Brace’s Bakery is to scale back its logistics operation, with the potential loss of 37 jobs.The Welsh plant baker said supermarket chains increasingly wanted to handle products though regional distribution centres, which meant it had renegotiated contracts with some of its big customers. MD Mark Brace said: “We’ve had to calculate the cost benefits, and their requirements, to form a change in our policies, and reduce some of our distribution work.”This means the delivery site in Crumlin, which transports products to customers around South Wales and the west of England, will need up to 20 fewer vehicles and 37 fewer staff.Brace said the company would still deliver to smaller independent and branded shops, keeping on between 80-90 distribution staff and 50 vehicles ditching mainly the heavy-duty articula-ted lorries. He added: “We have to respond to the demands of our customers and, for those who already run a distribution service, it makes environmental and economical sense for them to collect their goods directly from us to cut down food miles and transport costs.”A consultation period with those workers affected has begun and while Brace said the decision was a difficult one, he hoped the company would be able to increase its workforce through manufacturing growth. Brace’s employs 330 people and is currently recruiting production staff as volumes are increasing.The firm supplies a range of bread and morning goods including Brecon Baps and Jam Welsh Cakes.
With major tour plans set in motion for The Avett Brothers this summer, the folk-influenced group have announced the release of a brand new album. Titled True Sadness, the new work will be released on June 24th, and will feature a “contemporary chapter” in the band’s blossoming career.The announcement of the album comes with an emotional note, penned by Seth Avett. In it, the Avett brother talks about the band’s steady rise to fame, reflecting all the while. You can read Seth Avett’s note, posted on the band’s website, below:
Tags:#NYT#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Gesticulating Morozov photo by Nurgeldy | samizdat via Raquel Baranow | quadriga photo by Martin | Slacker poster from Wikipedia | Da Vinci drawing from Wikimedia Commons Opportunities and VulnerabilitiesAs the founder of the Committee to Protect Bloggers, the first organization devoted to the safety and liberty of bloggers worldwide, I was always acutely aware of how vulnerable social media users were. The majority of people we found who were getting arrested initially were doing so because they made no effort to hide their names, believing that what they were doing was in some sense “private.” Not only was it not private, the truth was that governments were watching the web. These days, tech savvy oppressors use filtering, special state security investigators and an invariably friendly relationship with the (largely American) creators of this technology to hunt down and seize those trouble-makers who do not have the politesse to write out their full name. So Morozov’s notion that both the public and diplomats overemphasize the power of the social web to effect democratic change may seem discordant given the Jasmine Uprising that has (perhaps) successfully changed Tunisia and Egypt. But I don’t think it is. Here’s why:Although some in those countries, most prominently Wael Ghonim, have advertised how much Facebook in particular was instrumental in effecting the changes there, most of their compatriots it seems do not. I think their compatriots were right. Not because the people were the agents of change, although they were. But because the social tools were used not as mysterious planes of soul-changing existence through which the people or country passed, but as communications tools that amplified and extended what the people were already doing. In this respect, the social web is extremely important to democratic change. Of course it is. Communication is paramount. But it’s important because it is, used well, an extremely effective tool not article of faith. Samizdat OK. Back to the book. Morozov makes the argument that the current belief in the redemptive effects of communications technologies comes from the U.S. experience of the cold war, in which copy machines and fax machines were smuggled into the U.S.S.R. That, combined with the enduring fiction that Reagan, and not the “structural conditions and the inherent contradictions of the Soviet system” were responsible for that country’s downfall, has led the diplomats and politicians of the U.S. to the belief that next generation technology and a strong leader will do the same thing for Islamist states and post-colonial dictatorships. That belief, Morozov claims, is unrealistic. I agree. Further, I believe that if your mission is change, as well as preservation of life, extension of liberty (whether domestically or internationally) and you favor your hugable ideology over effectiveness, you’re in the wrong business. Even those who are self-declared pragmatists can number among those Morozov calls “Internet centrists,” people who place the tool over the cultural and political contexts necessary for real change. Those folks can retard change toward democracy as much as any of the ideologically ham-strung. This combination of cyber-utopianists and Internet centrists create what the author calls the Net Delusion. His book attempts to salvage the Internet as a tool for social change by acknowledging this delusion. Morozov examines Iran’s “green revolution,” as a case study for overemphasizing the effect of the social web and efforts of change. He mentions the empathy that witnessing the protests with less mediation than normal gave people a feeling of investment. “(S)uch networked intimacy