The third richest member of Congress, who also sits on the Senate subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, has invested in another technology company, this one developing mobile software solutions.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., reported he had invested $100,001 to $250,000 on 9/16 in DubMeNow, a privately held Virginia-based technology company that develops applications to exchange contact information, communicate and network. The application is a mobile platform for associations, institutions of higher education, and events. Dr. Belle S. Wheelan, who was Virginia’s Secretary of Education under Gov. Mark Warner, sits on the board of DubMeNow Inc. She is president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

In other large stock transactions:

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, reported he sold $100,001 to $250,000 of Talisman Energy Inc. on 9/25; purchased $100,001 to $250,000 of South Carolina St PUB SVC Auth Ref Rev Bonds on 9/5; purchased $100,001 to $250,000 of ADT Corporation NT on 9/5; among many other transactions.

Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., reported he purchased $500,001 to $1 million of CVR Refinery stock on 9/17; purchased $250,001 to $500,000 of Northern Tier stock on 9/13; purchased $250,001 to $500,000 of OI stock on 9/13; purchased $100,001 to $250,000 of Lightstream stock on 9/17; purchased $250,001 to $500,000 of Natural Resource stock on 9/17; purchased $100,001 to $250,000 of Natural Resource stock on 9/13; among other transactions.

Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., reported he sold $100,001 to $250,000 of Exxon Mobil Corp. on 9/24; sold $100,001 to $250,000 of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan on 9/24.

Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., reported he purchased $100,001 to $250,000 of North Carolina St Pub Impt SER A B/E Coupon 5% on 9/5; sold $100,001 to $250,000 of Troy Michaigan City School District Rfdg Building & Site B/E QSBLF coupon 5% on 9/5; sold $100,001 to $250,000 of North Carolina St Pub Impt Ser A B/E coupon 5% on 9/4.

The transaction reports are required by the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act.

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Experts slam ‘outdated’ school software


Cape Town – The government’s decision to limit information technology (IT) students at school to “outdated” software has been described by the Cape Chamber of Commerce as a sign of slipping education standards.

This follows the news that the Department of Basic Education plans to standardise computer applications technology and IT classes by restricting pupils to Microsoft Office and the Delphi programming language respectively.

IT specialist Derek Keats railed against the decision on his blog, calling the Delphi programming language outdated and unexciting.

Many other IT specialists said the language was rarely used.

On Wednesday, the chamber’s digital portfolio committee met to discuss the department’s decision. With the plans only being implemented at public schools in 2015, it said there was still time for the industry to intervene.

Committee chairman Roderick Lim Banda said standardisation on one technology or programming language was ”much like trying to study medicine based on the kidney as the only part of the human anatomy”.

The chamber and the committee’s participants will lobby for a re-evaluation of the decision.

However despite the criticism, the department said standardising the syllabus would eradicate the complexity of having two separate programming languages, which was costing the government money and making it difficult for students and teachers to move between schools. – Cape Argus

Experts slam ‘outdated’ school software

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The IDC has released some regional data for Australia for Q2 2013. The data shows an interesting shift in the maturing market, with phone sales down 20% Year on Year and 5% from the previous quarter.

The IDC attributes the contraction in the total market mainly to the declining shipments of so-called ‘feature phones’, where shipments fell by over 45% compared to last year, but there is also increasing signs that the phone market has saturated in the developed world.

Despite this Windows Phone and Android grew their share of the market, with Windows Phone hitting 6% of the market. A total of 2.6 million handsets was shipped to the region in Q2 2013, for about 156,000 Windows Phones shipped.

iOS dropped to 33% of the market, down from 42% of the market in Q1 and 47% in Q4 2012, showing once again how much steam the OS lost while waiting for new handsets to be released and how dependent the iOS market share is on new releases.

Blackberry’s new handsets also grew their share, but it is likely with all their troubles their Q3 performance will be much poorer, with Windows Phone and the Nokia Lumia 520 likely picking up their share.

Windows Phone hit 6% market share in Australia shrinking market in Q2 2013

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Kashmir software companies eyeing global IT map

