Valuing Vs. Recognizing Employees}

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Submitted by: Andrea Watkins

There is currently a lot of talk about recognition. A Google search on Employee Recognition churns out more than 900,000 hits. Recognition is one of those principles of people management that we are routinely reminded about, and frankly, should be reminded about, because it can always be done better and more often.

The best organizations spend a substantial amount of money and resources on their recognition program. One only needs to look at the number of Google hits to see how many are related to employee awards and services being sold. Despite these investments, employees don’t necessarily feel they are being recognized for great work.

One of the more common inquiries on employee engagement surveys is some variation of, “I receive recognition when I do good work.” The norm score across industries and countries for this question is about 55 percent favorable. Meaning, on average, about half of all employees feel they are appropriately recognized. At the best companiesthe top 10 percentthe score is about 66 percent favorable, not overly impressive when these companies have favorable scores in the 80 to 90 percent range in a number of other areas.

Compare this to the inquiry, “I feel valued as an employee of this company,” which is much less frequently asked (indicating that many organizations don’t even see the value in asking about employees feeling valued). The average score here is 41 percent favorable, with 32 percent marking an unfavorable response. In other words, on average, less than half of the employees in a typical organization feel valued as an employee and one-third actively believe they aren’t valued.

These findings also indicate that there is a difference between recognizing and valuing employees. As a whole, organizations are especially weak in creating an environment where employees truly feel valued.

This is more than a difference in semantics; it’s a difference in experience. Recognition is the identification or acknowledgement of something. When we recognize employees, we acknowledge that they are doing good work and letting them know we appreciate their efforts. Recognition is typically tied to what we donot who we are.

Valuing is about appreciating the worth of something (someone) and of esteeming something (someone) highly. When we value employees, we appreciate them for who they are and what they bring to the organization. We acknowledge them not merely for tasks, but for the deeper intrinsic worth they add to the organization by just being there.

Recognizing an individual means successfully completing a project. Valuing someone is letting him or her know that you are glad he or she is on the team and that things wouldn’t be as good without them.

Research from several Kenexa clients that have included both value and recognition items in their surveys shows that, in general, valuing employees appears to be a driver of engagement (and often the top driver) more often than recognizing their efforts. In a limited sample of companies, feeling valued showed up as a driver 85 percent of the time, whereas recognition of efforts emerged only 30 percent of the time. Feeling valued seems to reflect a broad core of what people are looking for in an engaging work experiencethat is, a primary element that connects people to their organization and motivates is a strong sense of feeling valued and appreciated. Recognition is important, but is more likely to be seen as a singular experience (event driven) than sustained (environment driven).

The two are interactive, however. Organizations that had high scores on valuing employees had higher scores on recognizing employees. But recognizing efforts didn’t always translate to people feeling valued.

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Looking at dysfunctional organizations, one characteristic that emerges for some is rote recognition. These companies recognize people for anything and everything with no real purpose or thought behind it. It is as if someone was told, “recognition equals engagement” and so he or she just ran around patting everyone on the back saying “good job” regardless of the real effort or accomplishment achieved. This underscores the importance of showing your people you value, not just recognize, them.

Recognition without value, over time, will make the recognition hollow. It turns something that should be satisfying and special to employees into something rote and meaningless. Furthermore, without valuing employees, organizations fall into a dangerous zone where they fail to treat and see employees as people.

Valuing others isn’t a leadership thing, it’s a people thing, and it is probably the people thing that the majority of us cherish the most. If you think back to a moment in your life when you felt special and appreciated, it’s most likely a time when you were being valued in some way.

Creating Value and Recognition

Looking across eight companies of different sizes and industries, the following common behaviors emerged that promote higher ratings of value and recognition and form part of a strong http://www.kenexa.com/ : Human Resources Management strategy.

To Make Employees Feel Valued:

Encourage involvementactively solicit people’s thoughts.

Recognize real contributionswhen someone does something exceptional, let them know.

