Tuesday, 31 July 2012
NLP could be described the application of the placebo effect. It involves doing whatever you can to make a person believe they’re going to change, and as such relies heavily upon your combined preconceptions. It uses some cunning quirks of language and exploits behavioural patterns to deepen a person’s responsiveness to suggestion. Really, it’s a model for learning.
Neuro-linguistic programming is a User manual for the brain – NLP enables you to understand and become more aware of what makes you (and others around you) tick – how you think (consciously and unconsciously), how you feel, how you communicate, how you behave and how you make sense of the world around you. And once you understand what makes you tick then you can change how you think, feel or behave at ANY moment you choose. Maximum flexibility means maximum possibility of success.NLP is a mindset. YOU are in control of your thinking, your actions and YOUR results. NLP can provide you with tools to enable you to achieve your specific goals successfully and consistently in all areas of your life.
There are NO limits: the only limits are in your mind. You are the only thing holding you back. NLP can help you overcome your limiting decisions, limiting beliefs and dump the negative emotions you spent so much energy carrying around. NLP can provide you with the skills to communicate and influence more effectively. NLP can teach you how to build and maintain rapport, an essential component of any successful relationship, be it at work or at home. Imagine if you could connect, so easily and effortlessly, with other people such that you could sell any idea to them. NLP can help replace conflict in a relationship with trusting collaboration.
Super powers: NLP can enhance your performance in meetings, presentations and negotiations and it can help you be truly exceptional at setting effective and compelling goals for yourself and others. NLP’s basic concept is modelling – such that you can model any excellent behaviour or skill that someone else has and install it in yourself.
NLP can help facilitate rapid and massive change in a person which some people can only equate to you being brainwashed into some sort of cult or weird religion. Considering NLP was developed by a couple of academics it’s developed an interesting public persona that means it’s sometimes associated with brainwashing, manipulation and a ‘get what you want no matter the cost to someone else’ kind of attitude…. NLP or no NLP, there are good people in this world and there’s those who only care about themselves. It could possibly be used by major corporations in their advertisments, government propagandaand government agencies.
Dodgy standards: there are hundreds of different groups, associations, boards and certification standards. There no single global standard that every Practitioner or Master Practitioner course complies with, and for that matter there’s no countrywide standard in most places. Courses can range from unprofessional and downright useless through to professional and informative. It’s hit and miss unless you have at least some insider knowledge and references from other people. The realisation that you are in control of your thoughts, your actions and ultimately your destiny can be daunting and can weigh heavy at first. Remember baby steps will add up to giant leaps….
Thursday, 26 July 2012
Oceans cover about 70% of the Earth's surface. The oceans contain roughly 97% of the Earth's water supply.
The oceans of Earth are unique in our Solar System. No other planet in our Solar System has liquid water (although recent finds on Mars indicate that Mars may have had some liquid water in the recent past). Life on Earth originated in the seas, and the oceans continue to be home to an incredibly diverse web of life.
The oceans of Earth serve many functions, especially affecting the weather and temperature. They moderate the Earth's temperature by absorbing incoming solar radiation (stored as heat energy). The always-moving ocean currents distribute this heat energy around the globe. This heats the land and air during winter and cools it during summer.
The Earth's oceans are all connected to one another. Until the year 2000, there were four recognized oceans: the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Arctic. In the Spring of 2000, the International Hydrographic Organization delimited a new ocean, the Southern Ocean (it surrounds Antarctica and extends to 60 degrees latitude).
There are also many seas (smaller branches of an ocean); seas are often partly enclosed by land. The largest seas are the South China Sea, the Caribbean Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea.
Formation of oceans
Geologically, Earth's ocean is the area of oceanic crust covered by water. Oceanic crust is the thin layer of solidified volcanic basalt that covers the mantle. The ocean floor spreads from mid-ocean ridges where two plates adjoin. Where two plates move towards each other, one plate subducts under another plate (oceanic or continental), leading to an oceanic trench. From this perspective, the earth has three oceans: the World Ocean, the Caspian Sea, and Black Sea. The latter two were formed by the collision of Cimmeria with Laurasia.
The Mediterranean Sea is at times a discrete ocean, because tectonic plate movements have repeatedly broken its connection to the World Ocean through the Strait of Gibraltar. The Black Sea is connected to the Mediterranean through the Bosporus, but the Bosporus is a natural canal that was cut through continental rock around 7,000 years ago, rather than a piece of oceanic sea floor like the Strait of Gibraltar.
