Neglect of burial grounds

first_imgDear Editor,The continuing ‘neglect’ of burial grounds has hit the media again. I am personally aware of the condition of several burial grounds, including the ones at Blairmont and Cotton Tree in West Berbice, that are not only forested, but harbour dangerous reptiles and insects, including the deadly African bees. However, I must also acknowledge that there are some very well-kept burial grounds in Guyana. I also recall the fact that when I was working in Bangladesh, I used to go for my morning walks in the beautifully kept cemetery in Dhaka, with its manicured lawns and paved walkways.I believe that well-maintained cremation sites are a better alternative to unkempt burial grounds; they are considerably less difficult to maintain; more easily accessible to women, children and the old & infirm; and are certainly more dignified than what obtains currently.It is in this context that I cordially and humbly invite those who are not yet familiar with the Blairmont Crematorium & Memorial Garden to visit the site (located south of the Blairmont Estate Sugar factory). This facility includes an all-weather access road, a concrete car park for at least 50 cars, a comfortable pavilion that can seat 200 persons, rooms for meditation and prayers, flush-toilet facilities for men and women, a canteen, two pyres etc; all within a beautiful garden setting of flowers and many tall trees, providing additional shade for those who cannot be accommodated in, or do not want to use, the pavilion. The garden setting adds to the serenity and agreeableness of the ambience. Facilities are also available for conducting all relevant religious rites and ceremonies. In the same way that we make certain good, special, and often elaborate provisions to welcome our fellow human beings into this world, let us try to give a similarly good ‘send-off’ to our deceased families and friends!Sincerely,Nowrang Persaudlast_img read more

Are U.K. Users Burning Out on Social Networking?

first_img sarah perez According to yesterday’s article in the Guardian, the three largest social networks in the U.K., MySpace, Facebook, and Bebo, all experienced large drops in membership between December, 2007 and January, 2008. Is this one month of falling numbers a fluke or have the networks reached a plateau? Says, Alex Burmaster, Nielsen Online analyst, “One month of falling audiences doesn’t spell the decline of Facebook or social networking. However, most of the leading social networks are less popular in the U.K. than they were a year ago.”Losses By the NumbersAccording to the article, Facebook saw a 5% drop between December, 2007 and January, 2008, but still had 8.5 million users in January. This keeps Facebook in the number one position as the most popular social network in the U.K. However, after 17 straight months of growth, this drop of 400,000 users, is the first on record for Facebook in the U.K. MySpace also lost 5% drop in traffic between December and January. They are still the number two social network in the U.K. with 5 million unique users.Bebo only saw a 2% drop, and ranked third with a total of 4.1 million users. Growth Rates at an End?These drops in growth, if anything, point to the fact that the massive growth rates the networks were experiencing could not be maintained indefinitely. For example, Facebook’s audience is 712% bigger than it was in January of 2007 and Bebo saw a 53% increase in the same period. I would argue that these numbers point to the networks being more popular, not less, than they were a year ago, so I’m not sure what Burmaster meant in that earlier statement unless he was solely referring to growth rates.However, Facebook and Bebo’s growth may have come from MySpace’s loss. The News Corp. giant actually saw its number of unique users fall by 9% since January, 2007. Says Burmaster, “Growth among the big players looks to be more about getting people from their competitors, not attracting new people to social networking.”Does these findings foretell a saturation point for social networks? Or are the networks just not that cool anymore now that everyone uses them? In a BBC News article on the subject, Nic Howell, deputy editor of industry magazine New Media Age claimed, “Social networking is as much about who isn’t on the site as who is – when Tory MPs and major corporations start profiles on Facebook, its brand is devalued, driving its core user base into the arms of newer and more credible alternatives.”Interestingly enough, the exodus from the larger networks may have had an impact on some of the smaller networking sites that grew during the month of January. Less trafficked social networking sites like Windows Live Spaces, which just launched a refreshed version with some Facebook-like features, saw a rise in number of users at this same time. Other U.K.-oriented sites like BBC Communities and Friends Reunited also saw growth in January.Update: A Facebook spokesperson contacted me this afternoon with the following: “The number of users for Facebook continues to climb in the UK. Our internal monthly active user numbers rose between December and January in the UK and are now at more than 8.3 million. Facebook tracks active monthly users, rather than registered user or unique visitors. Active users reflect those who have used the site in the past 30 days.”In other words, “you’re measuring the wrong thing.” The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Related Posts center_img Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Tags:#Facebook#international#social networks#Trends#web last_img read more

