richard macmanus Tags:#2009 in Review#Polls#web#Year in Review Related Posts Top 100 Web Products of 2009, Alphabetical Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting We’re down to the final day of voting for ReadWriteWeb’s reader-selected Top 10 Web Products of 2009. You can vote for up to 10 products, from a list of 100 selected by the ReadWriteWeb authors over December. Make your picks in the poll embedded below. You can cast up to 10 votes. If you don’t see one of your favorites in the list, note it in the comments and we’ll count that as a vote too.The year’s top 10 products, as selected by the RWW community, will be announced tomorrow. Here is the current top 10, in alphabetical order:UPDATE: The poll is now closed, CLICK HERE TO SEE RESULTS. Adobe AIRFacebookFeedlyGoogle AppsGoogle ChromeGoogle MapsHuluiPhone platformTwitterWordPress A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
My father owned a local hardware store for almost thirty years, and I have fond memories of hanging out and working there, with the locally owned stationery story, movie theater, pharmacy, and grocery on the same block. Each successive block was also populated primarily with independently owned businesses, usually operated by their owners, most of whom lived nearby. Most businesses were local; when you went to a different town, the stores were noticeably different.During the last few decades, locally owned businesses have steadily given way to chain retail stores and restaurants consistently providing us with the same, usually bland, experience no matter where or when we stop to make a purchase. Now, it appears, the recent “golden age” of retail seems to be coming to an end.Are empty stores the canary in the coal mine?Lately I’ve noticed just how much empty retail space is out there, waiting, mostly likely in vain, for someone to rent it and help the landlord pay the bills. Just today I passed a strip shopping center with a recently vacated Borders and a former Circuit City that has been empty for years.Even before the 2008 financial meltdown, I heard reports that the country had in the range of twice the retail space that our combined purchasing power could support. Who knows what that figure is now?I am both delighted and saddened by the demise of many of these large retail chains. I usually do my best to shop at local businesses; however, it is becoming increasingly difficult since most of them are limited to boutiques and restaurants. In all but the densest cities (and now even in some of those), big box discount stores crush any potential local competition in terms of price, selection, and hours of operation. With few, if any, owner-operators working in stores, there is little pride in the quality of service left. Customers often end up with poor service as a result.The big leapSo, what does this have to do with green building? Well, I’m not exactly sure, but I’ll do my best to make a connection. It seems to me that the prevalence of big box stores is directly related to what I refer to as the recent era of “wretched excess” that our country experienced. As did most of us, I benefited from this behavior, fueled by easy credit and a desire for more, bigger, and (theoretically) better stuff, homes, vacations, and the like.Until recently, homes increased in size every year while generally going down in cost due to improvements in material production, low labor costs, and generally poor quality control in the field. These bigger houses required more stuff to fit in them, a need very adequately filled by big box stores selling lots of stuff pretty cheap.To me, one of the saddest things that has happened to society is that we have become addicted to having lots of shiny, mostly cheap, stuff. I get incredibly frustrated when something breaks and repairing it is almost impossible, because replacing it is cheaper. To a certain extent, this was the case with houses, at least until recently. Most homes built in the last few decades have been of relatively poor quality, purchased by people who expected to flip them in a few years for a profit and move on to the next, bigger, and “better” one.Now that this particular paradigm is gone, we need to decide what to do with all the poorly built homes people are stuck in and also figure out how to start building high-value homes that people want to buy and can afford to live in for the long term.Can we turn these lemons into lemonade?Sarah Susanka has been pushing her Not So Big House concept for about a decade or so, with great success in terms of book sales. But as a movement, changes have been modest.Green building and renovation have been around for a little longer, making steady progress until recently. In a depressed industry, though, green certifications are one of the first things to go to save money and remain competitive.Smaller, better built, greener homes are the right way to go, but most of us seem to be pathologically incapable of making the best long-term decisions for ourselves. We typically opt for a home that is larger than we need, in a location that requires more driving than necessary, and one that is not necessarily green, typically meaning higher lifetime operating costs. Many people are being forced into smaller homes and apartments, often unwillingly, and many of them are finding that they are as happy as or even happier than they were in their former starter castles.Now if we can get them to buy or renovate to green standards, we might begin to see some systemic changes in our housing industry.
