Cloud Security Using… Social Networks?

first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#cloud#security The issues of cloud/SaaS security have been on my mind since the late 90s when I was working on my first global intranet/extranet project. Personally, I’ve never been terribly concerned with the more lower-level technical details of network architecture, transport protocols or with tedious policy writing; you need good security experts to cover these areas properly. I’ve always been drawn to the more forgivably human downsides to the whole SaaS/Cloud concept like this one: How on earth do you prevent password sharing? I’ve been thinking that the solution may be so obvious, so ubiquitous, that it’s just difficult to see past our own fears: What if we could improve the security of our cloud-based applications by handing over our authentication processes to the social media networks?Steve Henty is an experienced IT Project Manager who has specialized in Web technologies since 1996. He lives in Madrid and is currently working for Toshiba. He can be contacted at steve@henty.es or on Twitter or at http://www.henty.es.The ProblemYou see them everywhere. Those claims that XYZ Web application is 100% secure because it’s as secure as banking online and uses SSL and allows IP restrictions and uses LDAP authentication and etc. All these security features are useful but at the end of the day we’re still faced with the daunting challenge of convincing users not to give out their passwords either intentionally (e.g. by lending to “friends”) or unintentionally (e.g. written notes lying around). As soon as one person in your organisation has divulged his or her account details the entire system is compromised and all the company information is open to whoever gets hold of the password. What’s worse, there’s no real way of know if or when this has happened – even our careless user may be unaware that someone else is using the same account. I sometimes see references to this problem on the Web but I haven’t seen any serious solutions. It tends to get passed off as irrelevant, as if password security has nothing to do with cloud security. But unfortunately its inevitable effect on adoption blows a big hole in the whole cloud computing concept. So currently the industry doesn’t want to talk about this elephant in the room because it might affect uptake, and consequently businesses are not getting the full picture.With 50% of companies in the UK currently thinking about moving to the cloud this year, we’re going to see an increase in security concerns – that is, as soon as these companies realise they’ve had the wool pulled over their eyes. When Strong Isn’t StrongLet’s take a quick look at the ways cloud computing services are currently attempting to deal with the issues of cloud security and examine how they might fall short.SSL: A common claim you hear is that XYZ app is as secure as online banking because it uses the same technology: SSL. While I agree that it’s important to encrypt communication, this claim is borderline fraudulent. People are inherently motivated to keep their online banking account details a secret whereas an employee may actually become motivated to do the complete opposite.IP Restrictions: Some apps let you restrict access from certain IP addresses. This might work if you’re prepared to forego the benefits of device independence, but to my mind this is one of the great advantages of working in the cloud.LDAP Integration: Some apps allow integration with directories such as the Active Directory. This is great – one less directory to manage. However, in addition to the network security headaches this can bring it doesn’t guarantee that the person using the password is actually the person you hope it is.Enterprise Security: Two-factor authentication with security tokens or a sophisticated PKI implementation work nicely if you have the time and resources. If you have any high-profile users you’ll be wanting this level of security to avoid breaches like the one Twitter faced a few months ago. However, these solutions can be so expensive and time-consuming that even a large enterprise would baulk at the cost of rolling this out to 100% of employees. So for most companies it’s just not a feasible option.On The Radar: In the not-so-distant future we may be using mobile phone SIMs, Electronic IDs or government-issued browser certificates to authenticate. But how about right now? Is there anything else we can be doing now, in 2010, to improve the security of our cloud-based apps?The Solution: Social Media Integration?Solutions often seem counterintuitive at first. What if we could increase security by giving up some control? What if we were to relax our grip a little on the whole identity management and authentication process and let the employee share some of the responsibility?Most employees have a personal online identity already, a personal brand that they are inherently motivated to protect. The have a personal email addresses, blogs, Facebook accounts, LinkedIn accounts – public or semi-public profiles all over the Web. What if we were to allow these social media accounts to connect to our company cloud-based apps and perform the authentication process?This could mean, for example, that an employee would be able to access a company CRM application simply by logging into a Facebook or LinkedIn account. A breach in our application’s security would then only come at the expense of a breach in the security of a user’s personal account. This way the responsibility for maintaining security would be would be shared.Now that our users have a vested interest preventing unauthorised access to company data they might actually start taking to heart all the guidelines about strong passwords we’ve been banging on about for so long.It could also be argued that by spreading the accounts over a number of different social media sites, thereby decentralising the authentication process, potential hackers might be deterred from casual password guessing and brute force attacks.Okay, the idea needs to be developed further and it’s far from perfect. There are certainly issues that need to be addressed regarding adoption, privacy and appropriate checks and controls. However, the technology already exists in the form of APIs, Facebook Connect, OAuth and OpenID and others, and the big social media players now have the critical mass of users you’d need in order to pull off something like this. Even attitudes towards privacy appear to be relaxing, so the timing could be perfect. If my assumptions are right, the missing piece in the cloud security puzzle might be right under our noses, and we’d be able to alleviate some of the fear of cloud computing simply by relinquishing some of our need to control.I’d be very interested in your views on the subject – especially if you know of anyone has already had some experience of implementing this in a production environment or has decided against doing it.Photo credit: Joshua Davis. guest author 1 A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

