Tech Son of SF Dry Cleaners Updates AgeOld Biz

first_imgJames Joun grew up doing the laundry. As a 10-year-old, Joun worked weekends and summers in his parents’ South San Francisco dry cleaning shop, “taking orders, working the cash machine, and inventoring clothes.”“I’ve touched every part of the business,” he said. And once again, he is back in the family business, albeit in a novel way: He is the co-founder of Rinse, a start-up located at 438 Treat Avenue that has joined the long list of Silicon Valley firms looking to capitalize on young professionals’ aversion to doing laundry. Tags: tech Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0%center_img Think of Rinse as Uber for clothing: Download an app, schedule a twice-weekly delivery, hand your laundry to uniformed valet, and it comes back a few days later washed and folded. It’s a 21st century update to one of the world’s oldest professions.A profession Joun had no intention of returning to. “I had no plan to go back,” he laughed. “Honestly, it was tough in the sense that my friends were doing something else, it’s really hot [in the shop], working 8-10 hours a day, there’s a lot of steam… It’s tiring, very monotonous, repetitive work.”Which his parents have been doing since emigrating from South Korea. “It’s a typical immigrant story,” Joun said. Leaving after the chaos of the Korean War, his father moved to the United States in the late 1970s. His mother first went to Germany, working as a nurse with the World Health Organization before moving to the United States. They opened a liquor store first, and then started Wright Cleaners in South San Francisco. “The name was from the previous owner,” Joun clarified.Doing laundry was common for Korean immigrants, Joun said, and his aunts and uncles were also involved in dry cleaning. “During holidays, they just talk about this all the time,” Joun said. “A lot of is just ‘Hey, how’s business? What’s volume like?’ They have stores in different areas of the Bay, so it’s ‘How’s Marin doing versus San Francisco?’”The laundry business failed to rebound quickly from the 2008 financial crisis, Joun said, and therein the Ivy League graduate found an opportunity. “My uncles and aunts have kids to feed, to put through college,” Joun said. “It was like, ‘Man, they need more volume.’ The infrastructure needs volume, because they have machines but they’re not running all the time. How can we leverage the existing infrastructure?” The breakthrough itself came from a breakfast conversation with a college friend, Rinse co-founder Ajay Prakash.Joun and Prakash both went to Dartmouth before attending equally prestigious business schools (Joun went to Harvard and Prakash to Stanford). Both were working in finance and during a visit Joun made to San Francisco in 2013, they started talking about what was next in their careers.“He was just a sounding board for me,” Prakash said. “He had just come from his parents’ shop, and he brought up the idea of dry-cleaning. When were were talking he kind of stopped me and said ‘Would this work for dry-cleaning?’”The pair decided it might, and rented a van to pick up and launder the clothes of friends who lived in the city. “It was all my grad school, high school, childhood friends,” Joun said. “We decided we’ll text them ahead of time, pick things up, get these clothes cleaned very quickly, and return them a few days later and see how they like it.”They liked it a lot. “I was just running this experiment and they said ‘When are you coming back again?’” Joun said. “I’m like ‘Huh, interesting, they actually would like our service.’” “That was kind of the ‘Aha’ moment for me,” he added.Then it was time to talk to his parents.“I got a wave of anxiety,” Joun said. “‘Now I have to explain this to my parents.’ You know, in the beginning, I don’t think they quite understood what we were doing.”When Joun broached the idea, his parents thought he and Prakash were just opening a dry-cleaning shop, continuing the family business in the traditional way. “I was confused, I was pretty confused,” his mother, Chun, said. “I was very against it actually. But the way it’s turned out… I’m very surprised, the way he built up his company, I’m really surprised. They have been very good.”His father even accompanied him on trips to dry cleaners in the beginning, helping with introductions.“My husband used to go with him just for support,” Chun said. “That’s the way he got much stronger, [by] visiting another cleaner.”Joun added that having his dad by his side brought “real credibility to the table.”That, combined with some $5.5 million in venture capital funding Rinse has received since inception, seems to have served them well. The company just opened a second space in Los Angeles in March, serving customers west of the 405 highway. But there are already a handful of start-ups that offer similar laundering services. LaundryLocker and Washio are just two mentioned by Prakash as possible competition, but a cursory search reveals many centered in millennial-heavy San Francisco. Rinse is one of many working in the area of on-demand laundry, but Joun’s background, he hopes, gives them an edge. It has already helped in establishing relationships with vendors. “You know, because I can kind of empathize with [dry cleaners], that’s really set the tone since day one,” said Joun. “If I were coming at it with no experience, I can see how they would be skeptical. But I’ve always told them that it’s my vision and goal to work with a network of vendors so we can all grow together, and they’ve been very responsive.” It was an arduous process, ringing the bells of different dry cleaners – dad in tow – asking them to join. But years of work later, the tables have turned.“It’s funny. Now vendors are calling us to say ‘Hey, can we work with you?’” Joun said. last_img read more