Three youths were killed when they were clicking selfies on a railway track, about 2 km from Panipat railway station in Haryana, a senior Government Railway Police official said on Wednesday. They were clicking selfies on the track between Panipat and Babarpur railway stations on the Delhi-Ambala route on Monday evening, he said. The deceased were identified as Sunny, Chaman and Kishan, all relatives, in age group of 18-20 years, GRP (Panipat) Station House Officer M.S. Dabas said. Sunny and Chaman were residents of a colony in Panipat while Kishan belonged to Uttar Pradesh, he said.The three had gone to a park along with another relative Dinesh, from Delhi, who had a miraculous escape. From the park, the four moved on to the railway track located behind it to click selfies, Mr. Dabas said.Miraculous escape “All the four were sitting on a track and on seeing an approaching train jumped towards the other track without realising that Delhi-Kalka passenger train was fast approaching on it,” he said. While three of them were crushed, Dinesh had a miraculous escape as he jumped on the other side of the track, the GRP official said, adding the body parts lay strewn 10-20 metres from the incident site. The mortal remains were handed over to the respective families of the deceased after the post-mortem examinations on Tuesday.
Calling it her “one-year birthday wish,” ABC’s “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts is asking people to join the Be The Match Registry® in celebration of the life-saving bone marrow transplant she received last September.This appeal for registry members, captured in a new public service announcement (PSA), is Roberts’ latest effort to raise awareness about Be The Match®, the nonprofit organization dedicated to helping patients with blood cancers like leukemia receive life-saving bone marrow and umbilical cord blood transplants.The new PSA premiered on “GMA” on Sept. 20. It builds on a series of PSAs, outdoor advertisements and more that Roberts has embarked on since partnering with Be The Match in 2012.Roberts began her crusade to recruit bone marrow donors shortly following her announcement on national television that she was battling myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and would need a bone marrow transplant to survive. Though her sister Sally-Ann was a perfect match, Roberts has worked tirelessly to raise awareness, hoping that other patients may find their perfectly matched donors.These efforts have ignited an incredible, and unprecedented, outpouring of support for Be The Match, with tens of thousands of people joining the registry as potential bone marrow donors. To recognize Roberts for all that she has done to help blood cancer patients everywhere, Be The Match recently honored Roberts with its Rod Carew Leadership Award—an award reserved for individuals who have made a profound difference in the lives of patients and their families through their leadership and commitment to Be The Match’s mission.Be The Match Honors ABC’s Robin Roberts with its Rod Carew Leadership AwardCredit/Copyright: PRNewsFoto/Be The Match“I was fortunate to receive a life-saving bone marrow transplant from my sister. But when I learned about the great need for bone marrow donors, especially in the African American community, I knew there was an important message to spread,” Roberts said in accepting the award via video on Sept. 21, during the sixth annual Be The Match Tribute fundraising event in Minneapolis. “I’ve been humbled by those people who’ve gone on to donate after hearing about my experiences, and it’s an honor to receive an award that bears Rod’s name and legacy.”Rod Carew, the baseball Hall-of-Famer, has been a leading advocate for a diverse donor registry since losing his daughter, Michelle, to leukemia in 1996. No one in Michelle’s family could provide a match, and their many efforts to find a suitable unrelated donor were unsuccessful.