Husky Energy puts 500 retail operations and Prince George refinery on the block

first_imgCALGARY, A.B. – Husky Energy Inc. says it is looking at getting out of retailing fuels to consumers after 80 years in the business.The Calgary-based oilsands producer says it is launching a strategic review that could result in it selling its Canadian retail and commercial fuels business and its small Prince George, B.C., refinery.It says it prefers to focus on its core upstream assets in northeastern Alberta, Atlantic Canada and the Asia Pacific region, adding the decision is not related to its offer that expires next week to buy oilsands rival MEG Energy Corp.- Advertisement -Husky has more than 500 service stations, travel centres, cardlock operations and bulk distribution facilities from British Columbia to New Brunswick. Its myHusky Rewards loyalty program has about 1.6 million members.The 12,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Prince George processes light oil into gasoline, diesel and other products for nearby regions of B.C. It owns two refineries and is half-owner of a third in the United States.Spokesman Mel Duvall says Husky started selling fuel to consumers in 1938 shortly after the original owner built a small refinery in Cody, Wyo. The refinery was moved to Lloydminster on the Alberta-Saskatchewan border in 1946.Advertisement CEO Rob Peabody says in a news release the businesses are “highly marketable” and will attract strong interest and valuations.TD Securities Inc. is acting as financial adviser, with Torys LLP as legal adviser.last_img read more

South Africans go to the polls

first_imgMillions are expected to cast their votestomorrow during South Africa’s fourthdemocratic elections.(Image: Britannica) In their election campaigns, politicalparties encouraged voters to use theirvotes to effect change in the country.(Image: Polity.org.za)Khanyi Magubane With less than 24 hours to go before South Africans cast their votes, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has announced that it expects the largest turnout since 1994.Briefing the media on the expected voter turnout, the IEC’s chairperson Dr Brigalia Bam said that more than 80% of the registered voters were expected to cast their vote on 22 April.“We feel very confident this time around. We have never experienced such a high enthusiasm amongst South Africans,” she said.Statistics for this year’s elections include 200 000 election officials who will be working in 19 726 voting stations across the country. The number of registered voters captured on the voters’ roll stands at 23 181 997.Bam said she’s especially encouraged by the high number of youths who have registered. According to Bam, the number is significantly higher than recorded in previous years. Nearly 800 000 are between 18 and 19 years of age, and five-million are between 20 and 29.In total, 40 political parties will be participating in the national and provincial elections. Of these, 26 will participate nationally, while 14 parties will contest the elections at a provincial level.Bam said the election campaigns ran by political parties had been vigorous, which she expects will boost voter numbers.“We have never had so many political parties all over the country so involved … persuading people to vote for them,” said the chairperson. “We will be disappointed if we don’t get the 80% turnout. The effort we have put in preparing for these elections will not be good enough if we get only a 50% voter turnout.”It’s voting day, now what?For many first time voters tomorrow’s experience may be a daunting one but the IEC has gone to great lengths to explain the process, as even those who have voted before, may have forgotten how the process works.In order to facilitate the smooth running of the voting process, a few key actions have been put in place. Firstly, voting station officials will check a potential voter’s ID to verify that the ID number appears on the voters’ roll.Secondly, an official will check that the picture in the ID matches with the person standing in front of them.Once the official is satisfied that the person is indeed eligible to vote, the voter’s hands will be checked to ensure that they have already cast their ballot for the day.Inedible ink will then be used to mark the left thumbThe voter will then be issued with two ballot papers – one for national and another for provincial.Officials will then direct the voter to a booth, where they will be able to cast their vote for their political party of choice, after which they will insert their ballot papers inside a secured ballot box.For the first time since the 1994 elections, the IEC has now introduced the Braille ballot paper, which will enable visually impaired South Africans to vote independently.South Africa is the second country after Japan to offer the Braille sheet to blind voters. Each voting station will be issued with a national and provincial Braille ballot paper.Observing free and fair electionsIn order for the elections to be recognised internationally as free and fair, a group of independent election observers will be present to monitor the voting process.Former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo is leading the election observers team consisting of 4 900 domestic observers, 355 international observers and 358 diplomats from 61 embassies.On 17 April IEC Chief Executive Officer Pansy Tlakula addressed the observers to discuss the state of readiness for the elections.Tlakula stressed that the IEC has spent the past year and a half in preparation for the elections. The process started with the registration of political parties who intended on running in this year’s poll.She also explained to the observers that new technologically advanced systems would be used during the voting. She introduced observers to the “Zip-Zip”, a small hand-held device already loaded with the details of all the voters.The “Zip-Zip” system will capture statistics on voting day including the number of voters, the age group, gender, as well as the time at which every vote is cast.After voting closes at 9pm, all the ballot papers will be transported to the National Results Operation Centre. The state-of-the-art building will serve as an anchor to coordinate all the election activities at one central point.The media will also be privy to the results as they trickle in via a digital board mounted inside the centre.Regular press briefings will be held inside the centre, where journalists will be updated with the latest developments from the various voting centres across the country.Members of various political parties will be provided with some access to the workings of the operations centre, though they will not be allowed to interfere with the work of the officials.Duties of election observers include attending the ballot paper counting session in a bid to ensure that the final results are accurate and are a true reflection of the votes.According to the electoral law, the final results can only be released 48-hours after the elections. This will give political parties a chance to contest interim results if they have any objections.Do you have any comments or queries about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at: khanyim@mediaclubsouthafrica.com Related articlesThe bell that rings when the vote is called SA expats vote abroad Guide on reporting on elections Which way, SA? Expats allowed to vote overseas Laugh until you cry with Evita Useful linksIndependent Electoral CommissionElectoral institute of Southern Africalast_img read more