The ocean has a significant effect on the biosphere. Oceanic evaporation, as a phase of the water cycle, is the source of most rainfall, and ocean temperatures determine climate and wind patterns that affect life on land. Life within the ocean evolved 3 billion years prior to life on land. Both the depth and the distance from shore strongly influence the biodiversity of the plants and animals present in each region.
Lifeforms native to the ocean include: Fish; Radiata, such as jellyfish (Cnidaria); Cetacea, such as whales, dolphins, and porpoises; Cephalopods, such as octopus and squid; Crustaceans, such as lobsters, clams, shrimp, and krill; Marine worms; Plankton; and Echinoderms, such as brittle stars, starfish, sea cucumbers, and sand dollars. Economic value The oceans are essential to transportation: most of the world's goods move by ship between the world's seaports. Oceans are also the major supply source for the fishing industry. Some of the more major ones are shrimp, fish, crabs and lobster.
Thursday, 19 July 2012
Cloud computing is the delivery of computing and storage capacity as a service to a small community of end-recipients. The name comes from the use of a cloud-shaped symbol as an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it contains in system diagrams. Cloud computing entrusts services with a user's data, software and computation over a network.
There are three types of cloud computing Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).
Using Infrastructure as a Service, users rent use of servers (as many as needed during the rental period) provided by one or more cloud providers. Using Platform as a Service, users rent use of servers and the system software to use in them. Using Software as a Service, users also rent application software and databases. The cloud providers manage the infrastructure and platforms on which the applications run. End users access cloud-based applications through a web browser or a light-weight desktop or mobile app while the business software and user's data are stored on servers at a remote location. Proponents claim that cloud computing allows enterprises to get their applications up and running faster, with improved manageability and less maintenance, and enables IT to more rapidly adjust resources to meet fluctuating and unpredictable business demand.
Cloud computing relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economies of scale similar to a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network (typically the Internet). At the foundation of cloud computing is the broader concept of converged infrastructure and shared services.
Public cloud applications, storage, and other resources are made available to the general public by a service provider. These services are free or offered on a pay-per-use model. Generally, public cloud service providers like Microsoft and Google own and operate the infrastructure and offer access only via Internet (direct connectivity is not offered).
Community cloud shares infrastructure between several organizations from a specific community with common concerns (security, compliance, jurisdiction, etc.), whether managed internally or by a third-party and hosted internally or externally. The costs are spread over fewer users than a public cloud (but more than a private cloud), so only some of the cost savings potential of cloud computing are realized.
Hybrid cloud is a composition of two or more clouds (private, community or public) that remain unique entities but are bound together, offering the benefits of multiple deployment models.By utilizing "hybrid cloud" architecture, companies and individuals are able to obtain degrees of fault tolerance combined with locally immediate usability without dependency on internet connectivity. Hybrid Cloud architecture requires both on-premises resources and off-site (remote) server based cloud infrastructure. Hybrid clouds lack the flexibility, security and certainty of in-house applications. Hybrid cloud provides the flexibility of in house applications with the fault tolerance and scalability of cloud based services.
Private cloud is cloud infrastructure operated solely for a single organization, whether managed internally or by a third-party and hosted internally or externally. They have attracted criticism because users "still have to buy, build, and manage them" and thus do not benefit from less hands-on management, essentially "[lacking] the economic model that makes cloud computing such an intriguing concept".
Cloud computing sample architecture
Cloud architecture, the systems architecture of the software systems involved in the delivery of cloud computing, typically involves multiple cloud components communicating with each other over a loose coupling mechanism such as a messaging queue. Elastic provision implies intelligence in the use of tight or loose coupling as applied to mechanisms such as these and others.
The cloud model has been criticised by privacy advocates for the greater ease in which the companies hosting the cloud services control, thus, can monitor at will, lawfully or unlawfully, the communication and data stored between the user and the host company. Instances such as the secret NSA program, working with AT&T, and Verizon, which recorded over 10 million phone calls between American citizens, causes uncertainty among privacy advocates, and the greater powers it gives to telecommunication companies to monitor user activity. Using a cloud service provider (CSP) can complicate privacy of data because of the extent to which virtualization for cloud processing (virtual machines) and cloud storage are used to implement cloud service. The point is that CSP operations, customer or tenant data may not remain on the same system, or in the same data center or even within the same provider's cloud. This can lead to legal concerns over jurisdiction. While there have been efforts (such as US-EU Safe Harbor) to "harmonise" the legal environment, providers such as Amazon still cater to major markets (typically the United States and the European Union) by deploying local infrastructure and allowing customers to select "availability zones." Cloud computing poses privacy concerns because the service provider may access the data that is on the cloud at any point in time. They could accidentally or deliberately alter or even delete information.
