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Thursday, April 29, 2010

THEY SAY THE PARTY IS OVER-BUT WE BELIEVE THE OPPOSITE,THAT NOW IT BEGINS

THE TITLE  IS LINKED WITH A GOLDMAN SUCKS THEME.
WHO ARE ALL THESE PRIVATE OR SEMI-STATE  ENTITIES WHICH JUDGE AND PLAY WITH CITIZENS AROUND THE WORLD???
TO WHOM THE CITIZENS OF WORLD STATES ARE OWING THE DEBTS???
WHO ARE THE NATURAL PERSONS ???

For nations living the good life, the party's over, IMF says

In the lingo of the International Monetary Fund, the future of the world hinges on "rebalancing and consolidation," antiseptic words that would not seem to raise a fuss.
Who doesn't want more balance in their life?
But the translation is a bit ruder, something on the order of: "Suck it up. The party's over."
To keep the global economy on track, people in the United States and the rest of the developed world need to work longer before retiring, pay higher taxes and expect less from government. And the cheap imports lining the shelves of mega-chains such as Wal-Mart and Target? They need to be more expensive.

That's the practical meaning of a series of policy papers and statements issued in recent days by IMF officials, who have a long history of stabilizing economies and solving global financial problems, as they plot a course to keep the world economy growing and reduce the risk of another "great recession."

That message has been delivered subtly, woven into documents with titles such as "Resolving the Crisis Legacy and Meeting New Challenges to Financial Stability," and justified by concepts such as "raising retirement age in line with life expectancy," as IMF economic counselor Olivier Blanchard put it this week.

But fully deciphered, it means a pretty serious reworking of expectations in the developed world: changes in labor rules, product prices, currency values and even the social contract between governments and an aging citizenry.
"It is not that living standards will lower, but they will not increase as fast as they have been," said Domenico Lombardi, a former IMF executive director. The ideas being discussed by world leaders "are coded words," he said. "They don't like words like 'imposing higher taxes' and 'cutting spending.' "

Rebalancing

The IMF has long had a reputation as a bearer of bad news -- it dispatches well-educated and diplomatically deft teams to tell economically troubled countries how many people they have to fire and which programs they have to cut to get financial assistance. But the IMF now finds itself in the odd position of having that conversation not with a single ailing sovereign but with the developed countries at the core of the world system, including the United States.
Its prescription is centered on two concepts.

"Rebalancing" is an idea that most everyone endorses -- including the technicians at the fund and President Obama and the leaders of the G-20 group of economically powerful nations. In broad strokes, it means curbing what has been a massive transfer of capital from nations that consume more than they produce, such as the United States, to nations that produce more than they consume, such as China.
The imbalance has been key to China's modernization: The country buys U.S. government bonds by the tens of billions to keep the dollar stronger than it would be and to keep its domestic currency -- and its exports -- cheaper. Looked at one way, the flow of U.S. debt to the People's Bank of China has acted like a giant, collective credit card, underwriting consumers across the United States and driving the business models of major retailers such as Wal-Mart.
 
The message from the IMF is that the card is about maxed out and that the imbalance in trade flows needs to be corrected.
How to do it? One way is for China -- or Asian exporters, more generally -- to let their currencies rise on world markets. The other way, which IMF economist Blanchard raised this week, would be to devalue the dollar, the euro and other developed-world currencies.

"The advanced economies as a whole may need to depreciate their currencies so as to increase their net exports," Blanchard said.

The less well-advertised side of the equation: If the dollar is worth less, then imports, regardless of their source, will cost more. U.S. exports will be proportionately cheaper -- a good thing for American businesses trying to become more competitive in overseas markets -- but everything from iPods to jeans to the latest Barbie doll would jump in price.

The ideas offered by the IMF "could certainly reorder the balance of the international economy, but not in a way that benefits the average person in the U.S.," said J. Craig Shearman, vice president of government affairs for the National Retail Federation.

He continued: "If a few factories have an increase in exports, that is good for them, but it leaves the vast majority of people paying more for consumer goods. Talking about consuming less and saving more is a nice, ivory tower approach. But it is not real world economics. People have to put clothes on their children's backs and food on the table."

Wal-Mart declined to comment.