Allow open expressionlet people feel free and safe to express their opinions, even if they are not consistent with leadership views.

Show respecttreat people as you want to be treateddon’t yell, belittle, trivialize, patronize or deceive.

Empower decision makinggive people input into the decisions that affect their work the mostmake them a part of the decision making process.

Discuss expectations and responsibilitylet people know how to add value to their job and success to the organization.

Encourage growth and developmentactively work to help strengthen the skill set of your employees and find ways to enhance their personal and professional growth.

Be fairhave transparent and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employee_evaluation : employee evaluation and promotion practices.

Explain why they are importantdiscuss how one’s role and contributions fit into the overall success of the company.

Explain rather than tellavoid dictating change and process to employees; let them understand the reasons behind things.

Talk to themincrease leadership visibility and one-on-one discussions with employees at all levels; help people feel that they are more than just a cog in the machine.

To Recognize Employees:

Identify outstanding customer servicewhether it is internal or external, give praise when a customer was served in an extraordinary way.

Look at team performancedon’t focus solely on individual contributions, but also note how team efforts contributed to overall success.

Train supervisorsday-to-day recognition can be expressed effectively by immediate supervisors, but make sure they know how to give recognition appropriately.

Encourage initiative and risk takingwhen an employee tries something new or takes charge of something, encourage him/her and provide support.

Ensure job performance and pay are linkedpeople should feel that the effort they put forth is reflected in their pay.

Be transparent and fairlet people know why others are receiving recognition or promotion opportunities and avoid favoritism.

Build a culture of celebration over competitionencourage everyone to celebrate an individual’s or team’s success

We can all do a better job of valuing those around us and improving employee retention. For those doing the valuing, it’s not only rewarding, it’s where you feel the most vulnerable. This is why we don’t do it as often as we should. Instead, we censor ourselvesfearing our comments might be used against us. In most cases, it’s not a warranted fear, and the gains far outweigh any potential risk in making one’s deep appreciation of others known.

As you go through your recognition rituals, take a few moments to show those around you how you value them. Maybe it’s because they make you feel good, or you learn something new from them every day, or they are warm to those around them, or they have the knack of diffusing tension in difficult situations, or they take care of the small stuff so you don’t have to. There are a million reasons to value others. Enough, in fact, to value others throughout the year, not just during year-end holidays.

About the Author: Andrea Watkins writes articles for Kenexa, a leader in

Human Resources Management

that delivers a competitive and cost-effective edge when hiring. Kenexa develops a range of employee evaluation tests to help organizations improve

Employee evaluation

rates.

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Adam Air hits severe financial problems; may be shut down in three weeks

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Indonesian budget airline Adam Air has been given a three-week ultimatum by the authorities to prove its economic stability or its license will be revoked, said Transportation Minister Jusman Djamal. This is because major financial difficulties have become apparent today, with two major shareholders pulling out of the company.

PT Global Transport Service (GTS) and Bright Star Perkasa, who between them own a 50% stake in the company, have decided to sell back all their shares to their original owners, who control the other 50%. These are the family of founder Adam Suherman and Sandra Ang.

The companies invested in the airline last year, when the company was struggling after the New Year’s Day disappearance of Adam Air Flight 574 with 102 on board. The Boeing 737 (B737) was ultimately determined to have crashed into the sea near Sulawesi, and all on board are presumed dead. Shortly afterwards, Adam Air Flight 172, another B737, snapped in half during a hard landing, but held together preventing fatalities. These were not the first serious accidents for the company, as in February 2006 Flight 782 became lost for several hours after navigation systems failed and the plane entered a radar blackspot, forcing a subsequent emergency landing many miles from the intended route. The given reasons for the withdrawal are a lack of improvement in safety and financial irregularities.

