municipality officials in attendance.The crowd enjoyed the lecture and left knowing more about the past of our country. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsitelast_img

Becoming a bodybuilding champion

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Your diet is far more important than how you train, as you need to refuel your body to get the maximum required results for your body.Marnus competed in the 70kg category, coming into his division at 68.6kg. This means he shed 28.4kg to look the way he does at 3% body fat.Marnus is a great inspiration and motivator for everybody at Get Physical Gym in Ladysmith, and the team loves it when he is down for the weekends and holidays. Marnus is always ready to help and give sound advice to whoever needs it. Well done, Marnus!“I would like to thank my parents, Ds Gerhard and Lianda de Lange, as well as my sister Jomari and Trevor Witthöft for all their love, encouragement and support,” says Marnus. Gerhardus Martinus ‘Marnus’ de Lange took part in the IFBB North West Bodybuilding Championship on April 11, which took place in Rustenburg.He won both the U/23 and (Senior Men’s) 70kg categories, and was also the overall champion. Marnus was head boy at Ladysmith High School (LHS) in 2010. He played first team rugby, as well as first team cricket.Marnus started training in a gym in November 2011 after reaching 98kg.It was only in May 2012 that he started training and eating properly the bodybuilding way.This is a very tough mental sport, as it is not only what you do in the gym, but what you do afterwards that counts the most.last_img read more

Wanted suspect arrested for gym owners murderWanted suspect arrested for gym owners

first_imgThe third suspect in the murder case of gym owner Mr Uraj ‘Joe’ Ahir has been arrested.The suspect, Faizel Drew, has been on the run since the brutal attack. Ladysmith detectives managed to trace Drew’s whereabouts and arrest him in Foxburg, Johannesburg, yesterday (Thursday). WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite 44-year-old gym owner Mr Ahir was found lying in bed at his home in Oswald Rapson Road on Monday, April 7 last year. A postmortem investigation determined that he had sustained injuries consistent with an assault. A case of murder was opened and an investigation into his death began.Officers from Ladysmith Detective Services and the Ladysmith Dog (K9) Unit initially arrested two suspects, aged 23 and 36, in the Hillside area of Ladysmith on Monday, May 26 last year.Drew is set to be officially charged with the murder later today.last_img read more

Bulldogs give Winterton a good run at Settlers ParkBulldogs give Winterton a

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite The Clover Leaf Bulldogs took on Winterton Drakensberg at Settlers Park last night (Friday).The game was a challenging one for the Bulldogs, with Winterton applying lots of pressure from the word go.The first half ended with Winterton in a commanding position, leading 17-o. The second half proved to be much better for the Bulldogs, who clawed their way back to within three points of their opponents. However, it just wasn’t enough, with Winterton emerging victorious by 17-14.A large home crowed cheered on the local ‘manne’ till the final whistle.The game had the crowd on the edge of their seats till the last minute, providing great sporting entertainment on a Friday night!last_img

10yearold guitarist plays at Valentines dance

first_imgThe Crown Hotel was abuzz with activity on the “night of love”, with a large crowd attending their Valentine’s dinner and dance.A red and white colour scheme set the scene for the evening’s entertainment and everybody was “dressed to break some hearts”.The hall was packed to capacity, with hardly any space to even walk! But it wasn’t walking that patrons had come to do, and the dancing shoes were on when popular Durban band ‘The Tyles’ started their performance. This musical group has appeared at the ‘Battle of the Bands’ at the iZulu Theatre, Sibaya, so they know how to get people’s bodies moving to the beat and rhythm.A wide range of Eastern and Western music was part of their play-list, not forgetting the ‘golden oldies’ that everyone still loves and did the trick of getting lovers onto the dance floor on Saturday night.An unusual feature of the band is their 10-year-old lead guitarist who had everyone on their feet with his soloing skills. Taking the microphone, he told the crowd that his grandfather had inspired him to play. One of his guitar heroes is Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, a virtuoso known for his soul-stirring playing. What could be better for tugging the heartstrings (young and old) on a night of romance! Indeed, the youngster left the crowd mesmerized.Everyone loves a good meal too and the party-goers weren’t disappointed in this respect either, with exotic buffet meals on the menu to make mouths water with delight. Shakespeare said, “If music be the food of love, play on”, and indeed the night came to an end too quickly for most, who wanted the romance to carry on and on and on… WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsitelast_img read more