Flying high with Brand SA

first_imgSeventy-five competitors and officials from 15 countries around the world battled it out for global domination at the recent 20th Precision Flying World Championships held in Brits, North West province.last_img

Apple Introduces iTunes 8 and New iPods

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… frederic lardinois new iPod Shufflepush notification for iPhoneone more thing…TV ShowsWith regards to TV shows on iTunes, Apple announced the availability of a select number of shows in HD, including Monk, The Office, and Heroes. Apple also announced the return of NBC to the iTunes store.iTunes 8The user interface of iTunes 8 only received minor cosmetic updates such as a flat album cover view and one-click automated playlist creation. The major addition to iTunes is the ‘Genius’ feature, that will make buying recommendation and suggest playlists based on your buying behavior and the music already in your library.Apple also announced that iTunes will start sending data about the songs you listen to and your music preferences back to Apple. This is an opt-in service and, according to Jobs, completely anonymous, but privacy advocates are surely going to take a very close look at this.iPodsClassic: The iPod Classic has been cut down to one model with 120GB. According to Jobs, most users only considered the 80GB model anyway.Nano: The Nano received a major design overhaul, with a curved glass front and a larger screen and a built-in accelerometer. The UI for the Nano is now similar to that of the iPhone/iPod touch.One nifty new feature: Thanks to the accelerometer, you can now just shake your nano and it will automatically go into shuffle mode.The nano can now play 24h of music and 4h of video.The new nano will cost $149 for 8GB and $199 for 16GB and should ship in the next few days. It’s available in a whole rainbow of colors:blue, purple, orange, green, and pink. It also looks as if the new headphones for the iPod’s have microphones, though it is not immediately clear why. We assume that all the iPods now have voice recording built-in by default.Ipod Touch: Apple also introduced a new iPod touch, which keeps the same design as the old one, but is a bit thinner and has a stainless steel rim with integrated volume controls on the side (hey – I want that for the iPhone as well!) and built-in speakers.Nike+ now comes standard with the iPod touch, though you would still need a transmitter for your shoes.According to Apple, the iPod touch can play 36hrs of music and 6hrs of video and the price points are: 8GB, $229, 16GB for $299, and a 32GB for $399.App StoreAccording to Jobs, 100 million apps have been downloaded from the store in only 60 days.Games: Apple is clearly trying to push the iPod/iPhone as a mobile gaming platform. Jobs stressed that there are now over 700 games available for the iPhone/iPod touch platform. To drive this point home, Phil Schiller demoed Spore Origins for the iPod (our review of Spore for the PC was mostly negative, but the iPhone game has gotten rave reviews so far). Phil also demoed ‘Real Soccer 2009’ and ‘Need for Speed,’ which both look like they are very good games as well.2.1 FirmwareThe updated firmware is available for the iPod touch for $9.99.For the iPhone, Apple promises that this updated fixes the problems with dropped calls and crashes in Safari and other applications that have plagued the phone from the beginning. iPhone users can also expect better battery life, though Jobs did not go into any specifics. Apple also promises that backups will now be considerably faster (right now, some users are experiencing backups that can take hours).The update will be available on Friday.SummaryOverall, this was a bit of a lackluster event. While the updates to iTunes and the ‘Genius’ feature are interesting, the updates to the iPod line were, at best, incremental. The new look of the iPod nano is nice (though surely some will complain about it as well), but also nothing too revolutionary. Apple, of course, is in a hard spot, where it is constantly expected to surprise us. This event didn’t hold many surprises, especially because 90% of the news had already leaked before the even even started.One thing that did surprise us was that Apple did not make any announcements about the availability of push notifications for the iPhone in the next release of the firmware. It could still be part of the update, but so far, there is no indication that this will indeed be the case. Tags:#Features#news#web Related Posts At Apple’s “Let’s Rock” special event today, Steve Jobs introduced a new version of iTunes, the availability of HD TV shows for the American market, a new design for the iPod Nano and iPod touch, as well as a major update for the iPhone/iPod touch firmware. According to Jobs, Apple has sold 160 million iPods worldwide and now holds 73.4% of the market in the US.center_img Some things we didn’t see: Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

