The Cellar, the Oxford nightclub facing imminent closure over fire safety requirements, has raised enough money to undertake the building renovations needed to stop it from closing.The nightclub announced it had reached its £80k crowdfunding target today, an amount that will fund building work to widen the club’s fire escape to comply with city council standards and to make up for financial losses.In October, independent music venue began its crowdfunding campaign, which was backed by students, residents and artists, including Radiohead drummer Philip Selway.In a Facebook post, The Cellar team wrote: “WOW we are awestruck. Through the power of the people, thanks to you we’ve now got the crowdfunding we need to save The Cellar.“It’s been an incredible journey and one we hope also communicates to people out there, just how crucial small venues are to our music and arts community. This is a live situation and we have been working really hard to get all the other things in place before the building work can commence.”In June, Cellar was forced to cut the maximum capacity from 150 people to 60, as the fire escape was 30cm too narrow for Oxfordshire County Council requirements. The nightclub was set to close on 3rd December unless it could raise enough money increase its capacity and make up for any losses incurred.The Cellar management has since gained approval from the landlords to submit the building plans, consulted with structural engineers, had the club building has been surveyed, and drawn up detailed drawings of the building.Their submission to the planning office is pending approval by 4th January 2019. They have consulted with building control and received quotes from various building firms, all of which are available to commence in January 2019.They have also met with the landlord’s surveyors to finalise our their rent agreement.The team added: “There are many pieces of the jigsaw to slot into place to keep The Cellar alive. We are hoping that the building work will start in January 2019, and we are working flat out to ensure this happens.“It’s important to us, and to all your incredible efforts, that we do not accept the money until we are 100% sure we can deliver. We will keep you updated via the crowdfunder updates, every step of the way.“Thank you so so much for your patience on this, and we are so grateful we now have the chance to save our beloved venue. #cellarforever.”The Cellar has been contacted for comment.
FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail This Halloween the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office will be closely monitoring the residential areas of Vanderburgh County outside of the Evansville City limits. Sheriff’s deputies will be watching for unsafe, mischievous and suspicious activity. The Sheriff’s Office bicycle patrol will be riding in some of our subdivisions looking for safety issues.Sheriff Dave Wedding stated, “With great weather predicted, lots of kids will be out in our neighborhoods. Motorists should reduce their speed accordingly and watch for trick-or-treaters in or near the roadway.”Trick-or-treaters are encouraged to visit the homes of people they know well and stay within their neighborhood. If trick-or-treaters are going to be meeting with friends to trick-or-treat in other areas, parents are encouraged to check the sex offender website for potential sex offenders in those neighborhoods. The sex offender web site for Vanderburgh County and every county in Indiana may be found on our web site at www.vanderburghsheriff.com.The Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office will be paying special attention to the neighborhoods in which registered sex offenders live. Registered sex offenders who are on parole will be required to: place a sign on their door indicating that their residence will not be giving out candy, keep their exterior lights off, and display no outdoor Halloween decorations. The Sheriff’s Office and the Indiana Department of Corrections will be making increased random checks on registered sex offenders who are on parole to verify their compliance with all stipulations established for them this weekend.Sheriff Dave Wedding offered a few additional safety tips to help insure this Halloween is a safe one:Motorists should keep a careful eye out for kids who may be difficult to see and may run unexpectedly from in between parked cars and other places.Trick-or-treating should be done with adult supervision and in groups.Parents, if your trick-or-treaters are old enough to walk the neighborhood on their own, make sure you know their intended route. Provide them with a cell phone and make sure they stay within a familiar area.Trick-or-treaters should never enter the home of someone who is not well known to them.Costumes that do not include a mask or anything that might obscure the child’s vision are preferable.Costumes should be constructed so that children can move easily and not create a tripping hazard.Trick-or-treating should be completed before dark. Trick-or-treaters should have light colored/reflective clothing on and have a flashlight.Parents should inspect all treats before they are eaten. Anything that is not commercially produced or appears to have had the seal or packaging tampered with should be discarded.Homeowners who welcome trick-or-treaters should make sure their homes are well lit and that there are no obstacles to those visiting the home.Homeowners should give commercially produced treats, gift certificates or other non-food related items (school pencils, stickers, etc).If you find anything or see anything suspicious in nature, report it to the Sheriff’s Office via 911.The men and women of the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office hope everyone has a safe and memorable Halloween this year.
