With Windows 8.1, Microsoft is finally getting there.
When Microsoft first revealed Windows 8.1, many pundits fixated on what they saw as backpedaling. The fact that Microsoft was bringing back a Start button, and making it easier to stay within the confines of the desktop, they said, was a sign that Microsoft had gone too far in pushing the new, touch-friendly side of Windows 8.
While Microsoft has made some concessions for desktop users, the company hasn’t stopped pushing. Windows 8.1 is full of major improvements to the modern-style interface (formerly known as Metro). Apps that were previously cheap imitations of their desktop counterparts are now capable alternatives. Tasks that once required you to visit the desktop have migrated to the new interface. And although Microsoft hasn’t duplicated the windowing system of the classic desktop, it’s created a new one that’s in many ways simpler and easier.
As an experiment, I’ve been trying to do all of my work today within the modern-style interface, using the preview build of Windows 8.1. This isn’t something that everyone can do–lots of people rely on specific software that isn’t available through the Windows Store or a web browser–but since my primary work tools are web-based, working with modern apps isn’t a problem. While there are things I miss about the desktop, Windows 8.1 makes a strong case for doing everything within the modern-style interface. It’s the first version of Windows in which the new interface can become a replacement for the desktop, rather than a supplement.
New Kinds of Windows
The biggest improvement in Windows 8.1 is the expansion of Snap, a neat trick that lets you run multiple apps side-by-side on the screen. Windows 8.1 increases the number of apps you can snap on the screen at once from two to three, and the size of each frame is now fully adjustable.
While working in Windows 8.1, I’ve been using Snap to keep an eye on e-mail and Twitter in their own separate frames, and using a text editor to write in a third frame. Occasionally, I’ll open Internet Explorer in the main frame to check on the TIME Tech chat room or to read news stories. On a laptop, it almost feels like I’m working with multiple monitors.
There is a bit of a learning curve to Snap, especially now that you can have three apps open at once. Juggling multiple apps can be a hassle, because there’s no simple way to swap the order of open frames. Still, it’s easier to set up several snapped apps than it is to place multiple windows side-by-side on the desktop. And while desktop applications aren’t always designed to run in small windows, most Windows Store apps support Snap, and will adjust automatically as you change the size of the frame.
Jared Newman / TIME.com
Desktop-esque Web Browsing
One of my biggest problems with the modern-style interface in Windows 8 was the lack of a window structure for web browsing. I spend a lot of time in the browser, with lots of tabs open at once, and on the desktop, I’m used to grouping these tabs into windows. (One for e-mail and other communication, one for writing, one for various articles and research.) Most tablet operating systems–including Windows 8–don’t allow this kind of organization.
In Windows 8.1, you can open up to three separate instances of Internet Explorer 11 by right-clicking or long-pressing on a link or open tab, then choosing the option to open it in a new window. This gets a little tricky, because the second window opens up in Snap view (see above), but if you then hide that window, you can still access it through the tabs menu or the recent apps list.
Another big change that makes IE11 more like a desktop browser is the option to always show the address bar and open tabs. Enabling this option in Settings creates a permanent bar on the bottom of the screen, so you can quickly switch between tabs.
These two new features go a long way toward making the modern-style Internet Explorer feel like a desktop browser. This is the first time I’ve felt comfortable using the app for serious work.
Work to Be Done
Windows 8.1 still has its fair share of rough edges. The Mail app, which received a big upgrade in March, still needs an easier way to navigate through messages, such as swiping or up/down arrows. I’d like to see multiple window support in more apps, such as the new Calculator (so you could calculate two things separately). And while the Photos app now includes a basic image editor, Microsoft should really do a full-blown, modern-style overhaul of Paint–something that could compete on a basic level with Photoshop.
