The announcement by President George Weah sometime ago setting up a Special Committee to probe allegations of wrong doing by former officials tasked to fashion out the ExxonMobil oil concession agreement had taken the public by surprise. Why, because it was hardly ever imagined that President Weah after having publicly declared on several occasions that he was committed to protecting the interests of his predecessor, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf would have dared venture to raise the curtain on her past stewardship of the nation’s affairs.The Committee has long since completed its assigned duties and recommended that the former officials restitute monies paid to them by ExxonMobil through the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL). To date no former official has paid back a cent, notwithstanding President Weah’s declared commitment to transparency and the fight against corruption. In yet another instance, President Weah is on record for having called for the prosecution of perpetrators of human rights abuse. His call was made long before he ever became President.However, there are now worrying signs that President Weah appears to be withdrawing his call for accountability and is instead seeking accommodation with perpetrators on grounds that there are more pressing national concerns to attend. One such individual has called attempts to ensure accountability a “fiasco”. Some of his officials have even argued that because former President Sirleaf ignored the TRC recommendations, President Weah should likewise do the same and abandon calls for accountability. In just a few days from now, President Weah, currently in China, will be headed to the UN General Assembly in New York upon completion of his visit to that Asian country.But President Weah will be going to the UN at a time when the country’s Judiciary finds itself in rather dire straits with threats of impeachment by the House of Representatives hovering over the Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh. Without realizing it, the issue of accountability has however, taken center-stage with the impeachment process of Associate Justice Ja’neh proceeding at pace. The Supreme Court Bench led by Chief Justice Francis Korkpor is digging in their heels, insisting that the House Speaker appears before the Court to answer to Justice Janeh’s claim of violation of his rights to due process.The House for its part has refused to budge, insisting that it will not appear before the Court, arguing that the power to impeach falls strictly within the purview of the Legislature. Under Article 43 of the Constitution the power to prepare a Bill of Impeachment is vested solely in the House of Representatives, while the power to impeach is vested solely in the Senate. When the President, Vice President or Associate Justice is to be tried, the Chief Justice shall preside.Now that the Bill of Impeachment has been prepared and forwarded to the Senate, and with both sides digging in, it remains to be seen whether Chief Justice Francis Korkpor is going to preside over the trial of his colleague as required by the Constitution or whether he is going to refuse to do so on grounds that the House is in error and has disrespected the Court. And without uttering a word, a huge precedent is being set with far reaching implications for the growth and development of the country’s fledgling democracy.But just what President Weah, a virtual newcomer in politics, should make of these developments which, for all purposes, are sorely testing the resilience of our nascent democracy. In the opinion of this newspaper, these problems or developments are but symptomatic of the corrosive and erosive effects of impunity on social cohesion including our national political and economic well-being. It is impunity for example which has seen government officials including legislators and judicial officials place themselves above the law.As noted in US State Department Human Rights reports, justice is on sale to the highest bidder and in ways more than one, Judges and Justices as well have interfered in court cases in which they have vested interests. Likewise also are members of the Legislature who, from all intents and purposes have placed themselves above the law. They have without any degree of conscience passed into existence very bad concession agreements that have placed the future of the country in jeopardy. They have also refused to submit to audits by the General Auditing Commission.As for the Executive, what more can be said? It has over the years exercised unbridled powers and bent its coequal branches to its will. These developments have taken on appearances of a tragic comedy — the Legislature up against the Judiciary with the Executive looking on with bemused interest. The towering figure in this drama is President Weah who came to the job with almost impeccable credentials — having no part in the violence of war, corruption free and self-made. He now has a charge to steer the nation from the path of endemic corruption, impunity and recurrent conflict to a path of peace and development.How he intends to go about this will of course continue to remain a subject of intense concern. He has to tackle impunity head-on. As a first step in this direction, President Weah should implement the recommendations of the Special Presidential Committee (SPC) calling for restitution. His is indeed a tall order to which he has to measure up.His colleague and former team mate James Salinsa Debah summed it up in these words:“George has achieved a lot in football and the people love him for it. But should he become president of Liberia, the public will forget his performances on the football pitch and judge him by what he achieves in office. People in the country are yearning for change and want it very quickly. If he doesn’t deliver it, the people could turn on him. It is a big risk he is taking and I wish him well.”This is indeed President Weah’s “Greatest Challenge”.