With Phish‘s 11th music festival, Curveball, slated to begin tomorrow, Friday, July 17th, today, the band has announced that it will be canceling the festival “due to the severe flooding that occurred in Schuyler County over the past week.” The statement notes that “the local water treatment plant that services water to the Village of Watkins Glen, including the Curveball site has been contaminated and the water supply is not safe for human consumption.”You can read the statement from the New York State Department of Health here, and the statement Phish posted on their website here or in its entirety below.Due to the severe flooding that occurred in Schuyler County over the past week, the local water treatment plant that services water to the Village of Watkins Glen, including the Curveball site has been contaminated and the water supply is not safe for human consumption. The New York State Department of Health has issued a statement here.Sadly, Curveball has been cancelled.Fans currently onsite are welcome to stay overnight; campgrounds will close at noon tomorrow.Information on refunds will be forthcoming, and additional information will be posted as it becomes available.A STATEMENT FROM PHISHDear friends, our Phish family..The four of us are writing this from directly behind the stage at Watkins Glen. We were about to walk onstage only moments ago for our traditional soundcheck jam for Curveball when we were told the heartbreaking news that due to the unsafe water conditions in the Village of Watkins Glen, our beloved festival is being canceled.We are still in shock. The entire site is already set up and ready to go after literally months of work by our beloved hardworking crew, many of whom have been here for weeks. Our families are here, our gear is set, our tents are up. We keep waiting for someone to come over and tell us that there is a solution, and that the festival can go on. Unfortunately, it is not possible.We are so terribly sorry for the inconvenience that this is causing so many of you. We hope from the bottoms of our hearts that at the very least this news will reach you before too much disruption takes place in your personal lives. We know that people traveled far, at great expense. We understand that people are missing work, and changing their schedules around.. we wish so much that there was some way that this wasn’t happening.This summer has been absolutely joyous, with each gig building on the previous one, and we were all buzzing with excitement about Curveball. Please accept our deepest apologies for the disruption that this has caused all of you.. We wish there was something else we could say.Thank you all from the depths of our souls for the joy that you continue to share with us every night. This has been the greatest summer we can remember.Travel safe and know that we are as heartbroken as all of you. We are standing back here behind the stage, at our party that we’ve been planning for over a year, and we have just told that it won’t happen. There’s just nothing we can do.Thank you all for your understanding.With Love,Phish
Peter Haralambous, co-owner of Eco Furniture Design, helped build the business from a small concern began by constructing a table from discarded wood to one of the fastest-growing small businesses in South Africa. Eco Furniture Design has made craftspeople out of people who came to them with no skills.(Images: Eco Furniture Design)MEDIA CONTACTS • Tameron GrahnOwner, Eco Furniture Design+27 21 827 1336Sulaiman PhilipEco Furniture Design, a Cape Town company, has been named the fastest growing small business incubatee by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti).The recognition came at the National Technology Awards, held in Durban in October. The awards celebrate small to medium enterprises (SMEs) that embrace technology to improve their competitiveness.There are 12 incubator programmes across the country in industries as diverse as IT, construction and agriculture. The programmes are designed to get enterprises from a survivalist stage or from the informal economy into thriving businesses in the mainstream economy. The awards, made by the the dti, were held at iNkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.Eco Furniture Design was recognised for the fastest growth across all the industries. “We went from two employees as a start-up almost two years ago to a point where we employ 12 people today,” says founding partner Peter Haralambous. The business grew out of Peter and his partner, Tameron Grahn, building a table from some wood they found discarded at the side of the road.The partners saw a business opportunity once friends started asking them to build furniture for them as well. Without funding or woodwork experience, they approached the Furntech incubator in Woodstock, Cape Town. “They have a two-year programme that helped us to build our business from scratch. It has given us the freedom to employ unskilled people with potential and have them trained at the centre by Seda technicians. This