4G and the Future of Mobile Streaming Video

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Next generation networks will certainly encourage the popularity of video, but it will probably also change the way we watch.Most users in the U.S. have access to 3G speeds of just a few megabits per second at best, which means videos sputter and stall. Mobile users typically opt for lower-quality video to avoid this, according to research by Bytemobile, which optimizes old wireless networks for speed among other services.But wireless infrastructure is about to take a leap forward as two so-called 4G technologies – LTE (Long Term Evolutions) and WiMAX – roll out. Sprint and its partner Clearwire plan to cover 120 million customers with high speed, Internet-anywhere WiMAX access by 2010, a technology that with upgrades could rival LTE speeds.Mobile Web use mirrors fixed Web use, said Joel Brand, VP of product management at Bytemobile. About 75% of 3G Web users are connecting with laptops and netbooks, he said, with the rest accessing on smartphones. A full third of video on these devices is delivered by YouTube, he said, another third is from adult content sites and the last third comes from a broad mix of sources.Next generation networks will certainly encourage the popularity of video, but it will probably also change the way we watch. For short, expedient, low-definition videos, YouTube is king. But higher mobile Web speeds will encourage users to seek longer, high-definition videos from services like Netflix and Hulu.Higher speeds also mean live-streaming services like Ustream, Justin.tv, Livestream and Qik become more a lot more usable. Faster speeds will encourage individual users to stream more video, made even easier because so many users accessing via laptops or with Apple devices that have front-facing cameras. Livestreaming sites will also see huge opportunities for broadcasting live events like concerts, sports games or newscasts to users who can’t watch at home in front of their TVs.The next generation of wireless networks will surely see more users accessing video – but it’s likely that a lower percentage of it will be from YouTube. Do you stream video on your phone? How do you see yourself using video as mobile wireless speeds get faster?Photo by Giorgio Montersino Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting adrianne jeffries Mobile video is exploding. According to Cisco, mobile video will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 131% between 2009 to 2014 as people access more YouTube, Netflix and high-bandwidth material on their mobile devices. But imagine what will happen to mobile streaming video as the next generation of high-speed wireless networks and devices become the norm.This series on wireless standards is brought to you by Intel. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Sponsors#web#WiMAX 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts last_img read more

The Intel® Core™ M Processor: The Game Changer Is Here

first_imgComputing, Evolved.As notebooks and tablets get smaller and faster, the user experience gets better and better. Extra battery life and superb performance means you’ll spend less time looking around for a wall outlet, and more time getting work done. By adopting Intel Core M-powered devices like 2 in 1s, businesses can foster creativity, collaboration, and improve productivity in their organizations.To learn more about Intel’s innovative products and the new Core M Processor, click here. Thinner, faster, more power-efficient. That’s what device manufacturers are constantly aspiring toward, but it takes more than aspiration to get there. Enter Intel’s new Core™ M processor, an unprecedented development in chip architecture that will change the face of mobile computing. As Forbes recently put it, the Intel Core M processor is a “game changer.”High Performance, More PowerThe Intel Core™ M processor is built to deliver blazing speeds and up to 40% better graphics performance, all while increasing the battery life of your device by up to 1.7 hours. Additionally, the processor boasts an even smaller footprint that doesn’t require a fan, making it ideal for the razor-thin devices of the future. By building around a Core M processor that is only 14nm, device manufacturers can build hardware that is less than 9mm thin — the possibilities for refining mobile device capabilities are boundless. 1 Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel microprocessors. Performance tests such as SYSmark* and MobileMark* are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations, and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. For more information, go to intel.com/performance .2. Intel Core M-5Y10 processor (up to 2 GHz, 4T/2C, 4M cache) on Intel Reference Platform. BIOS: v80.1. Graphics: Intel HD Graphics (driver v. 15.36.3650). Memory: 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) Dual-Channel LPDDR3-1600. SSD: Intel 160 GB. OS: Windows 8.1 Update RTM. 35WHr battery. Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel microprocessors. Performance tests such as SYSmark and MobileMark are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations, and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. For more information, go to intel.com/performance3 Requires an Intel® Wireless Display (Intel® WiDi)-enabled system, compatible adapter, and TV. 1080p and Blu-ray* or other protected con-tent playback only available on select Intel processor-based systems with built-in visuals enabled, a compatible adapter and media player, and supporting Intel® WiDi software and graphics driver installed. Consult your PC manufacturer. For more information, see intel.com/go/widi.last_img read more