Developments in Development Catching Up

first_img 0% At a different meeting the same night, developers shared their ideas for what was once the motorcycle shop of Hap Jones on Valencia Street. That proposal includes a living wall along the alley, 44 units of housing, and a scooter shop. Full details here.File this one under “Liberty Hill” and “Oops”: Socketsite Reports on how a “minor facade alteration” turned into completely stripping the facade of a home on Liberty Street. Tiny problem – that facade was deemed a historic resource, and the Historic Preservation Commission is expected to order the contractor to rebuild the historic facade based in part on historic photos.  If you’re wondering how rent prices plateauing after a flurry of construction has affected what you can find on the market right now, I have not-so-great news for you. A recent Curbed Comparison exploring what’s available to rent for $1,550 a month at least inspires some hope that you could theoretically get an entire apartment for less than $2,000 a month in San Francisco. The fact that anyone might consider that and improvement is… a little alarming. But on the other hand, that report comes side by side on Curbed with the announcement that the median price to rent a single room in San Francisco is $1,350. So yeah. It’s still pretty crazy out here.Which doesn’t really surprise anybody, I’m sure – especially not those who are still trying to spur slow-to-build cities like San Francisco to increase supply. Enter former Supervisor, now State Senator Scott Wiener, who recently introduced a bill that would compel cities who fall behind their regional housing production requirements to switch over to a slimmed-down planning process to move things along. One key detail: If the city in question is meeting the standards for production of market rate housing, the process is only required to streamline for affordable housing. Will this be the next Density Bonus Program fight? Stay tuned. Tags: Developments in Development Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img While the rest of San Francisco is caught up in a years-long flurry of construction activity, a lot where activists and tenants alike have waited for something to be developed for years continues to sit empty. Meanwhile, the people who used to live there before fire destroyed the building still aren’t sure what will happen to them two years later.If you’re into getting involved with civic projects and neighborhood improvements but 77-page documents about planning policy aren’t really your cup of tea (everybody loves this stuff right? Right?), here is an alternative: Sign up to get a tree planted by Friends of the Urban Forest. A tree costs you roughly $135 and a Mission District planting day is scheduled for March 28. You can learn more here.For everyone else, here is a little catch-up session of what’s planned for the Mission.Dandelion Chocolate shared its vision this week for what they would like to build on 16th and Alabama streets. It’s going to a pretty big glass-and-concrete affair featuring office space, potentially a gym, and a rooftop pool. Here’s what transpired at their community meeting.last_img read more

Dave Chappelle headlines City Hall rally to save Punchline comedy club

first_imgBefore the media frenzy and before the impassioned pleas to save a comedic institution, Bell was there early. Dressed in jeans and a black sweater, he emerged from the Civic Center BART station around 10:15 and headed upstairs. He took a seat on the City Hall steps next to those grand, intricately designed doorways and waited for the show to start. As Bell bided his time, a small procession of men wearing dark blue suits strutted across the street. A woman, wearing a cream white dress and holding a colorful floral bouquet, was in the center of this blue suit huddle. It was just another normal day at City Hall. “I have too many memories of the Punchline,” Bell told Mission Local as brides and grooms ambled past. “I’ve hung out there until the sun came up.”Now a successful comedian in his own right, Bell remembered opening up at the Punchline for notables such as Margaret Cho, and witnessing veteran comedian and comedy writer Paul Mooney “alienate white people there.”Comedian Dave Chappelle mingles with fans at today’s City Hall rally to save the Punchline comedy club. Photo by Ricky Rodas.The Punchline was, and still is, a place of respite for comedians. “From ’97 to 2012, that was one of the rooms in my house,” Bell said. Club staff like Steve Stout, whom Bell mentioned by name, served everyone with generous doses of hospitality. “He’ll be out of a job if the club closes.”Peskin later told the crowd that Google is the possible next tenant for the Punchline space, which is owned by Morgan Stanley. “I want to say to Google, ‘really, really do no evil.’ We’d like to do this with honey and not with vinegar, so we are hopeful that those talks will be fruitful.” On May 16, Punchline was nominated as a legacy business, which provides some securities for “longstanding, community-serving businesses.” Peskin further announced he is today putting forth a measure that would limit the Punchline site’s use to entertainment purposes only . After the unusual press conference concluded, the city’s comedy and political communities took highly coveted selfies with Dave Chappelle. It was a win-win situation. Dave Chappelle is a hot ticket in this and every city. But, this morning, anyone walking in the vicinity of City Hall could catch him for free. The comedian was this morning’s headliner at a press conference announcing legislation from Supervisor Aaron Peskin to potentially keep seminal comedy club Punchline from being forced out of its Battery Street location by Morgan Stanley, which owns the building. Also taking the mic today were fellow comedians W. Kamau Bell and Nato Green, with other comedy-club veterans filling in the City Hall steps and toting “Save Punchline SF” signs. Local media outlets swarmed the scene with their camera equipment and notebooks at the ready, waiting for Chappelle to do his a.m. set. The Punchline “was the place I was at when I found out I was having my first kid; every important milestone in my life kind of went through this city, through that club,” Chappelle said. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter “It’d be like burning down the Louvre,” he continued. “That room is special, and I don’t think it would take much to save it.” Passersby, who looked puzzled as to what the press conference was actually for, whipped out their phones and captured the moment.center_img This is the closest I got to getting a picture w/ Dave Chappelle today. Us & a bunch of other comics (led by @natogreen), politicians, & workers came out to protest the yanking of @punchlinesf‘s lease by some tech company. The Punch has been there over 40 years. #savethepunchline— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) May 21, 2019 Email Addresslast_img read more

