#JaVotes2016: Omar Davies concerned about low voter turnout

first_img Davies is among dozens of PNP supporters so far, who have filed into the party’s Old Hope Road offices, anxiously awaiting the results of the elections. “It would seem to me that there is a strange disjuncture between the level of expenditure (on campaigning), and the ability to invite participation,” Davies said. The voter turnout in today’s election is expected  to be lower than the previous lowest of 53 per cent recorded in the last election. Davies said the media should share the blame for the low voter turnout, arguing that too much focus is given to persons, who do not participate in the electoral process. The PNP won the last general election, 42 seats to the JLP’s 21 in the 63-seat House of Representatives. “I am quite confident that we will retain office,” Davies said. Dr Omar Davies, the People’s National Party (PNP) standard-bearer for South St Andrew, has expressed concerns about the low turnout for the general election. “That is something that we have to deal with. It is not the PNP’s problem, it is a national problem,” Davies said.last_img read more

CALLS MADE FOR NRA TO ADDRESS SAFETY AT LOCAL SCHOOL

first_imgPadraig Mac LochlainnA call has been made for the NRA to address the road safety issues at Magherabeg School without delay.It follows a number of crashes and several near misses at the school near Manorcunningham.Deputy Mac Lochlainn said “Magherabeg NS is a fantastic school, providing a top class educational service but its proximity to the N13 is a huge cause of concern for parents and teachers.“The fast moving traffic makes it extremely difficult for vehicles to drive in or out of the school. The worry of an accident has been further compounded by serious recent accidents on the road. “My colleague, Cllr Jack Murray, has requested that engineers from the NRA meet with Inishowen Councillors and local council engineers in order to develop a solution to this problem.“This must be addressed without delay. We cannot allow this problem to continue. It is much to dangerous to be put on the long finger.”CALLS MADE FOR NRA TO ADDRESS SAFETY AT LOCAL SCHOOL was last modified: February 15th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalMagherabeg National Schoolroad safetylast_img read more

