Labours shadow work and pensions secretary has ca

first_imgLabour’s shadow work and pensions secretary has called for nurses and other healthcare professionals who write misleading benefit assessment reports to be “held to account”.Debbie Abrahams said there had been “too many times” when healthcare professionals had written reports that did not “marry” with the evidence they had been given by disabled benefit claimants and what they had been told by those claimants during face-to-face assessments.More than 250 disabled people have come forward over the last year to tell Disability News Service how their assessors had written dishonest assessment reports.These cases were compiled during a DNS investigation into widespread allegations that healthcare professionals working for private outsourcing companies Capita and Atos have been lying in personal independence payment (PIP) assessment reports, which are written on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.But there have also been years of complaints relating to work capability assessments – which assess eligibility for employment and support allowance – which were previously carried out by Atos but are now the responsibility of the discredited US outsourcing giant Maximus.Abrahams (pictured, second from right), who was speaking at a fringe event organised by the Fabian Society and the disability charity Scope at Labour’s annual conference in Brighton, said: “Assessments are conducted by clinical professionals.“We must be holding these clinical professionals to account.”She said she had heard of “dozens and dozens” of cases, both in her national role and as a constituency MP, of assessment reports “not marrying at all with the detail in the assessment, the medical records that were supplied and so on”.She told the meeting: “This cannot be allowed.”There have been repeated concerns raised by disabled people that the bodies that regulate healthcare professionals – such as the Health and Care Professions Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council – have refused to investigate claims of dishonesty in assessments made against healthcare professionals.But Abrahams told this week’s fringe meeting that she had met with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) about the issue, and she said the RCN was “concerned about what this means to some of their members” and was taking “very seriously” the need to prevent such cases happening.Abrahams also told the fringe event of Labour’s plans to scrap both the PIP assessment process and the work capability assessment – which assesses eligibility for ESA – and replace them with a more “personalised, holistic support programme”.RCN had failed to comment by noon today (Thursday).last_img read more

The head of the British Paralympic Association BP

first_imgThe head of the British Paralympic Association (BPA) has been heavily criticised by MPs for failing to address cheating within the system that classifies disabled athletes, despite being in his post for more than six years.Tim Hollingsworth was giving evidence to the Commons digital, culture, media and sport committee, as part of its inquiry into sports governance.He was giving evidence after the disabled peer and retired Paralympian Baroness [Tanni] Grey-Thompson had told the committee that the classification system was being abused by cheating British athletes in search of money and medals (see separate story).On the day they gave evidence to the inquiry, the committee also published a series of witness statements from retired and current athletes, their relatives, and officials, raising serious concerns about the system (see separate story).The committee has also received evidence from athletes who have given evidence anonymously.The classification system is run by the national governing body of each Paralympic sport, while athletes competing internationally must also submit to testing by international classifiers.The process includes medical evidence, physical examinations and assessment of how the athlete functions in that sport, as well as observation of them in competition.The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) defines classification as grouping athletes into different classes according to how much their impairment “affects fundamental activities” in that sport and discipline.But misleading classifiers can allow athletes to compete against those whose impairments have a greater negative impact on attributes such as speed, coordination and strength.Hollingsworth (pictured) told the MPs that the system was the “absolute foundation stone of Paralympic sport”, and he insisted that it was fit for purpose but “can and must be improved”.Asked if he was surprised at the number of people coming forward with similar concerns to the committee – many of them anonymously – he said again that the system could be improved.And he said there needed to be an independent body to provide more “transparency and solidity to the process” of complaints about classification.But he insisted that the International Paralympic Committee had put into place, in 2015, a “far more rigorous set of standards and practices” on classification.He claimed that “if people were more understanding of that” and the wider system it might help them understand why “one athlete is freely and fairly competing against another”.But he was later forced to admit that, although BPA would refer any classification complaint to the relevant individual sport, there were currently no procedures for his organisation to take any further action if that stage in the process proved unsuccessful.Asked by Labour MP Ian Lucas if there should be a route for BPA to take on such a complaint, Hollingsworth said: “There should be, absolutely.”Lucas then told him: “I find it incredible that in a multi-million pound business, which is what this is nowadays, that that process isn’t there at the minute because the integrity of this is at the heart of the sport.”He added: “We have had a huge amount of evidence from individual athletes who do not have faith in the integrity of the system.“These people have come to us because they haven’t felt that they could come to you. Don’t you find that depressing?”The committee’s chair, Damian Collins, pointed out that Hollingsworth had been leading BPA for six years and told him that the problem had grown “on your watch”.He said Hollingsworth and BPA had known about the problems with the classification system but had just “sat back and let it happen, and the people who have suffered have been the athletes and their families”.Hollingsworth said BPA had now decided that it should be involved in developing a national classification code – which should be published next year – and a “better approach to classification at a national level” and “ultimately the development of a suitable process for complaint procedures to be dealt with independently”.But when he claimed that complaints about the system had not previously “been made clear in the way they are today” to BPA, Collins said: “I don’t believe that and I don’t believe the people in the room believe that and I find it incredible that you say it.”When Collins asked if Hollingsworth owed Paralympic athletes an apology for the failures in the system, he insisted that there had “not been any proven case of intentional misrepresentation” or “any evidence that has been presented that has gone beyond the circumstantial and the anecdotal”.But Collins told him that Baroness Grey-Thompson had said the system was being abused, while athletes and families of athletes had also provided evidence about the failures, and he asked him again if he should apologise.Hollingsworth said: “If there is genuine evidence of an athlete being failed by the system, then yes… [but] to the collective, it would be a no.”Collins said later: “We have received evidence from athletes who feel they have been discriminated against within teams because they have raised concerns.“Baroness Grey-Thompson [has said] that as far as she is concerned the classification system is broken and people are cheating it now, today.“These things may not be all within your direct control, but we would look at BPA and say, you are a leading organisation for para sport in this country, and for you to recognise these failings and be a champion for putting it right, and to acknowledge and apologise to the victims of those failures, I think is something it would be appropriate for you to do.”But Hollingsworth said: “I am genuinely sorry that there are athletes who feel that they have got grievances, but I don’t necessarily feel that those grievances necessarily are ones that are substantiated.“I do feel very sorry indeed that we are in a position where there are athletes who feel they can’t get to a point where they are listened to satisfactorily.”But he said he was “not apologising for failure or a belief that the system is not working as effectively as it is”.Collins told Hollingsworth that it was “tragic” that, as with other sports, there was “no whistleblowing process, no grievance procedures, cases that have not been properly investigated, athletes have suffered as a result of trying to speak out within their sport”, and that athletes had had to use alternative means to “try to get the truth out there” because there was “no system to do so within their own sport”.last_img read more