In order to obtain compliance with regulations including FISMA, HIPAA, and SOX in the United States, the Data Protection Directive in the EU and the credit card industry's PCI DSS, users may have to adopt community or hybrid deployment modes that are typically more expensive and may offer restricted benefits. This is how Google is able to "manage and meet additional government policy requirements beyond FISMA" and Rackspace Cloud or QubeSpace are able to claim PCI compliance. Many providers also obtain a SAS 70 Type II audit, but this has been criticised on the grounds that the hand-picked set of goals and standards determined by the auditor and the auditee are often not disclosed and can vary widely. Providers typically make this information available on request, under non-disclosure agreement. Customers in the EU contracting with cloud providers outside the EU/EEA have to adhere to the EU regulations on export of personal data. U.S. Federal Agencies have been directed by the Office of Management and Budget to use a process called FedRAMP (Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program) to assess and authorize cloud products and services. Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel issued a memorandum to federal agency Chief Information Officers on December 8, 2011 defining how federal agencies should use FedRAMP. FedRAMP consists of a subset of NIST Special Publication 800-53 security controls specifically selected to provide protection in cloud environments. A subset has been defined for the FIPS 199 low categorization and the FIPS 199 moderate categorization. The FedRAMP program has also established a Joint Acceditation Board (JAB) consisting of Chief Information Officers from DoD, DHS and GSA. The JAB is responsible for establishing accreditation standards for 3rd party organizations who will perform the assessments of cloud solutions. The JAB will also review authorization packages and may grant provisional authorization (to operate). The federal agency consuming the service will still have the final responsibility for final authority to operate.
As can be expected with any revolutionary change in the landscape of global computing, certain legal issues arise; everything from trademark infringement, security concerns to the sharing of propriety data resources.
Open-source software has provided the foundation for many cloud computing implementations, one prominent example being the Hadoop framework. In November 2007, the Free Software Foundation released the Affero General Public License, a version of GPLv3 intended to close a perceived legal loophole associated with free software designed to be run over a network.
Most cloud providers expose APIs that are typically well-documented (often under a Creative Commons license) but also unique to their implementation and thus not interoperable. Some vendors have adopted others' APIs and there are a number of open standards under development, with a view to delivering interoperability and portability.
Cloud computing security
As cloud computing is achieving increased popularity, concerns are being voiced about the security issues introduced through adoption of this new model. The effectiveness and efficiency of traditional protection mechanisms are being reconsidered as the characteristics of this innovative deployment model can differ widely from those of traditional architectures. An alternative perspective on the topic of cloud security is that this is but another, although quite broad, case of "applied security" and that similar security principles that apply in shared multi-user mainframe security models apply with cloud security. The relative security of cloud computing services is a contentious issue that may be delaying its adoption. Physical control of the Private Cloud equipment is more secure than having the equipment off site and under someone else’s control. Physical control and the ability to visually inspect the data links and access ports is required in order to ensure data links are not compromised. Issues barring the adoption of cloud computing are due in large part to the private and public sectors' unease surrounding the external management of security-based services. It is the very nature of cloud computing-based services, private or public, that promote external management of provided services. This delivers great incentive to cloud computing service providers to prioritize building and maintaining strong management of secure services. Security issues have been categorised into sensitive data access, data segregation, privacy, bug exploitation, recovery, accountability, malicious insiders, management console security, account control, and multi-tenancy issues. Solutions to various cloud security issues vary, from cryptography, particularly public key infrastructure (PKI), to use of multiple cloud providers, standardisation of APIs, and improving virtual machine support and legal support. Cloud computing offers many benefits, but it also is vulnerable to threats. As the uses of cloud computing increase, it is highly likely that more criminals will try to find new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in the system. There are many underlying challenges and risks in cloud computing that increase the threat of data being compromised. To help mitigate the threat, cloud computing stakeholders should invest heavily in risk assessment to ensure that the system encrypts to protect data; establishes trusted foundation to secure the platform and infrastructure; and builds higher assurance into auditing to strengthen compliance. Security concerns must be addressed in order to establish trust in cloud computing technology.
