After three months of making dainty, white, floral cakes during the peak wedding season, cake bakers must look forward to releasing their demons in August – a time when they can vent spleen via some ghoulish and gory cake creations.Halloween is moving up the league table as a seasonal earner for bakers and is now only behind Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day for sales, says Kevin Slatter, owner of London-based The Cake Store, a one-shop bespoke cake bakery. “Halloween has become more of an event in the UK. People tie in Halloween with Bonfire night, and there are a lot of joint parties.”Not that seasonality is a barrier to an online cakes specialist, making cakes to order. The bakery has just put the finishing touches to a Halloween speciality – a cake featuring Dracula emerging from a coffin. The Cake Store is mainly geared towards online retailing, and this is one boon of featuring cakes all year round for sale online.The streamlined third-generation family business evolved out of Slatters Bakery and now turns over twice as much as it did when it had five shops and a wholesale business a few years ago. “It’s a traditional bakery shop, selling bread and takeaway; but the shop hosts the website, if you like,” he says. “When we launched the website we consolidated into one shop. A lot of ordering is done online and we hand-deliver within the M25.”Production employs 25 cake makers, with four working on design. “We add to the range every year; we are beginning to plan for Halloween now and we can make any cake with three days’ notice. But Halloween cakes are very often a last minute order,” says Slatter.Cakes are sold to corporate events, but the trade is mainly geared towards kids’ parties. Most Halloween cakes are based with vanilla sponge, chocolate cake or carrot cake. The witch cake has been the biggest seller. The bakery also sells little cakes in the shop with spooky images and bloody fingers, as well as themed cookies. “We’re looking to come up with more small novelty treats, as well as things suitable for mail order so that we can send them beyond London.”[http://www.thecakestore.co.uk]
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewables Now:Portugal’s latest solar energy auction, which awarded 670 MW, achieved the world’s record low price of EUR 11.14 (USD 13.16) per MWh in one of [the] lots, the government announced today.The ceiling price in the tender was EUR 41.54 and EUR 41.73 per MWh depending on the lots. According to the government, South Korean firm Hanwha Q Cells managed to secure six of the 12 lots, or 315 MW in total.About 483 MW of the awarded capacity will come with an energy storage element built in. This year’s tender was the first to include a battery storage option.The remaining capacities, 177 MW and 10 MW, were awarded in the country’s system compensation and contract for differences modalities, respectively. In the contract for differences modality there was only one lot awarded and that is where the record-low bid was made. The particular tariff is about 25% lower than the lowest one in the auction held last year.The government noted that local consumers will benefit from gains of EUR 559 million over a 15-year period.[Lucas Morais]More: Portugal reaches record-low price in solar tender awarding 670 MW Record-low solar price of $13.16/MWh set in latest Portuguese capacity auction
Skandi Niteroi, a Brazilian-built pipelay support vessel (PLSV) owned by the joint venture between DOF Subsea (50%) and TechnipFMC (50%), has been awarded a contract by McDermott on the Atlanta Project for Queiroz Galvão.The vessel will start the contract in November, and the contract has a duration of approximately 2 months.Under the joint venture agreement, TechnipFMC is responsible for the engineering and management of the flexible pipelay, while Norskan, a DOF subsidiary, is responsible for the marine operations.CEO, Mons S. Aase, said: “I am very pleased with the contract award, securing utilisation in a challenging market and maintaining our strong position in the Brazilian market.”