Disability rights campaigners an inventor and a P

first_imgDisability rights campaigners, an inventor and a Paralympic athlete are among the disabled people recognised in the latest new year’s honours list.Among the 1,123 people who have received an award, five per cent – about 60 – consider themselves to be disabled people.Among recipients of a CBE – for services to sport and accessibility – was Joyce Cook, chair of the disabled supporters’ charity Level Playing Field for nearly 10 years, and founder and former managing director of Centre for Access to Football in Europe.As chair of Level Playing Field, Cook played a significant role in highlighting the problem of poor access for disabled fans at sports stadiums, particularly among Premier League football clubs.Cook (pictured), now chief member associations officer for football’s world governing body FIFA, said: “It’s a very proud moment for me and my loved ones.“The World Health Organisation considers more than 20 per cent of the global population to be disabled, yet there are very few disabled people in senior positions at this time, especially in the sports sector.“The award recognizes the work I’ve been involved in for more than 15 years, but it also underlines the important work still being pursued by Centre for Access to Football in Europe and Level Playing Field.“As a disabled person working for FIFA, and a member of the senior management board, I have a responsibility as a role model and I’m proud that FIFA is showing its commitment to diversity and inclusion.“I hope that I can continue to play my part in the years ahead by using my personal and professional experiences within FIFA to continue to build more inclusive programmes and to ensure that football is truly welcoming to the many disabled people globally who aspire to be match-going fans, players or to follow careers within the game.”Other honours for disabled people included an MBE for autistic rights campaigner Carly Jones, for services to autistic people.Jones, who is autistic herself and has two autistic daughters, has campaigned in the UK and globally on autism and girls, having been told 10 years ago that it was “impossible” to have two autistic daughters.She said the award showed “firmly and publicly” that “as British autistics we are valued, we are recognised and we are able”.She added: “I hope that as not only a parent of autistic young women but also [as] an autistic woman myself, my MBE sends out a clear message that regardless of our challenges and differences [we] have something to offer our country of tremendous value.”She said she hoped more adult women would “feel less afraid to disclose their autism to friends, colleagues and families so they can find other autistic women and feel less isolation”, while any young girl recently diagnosed would now “feel empowered by their diagnosis, not ashamed”.Jones, from Berkshire, dedicated her MBE to “the autistic community old and young, who, despite having experienced misunderstanding and unkindness remain understanding and kind”.In 2016, she told the UN Human Rights Council’s annual Social Forum in Geneva of the “clinical misogyny” and “misjudgements” that have led to autism being viewed as something that only affects white males, and of the violence and abuse experienced by autistic people.Another MBE recipient – for services to disabled people – was Grant Douglas, from Edinburgh, the inventor of the S’up spoon, and founder and chief executive of S’up Products.He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be recognised for the work I have been doing to enable people with shaky hands to eat independently.”Douglas, who has cerebral palsy, found it difficult to eat soft foods with a spoon and worked with the Glasgow-based company 4c Design to invent the S’up spoon, which has a deep cavity that helps keep food in the spoon until it is tipped into the user’s mouth.Since the spoon was launched in 2015, more than 2,000 have been sold worldwide, and it is currently on display in London’s Design Museum and the Smithsonian Design Museum in New York.Douglas said he hoped to use his MBE to help persuade politicians to provide funding so all professionals involved in social care assessments have access to a S’up spoon for their service-users to try.He also hopes to develop “more eating utensils that will help people with shaky hands live a more independent life”, and to convert his company into a social enterprise.Also recognised with an MBE was Paralympian Stef Reid, who won her first world title in the T44 long jump at last summer’s World Para Athletics Championships in London, a year after winning a second successive Paralympic silver medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.Reid was also a board member of the organising committee of the championships in London last summer, and has campaigned to challenge media perceptions of disability and how women feel about their bodies.She said: “It had already been a great year, and this news left me completely stunned.“I didn’t even believe it. My husband opened the letter and told me the news – I told him ‘don’t be silly, that’s ridiculous.’“I am so thankful and honoured to be awarded an MBE. Sport has opened so many doors in my life and introduced me to some incredible people who have encouraged and challenged me. I am especially proud to represent a country that values para sport.”Another Paralympian recognised with an MBE was Craig Carscadden, head of development at the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association, who receives the award for services to disabled athletes and the Paralympics.last_img read more

Josephine Zhao publicly apologizes for transphobic behavior Privately school board candidate boasts