“Robin is a symbol of leadership and courage. She overcame incredible obstacles and continues to advocate on behalf of blood cancer patients,” said Jeffrey W. Chell, M.D., chief executive officer of Be The Match. “We are grateful for her support, amazed by her grace and honored to present her with the Rod Carew Leadership Award.”Robin Roberts’ Prayer For Protection wristbands at ShopBeTheMatch.org and Sephora – Time Square.Credit/Copyright: PRNewsFoto/Be The MatchIn addition to Robert’s awareness efforts, more than 325,000 “Robin Roberts’ Prayer for Protection” wristbands—designed by Roberts’ friends—have been sold to-date. One hundred percent of the net proceeds support the Be The Match mission to save lives through bone marrow transplants. The wristbands are available for purchase in packs of five for $5 at ShopBeTheMatch.org and two Time Square Sephora locations in New York City. Starting in mid-October, the wristbands also will be available for purchase online on the “Good Morning America” page at the official ABC TV Fan Store.About Be The MatchFor people with life-threatening blood cancers—like leukemia and lymphoma—or other diseases, a cure exists. Be The Match connects patients with their donor match for a life-saving marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant. People can contribute to the cure as a member of the Be The Match Registry, financial contributor or volunteer. Be The Match provides patients and their families one-on-one support, education, and guidance before, during and after transplant.Be The Match is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), a nonprofit organization that matches patients with donors, educates health care professionals and conducts research so more lives can be saved. To learn more about the cure, visit BeTheMatch.org or call 1 (800) MARROW-2.Source:PR Newswire
WASHINGTON — Below is the statement the Fed released Wednesday after its policy meeting ended:Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in November indicates that the labour market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a strong rate. Job gains have been strong, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has remained low. Household spending has continued to grow strongly, while growth of business fixed investment has moderated from its rapid pace earlier in the year. On a 12-month basis, both overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy remain near 2 per cent. Indicators of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance.Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee judges that some further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate will be consistent with sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labour market conditions, and inflation near the Committee’s symmetric 2 per cent objective over the medium term. The Committee judges that risks to the economic outlook are roughly balanced, but will continue to monitor global economic and financial developments and assess their implications for the economic outlook.In view of realized and expected labour market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 per cent.In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its maximum employment objective and its symmetric 2 per cent inflation objective. This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labour market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments.Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Jerome H. Powell, Chairman; John C. Williams, Vice Chairman; Thomas I. Barkin; Raphael W. Bostic; Michelle W. Bowman; Lael Brainard; Richard H. Clarida; Mary C. Daly; Loretta J. Mester; and Randal K. Quarles.The Associated Press
CALGARY, A.B. – Calgary-based CEDA announced today that it has acquired Breakthrough Oilfield Services Ltd., which is based in Dawson Creek.Before the acquisition, Breakthrough was owned and operated by Derek Loomis. The acquisition is the second such merger involving a Dawson Creek-based company by CEDA in the past year. Last November, the company bought Joe Loomis Trucking which was founded by Joe Loomis in 2006.“The addition of Breakthrough Oilfield Services ties in well with our existing operations in the prolific Montney region and complements our core service offerings,” said Kevin Fleury, President and Chief Executive Officer of CEDA. “This acquisition strategically aligns with our vision for continued growth and expands our presence in this region,” Mr. Fleury added. CEDA said that Loomis and the rest of Breakthrough’s workforce will be joining the the company, which will also be adding Breakthrough’s pressure trucks, hot oilers, fluid haulers, tank trucks, hydro vacuum and combination vacuum units to its fleet.“We’re excited to join a successful and a growth oriented organization that can provide complementary service offerings to our existing client base,” said Derek Loomis. “The sale also provides our employees development opportunities within a larger organization.”