Also, though it’s no fault of Microsoft’s, the near-complete absence of Google services is still a drawback. Google has only offered a basic all-purpose app for Windows 8, and it’s no better than accessing the company’s services through a browser. There’s no Gmail app to stand in for the default Windows Mail app and no Google Drive integration, and in lieu of an official YouTube app, the Windows Store is rife with imitators. Google is not opposed to being on other platforms, but has shunned Windows 8 because the audience isn’t big enough. Hopefully that will change as Microsoft makes the modern-style interface more alluring.
Then there’s the biggest missing piece of all, Microsoft Office. Microsoft knows the cursory touch-optimizations in Office 2013 aren’t enough, and the company does plan to release a true modern-style version of the software. But it won’t be ready until 2014. Until then, the modern interface of Windows 8 will have no chance of replacing the desktop for a lot of people.
Why Modern-Style Matters for Productivity
Using Windows 8.1′s modern interface wasn’t just an experiment for experiments’ sake. The PC I’m using has a touch screen, and I’m warming to the idea of using it more regularly. All the apps I’ve been using are designed for touch, and reaching out to tap or swipe has its perks: I can zero in on opposite ends of the screen faster, and it’s more enjoyable to swipe through web pages than it is to scroll with a trackpad. I still loathe the idea of giving up mouse input entirely, but devices where the trackpad is secondary–like Microsoft’s Surface or Sony’s Vaio Duo 11–are starting to make more sense.
The challenge for Microsoft, then, is to create a better touch-centric productivity platform than iOS or Android. The booming iPad keyboard market is proof that tablets can be used for work (no matter how often people try to deny it), and while the desktop helps Windows stand out for productivity, on touch devices the modern-style side of Windows needs to be just as capable, if not more so.
With Windows 8.1, Microsoft is finally getting there. The whole concept of the modern-style interface has plenty of detractors, but for those who don’t want to confine themselves to the desktop, Windows 8.1 is a glimpse at what’s possible.
Stay tuned for more on Windows 8.1 in the days ahead. We’ll be looking at more of the modern-style interface, and yes, at the desktop too.
Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation
Correct grammar, punctuation and spelling are key in written communications. The reader will form an opinion of you, the author, based on both the content and presentation, and errors are likely to lead them to form a negative impression.
If you are unconvinced about the importance of accurate writing, think of the clues we use to identify spam emails, “phishing” websites, and counterfeit products: poor grammar and spelling. Similarly, some employers state publicly that any CV containing spelling or grammatical mistakes will be rejected immediately, whilst a BBC news article quotes research that calculates spelling mistakes cost online businesses “millions” in lost sales.
In addition, checking for poor writing and spelling mistakes should be seen as a courtesy to your readers since it can take them much longer to understand the messages in your writing if they have to think and re-read text to decipher these.
Therefore, all written communications should be re-read before sending to print, or hitting the send button in the case of emails, as it is likely that there will be errors. Do not assume that spelling and grammar checkers will identify all mistakes as many incorrect words can indeed be spelt correctly (for example, when “their” is used instead of “there” or “principle” instead of “principal”) or entire words may be missing. If at all possible, take a break before re-reading and checking your writing as you are more likely to notice problems when you read it fresh.
Even if you know spelling and grammar rules, you should still double check your work since our brains tend to work faster than our fingers can type and accidental typographical errors inevitably creep in.
Improving Your Writing Skills
A trick to checking your work and improving your writing skills is to read your work aloud. Reading text forces you to slow down and you will pick up problems with the flow that your eye would otherwise skip over.
Another way to improve your writing skills is to read. However, the best way to improve is to write. Try writing practice pieces that you do not even need to show anyone else. As your confidence as a writer grows, you may feel happy to show your writing to friends or others and, when you do, ask for their honest feedback and constructive criticism. You might even find a friend or colleague willing to act as a writing mentor to work with you as your writing skills develop.
Positive thinking helps with stress management and can even improve your health. Practice overcoming negative self-talk with examples provided.
Is your glass half-empty or half-full? How you answer this age-old question about positive thinking may reflect your outlook on life, your attitude toward yourself, and whether you’re optimistic or pessimistic — and it may even affect your health.