The company has now also defaulted on debt payments to aircraft lease firms, resulting in 12 of their 22 planes being seized, and has cut the number of routes served from 52 to 12. The remaining ten planes are also in default and at risk of seizure. Adam Air owes leasing companies US$14 million compared to free capital of $4.8 million of free capital. They have agreed to buy back shares gradually for $11 million (100 billion rupiah), $6 million less than the investment firms paid for them. The cost difference will be borne by Harry Tanoesoedibyo’s family, the founder of PT Bhakti Investama, of which GTS is a wholly owned subsidiary. The companies have also lost 157 billion rupiah worth of investment in the company since the April 2007 deal. 9,325 Rupiah are currently worth US$1.

GTS director Gustiono Kustianto said that “Since we joined, our priority has been safety” but that Adam Air’s management had been unresponsive to pressure from the new investors to improve its poor record. Last weeek another company B737 shot off the runway during landing, damaging the plane and injuring five.

Lawyer Marx Andryan of Hotman Paris Hutapea, representing the investment firms, said they have documents proving the company has not adequatly seen to pilot recruitment, maintenance and insurance.

Suherman said “We have defaulted and the investors have done nothing about it. We’ll continue to operate as long as we have planes,” adding that there are no current plans to declare bankruptcy.

“Out of 22 planes, now we only have 10 because 12 of them have been declared in default. The other 10 have been declared in default as well, but I’m still trying to work out a way to restructure the payments,” he told Reuters. He went on to say that a cash injection is required, and that “There is a possibility starting on March 21 Adam Air will temporarily cease operations until there is a decision from the shareholders regarding the insurance premium.”

Rugby Union: Ballymore Cup North Queensland carnival

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Rockhampton Grammar School, Townsville Grammar School and St. Augustine’s College (Cairns) played the North Queensland Carnival as part of the Ballymore Cup quarter finals this past weekend. Rockhampton Grammar School won the final and will play Siena Catholic College in the semi final.

The Ballymore Cup is a state wide Rugby Union competition in the Australian state of Queensland. Schools participating in the Greater Public Schools (GPS) competition do not compete in the Ballymore Cup.

Mackay representative Whitsundays Anglican School did not participate as they could not field a suitable team.

Rockhampton Grammar School 22 – 0 Townsville Grammar School
Townsville Grammar School 15 – 12 St. Augustine’s College
Rockhampton Grammar School 29 – 5 St. Augustine’s College

The two grammar schools qualified for the Ballymore Cup North Queensland carnival final after both teams defeated St. Augustine’s College from Cairns. Townsville Grammar were the better of the two defeating Rockhampton Grammar 22 points to zero, then St. Augustine’s 15 points to 12. Rockhampton Grammar finished the round robin stage by defeating St. Augustine’s 29 points to five.

Rockhampton Grammar School 14 – 5 Townsville Grammar School

Rockhampton Grammar qualified for the Ballymore Cup semi final against Siena Catholic College after defeating Townsville Grammar 14 points to five.

China delays newest rocket design to 2014

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

China has confirmed that the newest generation of Long March rockets has been re-scheduled to enter use in 2014.

Liang Xiaohong, Vice President of China’s Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, also confirmed that the Changzheng 5 design was built around pollution-free technologies.

The rocket has been under development since 2002, and was initially said to require only six years’ research. However the new design, which will allow more than twice the payload of previous models, has seen a number of delays in funding and development.

Due to the large size of the new rockets, a new 200-hectare launch centre has been under construction at the existing Wenchang Satellite Launch Center since September.

Until then, China is relying on its older fleet of rockets to carry on its space program, consisting of more than ten launches scheduled for this year. This month a CA-3a rocket will take a Beidou navigation system into Medium Earth Orbit.

Energy Saving Tips: Green Living Within Your Means

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By Melanie Broemsen

With high gas prices and global warming on many people’s minds, consumers are looking for ways they can participate in energy conservation and reduce their carbon footprint. And while you may not be ready to buy a Toyota Prius or install solar panels in your home, there a number of everyday things you can do to adopt a green living lifestyle and contribute to energy conservation.