first_img Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Privately, however, she is penning ebullient messages to her supporters via the Chinese language app WeChat — like the August 29 communique at the top of this article — and, notably, employing Chinese Cultural Revolution terms to denounce her detractors. In another recent message, she describes her opponents in the school board race as “two transgender candidates … fighting for the title of ‘first transgender commissioner’ … There are also three homosexuals. Their highest priority for education would be to spread ideologies.”Zhao has raised far more money — some $78,000 as of latest reporting — than any of the other 19 school board candidates running for three openings. She has lost some political endorsements of late, but remains in the good graces of Mayor London Breed and Sen. Scott Wiener, both of whom she campaigned for fervently (Zhao recruited scads of paid staff onto Wiener’s 2016 race vs. Jane Kim; “$125/day, hold signs and you only need to know one phrase in English: “I like Scott Wiener!” she wrote to supporters).Mission Local has obtained and had translated a number of Zhao’s WeChat messages to her backers. These are not subtle missives. In one, she refers to former Board of Education member and current Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer as “Chinese trash” and a “race-traitor.” In another, Supervisor Jane Kim is described as a “homewrecker.” This WeChat from Josephine Zhao reads “Chinese Trash Sandy Lee Fewer really doesn’t deserve to be in politics, if she became Supervisor she is not only hurting our kids but also our families. Before passing these policies she didn’t listen to Chinese voices, after they passed she said we misunderstood. What a race-traitor. It is impossible to change these policies now. Hope everyone can pull parents of Richmond schools like George Washington, Presidio, Argonne into the group, so they can see the truth.”Those are harsh words, but not atypical (Zhao, in 2014, referred to David Chiu as a “traitor” — in English, and publicly viewable on Facebook — over his support of affirmative-action legislation, which Zhao felt disadvantaged Asians. Chiu is endorsing her for school board; they have, apparently, patched things up). Zhao has produced a voluminous — and incendiary — written record of her positions on any number of issues; she also talked about them extensively on a radio show she co-hosted. But it’s largely in Cantonese. And, as such, most of it has been been dutifully ignored by non-Chinese-speaking San Francisco and its media establishment. (You can find archives at the public library of English-language newspapers going back to the Gold Rush era — but they toss out the Chinese-language papers every few weeks.)It does not, however, require an archaeological expedition or the Rosetta Stone to glean what’s going on in the Chinese-language press, read social media posts penned by Zhao herself, or hear her opine on the radio.So, with even minimal exploration, Zhao’s explanations of her troubling past behavior rapidly begin to strain credulity. Zhao’s campaign materials and personal Facebook page state she emigrated from China some 30 years ago, when she was 19. She obtained an undergraduate degree from the University of Northern Colorado and a master’s from Colorado State. She is an exceedingly smart, highly educated, successful and well-spoken woman. All of this makes her explanation regarding her 2013 jeremiad against the gender-neutral bathroom bill difficult to embrace.The legislation was only one page long, and the holder of an advanced academic degree who had lived in the United States for the better part of three decades and enjoyed a successful career should have been able to read it — or, if that proved unsatisfactory, phone up its author, Tom Ammiano, and ask him to explain it. In 2013, Zhao was already in her mid-40s. And, far from mere “remarks she made to Chinese newspapers,” or a singular “incident,” Zhao in September 2013 was a featured speaker at a press conference denouncing the bill. She was there alongside a number of speakers representing reactionary organizations, including the Pacific Justice Institute — which is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “an anti-LGBT hate group.” At that event, Zhao was quoted in the Chinese-language press as claiming that the bill would protect the 2 percent of students who are transsexual, but would “offend and infringe on the rights and privacy of 98 percent of students,” leading to “violence” and even “rape.” Weeks later, she repeated these claims on Chinese-language radio, urging listeners to sign a Pacific Justice Institute-organized petition to repeal the legislation. She instructed listeners to download the petition from the radio station’s website and mail it back to the station — indicating, far from being “sucked into it,” she was playing no small role in organizing and perpetuating this recall drive. “Thanks for everyone’s hard work. I am happy to feel that momentum is building. After the Cow Demons and Snake Spirits at Harvey Milk Dem Club’s smear and attack, I am even more well-known. Today I received the endorsement of the United Democratic Club. This club is the biggest and developing the fastest in San Francisco, 5-6 times of the size of the Cow Demons and Snake Spirits Club. Thanks for everyone’s hard work. I have confidence; let’s work hard together and sprint forward.” Publicly, school board candidate Josephine Zhao has been contrite. Publicly, she has apologized, repeatedly, after recent mainstream, English-language news reports of how “transphobic remarks she made to Chinese newspapers” five years ago are now causing consternation among LGBTQ groups such as the Milk Club. Zhao now describes her past denunciation of California’s gender-neutral bathroom bill, AB 1266, as a mistake — the result of being misinformed. “I was a recent citizen then. I became a citizen in 2011; the incident took place in 2013,” she says. “Someone took me to a press conference. I only knew one person there. I apologize I got sucked into it.” She now says she supports transgender children and gender-neutral bathrooms; her daughter’s best friend, she claims, recently came out as a transgender boy, and “we gave the family big support.” center_img “On the surface, the legislation seems to be one thing,” she told listeners in October 2013, “but, in reality, it’s another.” Zhao now says she was misinformed about the bill. Regardless, it’s clear she had no problem energetically misinforming her considerable group of followers about it — either intentionally or via ignorance bordering on negligence. This legislation, she warned radio listeners, “seems to be fine” because it protects the 2 percent of students who are transgender: “They do not know whether they are a boy or a girl.” But “this legislation has a huge loophole. It allows students to determine which gendered restroom they prefer to use” and “this identity does not need to be registered with their public record.” As such, “it opens the door for boys and girls to use the bathroom together and shower together and it becomes a hotbed for a culture of sexual assault and rape.” Students, she said, should have to “register their identity” before using the restroom. Zhao now says she was given bad information about all of this. She’s sorry, she says. She didn’t know what the bill was about — even though she spoke alongside a reactionary anti-LGBT hate group denouncing it and then meticulously explained to radio listeners what it was about — before exhorting them to sign the Pacific Justice Institute’s petition. “That was how I operated back then,” she says now. “I am sorry it went so far.” But, during her radio broadcast in 2013, she took it further yet. “This is evil legislation,” she told listeners. “We must use these signatures so we can repeal this evil legislation.” “From our city government, up to our state government,” she continued, “our elected leaders are free to do whatever they want,” she said, employing a turn of phrase one might use to describe spoiled children. “They are relaxing their moral views. Therefore, they cannot represent our Chinese American ideals.” It was not so long ago when she said this. In 2013, Ed Lee was the mayor of San Francisco. David Chiu was board president. Katy Tang, Eric Mar and Norman Yee were also serving on the board. These are the elected leaders who were “relaxing their moral views.” These are the elected leaders who “cannot represent our Chinese American ideals.”  So, yes, that was a hell of a thing to say. Josephine Zhao’s WeChat message slammed Jane Kim during Kim’s state senate race vs. Scott Wiener:“Not only is Jane Kim a home wrecker, that doesn’t matter as much, but she is ruining someone else’s career.The first Asian American judge to have high rank in our judicial system, appointed by multiple governors, a graduate of Stanford, Oxford, and Yale. He once taught at Berkeley, his wife and Jane Kim were his students.He is Goodwin Liu, 45 years old, and because of Jane’s involvement in his personal relationship, he ruined his career as his ex-wife is a heavyweight advisor to Hillary Clinton. Jane not only tried to stripMayor Lee’s power, but with such terrible morals, is this someone whom we can trust to be our state senate? Know when to stop, don’t be fooled!”Personal transformations happen. If Josephine Zhao says that she now supports transgender rights and supported her daughter’s friend — or marched in the Pride parade and, she claims, joined the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club — that’s great. More power to her. That’s what San Francisco is for. Abrupt personal transformations by a candidate for office with a lengthy track record are, however, worthy of skepticism. Zhao’s recent op-ed in the Examiner is titled “An immigrant’s path for progressive leadership.” In it, she describes herself as “A progressive leader in the immigrant community.” As recently as 2012, however, she was personally, and via her nonprofit, urging San Franciscans to vote a straight Republican ticket — Mitt Romney for president, John Dennis for Congress — and support the San Francisco Republican Party, whose materials her nonprofit proudly translated and publicized. Zhao, personally and via her nonprofits, has spent years denouncing rent control, championing the Ellis Act, and questioning whether city tenants have too much power. “Her whole family moved to San Francisco. She became a common small property owner. But she realized that rent-control policies in this city make landlords completely lose their property rights,” reads a 2017 profile of Zhao in the China Press. She now says she supports Proposition 10, which would repeal the Costa Hawkins Act and allow local California jurisdictions to adopt rent-control policies. As such, right-leaning members of the Chinese community have assailed her as two-faced. But, in an Aug. 23 World Journal article, Zhao makes a loaded statement: “She suggests to the Chinese community to see what she says later.” After she’s elected, that is. What Zhao is saying now, meanwhile, is that the attacks on her are tantamount to attacks on the Chinese community writ large — and her loss in November would portend nothing short of disenfranchisement for Chinese Americans, leading to out-and-out persecution:  “If Josephine Zhao, a new citizen, can be persecuted and labeled as a hater for things she said, then all of you, all immigrants, all of the outsiders who haven’t been politically educated in San Francisco, will become a plague,” she wrote to her supporters via WeChat. “Let alone election campaigns, in the future because we are politically incorrect, we would not be able to work in schools or government. We are collectively being wronged, are you going to stand by and watch, or are you going to come out and fight? It’s time to stand together with Josephine and defend our community. Please vote for Josephine Zhao on November 6th, use your votes to fight for justice!” Perhaps in this race for school board, San Francisco voters could do worse than remembering a Maya Angelou quote many of us learned in school: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”   Email Addresslast_img read more