Indeed, some studies show that personality traits like optimism and pessimism can affect many areas of your health and well-being. The positive thinking that typically comes with optimism is a key part of effective stress management. And effective stress management is associated with many health benefits. If you tend to be pessimistic, don’t despair — you can learn positive thinking skills. Here’s how.
Understanding positive thinking and self-talk
Positive thinking doesn’t mean that you keep your head in the sand and ignore life’s less pleasant situations. Positive thinking just means that you approach the unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst.
Positive thinking often starts with self-talk. Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head every day. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Some of your self-talk comes from logic and reason. Other self-talk may arise from misconceptions that you create because of lack of information.
If the thoughts that run through your head are mostly negative, your outlook on life is more likely pessimistic. If your thoughts are mostly positive, you’re likely an optimist — someone who practices positive thinking.
The health benefits of positive thinking
Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. Health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:
- Increased life span
- Lower rates of depression
- Lower levels of distress
- Greater resistance to the common cold
- Better psychological and physical well-being
- Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
It’s unclear why people who engage in positive thinking experience these health benefits. One theory is that having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on your body. It’s also thought that positive and optimistic people tend to live healthier lifestyles — they get more physical activity, follow a healthier diet, and don’t smoke or drink alcohol in excess.
Positive thinking: Reduce stress by eliminating negative self-talk
Identifying negative thinking
Not sure if your self-talk is positive or negative? Here are some common forms of negative self-talk:
- Filtering. You magnify the negative aspects of a situation and filter out all of the positive ones. For example, say you had a great day at work. You completed your tasks ahead of time and were complimented for doing a speedy and thorough job. But you forgot one minor step. That evening, you focus only on your oversight and forget about the compliments you received.
- Personalizing. When something bad occurs, you automatically blame yourself. For example, you hear that an evening out with friends is canceled, and you assume that the change in plans is because no one wanted to be around you.
- Catastrophizing. You automatically anticipate the worst. The drive-through coffee shop gets your order wrong and you automatically think that the rest of your day will be a disaster.
- Polarizing. You see things only as either good or bad, black or white. There is no middle ground. You feel that you have to be perfect or that you’re a total failure.
Focusing on positive thinking
You can learn to turn negative thinking into positive thinking. The process is simple, but it does take time and practice — you’re creating a new habit, after all. Here are some ways to think and behave in a more positive and optimistic way:
- Identify areas to change. If you want to become more optimistic and engage in more positive thinking, first identify areas of your life that you typically think negatively about, whether it’s work, your daily commute or a relationship, for example. You can start small by focusing on one area to approach in a more positive way.
- Check yourself. Periodically during the day, stop and evaluate what you’re thinking. If you find that your thoughts are mainly negative, try to find a way to put a positive spin on them.
- Be open to humor. Give yourself permission to smile or laugh, especially during difficult times. Seek humor in everyday happenings. When you can laugh at life, you feel less stressed.
- Follow a healthy lifestyle. Exercise at least three times a week to positively affect mood and reduce stress. Follow a healthy diet to fuel your mind and body. And learn to manage stress.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Make sure those in your life are positive, supportive people you can depend on to give helpful advice and feedback. Negative people may increase your stress level and make you doubt your ability to manage stress in healthy ways.
- Practice positive self-talk. Start by following one simple rule: Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to anyone else. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself. If a negative thought enters your mind, evaluate it rationally and respond with affirmations of what is good about you.