Loadshedding in Group 3

first_imgSome areas in Group 3 are being load-shed from 3pm to 6pm, followed by Group 1 from 6pm to 9pm.To know your group when load-shedding strikes, click HERE WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsitelast_img

Brazils biggest city suffering with no rain

first_img Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day The city’s humidity index plunged to 10 percent this week, the lowest in three years.Officials are urging people to drink extra water and take special care while exercising. Hospitals say they’ve seen a spike in patients complaining of respiratory ailments.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Top Stories Comments   Share   Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectcenter_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement How do cataracts affect your vision? Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix SAO PAULO (AP) – Brazil’s biggest city is experiencing one of its driest spells in years after more than a month with almost no rain.Neide Oliveira of the National Meteorological Institute says in the month through Thursday just one-hundredth of an inch (0.3 millimeters) of rain has fallen on Sao Paulo. The average for this time of year is 1.5 inches (38 millimeters).Oliveira says rain isn’t expected for at least another week because a mass of hot and dry air is blocking cold fronts that normally bring rain from the ocean.last_img read more

Russian farmer takes on corrupt officials

first_imgIn Chuvashia, a sleepy rural region 650 kilometers (400 miles) east of Moscow best known for its felt boots, Mochalov devotes all his energy to campaigning against local corruption. That makes him unusual in Russia, especially in the provinces, where few journalists seriously investigate officials and those who do frequently face violent reprisal.Chuvashia is one of the three most corrupt regions in Russia, according to the country’s top investigative agency, but few cases make it to court. Officials in Chuvashia did not immediately respond to requests for comment on this story.“If they brought charges based on my investigations, they’d have to arrest the entire provincial government,” said Mochalov, as what remained of his abandoned hog barn’s roof crumbled around him.What started as an attempt to end the legal struggles over his farm has become an all-consuming mission. The newspaper’s high costs _ each print run costs 100,000 rubles ($3,150) _ have essentially forced Mochalov to give up his farm: He sold all his livestock and equipment years ago, and rents out some of the buildings to local services like banks and post offices.The rest lack heat and electricity, if they are still standing at all. One barn is filled with rotting bales of hay; a corrugated iron shed next to it has nearly collapsed. Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Roughly once a month, he publishes a free newspaper called Vzyatka, or The Bribe, which rails against what it calls “Chuvash kingpins” who steal from the province’s budget. Headlines include “The governor of Chuvashia’s family business” and “If nobody’s been found guilty, that means they’re already in power.” The paper has proved so popular that with a print run of 20,000 he has trouble meeting demand.While official corruption has been rife in Russia since czarist times, frustrations over such graft have skyrocketed under President Putin’s rule. Twenty-nine percent of Russians believe that civil servants only care about using public funds to enrich themselves, a more than nine-fold increase since Putin took power in 2000, according to the Levada Center, an independent polling agency.Corruption was a key motivation behind the unprecedented series of huge protests against Putin in Moscow last winter and spring, and remains a key rallying point for the opposition. Recently, the Kremlin has attempted to siphon off popular anger by launching a major crackdown on corruption, which has cost several high-level officials their jobs. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement To his frustration, however, no charges have been filed against the officials exposed in The Bribe. Russian officials frequently turn a blind eye to corruption stories in the press.The Bribe has nonetheless struck a chord in Chuvashia, whose president earlier this year proposed creating a blacklist of print media “that write untruths.” Several officials mentioned in the newspaper have sued him for damaging their reputation. In court, Mochalov, who says he cannot afford a lawyer, defends himself by insisting proceedings be carried out in his native Chuvash language and storming out.