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Chelsea Ladies have signed Japan star Yuki Ogimi.The 26-year-old 2011 World Cup winner, who also played in last year’s Olympics, has joined the Blues from German club FFC Turbine Potsdam.She is set to become the first Japanese player to feature in the FA Women’s Super League.“I am very excited to join Chelsea Ladies after three successful years with Potsdam in Germany,” said the striker.“The club have high ambitions, as do I. Therefore I am convinced I have taken the right decision.“I am looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and to making my debut in the FA WSL.”Manager Emma Hayes said: “This is the calibre of player that we want to attract to Chelsea.“Yuki is a world-class striker and a World Cup winner who will be a great success in this country. She will also aid the development of our young players.”See also:Chelsea Ladies sign Brazilian midfield starChelsea Ladies star sees bright future for women’s football in EnglandChelsea Ladies star shortlisted by Fifa’Excited’ Williams joins Chelsea LadiesChelsea Ladies to head to Japan for Women’s Club ChampionshipChelsea Ladies star relishing Japan tripChelsea Ladies sign duo from ArsenalChelsea Ladies snap up Dutch midfielderChelsea Ladies sign another England 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Related Posts IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Steve Ballmer’s impending exit as Microsoft CEO creates a fantastic opportunity for his company to transform itself. Say goodbye to the stodgy establishment figure desperate to remain relevant; welcome a vibrant enterprise headed for the technological frontier! (Or, at least, a maker of things people actually want.) Simple, right?Of course, just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it will be easy. Reinvention involves risk, and course-correcting requires humility—which does not come easily to anyone associated with Microsoft. But inflection points like this for big tech companies are few and far between, and Microsoft shouldn’t waste this one. Here’s what Microsoft should, and shouldn’t, do if it wants to stand any chance of getting its mojo back.DO Remember Your UsersSee also: After Ballmer: One Microsoft Or Many?For the past several years, the Xbox gaming console has stood as a successful, dynamic counterpoint to the dead hand of Microsoft’s Windows and Office legacy. The only problem is, the company is still spinning its way out of a self-created quagmire with its latest incarnation, the Xbox One.This console focused too heavily on streaming and other services at the expense of delivering value for its target audience of gamers. The company has since rethought its strategy and reversed game-lending restrictions, constant check-ins and region locks, but it was still a major misstep.We’ll have to see how it all plays out in the market, but so far the buzz on the Xbox One remains fairly dismal, all because Microsoft huffed its own vapors a little too much and lost sight of the features its core user base considered important. Microsoft can’t let this happen again.DON’T Pull Any More BallmersSee also: Agony And Ecstasy: Steve Ballmer’s Years At MicrosoftWhatever his merits, Steve Ballmer will always be remembered for his knack of getting important technology trends spectacularly wrong. Whether he meant them or not—and there’s certainly a case to be made that he repeated some of these lines solely in hopes of stirring up FUD for Microsoft competitors—it’s still hard to believe he could utter any of these lines with a straight face. To wit:“Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.““Google’s not a real company. It’s a house of cards.““There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.“In the soon-to-be-former-exec’s honor, let’s agree to call statements like these “Ballmers.” To pull a Ballmer, then is to make an observation so astonishing that it takes your audience’s breath away, leaving most uncertain if you’re lying or just stupid.So, whoever ends up leading Microsoft’s recovery: Tell it to the world straight. Don’t pull any more Ballmers.DO think like a startupSee also: The Best Bet For Microsoft’s Next CEO Is Now Running NokiaMicrosoft is a large corporation, so it could make sense to split up the company to make it a leaner, more nimble operation. But there are other ways to invoke the creativity and energy of a nascent business. Google employees devote 20% of their working hours on side projects. Apple executives are known for being extremely hands-on with software and hardware development and design. Microsoft would do well to cut through layers of bureaucracy wherever it can, and stay focused on innovating and differentiating. DON’T bury your head in the sandIn many consumers’ minds, Microsoft is synonymous with Windows. And although it’s unquestionably a success—according to NetMarketShare, the various versions account for more than half of the desktop operating system market—PCs are dying.See also: Ballmer’s Microsoft: All MBA, No Developer SoulToo bad the company hit the snooze button on mobile. What’s even worse is that it actually