Here are some examples of negative self-talk and how you can apply a positive thinking twist to them.
|I’ve never done it before.||It’s an opportunity to learn something new.|
|It’s too complicated.||I’ll tackle it from a different angle.|
|I don’t have the resources.||Necessity is the mother of invention.|
|I’m too lazy to get this done.||I wasn’t able to fit it into my schedule but can re-examine some priorities.|
|There’s no way it will work.||I can try to make it work.|
|It’s too radical a change.||Let’s take a chance.|
|No one bothers to communicate with me.||I’ll see if I can open the channels of communication.|
|I’m not going to get any better at this.||I’ll give it another try.|
Practicing positive thinking every day
If you tend to have a negative outlook, don’t expect to become an optimist overnight. But with practice, eventually your self-talk will contain less self-criticism and more self-acceptance. You may also become less critical of the world around you. Plus, when you share your positive mood and positive experience, both you and those around you enjoy an emotional boost.
Practicing positive self-talk will improve your outlook. When your state of mind is generally optimistic, you’re able to handle everyday stress in a more constructive way. That ability may contribute to the widely observed health benefits of positive thinking.
First and foremost I would like to congratulate Chipolopolo for the stunning win at Levi Mwanawasa Stadium last Saturday; Am saying well done guys! The criticism that was imposed on the team prior to face Lesotho from the soccer fans was just okay. The funs know the potential of the Zambian team and if the team is not living according to its potential then funs have the right to come in and criticize it heavily.
Wining a team with that margin is superb; I mean it’s very encouraging to the players as well us, the funs. But we should not get carry away that we’ve got it all. In all honesty we cannot make a solid conclusion that our team is strong in just one match. There is need to work extra hard and keep focusing. The team must always have in mind tougher opponents in the likes of Brazil, German, USA, Germany and other World Cup material teams in mind when preparing. I am saying this because we have hope and chance of qualifying to the world cup.
Lesotho win is history now let’s forget it and focus on wining Sudan. It will be better to win this match by whatever margin but wining by a bigger margin will just add the needed confidence in our boys. Let’s approach the next game with all the seriousness and aggression it deserves. Then we can prepare to face Ghana to top the group as Ghana has all what it takes to qualify for the World Cup.
We need to improve with our tactics, ball control and composure, set pieces, let’s also train our boys psychologically because at this stage it’s not only skill and having good tactics but psychological fitness is needed to be examined provided that the last game will be played away from home. Otherwise I strongly feel we have not got it all but we are on the right track keep working hard guys.
- Chipolopolo win triggers jubilation (daily-mail.co.zm)
- Lesotho coach Leslie Notsi says Black Stars will not have it easy (spyghana.com)
In a game where more than four players are contenders for man of the match, Zambianfootball.co.zm takes a look at hoh the players fared.
Danny Munyao-6.5-Did not look fazed coming in for suspended Kennedy Mweene. It helps that in 2007 the Red Arrows goalkeeper was at the World Youth Championship in Canada. Munyao was getting into company he was familiar with and territory chartered by his mind. He dealt with everything thrown at him comfortably. In the second half, he got down very well to stop a low shot. He even lifted his right leg in showmanship. Munyao was that at home.
Davies Nkausu-6-The SuperSport Utd defender had a decent game. He was comfortable on the ball and superior in aerial tussles. Nkausu moved in front well too. He whipped in some wicked crosses in the Lesotho area. He looked what his potential demands.
Chisamba Lungu-7.8-Again deployed as a makeshift left back but passed with flying colours. The Russia based showed his sultry skills. He started from the back. Drifted into midfield when need arose. He was tight in the tackle. Until, he has a place in midfield, no one will complain if Chisamba continues to thrive in defensive positions. This time he did not take eternity on the ball but used it well. He provided an assist with a pin-point cross that Chris Katongo nodded home for Zambia’s second. When Fwayo Tembo came on, it was party time down that left flank.
Hichani Himoonde-6.5-He was the most experienced member of the back four. He mopped well. Himoonde’s criticism in the past was that he hides his deficiences in the injured Stophila Sunzu. But Himoonde despite not getting a lot of game time at his Congolese club Mazembe, showed he is his own man. Clinical both in the air and on the ground. Assured performance.