In what would cheer up the Valley IT professions, the Information and Communications Technology Association of J&K (ICTA), a guild of IT professionals, will participate in a mega IT show at Mumbai next month. Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC) will organise the event.
The office bearers of the council held deliberations in this connection with ICTA members at a meeting here on Saturday.
The council volunteered to guide and support the ICTA to enable it to compete with the global competitors.
Chairman, ICTA, Mehraj Gulzar, giving details of the meeting to Greater Kashmir, said: “It was an exclusive interactive meet between the council and the ICTA. We have decided that our members will take part in various global export promotion activities being conducted by the council.”
He said many of the ICTA members will be launching innovative IT products at the India IT show.
“The show will receive over 365 buyers from across the globe. The event will help give immense business visibility to the state and thus enhance the J&K exports of Software & Services,” Gulzar said.
Pertinently, the buyers to the show are coming from countries like the US, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Guatemala, Chile, Algeria, Botswana, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Cote D Ivoire, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Mongolia, Qatar, UAE, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, UK, Italy, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, etc.
“Our association with ESC is aimed to create an enabling export environment for growth and development of the IT sector in J&K as a whole which in the long run would provide a sustained export growth opportunity,” he added.
Veer Sagar, Regional Chairman (North), ESC said the participation by J&K IT companies would help them project the state on the global IT map.
“ESC is committed to assist the ICT companies from the state in their efforts to diversify globally,” he said.
D K Sareen, Executive Director, ESC said given the improving investment climate in J&K, there “is possibility of investment in its IT sector.”
“With conducive weather, dust-free environment and availability of skilled human resource in the state, the IT investment in J&K can be a win-win situation and lead to sustainable generation of employment.”
He said: “The Central Government should consider imparting special skills for the qualified people to make them employable in the IT units and consider giving special incentives to the industry investing in a big way in Information Technology in Jammu and Kashmir.”


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A downtown restaurant known for its beers can reopen its open-air window spaces and keep them glass-free until 10 p.m. each day, the Encinitas City Council decided last week.

In a split 3-2 vote, with Mayor Teresa Barth and Councilwoman Lisa Shaffer opposed, the council reaffirmed a recent city Planning Commission decision and rejected an appeal filed by several nearby homeowners.

The council’s decision allows the Bier Garden restaurant on Coast Highway 101 to return to the open-air look it had months ago — before the city discovered the newly opened business didn’t have a permit for those special window spaces and ordered them closed.

Bier Garden attorney Marco Gonzalez told the council Wednesday night that he believes the monthslong conflict might never have happened if there hadn’t already been a wide-ranging battle in downtown over bars and alcohol-related problems.

“I think we’ve gotten caught up in this greater Encinitas Hospitality issue,” he said, referring to a new merchants’ group and its conflicts with downtown residents over late-night noise, trash and criminal activity.

In August, the council agreed to require new bars and alcohol-serving establishments to meet tougher standards, but for the second time in two months decided not to enact a temporary ban against new bars in downtown. Instead, the city is exploring other options, including what’s known as a “deemed approved” ordinance, which would create a new permit system for alcohol-serving establishments.

While Bier Garden supporters said they believed they had been caught up in a larger issue that intensified months before the business opened, the people who appealed the city Planning Commission decision said their noise complaints were directly the result of the Bier Garden. They described the place as a “bar” and not a restaurant.

“We can’t sleep at night — we need your help,” said Nicholas Chan, who lives in the Pacific Station project next door to the Bier Garden.

Chan and other Pacific Station residents urged the City Council to make the Bier Garden close its windows by 8 p.m. — two hours earlier than the 10 p.m. deadline granted by the Planning Commission. Even though the windows are closed now, noise is still a huge problem, they said.

The council majority said the Pacific Station residents should have known they were in a noisy, urban area before they moved in — it’s mentioned in the contracts they signed when they purchased their units.

“There is a difference between living in downtown and living in an area that is not in a commercial area,” Councilman Tony Kranz said.


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(BOISE, ID) – More than a week after online health insurance exchanges opened across the country, there still haven’t been many people who have been able to enroll in Obamacare, or state-run exchanges. Would-be customers are complaining of waiting for more than three hours to sign up, only to give up empty-handed. Idaho officials say they’re still experiencing glitches with the system, which can’t handle too much web traffic at once. Opponents to Obamacare say the glitches and delays are foreboding sign for future problems.

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TransCentra Names Kevin Lee President of Software, Technology

TransCentra, a leading provider of billing and payment software and services, has named Kevin Lee president of TransCentra’s software and technology group. Lee brings more than 15 years of experience in strategically guiding companies in the financial services technology industry, including leading several during times of rapid growth.

“Kevin’s strong background in payments and financial services technology as well as the leadership qualities that he has honed through past experiences bring a new level of momentum to our technology development,” said Lynn Boggs, CEO of TransCentra. “His focus on collaborating with our customers will be instrumental in driving the direction of our products to meet their expanding needs and objectives.”

Lee was previously president and CEO of CRE Secure, a leading cloud-based, secure payment solution, where he oversaw the organization’s technology development and overall strategic direction. Prior to CRE Secure, he was CEO of Skylight Financial, a prepaid debit card provider, where he was instrumental in growing and ultimately leading the sale of Skylight to Netspend to form Netspend Holdings in 2008. Under his guidance, Skylight experienced significant growth and became a dominant player in the corporate prepaid debit card market.

Lee has also held president, COO and general management roles at several financial services technology companies including Certegy/FIS, The John H. Harland Company and Netzee. He began his career with Accenture after graduating from the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.

Lee has been an advisor to various private equity firms and sits on the steering committee for Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) FinTech, where he focuses on sponsorship and recruitment activities.


TransCentra Names Kevin Lee President of Software, Technology

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