Learn how to be eco friendly and protect the environment without breaking the bank with these 10 Energy Saving Tips..

— Think green and plant trees [link to: NW Am. Forests page]. If you’re wondering how to be eco-friendly, one of the best – and greenest – ways is to plant trees around your yard or office. Trees are inexpensive, require little maintenance and act as filters by constantly removing air pollution from the atmosphere.

— Recycle. Recycling is still one of the most effective ways to reduce waste and lessen demand for the use of new natural resources. A growing number of communities now offer the service for free or little charge and have recycling drop-off centers that are easy to access.

— Compost your fruit/vegetable scraps. Scraps like melon rinds, banana peels, carrot scrapings, apple cores and tea bags are wonderful for composting. The average kitchen produces over 200 pounds of waste annually, and by composting, you’ll reduce waste and create wonderfully nitrogen-rich soil for your garden

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— Shop at a farmers market instead of a chain grocery store. Buying locally helps energy conservation because it uses less fuel to get food to market. Added green living benefits include fewer pesticides used due to shorter time from farm to table, all while supporting the local economy.

— Fly less. Airline flights account for an estimated 10 percent of all greenhouse gases. Encourage energy saving methods at your work by taking advantage of videoconferencing or telecommuting if the business situation permits.

— Take advantage of public transportation or carpooling. The fuel you’ll conserve will add less CO2 to the environment and keep more dollars in your wallet.

— Become an energy efficient home. Install energy saving light bulbs and low flow shower heads in your home. You’ll save energy and your energy conservation efforts will results will be reflected in your bill.

— Learn how to be eco-friendly in your home. Use eco-friendly cleaning products around the house and yard. The price difference is minimal and many of the eco-friendly products have been shown to clean just as well as their less-green counterparts. Instead of cleaning with paper towels, get into the routine of using old towels, t-shirts or rags to save on additional waste.

— Buy reusable shopping bags. Considering your energy saving efforts, you should no longer ask yourself the question of ‘paper or plastic.’ Canvas totes are now widely available at most grocery stores and are cheap, sturdy alternatives to traditional shopping bags.

— Green living and green entertaining. When the next opportunity to entertain presents itself, whether it be a family function, backyard BBQ or dinner party, use real plates, cups and silverware. You’ll reduce waste and create a more hospitable environment for your guests.

Regardless of your current green living status, these helpful tips on how to be eco friendly can help protect the environment without breaking the bank and can be easily applied to your daily routine. Start slow and try adopting a new energy saving method each month and the results will be gratifying.

About the Author: Learn more about

homeowners insurance

, energy saving tips and creating an energy efficient home at the

property resource center

at

Nationwide Insurance

.

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Chef who appeared on Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Kitchen Nightmares’ commits suicide

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Joseph Cerniglia, a chef who had appeared on Gordon Ramsay’s television show Kitchen Nightmares, has commited suicide. Cerniglia was the owner of Italian restaurant Campania. He jumped off a bridge into the Hudson river on the New York–New Jersey border. At the time of filming in 2007, Cerniglia owed suppliers $80,000.

Officials reported that 39-year-old Cerniglia had jumped off of the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson. His death has officially been ruled as suicide. His body was retrieved from the river after reports of a man jumping off of the bridge.

Ramsay released a statement to the Press Association saying “I was fortunate to spend time with Joe during the first season of Kitchen Nightmares. Joe was a brilliant chef, and our thoughts go out to his family, friends and staff.”

Cerniglia told Ramsay about his personal debt when he came to the restaurant in 2007. He said “I am financially in trouble. The debt of the restaurant alone is overwhelming. My personal debt — wife, kids, mortgage — that’s a lot of debt”.

OpenSync Interview – syncing on the free desktop

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Friday, May 19, 2006

This interview intends to provide some insight into OpenSync, an upcoming free unified data synchronization solution for free software desktops such as KDE, commonly used as part of the GNU/Linux operating system.