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To the Editor:Recently, the Courier Press ran a story about a letter asking for campaign contributions to support the incumbent school board members. I was surprised to see the letter in the paper because solicitation letters are not newsworthy. The letter made it sound as though it is a threat to public education that these men have to run against opponents. Personally, I am thrilled that the voters have choices for the school board elections. I have spoken to Jean Webb and Ann Ennis and find that they have a deep understanding of current education issues. We need more citizens willing to do their part in public education.The letter would have us believe that these school board members have improved public education. Nothing could be further from the truth. As a retired EVSC teacher, I can tell you that these members have only rubber-stamped an agenda that is making EVSC schools weaker and less safe for students. One of the most troubling issues is teacher morale. EVSC administration and the Board have made it clear that teacher morale does not concern them. Because of the low morale, the teacher attrition rate in the EVSC has skyrocketed. According to the Board minutes, 113 teachers have resigned (not retired) from the EVSC in the first nine months of 2018. That is an average of almost 13 teachers every month! I have heard Dr. Smith tell the Board that these teachers have spouses who were transferred, but in the majority of cases, this is not the case. Many of the teachers leave to teach in other local school corporations where teachers are given manageable workloads and treated with respect. Because of this high resignation rate, the EVSC has filled several positions with substitutes or with people who have not passed their teacher certification exams. These actions have weakened the education that our children are receiving.A second major issue in the EVSC is the terrible condition of our schools. Many schools in the EVSC have water pouring through roofs when it rains, torn and stained carpeting, crumbling parking lots, and serious mold issues. I personally have worked in buildings with all of these issues. When teachers question why their buildings aren’t repaired, they are told that there is no money because it was all spent on the McCutchanville school. What message do poorly maintained buildings send to the thousands of students who attend other schools?Before you vote, please ask an EVSC teacher about teacher morale and the condition of their school building. If you are as disappointed in the current board as I am, please make sure you go to the end of the ballot and vote. All county residents can vote in all races. Please consider voting for Jean Webb, Ann Ennis, Melissa Moore, David Hollingsworth, and Clark Exmeyer. Our children deserve better than the current School Board.Sincerely, Carolyn Bennett FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
Karen Mahar, director of the Ocean City Free Public Library, and Boy Scout Andrew Leonetti show off the new coat rack. By Donald WittkowskiHe had to redesign it, cope with some warped wood, strenuously sand it down to make it level and then deal with some bolts that wouldn’t fit properly in the holes.The Boy Scouts of America’s motto is “Be Prepared,” but for Andrew Leonetti, his project to become an Eagle Scout taught him to “Be Prepared … for the worst.”But, ultimately, the 16-year-old sophomore at Ocean City High School conquered the challenges of building a large coat rack that he donated to the Ocean City Free Public Library during a ceremony Monday attended by his beaming family.In a way, the project was a testament to what the Boy Scouts are all about – adapting, overcoming adversity and accomplishing what they set out to do.“That’s exactly what it’s about,” Leonetti said.Leonetti’s grandparents, Jim and Ursula Russo, of Ocean City, said they were not surprised that Andrew devoted so much time and care toward building something that would benefit the community.“They are a very close-knit family. I think that’s what makes him a very special young man,” Ursula Russo said.Andrew was joined at the ceremony by his grandparents, Jim and Ursula Russo, and his father, Paul.Leonetti’s parents and grandparents often go to the library. However, prior to Monday, there was nowhere for them and other library patrons to hang their coats.Karen Mahar, the library director, noted that Leonetti approached her about six months ago with the idea of building a coat rack to fulfill the requirements of his community-oriented project to become an Eagle Scout at Boy Scout Troop 32 in Ocean City.“I said, ‘Go for it. I’d love to see it,’” Mahar recalled of their conversation.The inspiration for the project didn’t come to Leonetti when he was at the library. Rather, it was during a trip to the barber shop that he noticed a nice coat rack there and thought to himself about the library, “They might need a coat rack. I could make that.”Andrew places the coat rack in a cubbyhole along the hallway at the library’s 17th Street entrance.He spent six months planning the project and took another two months to build it. Along the way, there were setbacks. Initially, he was delayed about two weeks when he had to redesign it. Warped wood, a laborious sanding job to level it out and getting the bolts to align perfectly in the holes were other difficulties. But he persevered.“If I like something, I’m going to get it done,” he said. “I’m very determined to get things done.”Ten of his fellow Boy Scouts pitched in on Dec. 30 to help him with the final sanding work, he said. Standing 61 inches tall and 60 inches wide, the coat rack features glossy, lacquered wood, metal piping to give it its height and rollers to make it portable.