YouTube Launches Twitter-Like Channel Bulletins

first_imgYouTube has launched a new feature that allows channel owners to send text messages and links to videos to the front page of their subscribers’ YouTube accounts. It’s a cool, if logical, feature to offer and one that could make visiting YouTube a lot more fun.Called Channel Bulletins, the feature is pretty simple. But am I looking forward to seeing little updates sent out between videos from the people I’m subscribed to? Yes, I am. A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Tags:#Google#news#social networks#web Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… It would be nice if YouTube allowed channel owners to pipe in RSS feeds, maybe Twitter messages. The personal touch should be nice too, though.If you aren’t subscribed to any channels on YouTube, you’re missing out on one of the best ways to experience the site. I’m subscribed to Steve Gillmor, Breaking the News, Social Data Revolution and Brown Man Thinking Hard, among others. (Would love to get your suggestions for video channels to subscribe to, RWW readers.)Blippy co-founder Phil Kaplan brought this feature to our attention and framed it as YouTube’s version of Twitter. It may play out that way for hard-core YouTube users, but I hope more casual publishers will regularly send out bulletins as well. I wouldn’t mind getting them as emails, even.It would be nice for subscribers to be able to reply easily to Channel Bulletins, too. There are lots of ways this could go, but getting it started, offering messaging other than videos and comments, is a good move.Channels have long been a part of YouTube, Paris Hilton got the first branded one in 2006, and it’s pretty far-out to think that text message communication between channel owners and subscribers has taken this long to arrive. Perhaps when you’re coming from a video-centric perspective, these things don’t always come to mind. There are many other social features that could be added to make YouTube a more compelling site. Could I please be shown the YouTube channels and favorites of my friends on Twitter, Facebook and Google Accounts, for example? That would be great. Related Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification marshall kirkpatrick The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoslast_img read more

Data Mining the Green 500 and Top 500: Fun with Exascalar

first_imgThis is another manifestation  of the “inflection point” I wrote about in my last blog, where more innovation in efficiency will drive higher performance as time goes forward, whether in emerging Sandybridge, MIC, or other systems which have focused on high efficiency to achieve high performance. This anlaysis highlights what I think is the biggest trend in supercomputing, efficiency, while capturing the important and desired outcome, which is high performance. As my colleague and friend here at Intel, John Hengeveld writes: “Work on Efficiency is really work on efficient performance.”What are your thoughts? Weather-report or an analysis that provides some insight?Feel free to comment or contact me on @WinstonOnEnergy Please click image to animateThere’s a lot going on here. One notices some obvious “power pushes” where occasionally a system pushes right up against 20 MW line to achieve very high performance. Invariably these achievements are eclipsed by systems with higher efficiency.Another thing that’s striking is the huge range off efficiencies between systems; over a factor of one hundred for some contemporary systems with similar performance. That’s pretty astounding when you think about it – a factor of one hundred in energy cost for the same work output.But the macroscopic picture revealed, of course, is that the overall (and inevitable) trend shows the scaling of performance with efficiency.So how is the trend to Exascale going? Well one way to understand that is to plot the data as a time series. The graph below shows the Exascalar ranking of Top, the Top 10, and the Median systems over time. Superimposed is the extrapolation of a linear fit which shows why such a huge breakthrough in efficiency is needed to meet the Exascale goal by 2018. It’s remarkable that Top10 and Top Exascalar trends have essentially the same slopes (differing by about 7%) , whereas the slope of the Median trend is about 20% lower.But these simplified trends belie more complexity “under the covers.”  To look at this I plotted the Top 10 Exascalar points from 2007 and 2011 and then superimposed trendlines from the data of intervening years. Whereas the trend line of the “Top” system has really trended mostly up in power while zigging and zagging in efficiency, the trend of the “Top10” (computed as an average) is initially mostly dependent on power, but then bends to follow an efficiency trend. Note that the data points are plotted with a finite opacity to give an sense of “density.” (Can you tell I’m a fan of “ET”?)center_img I published a blog late last year on an idea bringing insight from the Green500 and Top500 together in a way that helps to better visualize the changing landscape of supercomputing leadership in the context of efficient performance. Since then I have started to refer to that analysis by the shorthand term “Exascalar.”Recall, Exascalar is a logarithmic scale for supercomputing which looks at performance and efficiency mormalized to Intel’s Exascale Goal of delivering one Exaflops in a power envelope of 20 MegaWatts.Of the emails I received on the topic and one of the most interesting was from Barry Rountree at LLNL. Barry has done a similar analysis looking at the time evolution of the Green500 data. So I thought, “why the heck not for Exascalar?”And then I had some fun.Building from Barry’s idea, I plotted the data for the Green500 and Top500 from November 2007 to November 2011 in one year increments (with the addition of the June 2011 data for resolution) as an animated .gif file shown below. The dark grey line is the trend of the “Exascalar-median.” To highlight innovation, in each successive graph the new points are shown in red while older systems are in blue. The unconventional looking grid lines are constant power and exascalar lines.last_img read more