SAINTS are back up to third after a comfortable 46

first_imgSAINTS are back up to third after a comfortable 46-12 win over Huddersfield Giants.A five-try first half blitz was orchestrated by Lance Hohaia, Jonny Lomax and Josh Perry, and backed up with three more in the second half.The visitors showed periods of what made them so red-hot at the beginning of the season – but it wasn’t enough as Saints were too tenacious in defence to continue their sparkling run of form.The home side led 28-12 at half time after running in five tries and looking in total control.Tommy Makinson, Jonny Lomax and Francis Meli put the home side on the front foot before Keith Mason replied.But further tries from Lance Hohaia and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook echoed Saints domination of first 40 minutes.The Giants closed the door In the second half but Saints broke the stalemate with further tries from Anthony Laffranchi and James Roby.Paul Wellens then capped off a good performance late on.Saints made one change from the side that beat Catalans – Mark Flanagan coming in for the suspended Tony Puletua whilst the Huddersfield team saw a number of changes from the side that were humbled by Wakefield.Both sides played out their sets well in the opening five minutes before Lance Hohaia unlocked the defence.He sidestepped through the rearguard and the ball was sent right for Tommy Makinson to sneak over.Less than a minute later Jonny Lomax looked to have been taken out as he chased a ball, but the video referee correctly ruled a knock on after the ball bounced in the in-goal area.He wasn’t to be denied on 14 minutes though, dashing through the defence to increase the lead – Makinson converting.Saints next try came with thanks to a little bit of class from Wellens and Perry.Lomax sent up a high ball, Wellens caught it under pressure, offloaded to the big Australian prop who sent a great long pass out to Francis Meli for his 14th of the season.But Keith Mason replied within seconds after Danny Brough worked a move from the scrum.Hohaia reset the advantage immediately – converted by Makinson – to give Saints a 22-6 lead after 25 minutes.And Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook was next on the score sheet with a superb bulldozing run.But with less than ten minutes to go Scott Grix pulled one back to punish poor kick defence from Saints.Saints lead 28-12 at the break and were good value for that – but it took 20 minutes before they scored again.They knocked at the door a couple of times and finally Anthony Laffranchi flew over.James Roby added another with 15 minutes to go and Wellens was too strong to get his 17th of the season as the match entered its final stages.Match Summary:Saints:Tries: Makinson, Lomax, Meli, Hohaia, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Laffranchi, Roby, WellensGoals: Makinson (7 from 8)Giants:Tries: Mason, GrixGoals: Brough (2 from 2)Penalties:Saints: 8Giants: 2HT: 28-12FT: 46-12REF: James ChildATT: 14070Teams:Saints:1. Paul Wellens; 21. Tommy Makinson, 3. Michael Shenton, 26. Josh Jones, 5. Francis Meli; 6. Lance Hohaia, 7. Jonny Lomax; 8. Josh Perry, 9. James Roby, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 13. Chris Flannery, 4. Sia Soliola, 12. Jon Wilkin.Subs: 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Mark Flanagan 16. Paul Clough, 19. Andy Dixon.Giants:29. Greg Eden; 3. Leroy Cudjoe, 2. Michael Lawrence, 4. Lee Gilmour, 20. Luke George; 1. Scott Grix, 7. Danny Brough; 8. Eorl Crabtree, 9. Luke Robinson, 10. Keith Mason, 36. Brett Ferres, 18. Jason Chan, 12. David Fa’alogo.Subs: 13. David Faiumu, 15. Larne Patrick, 19. Tommy Lee, 35. Scott Moore.last_img read more

SAINTS have named their 19man squad for Saturday

first_imgSAINTS have named their 19-man squad for Saturday’s First Utility Super League game at Catalans.Mark Percival and Shannon McDonnell are recalled to the side.Keiron Cunningham will select his 17 from:1. Jonny Lomax, 3. Jordan Turner, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Adam Swift, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 11. Atelea Vea, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Lama Tasi, 15. Greg Richards, 17. Luke Thompson, 19. Theo Fages, 20. Joe Greenwood, 21. Matty Dawson, 22. Jack Owens, 23. Shannon McDonnell, 28. Morgan Knowles.The Dragons are without Paul Aiton, Louis Anderson, Greg Mounis, Richie Myler, Krisnan Inu and Olivier Elima whilst Vincent Duport and Willie Mason will also miss the game through injury.Dave Taylor and Pat Richards have recovered from injury and are back in the squad – winger Jordan Sigismeau set to make his first appearance of the season.1. Tony Gigot, 2. Jodie Broughton, 5. Pat Richards, 6. Todd Carney, 10. Rémi Casty, 11. Glenn Stewart, 12. Justin Horo, 13. Jason Baitieri, 14. Dave Taylor, 15. Julian Bousquet, 16. Eloi Pelissier, 18. Thomas Bosc, 20. Fouad Yaha, 21. Morgan Escaré, 22. Antoni Maria, 24. Thibaud Margalet, 26. Jordan Sigismeau, 27. Lucas Albert, 30. Romain Navarrete.The game kicks off at 5pm (UK Time) and the referee is Chris Campbell.Ticket details can be found here.last_img read more

First Team Match SAINTS TV

first_img“We are looking forward to it. It is a big game, it is a derby for both clubs and add to that it is first vs second. It is a good opportunity to put a marker down for us as a team and we are looking forward to the battle.“There have been a lot of big games this season but we played them at home back in March and we are the two form teams in the competition. We are sitting where we are for a reason and it’s a good opportunity to put a good marker down. We are going up against a tough opposition who along with ourselves have been a really good side this year, one of the best teams we will come up against this year.Chris Hill joined Alex at a joint press conference at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in the week and Walmsley is relishing the battle ahead.“Chris is a quality player and I have played with him at international level so I know what sort of player he is. I am looking forward to that battle, but they have such a big and menacing pack. They have got internationals in the front and back row so it is important we are on our game. We are no push overs ourselves and we have some good boys in our pack and we are looking forward to that battle.”Warrington have told us the ‘Wolves are waiting’, but the Saints wait for no one as we fly high at the top of the Betfred Super League table as both clubs exchanged words ahead of the big game and Walmsley feels the fun on social media all adds to the build up.“There is a definitely a different feel around the place, it is first vs second, it is Saints vs Warrington and there is a lot at stake, but a bit of poking fun at each other adds to that as well. It is going to be a packed house on Friday and both teams will be looking for bragging rights.”And ‘big Al’ is expecting a huge Saints following on Friday night and says he and the boys are looking forward to the support.Our travelling fans are unbelievable. They really do come out in numbers, especially against Warrington. They can make this feel like a home game they are that loud and they do come in force. I am sure Friday will be exactly the same and we are looking forward to that support.Tickets for Saints top of the table clash with Warrington on Friday are still available and are on sale from the Ticket Office, via 01744 455 052 and online here.Tickets for Saints Coral Challenge Cup Semi Final against Halifax, Saturday July 27 (KO 4:30pm) at the University of Bolton Stadium, are also on sale by clicking here.last_img read more