“It’s awesome,” Mahar said. “It’s sturdy, and portable for where we need it.”For now, it will occupy a cubbyhole along the hallway at the library’s 17th Street entrance. A small, ornamental plaque at the base of the coat rack lets the public know it was donated by Andrew Leonetti.Andrew’s father, Paul Leonetti, who serves as assistant Scout master at Troop 32, estimated that the project cost about $300 “from soup to nuts.” The family ordered attractive wood hangers from Amazon for the final touch.Tom Weber, a neighbor who lives across the street from the Leonetti family on Bayland Drive, had the honor of being the first one at the library to hang his coat on the rack.“He’s a fine young man,” Weber said of Andrew. “They’re a fine family.”Tom Weber, a neighbor of the Leonetti family, has the honor of being the first one to hang his coat on the rack.In addition to being a Boy Scout, Leonetti plays drums in the high school’s marching band and also rows crew. During the summer, he plays drums with his personal band Carolina Ford up on the Boardwalk.Twice within the past year, Leonetti and his Carolina Ford bandmate Ricky Hardin, who is also a sophomore at Ocean City High School, have appeared at City Council meetings to urge Mayor Jay Gillian to scrap his proposed ordinance to regulate Boardwalk entertainers.They have argued that the proposed licensing fees for entertainers would cause financial hardship for them and other young Boardwalk performers trying to make some money during the summer. Based on their comments, the mayor pulled the ordinance in March 2016, but he has promised a new version that would be ready by this summer season.Andrew Leonetti noted that he is one of the Boardwalk performers the city has been consulting with as it prepares to unveil a new ordinance. As he did with the coat rack, he is promising to give the ordinance a great deal of his attention.
Advances in flow-wrap technology are set to benefit bakery businesses, providing greater flexibility and ensuring high-quality display packs.Managing director of Ulma Packaging Derek Paterson says it is “vital to ensure the packaging machine is versatile enough to handle a wide range of bakery product sizes and shapes” and advises bakeries not just to opt for the cheapest option.His company has announced plans to target further growth within the bakery and confectionery sectors, by raising the commercial profile of its horizontal form fill and seal (HFFS) flow-wrappers. Its Florida entry-level flow-wrapper is suitable for packaging fresh bread in a range of formats, such as rolls, batched products and baguettes. It can also handle cakes, savouries and morning goods.Ulma, which is based in Worksop in Nottinghamshire, says its Florida model is suitable for small to medium-sized bakery operations and, depending on the product being handled, can operate at up to 150 packs per minute.The machine incorporates standard fully electronic motion control, a three-motor system to give control over various drives and greater programming flexibility with fewer mechanical adjustments and components.At the top of Ulma’s range of flow-wrappers is the Atlanta hi-tech, aimed at bakers with medium to high volume production. It has left-to-right operating direction, rotary cross-sealing jaws, a self centering fill reel holder and a two-metre long in-feed conveyor.Paterson points out that the company’s flow-wrappers also have “a unique double flexing form box, which allows infinite set-up variations”. He says: “The equipment should offer flexibility and be tolerant to the unpredictable nature of yeast as an ingredient.”Mantle Packaging Machinery in Whalley, Lancashire has obtained the distribution rights for the UK for the Italian-made CRIMA semi-automatic flow-wrapper. It can adjust from a horizontal to a vertical flow-wrapper position in a couple of minutes, according to managing director Ken Mantle.He says the hand-fed CRIMA automatically senses the length of a product to ensure a flow-wrap pack that fits. “This is particularly useful when you have random lengths of French sticks where a conventional flow-wrapper normally deals with uniform lengths. It is also good for the collation of bread, teacakes and pies,” he adds, pointing out that bakery products not cooked in a mould can vary in size and shape when they are taken out of the oven.John Colk, part of the sales team at FDA Packaging Machinery, says the company’s flexi-wrap machine produces flow-wrapping, but is more efficient than conventional machinery. He says that switching from flapjacks to baguettes on a conventional machine entails a 15-minute changeover, while the flexi-wrap enables this in a much shorter time.”A baker is not a packaging engineer and wants something simple and reliable which doesn’t need maintenance,” says Colk. “The flexi-wrap is more hygienic because it does not lose any product.”Paterson says that, when choosing a flow-wrapper, bakeries should approach suppliers with “a diverse range of machines to suit small, medium and high-volume production arrangements”. They should also avoid manufacturers or agents that offer a “one-size-fits-all” approach, who are “not willing work with you to develop specific ideas and concepts”.He suggests that, because of the increasing use of migrant workers, the flow-wrapper machine should be easy to set up and use, with minimum training required and the use of icons instead of written instructions on the control panel.Above all, he believes the criteria when buying a machine should be “value for money and robust build quality for longevity” coupled with “fast and responsive after-sales back-up and support, as down time costs money”.
