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first_imgIn the aftermath of the recent horrendous and seemingly unprecedented number of fatal road accidents that occurred within a fairly short period of time, the consequences have attracted national attention.Many families are now left trying to cope with the loss of loved ones. Even the Head of State felt compelled to make a public statement over the dire situation, but before he lamented his distress, Guyanese across the country found common ground to condemn and empathize.The sudden and shocking death of someone close, especially due to an accident, can never be easy. The ensuing excruciating pain and mental trauma that are inflicted on surviving relatives can be unbearable. In a fleeting moment, families were plunged into sadness and despair, having received the dreadful news that an accident had taken the life of someone dear to them.That’s the painful result; and often, its real and lingering impact may be hidden from the spotlight of the media. The reality is that people, including those who survive an accident, suffer in unimaginable ways. The recent spate of accidents even prompted some to ask the question: How many more? One interpretation from that simple question speaks to whether lessons are being learnt from accidents over time. In other words, how many more have to die before better care is taken while using the roadways?Given what has taken place over the past few weeks, one could not be faulted for concluding that the results of the accidents may not have inspired a more responsible behaviour. However, judging from sentiments expressed on social media, it appears that more cognizance has seemingly being brought to the mindsets of many.While that is extremely heartening, there is uncertainty as to whether the mindsets of the regular errant drivers have been impacted, or whether they have learnt anything from what were obviously painful experiences of others. Judging from what continues to take place on the roadways, it seems clear that many drivers haven’t learnt, or are clearly refusing to even be bothered by the harrowing fatal accidents.On a daily basis, many drivers use the roadways in a very reckless manner, thereby endangering occupants of vehicles and other road users; the least, themselves. It becomes painful even to see how they manoeuvre their vehicles, seemingly without an iota of care for others.Again, it brings into question the role of law enforcement to try and curb such irresponsible behaviour, especially since some traffic violations do occur in the presence of Police.Even if the Police were to offer an excuse, inexcusable as it may be, there is none that can be offered for not using the public CCTV cameras to take action against the errant drivers. Many of these cameras are strategically placed at some intersections where traffic lights are mounted and in other areas.Very often, persons generally using the cameras from their cell phones would snap and post a picture of a traffic violation. Many of those violations involve a minibus. It begs another question: If members of the public can take the time and effort to highlight daily traffic violations, and from which the Police sometimes intervene, why can’t the Police themselves use the CCTV cameras in a sustained effort to make defaulters face the law? Millions of taxpayers’ dollars were used to procure and mount those cameras, therefore their value must be of benefit to the public.The general public is hurting and is pleading for help. A twelve-year-old schoolgirl was killed in the horrifying accident just over a week ago at Nimses, West Bank Demerara. Despite the emotional devastation, her mother made a public appeal to passengers to demand being let out of a minibus because it is speeding, or the driver is imbibing alcoholic beverage.If, in her time of extreme grief, she can use her painful experience to warn others, why then can’t the CCTV cameras be used for the purpose alluded to? How many more must suffer before the Police announce sustained usage of the CCTV cameras to combat the recklessness on the roads?That seems a fair question in the context of not only what transpired over the past few weeks, but over time. In addition, the suggestion that undercover cops should pose as passengers is repeated. That would help to authenticate, if nothing else is working, violations of speeding, reckless driving, and overloading, among other transgressions.A public Police WhatsApp account intended to receive pictures and videos of traffic violations captured by members of the public would also help. Importantly, the Police must holistically demonstrate that sense of commitment to genuinely collaborate with members of the public to collectively tackle the situation.This becomes even more necessary given that, generally, the Police’s image in clamping down on errant drivers is not very flattering, especially since many are believed to own minibuses and taxis.The pain people feel is real and crushing. The question of “how many” is therefore relevant, and the cries for mitigating actions must no longer fall on seemingly deaf ears.last_img read more