Hi Cornelius, Armin and Tobias. As you are now getting close to version 1.0 of OpenSync, which is expected to become the new synchronisation framework for KDE and other free desktops, we are quite interested in the merits it can provide for KDE users and for developers, as well as for the Open Source Community as a whole. So there’s one key-question before I move deeper into the details of OpenSync:

What does OpenSync accomplish, that no one did before?

Cornelius:

First of all it does its job of synchronizing data like addressbooks and calendars between desktop applications and mobile devices like PDAs and cell phones.
But the new thing about OpenSync is that it isn’t tied to a particular device or a specific platform. It provides an extensible and modular framework that is easy to adopt for application developers and people implementing support for syncing with mobile devices.
OpenSync is also independent of the desktop platform. It will be the common syncing backend for at least KDE and GNOME and other projects are likely to join. That means that the free desktop will have one common syncing solution. This is something really new.

How do the end-users profit from using synching solutions that interface with OpenSync as framework?

Cornelius:

First, the users will be able to actually synchronize all their data. By using one common framework there won’t be any “missing links”, where one application can sync one set of devices and another application a different one. With OpenSync all applications can sync all devices.
Second, the users will get a consistent and common user interface for syncing across all applications and devices. This will be much simpler to use than the current incoherent collection of syncing programs you need if you have more than the very basic needs.

How does OpenSync help developers with coding?

Cornelius:

It’s a very flexible and well-designed framework that makes it quite easy for developers to add support for new devices and new types of data. It’s also very easy to add support for OpenSync to applications.
The big achievement of OpenSync is that it hides all the gory details of syncing from the developers who work on applications and device support. That makes it possible for the developers to concentrate on their area of expertise without having to care what’s going on behind the scenes.
I have written quite a lot of synchronization code in the past. Trust me, it’s much better, if someone just takes care of it for you, and that’s what OpenSync does.

Tobias:

Another point to mention is the python wrapper for opensync, so you are not bound to C or C++, but can develop plugins in a high level scripting language.

Why should producers of portable devices get involved with your team?

Cornelius:

OpenSync will be the one common syncing solution for the free desktop. That means there is a single point of contact for device manufacturers who want to add support for their devices. That’s much more feasible than addressing all the different applications and solutions we had before. With OpenSync it hopefully will become interesting for manufacturers to officially support Linux for their devices.

Do you also plan to support applications of OpenSync in proprietary systems like OSX and Windows?

Cornelius:

OpenSync is designed to be cross-platform, so it is able to run on other systems like Windows. How well this works is always a question of people actually using and developing for this system. As far as I know there isn’t a real Windows community around OpenSync yet. But the technical foundation is there, so if there is somebody interested in working on a unified syncing solution on Windows, everybody is welcome to join the project.

What does your synchronisation framework do for KDE and for KitchenSync in particular?

Cornelius:

OpenSync replaces the KDE-specific synchronization frameworks we had before. Even in KDE we had several separate syncing implementations and with OpenSync we can get replace them with a common framework. We had a more generic syncing solution in KDE under development. This was quite similar from a design point of view to OpenSync, but it never got to the level of maturity we would have needed, because of lack of resources. As OpenSync fills this gap we are happy to be able to remove our old code and now concentrate on our core business.

What was your personal reason for getting involved with OpenSync?

Cornelius:

I wrote a lot of synchronization code in the past, which mainly came from the time where I was maintaining KOrganizer and working on KAddressBook. But this always was driven by necessity and not passion. I wanted to have all my calendar and contact data in one place, but my main objective was to work on the applications and user interfaces handling the data and not on the underlying code synchronizing the data.
So when the OpenSync project was created I was very interested. At GUADEC in Stuttgart I met with Armin, the maintainer of OpenSync, and we talked about integrating OpenSync with KDE. Everything seemed to fit together quite well, so at Linuxtag the same year we had another meeting with some more KDE people. In the end we agreed to go with OpenSync and a couple of weeks later we met again in Nuernberg for three days of hacking and created the KDE frontend for OpenSync. In retrospect it was a very pleasant and straightforward process to get where we are now.