U.S. Twitter Users Spend 2+ Hours per Month on Site

first_imgNew data from stat-tracking firm Experian finds that U.S. Twitter users are now spending two hours and 12 minutes per month on Twitter.com reading and replying to tweets. That’s up from one hour and 51 minutes last year. However, the time spent during any given Twitter session has declined. In November 2010, a typical Twitter session was 13 minutes, 12 seconds, down from last year’s average of 15 minutes, 12 seconds.This suggests that users are “seeking more frequent quick hits,” says Experian, “rather than spending longer periods of time reading through posts.”Average Visits Up, Year-over-YearThe new report also shows that the average number of visits is up year-over-year (data measured from November 2009 to November 2010). The average number of visits rose 37%, says Experian, from 7.3 visits per month in November 2009 to 10 visits per month as of November 2010.However, the raw numbers show a decline. In November 2009, 9.54 million U.S. adults visited Twitter.com during the past 30 days, while in November 2010, only 8.25 million did.This is the chart Experian posted, however. What’s with the dates “2013” and “2014?” That’s probably a mistake. We’re pretty sure they were looking at data from 2009 and 2010. Hey, typos happen. Let’s not go by the chart. In any event, declining visits to Twitter.com isn’t any reason for concern. Although Experian doesn’t make note of this, this is clearly more indicative of the growing number of mobile Twitter users who now primarily access Twitter via their phones (over 40% of tweets are posted from mobiles), as opposed to visiting the website Twitter.com from a computer. It also doesn’t track the numerous Twitter client applications currently in use, including official offerings from Twitter for devices like the iPhone, iPad, or Android and BlackBerry smartphones as well as the new desktop app Twitter for Mac.If anything, this data is only a slice of the overall pie. All it really shows is that Twitter remains popular, that popularity is growing, but accessing the site through a desktop browser is trending down. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Related Posts sarah perez A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Tags:#NYT#twitter#web last_img read more

Aiming for Passivhaus in Boston

first_imgIt might have left a few people feeling especially uneasy about climate change, but the Northeast’s strangely dry, mild winter did at least allow construction to continue at a relatively brisk pace on Powahouse, a three-unit condominium going up on a corner lot in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood.Excavation began on December 9. By January 23, a frost wall had been poured just outside the slab perimeter and the construction crew, led by local design-build firm Placetailor, had prepped a 2,000-sq.-ft. area inside the frost wall for the pouring of the ground-floor “raft” slab. The security fence surrounding the site had been draped with tarps. Powerful heaters were brought in to help warm the area, and 40 cubic yards of concrete were preheated and mixed with an accelerator to help the mixture set faster once it was poured into place.The pour was a success, the winter weather continued to more or less cooperate, and the pace of construction now has Placetailor predicting that the three-story building will be ready for occupancy by the end of August. Not long after that, Powahouse is expected to qualify for Passivhaus certification.Promising performance numbersDesigned in collaboration with Schneider Studio Design, the project originally included four units, notes Placetailor principal Simon Hare, but two of the units were sold early on to a single buyer and were then redesigned for the buyer into a townhouse-style home that, at about 2,000 sq. ft., comprises roughly half of the building’s interior floor space. The other two units, featuring floor plans that interlock with each other, were marketed by a Realtor and recently sold. One, Unit Y, is a 1,100-sq.-ft. two-bedroom that was priced at $279,000; the other, Unit X, is a 1,000-sq.-ft. two-bedroom that was priced at $247,000.Hare adds that, so far, the building appears to be on track to meet performance expectations. An initial blower-door test, conducted on May 4, showed 0.28 air changes per hour at 50 Pascal pressure difference. The project’s Passive House Planning Package modeling puts the under-slab insulation value at R-37 and R-21 around the slab edge. Exterior walls are R-59, the party wall is R-40, and the roof is a minimum of R-77.Placetailor went with Schuco SI82 triple-glazed, tilt-turn windows, Schuco doors for two of the main entries, and another Schuco door for access to a third-floor patio. Makrowin doors are used for one main entry and another patio-level entry. Each unit is equipped with a heat recovery ventilator – a Zehnder ComfoAir 350 for the large condo, a ComfoAir 200 for Unit X and one for Unit Y. Auxiliary heat will come from Mitsubishi Mr. Slim 9000-btu mini-split heat pumps – one for each unit.A project that blogs for itselfHare explained that a previous Placetailor project – the reconstruction of Pratt House, a former gunsmith shop built in Roxbury in the 19th century – caught the attention of an angel investor, who agreed to help back the builder should an opportunity emerge in Roxbury for a Passivhaus condo project. Three years later, that project materialized as Powahouse (a play on Powerhouse, with a Boston accent), with Placetailor serving as developer and builder.The project got another nudge forward with the early sale of the first two units, now combined into a four-bedroom and known as Unit Z, for $490,000. That price, Hare notes in an email to GBA, reflects a discount because the offer included a “very generous cash down payment.” At this point, Hare says, projected construction costs are $135 per sq. ft., excluding the cost of the lot and “soft costs” such as fees for consultants, design, zoning, management, and insurance.A Powahouse blog, including plenty of photos, has, with Placetailor’s help, created a “voice” for the building — a first-person (first-building?) narrative that highlights construction details and celebrates small victories. Click here for a look at the building’s development so far.last_img read more