may have also greatly inflated popular expectations of what it could actually achieve.”What it actually achieved was, arguably, not much, not on the ground for those who took part. Yet the discussion of Twitter, of how this was a “Twitter revolution” was widespread and non-stop. Panem et Circenses In his chapter “Orwell’s Favorite Lolcat,” Morozov points up a thing we tend to gloss over if we spend any time online reading, or participating in, instances of democratic change. Most people don’t. And even we do not spend most of our time doing any such thing. If I have a minute, am I more likely to read Foreign Policy or the Libyan Twitter stream; or am I more likely to read a quick post on io9? The latter. And I’m not alone. For most governments, and perhaps repressive ones more than others, the use of the Internet as a modern arena for ludicrous and distracting ludi is a salvation.The Western notion that informational outreach to repressed nations would create revolution is, Morozov says, off-base. The wall between “I’d like those blue jeans” and “I’m willing to risk jail and torture” is extremely high. Not to mention the fact that, if information as a whole is tainted, you probably aren’t going to accept a new information stream from that same tainted well. The Anti-Bloggers FundIran and China have large, competent cadres of technical types and hackers who serve the state. Some search out, shame, report and censor their fellows. Others engage in more overt attacks, country-to-country. Egypt had, at least prior to its uprising, a group called the Anti-Facebook Police. The Cuban government called upon its “journalists” to man the PR ramparts. And Nigeria tried to set up the Anti-Bloggers Fund. “(It was) intended to raise a new generation of pro-government bloggers to engage in online battles with anti-government opponents.” There are people who fear change, others who believe in the ideology or family that’s in charge of their countries, or fear those who they believe would fill the vacuum. Still others simply need the cash. The social web allows a repressive government to employ people to muddy the social media waters. In other words, social communications technologies are a double-edged sword and governments have long ago lost any reticence they may have had to swing it. Slacktivism At the Committee to Protect Bloggers, we quickly discovered that the blogosphere was good for one important thing, one unimportant thing and little else. The important thing was quickly attracting attention to the plight of an imprisoned or threatened blogger. The unimportant thing was racking up clicks on a petition. The “little else” we did was not a function of the distributed nature of the blogosphere but old-fashioned activism. For instance, we found – through friends and phone calls – an attorney from Shirin Ebadi’s Nobel Prize-winning practice willing to represent a young Iranian accused of “immorality” (he had posted satirical pictures of Iran’s leaders). This was not a crowdsourced activity. By definition, it could never be. Raising awareness to a point where coverage by news organs of social media users’ troubles is common was a good thing. But it was what it was. It was limited. People will click a button to “free” someone. It makes them feel good. But has button-pushing ever freed anyone? I think it’s the longer-term activities, that use the social web as a tool to, again, amplify and extend the reach of the people behind them, that creates change. The efforts by governments like the U.S. to encourage the formation of Facebook groups devoted to democratic change are on a par with a business telling its social media specialist, “Do us up one of them ‘viral videos.’” Wishing does not make it so. If the social web has a role to play in change it is, again, probably in the area of communicating information to a group of people predisposed to positively receive that change. This happened recently in Tunisia and Egypt. It is not happening to speak of in Saudi Arabia. The reason is, it is not Facebook per se that makes a difference, it is the people in their specific context. Technology is NeutralIn his conclusion, Morozov warns against the “banal” belief that technology can be neutral. “(C)ertain technologies, by their very constitution, are more likely to to produce certain social and political outcomes than other technologies.”We are obliged to regard the “affordances” of these technologies. Affordances are the perceived qualities of action inherent in objects or technologies, such as the affordance of sitting a chair possesses. Comparing the affordances in a technology should give us an idea as to its overall utility, or danger. Morozov rejects the notion that the technology itself is neutral, that it depends wholly on who is using it for its ethical coloring. “(U)nder no circumstances should we be giving technologies – whether it’s the Internet or mobile phones – a free pass on ethics.”Asserting that “because it can be done, it will be done” technologically, Morozov warns policymakers, and us as adjuncts to them, to analyze the affordances of information technology prior to promoting them as tools for democratic change. When we examine issues of democratic change, stop the cyber-utopianism, stop the Internet centricity and stop to consider the implications of what a product or process can do. In other words, stop believing and start examining. While you may be able to believe a non-existent thing into being, you cannot believe an untrue thing into truth. If we wish to encourage the creation of native democracies, we may wish to spend carefully on training and strategy (on people, in other words) instead of blindly on machines. Morozov’s “cyber-realism” encourages thoughtful consideration not of sociological ideas, but of specific situations and how a given technology might effect them. The former, in the end, are hard to get wrong, given their squishy vagueness. The latter, in the end, are hard to get right, but when you do, you change the world. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Evgeny Morozov‘s book, “The Net Delusion,” is a condemnation of what he calls “cyber-utopianism.” This is the belief that the social web is so sui generis that its essential difference alone will save those who use it from repression and tyranny. Indeed, it may have seemed like that at the beginning. But as even third-rate tin-horn dictators learn from the pioneers in the field of online tyranny, these technologies have become as much a tool of oppression as they ever were of liberation. The problem is, much of the public, and a great many influential western politicians and diplomats, still believe it is the way and the light. I should, at this point, state for the record that I am a terrible book reviewer. I love books but I hate reviewing them. This book has glowered at me across the expanse of my desk for weeks. I admire people who can make tidy little essays based on the books they read. That’s not me and that’s not this review. I’m going to examine the book and say what I think. Don’t expect more. Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… curt hopkins
Crouch: Spurs just suffering blipby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Tottenham striker Peter Crouch insists their poor start to the season is just a “blip”.He wrote for the Daily Mail: “(Mauricio) Pochettino is the best thing that has happened to Tottenham in 20 years. I say that as someone who was at the club in the late 1990s and, again, 10 years later when Harry Redknapp took charge: I’ve seen good and bad times first hand and I know what I’m seeing now.”This is a blip, nothing more. I was at Leicester seven days ago and I didn’t see too much wrong with their performance. “They should, really, have won that game and I will argue with anyone who thinks VAR was brought in to decide offside calls like the one which went against Son Heung-min.”
Aaron Connolly grateful to Brighton boss Graham Potterby Paul Vegas6 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveAaron Connolly is grateful to Brighton boss Graham Potter for his first team chance.Potter seems committed to blooding academy graduates, fielding nine in the recent EFL Cup game against Aston Villa.Connolly told the Daily Mail: “The previous manager [Chris Hughton] gave me my debut against Barnet and I will never say a bad word about him. But this new gaffer is a breath of fresh air. “He has looked after me and Steve. We were hoping for that chance to impress. He showed a lot of faith in us by letting other players leave the club. It’s all about repaying that trust now.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
zoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pxhere under CC0 Creative Commons license Ship management company Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) and capital market company Techstars are jointly launching the world’s first global MaritimeTech startup accelerator, the EPS MaritimeTech Accelerator Powered by Techstars.To be based in EPS’ headquarters in Singapore, this mentorship-driven startup accelerator partnership will be the first of its kind to target the maritime industry.“The merchant maritime industry is one of the oldest in the world, yet advancements in the business come slowly, lagging behind the latest technological trends that other mature industries readily adopt,” Gil Ofer, Business Development Manager of EPS, said.“Eastern Pacific Shipping aims to address this long-standing issue by partnering with Techstars to launch the world’s first global MaritimeTech accelerator to cultivate and mentor the next generation of entrepreneurs in an industry that is ripe for disruption,” Ofer added.From April 2019, the EPS MaritimeTech Accelerator Powered by Techstars will accept applications from startups around the world and ultimately select ten companies – including the most promising Singapore and regional early-stage ventures – to participate in the inaugural class.In November 2019, the class will gather in EPS’ headquarters in Singapore for an intensive three-month program of research and development, mentorship, and collaboration. The accelerator will culminate in February 2020 with a demo day wherein every startup will pitch its newly polished business to an audience of venture capitalists, corporate innovation leaders and industry experts with the goal of facilitating investment in the companies while broadening and energizing the local entrepreneurial community.“This partnership is a great match for Techstars, and we’re thrilled to partner with EPS in the world’s maritime and shipping capital and present the market with a catalyst for innovation in this industry. We’re excited to further expand the Techstars brand and network in the APAC region and look forward to working with EPS to support entrepreneurs in their journey to transform this enormous industry,” Will Robinson, VP of Asia-Pacific Sales at Techstars, said.Entrepreneurs focused on disrupting the maritime industry with technologies related to regulations, fuel efficiency, vessel operations, digitalization, navigation and other subthemes are encouraged to apply, according to the two companies.Separately, Eastern Pacific informed that the first vessel in EPS managed fleet was equipped with an exhaust gas cleaning system. The ship in question is the 176,943 dwt Capesize bulk carrier, Mount Faber. Last year, EPS received a loan from BNP Paribas to facilitate the installation of scrubbers on its fleet.