Consolidation

"Fiscal consolidation" is another idea promoted by IMF leaders. Again, the aim seems unobjectionable: The United States and other developed-world governments ran record deficits during the crisis, both to pay for stimulus programs and because tax and other receipts cratered. Across the developed world, the IMF says, government debt will rise from about 80 percent of economic output before the crisis to roughly 115 percent of output in 2014.

That's considered a dangerous trajectory, and IMF officials say that by next year, governments need to announce "credible" plans to cut their annual deficits, turn them into surpluses and start paying off what is owed.
The level of the correction needed is large, perhaps 10 percent of gross domestic product. In the United States, that would amount to roughly $1.4 trillion annually, to be cut from government programs or raised through new taxes.

Better-than-expected growth would help, or increases in productivity, or even surprises in the form of new technologies. But what's on the horizon is, more likely, a difficult reckoning -- one that Greece is facing and that other developed nations know is in the offing, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said in an interview Thursday.
"We're all in the same boat," Lagarde said as she looked ahead to a tough debate in France over changes in pension rules that will make not just government workers but also many in the private sector add years before their expected retirements.

The IMF is studying issues such as which taxes should be raised and which programs should be cut to make "consolidation" as painless as possible. But it views a longer working life as an important tool -- one that would save large amounts of money in the future without cutting spending and decreasing economic activity today.

In the United States, a new fiscal commission is beginning to study how to bring U.S. government debt into line.
"You will see many headlines complaining and moaning and stirring the pot," Lagarde said, as issues such as pension reform are debated. But ultimately, she said, "there is no way out."
 
By Howard Schneider


Washington Post Staff Writer
 
 
Moody’s chief admits failure over crisis

The chief executive of Moody’s admitted to a Senate panel on Friday that the US credit rating agency failed to anticipate the severe deterioration in the US housing market that led to the financial crisis and was “not satisfied” with its performance.
However, Raymond McDaniel defended the the credit agencies’ dependence on fees paid by Wall Street firms, claiming that “potential conflicts exist regardless of who pays”.
 
But evidence presented at a hearing before the Senate detailed how some senior managers at Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s suppressed internal concerns about the securities they rated due to pressure from the banks that paid their fees.

Eric Kolchinsky, a former managing director of a Moody’s unit, believed that he had saved the agency from committing fraud in 2007 when he insisted that it change the way it rated the instruments because of deterioration in the housing market.

When it emerged that Moody’s had seen a slight drop in market share, Mr Kolchinsky was berated by a manager.

Friday’s hearing before the Senate subcommittee on investigations, as well as a hearing on Tuesday that will centre on Goldman Sachs, are being held as senators negotiate a bill to reform financial regulation. Senators are expected to vote on Monday to begin formal debate on the controversial measure.

On Moody’s ratings of Goldman’s Abacus product, at the centre of allegations against the bank, Mr Kolchinsky said that he would have wanted to know that hedge fund manager Paulson & Co was making bets against the security.

He said neither he nor his staff had been aware of Paulson’s involvement in their rating of the transaction. “It just changes the whole dynamic – if the person choosing it, wants it to blow up,” he said.

Staff at Moody’s and S&P described a fraught relationship with investment banks, which put pressure on the agencies to deliver triple A ratings.

“There has always been pressure from banks, and it is quite common for banks to ask for analysts to be removed,” said Yuri Yoshizawa, a senior managing director at Moody’s.
However, she denied that pressure from banks influenced ratings in the run-up to the financial crisis. Carl Levin, the Democratic senator who chairs the panel said: “In the end, the banks got their way.”

By Stephanie Kirchgaessner in New York and Kevin Sieff in Washington

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2010

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

THE GAPS MUST CLOSE TO THE METRON OF BALLANCE

An inconvenient e-Truth

Recent surveys by the Dutch CFES (Centre for e-Government Studies) about progress in e-government show a wide gap between the availability and the actual use of e-services. Even though the number of e-services increases over time and broadband penetration grows, take up does not accordingly. There remains an unused potential of about 50%. International comparisons show that all countries face this problem. Actually in the top ranking countries in e-government this very gap is even wider.


Although there are indications that getting used to e-services may induce more people to use them, one cannot assume that this will eventually bridge the gap. Real take up will be dependent on a different approach, i.e. the introduction so called user driven services. Burgerlink (Citizenlink) is an example how this done in the Netherlands.