From relaxed casuals to strictly corporate, dress codes for office vary widely in today’s time with changing work cultures. Ensure you have some right essentials. Here are few suggestions from experts: Frolic Formal: If you are someone who regularly meet executives, you might be asked to come dressed in business formals. A tailored suit in a solid, neutral colour like black, gray or navy can be paired with a white collared button-up shirt – a classic pairing for men. Women can pair-up their well-cut pantsuit or skirt suit in a conservative neutral colour such as black, navy or brown with a collared white button-up. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainSmart semi-formal: Wearing casual to work is an art of adding personality to the workwear without looking unprofessional. Separates like skirt or trouser with a cardigan can be one choice for women. Pair it with solid coloured or muted patterns like checks or striped shirt. Men can pick a collared button-up in any colour to pair it with black dress pant or pressed khakis in the summer. Classic casual: For the ones allowed to wear casuals to work, remember not to go over the top with your dress-up. Casual dressing also leaves room for individuality and slight experiments. Men can pair up collared polos with casual slacks or dark denims. Choose muted patterned polos over novelty designs to be able to mix in while making a subtle statement. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardNicely fitted tops and blouses with cotton slacks or denims can be the option for women to wear to office. Dresses and skirts also add to the variety. Some tips on what footwear to wear and bags to carry to office: Footwear: Footwear adds the final touch to the outfit. For women, flats are more comfortable and functional than heels, while at work. Platform heels work the best for working women as they are stylish yet comfortable at the same time. Also, wedges look chic and glamorous without being over the top. For men, Oxford, derby shoes and loafers are formal, classy and high on the style quotient. A brown shoe catches more attention and adds another layer to your outfit. Dark brown shoes are easier to pull off than light brown ones. However, a pair of classic black shoes goes with primarily everything that you wear and has been never out of vogue. Bag Options: Work bags often pull double duty – they need to be attractive and useful with enough space to carry all the things you need during the day. For women, the classic tote bags are large enough to get you through a work day as they tend to swallow half your stuff. It can have a neoprene water bottle sleeve, a phone pocket, pen holder, padded laptop sleeve, notebook or tablet sleeve with magnetic closure, and interior side pocket. For men, the classic backpack has the convenience of the open pocket design, such as the carryall, generally with a smaller outer pocket. It is multi-functional and serves the purpose, whether in the office or heading out for a meeting. Also, these days the market is full of stylish options for men’s laptop bags crafted from leather, in different colours and designs.
New Delhi: Even a drop of pollution in Ganga is a matter of concern and the attitude of all authorities should be stringent to protect the river, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has said while seeking concrete action plan on the issue.A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel pulled up the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) over its action plan for Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal and said it does not show concrete plans with prompt timelines and effort in prohibiting pollution. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroad”The NMCG has not filed the precise information about the status of projects planned and executed between Kanpur to Ganga Sagar. Thus, the affidavit of the NMCG is of no assistance. The counsel appearing for the NMCG is not ready and is merely dependent on Praveen Kumar, Director (Technical), NMCG who is also not competent to assist this tribunal. “During the interaction, we find his approach to be to help the polluters instead of remedying the pollution which is the mandate of law and the orders of this tribunal,” the bench, also comprising Justices S P Wangdi and K Ramakrishnan, said. Also Read – Firms staying closed 10 days a month due to recession, govt doing nothing: Priyanka GandhiIt asked the NMCG to take remedial action so that assistance of a suitable person is provided to this tribunal with precise information failing which the tribunal may consider coercive measures against it. The tribunal also asked the concerned states to take the matter seriously and assist the bench with precise information either through senior officers or through counsel. “No counsel is present on behalf of Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. It is the responsibility of all the five states to ensure that water quality at every point meets the standards and if