LONDON (Reuters) – A fight between British champions Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury for the undisputed world heavyweight title “will happen” and could be the biggest in the history of the sport, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said on Monday.Hearn told Sky Sports television he would do everything possible to agree a deal, and both sides would be “clowns” and “idiots” if they did not make the fight happen.He warned, however, that while both men would want the fight to be in Britain, the money coming from overseas might be too much to turn down. Joshua, whose last fight was in Saudi Arabia, holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts while Fury annexed the WBC belt with a seventh round stoppage of American Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas on Saturday.“Everybody is very clear on this. Everybody wants this fight — Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, MTK, Top Rank, Frank Warren, Matchroom,” said Hearn, referring to those involved on both sides. “There are some hurdles to overcome on the broadcasting, but nothing too much.“I promise you this fight will happen.” Talks are ongoing for Joshua to fight mandatory IBF challenger Kubrat Pulev, of Bulgaria, next, with Hearn saying this month it was likely to be at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London in June.Fury is also likely to face Wilder again for the third time as part of a rematch clause, with the American having 30 days to decide whether to exercise his option.“If we have to fight Pulev, we’ve got to beat Pulev, and if he (Fury) has to fight Wilder, he’s got to beat Wilder again,” said Hearn. “Both of those things will happen. Fury will beat Wilder again and Joshua will knock Pulev clean out. “You will get this fight. We will do everything that it takes to make this fight. Last time, you had us and Team Wilder and we were locking heads.“Right now, you have two guys and two camps that genuinely want this fight, that genuinely will do everything that they can to make this fight. It is the only fight.”
Much has been made of Sir Alex Ferguson’s attacking philosophy in comparison to Louis van Gaal’s possession-dominated approach with fans crying out for more goals.The two squads have also been compared, especially by Ferguson who maintains his 2012/13 Premier League winning team was a great foundation for David Moyes and Van Gaal to inherit.This has been disputed by plenty within the game, so talkSPORT has a look at Ferguson’s final squad in comparison to Van Gaal’s current one.The Goalkeepers2012/13: David De Gea, Anders LindegaardDe Gea improved in 2012/13, his second season at the club, but was heavily criticised by former Red Devils captain Gary Neville. However the Spaniard got better and, despite having conceded more goals, all but one of the top seven, he was voted into the PFA team of the year.Score: 7/102015/16: David De Gea, Sergio RomeroFast forward three seasons and De Gea is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League and has been named Manchester United Player of the Year two years in a row. The Spaniard signing a new contract after his move to Real Madrid fell through is the best bit of business the Red Devils have done since the arrival of Robin van Persie.Score: 9/10Verdict: Van Gaal has better goalkeeping options 4 Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United or Sir Alex Ferguson The Midfield2012/13: Antonio Valencia, Anderson, Ryan Giggs, Michael Carrick, Nani, Ashley Young, Paul Scholes, Tom Cleverley, Darren Fletcher, Nick Powell, Shinji KagawaArguably one of the weakest midfields Ferguson had during his tenure, with only Michael Carrick really standing out (another named in the PFA team of the season). His forward passing and understanding with Van Persie became a common occurrence as United stormed to the title.Score: 6/10 The Defence2012/13: Rafael, Patrice Evra, Phil Jones, Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Nemanja Vidic, Fabio, Alexander ButtnerFerguson had a settled back four of Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans and Evra with Vidic out injured. The full-backs offered a lot going forward, while Ferdinand and Evans formed a strong partnership as both managed to stay injury free.Score: 7/102015/16: Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind, Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia, Paddy McNair, Matteo DarmianOnly Smalling and Jones remain from that 2012/13 squad, with Smalling one of the best centre backs in the league this season. Somehow Blind has managed to look solid alongside him, with Darmian appearing to be a quality signing. The injury to a much-improved Luke Shaw is the only black mark on the tightest defence in the league so far.Score: 8/10Verdict: The current defence just edges it. 4 4 The Attack2012/13: Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck, Robin van PersieFerguson’s attack was mostly about Van Persie, with the Dutchman scoring 26 goals and getting 10 assists as he took the Golden Boot and the PFA Player of the Year. Despite falling out with Ferguson, Rooney still managed 12 goals and 11 assists of his own with Hernandez also chipping in with 10 goals of his own.Score: 9/102015/16: Memphis Depay, Anthony Martial, Wayne Rooney, James WilsonThis is the weakest area of Van Gaal’s squad by some distance. Rooney has only scored twice in the league while Memphis has failed to live up to his billing so far. Only Martial has impressed across the front line but he is still very raw and will take time to reach his potential.Score: 4/10Verdict: Absolutely no contest. In Fergie’s final season, United possessed an attack that fired them to the title. 