U.S., Iraqi forces tracked spiritual aide to hideout

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“We knew exactly where he was and we chose the right moment,” North told The Associated Press. The military declined to say whether forces on the ground helped direct the bombs. Al-Zarqawi died with five others, including a woman, a child and the man who unwittingly led the Americans to him – his deputy and spiritual adviser, Abu Abdul-Rahman al-Iraqi, according to U.S. officials. Al-Iraqi was the key to pinpointing the fugitive, U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said. Intelligence officials identified al-Iraqi with the help of an insider in al-Zarqawi’s network and began tracking his movements, waiting for him to meet with his boss, Caldwell said. BAGHDAD, Iraq – U.S. and Iraqi forces zeroed in on Abu Musab al-Zarqawi over two weeks, finally tracking his spiritual adviser to the terrorist leader’s doorstep and unleashing the airstrike that killed them both, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Thursday. The success came after several near misses in the three-year pursuit of Iraq’s most wanted militant. Iraqi forces last year reportedly captured al-Zarqawi, then let him go, not realizing it was him. And just last month, al-Zarqawi was said to have leaped from a moving truck to elude U.S. special forces on his tail, an escape filmed by a Predator reconnaissance craft. And another airstrike earlier in the final two-week hunt also missed him, the officials said. The chase ended Wednesday evening when two 500-pound bombs flattened a modest two-story house surrounded by palm groves and orange orchards outside Baqouba, northeast of Baghdad. A pair of U.S. F-16s on patrol over Iraq were called away for the attack and one of them fired a laser-guided GBU-12 and a satellite-guided GBU-38, said Air Force Lt. Gen. Gary L. North, who commands U.S. and coalition air operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Last night, he made a linkup \ again at 6:15 \, at which time a decision was made to go ahead and strike that target and eliminate both of them,” Caldwell told reporters in Baghdad. On Thursday, al-Zarqawi’s al-Qaida in Iraq group issued a Web statement confirming his death. It was signed by Abu Abdul-Rahman al-Iraqi, perhaps to spread confusion over whether he was really killed. But Caldwell and the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. George Casey, told reporters that al-Iraqi was among the dead. North said a DNA test would confirm the identity in days. Raids by Iraqi and U.S. units on insurgent strongholds southwest of Baghdad in the past six weeks also uncovered evidence of al-Zarqawi’s whereabouts, said Col. Todd Ebel, commander of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. They showed he had been moving through the area to coordinate attacks in Baghdad, he said. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the hunt began to close in on al-Zarqawi two weeks ago, when Iraqi intelligence received reports on his movements. He said information from Iraqis living in the Baqouba area helped in the search, and in Washington, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow implied that al-Zarqawi had severely alienated the populace in recent days. “Zarqawi moves into Baqouba, into an area called Hibhib. And what happens? Over the weekend, they found nine heads in a box. They beheaded people and left the heads in a box. They hijack a bus full of students and they slaughter the students. “That’s what Zarqawi brought to Baqouba.” There was one near miss during that time: “An operation was carried out striking a particular target in the belief that he was present there, but it turned out he had left,” al-Maliki said, without elaboration. Wednesday’s airstrike ended a hunt that involved hundreds of soldiers, spies, tipsters and intelligence analysts and cost more than $500 million, said Ed O’Connell, a retired Air Force intelligence officer who led manhunts for Osama bin Laden and top insurgents in Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen. U.S. troops chasing al-Zarqawi included Special Operations Task Force 145, operating out of Balad air base north of Baghdad, O’Connell said by telephone from Washington. What may have changed the Americans’ luck was U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad’s efforts to mend relations with Iraq’s minority Sunni Arabs, alienated by the U.S. invasion and by the new Shiite-dominated government. “Khalilzad shaped the environment so they could open lines of infiltration,” O’Connell said. At the same time, the Jordanian-born al-Zarqawi, stung by U.S. efforts to deride him as a foreigner killing Iraqis, began cozying up to Sunni insurgents. That was probably his undoing, since Khalilizad was doing the same thing, O’Connell said. “Once that happened, all we needed was a guy inside the insurgency to tell us where he was and, bam, we got him,” he said. U.S. special forces had been closing in. Last month, they were chasing al-Zarqawi, who jumped from a moving truck and fled in another vehicle, O’Connell said. The closest call may have come in late 2004. Deputy Interior Ministry Maj. Gen. Hussein Kamal said Iraqi security forces caught al-Zarqawi near the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah but released him, not realizing his true identity. In May 2005, Web statements by al-Qaida in Iraq said al-Zarqawi was wounded fighting with the Americans and was being treated in a hospital abroad. But days later, a statement said he was fine and back in Iraq. The reports he had been wounded were never independently confirmed. U.S. forces believe they just missed capturing al-Zarqawi in a Feb. 20, 2005, raid in which troops closed in on his vehicle west of Baghdad near the Euphrates River. His driver and another associate were captured and al-Zarqawi’s computer was seized along with pistols and ammunition. American forces twice launched moved against Fallujah, the stronghold used by al-Qaida in Iraq fighters and other insurgents west of Baghdad. An April 2004 offensive was aborted, leaving the city in insurgent hands, but the November 2004 assault wrested it from them. However, al-Zarqawi – if he was in the city – escaped. After Wednesday’s airstrike, U.S. officials were eager to prove they got their man, displaying a photo of his face at a Baghdad news conference. Fingerprints, tattoos and scars all helped confirm the identity. “The strike last night did not occur over a 24-hour period,” Caldwell said. “It was a truly long, painstaking, deliberate exploitation of intelligence, information-gathering, human sources, electronic and signals intelligence.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