there is a violation, the violators are proceeded against in accordance with the law by way of prosecution, closure of polluting activities and payment of compensation for damage to the environment. “We direct Uttarakhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal to place the status of water quality in the respective states on their websites and update the same on a monthly basis indicating fitness of water at various places for drinking or bathing purposes. The CPCB may indicate water quality of the Ganga river at boundaries of the said states on its website,” the tribunal said. It said as already directed, flood plains may be duly demarcated; encroachments prohibited and removed, biodiversity parks set up and afforestation undertaken. No amount of wealth generation or commercial or industrial activities can get priority over cleanliness of the Ganga river, it said. “Any individual or establishment violating the environmental norms with respect to the Ganga river must be strictly dealt with under the law and special cells must be created in the concerned states to monitor such action on a daily basis. “Such action can be a model to deal with pollution of all other rivers in the country. It is a matter of regret that as per report of the CPCB, 351 river stretches are polluted in the country,” it said. The tribunal noted that it had directed chief secretaries of all the states and Union Territories to monitor this aspect along with other important issues. “Till date, chief secretaries or administrators of 32 states and UTs out of 36 states and UTs have appeared in person. This tribunal has directed highest level monitoring to deal with the situation at the state-level as well as national-level. The Ganga river needs attention at the highest level. “We hope that this seriousness will be realised by the concerned states, NMCG and the Ministry of Water Resources and steps will be taken in the right earnestness in compliance of order of this tribunal,” it said. The bench said every time the progress has been found to be unsatisfactory, it will now have no option but to take more stringent measures unless satisfactory remedial action is taken. The matter is listed for next hearing on May 29. The tribunal had earlier said the water of the Ganga river, between Haridwar and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, was unfit for drinking and bathing, and expressed anguish over the situation. The green panel had said people drank and bathed in the river with reverence, without knowing that it may adversely affect their health.
Members of OSU softball team. Credit: Courtesy of OSUAfter a week off, the Ohio State softball team (9-4) is set to head west to Tempe, Arizona, for the Louisville Slugger Invitational hosted by Arizona State. The Buckeyes are slated to face four opponents, three of which are ranked in the USA Today Top 25 poll. OSU’s first matchup is scheduled to begin Friday at 1 p.m. against James Madison (17-1).At this juncture in the season, the Buckeyes have faced only one ranked team, a loss to then-No. 3 LSU, so the weekend looks primed to be stuffed with a string of intense contests.“This spring trip will probably be the toughest stretch of (nine) games we will play this year before postseason play,” said OSU coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly, looking ahead to both this weekend and next week’s five-game trip to San Diego.Sizing up the opponentsJames Madison is the Buckeyes’ highest-ranked opponent this weekend, moving from its preseason ranking of No. 19 to No. 10 after its successful start. The Dukes are 4-1 against other ranked teams, including a 3-2 win over No. 3 Auburn in February.James Madison poses a threat from the mound because of the forceful duo of sophomore Megan Good and senior Jailyn Ford. Both pitchers have an ERA below 1.00, and Good has struck out 70 batters in her 13 appearances.Schoenly is cognizant of the Dukes’ powerhouse pitching staff, which will help prepare OSU’s batters for the subsequent energetic efforts from the mound.“We will be facing some of the toughest pitchers in the country over the next (nine) games, and it will be great to see who rises to the challenge,” she said.Seven Dukes are hitting above .350, five of whom have started all 18 games. Senior Erica Field is off to another stellar season after breaking four program single-season and three career records last season. The catcher’s career batting average of .359 rivals OSU senior catcher Cammi Prantl’s .342, which is the top mark among Buckeye starters.Georgetown (5-11) is OSU’s only unranked opponent in Arizona. As such, Schoenly said the Buckeyes are hoping to take advantage at the plate in Game 2 on Friday after likely having to grind out hits against James Madison’s pitching staff.The Buckeye offense will face a struggling Hoya pitching staff, which has a combined ERA of 6.83. Georgetown’s three pitchers have also walked more than twice the number of batters they have struck out.Senior Samantha Giovanniello leads the Hoyas with five home runs and 19 RBIs, which is just two short of her 2015 total.The Buckeyes’ own offensive weakness continues to be stranding runners, something that could make a difference in a tight game.