Tags Author Ken has been part of the MWC Mobile World Daily editorial team for the last three years, and is now contributing regularly to Mobile World Live. He has been a telecoms journalist for over 15 years, which includes eight…More Read more A4AI chair warns on unrealistic UN 2020 goal Interview: A4AI Chair Ken Wieland M360 2016 Africa Article Internet pioneer Sir Tim Berners-Lee is backing the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), a group of private and public companies pushing for regulatory reform to drive down internet access prices in developing countries.“The reason for the alliance is simple – the majority of the world’s people are still not online, usually because they can’t afford to be,” said Berners-Lee.He gives the example of Mozambique where a recent study showed that using just 1GB of data can cost over two months’ wages for the average citizen.“The result of high prices is a widening digital divide that slows progress in vital areas such as health, education and science,” he added. “Yet with the advent of affordable smartphones, new undersea cables and innovations in wireless spectrum usage, there is simply no good reason for the digital divide to continue.”By advocating open, competitive and innovative broadband markets, A4AI aims to help access prices fall below 5 per cent of monthly income worldwide, a target set by the UN Broadband Commission.According to the International Telecommunications Union, reaching this goal would help connect two-thirds of the world’s population currently not connected to the internet.A4AI announced a range of plans at the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation’s Annual Forum in Abuja, Nigeria, on 7 October.They include in-country engagements with three to four states by the end of 2013, expanding to at least twelve countries by the end of 2015.Key policy areas to drive prices down include “allowing innovative allocation of spectrum, promoting infrastructure sharing, and increasing transparency and public participation in regulatory decisions”.A4AI says it will produce an annual ‘Affordability Report’, with the first edition being unveiled in December 2013.The alliance was initiated by the World Wide Web Foundation (founded by Berners-Lee). It is sponsored by Google, Omidyar Network (a philanthropic investment firm), the UK Department for International Development, and the United States Agency for International Development.The intenet.org initiative – whose founding members are Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung – was launched in August.Its aim is to bring connectivity to the five billion people around the world currently without access to the internet by developing and adopting technologies that makes mobile connectivity more affordable. Previous ArticlePrivate bank eyes 50% stake in Tele2 Russia – reportNext ArticleHTC facing “most challenging” quarter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 07 OCT 2013 A4AIBerners-Lee Related A4AI chair lauds OTT players for internet investment but snubs Facebook Basics Home Berners-Lee backs ‘affordable internet’ initiative for developing markets
HELENA – Tornadoes in Montana this year have been more frequent and more powerful than at any point over the past decade, as evidenced by twisters that destroyed an arena in Billings and killed two people in the state’s northeastern corner.While an unusually wet spring and early summer helped extend this year’s storm season, meteorologists can’t pinpoint just what’s caused the spike.Montana averages seven tornadoes a year, which ties it with New York for the nation’s 19th-lowest average. But over the first seven months of 2010, there were 24 tornadoes recorded in the state, according to data provided by the National Weather Service.The weather service has been unable to find another year with as many tornadoes reported, said Dan Borsum, senior meteorologist in Billings. The year that comes closest over the last decade is 2002, when 11 twisters were recorded.A contributing factor may be the unusually high amount of rainfall that has saturated the ground this year.“The amount of moisture that we’ve had is allowing us to stay in a thunderstorm pattern much later in the year, and that’s allowing us to have more intense storms,” Borsum said.Emergency officials also say there has been a comparative increase in the number of disaster assistance requests because of flooding this spring and summer. Notably, flooding on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation in June led to evacuations, the closure of the reservation’s health clinic and left hundreds without drinking water. The damage was so great it resulted in a presidential disaster declaration, a relative rarity for Montana.There also have been disaster assistance requests for flooding in Dawson, Custer, Roosevelt and Petroleum counties, said Montana Disaster and Emergency Services spokesman Tim Thennis.“We’ve been so dry for so long, that we’ve had unseasonably heavy rainfalls that we haven’t seen for 10 years or so in some areas,” Thennis said.But even with the increased rainfall, it’s hard to know exactly why there are so many more twisters this year. It may have something to do with the transformation from an El Nino to a La Nina weather pattern. Or it could just be bad luck.But don’t blame global warming, at least not until more data is available from over a longer period that would suggest this year is something other than an aberration, weather service meteorologist Tanja Fransen in Glasgow said.