ANGER GROWS AT WIND FARM OVER HISTORIC DONEGAL BAY

first_imgResidents in Kinnego are angryANGRY residents along one of Donegal’s most spectacular strips of coastline say part of the Wild Atlantic Way will be “ruined” if plans for massive turbines go ahead.Two turbines have been given the go-ahead overlooking Kinnego Bay in Inishowen, the site of a Spanish Armada landing.Local people fear more turbines could follow. Donegal County Council has vigorously opposed the turbine plans – but they have been given the go-ahead by An Bord Pleanala. Council officials complained the turbines would ruin the vista along the Wild Atlantic Way.Having been given planning permission, Derry man Declan Clarke wants to increase the height of the turbines to 132 metres.Opposing the plans a council official wrote that it was council policy “not to permit development proposals which would detract from the visual quality/amenity on either the approach roads to, or views to be had from significant tourist attractions.”“This is one of the most beautiful parts of the Wild Atlantic Way,” said residents’ spokesman David Simpson. “It is a national scandal that turbines will now overlook not just Kinnego but the beautiful Long Glen on the approach road to it.“I can’t believe that anyone visiting our lovely wee part of Donegal would want to see these monstrosities,” he said.Mr Clarke said in his submission during the planning process: “It is not considered that the purpose of the Wild Atlantic Way is to sterilise all lands from future development along the western coastline of Ireland from Donegal to Cork and all places in between.”Mr Simpson praised the council for opposing the plans.“They took a stand and unfortunately lost,” he said. “If these turbines go ahead, there is nothing to stop them appearing along the rest of the route being taken by tourists. It’s incredible.”ANGER GROWS AT WIND FARM OVER HISTORIC DONEGAL BAY was last modified: June 2nd, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalInishowenkinnego bayWild Atlantic Waywind turbinelast_img read more

Redknapp eyeing possible jobs at QPR and Southampton – report

first_imgThe apparent possibility of managerial jobs becoming available at QPR and Southampton could be a barrier to Blackburn capturing Harry Redknapp, according to The Sun.The former Saints boss has been linked with a return to St Mary’s and touted as a replacement for Mark Hughes at Rangers.Redknapp is apparently due to hold talks with Blackburn today, but there are doubts over whether there is a serious chance of him taking over at Ewood Park.The Sun also say Chelsea players have given sworn statements claiming John Obi Mikel was racially abused by referee Mark Clattenburg.It is claimed those players are prepared to give evidence to the FA inquiry set up to investigate the accusations against Clattenburg.Chelsea have accused him of using ‘inappropriate language’ to two of their players.Nigeria international Mikel is reported to be convinced he was racially insulted by Clattenburg.It has also been suggested that the official made an insulting comment towards the Blues’ Spanish playmaker Juan Mata.The Daily Star, on the other hand, suggest Mikel did not hear the alleged comments but two of his team-mates – Ramires and David Luiz – believe they heard a racial slur.Clattenburg is said to be adamant that he did nothing wrong and is ready to defend himself, the Daily Telegraph report.He has said he will co-operate with any inquiry, while the referees’ trade union Prospect has pledged to give him their full support.This page is regularly updated.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Shakhtar boss says his players believe they can see off Chelsea

first_imgShakhtar Donetsk boss Mircea Lucescu insists his side are capable of beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge tonight.The Ukrainian club have performed well against English sides in recent years and beat the Blues in their Champions League clash a fortnight ago.And Lucescu believes they can also see off the European champions on their own patch.He said: “Shakhtar have beaten Tottenham, Fulham, Arsenal and Chelsea.“My players know very well that absolutely all the teams in the Champions League can be beaten, even Chelsea at home.”Click here for the Chelsea v Shakhtar quizSee also:Cole out as Chelsea wait on Mata and LuizDi Matteo tips Bertrand to shineBoss wants ‘perfect game’ from ChelseaIvanovic: Our defending has to improve 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Sharpeville: from protest to peace