first_imgDear Editor,The PNC are in real fear at the present moment; reasons being they will have to face the electorate sooner than later. To face an electorate whom they have lied to and mislead these four years is very unnerving, to say the least, hence the shenanigans of having a delayed election.Unlike the 2015 saga, when they were ever so anxious to go to the polls, this time around, they are negotiating that route at a snail’s pace; or if they would have their way, not at all.General elections are an ultimatum, if not “the ultimatum” for that party, because all the signs and symptoms are there indicating they would have a great loss at the polls. This is not something the PNC are prepared to accept, and so they are going about this by fiddling around with the Constitution, among other oddities, which at the end of the day still cannot give them the relief they are looking for.The soon-to-be-published verdict of The CCJ would validate my claims. So they are at the end of their tether, with no solace to which they can turn, so they are once again down the path of rigging the next election.The rigging they would like to embark upon comes under the guise of an updated electoral list, which, according to them, can only be effected by a long and laborious house-to-house registration.Mind you, the Constitution of Guyana expressly proposes that an updated list can be done via the continuous registration mechanism, but they are unmoved by this constitutional requirement; they want their own PNC house-to-house formula.Now, this is their crying problem: most of their supporters have cogently expressed their views– that they will not vote for the PNC. You go down to the chic-chic boards, or talk to the man in the street, the decision is “we ain’t voting for them.”Georgetown is their rigging bowl; their stomping ground, if you please, and to get such terse replies from their very own is nerve-wracking. So they would rather give it one last-ditch effort by going out to the people and meeting them at their homes to get them to change their minds.They try to bribe the people with promises of house lots; jobs, oil is coming on stream next year and jobs will be available; trying to fool them one last time into voting for “your people.” That is the desperation and fear that has gripped the PNC full on, and they are determined to fix it in that house-to-house registration.The desperation in that house-to-house registration is also linked to matching of the numbers at headquarters. Sure as day, the numbers that have already been fed into the system must match the rigged numbers from the field.The evidence of this assertion is seen in the firing of Vishnu Persaud last year. The PNC envisage a clean job in the rigging exercise, so present an “all’s clear” path, with no scrutinising eyes around.The PNC are back to their old, disgraceful rigging ways if the playing field should only afford them the leverage. We must thwart every device they will come up with. Down with rigging! We want free and fair elections!Respectfully,Neil Adamslast_img read more


first_imgKenya responded with an unconverted try at the stroke of half time through a Brian Wahinya after an interchange with Cyprian Kuto for Kenya to head to the break trailing 7-5.Into the second half Tafadzwa Chitokwindo pace was too much for the Kenyan defense as he combined with Takudzwa Kumadiro for the Cheetahs second try that was unconverted. Chitokwindo was to add the third try with a minute and a half left on the clock to lock the game.The tie was a repeat of the 2015 Africa 7s final – then played at the Barnard Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa where Kenya trailed 17-14 but a determined run from Dennis Ombachi won it for Shujaa. Other than win the African title then, Kenya qualified for the 2016 Olympic held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.For a place in the final Kenya knocked out Madagascar 36-5 as Zimbabwe erased a 19-0 half time deficit to dethrone back-to-back champions Uganda 24-19 in extra time.-Report from Raga House-0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Kenya Sevens players pose for a group photo in Tunisia. PHOTO/KRUNAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 14 – Shujaa’s hopes of lifting a fifth Africa 7s title were dashed after Zimbabwe upset them 17-5 to be crowned the new champions in Tunisia on Sunday.In the battle of unbeaten sides prior to the game, Zimbabwe went ahead after five minutes with a converted try from Shingirai Katsvere despite being a man down from a yellow card to one of their players Tarisai Mugariri.last_img read more


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first_imgKENNETT SQUARE, Pa. — Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro was euthanized Monday after complications from his breakdown at the Preakness last May. “We just reached a point where it was going to be difficult for him to go on without pain,” co-owner Roy Jackson said. “It was the right decision, it was the right thing to do. We said all along if there was a situation where it would become more difficult for him then it would be time.” Roy and Gretchen Jackson were with Barbaro on Monday morning, with the owners making the decision in consultation with chief surgeon Dean Richardson. It was a series of complications, including laminitis in the left rear hoof and a recent abscess in the right rear hoof, that proved to be too much for the gallant colt, whose breakdown brought an outpouring of support across the country. “I would say thank you for everything, and all your thoughts and prayers over the last eight months or so,” Jackson said to Barbaro’s fans. On May 20, Barbaro was rushed to the New Bolton Center, about 30 miles southwest of Philadelphia in Kennett Square, hours after shattering his right hind leg just a few strides into the Preakness Stakes. The bay colt underwent a five-hour operation that fused two joints, recovering from an injury most horses never survive. Barbaro lived for eight more months, though he never again walked with a normal gait. The Kentucky Derby winner suffered a significant setback over the weekend, and surgery was required to insert two steel pins in a bone – one of three shattered eight months ago in the Preakness but now healthy – to eliminate all weight bearing on the ailing right rear foot. The procedure on Saturday was a risky one, because it transfered more weight to the leg while the foot rests on the ground bearing no weight. The leg was on the mend until the abscess began causing discomfort last week. Until then, the major concern was Barbaro’s left rear leg, which developed laminitis in July, and 80 percent of the hoof was removed. Richardson said Monday morning that Barbaro did not have a good night.165Let’s talk business.Catch up on the business news closest to you with our daily newsletter. Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_img“The ultimate goal of this engagement is to develop a student reporting process that gives families a deeper understanding of their child’s progress at school through timely and comprehensive information. We’ll gather the feedback and share our plan next June.”The letter will be sent out by schools. You can read the full letter below.engage FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Ministry of Education is looking for opinions when it comes to the reporting system.With the new K-9 curriculum, the Ministry is looking for parent feedback about how reporting can support student learning.“Reporting is all about keeping parents like you informed, and we want you to tell us HOW you want to be informed and keep track of your child’s progress.” – Education Minister Mike BernierThe Education Minister is sending out a letter saying that parents can submit feedback via engage.gov.bc.ca/yourkidsprogress.- Advertisement -He said there will be 10 community meetings that will be held across the province over the next few months where parents can ask questions and also share thoughts.Bernier says they will gather feedback and share a plan next June.Advertisementlast_img read more


first_imgAlan Stubbs has been sacked as manager of Rotherham.Former Hibernian boss Stubbs was only appointed during the summer but he has found life south of the border in the Championship tough, winning just one of his 13 league matches in charge.The Millers have conceded 32 goals in those games and a six-match losing run means they are already six points adrift of safety at the bottom of the table.Stubbs’ last game in charge was Tuesday night’s 4-2 defeat at Birmingham and he departs along with assistant manager John Doolan and first-team coach Andy Holden. 1 Alan Stubbs won just one of his 13 league games in charge of Rotherham last_img


first_imgIndiana State police arrested a Blufton man after they stopped him for a traffic violation in Jackson County Sunday afternoon.According to ISP Trooper Randel Miller, he stopped a 2008 Mercury passenger vehicle driven by 27-year-old Jamie Husband on I-65. During a conversation with Husband, the officer became suspicious and had his K-9 Jink walk around the car.The dog alerted Miller of possible drugs in trunk. When police opened the trunk they found two pounds of high-grade marijuana.Husband was arrested without incident and is facing felony charges of dealing and possession of marijuana.Troopers says this case is yet another example of how a traffic stop for traffic violations can lead to more serious criminal activity.last_img


first_imgZimbabwe’s official annual inflation rate reached 231 million percent in early October, from the July estimate of 11.2 million percent, and the deadlock in talks between the ruling Zanu-PF and opposition parties is likely to push the rate higher.How to understand such hyperinflation? And what to do about it? According to a new discussion document by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) entitled Comprehensive Economic Recovery in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown has deep roots, exacerbated by the disastrous political and economic policies of the current regime. But with political change and some strong medicine, the hyperinflation could be halted in 12 years.Several attempts by President Robert Mugabe’s government to bring down inflation – including lopping off 10 zeroes from the currency, introducing a new currency, and price controls – have failed to put brakes on the multimillion-percent inflation rate.Independent economists have estimated the real inflation rate at billions of percent.Causes Zimbabwe’s financial malaise is not seen as a direct consequence of Mugabe’s 2000 fast-track land reform programme, in which more than 4 000 white-owned farms were redistributed to landless black people. It is rather a series of injudicious decisions overlaying structural economic weaknesses inherited from the former Rhodesia that are being amplified.At independence Mugabe’s government inherited a dual economy “characterised by a relatively developed and diversified formal economy sitting alongside a neglected and underdeveloped peasant-based subsistence rural economy,” according to the UNDP document.This dual economy has not been addressed by the ruling Zanu-PF during 28 years of power, and “with the collapse of the formal economy and the exponential growth of the informal economy both in urban and rural areas during the crisis period, the problem has deepened, with most economic transactions and units now operating outside formal systems,” the discussion document said.The trigger for the current hyperinflation environment “can be traced to the so-called ‘Black Friday’ crash of the Zimbabwe dollar on 14 November 1997, which was precipitated by the government’s unbudgeted payment of gratuities to veterans of the liberation war.