“All of the government knows about what he’s writing,” Alexei Glukhov, a local human rights activist, said. “So they try to make him look like a crazy village person who sets himself on fire, and Eduard favors the poetic aspect over the legal side. He has his own, idiosyncratic way of doing things.”In a sense, Mochalov has always been something of a performer. He began his campaign to get his farm back by blocking off a highway with tractors. Earlier this year he spent 15 days in jail for throwing eggs at government buildings at a protest.That unusual style is earning him fans far and wide. Last month, he traveled to Moscow to meet Alexei Navalny, one of the main leaders of the opposition, who made his name through his own efforts to expose corruption in the government and state-owned companies. In messages posted on Twitter, Navalny described Mochalov and his journalist assistant as “incredibly cool people” and “real heroes,” and wondered how he has “managed not to get whacked yet.” Associated PressYARABAIKASY, Russia (AP) – When Eduard Mochalov tried to have the people who stole his cattle and pig farm brought to justice, he spent eight months in jail on charges he says were cooked up. He appealed to Vladimir Putin and even set himself on fire outside the Kremlin in protest, but still couldn’t draw attention to his cause as his farm slowly fell into disrepair.Now, Mochalov has found a new life as a crusading journalist investigating corruption in his native region, fueled by tips from disgruntled businessmen and government workers. Undeterred by a system where the law is selectively used to protect the powerful and crack down on critics, Mochalov has quickly earned cult status _ not to mention the ire of countless local officials _ throughout the small province of Chuvashia. The change was a dramatic one for Mochalov, who left school at 16 and now at 38 sports the thickly callused hands of a provincial farmer, and has a gap-toothed grin. He once employed 150 workers from 11 surrounding villages and ran a thriving concern trading in pigs, cows, sheep and horses.But seven years ago, Mochalov says, he failed to pay a policeman as big a bribe as he wanted. Shortly afterward, men burst into his office with armed guards and presented tax papers supposedly showing that Mochalov had sold them the farm. When he filed a legal appeal, prosecutors filed charges against him instead, accusing him of having obtained credit illegally to buy the farm.After spending eight months in jail awaiting trial, Mochalov was released on time served and later succeeded in restoring his legal ownership. By then, however, the farm had already fallen into disrepair.Mochalov set about trying to bring the raiders to justice. First he tried the legal route, but to no avail. Appeals to Putin and the government also produced nothing. Then he staged protests, including the 2007 Kremlin fire stunt, which caused little physical harm aside from a few scars on his hands. The disused barn where he stores newspapers is full of banners left over from demonstrations imploring pro-Kremlin political parties to “help us fight corruption.” Mochalov says he is undeterred by any possible reprisal, legal or otherwise. Recently, prosecutors began to investigate a seemingly innocuous article about the Chuvash language for allegedly inciting racial hatred, although no charges have been filed. He also shrugs off the threat of physical violence. Russia is the ninth most dangerous country in the world to be a journalist, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based watchdog. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, 53 journalists have been murdered.More importantly for Mochalov, however, is the newspaper’s continued popularity. Demand has been so great that he is considering charging to help cover its increasing costs. When he set up a makeshift stall at a market on a recent snowy afternoon, he was quickly surrounded by people who made off with several copies at a time. After 15 minutes he had given away several hundred.“The people have had it with all these corrupt people in power,” Mochalov said, grinning. “They want to know the truth.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy He put his faith in Dmitry Medvedev, who served as president from 2004 to 2008 when Putin had to step aside because of term limits _ but was soon disappointed.“He promised to crack down on corruption when he was elected, and I believed him!” laughs Mochalov. “I’ve never considered myself a member of the opposition. It’s about sorting out what’s wrong with our country _ it’s plagued by corruption.”Russia is considered to be one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index ranks Russia 143rd out of 183 countries, level with Nigeria and below Pakistan.The Levada survey that showed a dramatic jump in public perceptions of official greed polled 1,559 people in person over five days in June; it had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percent.Mochalov puts the newspaper together in a pokey office smelling of stale varnish at the back of a truck repair shop. He prints it in a neighboring province, since no printer in Chuvashia will go near it. He has only two colleagues, a journalist and a village woman who helps hand the paper out at factories, and he writes many of the articles himself under pseudonyms. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