Coronavirus likely to infect the global economy The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. This is part of our Coronavirus Update series in which Harvard specialists in epidemiology, infectious disease, economics, politics, and other disciplines offer insights into what the latest developments in the COVID-19 outbreak may bring.As coronavirus cases continue to spread around the world, American officials acknowledged this week that cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, are likely to become much more widespread across the nation. That announcement comes amid a rush of developments surrounding the outbreak, including: reports of a potential vaccine, a shift in the majority of new cases to nations outside of China for the first time, the emergence of cases in California and Germany with no obvious source of transmission, the monthlong closure of Japanese schools, and the continued decline in global financial markets over economic downturn fears. Public health officials, however, have expressed cautious optimism over evidence that China’s drastic control measures, such as strict travel restrictions, lockdown of some cities, and the closure of factories, businesses, and schools, seem to have been effective.The Gazette spoke with Marc Lipsitch an epidemiologist and head of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, about the course of the epidemic, including the still-unresolved question of its effect on children.Q&AMarc LipsitchGAZETTE: For the first time, the number of new cases outside of China was higher than those inside of China. Is that due to the daily fluctuation in case numbers or might it represent an inflection point in the course of the epidemic?LIPSITCH: I don’t know. I would want to see something happening for several days before characterizing it, but the evidence is now pretty strong that China’s approach to very, very intense social distancing has really paid off in terms of reducing transmission. The WHO mission came back confirming that, and, from what I’ve been able to learn, it really is true. That’s encouraging, but at the same time, other countries are discovering that they have lots of cases and don’t have those kinds of measures in place. I also don’t think that China is out of the woods. I don’t think any country can keep that kind of social distancing in place indefinitely. In fact, China, from what I understand, is trying to go slowly back to work, so there’s a risk that it will resurge there. But in many parts of China it seems like, for the moment, it’s really under control.GAZETTE: What strikes you as the most surprising development in the last week or so?LIPSITCH: It’s that clusters of new infections have appeared in nations that nobody would have thought were at high risk compared to places that have more direct contact with China — Iran and Italy being examples. Given those appearances, it’s striking that it hasn’t appeared in more countries like the United States on a bigger scale. Part of the reason the United States hasn’t had many detected cases may be because we’re not testing very heavily. But even so, those countries where outbreaks occurred weren’t testing that heavily either. So I’m a little surprised that we haven’t had an outbreak somewhere in the U.S. so dramatic that we couldn’t miss it.GAZETTE: Would you recommend that testing here be routine?LIPSITCH: I would recommend that some routine testing start here. I don’t think it makes sense to do it on a large scale until we know that there’s something to find. But to give a sense of what’s happening elsewhere, Hong Kong, for example, is now testing every hospitalized patient who has a cough. They’re also testing every undiagnosed pneumonia case, which is at least hundreds of tests per day. Guangdong, according to the WHO press conference Tuesday, tested more than 300,000 cases of relatively mild respiratory illness or fever in a three- or four-week period. That is the scale at which a serious testing effort would have to happen. I’m not suggesting we scale up to that level now because it doesn’t make sense to, but we need to know whether there’s transmission going on. We’re not going to find that out if we restrict testing to people who are known contacts of those already infected.GAZETTE: When does an epidemic become a pandemic? We’ve had several sizable outbreaks in countries outside of China.LIPSITCH: The terminology is almost unhelpful, I think. A pandemic is sustained transmission of an infection in multiple locations around the globe, and with Iran, Italy, China, Japan, and South Korea, we have that. It’s unnecessary to keep debating the name. I wrote a piece in Scientific American last week about three categories of ideas, ranging from hard facts to fact-based inference to speculation and opinion. When I said I thought there was a pandemic going a few weeks ago, that was fact-based inference. Now, I think, it’s a fact.GAZETTE: You’ve been quoted as saying you expect between 40 percent and 70 percent of humanity to be infected with this virus within a year. Is that still the case?LIPSITCH: It is, but an important qualifier is that I expect 40 to 70 percent of adults to be infected. We just don’t understand whether children are getting infected at low rates or just not showing very strong symptoms. So I don’t want to make assumptions about children until we know more. That number also assumes that we don’t put in place effective, long-term countermeasures, like social distancing for months at a time which, I think, is a fair assumption. It may be that a few