first_imgThe town of Sharpeville will forever be entrenched in South Africa’s rich history. (Image: If I Could Blog)South Africa’s Human Rights Day, 21 March – declared International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination by the UN – is synonymous with the historic township Sharpeville, situated between the industrial cities of Vanderbijlpark and Vereeniging about 50 kilometres south of Johannesburg.The day, sometimes also called Heroes’ Day, was a watershed in the country’s liberation struggle, hence its inclusion in South Africa’s post-apartheid calendar. Yet more than 55 years on, the question still surfaces: what exactly happened that morning?“With hindsight, the story is simple,” Journalist Joe Tlholoe, who was a high school pupil at the time, wrote years later. “The PAC, which was 16 days short of its first birthday, had called on African men to leave their pass books at home, go to the nearest police station and demand to be arrested for not carrying the dompas.”The apartheid pass laws humiliated African men in particular. Every indigenous African male above the age of 16 had to carry his dompas day and night and produce it on demand by the police. Failure to produce your pass or forgetting it at home, or not having the right stamp, meant arrest and jail.“When the police in Sharpeville saw the masses marching towards them, they panicked and opened fire, killing the 69 and injuring hundreds,” Tlholoe wrote. “The country went up in flames as anger spread through townships across the country. More were killed in the days after Sharpeville.”The timeline shows how it came to be such an important day in South Africa’s history:A group, to become known as the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), breaks away from the African National Congress (ANC) on 2 November 1958;The PAC holds its inaugural congress at Soweto’s Orlando Communal Hall between 6 and 8 April 1959;Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, a 34-year-old lecturer in African languages at Wits University at the time, opens the congress and is elected president;In his first speech, he outlines the PAC’s policies and paints a picture of a South Africa after liberation that is non-racial, democratic and socialist;In July 1959, Sobukwe announces that the PAC will embark on a programme of “positive action” against oppression;In December 1959, he announces that the first target will be the pass laws;Sobukwe leads a march to Orlando Police Station in March 1960, where he and the party’s leadership are arrested, just after they learned of the massacre in Sharpeville;The journey to the recognition of basic human rights, now entrenched in the Bill of Rights in South Africa’s post-1994 Constitution, has begun in earnest.This is the timeline of the aftermath of the massacre:On 30 March 1960, following the declaration of a state of emergency, thousands of black people are arrested throughout the country;On 8 April 1960, the National Party (NP) government, under the leadership of apartheid architect Hendrik Verwoerd, bans the PAC and ANC, forcing the two movements to go underground and eventually into exile;The days of peaceful protest are over;In December 1961, the ANC’s armed wing, Umkhonto weSizwe, detonates its first bombs;Sobukwe, first sentenced to three years’ imprisonment on Robben Island for leading the anti-pass law protests, is kept in jail indefinitely under a special amendment to the General Laws Amendment Act – the Sobukwe Clause – which is rushed through Parliament;Released from Robben Island and banished to Kimberley in 1968, Sobukwe is already ill, and dies from cancer 10 years later, but the march for human rights and dignity continues;In 1986, under heavy pressure, rightist president PW Botha repeals the pass and influx control laws which curtailed the movement of blacks in their country of birth.On 8 May 1996, the ANC-led government choses Sharpeville as the venue to launch South Africa’s new Constitution, signed by its first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela.last_img read more