Two retail companies want an Ontario court to allow them to exercise their co-tenancy rights and change their rental agreements at malls where failed anchor tenant Sears Canada left a vacancy.Gap Inc., which owns Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy, and the Children’s Place filed notices of motion earlier this month asking the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to lift a stay on their co-tenancy rights.The stay has cost Gap about $1.75 million, according to court documents, and the Children’s Place nearly $200,000 per month.A co-tenancy right in a lease can give a retailer the right to reduce or restructure its rent if certain specified anchor tenants vacate the mall or reduce their square footage below a specific threshold, according to the documents. In some cases, it can allow a company to terminate its lease without any penalties.The court ordered a stay on those rights in June 2017 for any property where Sears Canada owns or operates a store, office or warehouse.The court granted the stay after the applicants — the company’s creditors — argued the stay was necessary and appropriate to mitigate the effects on the landlords and maintain the status quo during restructuring.The stay is in effect until Dec. 18 this year, according to documents.The retailers want the court to declare the stay no longer in effect once Sears Canada no longer owns or operates space in a shopping centre, or to nullify it.Sears Canada closed its last remaining stores Jan. 14 of this year after spending much of 2017 attempting to reinvent itself and bring in traffic.Gap operated 256 stores in Canada as of this April with 22 currently affected by the stay, according to documents.Meanwhile the Children’s Place operates 126 retail locations in the country, according to documents, and 18 of those are impacted by the stay.The motions are scheduled to be heard in October.Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.
WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the next round of trade negotiations with China will likely occur later this month in Washington.Mnuchin told reporters that Vice Premier Liu He was expected to lead a delegation to Washington “later in the month.”The Treasury secretary says that the partial government shutdown “would have no impact” on the efforts to reach a trade deal by a March 1.The Trump administration has suspended the imposition of planned tariff increases on $200 billion of Chinese goods until March 1 to give negotiators time to reach a wide-ranging agreement.Mnuchin did not provide a specific date for the talks, but The Wall Street Journal quoted unnamed sources as saying the tentative date for the meeting was Jan. 30-31.Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press
Many people believe that baby boxes are also a safer alternative to a crib and can help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), but to this point, there has not been enough research to prove this theory. One reason many have adopted the baby box idea is due to Finland’s low infant mortality rate which sits at 1.7 deaths per 1000 babies. This number is compared to the global rate which is 30.5 deaths per 1000 babies.Residents looking to receive a baby box must complete the online course www.babyboxuniversity.com. For more information visit the baby box website or contact the North Peace Child Care Resource and Referral at (250)785-5701.Baby Box Flyer. Photo by FSJ Family Friendly Early Year’s Facebook Page. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John’s Family Friendly Coalition has partnered with the North Peace Child Care Resource and Referral to bring residents baby boxes.A baby box is a box with a thin mattress and fitted sheet for newborn babies. The box also includes a bag of starter items like diapers and wipes. The beauty of the baby box program is that all boxes are free of charge.Baby boxes originated in Finland as a cheap and easy way to keep parents from having their newborn baby sleep in their bed. Baby boxes are essentially a temporary crib for families who don’t own or can’t afford one.
VANCOUVER, B.C. – Environment and Climate Change Canada says 32 weather temperature records were broken yesterday, March 18th in B.C and the Yukon.When looking at the Environment of Canada’s website, FSJ’s highest recorded temperature for March 18th was documented between 1942-2012 as 11.8 C and yesterday the temperatures reached 13.5 C. Areas close to FSJ that also saw record-breaking temperatures were; Chetwynd’s new record is 15.5 from 13.9 in 2015, records started in 1970 Fort Nelson’s new record is 16.6 from 10.6 in 1960, records started in 1937Bobby Sekhon, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, says we can expect to see this warm trend in temperatures to continue all this week and into next week.For more information on FSJ warm weather trend; CLICK HERE