is an aspect of the business that I really enjoy,” Haralambous explains. Support for small enterprisesSeda, the Small Enterprise Development Agency, falls under the dti. Its mission is to develop, support and promote small enterprises, ensuring their growth and sustainability in co-ordination and partnership with various role players, including global partners, who make international best practices available to local entrepreneurs.The Furntech incubator, one of the smallest in the country, has space for 12 furniture-related businesses, from designers to manufacturers like Eco Furniture. It has state-of-the-art machinery and trained technicians who help teach skills to entrepreneurs and their employees. Furntech’s business technology incubation is affiliated to the Seda Technology Programme, which develops innovative technology based platforms that result in the creation of sustainable, globally competitive small, medium and micro enterprises.Lucky Mhlanga, an Eco Furniture employee, has been with the company since it began. He started with no carpentry skills but today is a carpenter, having been trained to artisan level at the incubator.Access to equipment works on rotation, which has inadvertently proven to be a good business lesson for Haralambous. It has taught him the importance of lead times and scheduling production. It is early days yet for the company, with the hiccoughs that come with starting a business. Easing the way, though, along with the technical assistance offered at incubators like Furntech, entrepreneurs can access funding and business skills training. Training and teaching skills“Being part of this programme has allowed us to build our business. It’s allowed us to hire unskilled people and train them. It has allowed us to grow steadily in a relatively safe environment. It’s early days yet but we’ve been given firm grounding.”Haralambous is looking for new factory premises as Eco Furniture is almost two years old and must soon leave the Furntech space. The dti has moved it from one programme to another, one that gives businesses that come through the incubator system grants to help fund the purchase of equipment. “The programme is designed to assist with technology transfers and ensure that we build on the last two years of success.”The department and its minister, Rob Davies, recognise the importance of South African businesses embracing technology to remain competitive. “Technology is no longer a luxury for small- to medium-sized enterprises. The Technology Awards are designed to inspire and encourage creativity and technological innovativeness among business people by rewarding those that make use of technology to advance their business,” Davies said on the eve of the awards ceremony.The awards showcase successes from three programmes the dti runs with various parastatals:● With the Industrial Development Corporation, it runs the Support Programme for Industrial Innovation. This fund helps companies that develop innovative products or processes from the conclusion of research and ends once a prototype has been developed.● With the National Research Foundation, it runs the Technology and Human Resource for Industry Programme, which spends R390-million a year on research in science, technology and engineering. The focus is to train and develop researchers and technology managers who will help develop and improve competitive practices across all industries.● With Seda, it has run the Seda Technology Programme since 2006 with a focus on improving government support for small- to medium-sized businesses. Government research has found that most small, technology based businesses that failed did so in their first three years. STP is designed to give small start-ups support and training to improve access to technology and management support to improve productivity and performance. Other winnersOther winners on the night were Durban IT development and training company Smart Xchange, and Thabong Bakery, from Welkom in Free State. The awards are growing more prestigious and more competitive, says the director-general in the dti, Lionel October. “The development of small, medium and micro enterprises in partnership with the government, using programmes like these three, can bring a positive spin to the creation of jobs.”It is this network of resources that has helped Anna Lelimo, the owner of Thabong Bakery, to grow her business from a home-based caterer to one that supplies bread and confectionaries to 30 supermarkets. The mother of two made a brave decision to change careers in 2001 to follow her dream to be her own boss.Lelimo told her hometown newspaper, The Weekly, after receiving her award: “It is liberating to take your life in your own hands and decide what you are going to do with it and where you want to take it. When I embarked on this new chapter in my life as a business owner, there were a lot of challenges and sacrifices, but when you are determined to succeed, no matter how difficult the road, you will find a way to accomplish your dreams.”