had a leg up on the market before Apple or Google, thanks to Windows Mobile. But that branch of the company was largely ignored and then forgotten. Ballmer even scoffed at the Apple iPhone when it released in 2007.Learning lesson: Stifle Microsoft’s knee-jerk reaction to dismiss and deny emerging technologies.DO court developersBy the time Microsoft caught onto mobile in 2010, it was too little, too late. I’m referring to the odd little social-oriented smartphone, the Microsoft Kin, which briefly blipped in and right back out of the market. It was followed by Windows Phone 7, but that went by the wayside too, in favor of Windows Phone 8.Now Windows Phone 8 is finally starting to show some signs of life. But its rise to prominence is more like a limping walk. A big part of that has to do with apps. Had the company stuck to one mobile platform, Microsoft’s app store might not be so sparse today.Ballmer made a big deal about how the company was courting developers at the Windows Phone 8 launch last year. This summer, he even claimed the store has 160,000 entries, which sounds like a lot—but it’s puny compared to Google Play and the Apple App Store, which each feature a million apps or so.You could argue that Microsoft did what it could, from throwing cash incentives at developers to slashing the annual registration fee for WinPho devs, from $99 to $19. But what it needed to do was convince them that they’d stay profitable on this platform.DON’T confuse the publicThe Surface tablets are a case study on how disaster ensues when you confuse consumers.Microsoft unveiled two different tablets with similar names—the Surface RT and the more powerful, laptop-worthy Surface Pro—with two different, similarly named Windows OSes, Windows 8 RT and Windows 8. Unfortunately, mainstream shoppers didn’t understand the difference.Samsung may be able to get away with a “pray and spray” approach to launching a vast array of different devices, but it’s important to note that it only employs that strategy once it had bona fide hits on its hands. In the case of its Galaxy and Note lines, people latched onto one phone or tablet, and once they understood what that was, other versions followed. The Microsoft Surface RT may be a casualty of poor planning here. Had it stood alone—and sold for an affordable price—it could have paved the way for the Surface Pro. Now, it’s just an almost-billion-dollar footnote in the annals of Microsoft tech fails.That may be a blessing in disguise. Microsoft can now focus on a single tablet, and if it can bring down the cost of the Surface Pro and market its features clearly and succinctly, it might be far more effective at attracting customers.DON’T take potshots at competitorsThose ads slamming Apple don’t make Microsoft look better. Ditto for the “Scroogled” campaigns against Google. Whatever ephemeral gains they offer aren’t remotely offset by the effort it takes to produce them and the bad will they spread with some consumers. At the end of it all, those negative advertisements don’t emphasize the features or usefulness of Microsoft products. They only serve to make the company look petty, mean … and desperate.DO take trends seriouslySo the company missed the boat on mobile. That doesn’t mean it’s condemned to repeat history in other markets.The trends on everyone’s radar are wearable technology, in-car integration and even the Internet of Things. The last one should be particularly intriguing for Microsoft, considering it has been showcasing innovations in its “Home of the Future” for years now.The model space is effectively one huge smart home, complete with interactive bedrooms, digital walls, sensors that can tell when plants need watering and kitchen surfaces that can call up and read recipes out loud. While we’re still years—maybe decades—away from seeing these type of smart homes become mainstream, Microsoft does have a lot of experience in this space. That means it’s well-positioned to usher in the early technologies that could make the Internet of Things a reality.Microsoft doesn’t lack for ambition or even innovation. What it doesn’t have is vision and a willingness to play well with others. In the fast moving and ever-more heterogeneous world of technology—and particularly when you’re cast in the come-from-behind role that Ballmer’s stewardship has left Microsoft with—both are key.Which may be why no one seems to be shedding many tears over Ballmer’s upcoming departure. Perhaps that’s because it’s just what Microsoft needs to finally see the future clearly. adriana lee Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Tags:#Fixing Microsoft#Microsoft#Steve Ballmer 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now
Related Posts Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… brian proffitt Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Tags:#Antitrust#Google#Microsoft#search#Windows Phone#YouTube 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Is Google really the monopoly Steve Ballmer says it is, or was Ballmer throwing the verbal equivalent of a chair when he told Microsoft’s analyst conference Thursday that the search company was playing outside of the rules?Given Microsoft’s long and storied history with antitrust investigations, for anyone from Redmond to come out and blow the monopoly whistle is an irony so thick you can hardly breathe to say it. But there was current Microsoft CEO Ballmer, answering a question about how hard it was to make money in the consumer cloud services space, when he made this remark:Google does it. They have this