“You can’t say that this is attributable to climate change,” Fransen said.In addition to more twisters touching down, the tornadoes hitting Montana this year have been more powerful.The number of strong tornadoes — those rated between EF2 and EF5 on the Enhanced Fujita scale — hitting Montana averages one each year. That number has more than tripled this year with storms reported in just in June and July.The tornado that killed two people and injured a third in northeastern Montana’s Sheridan County last Monday night was one of the most powerful the state has ever seen and the deadliest since 1923, when a tornado killed two people in Mineral County.With 150 mile-per-hour winds, Monday’s tornado was only the fourth in the state’s recorded history to rate an EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, and the first since 1988.That tornado traveled overland for 18 miles at about 30 mph, demolishing phone lines, a bridge and an abandoned farmhouse that lay in its path. Then it hit the Smith ranch, an isolated house and buildings where Barbara Smith, 71, lived with her 10-year-old grandson, Robert “Robby” Richardson, and her nephew, 46-year-old Steven Smith.The twister ripped the house from its foundation and demolished everything on the property, obliterating a mobile home, blowing away grain bins and tossing vehicles more than a quarter of a mile. Cattle were found more than a mile away.Smith’s grandson and nephew were killed in the storm. Neighbors and authorities dug Smith from her basement and transported her to a hospital in Billings, where she was listed in fair condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.That tornado came just a month after a tornado with an EF2 rating — with winds up to 120 mph — touched down on top of the Rimrock Auto Arena in Billings, the state’s largest indoor arena.It was the first large tornado to hit Billings in more than a half-century, and it tore off the arena’s roof, damaged hundreds of homes and businesses and scattered debris across the city.The next day, a series of tornadoes were reported in southwestern Powder River County, and several of those were rated EF2, Borsum said.Not two weeks after that, another EF2-rated twister struck in the Gallatin National Forest southwest of Billings. Tornadoes in mountains are rare, particularly those that powerful, and this one left swath of downed trees 150 yards wide and a couple of miles long, Borsum said.Borsun said substantial amounts of low-level moisture is needed for a rotating storm’s funnel to connect to the ground and form a tornado. Once the state stops seeing so many rainstorms, and the ground starts drying out, the chances of a tornado forming will lessen, he said.But that also means the start of fire season, which could pose a new challenge for emergency officials. Authorities have worried that millions of acres of trees killed by mountain pine beetles could present an increased fire risk this year.“We’re prepared for it if we have to deal with the fire season,” Thennis said. “Overall, I think there are a lot of resources across the northwest to help with the fire season.” Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Email
Paula, who tied the knot with her now 73-year-old husband Joe on August 28th, 1980, was heartbroken by the disappearance of her cherished 18 carat gold band.RELATED: In Twist of Fate, Hotline Volunteer Learns She Has Been Working With Man Who Saved Her 7 Years Ago“My house backs onto woodland and I thought possibly that the ring flew in there. I thought it was gone forever,” recalled Paula. “Over the years—whenever we’ve been in the garden or out there—I’ve always said ‘have a look for the ring,’ but we never found it.”To her delight, however, the missing ring was finally rediscovered last month.Paula’s lucky break came when she hired local landscaping company Man for All Seasons to clean up her garden a few days before her wedding anniversary.“We had a gardening company come in and landscape our garden and I told them about the ring and the whole story,” says Paula.MORE: Blind, Deaf Senior Dog Found in Good Health Just 28 Hours After Being Carried Off By a HawkAlthough the yard had been dug up multiple times in the past, the gardeners struck gold.“They called me out into the garden a while later saying they had a surprise for me and then handed me my wedding ring,” she exclaimed. “It was in the garden where I was standing and where I had been playing ball with my son all those years ago.“I was so shocked, but incredibly grateful. It’s wonderful to have it back.”Paula Walter and her dog Kira. SWNS.Multiply The Good News By Sharing This Sweet Story With Your Friends On Social Media…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorePaula Walter and Joe on their wedding day.An English woman who lost her wedding ring in the garden almost four decades ago has just found it buried in the soil—just days before her 40th anniversary.65-year-old Paula Walter lost the precious wedding band back in 1983 when she was playing catch with her son outside their home in Plymouth, Devon.The ring flew off her finger as they were frolicking in the garden, and despite conducting a lengthy search of the grounds with a metal detector, it was never found.
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Searcher Seismic has announced plans for Phase 2 of the Silver-Eye Broadband 3D survey in the Barents Sea, Norway.Following the successful acquisition of Phase 1, comprising 2,663 square kilometers, Searcher is now acquiring additional broadband 3D data in the area.Phase 1 of the acquisition was completed in September 2015 with data processing revealing exciting results for both conventional and unconventional play models, supporting the need for Phase 2, the company said.Acquisition of Phase 2 is scheduled to start in April 2016 with a PSTM data volume being made available in November 2016.Phase 1 PSTM data will be available in April 2016 with PSDM available in Q3, 2016. Phase 2 final data in both time and depth is expected in early 2017, the company added.Jan Gunnar Opsal, Country Manager for Searcher Seismic, Norway, said the survey extension covers existing discoveries and vacant acreage within the APA area.“Searcher is excited to be expanding our 3D library in the Barents Sea and to offer high quality data for evaluating this area of the Hammerfest Basin in the APA, 2017,” Opsal added.