Codelco reports higher JanSept profit

first_img Check your body, save your life (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Chief Executive Thomas Keller told reporters the miner produced 1.188 million metric tons of copper, 5 percent less than the 1.25 million metric tons a year earlier due to dwindling ore grades, which have dropped 9 percent on average.Codelco is involved in ambitious domestic expansion plans, such as turning Chuquicamata, the world’s largest open-pit copper mine, into an underground operation that would extend its life by more than 50 years.After a century of exploitation, the mine has become too big, too deep and too old to continue digging in the open-pit method. But Codelco says it still has much more to give with reserves equal to about 60 percent of all the copper exploited in the mine’s history still buried deep beneath the crater.Chuquicamata, however, suffered the biggest drop in ore grades, which plunged 19 percent, Keller said. “These are aspects that are linked to an operation that reaches its final stage, where we’re facing important challenges in the mining exploitation,” he said.Codelco and Anglo American settled their conflict in August with a multi-billion dollar deal. The Chilean miner had sued to enforce an option to buy 49 percent of the Anglo American Sur subsidiary with financing from Mitsui & Co. after Anglo American sold a fourth of its Chile subsidiary to Mitsubishi Corp. instead. Keller said the company’s results incorporate an out of the ordinary profit of nearly $3.52 billion from the purchase of its stake in Anglo American’s Sur deposit.The settlement leaves Anglo American with a controlling 51 percent stake, Codelco with 24.5 percent, Mitsubishi with 19.5 percent and Mitsui with 5 percent. The deal helped Codelco increase its holdings at a discount, and both Japanese companies now have a firm foothold in Chile.__Luis Andres Henao on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LuisAndresHenao Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Four benefits of having a wireless security system Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixcenter_img Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) – Chile’s state-owned mining company Codelco said Thursday its January-September profits rose 27 percent over the same period last year, boosted by the settlement of a long-running feud with British miner Anglo American Plc over control of a promising copper mine.The world’s largest copper company said Thursday it earned $6.77 billion before taxes versus $5.32 billion in the same period a year ago. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more

