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South African to chair global tax forum

December 18, 2019 | By admin | No Comments | Filed in: nibtjzsrs.

first_img5 November 2012The South African Revenue Service’s (Sars’) chief legal and policy officer, Kosie Louw, has been elected chairperson of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, becoming the first African chair of the forum.Louw will hold the post for a two-year period starting in 2013.“On behalf of the South African government, I would like to congratulate Sars and Kosie Louw on his election as chairperson,” Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in a statement on Friday.“I am certain that the two years of South Africa’s chairmanship will be beneficial not only to the forum but also to the wider global tax administration community.”Gordhan said the position was important because the forum’s current mandate expires in 2015, and it is during South Africa’s tenure that a decision must be made on the best way forward.“SA’s tenure also coincides with very challenging times for tax administrations globally, especially when it comes to the exchange of information for tax purposes.”Promoting tax cooperation“Optimum transparency and exchange of information are critical for improving tax compliance and increasing the prospects of revenue collection at a time when most countries face fiscal constraints,” Gordhan said.“International cooperation among tax administrations is vital in an era of rapid movement of money and people across borders.”The Global Forum plays a key role in promoting tax cooperation and the exchange of information among revenue authorities.It feeds into the work of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Group of 20 on improving transparency on tax matters.The forum is the largest consensus-based organisation working to facilitate the exchange of tax information between jurisdictions, an important step towards an end to secrecy.“South Africa fully supports the work of the forum, whose peer review reports reflect a very good practice in exchange of information,” Gordhan said.Currently, the forum has a membership of 116 and is in a position to have a significant impact on how jurisdictions cooperate, not only in terms of transparency of information, but putting in more effort to ensure that taxes are collected and used in a way that improves the lives of the citizens of those jurisdictions.Forum members must ensure the integrity and sustainability of tax systems around the globe.“Governments have an obligation to create an environment conducive to economic growth and job creation – and to ensure that the benefits that come from that growth are shared broadly,” he said.“If this does not happen, we will be responsible for creating more inequality.”Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

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5 Ways Microsoft Could Fix The PC (and Windows 8)

December 15, 2019 | By admin | No Comments | Filed in: zuwmcftfp.