Kondwani Mtonga-6.5-Converted from his holding role in his club football to central defence just like the newly enamored Sunzu he replaced. The Zesco Utd skipper gave a performance that left doubting pundits purring with satisfaction. He looked slow but commanding. Never really tested one on one, but Mtonga headed well, cleared his lines smartly and moved the ball upfield brilliantly. This performance will stand Mtonga in good stead against a much stronger Sudan.
Nathan Sinkala-8.2-Every time Nathan Sinkala is given full marks comparisons with his more illustrious elder brother Andrew who turned out for European champions and treble winners Bayern Munich abound. Nathan has come out from the shadows of his Germany based sibling. It helps that Nathan comes from a family that breathes football. His dad Moffat Mutambo was a general of the game. Nathan was masterful here. His mixed it up. Guile, vision, sometimes keeping it simple but effective. Given that the opposition was limp, I may over exaggerate just how good Sinkala was, but he was superb.
Mukuka Mulenga-8.5-my joint man of the match alongside Jacob Mulenga. Football was called the beautiful game because of its ability to thrill. Mulenga embodied that. He was exciting to watch. On the back foot, he looked tactically sound, on the front foot, Lesotho wished he the Power Dynamos play maker had not been born. He was a constant threat threading seamless passes and quick change of pace on two legs that looked like powered by subsided fuel. If scouts watching at Estadio de la Levy they could have fallen over each other scrambling for Mukuka’s signature particularly on his second half showing. Did somebody say Rainford Kalaba was missed? Mukuka is here.
Noah Chivuta-6-A surprise starter that did not cover himself in glory. Chivuta is a committed worker with a lovely sweet left foot. But his best days look like are now in the archives.His passing was erratic and had to be substituted by Fwayo Tembo. Why Herve Renard decided to play with a handbrake by starting Chivuta as a deep lying midfielder with Sinkala-effectively duo defensive midfielders against such modest opposition beats the mind. Overall, he whipped in a drew balls for Mbesuma and Jacob
Chris Katongo-7.6-the captain’s best game in Chipolopolo colours since the 1-0 win over Ghana at this same stadium. He was lively through-out. No doubt Katongo has been a hardworker even when his performances have plummeted but this is the sort of performance that earned him the vote for 2012 Africa BBC player of the year. He scored an excellent header and set up the opening goal and was everywhere. If Chris had been playing like this no sane fan can call for his retirement. Keep the levels high Katongo!
Collins Mbesuma-7-Not his best match. The Orlando Pirates born again striker is slim by his huge frame body structure and was full of endeavour without threatening as well as he can. He got a poacher’s goal with his left foot after a rebound from substitute James Chamanga’s excellent work. Moments later Mbesuma could have had a brace but planted the ball over the bar when it looked easier to hit the net on 87 minutes.
Jacob Mulenga-8.5-definite most valuable player on the pitch. He was almost ostracized after the disastrous 2013 AfCON outing. When played in the centre-his favourite position-and not the flanks-Mulenga showed his quality. His first goal was classic. As good as a goal one can see anywhere in world football. The Utrecht star now the all-time Zambia goal scorer surpassing the great Kalusha Bwalya, received the ball from the ingenious Katongo. With his back leaning on the last Lesotho defender, Mulenga unleashed an unstoppable bicycle kick that flew in the net. The floodgates opened on forty minutes. The second was a good shot in the area in a melee. Doubter ate humble pie. Subbed late on but that hardly mattered, the lad coveted by Spanish La Liga teams had spoken on the pitch.
Fwayo Tembo-7-The Romania based showed he can be and should have been a starter in this match. He litterally took over the right flank with strong movement and dribbling. It looked like Fwayo was given the freedom to frequent and bamboozle Lesotho. One can only fathom his impact had he had played from the first whistle. Fwayo is direct. The lethargic first half cried for players to take the game to Lesotho not making sideward passes and fluffing passes!
Bornwell Mwape-too late to classify but had two good chances to write his name on the score sheet. A good move to play him even if it was a cameo. His confidence will soar.