Mexico drug lord escape tunnel was too elaborate to miss

first_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Top Stories The area around the prison is a giant construction site, with giant water pipes, trenches and excavation crisscrossing the landscape, which would have made it easy for the tunnel work to go unnoticed, Garcia noted.“What probably worked well for them was all the construction around the facility,” Dinkins said. “It’s the removal of dirt and debris that can cause attention.”The tunnel led from the shower of Guzman’s cell, under a field and to the floor of partially constructed cinder-block house.An AP reporter at the structure where the tunnel ended observed that the dirt level in the yard surrounding the house is 2 feet to 3 feet higher than the rest of the terrain, indicating workers may have just spread dirt around the property rather than haul it out.The prison, formally known as Federal Social Re-adaptation Center No. 1, houses many of the top capos nabbed in recent years by the administration of President Enrique Pena Nieto.By Monday afternoon, the search for Guzman in the area near the prison had died down dramatically. Road blocks were gone and Federal Police patrols had lightened. Reporters traveled the area unhampered. Flights at the nearby Toluca airport that had been suspended on Sunday were back to normal. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home A tunnel of such sophistication — with lights, air venting, and a customized motorcycle rigged up on a rail line — would have taken 18 months to two years to complete, said Jim Dinkins, former head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.“When it’s for the boss, you probably put that on high speed,” he said.If anyone was capable of pulling off such a feat, it was Guzman, who is believed to have at least a quarter-century of experience in building large, sophisticated tunnels to deliver contraband under the U.S.-Mexico border and to escape from hideouts as authorities closed in.One of his first tunnels was found in 1990 between Douglas, Arizona, and Agua Prieta, Mexico. Officials estimated the 200-foot passage would have cost $2 million to build at the time. It featured electric lights, pumps to keep it clear of water and elaborate entrances.Joe Garcia, who retired this year as interim special agent in charge of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations in San Diego, has extensive experience in tunnel investigations. He said the tunnel at Altiplano was longer than any passage ever found on the U.S.-Mexico border. Comments   Share   Guzman must have had cooperation from government officials given the passage’s length and sophistication, and the time required to build it, Garcia said.DEA documents obtained by The Associated Press on Monday show work on hatching escape plots began almost immediately after Guzman was arrested in February 2014 and that he remained in charge of the Sinaloa cartel despite being locked up.To pull off such a feat, rescuers likely had intelligence on the prison even before Guzman was arrested, Dinkins said.Designers and workers would have needed access to sensitive information such as prison floor plans and alarm and camera systems. And just the noise alone as they bored the final 30-foot (10-meter) vertical passage directly under the prison to reach Guzman’s cell would have generated some attention.“It’s not just like someone took a couple tools, shovels and pickaxes. This is a very sophisticated operation,” said Alonzo Pena, a former senior official at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “How could they be there and not hear that construction was going on underneath? It’s just impossible.”The Sinaloa cartel is known to build tunnels in industrial areas of San Diego partly because it’s easy to blend in: Streets hum with semitrailers by day and fall silent on nights and weekends, U.S. investigators said. ALMOLOYA, Mexico (AP) — The digging would have caused noise. The planners would have needed blueprints and maps. The entrance would have to be in a place beyond the view of security cameras at Mexico’s toughest prison.As authorities hunted Monday for any sign of Mexico’s most powerful drug lord, security experts said it’s clear that Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s escape through an elaborately designed tunnel must have involved help on a grand scale. Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Federal Police stand guard near a half-built house near the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Monday, July 13, 2015. A widespread manhunt that included highway checkpoints, stepped up border security and closure of an international airport failed to turn up any trace of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman by Monday, more than 24 hours after he escaped through an underground tunnel leading from his Altiplano prison cell’s shower area. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte) Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall “How did Chapo escape? In one word: corruption,” wrote Alejandro Hope, a former member of Mexico’s domestic intelligence service, in his blog El Daily Post.“He escaped through a mile-long tunnel, wide enough to hold a motorcycle, and ending in one of the few blind spots in Mexico’s most-secure prison. How do you do that without some high-level corruption?”Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong agreed Monday night that the escape from a maximum security facility had to have been accomplished with the help of someone inside.“It must have involved the complicity of personal and or officials” inside the prison, he said, adding that the prison has the same standards as those in the U.S. and Canada.Osorio Chong said the tunnel builders also would have needed the blueprints to reach Guzman’s cell.Earlier the government announced it was questioning 49 people, including 32 prison employees, among them prison director Valentin Cardenas.U.S. authorities believe the tunnel through which Guzman made his audacious exit Saturday evening must have been in the works for at least a year, nearly as long as the head of the notorious Sinaloa Cartel had been at the Altiplano prison 55 miles (90 kilometers) west of Mexico City. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories The prison break is the second for Guzman, who infamously fled a different maximum-security facility in 2001, some say by hiding in a laundry cart, though there are other versions to explain that escape. He was on the loose for 13 years before being captured at a condominium overlooking the Pacific in Mazatlan.He last was seen about 9 p.m. Saturday as he entered the shower area of his cell. After a time without seeing him, guards went to look for him and found something else entirely — a 20-by-20-inch (50-by-50 centimeter) passage into the earth.___Associated Press writer Christopher Sherman reported this story in Almoloya, Mexico, and Elliot Spagat reported from San Diego, California. AP writers Mark Stevenson and Maria Verza in Mexico City and Alicia A. Caldwell in Washington contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helplast_img read more