2015/16: Juan Mata, Michael Carrick, Ashley Young, Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini, Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Jesse Lingard, Andreas PereiraThe signings of Herrera, Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger have finally bolstered the midfield and while United fans have complained of boring football, Van Gaal’s side have the highest average possession of any side in the league. They do however lack goals from anyone other than Mata.Score: 7/10Verdict: Again, the current squad have better options 4 Overall verdict:2012/13: 29/402015/16: 28/40Attacking football beats possession football. And won the title.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi takes anHIV test to set example. From left, Motsoaledi, Absa CEO MariaRamos and City of Joburg’s health MMCNonceba Molwele launching the campaign.(Images: City of Johannesburg)MEDIA CONTACTS• Fidel HadebeSpokespersonDepartment of Health+27 12 395 8493 +27 79 517 3333Bongani NkosiThe government’s drive to test 15-million South Africans for HIV has received a boost from Absa bank’s new campaign, which is targeting 80% of its 35 000 employees in branches across the country.Absa’s new HIV Counselling and Testing and Disease Management campaign – unveiled at its headquarters in downtown Johannesburg on 20 July 2011 – was applauded by Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, who addressed the launch.Besides promoting regular voluntary testing, the bank introduced the campaign to raise awareness about healthy living for employees who may test positive and for those who have already been diagnosed.The bank hopes the campaign will help them deal better with issues such as long-term absenteeism by staff living with HIV and discrimination against those who disclose their status.The campaign ties in with the virus’s “well-known” impact on companies, CEO Maria Ramos said. In reducing productivity in the workplace, HIV prevalence “has a negative impact on our country’s economic competitiveness”, she added.HIV/Aids is to blame for 30% of absenteeism in the workplace in South Africa, while tuberculosis, which is also a leading health problem in South Africa, accounts for 3.7%, according to Motsoaledi.Ramos said they want to reduce absenteeism, while also setting up support systems for employees. “As a responsible employer, the wellness of our people and their families is crucial,” she said.Voluntary testing at Absa’s 900 branches is expected to start in earnest by September when staff training on HIV/Aids concludes.Some executives and employees set the standard by getting tested at the launch. “I’ll be happy if you know that testing is not a once-off thing, you must do it every year,” Motsoaledi told Absa employees before entering the booth for his fifth test in 2011.Motsoaledi decried the fact that while the country makes up 0.7% of the world’s population, it accounts for as much as 17% of the total global HIV prevalence.More than 5-million South Africans are estimated to be living with HIV. “This is a serious crisis that we are facing as a country,” Motsoaledi said.The minister’s backing of the massive testing drive falls in line with his department’s HIV counselling and testing policy. The government believes that broad prevention can be achieved if more citizens know their status.“We have to join hands with the government to combat the disease,” Ramos said.Knowing your status is keyNewspaper columnist Lucky Mazibuko, who’s been living with HIV for more than 20 years, spoke of the importance of knowing one’s status at the Absa launch.The main reason he and other well-known HIV/Aids activists such as Constitutional Court judge Edwin Cameron, Treatment Action Campaign icon Zackie Achmat and Martin Vosloo have survived for so many years with the virus was because “we discovered our status as early as possible”, Mazibuko said.“It has become common knowledge that one can live with HIV productively, successfully and meaningfully,” the columnist added.“The virus prevails when ignorance is bliss,” but it “becomes disempowered” when people gain more knowledge about it.”Mazibuko also tested at the Absa launch. “Despite knowing my status, I will continue to lead by example,” he said. “It’s important that people living with HIV become agents of change.”He said his viral load was undetectable and his CD4 count was well over 500, and he largely attributes this to a healthy lifestyle.Plea to menAt least 13-million South Africans have tested for HIV since the government launched its testing campaign in April 2010.Sixty-five percent of those who’ve tested are women, and only 30% are men. It’s against this backdrop that Motsoaledi made an impassionate plea to South African men to get tested in numbers.“Please stand up, your country is burning. We can’t have this battle being carried by women alone,” Motsoaledi said.Absa’s executive Happy Ntshingila urged the bank’s male employees to lead the way in testing. “Men do not want to test. I challenge my (male) colleagues to do it today.”Other efforts to stem the tide of the pandemic include male circumcision, which is clinically proven to decrease chances of infection. The practice is becoming more and more prevalent in South Africa.The government also distributes at least 1-billion male condoms and about 6-million female condoms each year as part of its prevention efforts.