first_imgWhat it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Related Posts Tags:#apps#Intel#Microsoft#microsoft surface#PC#Windows 8 markhachmancenter_img Let’s say the rumors are true, and that Microsoft does in fact bring back the Start button and a boot-to-desktop option to address longstanding user complaints. Can that fix what’s ailing Windows 8? Perhaps, eventually — but Microsoft is still treating the symptom rather than the disease. The problem is the PC itself, not the operating system that runs it. And that’s what Microsoft (and, secondarily, its Wintel partner Intel) really needs to transform.At this point, it seems clear that the tiled, touch friendly Start screen and the lack of a boot option to the familiar “desktop” interface scared off some people who might otherwise have upgraded to Windows 8. Instead, those PC users stuck with their familiar Windows 7 or Windows XP interface, or powered down their PCs altogether and turned to their phones or tablets.Wintel PanicAll of which has the onetime Wintel duopoly in a bit of a panic. Microsoft needs an OS that will delight consumers. It’s so far failed in that, so it’s apparently retrofitting Windows 8 for folks who need more handholding to move to the new OS. Similarly, Microsoft needs a robust apps environment, so it’s looking to entice developers to its Windows Store. That’s not going so well, either.Intel, meanwhile, continues to push down the cost of its microprocessors to a point where Windows tablets running on its Core microprocessors can compete with the Android and iOS markets. By the holiday season, Intel executives said, we should see Core-based laptops at between $499 to $599, with new, more powerful Atom options in the $200 price range.Put those together, and here’s what needs to happen.1. Downplay The Start ScreenIf Microsoft brings back the boot-to-desktop option, the company faces an interesting marketing dilemma: Should it still promote the tiled Start screen that turns off at least some of its customers? No. That doesn’t mean that Microsoft should change the Windows 8 interface — the Start screen was designed as a tablet interface, and should remain so. But Microsoft should make the Start screen the face of the Surface tablet, and make the Windows desktop the face of its Windows 8 advertising for PCs.2. Gently Push New Users To The Desktop Clearly, a portion of Microsoft’s customer base has been traumatized by its initial reaction to Windows 8. There’s a real risk that these users may never return to the Windows fold.But gently managing a boot-to-desktop option may mitigate some of that. Boot-to-desktop should be presented as one of the first options in the Windows installation, perhaps accompanied by something like this: “Would you like Windows 8 to boot to the Windows Desktop? The Windows desktop provides a familiar environment for users of Windows XP and Windows 7.”From there, let them explore and do as they wish. If the Start Screen is as compelling as Microsoft seems to think, at least some users will eventually move over of their own volition.3. Solve The Blah Windows Apps ProblemOne of the bigger problems with the Start screen that Microsoft so far hasn’t been able to address is that most of the applications featured there are basically uninspiring (Fresh Paint excluded). With Windows XP and Windows 7, those applications were tucked away behind the Start button, where users were free to ignore them. With the Windows 8 Start screen, they’re out there for the world to see and grow disillusioned with. And it’s not immediately clear how booting to the desktop’s empty expanse will be much of an improvement.But by making the Windows 8 Desktop the focus, Microsoft’s advertising, at least, can encompass the broad expanse of Windows apps out there. Mix and match! Steal a page from Apple. Highlight the flashiest apps, whether they be from the Windows 8 world or even from Windows 7. Legacy OS support is a feature, too. And free advertising for Adobe, EA, or some other developer can only engender goodwill.4. Make Windows Shine On Tablets — CheaplyMicrosoft also desperately needs a successful mobile strategy. And the only real way to to do that is to offer more for less.In other words, if Microsoft wants to leverage Windows in the mobile space, it needs to really leverage Windows. The Windows RT version of Surface failed in part because it was a crippled version of Windows 8; it’s time to retire it. The Surface with Windows Pro, by contrast, could be a hit if its price falls far enough. And if Microsoft pushes hard to convince buyers that they can accomplish a whole lot more with a full-fledged Windows tablet than they can with competing products.Microsoft needs to show that a Windows tablet — derivative of the Surface, or one based on the new quad-core “Bay Trail” chips — can offer desktop PC-class performance at tablet prices. We know tablets are mobile. Microsoft Stores need to feature a Windows tablet or convertible running the flashiest piece of software it can, on a conventional desktop monitor, with the price tag prominently displayed. The message: all this for $299??!! Why would I ever want an Android tablet?5. Find A Mobile Apps Tiger TeamTucking your Android or iOS phone in your pocket is an unconscious decision. And as more game developers choosing to write for iOS and Android, fewer are around to focus on Windows. There’s another key advantage for iOS and Android, too: chances are that you can play the same game on your iPad and iPhone, or your Android phone and tablet. You can’t often say the same for Windows Phone and Surface.If users can’t share apps, files, and other documents between the PC, notebook, tablet and phone, they’re going to start looking elsewhere. Microsoft’s realized this with its core apps, including Office and the Xbox. Netflix traverses the range of Microsoft’s platforms, but that’s about it.There is no easy fix here. If Microsoft can’t develop the apps it needs itself, it’s going to have to go out and buy them. This is the Nintendo problem, writ large. Without AAA third-party software, Microsoft will have to go it alone. Delaying The InevitableIDC’s right; the PC is dying. It’s inevitable, and Microsoft is merely rearranging desk chairs on the Titanic. But in this case, there’s a chance the ship could make harbor before it sinks.Notebooks will eventually give way to tablets, whether or not they have a keyboard attached to them. Microsoft won the desktop, and it won the notebook. Now it needs to win tablets. If it shows weakness now, it will be buried. Can Microsoft throw enough money at these problems to fix them? It may have to. It can patch Windows 8, and Intel can help keep prices falling. But the apps and mobile problems require more extensive surgery, and the time to act is now.Image Source: Flickr/yoshimov Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