Obama pushes for end to crippling crisis in South Sudan

first_imgObama and Hailemariam were joined in the talks on South Sudan by the presidents of Kenya and Uganda, the chair of the African Union and Sudan’s foreign minister. There were no plans for Obama or other U.S. officials to meet with representatives of South Sudan.Monday’s meeting focused on what must happen between now and Aug. 17 in the absence of an agreement. In addition to possible sanctions, one participant at the meeting raised the possibility of deploying regional forces to restore peace, administration officials said after the meeting. Such a force also could be used to help enforce an agreement should one be reached in time. The officials declined to say which participant proposed the idea, only that it was not the U.S.Obama arrived in Ethiopia late Sunday following a visit to Kenya, his father’s homeland. The president is seen in Kenya as a local son and his first visit as president was treated as a homecoming.In Ethiopia, too, Obama’s visit has been eagerly anticipated. Despite a driving rain, crowds gathered along the roadways to greet him as he arrived Sunday for the first-ever visit to Ethiopia by a sitting American president.Human rights groups, however, have criticized Obama for visiting Ethiopia, saying his trip lends legitimacy to an oppressive government. President Barack Obama is give a bouquet of flowers as he arrives at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, on Sunday, July 26, 2015, in Addis Ababa. Obama is the first sitting U.S. presidents to visit Ethiopia. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)n 0 Comments   Share   The talks on South Sudan came on the sidelines of Obama’s visit to Ethiopia, his second stop on a trip to East Africa. He urged Ethiopia’s leaders to curb crackdowns on press freedoms and political opposition, warning that failure to do so could upend economic progress in a country seeking to move past years of poverty and famine.“When all voices are being heard, when people know they are being included in the political process, that makes a country more successful,” Obama said during a news conference with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.Ethiopia has been among the most active countries in East Africa seeking to end the crisis in South Sudan, a young nation birthed with backing from the U.S. and other nations. South Sudan’s warring factions face an Aug. 17 deadline to accept a regional peace and power-sharing deal.South Sudan was thrown into conflict in December 2013 by a clash between forces loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar, an ethnic Nuer, and President Salva Kiir, a Dinka. The fighting has spurred a humanitarian crisis that threatens the country’s survival just four years after its inception.U.S. officials have expressed pessimism about the prospects for a deal, saying the two sides are indifferent to the plight of the South Sudanese people. Even as they await the outcome of the peace process, officials say the U.S. is eying additional economic sanctions and perhaps an arms embargo to ramp up pressure on the warring factions. Despite Ethiopia’s progress, there are deep concerns about political freedoms on the heels of May elections in which the ruling party won every seat in parliament. Ethiopia is also the world’s second-worst jailer of journalists in Africa, after Eritrea, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.Obama said he was frank in his discussions with Ethiopian leaders about the need to allow political opponents to operate freely. He defended his decision to travel to the East African nation, comparing it to U.S. engagement with China, another nation with a poor human rights record.“Nobody questions our need to engage with large countries where we may have differences on these issues,” he said. “That’s true with Africa as well.”Hailemariam defended Ethiopia’s commitment to democracy, saying it was “real — not skin deep.” He described any conflict with the U.S. on democratization issues as “minor differences here and there.”Asked about his country’s jailing of journalists, Hailemariam said Ethiopia needed “ethical journalism,” not reporters that “pass the line” and work with “terrorist groups.” Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean New Valley school lets students pick career-path academiescenter_img Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Mesa family survives lightning strike to home ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — President Barack Obama launched a personal push for peace in South Sudan on Monday, convening African leaders for urgent talks in neighboring Ethiopia aimed at keeping the world’s newest nation from collapsing amid civil war.“The possibilities of renewed conflict in a region that has been torn by conflict for so long, and has resulted in so many deaths, is something that requires urgent attention from all of us,” Obama said. “We don’t have a lot of time to wait.” Sponsored Stories How do cataracts affect your vision? Top Stories Before Obama’s arrival, the Ethiopian government released several journalists and bloggers it had been holding since April 2014 on charges of incitement and terrorism. Many others remain in detention.Despite differences on human rights, the U.S. sees Ethiopia as an important partner in fighting terrorism in the region, particularly the Somalia-based al-Shabab network. Ethiopia shares intelligence with the U.S. and sent troops into Somalia to address instability there.The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab claimed credit for a suicide bomb at a luxury hotel in Somalia’s capital Sunday that killed 15 people. The Jazeera Hotel was considered the most secure in Mogadishu and is frequented by diplomats, foreigners and visiting heads of state.Obama said the attack was a reminder that “we have more work to do” in stemming terrorism in the region.___AP writer Elias Meseret contributed to this report.___Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC and Darlene Superville at http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleapCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Procore brings 3D construction models to iOS