James Chamanga-7- in that one move that saw him round the keeper and rattle the post the China export showed he has plenty to offer yet. Even if I had expected to see Emmanuel Mayuka who is the future, and not Chamanga, who is nearing his past, the Lusaka groomed justified his selection. It was a tough one considering that Mayuka had arrived earlier in camp but Chamanga has been in a rich goal scoring form in China.
Herve Renard-8-The Frenchman, Africa Cup winner 2012, eased pressure on himself after some indifferent run of results lately. This is win ranks among his best as Zambia boss. I was surprised with the cautious approach of playing the defensive minded Chivuta ahead of Tembo.
The first half was not so good as a result-Renard. But credit for converting Mtonga. The former Ghana assistant coach-or physical trainer- is superb at this. He turned Sunzu into a world class defender. Not Mtonga is the next in line from the Frenchman’s factory.
The subs were spot on this time. Now football is a pressure game. Criticism will come in the wake of poor results. Take it on the chin and respond with results like the 4-0 win over Lesotho. Even the very best in the business “Big Phil” Luis Scolari is lampooned in Brazil when the World Cup winner shows indecision in team selection and poor man-management.
That is the nature of the game. Zambians love Renard and respect his getting the first and only major trophy in the Africa Cup. Let the high standards be maintained starting with Sudan this Saturday and then getting a result in Kumasi against Ghana. World Cup qualification is in within sight especially if Zambia plays as well as the second half against hapless and little Lesotho.
The 43 year old Showed loads of love in training to players he retained in camp. That was cardinal. Moral was high. Not being austere all the time. Crucially, playing Jacob Mulenga in a central attacking position. That was the difference between the Afrisports groomed in Utrecht and Chipolopolo colours. It was like seeing Jacob Mulenga at Angola 2010. Let Renard smile a bit now. He did his job and Zambia is happy. Merci.
Fans -9-Special mention of the fans who turned up and supported the team. First class. More against Sudan. Estadio de la Levy must be made a hostile hunting grou
Zambia national soccer team has been shaping up and intensified its training ahead of this weekend’s crunch encounter against Group D basement side Lesotho.
Though Lesotho are considered as one of the Southern Africa minnows wise, their back to back home draws with Sudan and Zambia, has again brought out a common footballing niche ‘there are no smaller teams.’
But the perception in the Copperbelt headquarters Ndola City is different. Zimandolans as the people from the quiet Zambia’s third largest city are called is different.
Rambling around from Broadway to President Avenue in town then to Itawa and Chifubu, and finally Kansenshi townships, one can notice the belief in most Chipolopolo faithful.
The fans have been bubbling with confidence when asked to predict the final score line.
“4-0 to Zambia,” was the response of a barber man earlier on Thursday morning.
Another fan said, “Boss, It’s Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.” The atmosphere inside the Stadium is nothing compared to what the Lesotho players are used to.
“For those who have watched games from that Stadium, they attest to the fact there’s a funny echo. And that will be the weapon because when we scream from the first to final whistle, they will think it’s 80,000 fans. I don’t know how the Chinese did on that echo but it makes the atmosphere incredible,” he added.
Heading inside Shoprite, one is greeted to morale boasting songs. From Sakala brothers’ ‘Puteni Ichimwela’ song featuring the legendary commentator Dennis Liwewe to Mozegater’s ‘Are you ready boys?
The boss has been relaxed the whole week and looks ready for the clash
What about Tribal Cousins’ Chipolopolo 2000? And Mimbulu family’s Vuvuzela? They all played and one had to delay shopping and wondered around so that all the songs are played and luckily it ended with Kopala finest and their own Mark 2’s ‘Vikamo Ichimwela’ with the ‘feeling feeling’ instrumental.
‘Mu goal muli Ba Mwine ba Mweene……Kalaba talaba efimweba Renard.’ Unfortunately both Kennedy Mweene and Rainford Kalaba are out through suspension and injury respectively.