When Are Door Undercuts Sufficient for Return Air?

first_imgThe conventional wisdom on door undercutsAh, conventional wisdom. It’s often not wisdom at all and you may get different versions of it depending on which convention you believe. That’s certainly the case here. Talk to people in the HVAC industry and you’ll find quite a few who say you never need anything more than a door undercut. The one comment I’ve gotten so far on the video on bedroom pressures I made for my last article was, “Ha, ha — 7 pa is >0.03 inches w.c., so… Very little. It will sweep under the door.” He didn’t identify himself as such, but since he thinks in inches of water column (i.w.c.), I have a strong suspicion that he’s an HVAC guy. (I also think the evidence points to the commenter being male, but woman’s intuition doesn’t always get it right, even for someone in Who’s Who of American Women.)That kind of conventional wisdom is why we have homes like my condo, which had a 7 Pascal (Pa) pressure difference before I installed the Tamarack return air pathway in the door. (Disclosure: Tamarack is an advertiser in the Energy Vanguard Blog.) Mike MacFarland of Energy Docs, a home performance contractor in northern California, says it can be even worse than that. He’s found many homes with bedrooms that get pressurized to over 40 Pa when the bedroom door is closed. Wow!In contrast, the statement I threw out in that last article about the inadequacy of door undercuts represents the conventional wisdom of the building science community. Building Science Corporation has a page about door undercuts as return air pathways and says this: “This approach is acceptable but Building America research has demonstrated that the common technique of undercutting bedroom doors does not provide for enough airflow.”They don’t provide the reference to that Building America research but I think it’s probably a study done by the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC). Published online as the Return Air Pathway Study, their report shows the air flow through various types of return air pathways, including door undercuts. The first graph below (Image #2) shows the results.They found that a hole the size of a typical one inch door undercut will allow about 60 cubic feet per minute of air flow. In terms of air flow to size of the hole, door undercuts come out on top. They yield about 2 cfm per square inch of hole. (See Table 60 in their report.) But compared to the air flow many bedrooms need, 60 cfm is on the low side. And that’s with a one inch undercut. With a half inch undercut, the number will be reduced greatly. (Unfortunately, they didn’t include half inch undercuts in their study.)The wisdom of data from real housesBuilding Science Corporation and FSEC are right in calling out door undercuts. As I mentioned above, many in the HVAC industry believe wholeheartedly in door undercuts. In many homes they don’t work. Look at the article I wrote last week about what happens in my condo without the Tamarack return air pathways I installed in the doors.But we also need to understand the bounds of this new understanding about door undercuts. And it’s helpful to know what that FSEC study did not show. Maybe door undercuts work just fine for some houses.That’s what John Semmelhack of Think Little has found. He commented in my last article, writing, “We design and balance systems all the time with central returns and without transfer grilles or jumper ducts for most bedrooms.” He finds that a half inch door undercut works just fine in most of the homes he tests.So, are we back to saying the HVAC folks are right? No, not really. Semmelhack works on high-performance homes. He certifies homes for Energy Star and Passive House and also does some net-zero-energy homes and deep energy retrofits. That’s the first thing the building science conventional wisdom doesn’t include. When a house is really efficient, the bedrooms won’t need as much supply air delivered.The other thing neglected by the building science conventional wisdom is the other paths for air flow. When you close a bedroom door, the undercut isn’t the only pathway for