Herbert Baker’s own house was constructed from the stone on the ridge.(Image: Lucille Davie) MEDIA CONTACTS • Flo Bird Chairperson, Johannesburg Heritage Foundation +27 11 726 7528. RELATED ARTICLES • South Africa’s heritage is world class • Swartkrans gets heritage plaque • New deal to protect Mapungubwe site • Capturing our heritage on cameraLucille DavieOld buildings, struggle sites, gracious homes, green spaces, mine dumps and the city’s first farms – these are just some of the tours available in Johannesburg on the first weekend of Heritage Month.The Johannesburg Heritage Foundation‘s annual heritage weekend runs on Saturday and Sunday, 7 and 8 September, and the pick of tours is broad and fun. The walking and bus tours start and finish at the 108-year-old Holy Family College in Oxford Road, Parktown.To start, take a tour of the college buildings, the museum and the heritage classrooms, where you can write with a dip pen in real, old-fashioned ink.“I am hoping for beautiful spring weather and hopefully we’ll get 800 to 1 000 people. Some loyal souls come for the entire two-day period,” says Flo Bird, the chairperson of the foundation.NorthwardsThe Randlord suburbs of Parktown and Westcliff are full of gracious old homes, some over 100 years old. There’s Northwards, designed by British architect Sir Herbert Baker for mine owner John Dale Lace, and completed in 1904. Baker’s most famous design is the Union Buildings in Pretoria.It is perched on the top of the Parktown ridge overlooking the M1 freeway and the northern suburbs, and has views all the way to the Magaliesberg mountains on clear days. His wife, Jose, lived in grand style – when she went shopping, she would have one of her servants blow a bugle as she left her home. She rode around the suburb in a cart pulled by four zebras, and took milk baths in a marble tub.The 40-roomed mansion, now a national monument, combines decorative Dutch and Flemish gables with Baker’s beloved arts and crafts style. It is an imposing presence on the cliff, with its façade constructed of quartzite rock taken from the site. The south side is dominated by an impressive entrance portico topped by a Cape Dutch gable, with its architecture an eclectic mix of styles. The windows are a mix of Tudor, Palladian, and English styles. There is even a window in a chimney.Inside the mansion are further treasures – the large wood-panelled, double-ceiling entertaining hall with minstrel gallery, and opposite it, a delicately carved Juliet balcony, a sandstone fireplace, teak ceiling, large brass chandeliers, and intimate dining area off the hall, with tall windows opening to the view northwards.Room after room is a delight, and it’s rumoured that the ghost of Jose occasionally appears on the grand stairway. The mansion has been immaculately maintained, and the curator, Neil Viljoen, conducts tours with all the affection he has for the old home.Just up the road is Stone House, the house that Baker built for himself, with its generous garden overlooking the northern suburbs, and stone used from the ridge. Then there are other lovely houses to peek at nearby: Emoyeni, Villa Arcadia, Etunzini, The View, and the homes along Pallinghurst Road.Take a bus tour of the parks suburbs, with their historic homes of pioneers and celebrities. Enjoy the profusion of trees, part of the 10 million trees in Joburg’s urban forest. Some large trees are remnants of the original Sachenwald forest, planted to supply the mines with underground support posts.Down southBut it’s not just these grand old suburbs. You can head down to Kliptown in Soweto to take in the place where the Freedom Charter was ratified by 3 000 people, in the struggle tour. Then see where Marshall Square once stood, the site of the incarceration of many struggle activists, and the famous escape of four Rivonia Trialists. The bus moves to Beyers Naude Square, the heart of Joburg and the starting point of many protests – even today.“I am really pleased that we are going as far afield as Kliptown in the south and Bezuidenhout Park in the east. Bez Valley is one valley further than we have done in the past and it gives us a chance to show off a stunning laundry in Lorentzville. Magnificent brickwork in the gables which are free standing,” explains Bird.While in the city, sign up for the walking tour taking in Ferreirasdorp, where Joburg started, Chinatown, Chancellor House, where Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo had their law offices, and Mary Fitzgerald Square, where Fitzgerald protested against mine owners, now a place of concerts and fun events. Take a walk around the inner city, admire the impressive Rand Club, the old stamp battery in Hollard Square, used to crush gold-bearing rock. It will go up Main Street to the Leaping Impala sculpture, now restored and giving an elegance to the art deco buildings in the street.Or hop on a bus to the southern suburbs, where you can learn about the haunts of mine owner Sir Abe Bailey, the infamous Hanekom brothers and their reign of terror, and the notorious murderess Daisy de Melker. At the same time, you will drive past the last remaining, and fast disappearing, mine dumps, and reflect on what defined Joburg for many years.Or head out on a bus east to the Bezuidenhout Valley farm, one of the city’s first white farms. Head back through Doornfontein, which is littered with historic sites. Food and books will be on sale at the college in Oxford Road, and you can sign up to become a member of the foundation, and go on its popular weekly tours. All tours cost R50, and no booking is required.