Neighborhood Notes Galeria de la Razas new home takes shape

first_imgGaleria and HOMEY’s groundbreakingGaleria de la Raza’s new home — and the new site for HOMEY and 143 permanently affordable apartments — will break ground Friday, May 10, at the corner of 16th and Shotwell streets.The Mission Economic Development Agency and the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation are partners in the project, named Casa Adelante, at 1990 Folsom St. Galería de la Raza was forced out of its longtime home at 24th and Bryant streets last October by a steep rent hike. The gallery and event space is operating for now at 1470 Valencia St.“As cultural bearers, it is our duty to protect our traditions, rituals, sites, and to honor the social fabric and people that have contributed to the art & social movements of the Mission District,” Ani Rivera, Galería de la Raza’s executive director, said in a statement. “For Galería, [Casa Adelante] is a ‘renacimiento’ that offers us a permanent home where we will have the ability to build our assets and sustain over seven generations to come.” Construction is expected to finish in 2020, and tenants should be able to move in in early 2021. Community Music Center throws spring galaThe Community Music Center will host its spring gala on Saturday, May 11 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at The InterContinental Hotel San Francisco. This year’s honorees include James C. Hormel and Michael P. Nguyen, for their support of the CMC’s New Voices Bay Area TIGQ Chorus, and renowned pianist Robin Sutherland will perform. The event also includes a wine reception with performances from CMC faculty, a banquet dinner. CMC students will also entertain the crowd. Buy your tickets here. Mission Filmmaker Flores has IréLongtime Mission resident and Youth Speaks co-founder Paul S. Flores will debut his new theater production, We Have Iré, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on Friday, May 10. We Have Iré celebrates Afro-Cuban immigrants and Cuban-Americans who have accomplished a high level of excellence in the United States, Cuba, and abroad through hard work and iré–the Lucumí condition of being blessed with positive energy.We Have Iré tells the life stories of four Cuban artists–including Oakland’s DJ Leydis, Ramón Ramos Alayo of Alayo Dance Company and CubaCaribe, Grammy-nominated artist Yosvany Terry, and Flores himself–through dance, music and spoken word. As the show runs through May 12, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts will also host events in which the community can meet the cast during a Cuban happy hour, take free dance classes, and more. Buy your tickets here.A scene from Priced Out.Priced Out debuts at the RoxieAn animated series called Priced Out, about why housing is so expensive, will hold its world premiere at the Roxie Theater on Tuesday, May 14. The six-part animated series is set in San Francisco and follows a young high school teacher and pregnant tech gig worker looking for a new place to live. Although the story is local, it applies to many major cities across the country.Joseph Smooke and Dyan Ruiz, the co-founders of [people. power. media.], wrote, produced, and directed the series, and will be on hand at the premiere, along with the cast and crew, for a Q&A. Oscar Grande of PODER (People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights) and Pam Tau Lee of the Chinese Progressive Association will co-emcee the event.“Communities and organizations have been asking for years for a simple story that will change the increasingly polarized conversation about housing,” says Smooke. “While most people are distracted by the ‘YIMBY vs NIMBY’ debate, we lift the veil, exposing how the housing industry actually works.”The Roxie Theater is located at 3117 16th St. The event begins at 5:45 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m. Buy your tickets here. Mission Branch hosts open houseThe Mission Branch of the San Francisco Public Library will hold its annual open house on Saturday, May 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event includes fun for everyone: a magician, bubbles, origami and a live band. The branch is located at 300 Bartlett St., at 24th Street. Film about Puerto Rico’s Jurakán debutsFilmmakers Gonzalo Mazzini and Rosa Emmanuelli Gutierrez will be on hand Saturday, May 11 at 6 p.m. for the west coast premiere of Jurakán: Nacion en Resistencia at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts. The film documents rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico, and the movement to reclaim the island from venture capitalism and colonialism. Buy your tickets here. Email Addresscenter_img Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletterlast_img read more

THANK you to the fans who answered the Clubs surv

first_imgTHANK you to the fans who answered the Club’s survey on the kiosk catering at Langtree Park.As a result we are trialling some new food and drink and would appreciate your feedback going forward.On Friday:Kiosk 3 (Wide to West) and Kiosk 5 (The Marching Inn) will have a range of flavoured cider including Magners Mixed Berry, Bulmers Pressed Red Grape & Black Cherry to increase the offering at these popular bars.Kiosk 6 (The Kiwi Saint) will this week be selling Pimmies Pies, We are trying to use as many local suppliers as possible and Pimmies Steak & Kidney and Meat & Potato pies will be available in the North Stand.Kiosk 3, 4 (The Aussie Saint) and 6 (The Kiwi Saint) will also be stocking the Totally Wicked range of e-cigarette products this week.Recently, we’ve also began to sell McCoys Crisps, Starburst, Mars Bars and Twix to shake-up the confectionary range.We’ve also launched a new hotdog sausage, which despite it being shorter in size, is actually 10 grams heavier than its predecessor.And finally, we have removed burgers and pizzas from sale across the stadium due to the lack of success in their sales for the first half of the season.last_img read more