Although cloud computing is often assumed to be a form of "green computing", there is no published study to substantiate this assumption. Siting the servers affects the environmental effects of cloud computing. In areas where climate favors natural cooling and renewable electricity is readily available, the environmental effects will be more moderate. (The same holds true for "traditional" data centers.) Thus countries with favorable conditions, such as Finland, Sweden and Switzerland, are trying to attract cloud computing data centers. Energy efficiency in cloud computing can result from energy-aware scheduling and server consolidation. However, in the case of distributed clouds over data centers with different source of energies including renewable source of energies, a small compromise on energy consumption reduction could result in high carbon footprint reduction.
Wednesday, 4 July 2012
Veolia Environnement S.A. is a multinational French company with activities in four main service and utility areas traditionally managed by public authorities - water supply and water management, waste management, energy and transport services. In 2011, Veolia employed 331,226 employees in 77 countries. Its revenue in that year was recorded at €29.647 billion. It is quoted on Euronext Paris and the New York Stock Exchange. It is headquartered in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. Between 2000 and 2003 the company was known as Vivendi Environnement, having been spun off from the Vivendi conglomerate, most of the rest of which became Vivendi. Prior to 1998 Vivendi was known as Compagnie Générale des Eaux.
In 2003, Vivendi Environnement became Veolia Environnement. In 2005, the name “Veolia” was established as an umbrella brand for all of the Group’s divisions (water, environmental services, energy services and transport) and a new logo was created. In November 2009, Antoine Frérot has become the Chairman and the CEO of the Group after succeeding Henri Proglio who has been appointed CEO of Électricité de France. The change has been part of a huge politico-financial scandal in France as Proglio kept executive positions - and subsequent salary - in both companies until public criticism forced him to give up his Veolia revenues. Its Veolia Water division remains the largest private operator of water services in the world.
In March 2011 the company announce the birth of Veolia Transdev, the result of the combination of its transport subsidiary Veolia Transport with Transdev, a subsidiary of Caisse des Dépôts. Veolia Transdev is the world's private-sector leader in sustainable mobility with more than 110,000 employees in 28 countries. In July 2011, amid disappointing financial results, the company announced the launch of new restructuring plans and redeployment of assets and businesses. In December 2011, Veolia announced a €5bn divestment program over 2012-2013. The company would comprise only three divisions (Water, Environmental Services and Energy Services). The transport businesses Veolia Transdev would be divested.
Sustainability, corporate communications and sponsorship
The company’s sustainable development activities are diverse. Because it operates in four sectors with a huge potential impact on the environment, both the risks and opportunities presented by sustainable development activities are substantial. The company’s sustainability efforts are furthered by its Foundation and Institute which emphasize innovation and research.
The Veolia Environnement Foundation
The Veolia Environnement Foundation supports non-profit activities related to sustainable development, professional continuous development and the protection of the environment in France and overseas. The Foundation supports projects through financial aid and voluntary services provided by its employees. It also supports emergency relief operations in collaboration with humanitarian organisations. Following the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, the Veolia Foundation dispatched 30 tons of emergency supplies (mainly water treatment units) via French Red Cross air transportation. The Foundation also sent Veolia technical experts to provide water to the disaster’s victims.
Institut Veolia Environnement
The Institut Veolia Environnement was created in 2001 to provide insights into major global challenges such as climate change, urbanisation and various economic, social and cultural issues related to the environment. The institute is built around a committee that brings together 7 experts and an international network of researchers and experts. Its activities include organising conferences and publishing articles and reports.