19 November 2015The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign starts on 25 November and runs until 10 December, and will once again highlight violence against women and children.As usual, South Africa will be at the forefront of efforts to address and eradicate the problems of gender violence with a variety of events, government legislation and awareness drives to take the issues to a wider audience.The Global 16 Days of ActivismThe 16 Days global campaign started in 1991, during the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute held by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. (Image: Infographic by the World Health Organization)Participants at the institute established the campaign, which includes International Women Human Rights Defenders Day on 29 November and World Aids Day on 1 December. The institute choose to symbolically link International Day Against Violence Against Women on 25 November and International Human Rights Day on 10 December in the campaign.International Day Against Violence Against Women was first declared in 1981 by the first Feminist Encuentro for Latin America and the Caribbean to commemorate the violent assassination of the Mirabal sisters on that date in 1960 by the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated 25 November as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.Violence against women and children takes many forms:Physical violence: domestic violence, violent crime such as murder, robbery, rape and assault;Emotional violence, trauma, sexism and discrimination in homes, at work, at schools, on our streets, in communities; and,Violence of poverty, starvation, humiliation and degradation against women and children. (Image: Infographic by the World Health Organization)The commemoration is a way to symbolically link violence of all kinds against women and children, to the violation of human rights. The campaign is an organising strategy by individuals and groups around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women by, among others:Raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at local, national, regional and international levels;Strengthening local work around violence against women;Establishing a clear link between local and international work to end violence against women;Providing a forum in which organisers can develop and share new and effective strategies;Demonstrating the solidarity of women around the world in organising against violence against women; and,Creating tools to pressure governments to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women. (Image: Infographic by the World Health Organization) (Image: Infographic by the World Health Organization)#16Days in South AfricaIn South Africa, Day of Reconciliation on 16 December follows a few days after the campaign. It is a further effort to foster reconciliation and national unity. The white ribbon commemorates 16 Days of Activism and symbolises peace and commitment to non-violence. (Image: Department of Women)South Africa adopted the campaign in 1998 as one of the intervention strategies towards creating a society free of violence. The campaign continues to raise awareness among South Africans about the negative impact of violence against women and children on all members of the community.Objectives of the 2015 #16Days campaign:Attract all South Africans to be active participants in the fight to eradicate violence against women and children.Expand accountability beyond the justice, crime prevention and security cluster to include all government clusters and provinces.Combine technology, social media, the arts, journalism, religion, culture and customs, business and activism to draw attention to the many ways violence against women and children affects the lives of all people in all communities around the world.Ensure mass mobilisation of all communities to promote collective responsibility in the fight to eradicate violence against women and children.Encourage society to acknowledge that violence against women and children is not only a government or criminal justice system problem, but a societal problem, and that failure to view it as such results in all efforts failing to eradicate this scourge in our communities.You and #16Days: what you can doSupport the campaign by wearing a white ribbon during the 16 days. The white ribbon is a symbol of peace and the commitment of the wearer to never commit or condone violence against women and children.Participate in the various 16 Days of Activism events and activities. For a full list of national events, click here.Volunteer in support of NGOs, organisations and community groups that support abused women and children. You can volunteer your time and make a contribution to the work of institutions. Help plant a garden at a shelter, sponsor plastic tables and chairs for children at a clinic or join an organisation as a counsellor. Use your skills and knowledge