places like China can sustain it, but even China is beginning to let up.GAZETTE: You mentioned children having been hit only lightly by this. What about other parts of the population? What do we know about the impact of this from a demographic standpoint?LIPSITCH: It’s definitely the case that the older you are, the more at risk of getting infected you are and, if you get symptomatic infection, the more at risk of dying you are. Men also seem to be overrepresented among those getting severe illness. The reasons why are a really important research question. One thing that also needs to be looked at is the impact on health-care workers because they are at high risk of getting infected, and I would like to know whether they’re at higher risk of getting severe infection. Some of the anecdotal cases of young physicians dying make me wonder whether they’re exposed to a higher dose and that’s making them sicker.GAZETTE: A Cambridge company this week, Moderna Inc., delivered a vaccine candidate to the NIH for human testing, which has been hailed as a remarkable development in such a short time. Does that reduce the minimum one-year timetable we’ve discussed as needed to develop and distribute a vaccine to patients?LIPSITCH: I don’t know how much things can be shortened — that’s in part a regulatory decision. It’s possible that a vaccine could be rolled out without as much clinical-trial evidence as is usually the case, but I would be cautious about doing that because, while licensed vaccines are beneficial, untested experimental vaccines are sometimes not just ineffective, but harmful. That’s why you do the trials. So we need to move as fast as we can while being appropriately cautious. The phrase “all deliberate speed” is probably relevant here. I would not want to see a vaccine rolled out before we have pretty strong evidence that it’s going to be beneficial.GAZETTE: Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday said an outbreak is very likely here in the U.S. and mentioned “social distancing” as a possible tactic. Can social distancing, without a treatment or vaccine, have a significant impact?LIPSITCH: It remains to be seen what the impact of different measures would be. I think we can slow transmission through social distancing in a way that would be acceptable to Americans. It happened, for example, in 1918 with the flu. And I think it can happen now. The question is how much and for how long? But delaying infection is good — it can reduce the peak burden on health care, reduce the total number infected, and push more of the infections into the future, when we will understand more about how to treat them. “We just don’t understand whether children are getting infected at low rates or just not showing very strong symptoms. So I don’t want to make assumptions about children until we know more.” New coronavirus collaboration joins Boston’s biomed community and researchers in China Business School’s Shih expects disruptions for nations trading with China and for manufacturers dependent on it for components for electronics, consumer products, and pharmaceuticals Coronavirus likely now ‘gathering steam’ GAZETTE: What do you think of the president’s comments Wednesday evening that the U.S. is adequately prepared to meet this challenge?LIPSITCH: I came away from the press conference feeling cautiously optimistic. The president repeatedly praised the scientists and public health officials standing beside him and put the vice president in charge of the response, suggesting he was taking it seriously. And Secretary Azar laid out important priorities including expanding state and local response capacity. As is often the case, many of the president’s individual statements were at odds with his actions and with scientific fact, and he seemed to still be in denial. And with the news today that the leadership is shifting again and that federal health and science officials will be muzzled from speaking without clearance, my cautious optimism is gone. It is simply authoritarian and un-American for politicians to tell public health leaders what they can and can’t say about a public health crisis.GAZETTE: The Olympics are scheduled for July in Japan. Can we say now whether it will be a good idea to stage a major international gathering in a few months, or is it too early yet?LIPSITCH: The next few weeks will show us a lot about the extent of global transmission. And if it’s everywhere around the globe then it may not be as important to restrict travel, though it will still be important to restrict gatherings like the Olympics. So we’ll see.GAZETTE: What’s the most important unanswered question to your mind?LIPSITCH: One of the most important unanswered questions is what role do children play in transmission? The go-to intervention in flu pandemic planning is closing schools, and that may be very effective or it may be totally ineffective. It’s a costly and disruptive thing to do, especially in the United States, because many people rely on school breakfast and lunch for nutrition. So we really need evidence that closing schools would help. We need detailed studies in households of children who are exposed to an infected person. We need to find out if the children get infected, if they shed virus, and if that virus is infectious. The second issue that we should be trying to get ahead of is the extent of infection in communities and in places that aren’t doing extensive testing.GAZETTE: What do we know about for sure about how children are affected by this virus?LIPSITCH: We know that the cases of children