Convicted felon pleaded guilty to firearm charges

first_img McAllister had previously been convicted of felony breaking and entering in March of 2011 in Columbus County. Based on his criminal history, McAllister received a sentence of 1-2 years in prison.Connie Jordan, the prosecutor assigned to the case, said, “This conviction exposes Mr. McAllister to habitual felon status if he is charged with another felony after his release from prison.”The firearm will be destroyed by the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. Raheem McAllister (Photo: New Hanover Co. District Attorney’s Office) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington man entered a guilty plea Monday for the illegal possession of a firearm as a convicted felon.On July 13, 2016, at approximately 2:30 am, Raheem McAllister was the passenger in a car that was searched by officers with the Wilmington Police Department in the area of South 8th and Queen Streets. Officers seized a Smith and Wesson .38 Special CTG handgun from the floorboard of the passenger side of the car where McAllister had been sitting. The serial number on handgun had been defaced and was not legible. Because the serial number had been removed, law enforcement officers are unable to determine if the handgun had been stolen.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Local business owners upset with recent Spectrum outages

first_img “We’ve gone as long as 3 days without any phone service,” Paul Vision Institute, Edward Paul, OD said. “We’ve not had complete phone service for one day in the last two weeks.”“I can’t fix it. That’s what’s frustrating for me as an owner,” Physical Therapy for Women Owner, Jennifer Shepherd said. “That I physically, you know, there’s nothing I can do to take that away.”For more than two weeks, phone and internet access has been going in and out for several businesses like Physical Therapy for Women and Paul Vision Institute on Military Cutoff Road.Related Article: Woman battles with multiple providers for months, still cannot get internet service“Which has been crippling for a small medical practice when we’re dependent on patients being able to reach us by phone to make appointments, but also reach us by phone about emergency issues, prescription refills, concerns they have,” Paul said.It is a major problem Paul said is a direct result of his provider.“Management at Spectrum Time Warner they need a reboot,” Paul said. “They need to basically look at customer service from a different angle and think about the impact they have small businesses in New Hanover County.”Paul is not alone, just across the street at Physical Therapy for Women they are having the same issues.“The biggest problem is we don’t know what we don’t know. We don’t know the faxes we don’t receive. And then patients are angry,” Shepherd said.It is a frustrating problem Spectrum said it is working on.A spokesman sent us the following statement:“Some Spectrum customers in the Military Cutoff area are experiencing intermittent internet and phone issues. We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible for those who are affected and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.”Business owners like Shepherd hope it gets fixed soon.“It’s really been an inconvenience,” Shepherd said.As for when the problems will be fixed, a Spectrum spokesman said they are working with customers individually. The reason is because services were affected differently and cannot all be repaired the same way. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — For weeks several businesses in New Hanover County have been dealing with outages from their cable provider.It has been costing them business, piling up work, and creating overall frustration.- Advertisement – last_img read more

A new set of pearly whites for the Childrens Museum of Wilmington

first_img “It’s an important part of our mission to be able to make things like dentistry and health less worrisome to kids and less open so if they go to the dentist or go to the doctor it’s something maybe they’ve experience before or they know what to expect when they get there a little bit,” museum Executive Director Jim Karl said.Jim Karl also say it’s important to have an updated museum to continue to bring in more people and educate both kids and their families. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — There were plenty of smiles and pearly whites at the children’s museum of Wilmington. It just got a grant from the Delta Dental Foundation for its Toothasaurus exhibit.The new exhibit is an upgrade and provides a hands-on experience for kids to encourage a positive learning experience, to promote dental health. They can brush the model teeth, learn about the different types of teeth, and then hop into a real dentist chair to examine the teeth of a tooth-a-saurus.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Brunswick County girl loses battle with brain cancer

first_imgMadison Williams battling rare brain cancer (Photo: Team Madison-Donut Give Up) LELAND, NC (WWAY) — A Brunswick County girl who has been fighting against brain cancer for more than a year has died.According to the Team Madison-Donut Give Up Facebook page, Madison Williams passed away Wednesday afternoon.- Advertisement – Madison was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer called High Grade Neuroepithelial Brain Cancer/Tumor in March 2018.The family posted on Facebook Tuesday that tumors had tripled in size over a short period of time and new ones were forming. Madison was put in hospice and family enjoyed their final moments with her.“Thank you for loving our little girl with us during this difficult time,” the family wrote in a post.Related Article: Swing for Madison Charity Golf Tournament to help local girl battling cancerOver the last several months, the community has rallied around the Williams family.No word yet on any funeral arrangements.last_img read more