“This was followed in 1998 by Zimbabwe’s participation in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which further contributed to the ballooning fiscal deficit,” the UNDP document noted.Inflation rose from 19% in 1997 to 56% by 2000, when the land reform programme was launched – spearhead by the war veterans – so that by 2006 inflation was running at more than 1 000% and reached hyperinflation levels by 2007.“Zimbabwe’s inflation is fundamentally caused by excess government expenditure, financed by the printing of money in an economy with a real gross domestic product (GDP) that has been declining for the last nine years. Money supply growth has been completely decoupled from economic growth, the inevitable result being continued and accelerating inflation,” the UNDP said.Between 1998 and 2006 Zimbabwe’s GDP contracted by 37%, and by 2000 per capita incomes were lower than those in 1960.The document was produced by Dale Doré, director of Shanduko, a Harare-based non-profit research institute on agrarian and environmental issues, Tony Hawkins, Professor of Economics at the Graduate School of Management at the University of Zimbabwe, Godfrey Kanyenze, director of the Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe, Daniel Makina, professor of Finance and Banking at the University of South Africa in Pretoria and Daniel Ndlela, director of Zimconsult, a Harare economic consultancy firm.Full recoveryThe authors agree that the medicine to reverse the ravages of the economic mismanagement is likely to be as painful as hyperinflation’s symptoms, and that the precursor of a pro-poor recovery would be “sound macroeconomic management”.“Full recovery, defined simply in terms of a return to the peak real per capita incomes of 1991, would take 12 years, assuming a bottoming-out of the decline in the course of 2008, and uninterrupted growth of 5% annually from 2009 to 2020,” the discussion document noted.“And, given that Zimbabwe is susceptible to drought – on average every three years – and that with the decline of commercial agriculture this vulnerability has increased, even the 5% annual growth in per capita GDP may be beyond the upper bounds of probability.”There is no one-size-fits-all remedy for hyperinflation, but there is consensus that delinking the political manipulation of the exchange rate and monetary systems is a prerequisite.Drastic measuresProfessor Steve Hanke of Johns Hopkins University in the US believes measures used internationally to restore economic confidence and rein in hyperinflation require “punishingly high” interest rates, causing slow GDP growth, stagnation of living standards and the worsening of poverty during the “stabilisation period.”Hanke contends in the UNDP discussion document that, should there be a political settlement in Zimbabwe, the new government has three options to consider: dollarisation, free banking, or a currency board, all of which have their pros and cons.Dollarisation or randisation – the rand is the monetary unit of South Africa – would entail one of the foreign currencies being made legal tender instead of the Zimbabwe dollar, which would die a natural death.However, the new government would “no longer have an independent monetary policy and set their own interest rates, but must ‘import’ the monetary policy of the country whose currency is chosen,” Hanke said in the discussion document.A second consideration is “free banking”, used in colonial Southern Rhodesia until 1940, in which private commercial banks issued currency notes with ‘minimal regulation’.The third consideration is a currency board, which would mean holding “foreign reserves equal to 100% of the domestic money supply determined at a fixed exchange rate … as a result, money supply, and thereby interest rates, are determined ‘entirely by market forces’.”Handing over “monetary policy to outsiders or even to market forces would be a high-risk strategy for a fresh administration,” the UNDP discussion document said, especially in the light of Mugabe’s consistent accusations that Zimbabwe’s economic decline was a result of “former imperialists” trying to recolonise the country.“Furthermore, the suggestion that Zimbabwe should abolish its central bank when much smaller regional economies – Lesotho and Swaziland – find it necessary to operate a central-bank system, even though they are members of the Rand Monetary Area, is unrealistic,” said the UNDP document.PovertyMeanwhile, the people of Zimbabwe are beginning to starve. After a succession of dismal harvests, attributed to environmental factors and political disruptions, nearly half of Zimbabwe’s citizens will require food assistance in the first quarter of 2009, according to the UN.Poverty has accelerated, according to the 2003 Poverty Assessment Study Survey (Pass II), from 55% of Zimbabweans living below the Total Consumption Poverty Line to 72% of the population by 2003, or an increase of about a third in eight years.A rider to Zimbabwe’s economic deterioration is the effect of the HIV/Aids pandemic, which UNAids and the International Monetary Fund calculate may decrease GDP growth rates by between 1% and 2%.About 1.6 million Zimbabweans between the ages of 15 and 49 years old are living with HIV/Aids, although prevalence of the disease declined from 20.1% in 2005 to about 15.9% by 2007.A political solution A precursor to any economic reform would have to be a political solution in Zimbabwe. The effect of the country’s unstable politics on hyperinflation was illustrated in the wake of elections this year, when the opposition Movement for Democratic Change won a majority in parliament for the first time since independence in 1980, and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai narrowly missed winning the presidency.