sick enough to get tested is much lower per capita than those of adults. And we also know that, in China outside of Hubei province, the difference between children and adults is smaller. Children are still underrepresented, but they’re a larger part of the total than inside Hubei province. That would suggest that part of the equation is that they are getting infected but they’re not that sick — it’s easier to identify less-severe cases in a system that’s not overwhelmed as it is in Hubei. But we don’t know whether they’re infected and not as sick or whether there are a lot of kids that aren’t getting infected even when they’re exposed. Coronavirus cases hit 17,400 and are likely to surge A ‘call to duty’ to battle a deadly global threat Related Leaky international cordon may mean equivalent of worst flu season in modern times Harvard epidemiologist Mina says outbreak more widespread than thought, and uncertainties abound
Contrary to popular belief, the public cloud will not necessarily make life easier for IT. In fact, technology professionals, particularly those in relatively new fields like DevOps, are at serious risk of becoming irrelevant if they can’t or won’t understand the affordances of cloud infrastructure.Trevor Pott nailed it in his recent article about the rise of DevOps and SecOps when he said “developers become more paranoid…with operations out of the way and infrastructure provisionable through APIs there is no one to blame for delays but themselves.” The issue is that DevOps teams are made up primarily of developers who’ve learnt to manage operations along the way. And Pott (understandably) doesn’t reach the point that in the case of agile development, the medium really is the message, or at least inexorably intertwined with it.Without at least an appreciation for the technology infrastructure that supports agile – or worse, rigidly defining it for one explicit purpose or another – DevOps will not be able to provide the iterative, responsive, continuous delivery that is its raison d’être. In other words, it will fail. But this infrastructure must also be simple and malleable enough to use that it doesn’t become a time-sink for the former developers that dominate the school of DevOps.A question concerning (cloud) technologyOstensibly, the public cloud is the most malleable of technology infrastructures, an acknowledgement of how “without their code, few organisations will be competitive,” as Pott puts it. But is it? Public clouds are not always the most cost-efficient or easy to maintain and scale. Nor are they, especially in the case of SaaS, open to customisation and variation of their workloads. This is not a bad thing in itself. But it poses some particularly thorny issues for DevOps.The main issue is that DevOps exists as what one of my friends calls a response to the high modernism of technology – the notion that software ought to be developed upon planning principles so fine and rigid as to obviate the very role of the developer themselves. In his essay The Question Concerning Technology, Heidegger makes a similar point with his “standing-reserve”, the ideology which defines any technology as built for, and only ever completing, a single and immutable purpose. The alternative – and the motivation for DevOps – is to embrace potential rather than stricture, whereby any particular object is open to interpretation and alteration based on whatever circumstances called for. Heidegger calls this spirit of technology techne. DevOps calls it agile.The public cloud, governed as it is by third-party forces, is increasingly an example of a standing reserve. Anything “as a service” essentially sits waiting to be called on for one specific purpose, whether hosting particular workloads or providing particular applications. The affordances available to DevOps – to make constant minute changes to how their products and services function – are increasingly restricted, whether by cost or technical complexity or just standard access denial. In other words, the public cloud offers simplicity only at the sacrifice of control. And without control over the infrastructural medium, the DevOps messages of responsive and agile will become practically irrelevant.The techne-cal solutionOf course, DevOps itself exists to merge the agile mindset of “dev” with the functional control of “ops”. But, as Pott points out, operations has traditionally worked under an “us vs. them” mentality in restricting technology resources for only the most well-defined of purposes. Operations is the high priest of technology as standing-reserve, if you will. So it’s unlikely that DevOps will find much help there.What DevOps really needs is a medium where agile development doesn’t generate frictions for coders that disrupt continuous delivery, but which also provides an infinite range of affordances for potential projects and services. A techne platform, in other words. Private cloud infrastructure is the obvious choice – but it typically goes too far the other way, creating even more frictions by dint of technical complexity as a result of its piecemeal or siloed construction. What if the private cloud came pre-assembled, with all systems integrated from the very beginning? This is the principle behind converged infrastructure.With converged infrastructure, DevOps can fully understand the medium in which it’s working, since all component systems are already integrated and accounted for. Like a potter with clay, that immediate sense for the technological medium is important because it lets the craftsperson get on with the