AllEarth Renewables, Inc.,The innovative AllSun Tracker, which is manufactured by Vermont’s fastest growing business, is now available in one of the country’s top solar markets. AllEarth Renewables, the manufacturer of the solar electric AllSun Tracker, has announced the recent expansion of its solar installer network into Massachusetts with three new partners.The Vermont manufacturer has partnered with US Solar Works of Attleboro, NorthEast Solar Design of Hatfield, and Transformations Inc. of Townsend, Lexington, Somerville, Cambridge, Acton, Mill River, and Nantucket.AllSun Trackers are pole mounted solar systems that use innovative GPS and wireless technology to follow the sun throughout the day to boost solar energy production by up to 45 percent over roof-top installations. They’ve been designed and built in the northeast to withstand tough northern climates.This week, Pete Fine of US Solar Works will be installing six Series 24 AllSun Trackers for Bruce Diamond Company in an industrial park in Attleboro, MA. ‘We see Massachusetts as a great place to grow the market for our tracker systems,’said David Blittersdorf, CEO of AllEarth Renewables. ‘We’ve had tremendous success in Vermont and we are eager to find additional installation partners and continue to expand in Massachusetts’fast-growing solar market.’Massachusetts had the fourth largest solar market in the United States in the first part of this year, according to the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA).‘We believe our tracker is a solution for residential and commercial customers in Massachusetts looking to get more from their solar system. By following the sun each day, we can produce more energy for each PV panel, enhancing the value of going solar,’added Blittersdorf, who was listed by Business Week among 25 of ‘America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs of 2011.’AllEarth Renewables was ranked as Vermont’s fastest growing business in both 2010 and 2011 by Vermont Business Magazine and was named the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce ‘2012 Business of the Year.’In a little over 2 years, more solar systems have been installed in Vermont using the AllSun Tracker than any other solar technology and over 5 MW and 1,300 of the innovative tracker have been installed in residential and commercial systems in the northeast. Source: AllEarth Williston, Vermont . July 31, 2012
Scientific American Mind:My family is what you might call politically diverse, with members ranging from real pinko-commie hippies to paranoid right-wing conspiracy theorists—and we’re all connected on Facebook. This election year, things among us had gotten pretty acrimonious until my brother, Colin, did something ingenious: he made a pledge to stop talking politics on Facebook.In the middle of a heated argument, it’s tough to picture everything working out well in the end with your opponent. Yet remaining hopeful may actually help that happen, says Susan Krauss Whitbourne, a personality researcher and professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.Read the whole story: Scientific American Mind More of our Members in the Media >
A survey out today from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) indicates that European healthcare workers, for the most part, have a high level of knowledge about appropriate antibiotic use and the role that inappropriate prescribing plays in antibiotic resistance. But important knowledge gaps remain.In the survey of more than 18,000 healthcare workers in 30 European Union/European Economic Activity (EU/EEA) countries, 89% agreed that there was a connection between their prescribing of antibiotics and the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and 97% to 98% agreed that antibiotics are not effective against viruses or colds and are associated with side effects.But less than 60% of the respondents were able to answer seven true/false knowledge questions about antibiotics correctly. And only 58% agreed that they had a key role to play in helping control antibiotic resistance.The survey, released in conjunction with European Antibiotic Awareness Day, was accompanied by reports on EU/EEA antibiotic consumption and resistance levels in 2018.More education, resources neededOverall, the online survey included 43 questions aimed at getting a better understanding of European healthcare workers’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors when it comes to antibiotic use and resistance. Nearly half of the respondents (49%) work in hospitals, with other participants representing primary care settings (22%), pharmacies (10%), and long-term care facilities (6%). The answers will be used for future policy and education interventions.The perceived capability regarding antibiotic use was high across the board among the respondents. Ninety-six percent said they knew what antibiotic resistance is, 80% said they had sufficient knowledge on using antibiotics correctly, and 86% said they know what information to give individuals about prudent use of antibiotics.And when asked whether seven statements about antibiotic use—such as “antibiotics are effective against viruses”— were true or false, the vast majority answered correctly. The statement with the lowest proportion of correct answers (75%) was “Every person treated with