first_imgToday, Procore, a construction software company, announced Procore BIM (Building Information Modeling), a new tool that takes advantage of Apple hardware advances to bring the 3D construction model to iOS.Dave McCool, senior product manager at Procore, says that for years architects and engineers have been working with 3D models of complex buildings on desktop computers and laptops, but these models never made it into the hands of the tradespeople actually working on the building. This forced them to make trips to the job site office to see the big picture whenever they ran into issues, a process that was inefficient and costly.Procore has created a 3D model that corresponds to a virtual version of the 2D floor plan and runs on an iOS device. Touching a space on the floor plan opens a corresponding spot in the 3D model. What’s more, Procore has created a video game-like experience, so that contractors can use a virtual joystick to move around a 3D representation of the building, or they can use gestures to move around the rendering.Procore BIM running on an iPhone (Photo: Procore)The app has been designed so that it can run on an iPhone 7, but for optimal performance, Procore recommends using an iPad Pro. The software takes advantage of Apple Metal, which gives developers “near direct” access to the GPU running on these devices. This ability to tap into GPU power speeds up performance and allows this level of sophisticated rendering quickly on iOS devices.McCool says that this enables tradespeople to find the particular area on the drawing where their part of the project needs to go much more easily and intuitively, whether it’s wiring, duct work or plumbing. As he pointed out, it can get crowded in the space above a ceiling or inside a utility room, and the various teams need to work together to make sure they are putting their parts in the correct spot. Working with this tool helps make that placement crystal clear.It’s essentially been designed to gamify the experience in order to help tradespeople who aren’t necessarily technically savvy operate the tool themselves and find their way around a drawing in 3D, while reducing the number of trips to the office to have a discussion with the architects or engineers to resolve issues.This is the latest tool from a company that has been producing construction software since 2002. As a company spokesperson said, early on the company founder had to wire routers on the site to allow workers to use the earliest versions. Today, it offers a range of construction software to track financials, project, labor and safety management information.Procore BIM will be available starting next month.last_img read more

Google Search gets expanded college search features

first_imgGoogle today announced a number of new features for students looking for more information about U.S. colleges. Last year, Google Search introduced new widgets with information about four-year universities. Today, it is expanding this to two-year colleges.The company says that searches for “community colleges near me” saw a 120% increase in the past two years, with overall searches for college information spiking between August and the fall, as high school students get ready to apply.With this update, students can now easily compare the tuition cost, acceptance rates and other information of four and two-year schools. The feature will now also show popular certificates and associate programs offered at four-year universities, and students can create lists of schools that specialize in specific fields and filter them based on distance (which often matters because many community college students, for example, stay close to home) and size.Like before, this extended data set relies on public information from the U.S. Department of Education.“We’ve continued to work with education researchers, experts and nonprofit organizations, high school counselors, and admissions professionals to build a useful experience that is attuned to the needs of students, and we will continue to find new ways to make information more easily available and helpful as you search for your future education opportunities,” the company notes in today’s announcement.last_img read more