After Shoprite, one jumps on a taxi and the man on the wheel predicts another emphatic victory but he is not too sure with what is happening in the goalkeeping department.
Key men: Kalaba and Mweene are out while Fwayo will be playing his first match at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium
“I hear Titima has been recalled but the other ones I don’t know them.
And when asked about his preferred choice, the taxi driver responded, “I don’t know. For the goalkeepers, we are praying they do a good job.
Then comes the prediction for the goal scorers, many as expected and if you are betting man, put your man on Collins Mbesuma. That’s the message from the host fans –Zimandola faithful.
At this hour, It’s all systems go, full support and not time to point fingers or find faults. It’s Zambia’s maiden appearance at a FIFA World Cup at stake. Fans and all stakeholders have to be united and rally behind the Copper Bullets.
While many international pundits have already earmarked the final Group D clash in Kumasi between the 2012 African Champions Zambia and the Black Stars of Ghana as the match to decide the destiny, it is this sort of matches which shape destiny.
Ghana have a tricky tie away in Khartoum and the Sudanese are not pushovers at home. A draw in Khartoum and a win for Zambia tomorrow will be enough to keep the nation’s dream.
US spy chief James Clapper has strongly defended government surveillance programmes after revelations of phone records being collected and internet servers being tapped.
He said disclosure of a secret court document on phone record collection threatened “irreversible harm”.
Revelations of an alleged programme to tap into servers of nine internet firms were “reprehensible”, he said.
Internet firms deny giving government agents access to their servers.
The director of US national intelligence issued a strong-worded statement late on Thursday, after the UK’s Guardian newspaper said a secret court order had required phone company Verizon to hand over its records to the National Security Agency (NSA) on an “ongoing daily basis”.
That report was followed by revelations in both the Washington Post and Guardian that US agencies tapped directly into the servers of nine internet firms to track people in a programme known as Prism.
- The numbers of both people on the phone call
- How long the call lasts
- The time that the call is placed
The reports about Prism will raise fresh questions about how far the US government should encroach on citizens’ privacy in the interests of national security.
The NSA confirmed that it had been secretly collecting millions of phone records. But Mr Clapper said the “unauthorized disclosure… threatens potentially long-lasting and irreversible harm to our ability to identify and respond to the many threats facing our nation”.
The article omitted “key information” about the use of the records “to prevent terrorist attacks and the numerous safeguards that protect privacy and civil liberties”.
He said reports about Prism contained “numerous inaccuracies”. While admitting the government collected communications from internet firms, he said the policy only targets “non-US persons”.
‘Variety of threats’
Prism was reportedly developed in 2007 out of a programme of domestic surveillance without warrants that was set up by President George W Bush after the 9/11 attacks.
Prism reportedly does not collect user data, but is able to pull out material that matches a set of search terms.
Mr Clapper said the communications-collection programme was “designed to facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning non-US persons located outside the United States”.
I may have been wiretapped
In 2006 I was a plaintiff in an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against the government over a domestic spying programme. Other plaintiffs include the late Christopher Hitchens, and James Bamford, the author of a book, The Shadow Factory, about the NSA.
The lawsuit stated that NSA officials may have eavesdropped on us illegally – and that the warrantless wiretapping programme should come to a halt. In 2007 an appeals court said that we could not prove that our calls had been monitored. As a result it did not have standing. The suit was dismissed.
“It cannot be used to intentionally target any US citizen, any other US person, or anyone located within the United States,” he added.
Mr Clapper said the programme, under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, was recently reauthorised by Congress after hearings and debate.
“Information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable foreign intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats,” he added.
But while US citizens were not intended to be the targets of surveillance, the Washington Post says large quantities of content from Americans are nevertheless screened in order to track or learn more about the target.
The data gathered through Prism has grown to become a major contributor to the president’s daily briefing and accounts for almost one in seven intelligence reports, it adds.
The Washington Post named the nine companies participating in the programme as Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple.