incredible, amazing, dare I say monopoly that we are the only person left on the planet trying to compete with. We’re the only guys in the world trying.Not only ironic, but a wee bit arrogant as well, considering that China’s Baidu and Russia’s Yandex are giving Google a run for their money in those markets and, according to SearchEngineLand. More recent results show that Bing is doing better than Yahoo in the U.S. search engine rankings, but not by much—not enough to justify Ballmer’s take as Microsoft being the lone defender against the Google juggernaut.As much as Ballmer complains about Google’s advantage in search and intimates that Google has an unfair advantage, he cannot erase the fact that Bing still hasn’t overcome the one thing that Google does have over its competitors: being the first leader in its market.That’s an advantage that Microsoft once enjoyed when it managed to quickly edge out OS/2 with Windows in the Intel PC market, becoming the dominant player in PC space until this day, even as they were found to be abusing their position as well with antitrust practices.Now the shoe is on the other foot, with Google being the breakout hit in search and Microsoft trying to steer an also-ran Bing product into a better position in a market where their competitor’s brand name is now a verb in several languages. Of course Google must be monopolistic, Microsoft will maintain, because isn’t any company going to be with that kind of power? Ballmer continues:I believe that Google’s practices are worthy of discussion with competition authority. And we have certainly discuss them with competition authorities. I don’t think their practices are getting less merit tortuous of discussion. We highlighted some bad practices in advertising and discussions with regulators, the bundling they’re doing with You Tube and Google Maps.If you apply Ballmer’s logic to other sectors in which Microsoft would like to complete, then it is only a matter of time before the trash-talk starts about Amazon Web Services’ cloud services, which hold a commanding lead in that particular market. If Azure can’t compete there, will Ballmer & Co. start whining about an Amazon monopoly? Based on this week’s comments, it would seem that day is coming.Microsoft has been taking very serious private steps to try to take down Google a notch or two or five: the company is part of the Fair Search trade organization that regularly lobs volleys at Google for what it calls unfair search practices. Ballmer’s remarks to analysts are the most outspoken Microsoft has publicly been concerning Google.Irony aside, does Microsoft have a point? There do seem to be instances where Google does seem to have too much of a hold on segments of the marketplace. But is this antitrust behavior? After all, Google’s Android operating system doesn’t prevent me from using a Vimeo app in place of YouTube. But according to Microsoft, Google has apparently being yanking Microsoft’s chain as it tries to build a native YouTube app for Windows Phone.See also: Microsoft Raises Antitrust Stink About Google Blocking YouTube AppThis is another one of Microsoft’s weapons in its antitrust arsenal against Google, which may be anticompetitive or a result of Microsoft not following the stipulations of the API for YouTube’s service. Time will tell.Given Ballmer’s own prediliction for hyperbole and generating fear, uncertainty and doubt when it comes to competitors (he once referred to the Linux operating system as “a cancer” when it became clear that Linux was going to dominate the server market), it would be prudent to take Ballmer’s remarks with all the seriousness they deserve.There is, of course, a possibility that someday Microsoft could find a charge that actually sticks as far as a Google monopoly. But Google has thus far been very careful to avoid crossing the monopoly line, even as it walks very close to it.Because after all, Google had a great teacher to demonstrate what not to do when trying to corner a market: Microsoft itself.
2001: iPodThe Power CD, a 1993 Apple digital-music flop, may not make this list, but the iPod certainly earned its place. Released in the relative dark age of 2001, the first iPod offered “1,000 songs in your pocket” and a nascent iTunes, then just a “digital jukebox”.The iPod embodied the kind of gestalt we’ve come to expect from Apple: an exciting, refined device that consumers didn’t even know they needed yet. Apple iPod sales over timeAs it began to capture the market’s attention in 2005, the iPod snowballed into the world’s premier digital-music gadget, cementing Apple’s image as flagbearer of the digital music revolution. With the later introduction of the entry-priced iPod Shuffle, Apple effectively made personal digital-music players available to everyone and anyone. 