Veolia has been criticized for its involvement in the Jerusalem Light Rail, whose construction started in 2002; operations started in 2011. Critics argue that the railway stretches into the occupied East Jerusalem and to Israeli settlements regarded as illegal by the international community. In April 2010 the United Nations Human Rights Council declared the tramway and its operation to be illegal. The resolution was passed 44 to 1, with the UK, France and all the EU members of the Council voting in favour. Veolia has a stake in the CityPass consortium that holds the concession, and is also involved in the rail's operation. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign has been active against Veolia, principally in Europe. The Russell Tribunal on Palestine, at its London session of November 2010, considered Veolia's role in the Jerusalem Light Rail and found it to be illegal. In February 2011 the East London council of Tower Hamlets voted to review its position with Veolia and place no further contracts with it, after claiming that Veolia's work for the Israeli government assisted the "continued oppression of the Palestinian people". The Justice and Peace Commission, part of the Catholic Church in England, urged London municipalities to stop doing business with Veolia because of its involvement with illegal settlements. Veolia denied wrongdoing. Palestinian human-rights organization Al-Haq instructed lawyers in the Netherlands to submit a formal objection against the decision of Stadsregio Arnhem Nijmegen, a municipality, to award a public transport concession to Hermes, the Dutch subsidiary of Veolia Transdev. The objection was based on Veolia’s involvement in what Al-Haq claims are Israel’s violations of international law. In a 2012 interview with the Israeli press, Veolia's Denis Gasquet, senior executive vice president, admitted that Veolia had been under pressure from pro-Palestinian groups in Europe, particularly over the Jerusalem Light Rail. Parties within Veolia had argued that the group was losing tenders as a result, but Gasquest said he did not know of any tenders lost due to Veolia's activities in Israel. He confirmed Veolia's intention to stay in Israel, while exiting the transport business.
Research and development
As of December 31, 2009, the Group’s research and development investments reached €89.8 million (€92.1 million in 2008, €84.6 million in 2007). The Research and Innovation division includes 850 experts and supports around 200 scientific partnerships with private and public organisations. The division focuses on four main issues:
Manage and preserve natural resources Control impacts on natural environments Care for health and living environments Develop alternative sources of energy
Programmes Veolia Environnement’s R&I division has determined 9 main development programmes through which a number of research projects are managed: Waste collection, sorting, and beneficial re-use Sustainable city and building management Energy efficiency Transport Environmental and health standards New activities Bioresources Drinking water Waste water
Veolia Innovation Accelerator
To boost and accelerate the innovation process, Veolia Environnement has established the Veolia Innovation Accelerator initiative. This is a programme for the identification and support of the best technologies (also called “cleantechs”) within the most innovative start-up companies in the industry.
Sunday, 1 July 2012
According to the North American archeological and Aboriginal genetic evidence, North and South America were the last continents in the world with human habitation. During the Wisconsin glaciation, 50,000 – 17,000 years ago, falling sea levels allowed people to move across the Bering land bridge (Beringia) that joined Siberia to north west North America (Alaska). At that point, they were blocked by the Laurentide ice sheet that covered most of Canada, which confined them to Alaska for thousands of years.
Around 16,000 years ago, the glaciers began melting, allowing people to move south and east into Canada. The exact dates and routes of the peopling of the Americas are the subject of an ongoing debate. The Queen Charlotte Islands, Old Crow Flats, and Bluefish Caves are some of the earliest archaeological sites of Paleo-Indians in Canada. Ice Age hunter-gatherers left lithic flake fluted stone tools and the remains of large butchered mammals.
The history of Canada covers the period from the arrival of Paleo-Indians thousands of years ago to the present day. Canada has been inhabited for millennia by distinctive groups of Aboriginal peoples, among whom evolved trade networks, spiritual beliefs, and social hierarchies. Some of these civilizations had long faded by the time of the first European arrivals and have been discovered through archaeological investigations. Various treaties and laws have been enacted between European settlers and the Aboriginal populations.
Beginning in the late 15th century, French and British expeditions explored, and later settled, along the Atlantic coast. France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America to Britain in 1763 after the Seven Years' War. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces. This began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the British Empire, which became official with the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and completed in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament.
Over centuries, elements of Aboriginal, French, British and more recent immigrant customs have combined to form a Canadian culture. Canadian culture has also been strongly influenced by that of its linguistic, geographic and economic neighbour, the United States. Since the conclusion of the Second World War, Canadians have supported multilateralism abroad and socioeconomic development domestically. Canada currently consists of ten provinces and three territories and is governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.
With the end of the Seven Years' War and the signing of the Treaty of Paris (1763), France ceded almost all of its territory in mainland North America, except for fishing rights off Newfoundland and two small islands where it could dry that fish. In turn France received the return of its sugar colony, Guadeloupe, which it considered more valuable than Canada. The new British rulers retained and protected most of the property, religious, political, and social culture of the French-speaking habitants, guaranteeing the right of the Canadiens to practice the Catholic faith and to the use of French civil law (now Quebec law) through the Quebec Act of 1774. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 had been issued in October, by King George III following Great Britain's acquisition of French territory. The proclamation organized Great Britain's new North American empire and to stabilize relations between the British Crown and Aboriginal peoples through regulation of trade, settlement, and land purchases on the western frontier.