There is no limitation to the innovations that technology is capable of introducing. It is due to the effect of incredible smartphone cameras that the market of compact cameras has suffered. Here is the list of top 5 smartphones from all over the world: 1. Nexus 5Google Nexus comes with a 4.95-inch full HD (1920x1080p) IPS display with pixel density of 445 ppi (pixels per inch) and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 shield. Nexus 5 comes with impressive 2.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 series quad-core processor, 2GB RAM and 450 MHz Adreno 330 GPU. The gadget boasts of an 8.0-megapixel camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. The rear camera supports OIS (Optical Image Stabilizations), HDR+ (High Dynamic Range), that allows it to click good quality picture under low-light conditions. The device comes in two storage capacities 16 GB and 32 GB priced at INR27,625 and INR31,670 respectively. The device lacks external memory card slot. Verdict: It wouldn’t be unfair to call the device cost effective. Its high end configuration clubbed with the latest software updates and the enormous features make it a good purchase.2. Sony Xperia Z2Xperia Z2 comes with an impressive and bold design and has a 3200 mAh battery that offers an extended back-up.The device features a 5.2 inch display having 1080X1920 pixels with 424 ppi. Xperia Z2 boasts of a 20.7 MP rear camera accompanied by a flash and a 2.2 MP front camera. Like Nexus 5 the smartphone runs on the latest 4.4 Android KitKat OS and is powered by 2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm MSM8974AB Snapdragon 801 processor. Xperia Z2 has 3GB RAM and sports 16 GB internal storage which can be further expanded to 128 GB with a microSD card. Xperia Z2 is priced at INR 40,500.advertisementVerdict: Overall it’s a good gadget but lacks some features. The display lacks IPS slam which could have added to its USPs. Nonetheless Xperia Z2 is a great smart phone for videos music and Camera.3. HTC One M8The HTC One M8’s aluminum body makes and the 5 inch display makes it a delightful in the premium smartphones. It powered by an influential 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor clubbed with 2GB RAM and runs on Android 4.4 Kitkat OS. Similar to Xperia Z2, HTC One M8 comes with 16 GB internal storage which is expandable to up to 128 GB. The stereo speakers deliver a phenomenal sound, and distinguished 4 ‘Ultrapixel’ depth-sensing rear camera and 4 MP front camera brings a host of useful features.Verdict: The gadget’s exquisite style, and 4 ‘Ultrapixel’ camera which distinguishes it friom rest of the players make the HTC One M8 an incredible smartphone , especially among the photography enthusiasts.4. Samsung Galaxy S5The successor of Galaxy S4, comes with an improved camera, influential health app and a heart rate monitor at the back. Galaxy S5’s finger print scanner, that allows you to secure your phone as well as the apps, is its another USP. The device comes packed with a 2800 mAh battery that offers up to 21 hours of talk time and 390 hours standby. Galaxy 5S offers 16 MP rear camera, 5312 x 2988 pixels, with phase detection autofocus, LED flash and a 2 MP front facing camera. Galaxy S5 is powered by a 2.5 GHz quad-core Krait 400 processor with a Qualcomm MSM8974AC Snapdragon 801 chipset coupled with 2GB RAM. Other than this Galaxy S5 also supports Nearfield-communication (NFC).Galaxy S5 is priced at around INR 34,925.Verdict: Apart from having an acceptable user interface and impressive configuration, S5 is water resistant. Though it is the best phone available in the market, but is certainly one of them due to the reduced price now.5. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 PlusThe most hyped launch globally. iPhone 6 has topped the headlines surpassing all other brands. The new iPhones proclaims the Apple’s venture into the phablet market. Apple has come up with two large screen devices, iPhone 6 (4.7 inch) and iPhone 6 Plus (5.5 inch). Barring the screen size both devices mirror each other when it comes to specifications.The new iPhones sport 1 GB RAM and come in different storage capacities starting from 16 GB and go on till 128 GB. Quite similar to its predecessors the new iPhone do not have the expandable memory option. iPhone 6 comes with an improved battery and 8 MP camera with optical image stabilization (OIS). Though OIS feature is already there in many high-end Android phones but from the Apple’s line up the iPhone 6 and 6Plus are the first have it. Other than this the new iPhones also support NFC and tokenization for secure transactions. When it comes to price, the new iPhone is likely to burn a hole in your pocket. Though it is not available in all countries, but its price in India is expected to be around INR 55,00 to INR 60,000.advertisementVerdict: If you are an Apple loyalist, the new iPhones are likely to mesmerize you. but if we consider other options, an Android device with comparable features can be bought at a much lesser price.