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 2004: GarageBandAs the iPod picked up steam into 2004, Apple rolled out GarageBand, a platform for digital-music creation that grew increasingly robust over the years. Now available for iOS as well as OS X, GarageBand was a key step in transforming a growing base of music consumers into creators as well, while also buying some goodwill with existing musicians who wanted to explore digital tools. taylor hatmaker 1991: QuickTimeOriginally introduced in 1991, Apple’s QuickTime Player broke new ground for multimedia computing, which barely existed at the time. In 1994, QuickTime added support for music track playback that transcended existing computer audio quality and only necessitated small (now infinitesimally teensy) data files, like MIDIs, with its own native sound synthesis engine.Over time, QuickTime grew into Apple’s default video playback program, which lives on today. (For instance, you’ll need it to watch Cook’s keynote speech next week at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference.) Related Posts 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 2003: iTunes StoreApple introduced its first version of iTunes, built from its acquisition of early MP3 player SoundJam MP, in 2001. Two years later, with iPod hardware and iTunes as a software framework, Apple could finally introduce its biggest game-changer yet: a digital storefront stocked with 99 cent songs that upended the music industry as we knew it. Tags:#Apple#Apple II#Beats Music#digital music#Dr. Dre#iPad#iPhone#iPod#iTunes#iTunes Store#Jimmy Iovine#PowerCD#QuickTime With the deal confirmed at last, it’s easy to balk at the $3 billion handshake between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Beats co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. After all, it’s far from clear just what Apple has in mind for the maker of headphones and its digital music-streaming service.See also: Apple Bought Beats Because “Music Is Dying”But Apple, widely credited with accelerating the first digital music revolution, could be poised for another industry shake-up—this one well overdue. After all, music has coursed through the company’s veins for longer than we often remember. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a trip down memory lane and see. 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… 2010: iPadThe iTunes Store had already steeped the mobile world in apps by the time the first iPad hit, and as the most iconic tablet ever created picked up steam, it gained traction among creative developers and musicians alike. Suddenly major artists like Gorillaz and Bjork were making inventive albums on yet another Apple device we didn’t know we needed.With its larger screen and touch interface, and growing pool of music creation apps, the iPad made a huge impact on casual/indie digital-music creation and even the DJ scene. 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 2014: BeatsApple’s decision to purchase the hardware and digital music brand Beats struck plenty of folks as out of the blue, but it may have been crazy-like-a-fox from the start. The deal brings both Beats Music (the digital streaming app) and Beats Electronics (the hit line of headphones and speakers) into Apple’s fold.Perhaps more important, it brings on board Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, music industry insiders who could shake digital music up once again—this time from the inside out.Header image via anamanzarphotography, other images via Wikimedia Commons 1977: Apple IIBeyond its role in popularizing the personal computer as we know it, the Apple II line foreshadowed Apple’s sonic future. It wasn’t initally promising, though; while third party peripherals expanded its musical repertoire, 1977’s 8-bit Apple II began with only the most rudimentary audio features.By 1986, however, the Apple II had evolved into the 16-bit Apple IIgs (the “gs” stands for “graphics and sound”), a precociously audio-savvy machine featuring a wavetable music synthesizer—a first for personal computing at the time. The Apple IIgs commanded a loyal following all the way through 1992, when the Macintosh line took the Apple II’s baton.Want to rock out to Apple II era MIDIs with a little help from a more modern synthesizer? Well, it’s your lucky day. 2007: iPhoneWhen Apple remixed its hit MP3 player into a smartphone, everything changed. It’s hard to overstate the impact of the iPhone in any realm of consumer technology, and digital music is no exception. The advent of the iPhone meant that we no longer needed to carry around two separate devices, one for calls and one for music and media.By blending the utility of a phone, a digital music player, a pocket-sized computer and later an app platform, the iPhone took the market by storm and expanded its already massive digital music footprint.
A towering presence on court… a booming serve — Vishnu Vardhan is one of the bright stars in the next line of India’s tennis players. And, to justify this tag, the 24-year-old has ensured that his career has witnessed a steady rise in the past couple of years.Many are surprised that the youngster from Vizag has been picked by the All India Tennis Association (AITA) to pair with Leander Paes for the 2012 London Olympics. However, this is not the first time that the association has shown faith in him.Vishnu, in fact, is no stranger to big-ticket events. In 2010, he was chosen to represent India in the Asian Games, where he did his reputation no harm.As India’s number two ranked player, Vishnu won the bronze medal in the men’s team event and also partnered Sania Mirza in the mixed doubles to ensure another silver medal for the country.Moreover, Vishnu has been in great form this year, winning two ITF tournaments, the most recent one in Bangalore just a few days ago.As far as chemistry on court is concerned, Vishnu’s baseline game and big serve would fall perfectly in place with Paes’s net-play, allowing the veteran to exploit his deft touches to the maximum.So do we have a gold medal winning pair? Well, not quite. There’s certainly a lot of fine-tuning and hard work that will have to be put in by both players in the month or so before the Olympics begin. But the prospects are surely bright. And who knows, perhaps there is a surprise in store!advertisement