return air. Walk over to a bedroom (or other interior) door and close it. Look at the gaps on the sides and top. Grab the handle and see how much movement there is.The door undercut gets all the attention, but the sides and top of the door also allow a good amount of air to flow through. Semmelhack believes the air flow through the sides and top of the door is equal to the air flow through the undercut. So if you can get 60 cfm under the door, you can get about 120 cfm total.And that’s what the FSEC study seems to have missed. They don’t discuss it in their report, but it appears from the photos that their only pathway for air flow was the hole they cut. They built a little test hut out of foam board, which I imagine was airtight except for the holes being tested. They didn’t discuss the airtightness of the hut in their report.Semmelhack is one of the people in our industry who goes out and tests things to make sure they work. It’s required, of course, for Energy Star and Passive House, but he goes further than is required. The second graph below shows his data for the pressure difference in bedrooms as a function of the conditioned air supplied to the bedroom.It’s not a tremendous amount of data, but it’s enough to see that door undercuts work. For supply air up to about 80 cfm, the pressure stays below the Energy Star threshold of 3 Pascals (Pa). All of the bedrooms being tested here have only half inch door undercuts as return air pathways. No return vents, jumper ducts, or transfer grilles. And the vast majority meet the Energy Star requirement of <3 pa pressure difference between the bedroom and hall. only twice has semmelhack had a problem getting bedrooms under 3 threshold with 75 cfm of supply air. in both cases, door was installed really tightly.The new building science conventional wisdomAs is so often the case, the truth is found between the extremes. Door undercuts are neither always adequate nor always inadequate. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don’t. With low-load homes, the lower air flow required in bedrooms means that half-inch door undercuts — along with the flow around the sides and top of the door — might well be sufficient. The more air required for a bedroom, the more likely it is you’ll need to put in an additional return air pathway.Of course, it’s pretty easy to get this right. All we need is proper commissioning. If every home were tested for bedroom pressure differences and held to a maximum of 3 Pa, we wouldn’t need to have this discussion. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. Bathroom_fan_makeup_air-Joe_Nagan.pdf Most people don’t know that simply closing a door in their home can make them sick, increase their energy bills, or reduce their comfort. We live in this invisible stuff called air. We pull many pounds of it into our lungs each day. A typical air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace easily moves 20 tons of air a day. (Yes, I’m talking about 40,000 pounds! We’ll save that calculation for another day, though.) And the simple act of closing a door changes the dynamics of a house in ways that can have profound impacts on the people inside the home.Last week I wrote about the problem of bedroom doors getting closed, the consequences of that action, and one way to alleviate the problem. In that article I mentioned the issue of undercutting the bedroom doors as the standard method many homes used as a return air pathway. The air pumped into a bedroom needs to find its way back to the air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace. Door undercuts are one such return air pathway. But, I wrote, “Door undercuts typically won’t allow enough air to get out of the bedroom unless you leave a gap bigger than most people want under their doors.” RELATED ARTICLESReturn-Air ProblemsReturn to Sender – HVAC Return Pathway OptionsPerfect Balance Makes the CutNew Green Building Products — March 2011An Easy Retrofit for Return AirThis New Door Design Solves an Old ProblemAll About Furnaces and Duct SystemsResidential CommissioningIs It OK to Close Air Conditioner Vents in Unused Rooms?last_img read more