Senior citizens to get free and unlimited access to all Heritage Malta

first_img SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Credit: Kevin AbelaCredit: Kevin Abela A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed which will see the creation of a new Heritage Malta Senior Passport providing senior citizens with free and unlimited access to 27 attractions across Malta and Gozo.With this passport, senior citizens will have free and unlimited access to all Heritage Malta’s attractions (except for the closed sites and the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum), which include prehistoric temples and caves, prisons, fortresses and palaces, and a selection of museums relating to archaeology, maritime, war, and art. Each senior citizen may also choose to be accompanied by two youths during these visits who will also be entitled to free access.  All senior citizens are invited to call in person with their identity card at their local councils to apply for Heritage Malta’s Senior Passport. Minister for Culture Owen Bonnici stated that through this initiative, ‘we will be ensuring accessibility and inclusivity to senior citizens”. Bonnici added that through this scheme, the public will be able to enjoy and appreciate Malta’s heritage and history. Parliamentary Secretary for Communities Silvio Parnis, said that this initiative is another example that this government is committed to continue improving the quality of life of the elderly. Parnis added that the elderly are a priority in the local government reform; which aims to continue improving their quality of life.Mario Cutajar Heritage Malta’s Executive Director, said that this latest initiative follows the recently launched student passport scheme, which also allowed free unlimited access to all Heritage Malta sites. It will also be the first in a series of initiatives which will enable our heritage and culture to be conveyed throughout the island, Cutajar concluded.On each visit to any of Heritage Malta’s attractions, the Senior Passport holder has to ensure that the passport is stamped. With every eight stamps collected, a reward will be given to the holder by Heritage Malta, to a total of three rewards.Read: PM announces ‘schemes’ to assist elderly independent livingWhatsApplast_img read more

Triq Buqana lo Rabat closed for traffic

first_img SharePrint Triq Buqana, limits of Rabat is closed from Monday 3rd June 2019 for the next few weeks.Infrastructure Malta announced that the second phase of the Triq Buqana project has started today at 9am. There is no access to the road from Mosta and Mġarr going southwards.The road will be rebuilt with the first phase of the new bridge in Qlejja Valley (Wied il-Qlejja). Infrastructure Malta is advising all vehicle drivers to follow the road signs for an alternative route from Triq San Pawl tal-Qliegħa in Ta’ Qali when they are driving from Mosta and Mġarr towards Mtarfa and Rabat.WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Hackers attack Microsoft computers

first_imgAdvertisement Microsoft has become the latest US technology company to confirm that it has been targeted by computer hackers.In a blog post, Microsoft announced that “a small number” of its computers had recently been deliberately infected with malicious software.The firm said it found no evidence that any customer data had been accessed, but an investigation is continuing. – Advertisement – On Tuesday Apple said its computers were attacked by the same hackers who targeted Facebook a week earlier.At the time, Facebook said it had traced a cyber attack back to China which had infiltrated employees’ laptops.In Friday’s blog post, Microsoft spokesman Matt Thomlinson said: “This type of cyberattack is no surprise to Microsoft and other companies that must grapple with determined and persistent adversaries.”Credit: BBClast_img read more

BlackBerry testing money transfers via BBM in Indonesia

first_imgAdvertisement BlackBerry has confirmed that it is testing a mobile transfer feature alongside its BlackBerry Messenger service in Indonesia. The move that was  first announced in December 2012 is being considered for emerging markets, rather than the US or Europe.The Canadian mobile-maker, which launched its long-awaited new BlackBerry 10 platform at the end of January, is working with Indonesia’s Bank Permata — which includes Standard Chartered among its shareholders — to test a feature to transfer money between friends via the messaging service.A representative at PT Bank Permata said the service could pick up “a few hundred thousand users” over the course of next year, but BlackBerry doesn’t expect it would be a hit in western markets.“Is somebody going to buy a BlackBerry in the United States because it potentially has got BBM Money? No. Would they buy it in Indonesia because of BBM Money? Maybe, but in that case we have lots of reasons why they want to have a BlackBerry, and BBM is one of them.” T.A. McCann, vice president of BlackBerry Messenger said – Advertisement – Since it is estimated that fewer than 1 million of its 249 million population in Indonesia own credit cards, it is proving to be a popular test bed for payment payment services.BlackBerry remains well used in Indonesia, to the point that Android — which is growing fast across Asia — only overtook it as the most used platform in the country in September 2012. Previous estimates last year had suggested that 53.5 percent of smartphones sold in Indonesia were BlackBerry devices, though it is likely that Android is now top of the smartphone pile.BBM is a key part of the new BlackBerry operating system — its first device, the Z10, is likely to go on sale in Indonesia sometime in March — and the messaging service is a core part of its central hub. Though this trial is for older devices, BlackBerry is seeking to take the service beyond just chat, as McCann further explained to Bloomberg:BBM was traditionally thought of as just a chat client. [With the addition of video to the messaging service and now BBM Money,] we’re really trying to work hard to show clear examples of how we’re expanding BBM well beyond just chat.McCann added that trial could lead to “all kinds of different expansion whether it be additional banks, addition countries, additional devices and of course all kinds of functionality”, but the focus will remain on enabling users in emerging markets.RIM announced in December that BBM had 60 million active users who send ‘billions’ of messages each day and, though rivalled by chat apps in Asia, it continues to hold market share in Asia and the Middle East, in particular. Source: The Next Weblast_img read more