Momppy Mpoppy is young, black and beautiful

first_imgLike many entrepreneurs, Maite Makgoba had to overcome a lot of challenges to get her plastic princess on to the market. Now she can brag on social media when stars such as Nicki Minaj compliment this particular product. Maite Makgoba’s dream is expanding – she created a fashionable black doll for South Africa, which will also be shipped to the United States to be sold there. (Image: Screengrab via YouTube) • South Africa in top 20 best places to raise children • Almost half of African millionaires make South Africa their home • Businesses urged to team up for innovation • Teen campaigns organ donation through social media • Overview: the Gauteng Stakeholder Workshop Melissa JavanMomppy Mpoppys are young, trendy and uber-fashionable. They wear sky-high neon-coloured heels and will not be seen out in public without a slew of accessories of bangles, earrings and bags. Momppy Mpoppys are a new, South African answer to the ubiquitous Barbie-type dolls found across the world. They’re black, they’re sassy and they’re beautiful.And they’re at the cutting edge. Founder and designer Maite Makgoba told TV magazine show Top Billing that for this past winter, they wore leather.Makgoba, herself a young South African black woman, was inspired by her nieces to create a fashionable doll that looks like them and dresses like them. And she is soon expanding her business to the United States.The owner of the company Childish Trading and Manufacturing, she said it was important for her dolls to keep up with trends, which is one of the reasons the dolls were created. This was important as it allowed the young girl owners to match their dolls. And after a doll is made, it gets a photo shoot with a young girl.Speaking to international news agency AFP, Makgoba said she was motivated to create the Momppy Mpoppy doll when she realised that the black dolls available on the market did not appeal to children.“They were frumpy and unattractive, some in traditional attire,” she explained. “That is not the reality of today.”Through the doll, she aimed to create self-awareness among young girls that they were beautiful with their dark skin and their afros. “We want kids to see beauty in Momppy Mpoppy, to see themselves while playing with her. Dolls are often white; people in magazines are white. This is even in a country like South Africa where the majority are black,” she said.Where it all began Maite Makgoba said it’s important that her plastic princesses keep up with the trends. (Image: Screengrab via YouTube)Momppy Mpoppy is not the first black doll on the South African market.Nigerian businessman Taofick Okoya is playing in the same market. He also saw a gap when he could not find a doll for his niece and came up with the Queens of Africa and Naija Princesses dolls, which are overtaking Barbie doll sales in Nigeria.Locally, Molemo Kgomo is a South African doll maker who also went into the industry after a frustrating experience trying to find a black doll for her daughter. In response, she launched Ntomb’entle dolls.Unlike a typical Barbie-type doll, the Ntomb’entle dolls have fuller figures, curly afros and bigger eyes. They are also dressed in colourful traditional African outfits, representing the Ndebele, Sotho, Xhosa, Zulu, Tsonga, Xhosa, Pedi and Venda.Makgoba, a cartoon lover, said she started researching and developing Momppy Mpoppy in 2013. “The first Momppy sample was born in April 2014 and by June, my babies were ready. June is myself and her niece’s birth month. It is this particular niece who gave me the Momppy inspiration.”She calls herself a super aunt. “I am obsessed with my nieces,” she said. “They inspire me. This (product) is from them and for them. Every aunt, mama, papa and gogo will tell you how much our princesses change our lives.”The nameMakgoba knew she wanted a cute, catchy name for her dolls that young girls would find playful and which could easily be part of their lives. “It’s South African culture-inspired from the words Popo, Popie, Mpoppi, iPopi et cetera.“Everybody in South Africa gets that it’s a doll. Plus, the world would learn a thing or two about Africa through Momppy Mpoppy – she can easily be our modern South African scout to the world.”Brand ambassadorsMakgoba said that at first, her family and loved ones did not get her vision for Momppy Mpoppy. “But now they are brand ambassadors,” she said. “They are proud and full of support.”She grew up in Soweto and today most of her staff are youth from that area. “We employ and give a sales skills workshop. You have to serve the community that raised you right.”Her advice to entrepreneursLike many entrepreneurs, Makgoba struggled to get funding for her product. Other challenges included finding a reliable team and of course, lack of sleep. But you had to be serious about your business. “It should have an x-factor to stand out from the rest. It should solve social and economic problems that our country faces, like unemployment.“The wilder the dream the harder the work, so get ready,” she said.As a child, Makgoba wanted to become a cartoon character; there are links to her life now as an entrepreneur: “It’s the same thing. You have to think you can change the world. Save the world or take over the world and those are similarities both cartoons and entrepreneurs have. I’m serious right now… dead serious.”Makgoba’s dolls are sold at Lilliputs Toys in Rosebank Mall, and online via takealot.com as well as through her Facebook or Twitter account.last_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast — June 11, 2018

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Moisture is still around over the state today, providing a “long tail” to the weather system that started impacting the region over the weekend. A cold front will slowly sag southward over the state today, meaning the best precipitation will likely develop central and southern Ohio, but we will not rule out scattered showers up north either, especially this morning. Rains today can be from a few hundredths to a quarter inch from US 30 northward, and .25”-.1” over central and southern Ohio. Coverage will be around 80% today. We will be watching NE Ohio this morning into early afternoon for moderate to heavier thunderstorms that could skew the precipitation profile there, but chances seem very hit and miss at this time.The rest of the week may settle down just a little bit, but the pattern overall remains somewhat unsettled here. We think a strong high pressure dome will try and park over the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states the rest of this week. Moisture will try and circulate around the bottom and backside of the high in clockwise fashion. This will keep plenty of moisture in over the Deep South and Tennessee valley, augmented by some flow up off of the Gulf of Mexico. This will also keep a chance of scattered, hit and miss showers in over the state through most of the rest of the week. We are not talking about significant rains like this past weekend, but more minor, pop up action from time to time. We do think we are looking at a slightly drier window for tomorrow and Wednesday, but even there, conditions will be right enough to trigger a bit of moisture here and there. Better rain chances are in for the second half of the week and weekend. With the damp feel and ample moisture, we can say that this week will not be one that features good dry down. In fact, drying will be tough and humidity levels high. As long as temps stay near normal (and they should…perhaps even a bit below normal in the near term), this forecast though is one that is very positive for crop growth and development for anything in the ground. Those who still have some acres to put in …this is not a forecast you are happy with. Forage and hay work this week will also be tough. Looking at the rest of the week (excluding today), we can see 70% of the state picking up another .1”-.5”. Coverage may be no better than 30-40% on any of the next few individual days, but combined we get to that 70% number.Scattered showers develop Saturday with .25”-.75” rain potential over 60% of the state as a minor front moves through. Lingering clouds and scattered moisture is in for Sunday too, although probably not amounting to more than few hundredths. Temps remain near normal for the weekend. The map above shows total precipitation for the next week.Next week starts with no significant moisture or frontal action, but clouds are slow to leave. This set up looks similar to the second half of this week…where there is no significant synoptic event arriving, but we just are mired what seems like a soupy mess. We will keep Monday and Tuesday dry for now but look for scattered showers next Wednesday.In the extended period, we have a front for late the 21st into the 22nd that brings .25”-1” of rain, and another front around the 26th that can bring equal rains. Both will end up with coverage around 80%.Temps the next 10 days will be near normal. We can trend slightly below in the short term, and perhaps a bit above in the extended period.last_img read more