Over 15,000 people relocated in Gujarat

first_imgAfter Saurashtra, its now the turn of the North Gujarat region to bear the brunt of incessant rainfall. Heavy flooding in several areas has forced the State authorities to shift people out of low lying areas. Several hundred stranded people have been rescued.On Monday, the authorities relocated more than 15000 people in North Gujarat districts, mostly in Banaskantha, to safer areas. The NDRF, Air Force, BSF and the Army were joined by other agencies in the rescue of more than 500 stranded people.The State continues to be on high alert as the meteorological department has forecast more rains. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani conducted two aerial surveys and held meetings with officials. He also briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the situation. He asked the district administration to accord top priority to rescuing people stranded in flood waters and shifting those in low lying areas.Meanwhile, the continuing rainfall affected the rescue work of the Indian Air Force. Many of its choppers could not take off and those that did were forced to return to the base.A Defence aircraft loaded with relief material and food packets had to return due to heavy rains in the target areas in Banaskantha district. The district administration has sounded a high alert and advised people not to venture out. Schools and colleges have been asked to to remain closed on Tuesday.Seven persons have died in ran related incidents since July 20, while the death toll since the beginning of monsoon has touched 72.Trains cancelledThe Ahmedabad-Delhi Rajdhani Express has been cancelled due to the break-down of tracks in Palanpur. The Agra Express has also been cancelled.last_img read more

Luck was on my side at Asiad, says Vijender

first_imgHandicapped by a dislocated thumb and up against a two-time world champion, Indian boxer Vijender Singh on Monday said he still managed to pull off the Asian Games gold medal as “luck was back” on his side a month after deserting him at the Commonwealth Games.Vijender Kumar flaunts his gold medalWorld number one Vijender blanked Uzbekistan’s two-time world champion Abbos Atoev in the Asian Games final despite dislocating his thumb in the opening three minutes of the bout.Recalling the tense moments, the 25-year-old, whose hand is currently heavily bandaged, said a power-packed left hook led to the dislocation and leaving him to fight practically with one hand.”My hand was in a terrible state even before the Asian Games but it completely broke at the worst possible time.It was in the closing stages of the first round. I got the score for that left hook but I knew my hand was gone. I immediately told my coach that I cannot move it,” Vijender said upon his return to the country from Guangzhou today.”I asked the coach what the scoreline was, he told me it was 2-0. I thought I will give it a shot and continued. In the second round, I was not using my left hand at all. I was just swaying it once in a while to scare off Atoev, who thankfully didn’t get an idea as to what had happened,” he said.”When I took a 5-0 lead in the second round, I knew the bout was mine from here. I kept praying to almighty and I think that also helped. In the end, I guess I got lucky, god was with me,” he added.advertisementThe Olympic and World Championships bronze-medallist had settled for a rather disappointing bronze at the CWG here after losing in the semifinals due to a couple of warnings for clinching. And Vijender said the Asiad gold has finally wiped off the disappointment. .”That loss completely shattered me. I hadn’t felt so miserable in a long time. When I went to the Asiad, I was taking it one bout at a time. I think I peaked at the right time besides China is lucky for me. My rise started in Beijing after all,” Vijender said referring to his breakthrough Olympic bronze.”At the CWG, there were just too many distractions around me. The fact that so many people know me becomes a problem at times because then it takes away the focus. I like to go into a shell during major events. Keep to myself and focus, at the Asiad I could do that. There was peace around me and that helped me remain calm,” he said.”Moreover, it was my day. When I lost to Atoev in the World Championships, it was his day. Luck is a major factor.One cannot rule that out,” he added.”My toughest bout was the first one. I took the Chinese Taipei guy lightly initially but he fought hard before I got into the groove at just the right time.”The Haryana-lad also credited Cuban coach B I Fernandes for his success. “Fernandes has a sharp mind and he keeps giving advice from the sidelines. In Guangzhou, because there was not much noise around me, I could actually hear him and put his advice to use. In Delhi, his voice used to get drowned in all the hooting,” he explained. At least a month-long break follows from here before Vijender starts preparing for the World Championships and the Olympic qualifiers for 2012 Games in London. “I am desperate to go home and eat to my heart’s content. It’s impossible to explain what we go through when we are maintaining weight for tournaments,” he signed off.With inputs from PTIlast_img read more