Anyone living in The Netherlands is being served by many more authorities than he or she is aware of. Even though an inhabitant may only infrequently visit the town hall or the city website, that person is dependent on all kinds of authorities for living, care, education, transportation, safety and so on. The same holds for business or civic organizations.

Fortunately each government agency is enthusiastically busy improving its service delivery process. They may perform better, but as yet a breakthrough has not come about. The reason being that they usually operate separately, mostly supply driven and seldom customer centred. In order to remedy this situation, a common vision and a concerted action is necessary in three areas: quality requirements, satisfaction measurement and citizen involvement

First government agencies should apply common service quality requirements. Not only because a citizen is entitled to an identical level from all agencies serving the general public, but also since it is a prerequisite for intergovernmental cooperation. That’s why the e-Citizen Charter has been conceived as a common standard that from the citizen’s perspective summarizes 10 basic principles. These cover all kinds roles and address information provision, service delivery and citizen participation. Individual government agencies can convert these into specific departmental quality norms.

Secondly government agencies should practice satisfaction measurement. In order to ascertain whether citizens actually profit from all changes, satisfaction measurement should not be restricted to separate products or services. So a national survey is conducted about citizen satisfaction on the basis of life events, taking into account the e-Citizen Charter criteria. The results of the survey show that the necessary chain cooperation is lacking in the field of coordination, communication and treatment. Chain partners can use the data from the annual survey for business process redesign.
Finally improvement of public service delivery can only come about when citizen involvement is embedded. In stead of consulting citizens when and where government deems fit, it is much more rewarding if forums for interaction are created that stimulate and facilitate open discussion. Web 2.0 (social media, open data, co creation) supports e-participation that contributes to business process redesign. In order to satisfy both government and citizen, this should be part and parcel of everyday operations. At present e-participation is still in its infancy, but there are promising examples.
Modern government should be prepared for empowered citizens. The ABC for improved government is: Always Burger Centric. A successful performance incentive for better government requires that politicians and managers implement this triple approach.

by
Matt Poelmans, MSc.

Matt  is Director of Burgerlink (Citizenlink). Previously he was in charge of several other e-government programmes initiated by the Dutch Ministry of the Interior (e-Citizen Programme, e-Government Knowledge Centre, Public Counter 2000).

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

E-GOVERNMENT MEASUREMENTS ARE IMPORTANT FOR GOOD OPERATION OF THE PUBLIC SYSTEM

WE ARE HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE THAT OUR AFFILIATED "EPAPHOS ADVISORS TEAMWORK"PARTICIPATED AT  AN E-GOVERNMENT EXPERTS NETWORK MEETING LAST WEEK IN BRUSSELS.
DURING THAT WORKSHOP ,IT WAS EXAMINED THE WAYS THAT CITIZENS CAN GET THE BEST USER SATISFACTION,AS THEY ARE DEALING WITH EU STATE MEMBERS PUBLIC E-SERVICES.

SOME OF THE MAIN FUTURES OF E-GOVERNMENT MEASUREMENTS ARE

 ● Raise the awareness and stimulate uptake of eGovernment impact and user satisfaction measurements.


●Contribute to the harmonisation and quality of measurement frameworks.

●Running  workshops covering a broad range of methodological issues, focused on exchanges of view, best practices and policy discussions.

●Establish a clear base line on the state of the art in eGovernment impact and user satisfaction measurement, including both methods and tools.

●Facilitate policy inputs beside on eGovernment impact and user satisfaction.
 
AS THIS PERIOD OF STUDY HAS FINISHED ,WE WISH TO ALL CONTRIBUTORS AND STAKEHOLDERS ,THAT  THE NEW PERIOD WEB 2.0  PRACTICES WILL  BE IMPLEMENTED, PLUS  THE BASICS FOR WEB 3.0 TO BE PUT IN A THEORITICAL BASIS ,AS A  FOLLOWING META - STEP. 
 
THE SUMMIT TOOK PLACE AT THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS ,JACK DELOR BUILDING.
 
WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK  THE NETWORK  FOR OUR PARTICIPATION AND  THE GOOD WORK DONE .

ps by clicking the title you are being redirected to an important article written in 2004

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Thursday, April 01, 2010

ROBOTS ARE COMING



The lack of English language teachers who qualified in South Korea, urged the South Korea government to develop a robot that can teach English.
The presence of an English teacher robot is no surprise because South Korea has been used to create advanced robots.
Some playgroup and kindergarten students have been ‘acquainted’ with a robot that is an English teacher. English language learning atmosphere becomes fun with a robot that looks funny, like a cartoon character.
Quoted from io9, Thursday (25/2/2010), after a probation period of several months, South Korean government will fund poured about U.S. $ 45 million to bring 500 robot teachers in the playgroup in 2011, and 8000 robots playgroup and kindergarten in 2013.
Like most of English teachers, besides teaching the words in the English language, this robot can also read a story in the English language for students.
But it’s could not clear whether the presence of robotic English teachers will be able to replace the actual position of the teacher.

SOURCE http://robotechno.us/

Robot Code of Ethics to Prevent Android Abuse, Protect Humans

The government of South Korea is drawing up a code of ethics to prevent human abuse of robots—and vice versa. The so-called Robot Ethics Charter will cover standards for robotics users and manufacturers, as well as guidelines on ethical standards to be programmed into robots, South Korea’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy announced last week.
“The move anticipates the day when robots, particularly intelligent service robots, could become a part of daily life as greater technological advancements are made,” the ministry said in a statement.A five-member task force that includes futurists and a science-fiction writer began work on the charter last November.

Gianmarco Veruggio of the School of Robotics in Genoa, Italy, is recognized as a leading authority on roboethics.

“Robotics is a new science with a manifold of applications that can assist humans and solve many, many problems,” he said.

“However, as in every field of science and technology, sensitive areas open up, and it is the specific responsibility of the scientists who work in this field to face this new array of social and ethical problems.”

Abusing Robots
South Korea boasts one of the world’s most high-tech societies.

The country’s Ministry of Information and Communication is working on plans to put a robot in every South Korean household by 2020.
The new charter is part of an effort to establish ground rules for human interaction with robots in the future.
“Imagine if some people treat androids as if the machines were their wives,” Park Hye-Young of the ministry’s robot team told the AFP news agency.

The main focus of the charter appears to be on dealing with social problems, such as human control over robots and humans becoming addicted to robot interaction. The document will also deal with legal issues, such as the protection of data acquired by robots and establishing clear identification and traceability of the machines.
Technological advances have introduced new models of human-machine interface that may bring different ethical challenges, said Veruggio, the Italian scientist.
“Think of bio-robotics, of military applications of robotics, of robots in children’s rooms,” he said.

Laws of Robotics

The South Korean charter, which may include guidelines for the robots themselves, could be seen as a nod to Isaac Asimov’s three laws of robotics.
Familiar to many science-fiction fans, the laws were first put forward by the late sci-fi author in his short story “Runaround” in 1942.

The laws state that robots may not injure humans or, through inaction, allow humans to come to harm; robots must obey human orders unless they conflict with the first law; and robots must protect themselves if this does not conflict with the other laws.
Robot researchers, however, say that Asimov’s laws—and the South Korean charter—belong in the realm of science-fiction and are not yet applicable to their field.

“While I applaud the Korean effort to establish a robot ethics charter, I fear it might be premature to use Asimov’s laws as a starter,” said Mark Tilden, the designer of RoboSapien, a toylike robot.

“From experience, the problem is that giving robots morals is like teaching an ant to yodel. We’re not there yet, and as many of Asimov’s stories show, the conundrums robots and humans would face would result in more tragedy than utility,” said Tilden, who works for Wow Wee Toys in Hong Kong.

Hiroshi Ishiguru of Osaka University is the co-creator of Repliee Q1 and Q2, a female android. (See photos of Repliee Q1 and a video of Repliee Q2.)

He says it’s too soon to dictate the future of robot ethics based on Asimov’s laws.

“If we have a more intelligent vehicle, who takes the responsibility when it has an accident?” he said.

“We can ask the same question of a robot. Robots do not have human-level intelligence. It is rather similar to a vehicle today.”

Stefan Lovgren

for National Geographic News

March 16, 2007

SOURCE news.nationalgeographic.com


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