Armin:

My reason to get involved (or better to start) OpenSync was my involvement with its predecessor Multisync. I am working as a system administrator for a small consulting company and so I saw some problems when trying to find a synchronization solution for Linux.
At that point I joined the Multisync project to implement some plugins that I thought would be nice to have. After some time I became the maintainer of the project. But I was unhappy with some technical aspects of the project, especially the tight coupling between the syncing logic and the GUI, its dependencies on GNOME libraries and its lack of flexibility.

Tobias:

Well, I have been a KDE PIM developer for several years now, so there was no way around getting in touch with synchronization and KitchenSync. Although I liked the idea of KitchenSync, I hated the code and the user interface […]. So when we discussed to switch to OpenSync and reimplementing the user interface, I volunteered immediately.

Can you tell us a bit about your further plans and ideas?

Cornelius:

The next thing will be the 1.0 release of OpenSync. We will release KitchenSync as frontend in parallel.

Armin:

There are of course a lot of things on my todo and my wishlist for opensync. For the near future the most important step is the 1.0 release, of course, where we still have some missing features in OpenSync as well as in the plugins.
One thing I would really like to see is a thunderbird plugin for OpenSync. I use thunderbird personally and would really like to keep my contacts up to date with my cellular, but I was not yet able to find the time to implement it.

Tobias:

One thing that would really rock in future versions of OpenSync is an automatic hardware detection mechanism, so when you plugin your Palm or switch on your bluetooth device, OpenSync will create a synchronization group automatically and ask the user to start syncing. To bring OpenSync to the level of _The Syncing Solution [tm]_ we must reduce the necessary configuration to a minimum.

What was the most dire problem you had to face when creating OpenSync and how did you face it?

Cornelius:

Fortunately the problems which I personally would consider to be dire are solved by the implementation of OpenSync which is well hidden from the outside world and [they are] an area I didn’t work on 😉

Armin:

I guess that I am the right person to answer this question then 🙂
The most complicated part of OpenSync is definitely the format conversion, which is responsible for converting the format of one device to the format that another device understands.
There are a lot of subsystems in this format conversion that make it so complex, like conversion path searching, comparing items, detection of mime types and last but not least the conversion itself. So this was a hard piece of work.

What was the greatest moment for you?

Cornelius:

I think the greatest moment was when, after three days of concentrated hacking, we had a first working version of the KDE frontend for OpenSync. This was at meeting at the SUSE offices in Nuernberg and we were able to successfully do a small presentation and demo to a group of interested SUSE people.

Armin:

I don’t remember a distinct “greatest moment”. But what is a really great feeling is to see that a project catches on, that other people get involved, use the code you have written and improve it in ways that you haven’t thought of initially.

Tobias:

Hmm, also hacking on OpenSync/KitcheSync is much fun in general, the greatest moment was when the new KitchenSync frontend synced two directories via OpenSync the first time. But it was also cool when we managed to get the IrMC plugin working again after porting it to OpenSync.

As we now know the worst problem you faced and your greatest moment, the only one missing is: What was your weirdest experience while working on OpenSync?

Cornelius:

Not directly related to OpenSync, but pretty weird was meeting a co-worker at the Amsterdam airport when returning from the last OpenSync meeting. I don’t know how high the chance is to meet somebody you know on a big random airport not related at all to the places where you or the other person live, but it was quite surprising.

Tobias:

Since my favorite language is C++, I was always confused how people can use plain C for such a project, half the time your are busy with writing code for allocating/freeing memory areas. Nevertheless Armin did a great job and he is always a help for solving strange C problems 🙂

Now I’d like to move on to some more specific questions about current and planned abilities of OpenSync. As first, I’ve got a personal one:

I have an old iPod sitting around here. Can I or will I be able to use a program utilizing OpenSync to synchronize my calendars, contacts and music to it?