SAINTS are back in First Utility Super League acti

first_imgSAINTS are back in First Utility Super League action on Friday when they take on Salford at Langtree Park.As with all our home games this year, we have a host of entertainment both on and off the field to bring you the ultimate matchday experience.Game Schedule:Turnstiles – Open 5.15pm.St Helens Schools Final – The Year 7 Paul Wellens Cup will kick off at 5.30pm.Club Face Painters – These will be operating in the Typhoo and the Hattons Solicitors Family Stands, as well as the Totally Wicked North Stand from 6.30pm … come along and get your face painted in Saints colours for free!Kiosk Food – We have a great range of hotdogs, other great food and pies for you to enjoy. The latter have just been rated the best in Super League by Rugby AM. Pie and a Pint just £5 if you are a Member.Family Art Workshop – In association with Heart of Glass, there will be a workshop near the Steve Prescott MBC mural with all fans welcome.Boots – Your favourite furry mascot Boots will be in attendance in all the concourse areas from 7pm onwards so look out for him and say hello!Players – We will have a member of the first-team squad down in the concourses to meet fans and sign autographs. He will be in the South West concourse area at around 7pm, North Stand (7:15pm) and the South East (7:30pm). Look out for the life-size cutouts in the South West & North Stand to mark the spot where they will be!The Saints Angel Cheerleaders – Will be performing pre-game.Kick Off – 8pm.Half time – Kicking competition in association with ODs Designer Clothing.The match is sponsored by Robinsons Brewery whilst the MatchBall Sponsor is Exact Concrete.Team NewsKeiron Cunningham has named his 19-man squad for the match. You can find out more here whilst a big match preview of the game can be found here.TicketsTickets for the game are available from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park or by calling 01744 455 052. Price details are here.There will be cash turnstiles on the Hattons Solicitors West, Totally Wicked North and McLoughlin and Harvey East Stands.If you require a Solarking South Stand ticket then you need to head to the Ticket Office.Saints SuperstoreThe Saints Superstore is open from 9am up until kick off and then for half an hour afterwards. The twelfth edition of our fantastic match programme ‘Strength in Numbers’ will be on sale.It features an exclusive interview with Lama Tasi and a look back at recent events at Langtree Park. There’s also the latest news and views from around the club, our Academy and community teams. Today’s programme is available on the concourse as well as in the Saints Superstore and is sponsored by Warrington AudiStickers for this match are Andre Savelio and Ricky Bailey.TravelIf you haven’t planned your trip to Langtree Park, then take a look at our Travel Section for the best ways of getting to the stadium.Matchday Car Parking details are here.OD’s Crossbar ChallengeThe half time crossbar game returns with participants having the chance to win £100 in ODs vouchers.If you want to take part email the club at keepmeupdated@saintsrlfc.comlast_img read more

All have been rewarded for their efforts in the Re

first_imgAll have been rewarded for their efforts in the Red V this season and will be travelling to Australia on the bi-annual Academy Tour.They are:Josh Simm: Josh, 16, was named the Under 16s Player of the Year at Monday night’s End of Season Awards. He has signed a three-year contract after originally joining the club from Thatto Heath and plays in the back row and at centre. He also has played for England.Jack Welsby: Jack, 16, has agreed a three-year contract after joining the club from Blackbrook. He is a full back and half back who has also played for England.Matthew Foster: Matty, 16, has also signed a three-year contract. Like Jack, he originates from Blackbrook. He plays in the back row and has represented England.Brandon O’Neill: Brandon, 16, has put pen to paper on a two-year contract. He is a hooker who joined the club from Leigh Miners and Widnes Moorfield.Jake Wingfield: Jake, 16, is a utility player from Blackbrook. He played in Parramatta’s development system under Daniel Anderson after emigrating to Australia for a short while. He has also signed a two-year contract.Kye Siyani: Kye, 17, is a prop and back row forward. He has signed a two-year contract after coming to the club from Blackbrook.Kian Horridge: Hailing from Shevington, Kian, 16, is a prop forward who has agreed a two-year contract.Jamie Little: Jamie, 16, is a fullback from Blackbrook. He has signed a two-year contract.Derek Traynor, Head of Saints Academy, said: “Congratulations to all the players who have signed pro-terms with the club. They have been rewarded for their hard work and dedication in the Scholarship system and we are looking forward to seeing them progress on to the next stage in their professional development.“The contracts are testament to not only their attitude to our sport but also hard work of their Community Clubs, coaches and families. We work hard to bring talent into our system and therefore I must also thank the Scholarship staff, coaches and those that go out looking for talent in the community game.“These players are now working hard in readiness for our Tour of Australia and as the younger age bracket of the squad, will be looking to force their way into the line-up. We have no doubt they can.“We’re looking forward to seeing how they get on and then welcoming them into our Under 19s Academy next season.”last_img read more


first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Cape Fear area is full of history and tall tales, but who were the first settlers to come to our region?Check out the video above to learn about our Cape Fear history.- Advertisement – Then visit every 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month for another installment of “Cape Fear History & Mysteries.”last_img

More residents forced out of local apartments due to storm damage

first_img “Where are people going to put this stuff? Where are people going to go,” asked Charles Heggler.There are more questions than answers for residents.“At the end of the day we don’t want to put people in harm’s way and so it was a difficult decision to make but ultimately the right one for everyone’s safety and health,” said Molly McDonough.Related Article: Meet Fred: Man’s friendship with fish catches online attentionMcDonough is the Regional Director for Tribute Properties that oversees the apartments. Her staff found water and electrical damage in those five buildings around the complex. She said the damage is so severe they had very little of a choice but to pull the plug.“They just put a note on the door,” said Heggler.More than 100 people in these dozens of units now have to move out. Heggler’s mom is one of them.“There are some people coming home from work seeing this without any notice. There are some people who haven’t even returned yet,” Heggler said.We caught up with Heggler as he was buying moving boxes at Lowe’s. We agreed to not pry for comments by residents at the complex as McDonough asked. Many of them have to move out as much as a three bedroom apartment by Friday.“Right now it’s just a frenzy to get stuff packed up and moved,” said Heggler. “There wasn’t much time for this it was kind of like, ‘hey get your stuff out’”When they can come back remains uncertain.“Getting them out of an unsafe environment is our first response,” said McDonough, “Time frames, I can’t speak to that there is significant damage.”McDonough tells us FEMA did have personnel on site to aid in any way they could. She says, in the notice, the complex asked residents to contact the disaster relief agency as well as go to Hoggard High School’s shelter if the residents had no options.“Pretty much people have to move their stuff into tomorrow and by the end of Friday,” Heggler said adding that, “That’s not a whole lot OF time for somebody to move their life.”Tribute Properties has nearly a dozen complexes around the greater Wilmington area. They are responsible for projects like South Front. McDonough tells us the company is seeing if some of the residents can be paired to move to a sister complex. She says the company will try what they can to help, but for now it’s a matter of clearing out the units that were deemed unsafe. NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) – Another apartment complex in the Wilmington area is forced to displace residents after damage from Hurricane Florence.New Providence Park staff gave notice to residents in 5 buildings that the conditions in the units are not livable and that they have to move out.- Advertisement – last_img read more