antibiotics is at increased risk of antibiotic-resistant infection.”But overall, only 58% of respondents gave correct answers on all seven key knowledge questions about antibiotics, and the percentage of healthcare workers who answered correctly ranged widely across countries, from 40% in Estonia to 73% in Croatia and Ireland.Survey responses also suggested some divergence between knowledge and practice. Thirty-one percent of prescribers said that they would have preferred not to use an antibiotic at least once in the week prior to completing the survey, but did so anyway. And 43% said they had prescribed antibiotic in the prior week because they feared patient deterioration or complications.Other areas of concern emerged from responses to questions about national initiatives and campaigns. Only 41% agreed that there had been good promotion of responsible antibiotic use and information about antibiotic resistance in their country, and only 27% agreed that their country’s national campaign had been effective in reducing unnecessary antibiotic use. Slightly more than half of respondents were unsure whether their country had a national antibiotic resistance action plan in place.In addition, 20% of healthcare workers said they did not give advice to patients on prudent antibiotic use in the previous week, and 51% said they did not give out resources. Most attributed this to lack of resources and lack of time with patients. Twenty-five percent said they did not have easy access to guidance on proper infection management.ECDC officials say the results highlight the areas where more work is needed.”With our study results, we now have a wealth of data about key issues concerning healthcare workers and antibiotic resistance, across all EU/EEA countries, all healthcare professions and healthcare settings,” ECDC Director Andrea Ammon, MD, said in a press release. “These can be used when developing locally adapted interventions to ensure prudent use of antibiotics, focused on changing behaviour and practice among healthcare workers.” Antibiotic use and resistance in EuropeMeantime, a summary of the latest data on invasive isolates reported to the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network (EARS-Net) shows that antibiotic resistance remains a significant health problem on the continent, with high variability in resistance seen across EU/EEA countries.According to the 2018 EARS-Net report, more than half of the Escherichia coli isolates (58.3%) and more than a third of the Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates (37.2%) were resistant to at least one antibiotic class under regular surveillance, with combined resistance to multiple antibiotics classes more frequent in K pneumoniae (19.6%) than in E coli (6.2%). Although rare in E coli, carbapenem resistance percentages were above 10% for K pneumoniae in several countries, and were even higher for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter species.Trend analysis showed that for most gram-negative-bacteria antibiotic class combinations, changes in resistance percentages from 2015 through 2018 were moderate, with resistance remaining at previously high levels. Among gram-positive bacteria, the report found that the percentage of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates continued to decline, falling from 19.0% in 2015 to 16.4% in 2018, while the percentage of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium isolates rose sharply, from 10.5% in 2015 to 17.3% in 2018.As in previous years, variations in antibiotic resistance levels continued to follow an established geographic pattern, with countries in northern Europe reporting lower resistance percentages than those in southern and eastern Europe. Those variations tend to match north-to-south variations in antibiotic consumption in Europe. “The high levels of AMR [antimicrobial resistance] for several important bacterial species-antimicrobial group combinations reported to EARS-Net for 2018 show that AMR remains a serious challenge in the EU/EEA,” the report states. “Despite the political prioritisation of AMR as a threat to public health and the availability of evidence-based guidance for antimicrobial stewardship, adequate microbiological capacity and infection prevention and control, it is clear that public health action to tackle the situation remains insufficient.”The report from the European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption Network (ESAC-Net), however, indicated that some European countries are having success in reducing antibiotic use.In 2018, the average total consumption of antibiotics for systemic use in the community/primary care sector was 18.4 defined daily doses (DDD) per 1,000 inhabitants per day. While no statistically significant change in consumption was observed for the EU/EEA overall from 2009 through 2018, nine countries saw statistically significant declining trends over the period (compared with four countries in 2016).In the hospital sector, the average consumption of antibiotics for systemic use was 1.8 DDD per 1,000 inhabitants per day, with no change overall in the EU/EEA from 2009 through 2018 but decreasing trends observed in five countries and increasing trends in six countries. Four countries reported increases in hospital use of carbapenems and polymyxins—antibiotics reserved for the most serious, multidrug-resistant infections.See also:Nov 18 ECDC surveyNov 18 ECDC press releaseNov 18 EARS-Net 2018 reportNov 18 ESAC-Net 2018 report