actual business of building something – whether a vase or an enterprise application – in the knowledge that the medium will respond in a more or less predictable way. Unlike the medium of public cloud, converged infrastructure also allows full control over how its affordances get used, reused, and recycled.The old boundaries between traditional packaged applications and mobile-first, web-based apps no longer apply: they can run securely on the same infrastructure without conflict or incompatibility. Once again, this allows DevOps to delve into rapid iteration, production, and destruction without questioning the baseline integrity of their infrastructure. And to top things off, the long-term costs of running enterprise applications on converged infrastructure are typically lower than in the public cloud – negating one of the biggest reasons for ceding infrastructural control in the first place.For business managers, the question after all this is probably “so what?” The answer is that waterfall and other prescriptive, high-modernism ideologies about software are no longer functional – if they ever were. Now, speed and responsiveness are kings: if you can cut time-to-market from 25 days to 5 for a new service, you can beat the competition, at least for the next few months. But the curse, and magic, of continuous delivery is that it never stops improving. As Pott writes, the tribes within DevOps need to quickly find common ground to keep delivering those results for their businesses. A technological medium like converged infrastructure, which can give developers myriad affordances to iterate and test while smoothing out the frictions of operational control, will be a necessary bridge between them.Image: “Waterfall and Rocks“, Mark Engelbrecht
SEATTLE (AP) — The California-based multi-level marketing business LuLaRoe is paying $4.75 million to settle allegations from the Washington state Attorney General’s Office that it’s a pyramid scheme. The company denied wrongdoing in a consent decree filed late Monday in King County Superior Court in Seattle. LuLaRoe sells leggings and other clothing to a network of independent retailers, who recruit other retailers to sell the company’s products. Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued the company and its executives two years ago, saying they deceived people about how profitable it was to be a LuLaRoe retailer. Ferguson said that $4 million of the settlement will be distributed to about 3,000 Washington residents who were recruited to the company.
Professor, author and former teacher Julie Landsman spoke on her experiences with race and teaching in a lecture Tuesday at Saint Mary’s, sponsored by the education department, Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership and the Office of Civic and Social Engagement.Landsman said she has been involved in issues surrounding race since college.“Being involved in the civil rights movement was one of the most difficult things, because of the [familial] estrangement,” Landsman said. “It was one of the biggest losses. I don’t want to minimize what the work does, and how our country is divided, but I’ve never regretted it not a day it or a day of teaching.”Landsman’s views on education and race were sprinkled with antidotes about her time teaching. Landsman said her time teaching led her to realize the need for self-reflection on educators’ own views of race.“This [a moment when a teacher realizes there own prejudice] is a teachable moment for yourself,” she said. “That risk you take can change the lives of a young student.”The use of reflection plays an important role in identifying the role of race in your teaching, Landsman said.“We need to think about what we think a classroom needs to look like,” Landsman said. “Kids can be chatting and doing stuff and they are still getting work done. … I think a lot of us have preconceived notions about how our students need to perform.”These preconceived notions are what fuels insensitive teaching, Landsman said, as teachers often have a desire to attempt to fix everything.“It is very tempting for us to jump in and think that we can explain it all,” Landsman said.Landsman said she believes this need can lead to assumptions being made.“It is important to counter a deficient assumption that we have about different groups of people and different neighborhoods — we always look at what is wrong when actually those neighborhoods have great strength and resilience,” Landsman said.“There are some dangerous things we can do as a teacher such as thinking of ourselves as saviors — thinking, ‘I’m going to save them all,’ when that isn’t the truth,” Landsman said. “They might have a strong grandmother who was raising them and is doing a wonderful job. All I saw were the deficits in their lives, not the good things.”Landsman also said it was important to recognize representations of race, especially in history.“There is a big, big problem with curriculum — with hueing to the textbook — because our textbooks are terribly biased and we need to look at the stuff that is not there. And you can be sure that the stuff that is not there is the stuff about people of color,” Landsman said.There is value in addressing the way Americans address race, Landsman said. She advocated for self-examination of how to view race and renew conversations about it.“What happens when we talk about race is that white people tend to stand back and not talk about it because they don’t want to offend, and the thing is to jump in,” Landsman said.Tags: CWIL, education, Julie Landsman, OCSE, race