SBA Administrator Linda McMahon to visit NC next week

first_img Across the state, the SBA has made over 1,900 loans totaling more than $73 million.James Rivera of the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Department says that 90 percent of the loans they are to homeowners.No word yet on areas McMahon will visit. However, she will be be on Good Morning Carolina Wednesday with more details. Linda McMahon – former chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment. Donald Trump’s pick for Administrator of the Small Business Administration. (Photo: Michael Vadon / CC BY-SA 2.0) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Small Business Administration announced Friday that it has made millions of dollars in loans following Hurricane Florence.Administrator Linda McMahon will visit North Carolina Tuesday and Wednesday to tour storm damage and meet with local recovery leaders.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Wrightsville Beach Strong vows to thank Hurricane Florence first responders

first_img Lisa Weeks with the Wrightsville Beach Foundation says the money will be distributed to the emergency needs of town employees impacted by the storm, and equipment and supplies for first responders not currently covered in the town budget.For Marianne Stokes of LM Restaurants the event is a chance to “have a good time and show town workers support for the endless hours they spent helping residents.The event is Thursday from 4 – 8 pm in the parking lot of Bluewater Grill on Wrightsville Beach. Food will be provided by Bluewater Grill and local breweries will be on hand to sample their fall brews. Also, there will be live entertainment and great raffle items.Related Article: US Open Fat Bike Beach Race may double in size in 2019Admission is free but a suggested donation of $25 or more is appreciated. If you cannot attend, please consider donating by clicking here. WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Say thank you to first responders at Wrightsville Beach at a fundraiser Thursday night.LM Restaurants is bringing together food, drinks and crowds of people to help those who helped residents during Hurricane Florence.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Meeting will discuss extending Independence Boulevard in Wilmington

first_imgProposed Independence Boulevard Extension (Photo: NCDOT) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — There’s a proposal to extend Independence Boulevard from Randall Parkway to Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway.The purpose of the 1.7 mile extension is to improve connectivity and capacity by providing an additional four-lane, north-south corridor, according to the NCDOT.- Advertisement – 1 of 2 This would be the third north-south connection in the city, and the only one to be in central Wilmington.Maps of the proposal area can be found here.The meeting will be held July 22 from 5 – 7 p.m. in the Rachel Freeman School of Engineering Multipurpose Rooms at 2601 Princess Place Drive in Wilmington.Related Article: Section of NC 210 near Elizabethtown to temporarily closePeople can drop in any time during the meeting to learn more about the proposal, have questions answered and talk with NCDOT representatives. There will not be a formal presentation.Written comments can also be submitted by phone, email or mail and will be accepted through August 19. For additional information or to submit comments, contact Krista Kimmell at 5501 Barbados Boulevard, Castle Hayne, NC 28429. You can also contact the project team through their toll-free hotline 1 (800) 233-6315.NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled persons who wish to participate in this workshop. Anyone requiring special services should contact Samantha Borges, Environmental Analysis Unit, at 1598 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1598, (919) 707-6115 or as early as possible.Those who do not speak English, or have a limited ability to read, speak or understand English, may receive interpretive services upon request prior to the meeting by calling 1-(800) 481-6494.center_img Alternative 1 Alternative 2last_img read more

Van Bronckhorst set to leave Feyenoord

first_imgFeyenoord have announced that their current coach, Van Bronckhorst, will step down at the end of the season. The former Barcelona, Arsenal and Rangers midfielder made more than 200 appearances in two separate spells for Feyenoord before joining the coaching set-up in 2011. He went on to win five trophies since becoming coach of the first team in 2015.Van Bronckhorst told the club’s website:“I’ve been thinking a lot about whether I want to stay for one or more years as head coach of Feyenoord after this season. That was a very difficult decision, because Feyenoord are in my heart.”“However, in my career I have always followed my feelings and my feeling now says I shouldn’t do that.”WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Patel Raab and Javid amongst members of new Johnsons cabinet

first_imgOn his first day as a Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has appointed key Brexiteers on his Cabinet and got rid of Jeremy Hunt’s supporters. This was reported by the Business Standard on Thursday.The same paper also reported that Johnson has appointed Priti Patel as Home Secretary, Dominic Raab as Foreign Secretary and effective Deputy Prime Minister, Sajid Javid as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Michael Gove as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.Many names come as no surprise following speculations by the Bristish media in the past days.WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

Facebook Testing Mobile VoIP Service in Canada – Report

first_imgAdvertisement According to a report published by Cellular News, Facebook has started tests of a VoIP based calling service within its mobile app, but only for users based in Canada at the moment.The mobile app for both iOS and Android smartphones has rolled out an upgrade that also includes the ability to record a voicemail and send it to other users.The mobile VoIP service is currently free of charge and marks the latest in a series of attempts by the company to generate revenues from its mobile user base. In order to expand the popularity of the service, the company recently opened its Messenger App to people who don’t have a Facebook account. – Advertisement – Canadians wanting to try out the VoIP service need to download the latest version of the Messenger App and then they can initiate call by pressing the “i” button in the top corner of the phone screen.The service relies though on the mobile users own mobile data plan – which could hold back attempts to launch the service in some countries were the networks routinely block VoIP services.last_img read more