“There is a widely held perception that the Zimbabwe dollar is seriously undervalued in the parallel market,” said the UNDP document. “The sharp 65% appreciation of the Zimbabwe dollar on the parallel market in the immediate aftermath of the 29 March 2008 elections suggests that this is, in fact, the case.”Should there be some sort of political settlement, the creation of an independent central bank under a new constitution was likely to be part of the public debate.“Given Zimbabwe’s unhappy recent history with a politically driven central bank, the economic case for RBZ [Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe] independence is very powerful,” the document noted.Whatever solutions are used to tackle Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation, its legacy will haunt the country for many years, and manifest itself in such areas as investor confidence – both local and international – and the rebuilding of “once strong” public institutions.Source: Irin News and MediaClubSouthAfrica.com reporterDo you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at marya@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Related articlesZimbabwe moves forwardA holiday – in Zimbabwe? Useful linksUnited NationsUN Development Programmelast_img read more


first_imgPaul Buchheit built the first version of Gmail in one day. Then, he built the first prototype of Google’s contextual advertising service, Adsense, in one day as well. Now, he’s working on a much-watched startup called FriendFeed that he believes just brought to market the next big form of communication online: flowing, multi-person, real-time conversations.“The open, realtime discussions that occur on FriendFeed,” he says, “are going to become a major new communication medium on the same level as email, IM and blogging.” That’s a pretty ambitious claim, but Buchheit has the credibility to make it.The Early Days at GoogleWhen Paul Buchheit was in college in the mid to late 90’s, he spent time working at both Microsoft and Sun. He classifies Microsoft as being in the “Religious Institutions Industry” on his LinkedIn profile, which is pretty funny. After graduating, he joined Intel for a year and then became the 23rd employee at Google (at the age of 23). He joined Google just 3 months after the company moved out of the garage of someone’s house and he stayed there for the next seven years. Buchheit left Google in the middle of 2006, between the launch of Google Video and the acquisition of YouTube. Those probably weren’t of any concern to him, though. The same high stock price that made it possible for Google to pay the equivalent of $1.65 billion for YouTube presumably made the company’s 23rd employee, Buchheit, a very wealthy man.Fast Forward to FriendFeedNow Paul Buchheit is investing in new startups and has co-founded one of his own. FriendFeed is a fascinating combination of a.) an aggregation tool bringing information in from all around the web, b.) a big public conversation and c.) a publishing tool for original content. The service pulls in data from all the different social networks you tell it that you participate in, allowing your FriendFeed friends to see and discuss your activities on those networks whether they happen to participate in them or not. Tags:#NYT#Real-Time Web#web For example, I don’t participate actively in the blog commenting network Disqus but Fred Wilson does. I follow Fred on FriendFeed, where he imports his Disqus comments automatically, so I can see and discuss that information on FriendFeed. There’s a long list of services that FriendFeed can import data from, from social bookmarking to YouTube favorites, but the majority of what goes on at the site is conversation about Twitter messages.The FriendFeed team regularly rolls out new features faster than you can say “cross-platform microblogging aggregation,” but those cool features haven’t led to widespread adoption of the service yet. As tech blogger Michael Arrington points out, “the fact is that FriendFeed may just be too complicated for the average user to quickly understand… The power users love it. Novices can be overwhelmed.” Facebook also regularly implements the innovative features that FriendFeed comes up with and that certainly doesn’t help FriendFeed’s market share.If you want to dive deep into the nitty gritty of how FriendFeed works, our podcast interview with Buchheit and co-founder Bret Taylor from more than a year ago remains one of the best ways to do so.FriendFeed – Now!This week FriendFeed pushed forward a radical redesign of the site based on a beta version it had been testing for just under a month.The biggest changes were a new look and, most importantly, a real-time flow of information. Using a technology that Buchheit created in October called Long Polling, FriendFeed now streams all the information it finds from your friends down the page, just as soon as it finds it. Update: Many commenters have argued that this is just like IM or IRC. We’d argue that a fundamental difference is that real-time FriendFeed is about conversation tied to particular links or conversation threads.David Chartier at ArsTechnica called the new version “more engaging and interactive.” Dave Winer, one of the first movers in blogging, a key player in content syndication technologies and a big fan of FriendFeed, offered much harsher feedback. “I wonder if anyone uses the new FriendFeed for any serious purpose,” has asked, on FriendFeed. “Before I finish reading something, it’s scrolled off, replaced by the next thing. Feeding the whole write-only-ness of the medium. I anticipate even more mindless comments based on not having read the thing they’re commenting on. Now they have an excuse.”Other power users have a laundry list of complaints. The simplified interface lost some of the most compelling features and made