“The few games we have lost, we had many baserunners during the game,” Schoenly said. “We just needed a timely hit here and there.”OSU is scheduled to play its only game Saturday against No. 23 Nebraska, which is currently ranked second in the Big Ten, while the Buckeyes sit at fourth in the conference.Cornhusker infielder M.J. Knighten leads the Big Ten in batting with 11 home runs and a .473 batting average. The junior was named Big Ten Player of the Week last month after a strong showing in Iowa. Also delivering at the plate for Nebraska (12-4) is senior outfielder Kiki Stokes with a .435 batting average, and senior infielder Alicia Armstrong with 15 RBIs.Nebraska sits in the middle of the conference in pitching and is led by junior right-hander Cassidy McClure with 33 strikeouts. The right-hander and the three other pitchers for the Huskers have a combined ERA of 3.11.The Scarlet and Gray finish their outing in Arizona with a matchup against Arizona State (18-5). The No. 19 Sun Devils have eight batters hitting over .350, half of whom have RBI totals in the double digits. Freshman first baseman Ulufa Leilua has a .903 slugging percentage, while senior infielder Nikki Girard has seven doubles and three homers.OSU’s defense has been effective in getting out of tough situations with big hitters like Leilua at the plate, something Schoenly mentioned as a key to the Buckeyes’ success this weekend.“We are looking for our pitchers to continue limiting teams to a few runs a game,” Schoenly said. “The key for our defense will be to limit the opponents’ big innings and for us to have timely hitting.”Schoenly also praised sophomore third baseman Ashley Goodwin’s constant awareness of the field to stop opponents’ offenses from scoring.Finishing strongAfter her leading performance in South Carolina, Prantl was named Big Ten Player of the Week and Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Player of the Week.The senior hit .786 over five games, including a 4-for-4, three-RBI showing against Furman.“I am extremely honored and humbled to be receiving this national award,” Prantl said in a press release. “This would not be possible without the support of my teammates and the coaching staff. Driving in runs is impossible without my teammates being on base.”Prantl has 47 doubles in her career, only 11 away from the Buckeyes’ all-time record. She had 16 doubles during both her sophomore and junior seasons, so Prantl has a reasonable chance to set a new program mark.Up nextThe Buckeyes are scheduled to face San Diego State in a single game on March 16 before facing four opponents at the San Diego State Tournament from March 17 to 20. OSU’s matchup against the Aztecs is slated to begin at 9 p.m.
Dan Cohen AUTHOR Officials at Brooke Army Medical Center are concerned about the prospect that one or more San Antonio-area hospitals will develop a new trauma center, a move likely to cut into patient loads at Brooke’s emergency room and hamper its medical training mission. Brooke, located on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, serves as a training hub for combat physicians. Its emergency room logs 80,000 visits a year — 80 percent of them civilians, reports the San Antonio Express-News. Last week, Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Johnson, Brooke’s commanding general, told the San Antonio City Council that plans by two local hospitals to build trauma centers would threaten medical readiness and the quality of care at Brooke.“I think how I would describe the risk is our ability, as the [DOD’s] only Level I trauma center, it is the jewel for where trauma training can take place,” Johnson said. “There is no other place in the DOD that can do it. So, if we were to lose the ability to train trauma, and sustain medical skills inside of trauma, our providers, our health professionals, would no longer be able to, on Day One, be able to meet our nation’s needs in a deployed setting.”A top executive with University Health System, which operates the only other Level 1 trauma center in San Antonio, echoed Johnson’s concerns. “We should not underestimate this warning,” Dr. Bryan Alsip, University’s executive vice president and chief medical officer, told the council. “If our community cannot provide the commitment necessary to defend BAMC’s ability to maintain their mission readiness, our nation’s leaders will not hesitate to find another location that will be happy to welcome our military medical infrastructure.”On Thursday, Mayor Ron Nirenberg and other council members expressed concern that the threat to trauma care at Brooke could jeopardize the medical training mission in San Antonio in a future BRAC round. They said they opposed expansion of trauma facilities by other hospitals, and the council approved a resolution supporting Brooke’s mission.