Google Now Scanning RSS, Atom Feeds, May Experiment with Real-Time Protocols in Future

first_imgAccording to a post on Google’s Webmaster Central blog, Google is now discovering web sites by automatically scanning RSS and Atom feeds. This new process will help Google more quickly identify web pages and will allow users to find new content in search results as soon as it goes live. While not exactly “real-time,” using feeds to identify updates to websites is an arguably faster method than the traditional crawling techniques Google has used in the past. And Google may get even faster in the near future – the post also notes that the company may soon explore using mechanisms like the real-time protocol PubSubHubbub to identify updated items going forward. The blog post doesn’t say whether or not RSS and Atom discovery is displacing traditional web crawling for sites that are feed-enabled, but it’s likely that, if given the choice, Google will opt for the faster method if available. As Vanessa Fox notes on the SearchEngineLand blog, since it’s unknown at this time whether Google is using the feeds in place of traditional web crawling, it may make sense to use full feeds rather than partial ones in order to get your content indexed faster by Google’s search engine. Real-Time Web Crawling in the Future?Although only briefly mentioned in the post, Google hinted that they may begin looking into other mechanisms such as PubSubHubbub, an open protocol that provides near-instant notifications of change updates. No further details were provided beyond the one sentence, but the announcement clearly shows that Google has seen the writing on the wall and knows that the real-time web is the future. This is one trend the company isn’t planning to ignore.The real-time web, heavily influenced by the speed of Twitter and other other rapid-fire social networking updates, has created a desire among internet users for faster access to information. This desire has, in turn, led to the creation of new real-time protocols such as the above mentioned PubSubHubbub and its counterpart RSSCloud. If Google began to use these technologies for scanning the web, their search results wouldn’t just be updated faster – they would be updated in real-time. That means information would become available in the search results listings as soon as it was published to the web. That, of course, would lead to a whole new series of challenges for the search engine – most notably, how to rank the real-time results? Given that Google’s search algorithm has been built on top of the concept of PageRank, a way to determine the relevance of a website by what other sites link to it, ranking search results that are so fresh that there is an absence of links could prove a difficult feat. However, Google is already doing this to some extent now. Over time, the PageRank algorithm has evolved and can now reward sites with fresher, more fitting content and rank them higher than sites with more links on some occasions. And if anyone can figure out the proper algorithm for mixing in real-time content and ranking it appropriately along with static pages, it’s got to be Google. In fact, we’ll probably soon see exactly how they plan on addressing this issue, when they incorporate Twitter search results into their index, as announced last week. …But Until Then, Google Delivering Faster, Fresher Results InsteadAlthough the PubSubHubbub mention may have been the most exiting part of the announcement, real-time search results aren’t here just yet. In the meantime, we have to just be content with sped up results instead. The post advises website owners who are blocking Google’s search bot software known as Googlebot from crawling their RSS/Atom feeds to unblock it via their robots.txt file. If unsure, webmasters can test their feed URLs with the robots.txt tester in Google Webmaster Tools, as the post recommends. sarah perez A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img Tags:#Google#news#NYT#Real-Time Web#search#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more