US Monitoring Every Phone Call Being Made in Kenya – Report

first_imgAdvertisement Kenya is among the countries where phone calls are being intercepted, recorded and archived by US Government’s National Security Agency (NSA) according to online media reports.The NSA is also intercepting, recording, and archiving the audio of virtually every cell phone conversation on the island nation of the Bahamas, Philipines and Mexico.A news website, The Intercept, reports that some documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, indicate that the surveillance is part of a top-secret system – code-named SOMALGET – that was implemented without the knowledge or consent of the Bahamian government. Instead, the agency appears to have used access legally obtained in cooperation with the US Drug Enforcement Administration to open a backdoor to the country’s cellular telephone network, enabling it to covertly record and store the “full-take audio” of every mobile call made to, from and within the Bahamas and to replay those calls for up to a month. – Advertisement – Related Stories[related-posts]SOMALGET is part of a broader NSA program called MYSTIC, which The Intercept has learned is being used to secretly monitor the telecommunications systems of the Bahamas and several other countries, including Mexico, the Philippines, and Kenya. But while MYSTIC scrapes mobile networks for so-called “metadata” – information that reveals the time, source, and destination of calls – SOMALGET is a cutting-edge tool that enables the NSA to vacuum up and store the actual content of every conversation in an entire country.All told, the NSA is using MYSTIC to gather personal data on mobile calls placed in countries with a combined population of more than 250 million people. And according to classified documents, the agency is seeking funding to export the sweeping surveillance capability elsewhere.The program raises profound questions about the nature and extent of American surveillance abroad. The U.S. intelligence community routinely justifies its massive spying efforts by citing the threats to national security posed by global terrorism and unpredictable rival nations like Russia and Iran. But the NSA documents indicate that SOMALGET has been deployed in the Bahamas to locate “international narcotics traffickers and special-interest alien smugglers” – traditional law-enforcement concerns, but a far cry from derailing terror plots or intercepting weapons of mass destruction.“The Bahamas is a stable democracy that shares democratic principles, personal freedoms, and rule of law with the United States,” the State Department concluded in a crime and safety report published last year. “There is little to no threat facing Americans from domestic (Bahamian) terrorism, war, or civil unrest.”By targeting the Bahamas’ entire mobile network, the NSA is intentionally collecting and retaining intelligence on millions of people who have not been accused of any crime or terrorist activity. Nearly five million Americans visit the country each year, and many prominent U.S. citizens keep homes there, including Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Bill Gates, and Oprah Winfrey.In addition, the program is a serious – and perhaps illegal – abuse of the access to international phone networks that other countries willingly grant the United States for legitimate law-enforcement surveillance. If the NSA is using the Drug Enforcement Administration’s relationship to the Bahamas as a cover for secretly recording the entire country’s mobile phone calls, it could imperil the longstanding tradition of international law enforcement cooperation that the United States enjoys with its allies.“It’s surprising, the short-sightedness of the government,” says Michael German, a fellow at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice who spent 16 years as an FBI agent conducting undercover investigations. “That they couldn’t see how exploiting a lawful mechanism to such a degree that you might lose that justifiable access – that’s where the intelligence community is acting in a way that harms its long-term interests, and clearly the long-term national security interests of the United States.”The NSA refused to comment on the program, but said in a statement that “the implication that NSA’s foreign intelligence collection is arbitrary and unconstrained is false.” The agency also insisted that it follows procedures to “protect the privacy of U.S. persons” whose communications are “incidentally collected.”In March, The Washington Post revealed that the NSA had developed the capability to record and store an entire nation’s phone traffic for 30 days. The Post reported that the capacity was a feature of MYSTIC, which it described as a “voice interception program” that is fully operational in one country and proposed for activation in six others. (The Post also referred to NSA documents suggesting that MYSTIC was pulling metadata in some of those countries.) Citing government requests, the paper declined to name any of those countries.The Intercept has confirmed that as of 2013, the NSA was actively using MYSTIC to gather cell-phone metadata in five countries, and was intercepting voice data in two of them. Documents show that the NSA has been generating intelligence reports from MYSTIC surveillance in the Bahamas, Mexico, Kenya, the Philippines, and one other country, which The Intercept is not naming in response to specific, credible concerns that doing so could lead to increased violence. The more expansive full-take recording capability has been deployed in both the Bahamas and the unnamed country.MYSTIC was established in 2009 by the NSA’s Special Source Operations division, which works with corporate partners to conduct surveillance. Documents in the Snowden archive describe it as a “program for embedded collection systems overtly installed on target networks, predominantly for the collection and processing of wireless/mobile communications networks.”According to one NSA document, SOMALGET is “deployed against entire networks” in the Bahamas and the second country, and processes “over 100 million call events per day.”SOMALGET’s capabilities are further detailed in a May 2012 memo written by an official in the NSA’s International Crime and Narcotics division. The memo hails the “great success” the NSA’s drugs and crime unit has enjoyed through its use of the program, and boasts about how “beneficial” the collection and recording of every phone call in a given nation can be to intelligence analysts.Rather than simply making “tentative analytic conclusions derived from metadata,” the memo notes, analysts can follow up on hunches by going back in time and listening to phone calls recorded during the previous month. Such “retrospective retrieval” means that analysts can figure out what targets were saying even when the calls occurred before the targets were identified. “[W]e buffer certain calls that MAY be of foreign intelligence value for a sufficient period to permit a well-informed decision on whether to retrieve and return specific audio content,” the NSA official reported.One NSA document spells out that “the overt purpose” given for accessing foreign telecommunications systems is “for legitimate commercial service for the Telco’s themselves.” But the same document adds: “Our covert mission is the provision of SIGINT,” or signals intelligence.The classified 2013 intelligence budget also describes MYSTIC as using “partner-enabled” access to both cellular and landline phone networks. The goal of the access, the budget says, is to “provide comprehensive metadata access and content against targeted communications” in the Caribbean, Mexico, Kenya, the Philippines, and the unnamed country. The budget adds that in the Bahamas, Mexico, and the Philippines. The budget adds that in the Bahamas, Mexico, and the Philippines, MYSTIC requires “contracted services” for its “operational sustainment.”In Kenya, the U.S. works closely with local security forces in combating the militant fundamentalist group Al-Shabab, based in neighboring Somalia. In the Philippines, the U.S. continues to support a bloody shadow war against Islamist extremists launched by the Bush administration in 2002. Last month, President Barack Obama visited Manila to sign a military pact guaranteeing that U.S. operations in Southeast Asia will continue and expand for at least another decade.Report by CIO East Africa. Source: AllAfrica.comlast_img read more