others harder to find. The service used to offer interesting data analysis like “who you find most interesting” and “who finds you most interesting.” Those options seem to be gone.Buchheit told us that he believes “the appearance of our new interface is loved by many, and hated by others. Most people are probably somewhere in the middle.” Is Real Time The Next Gmail?Many social networking sites are moving towards real time information delivery instead of requiring page advancement or refreshing to find out what’s new. A year ago we called the real time nexus of Seesmic and Twhirl a vision of the future of the web. Twitter integrated real time search in February. Facebook made its newsfeed real time last month. Bleeding-edge media sharing network Enjoysthin.gs goes so far as to offer a real time view of activity only to paid members of its site!Buchheit explains the paradigm’s appeal:“Realtime is often an easier and more efficient way of communicating because an entire conversation can happen in a matter of minutes or seconds. It’s similar to the difference between a phone call and a series of voice mails — the phone call occurs in realtime so the entire conversation can often be concluded very quickly. It’s also critical for timely information — for example, on our internal FriendFeed group I may post a message about running an update on the live system, and it’s important that everyone see that message immediately.“One of the advantages of FriendFeed over other realtime systems such as IM is that it also works non-realtime. For example, at the end of the day I’ll often browse my “best of day” view to see what the top stories and discussions of the day were.”That makes sense to me. Though real time conversations can feel overwhelming, the pause button on the Friend Feed site should help and in time I expect we’ll all get used to it. There was a time when I felt totally overwhelmed by Twitter, and the discovery of what RSS feeds can deliver to a feed reader left me in a daze for weeks (and led to a new career).Enterprise adoption of real time communication in general and FriendFeed in particular are topics that some people are discussing. Sameer Patel has written a lengthy article exploring the potential for using FriendFeed in the enterprise and we’ve heard of several companies using the service as a lightweight intranet.The Future of FriendFeedThings are changing fast at FriendFeed. Buchheit says that the company believes aggregation to be less important than real time conversation. “The open, realtime discussions that occur on FriendFeed are going to become a major new communication medium on the same level as email, IM and blogging. The aggregation component of FriendFeed is a convinient feature and a component of that openness, but not as central as the discussions.”People have complained for some time that all the different sources of information and long list of features make the service confusing for new users. Tackling that problem was a key element of the new redesign.“It’s very important that new users can look at the product and immediately understand what’s going on and how to use it,” Buchheit told us. “The new User Interface is much more straightforward because all they see is a list of messages and comments from friends, and a box for posting new things. Over time, they are able to discover other features (such as groups, saved searches, imported feed, etc), but those things aren’t part of the initial experience.”Many early adopters of the service really don’t like what the company has done with its website. Buchheit says that they will soon have far more control over customizing the experience. “Visual design is clearly a very personal thing — the appearance of our new interface is loved by many, and hated by others (though most people are probably somewhere in the middle). This is why one of the goals of the new design was to accomodate skinning/themes. We don’t yet know the exact timing of the release, but we hope to have a version 1 of themes available in a matter of weeks.”The Big PictureSo, here’s a summary. The father of the best web email program on the planet believes that a real-time streaming interface for simplified aggregation of conversation and content from all around the web is going to join the handful of tools we use regularly, like email, IM and blogging.The biggest question still remaining? Facebook. Buchheit on Facebook:“Facebook is still very much a closed world of its own. That’s sometimes useful, but other times I want the ability to interact with the outside world and also other systems. For example, if I post something on FriendFeed about a product that I’m using, often someone working on that product (or very knowledgeable about it) will join in on the conversation. That kind of thing can’t happen on Facebook. [Because cross-site search is limited by default privacy restrictions. -ed.] FriendFeed also interoperates much more smoothly with other systems, so I can easily import my blog posts, receive updates via email or IM, or post messages on to Twitter. Things I post on Facebook are not allowed to leave Facebook (except under very strict terms that require deletion within 24 hours, which is why clients such as Seesmic can interface with it, but services such as FriendFeed have a harder time).”Do you buy that? I’m not sure. But if anyone can lead the charge against incumbent technologies with a new paradigm that combines powerful richness and ease of use – Paul Buchheit might be that person. He did it with Gmail, now time will tell if he can do it with FriendFeed. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts marshall kirkpatrick A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more