to help victims of abuse. Click here for a list of organisations in South Africa.You can also:Speak out against woman and child abuse.Encourage silent female victims to talk about abuse and ensure that they get help.Report child abuse to the police.Encourage children to report bullying behaviour to school authorities.Men and boys are encouraged to talk about abuse and actively discourage abusive behaviour.Seek help if you are emotionally, physically or sexually abusive to your partner and/or children. Call the Stop Gender Based Violence helpline on 0800 150 150.Talk to friends, relatives and colleagues to take a stand against abuse of women and children.Try to understand how your own attitudes and actions might perpetuate sexism and violence.Spread the message on social media using the white ribbon symbol and hashtag #16Days.What the government is doingThe Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill gives the government the legislative authority to fast-track the empowerment of women and address issues of enforcement and compliance towards the attainment of the country’s target of 50/50 gender parity.On 6 June 2011, the government launched the Strategy and Guidelines on Children Working and Living in the Streets. This strategy provides guidance on the services and programmes to be rendered to children living and working on the streets.The Green Paper on Families seeks to strengthen and support families as the cornerstone of a well-functioning society.Since 1994, the government has developed several pieces of legislation to redress the wrongs affecting women and children.The Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act fights the trafficking of people, as well as the practice of ukuthwala, a form of abduction that involves a man and his friends and peers kidnapping a girl or a young woman with the intention of compelling the woman’s family to agree to marriage.For a full list of events being held and legislation by the government during #16Days, click here.By South Africa.info reporter
Related Posts It was fashionable this year to dismiss CES as irrelevant and a waste of time. Some tech sites didn’t even send reporters. Others that did send staff mostly did so to promote their own brands, with big booths covered in their names and logos.To be sure, there’s some truth to all the sneering. The show is too big, too crowded, too bloated, too filled with doofy booth shows like the one in the photo above, where Nikon had ballroom dancers performing ostensibly to demonstrate the stop-action performance of some new cameras.Nevertheless, after four days in Las Vegas I came away feeling optimistic. I wasn’t struck by any one particular product, but by a sense of what all of them, together, represent.Which is this: The Web, now about age 20, is hitting an inflection point. A new Internet is emerging. In fact it is already upon us. I don’t mean just the “Internet of Things.” That’s part of it, but the whole picture is bigger.Think of it this way. The first Internet was a place you went to. You dialed up or logged in. It was over there, and you were here. The new Internet is just here. It’s all around us. It’s constant, ubiquitous and pervasive. We interact with it so naturally that there seems to be no user interface at all. The new Internet is in our phones and in our homes. It’s in our refrigerators and thermostats and cars. It’s on our bodies. We ourselves are actually part of the Internet. We’re woven into the very fabric of it.Thus, in mobile, we see the drive toward devices that cost nothing, or at least so close to it that someday soon practically everyone on the planet will have one. I gave a few presentations last week and at each one I handed around two tablets from Datawind, the company that’s making the Aakash tablet to be sold in India this year at a price of $20. People were stunned. The Aakash isn’t cutting edge, but it has a decent processor and runs a recent version of Android, with all the usual Google apps. You hold one in your hand and it’s easy to imagine the next billion people coming online.The Plus And Minus Of MobileSo there’s mobile everywhere, which means computing everywhere, which means information everywhere, which means huge changes for every aspect of life on our planet. Politics, news, entertainment – everything.Marketers should love this, but right now they hate it. They are incredibly frustrated by mobile. I heard this over and over in meetings I attended. They simply can’t figure out how to do anything compelling with tiny screens.I get the frustration. These are people who make their living by pushing messages onto screens. Their industry has been doing this for half a century, first on televisions, where it was very effective, then on computers, where it was less so. Now the screens are tiny, the ads are ineffective and the dilemma facing marketers is huge.But maybe they are looking at mobile the wrong way. Maybe the best use