Opensignal, the independent global standard for measuring real-world mobile network experience, presented their latest analysis on the global 5G experience at MWC Los Angeles 2019. The analysis compared early 5G network adoption from first-mover nations like South Korea, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Australia and the U.K. with the United States.Key findings of the report show that Opensignal U.S. mobile users with 5G-equipped devices enjoy the fastest 5G speeds in the world but are spending the least amount of time actually connected to 5G. Whether this is a symptom of the 5G rollout being in its early stages or due to unique 5G spectrum challenges in the U.S. remains a key question.5G Delivers on Speed PromiseOpensignal analyzed the maximum speeds that U.S. 5G smartphone users experienced over a 6-month period. Results show 5G speeds are evolving quickly. The U.S. tops the chart with maximum 5G download speeds of 1.8 Gbps, delivering on the promise of mm-Wave technology. However, Australia, Switzerland and South Korea all logged download speeds over 1 Gbps, showing that mid-band 5G technologies can deliver as well.5G Users Spend Vast Majority of Time on 4GWhile U.S. 5G mobile users have speed, they lack network reach. Opensignal found users with 5G smartphones in the U.S. only achieved 5G connection on 1% of attempts. By contrast, in South Korea, which has 3 million 5G users already signed up, 20% of attempts were on 5G. The U.S. has a relatively higher reliance on mmWave spectrum (which offers more limited coverage and reach) than the rest of the world who tended to utilize mid-band spectrum for early 5G rollouts. These new findings highlight some of the spectrum challenges faced in the U.S. where 5G mid-band spectrum has been relatively harder to come by compared with other countries.According to Brendan Gill, CEO of Opensignal, the latest analysis helps spotlight some key questions the industry is facing when it comes to 5G – namely, how do you market a service like 5G that is only available a fraction of the time, at least initially. And as 5G comes in different ‘flavors’ depending on the spectrum used, each with its own set of benefits and challenges, how does one tackles the unique set of hurdles that mmWave will need to overcome. The early focus has clearly been on speed, especially in the USA, but the conversation needs to evolve quickly to focus on making sure 5G is really here, not just here.Click here to read the complete Opensignal analysis.
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Ralph Thomas says he has prioritized his roll as the interface between the diaspora and the government through direct outreach between members of the diaspora and various organizations.Ambassador Thomas who was addressing a breakfast meeting of heads of diaspora organizations in New York at the Door Restaurant in Queens said, “as interface between our government and our diaspora I will be bridging the gap with information and better communication and with being the spokesperson for our mutual interest.”He added that he believes that this presents a better opportunity for dialogue and in this regard the Embassy of Jamaica will serve as interlocutor.The ambassador told the over 150 participants that on assuming office, both Prime Minister the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade the Honourable A.J. Nicholson instructed his to pay priority attention to the diaspora. He pointed out that since assuming office he has already visited and met with members of the diaspora in Seattle Washington, New Jersey, Connecticut and New York.“Having lived and worked as a member of diaspora for over two decades and having shared many of the challenges and experiences that individuals go through there are a number of areas in which we will all have to work together to address,” said Ambassador Thomas. Among them he said are; immigration and deportation, economic empowerment of Jamaicans in the diaspora promoting cultural awareness especially among second and third generation Jamaicans, and the strengthening of the bonds between the Jamaican in the United States and citizens back home.The ambassador added that he would like to see the diaspora feature as a centerpiece of our development and investment strategy and for the diaspora to understand how to connect with Jamaica in different ways and benefit from those opportunities that exist.The breakfast meeting with various head of Jamaican organizations in New York was organized by the North East Advisory Board, which is chaired by Attorney Joan Pinnock. Also in attendance was Jamaica’s Council General to New York, Mr. Herman Lamont.Ambassador Thomas who paid a three-day visit to New York met with members of the North East diaspora board, launched a toy drive to assist children in various children home and the Bustamante Children’s Hospital. He also delivered the keynote address at the 21st Anniversary Annual Scholarship Gala of the New York based Jamaica charity, Children of Jamaica Outreach, and attended church services at the Lenox Road Baptist Church in Brooklyn and the St. John’s United Methodist Church in Queens.