Facebook To Test Facebook Lite In Africa and India

first_imgAdvertisement Not content with spinning out apps for stickers inside Messenger, Groups and new additionRooms, Facebook has launched another standalone app. Facebook Lite, which some may recall as a simplified version of its mobile website from 2009-2010, is specifically designed for low-end Android devices in emerging markets.TechCrunch understands that the app was quietly launched in a handful of countries in Asia and Africa over the weekend — Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Zimbabwe to be precise — where it is being testing with a view to further expansions. That said, a wider launch is not a certainty and Facebook could quietly can the project if it doesn’t believe it is worth pursuing.The app has been built to accommodate low-end and dated Android devices — it is just 252 KB in size — and those on 2G/poor quality internet connections. It’s based on Snaptu, Facebook’s feature phone client, but includes some native Android features, such as push notifications and camera integration, to make the experience a more sophisticated one. – Advertisement –  Why is Facebook launching yet another app? Smartphone sales are soaring in India, which was the fastest growing market in Asia Pacific in Q3 2014, while there’s huge potential in Africa and Southeast Asia where mobile will be (or already is) the primary internet platform for millions. Even though Facebook retooled its Android app specifically for emerging markets last year, it is making sure that it offers a good experience to any user not matter their device or network connection. (Android is the platform of choice for most smartphone owners in emerging markets since devices can cost upwards of $30.)Facebook already has its project, which provides free access to a range of mobile internet services including, of course, Facebook. is currently limited to a selection of countries in Africa at this point and, since it is being developed in partnership with carriers and other telecom industry players, launches are time and resource intensive: so why not pull together a ‘Lite’ app that can potentially be pushed to millions overnight, that’s Facebook’s thinking here.If you’re in one of the aforementioned eight countries where Facebook Lite has launched — and you have an Android phone — then you can check it out here.The early signs seem positive. The app has already crossed 10,000 downloads at the time of writing, with a 4.6 rating from an initial 693 reviewers.Credits: Techcrunchlast_img read more

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 And S6 Edge Plus Which Ones A Better

first_imgAdvertisement Samsung Electronics recently launched two new phablets; the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus and the latest addition to its Note series, the Galaxy Note 5. The unique design of S6 Edge has made it popular among tech enthusiasts around the globe, which pushed the company to launch a phablet version of the same device. Whereas, the Note series has been popular among smartphones patrons since the launch of the first Galaxy Note.The two new devices are remarkable when compared to the flagships in the smartphone industry; however, users might not really be able to choose between the two new devices as the specs which both the phablets host are pretty much similar. This being the reason we have decided to compare the two phablets and find out what differentiates them.Build and Design The first feature, which we have decided to evaluate is the design of both the phones. If you are familiar with the S6 Edge, then just picture it having a bigger screen and the same aluminum body covered with a glass on the back. Whereas, the latest Note device has the S6’s design, as it too has glass and aluminum back. To sum up one can say that Note 5 is exactly the same in terms of design as S6 Edge Plus, only that the screen is not curved on the sides. What users might hate about both the devices is that they have no options to replace their battery or to increase storage memory as the backs of both the devices are covered. – Advertisement – Hardware Components The build is not the only similar feature as company powers both of these phablets with Exynos 7420 processors and 4GB RAM. Keeping in view the hardware it is highly unlikely these smartphones will have any issue while handling heavy information or excessive gaming with 4GB of RAM and high end chipset under the hood. Users might not have the option to extend the storage capacity with an external SD card, but the built in 32GB capacity is enough for normal usage.Battery The major concern for most of the smartphones users is battery life, but it is not a thing to worry about if you own the S6 Edge Plus or Note 5 as both are packed with a 3000 mAh battery.Camera Another feature which is likely to confuse buyers is the camera, as both include a 16 megapixels rear and a 5 megapixels front shooter. Face-detection, autofocus and Auto-HDR are similar features of the camera on both the devices. However, Note 5 camera adds touch focus along with the above-mentioned features that are common among both the handsets.Additional features In terms of added feature, Note 5 comes with an accessory that sets the Note series apart from other phablets in the industry, a stylus. The stylus surely makes it a good buy, but if you choose Note 5 over S6 Edge because of it, then you will be missing out on the amazing curved display that the latter-mentioned device features. So technically, these are the main features that set the devices apart.Verdict As the above comparison clearly indicates that there is very less to differentiate the two high-end handsets. So it totally depends upon user preference, if one has previously been using the Note series, chances are high that you will end up buying the new Note 5. While if the Galaxy S Series has attracted you from the beginning, then the curve-edged screen is an added reason for you to get the S6 Edge Plus.[technewstoday]last_img read more

10 reasons why you should replace your iPhone with an Android phone

first_imgIn the battle for the world’s smartphones, Google is winning and this is why you should replace you iPhone with an android phone. Image Credit: TheGeeksClub Advertisement In the battle for the world’s smartphones, Google is winning.The company’s Android software runs more smartphones than any of its rivals, appearing on eight out of 10 smartphones sold worldwide between April and June, according to IDC.And there are very good reasons why the software is more popular than even Apple’s iOS, and now powers flagship phones from heavy-hitters Samsung, Sony, LG and HTC. – Advertisement – Below are the 10 best reasons to ditch your iPhone and go Google.The greatest escape: the back button It’s hard to speak highly enough of Android’s back button.Google-based phones are ruled by three icons: home, multi-tasking, and back. The latter can get you out of any navigational hole, can deliver you back to a familiar screen, and is the equivalent of Dorothy clicking her red shoes together.It makes for a much more intuitive app experience and it’s so easy to become completely reliant upon it. Life needs a back button.The biggest range of choices Even if you choose to invest in Google Android, the choice doesn’t stop there.Google phones come in many screen sizes (compact, regular, phablet), in finishes including plastic, metal and even leather, and most offer standout features.As its name suggests, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ is a large phone with a striking, curved screen. The Sony Xperia Z5 Compact packs advanced features into a 4.6-inch body, and Google’s own Nexus 6P is a large phone with a fingerprint sensor behind its screen.If you’re after a phone of a particular size or with an unusual feature, Google Android should be your choice.Google knows what you want to do next Apple’s voice assistant Siri can answer questions. Android’s Google Now feature can look into the future and suggest questions you need to ask.If you opt in to Google Now, it can alert you to upcoming matches involving your favourite sports team, news stories it thinks you’d like to read, travel time to your home and workplace, and it will send you alerts when it’s time to leave to make the next appointment in your online calendar.The feature becomes even more creepy/useful in its Google Now on Tap update in Android Marshmallow.When you’re viewing information you want to know more about, you can hold the home button to have Google Now on Tap scan the page and suggest a reminder, show definitions, or provide business addresses.Top-of-the-line cameras The Apple iPhone’s camera is good, but some Google Android cameras are arguably more advanced.The Sony Xperia Z5 offers a 23-megapixel camera with hybrid autofocus that locks on to its subjects in 0.3 of a second.The camera on LG’s G4 smartphone has a wide f1.8 aperture, 16-megapixel resolution, and laser-guided autofocus.And Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 has a 16-megapixel camera can open and take a photo in just two seconds using its Quick Start feature.Wireless charging for power and credit cards The future is already inside many Google Android phones, and it’s a future without wallets and charging cables.Phones like Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and Motorola’s Nexus 6 can be powered up by placing them on to a wireless charging pad — a convenient addition if it’s on your office desk or by your bedside.Many Android phones are also equipped with NFC chips and are ready to be used astap-and-pay debit or credit card in Australia right now. Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank both deliver the functionality in their Android apps.Actual, genuine multi-tasking Google phones can do more than one thing at a time, while Apple iPhones don’t quite do it all.It’s the reason why you can run two apps on one screen in some Android phones (Samsung’s Galaxy Note range offers this), why you can view YouTube videos in miniature, why you can load web pages in a pop-up bubble while doing something else (the Link Bubble app), and why widgets load new information before you go looking for it.It makes for a smoother, more up to date experience.[related-posts]Safe from unexpected dunking You cannot dunk an iPhone in water and expect good things.Some Android phone makers will challenge you to wash down your smartphone, however.The recently released Sony Xperia Z5 promises to survive a short dip in freshwater even though it no longer needs a cap on its charging port, and Motorola’s Moto Galso omits fiddly caps, can dive into 1m of water for 30 minutes and comes at a price of just $369.Apps delivered straight from the web It’s not as well publicised as other Google Android’s other benefits, but Android phone users can order apps remotely from the worldwide web.Visit the Google Play Store online, and you can peruse new and recommended apps, tap install on the apps you like, and select your phone from the drop-down menu.When you next check your phone, the app is installed and waiting for you.It’s an added convenience and one that makes it easier to find the best app for you.Information at a glance Android has enjoyed this benefit over iPhones for years: widgets.Google phone users can add constantly updating app displays to their homescreens for quick, convenient access to their calendars, Twitter trends, weather forecasts, photo galleries and more.These widgets can be big or small, act as shortcuts to features like a phone’s torch light, and deliver handy customisations.One charger to rule them all Need to charge your Android phone, your camera, and your noise-cancelling headphones on a trip? Pack one Micro USB charger. Done.Unlike Apple, Google Android phones use standard, universal charging cables, ensuring there’s often a power lifeline wherever you roam.Google may be transitioning to USB-C with its new Nexus phones, but even those cables are a universal standard.[]last_img read more