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Physically disadvantaged Bangalore children find freedom in a city swimming pool

November 28, 2019 | By admin | No Comments | Filed in: zzqgqddue.

first_imgEleven-year-old Thomas was mortally afraid of water. Not unusual for children of his age. Then one fine morning at the Bangalore City Corporation pool, he fought his fear-and won. As he splashed about, it was obvious that this was a big accomplishment. Bigger still because Thomas has cerebral palsy. And,Eleven-year-old Thomas was mortally afraid of water. Not unusual for children of his age. Then one fine morning at the Bangalore City Corporation pool, he fought his fear-and won. As he splashed about, it was obvious that this was a big accomplishment. Bigger still because Thomas has cerebral palsy. And because he was accompanied by 44 children, who like him, are physically or mentally disadvantaged.Some suffer from cerebral palsy, a condition marked by weakness and impaired coordination of the limbs caused by damage to the brain before or during birth. Others have Down’s Syndrome, a congenital disorder due to a chromosome defect and characterised by diminished intelligence and physical abnormalities.But watching them in the pool, you wouldn’t know that. With every successful stroke, their sense of integration with the mainstream seems more complete, the smiles on their drenched faces fuller.In their midst is coach Raju Pujari, a product of the National Institute of Sports, Patiala. He looks at the splashing youngsters with pride, recalling how he first saw them a year ago at Sri Sajjan Rao Vidya Samsthe (SSRVS), a school for children with special needs. The sight tugged at his heart and he imagined taking them under his wing. That’s what he actually did, training them with the support of the neighbouring Basavanagudi Aquatic Centre (BAC), where he works.HOPE FLOATS: Pujari helps the children to improve their motor coordinationDevising a course suited for these 45 children was not easy. “In the beginning, we were not sure how to go about training these children,” says Pujari. “We had to slowly work on them and fight their fear of water.” But painstaking efforts by Pujari, other coaches and a host of volunteers eventually paid off.”Children who had no clue about hand and eye coordination began to show a marked improvement after being put into water,” says K. Shashikala, a teacher at SSRVS who has been trained to impart special education. A good example is that of 14-year-old Swathi Srinath who has Down’s Syndrome. Attending the intensive two-month programme at the centre seems to have done her wonders. Her father believes Swathi looks much more confident now.She’s not the only one. Rekha could not walk properly, but in the pool she splashes about happily. Pawan, who has cerebral palsy, is confined to a wheelchair, but he undergoes a transformation in the water, as does Raju, who swims with the inflatable tube that keeps him afloat. Says Pawan’s mother: “We wish we had done this earlier. His stiff limbs have loosened.”That’s not an exaggeration. Studies have proved the benefits of swimming for the mentally and physically challenged. Water is believed to relax the muscles while lending firm support to the body weight. There are neurological advantages as well, because sensation is more pronounced in water.The coaches follow exercises that are designed to enhance the range of motion and coordination, besides lung capacity, breath control and overall strength. As a result, children with cerebral palsy or other problems have greater freedom of movement in water than anywhere else.Prabhavati Chandra, whose 12-year old daughter with Down’s Syndrome has made considerable progress at the pool, is even striving for perfection. Though her daughter swims very well, her left arm does not have the same extension, amplitude, speed or power as her right arm, she feels. As a result, her strokes are a bit uneven, but she’s convinced that practice will correct this.Pujari is equally confident. “There is no handicap at all as far as I can see,” he says. “What these kids lacked was opportunity.” While showing them the way, the BAC has been especially sensitive to their special needs-that children with cerebral palsy and Down’s Syndrome are slow learners. Since flippers have proved beneficial abroad, BAC hopes to acquire some to help the children improve their speed and posture. That would allow them to focus better on their strokes.While self-enhancement and integration are the final goals, the coaches at the centre believe that they can be achieved only through patience and perseverance. That’s instilled in the minds of the students and their parents right at the outset. As Pujari points out, it’s one step at a time. Or perhaps a stroke in the right direction.advertisementlast_img read more

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