Ethiopian Banks Set To Launch Mobile Money Services

first_imgAdvertisement Banks and micro-finance firms, located in Ethiopia, are set to launch mobile money services within the country. According to Netherlands-based company BelCash, the move is intended to assist individuals – who have little or access to banking services – to gain the ability to access these services.BelCash is offering a technology called helloCash, while MOSS ICT, mainly owned by an Ireland-based firm, is rolling out M-Birr the nation. In both cases, Ethiopian banks and institutions will offer the service to customers and hold the cash deposited, in line with government policy that bars foreign firms or banks from investing in the financial sector or the telecoms industry.In a statement made to Reuters, “One of the things that the government wants to do is ensure there is financial inclusion,” said MOSS ICT deputy general manager Kidist Negeye, adding M-Birr would help reach rural areas. “Another aspect is the mobilisation of domestic savings. The government wants to increase the number of deposits.” – Advertisement – According to BelCash chief executive, Vince Diop: “BelCash’s helloCash service could have 2-3 million users this year and 10 million by 2017 or 2018.” In the statement, Diop added that BelCash would receive a fee for each transaction made.Two of Ethiopia’s 16 private banks, Lion International Bank and Cooperative Bank of Oromia, as well as a micro-finance firm, have signed up for helloCash. Two more banks have yet to submit applications to the central bank, Diop revealed.Credit: ITNewsAfricalast_img read more

Red Hat Names Massimo Fatato as Vice President of Telecommunications in EMEA

first_imgMassimo Fatato new VP of Telecommunications in EMEA at Red Hat Inc. Image Credit: guruadvisor Advertisement Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, has named Massimo Fatato vice president of its telecommunications business in EMEA. Effective immediately, Fatato will lead strategic development and program execution to support Red Hat’s expansion in the telecommunications market in EMEA.Bringing with him more than 25 years of experience in telecommunications across the globe, Fatato will be responsible for setting out Red Hat’s vision for the EMEA telecommunications market and overseeing the execution of this strategy across sales and marketing. This includes expanding and consolidating the partner ecosystem within which Red Hat is able to support the requirements of its growing telecoms customer base.Werner Knoblich, senior vice president and general manager, EMEA at Red Hat said, “The telecommunications landscape is changing at an unparalleled pace. Massimo knows the industry inside-out, and we are delighted to have him on board to head up our telecommunications operations throughout EMEA. With his extensive industry background, Massimo brings the experience needed to broaden and deepen our business across the industry, delivering to our EMEA customers the operational, economic, and innovation benefits offered by Red Hat technologies.” – Advertisement – Fatato joins Red Hat from HP, where he served as general manager for its Operations Support System portfolio worldwide, and previously held positions at Cisco and Accenture.As pressure increases on the telecoms industry to meet heightening customer demands and to adapt to a fast pace of technology change, Red Hat sees a significant opportunity to support Network Equipment Providers and Communications Service Providers  with its platforms and solutions that are carrier-grade, proven, and predictable in mission-critical telecom environments.Red Hat’s unique value is to deliver technology based on open source software and industry hardware that is cost-effective, flexible, and that enables faster innovation and quicker time to market.With this proposition, Red Hat is well positioned to help the telecoms community as it looks to open systems such as NFV and OpenStack to help to simplify, unify, and update complex infrastructure without disrupting the always-on quality of experience-driven business.[related-posts]last_img read more