6 Steps Developers Need To Take To Harness The Internet Of Things

first_imgPicture: Showing are the Kenyan software developers participating in a hackathon organised by Nokia in June 2012. However, Internet of Things has commanded the attention of developers and tech professionals alike. Image Credit: Developlocal Advertisement With the promise of limitless applications, the Internet of Things has commanded the attention of developers and tech professionals alike. In fact, Google just announced that its new Brillo operating system is designed specifically to position Google as a key player in this burgeoning field. Brillo could help business users harness the Internet of Things with next-generation devices. But how can developers join the movement now?Currently, developing an Internet of Things app can take years. Developers often have to start from scratch, slowing down the time to market considerably. And with the added difficulties of producing hardware, establishing secure and consistent connectivity, and communicating across multiple devices, innovating within the Internet of Things might seem out of reach.Here are four IoT setbacks you can expect to encounter: – Advertisement – Connectivity IoT devices connect over a variety of transport layers, use countless protocols, and support a variety of configuration options. Keep in mind that many devices will have small processors and low memory—even with Brillo promising to overcome that hurdle. Because this data travels over the Internet, getting your first device up and running with your new Internet of Things application is incredibly challenging.Concurrency To support connectivity, these applications must be highly concurrent. But concurrent application development is one of the most taxing disciplines in computer science right now. Most developers do not have experience writing concurrent code, making even the simplest Internet of Things application difficult to develop.Poor Internet Infrastructure Many countries have poor Internet and cellular infrastructures. Even in the U.S., network infrastructure lags behind its European counterparts, and as more connected devices enter the market and absorb more bandwidth, the current Internet infrastructure might not be able to keep up.Privacy Concerns As more governments expose their online methods for combatting external threats, many consumers have become distrustful of connected devices and the apps we use to run them. That may impact the companies developing them. While some manufacturers are working to lessen the risk with embedded hardware security technology, these trepidations will not go away with hardware solutions alone.[related-posts]Overcoming Hurdles Internet applications are practically limitless. Today, all developers can bring their innovative ideas to life using modern development tools and empowering languages. But to prepare your application architecture and infrastructure to weather the Internet of Things storm, consider these six steps:Fail fast. No one will get it right the first time. The faster you fail, the more quickly you can learn from your mistakes. Then, when the time is right, your app will be ready to shine. Look into languages and technologies that promote a rapid pace of development, like Google Weave.Google Weave, announced alongside Brillo at Google’s I/O conference in May, is a common language for devices that will streamline the process for development by allowing all devices in the home to connect and understand each other. While it won’t be out until the fourth quarter of this year, it may be beneficial to start researching and comparing it to other languages as more information about the communications standard is revealed.Think in terms of scale. You could have 10 devices connecting one day and 100,000 the next, so you need to be able to handle the load switch. And because the Internet of Things relies heavily on unbroken connectivity, you also need software that can accommodate updates without disrupting the user experience.Hardware used to be a limiting factor, but with new machines built for horizontal scaling (i.e., they can talk to one another), you can now minimize downtime. If possible, build your app on a NoSQL data store. NoSQL technologies allow you to scale up your application using commodity hardware.Use binary messages. If the device you’re planning to integrate supports custom binary encoding instead of ASCII encoding, use it. Custom binary-encoded messages significantly reduce your app’s bandwidth requirements, which lowers costs.Host your app in different geographic regions. If you can route data to a datacenter that agrees with customers’ sensibilities, you can provide faster response times and have some flexibility when dealing with privacy concerns.Choose a language or technology that enables rapid prototyping.Many apps are still being built in Java and C#, but these languages do not always provide the flexibility needed in the fast-paced environment of the Internet of Things. Languages like Scala, Clojure, and Ruby support rapid development due to their minimal syntax, REPL, and more advanced language features.Outsource what you can. Many new tools on the market can serve as the foundation for building your application. Some tools, for example, can give developers an easy way to make device messages JSON accessible through RESTful APIs, allowing you to focus on your project without diving into networking, parsing, or concurrency.By locating the right tools, you’ll have much more time to focus on your big idea and deliver a superior user experience.Unlike in traditional app development, the Internet of Things is still in its infancy, so few frameworks and prewritten code exist for you to draw from. Google, Samsung, and Apple have only just started announcing their steps toward making the Internet of Things a priority in their software and hardware development. Needless to say, building connected apps will take some ingenuity.But do not let the challenges surrounding the Internet of Things deter you from capitalizing on its potential. Computer science has the ability to meet consumers’ connectivity demands. By diving into the pain points associated with the Internet of Things and researching solutions to combat these throughout your development journey, you can help blaze the trail for this revolution.[ReadWrite]last_img read more