Dynasty intact

first_imgThe Beermen won a fifth straight all-Filipino crown, surviving a crucial error and missed free throws in the stretch to hang on to a 72-71 victory over a stubborn Magnolia crew Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Alex Cabagnot nailed a jumper at the baseline for the lead in the last 57.2 seconds to ice the final count.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“It was extremely difficult,” Cabagnot said of the series, which swapped winners from Game 1 until San Miguel Beer won back-to-back in the final two games. “We just went back and forth.”“Credit goes to the players. They made me look like a good coach,” said San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria in Filipino. “We just got lucky tonight.” Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue “I just want to thank God that no one got hurt even if it was a physical series,” said Fajardo, who averaged 22.9 points, 19.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocks a game in the Finals.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anewcenter_img He wasn’t kidding.Ian Sangalang missed a short jumper going into the final 40 seconds but the Beermen could not control the rebound—on a night, ironically, that June Mar Fajardo set the single-game record for rebounds with 31. Jio Jalalon missed a jumper in the next possession but Marcio Lassiter threw the ball away under pressure to give Magnolia 17 seconds to turn the game around.But Jalalon missed what looked like an easy short stab, and Fajardo collared the rebound with four seconds left.Magnolia put the reigning five-time MVP on the stripe and Fajardo missed both, but Paul Lee could not get past the backcourt as time ran out.As tense and unpredictable as the series was, the choice of Finals MVP was hardly a surprise.ADVERTISEMENT Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too MOST READ Charles Rhodes wants crown back ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netIn a series that went the distance, it was only fitting that Game 7 would do the same thing.In the end, the San Miguel Beermen kept their dynastic grip on the PBA Philippine Cup—this latest title, however, they barely captured.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Australia will be part of the 2018 Youth World Cup

first_imgExciting news! NRL Touch Football Australia has recently reconsidered its position to not attend the 2018 Youth Touch World Cup.NRL Touch Football is committed to international development and, in particular, international youth development. The opportunity for our youth athletes to compete at the highest levels of international competition and experience international touring is also a key element of our Touch Football pathway. It is for these reasons that we will now be attending the 2018 Youth World Cup and entering teams.Australia will enter teams in the 19’s and 17’s Boys, Girls and Mixed divisions.The Youth World Cup will be held In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 8th to 11th August 2018.The primary focus of the Youth Program over the next eight months is to ensure the best young players represent Australia at the 2018 Youth World Cup. The National Youth Squads have not been selected at this stage, though potential players, who have demonstrated impressive talent, skills and attitudes, have been notified that their development will be monitored and assessed by High Performance personnel. Selected players will be notified after the 2018 National Touch League in March.We’re looking forward to the journey to the YWC and an exciting time in Malaysia in August 2018!For information about Junior Development Pathways, click here.last_img read more

Street Signs to Be Installed in Three Parishes Jan. 2018

first_img Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says the Government will commence a street-signage programme in three parishes in January 2018, which will herald the start of a nationwide beautification and community development initiative. The Minister said the signage programme was conceptualised based on data gathered by the 2,700 youngsters across the island who were employed by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development last summer to undertake audits of street lights and street signs. He said that while the Government has a responsibility to serve the nation, the citizens themselves “have to become partners with us in this mission”, adding that in excess of $16 billion is owed in arrears for property taxes islandwide. Story Highlights Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says the Government will commence a street-signage programme in three parishes in January 2018, which will herald the start of a nationwide beautification and community development initiative.“We will be rolling out the project in Manchester, Westmoreland and St. Thomas, and then get the necessary funds to take the street signs right across the country,” the Minister said, as he addressed a property tax town hall meeting on November 8 in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland.He said this programme will address concerns that many communities across the island are hard to identify, as there are no signs.“Some of the work of the municipal corporations, when it comes to beautification, includes identifying communities. There are many communities in Westmoreland (that) when you drive in them, you don’t even know the name of the roads because the street signs don’t exist,” the Minister noted.The Minister said the signage programme was conceptualised based on data gathered by the 2,700 youngsters across the island who were employed by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development last summer to undertake audits of street lights and street signs.Mr. McKenzie appealed to citizens to pay their property taxes, as this is the only way the local authorities will be able to provide them with the basic services, amenities and infrastructure for modern-day living. He reminded the audience that taxes are collected in all countries of the world, and Jamaica is no different.He said that while the Government has a responsibility to serve the nation, the citizens themselves “have to become partners with us in this mission”, adding that in excess of $16 billion is owed in arrears for property taxes islandwide.He congratulated landowners in Westmoreland, who have demonstrated an “encouraging level of compliance” over the last three years by making concerted efforts to pay the requisite taxes. He said of the $607 million that was set as the Westmoreland target for the 2017/2018 financial year, more than $291 million has already been paid.“I find it difficult when people say they are not getting any benefit out of the taxes. While there may be weaknesses in some of what we do, there has been significant improvement in service delivery in this country. We are working hard to make a difference, but we can only do that if you buy into the reality that taxes are necessary in order for you to live in a decent and a clean country,” he said.last_img read more