Safeboda Motorists Ask Govt To Reduce Tax on Permits Create Parking Lanes

first_imgRapa Thomson Ricky, Co-Founder of Safeboda speaking at their bi-annual party at the Lugogo Cricket Oval in Kampala on Sunday 27th, January 2018. Advertisement Bukoto based ride-hailing firm, Safeboda on Sunday at the Lugogo Cricket Oval in Kampala celebrated 5 years with the Cabinet Minister of Kampala Capital City Authority, Honorable Betty Kamya and Ronald Amanyire, Secretary at National Road Safety Council in attendance.The orange-colored company gathered with its riders and their families in their bi-annual party to celebrate not just 5 years existence in Uganda, but the service its riders have offered to their customers. To-date Safeboda has 8,000+ riders, and predicts to reach 10,000 in the next two months, and 30,000 in total for 2019.Safeboda today is one of the most successful startups in Uganda, as well as the biggest motorcycle-hailing service beating its competitors like, Uberboda, Taxifyboda, DialJack, among others. The company who officially launched in 2014 with about 20 riders have proved they can dominate the industry they pioneered. – Advertisement – Meanwhile the bi-annual party was — was also an arena for the riders to air out some of their issues. In presence of Betty Kamya, and Ronald Amanyire, the company raised two concerns they wish the government of Uganda could implement.Speaking on behalf of the company, Rapa Thomson Ricky and his co-founders; Maxime Dieudonne, and Alastair Sussock — asked the government—one, to reduce on the tax imposed on permits and second, to create parking lanes at traffic light points dedicated for bodas.(L – R): Maxime Dieudonne, Rapa Thomson Ricky, and Alastair Sussock are the co-founders of Safeboda. Pictured at the Safeboda bi-annual party at the Lugogo Cricket Oval in Kampala on Sunday 27th, January 2018.“We’re asking as safeboda if our government could consider creating parking lanes to reduce on the risks of our riders from being knocked by other vehicles as well motorists,” Ricky told press, on Sunday Evening. Ricky added that its riders have raised this issue of being knocked especially on traffic light points.“We’re good riders, we follow rules, therefore to avoid some of these accidents from happening, we need these lanes for better protection to our riders,” said Ricky.Answering to all these concerns, Betty Kamya said the government appreciates the tax boda riders pay. However, reducing the tax is handled by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Roads and Works. She however, said, quote “we at the Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA), are willing to support this.” “Government can’t ignore you, we shall sit down with you and discuss our way forward,” she added.Cabinet Minister of Kampala Capital City Authority, Honorable Betty Kamya speaking at the Safeboda bi-annual party at the Lugogo Cricket Oval in Kampala on Sunday 27th, January 2018.On the other hand, Betty said the road policy handled by KCCA ensures that for every new road that is going to be constructed will have motorcycle lanes, as well as for pedestrians. While we have seen miss-use of road lanes, Betty says the public should use the advantage of today’s technology to report such incidents.“If you see a car or a track, parking in a motorcycle lane, take a picture of it and post it on social media and tag the authorities who will then handle the issue,” Betty told press. “Use the advantage of today’s technology, capture the license plates send them via social media, and the rest will be handled by the authorities,” she added.Ronald Amanyire seconded Betty’s comments, and said the issues raised will be passed onto the board of Ministry of Roads and Works. He however called for patience as these could at times take awhile to be implemented.Ronald Amanyire, Secretary at National Road Safety Council — a body under the Ministry of Roads and Works speaking at the Safeboda bi-annual party at the Lugogo Cricket Oval in Kampala on Sunday 27th, January 2018.Betty applauded safeboda for its service, and pledged the government to support the initiative. She appreciated the work the company has done in raising the reputation of the boda boda industry.She however, noted on the issue of organizing boda stages. Betty said the authority is working to see that all boda stages are organized and registered for better management. However, with the rise of ride-hailing services, she said will shall require no stages—to adopt the stageless environment. But the stages will still exist.Notably, during the press brief, Ricky touched on the issue of fare increment — which raised a lot of concern with their customers. He said that the company increased the fare by 12% to favor its riders. Pointing out factors like increase fuel prices, delay in traffic (during peak hours) — that don’t favor the riders.In a tweet, safeboda, says the change was put into consideration to be able to continue to provide a reliable and convenient service and also to ensure that their rides are also benefiting.[related-posts]last_img read more

The Grand National

first_imgSTAR EVENT: AintreeDay Three of the Grand National meeting TIME: first race 1.45pm TV: C4/RUKIn an era when racing coverage in newspapers is coming under increasing pressure how refreshing to pick up a copy of the Liverpool Echo on Friday evening to see the silks of all 40 runners splashed on the front page, the form and card on the back page and a ‘bumper’ eight page pull out inside.Mind you, if the Liverpool Echo don’t do the race justice – no one is going to but it runs deeper that.The Grand National is a precious and deeply loved part of Liverpool’s heritage. If the Melbourne Cup stops a nation, the Grand National still stops a city and, thankfully, most of the country.But it’s a challenging time for the great race and an important year. The race is being made safer (read easier) every year but the sad fatality of Battlefront that marred the opening day grabbed the news headlines.The old race desperately needs a good year and headlines for the right reasons.First and foremost, let’s hope for all horses and riders to return safely. That will be the best possible result for the race going forwards and building and keeping a new audience for the annual spectacular.Channel 4 will also cover the race for the first time this year after the BBC rather shamefully dropped all its racing coverage.So it’s a new era but will picking the winner be any easier? Yes, in theory. Safer fences should ensure less casualties and with a generally higher quality horse competing these days it should play into the hands of the better class horses with less of the lottery factor. It will also be interesting to see how the start works this year – now set further away from the stands to try and ensure a calmer start for the horses. We wouldn’t be big odds a false start though !!The old course is still capable of throwing up a shock though as we just saw on Thursday with the success of 100/1 chance Tartan Snow in the Fox Hunters’ Chase.As always with the National we’re expecting the usual late gambles. A win for Ruby, Katy or AP would almost certainly be bad news for us at Star Sports so we’re looking for something outside that trio of On His Own, Seabass and Colbert Station.Finally, you want a tip? The best tip is to go with what you fancy. Make the race personal and however you select your National pick(s) settle back and cheer your selection home.But more importantly cheer them ALL home safe and sound.A couple of longer priced ones for the Star Event column that we think could run well are Joncol and Roberto Goldback.STAR FORECAST(stake between 0.5 and 10 points)1 point ew Joncol (Aintree 4.15 Grand National)1 point ew Roberto Goldback (Aintree 4.15 Grand National)(LEVEL points yesterday: NON RUNNER)Agree OR disagree? Call Star Sports on 08000 521 321 to place your bet.last_img read more


first_imgWhat’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321 [dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Friday 21 AugustRACING2.30 YorkMizzou 6/1 > 9/22.45 BangorWaddingtown Hero 7/2 > 5/22.55 SandownBirdie Queen 7/1> 5/14.40 SandownBartholomew Fair 8/1 > 5/17.20 WolverhamptonEquity Risk 7/1 > 7/28.05 SalisburySt Lawrence Gap 7/2 > 2/19.20 WolverhamptonFrench Press 8/1 > 4/1FOOTBALLChampionship7.45pm SKY15/8 Birmingham 6/4 Derby 23/10 DRAWSaturday Early Kick OffPremier League12.45pm BT SPORT4/11 Man Utd 8/1 Newcastle United 4/1 DRAW(All prices subject to fluctuation)last_img read more