of smartphones will be not as vehicles for pushing ads but rather as devices with which to gather data. Marketers are hampered by an understandable bias. It’s natural for them to see every new screen as yet another miniature television.Advertisers and marketers are also very good at talking, less good at listening. They’ve spent a half century running a one-way communications operation. But mobile maybe will force them to become better listeners. Maybe mobile devices will end up being more valuable to marketers by means of their ability to track and transmit behavioral data than because of any revolutionary new miniature advertisement that, by some magic, people won’t hate.Cloud And Big DataWhich leads to cloud and big data, the tools by which all that random data will be aggregated and made sense of. Which leads in turn to Google, the company best positioned to gather massive amounts of mobile data (its Android operating system has 75% market share in smartphones, and now maybe you can see why Google is willing to “give Android away” and isn’t overly concerned when critics carp that Google “doesn’t make any money on Android”).Not only is Google in position to gather data, but it is probably better equipped to do something useful with that data. After all, Google has spent more than a decade refining the art of data-driven advertising, while at the same time pushing ever closer to realizing the dream of true artificial intelligence.Which leads to a (perhaps depressing) realization: When true AI finally does emerge, its first application will be to sell laundry detergent. I made this point in a presentation to a group of people who make their living selling, among other things, laundry detergent. They found it not depressing at all. Point taken.New InterfacesWhat else? New interfaces. This wasn’t front and center at CES, but if you looked and listened carefully you found it. Intel was talking about interfaces. Leap Motion and its revolutionary controller were at the show with Asus. Nuance is pushing voice into everything. Samsung was showing off new ways to control your TV.There’s plenty to carp about. Nothing works as well as vendors say it will. Every vendor has its own solution and they don’t interoperate. But that’s always been the case, and we’ve always found our way forward. The same will happen here. Remember where we were ten years ago. Now picture ten years in the future.We’ll get there, if only because we have to, because the way we deal with the Internet today – tapping away on keyboards or poking at virtual keyboards on tiny mobile touchscreens – is clumsy and primitive and stupid.Wearables, Homes, CarsWhich leads to wearables. The show was full of them, and while some seem a bit nutty, this is where we’re headed. We already carry our smartphones with us 24–7, but now we’re about to clad ourselves in arrays of sensors. Here, as in mobile, marketers are already trying to dream up ways to jam advertising messages into these devices, and already anticipating frustration. As with mobile I think they are looking at this the wrong way. The game may be less about “What can I sell with these things?” and more about “What can I learn from these things?”Same goes for home automation devices. Nest wasn’t at at the show with its incredible learning thermostat, but that product is probably the best example of what can be done in this space. Are marketers out there trying to dream up ways to push ads onto the Nest device? I cringe to think so, but I wouldn’t doubt it. But the real value of Nest and other devices is the data they will generate. At the most crass level, if I were a marketer trying to sell luxe or near-luxe products I would view the Nest an amazing proxy device. Think about it. Who buys a Nest thermostat? Someone who is tech-loving, app-savvy, and has enough disposable income to drop $249 on a thermostat. Who wouldn’t want to target that customer?Finally, cars. I’ve never seen so many outside of a car show. I was eager to see what companies like Ford are getting up to with screens and computers and apps. I left a meeting with Paul Mascarenas, the CTO for Ford Research and Innovation, feeling blown away by what they’re doing. More on that in a future article.A few years ago I stopped going to CES. I thought it was a waste of time, and more annoying than productive. I still find the show itself almost completely unbearable, while the stuff being shown there continues to amaze and inspire. It’s easy to laugh at the goofy products. But the relentless push forward, the urge to innovate and compete, to make the world a smarter, better, more exciting place – that is still there, as strong as ever, and I came away feeling that the world we inhabit a decade from now is going to be truly amazing. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Big Data#CES#cloud#Home Automation#marketing#mobile#wearable dan lyons Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market