Microsoft said in a statement to the BBC that it only turned over customer data when given a legally binding order, and only complied with orders for specific accounts.
“If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don’t participate in it,” Microsoft said.
Meanwhile, Yahoo, Apple and Facebook said they did not give the government direct access to their servers.
In a statement, Google said: “Google does not have a ‘back door’ for the government to access private user data.”
On Wednesday, it emerged that the NSA was collecting the phone records of tens of millions of Americans, after the Guardian published a secret order for the Verizon phone company to hand over its records.
A senior congressman, House intelligence committee chairman Mike Rogers, told reporters that collecting Americans’ phone records was legal, authorised by Congress and had not been abused by the Obama administration.
He also said it had prevented a “significant” attack on the US “within the past few years”, but declined to offer more information.
The order requires Verizon – one of the largest phone companies in the US – to disclose to the NSA the metadata of all calls it processes, both domestic and international, in which at least one party is in the US.
Such metadata includes telephone numbers, calling card numbers, the serial numbers of phones used and the time and duration of calls. It does not include the content of a call or the callers’ addresses or financial information.
Chipolopolo midfielder Rainford Kalaba this morning successfully underwent a Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI scan on his injured right calf.
Kalaba who has been ruled out of Saturday’s game due to injury was released from the national team camp to allow him travel to Lusaka to under go the scan so as to determine the extent of his injury.
FAZ communications manager Eric Mwanza confirmed the development but could not give further details on the results of the scan.
Kalaba has been out of action for over three weeks and it remains to be seen if he will recover in time for the Sudan game which will be played next week in Ndola.
The petit midfielder who was voted as Africa’s second best player based in Africa is one of the 3 key Zambian players who will miss Saturday’s match. The other two are defence kingpin Stoppila Sunzu and shot stopper Kennedy Mweene who have both been ruled out due to injury and suspension respectively.
The Crocodiles travel to face the Chipolopolo this Saturday in the crucial game in Ndola.
Zambia desperately need a win to remain in pole position to pick the sole qualification slot in Group D.
The former African champions lead by just a point going into this weekend’s round of games.
But Lesotho coach Notsi believes his team is ready to cause another major upset which will help Ghana who would have played against Sudan by the time Zambia lines up against Lesotho.
“We are prepared for the game on Saturday and at the same time we are aware that it is going to be a tough encounter. But I believe my boys are physically and mentally ready for the game,” Notsi said.
“Last Sunday we had an international friendly against South Africa which we lost but there are very good attributes that we got from the match.
“Playing against Zambia is a motivation for us smaller upcoming footballing countries and because of that motivation we are here to win.
“We are not here to fulfill this fixture; we are here to compete. If we work hard enough hopefully we will be able to surprise the Chipolopolo.”
Ghana’s World Cup qualification non-negotiable –
Nyantakyi Posted On Thursday, 6th June 2013 By
Ameenu Shardow- Ghana FA boss Kwasi Nyantakyi insists a Black Stars win in the remaining 2014 World Cup qualifiers leading to qualification is non-negotiable. Ghana will play the first of a double-header qualifier this month against Sudan on Friday. The Black Stars will then travel to Maseru the week after to face Lesotho before returning home in September to play Zambia. Ghana currently trail Zambia in Group D by a point with three games left. And the Ghana FA boss has emphasized the importance of picking all three points in the remaining games to keep the Black Stars on track for a third successive World Cup appearance in Brazil. “We are battle ready to confront the Sudanese tomorrow Friday 7th of June,” Nyantakyi said. “We are very determined to ensuring we win this game because there is no alternative to any score line we will record than to win this game. “It is very important in order to keep us on course to qualifying to the next World Cup in Brazil. “We have to win against Sudan, we have to win against Lesotho, we have to win against Zambia. “There is no dispute, there is no negotiation about what we expect to achieve.” http://www.ghanasoccernet.com/black-stars-world-cup-qualification-non-negotiable-nyantakyi/