Cornelius:

I’m not aware of any iPod support for OpenSync up to now, but if it doesn’t exist yet, why not write it? OpenSync makes this easy. This is a chance for everybody with the personal desire to sync one device or another to get involved.

Armin:

I dont think that there is iPod support yet for OpenSync. But it would definitely be possible to use OpenSync for this task. So if someone would like to implement an iPod plugin, I would be glad to help 🙂

Which other devices do you already support?

Cornelius:

At this time, OpenSync supports Palms, SyncML and IrMC capable devices.

Which programs already implement OpenSync and where can we check back to find new additions?

Cornelius:

On the application side there is support for Evolution [GNOME] and Kontact with KitchenSync [KDE] on the frontend side and the backend side and some more. I expect that further applications will adopt OpenSync once the 1.0 version is released.

Armin:

Besides kitchensync there already are a command line tool and a port of the multisync GUI. Aside from the GUIs, I would really like to see OpenSync being used in other applications as well. One possibility for example would to be integrate OpenSync into Evolution to give users the possibility to synchronize their devices directly from this application. News can generally be found on the OpenSync web site www.opensync.org.

It is time to give the developers something to devour, too. I’ll keep this as a short twice-fold technical dive before coming to the takeoff question, even though I’m sure there’s information for a double-volume book on technical subleties.

As first dive: How did you integrate OpenSync in KitchenSync, viewed from the coding side?

Cornelius:

OpenSync provides a C interface. We wrapped this with a small C++ library and put KitchenSync on top. Due to the object oriented nature of the OpenSync interfaces this was quite easy.
Recently I also started to write a D-Bus frontend for OpenSync. This also is a nice way to integrate OpenSync which provides a wide variety of options regarding programming languages and system configurations.

And for the second, deeper dive:

Can you give us a quick outline of those inner workings of OpenSync, from the developers view, which make OpenSync especially viable for application in several different desktop environments?

Cornelius:

That’s really a question for Armin. For those who are interested I would recommend to have a look at the OpenSync website. There is a nice white paper about the internal structure and functionality of OpenSync.

Armin:

OpenSync consists of several parts:
First there is the plugin API which defines what functions a plugin has to implement so that OpenSync can dlopen() it. There are 2 types of plugins:
A sync plugin which can synchronize a certain device or application and which provides functions for the initialization, handling the connection to a device and reading and writing items. Then there is a format plugin which defines a format and how to convert, compare and detect it.
The next part is a set of helper functions which are provided to ease to programming of synchronization plugins. These helper functions include things like handling plugin config files, HashTables which can be used to detect changes in sets of items, functions to detect when a resync of devices is necessary etc.
The syncing logic itself resides in the sync engine, which is a separate part. The sync engine is responsible for deciding when to call the connect function of a plugin, when to read or write from it. The engine also takes care of invoking the format conversion functions so that each plugin gets the items in its required format.
If you want more information and details about the inner workings of OpenSync, you should really visit the opensync.org website or ask its developers.

To add some more spice for those of our readers, whose interest you just managed to spawn (or to skyrocket), please tell us where they can get more information on the OpenSync Framework, how they can best meet and help you and how they can help improving sync-support for KDE by helping OpenSync.

Cornelius:

Again, the OpenSync web site is the right source for information. Regarding the KDE side, the kde-pim@kde.org mailing list is probably the right address. At the moment the most important help would be everything which gets the OpenSync 1.0 release done.
[And even though] I already said it, it can’t be repeated too often: OpenSync will be the one unified syncing solution for the free desktop. Cross-device, cross-platform, cross-desktop.
It’s the first time I feel well when thinking about syncing 😉.

Armin:

Regarding OpenSync, the best places to ask would be the opensync mailing lists at sourceforge or the #opensync irc channel on the freenode.net servers.
There are always a lot of things where we could need a helping hand and where we would be really glad to get some help. So everyone who is interested in OpenSync is welcome to join.

Many thanks for your time!

Cornelius:

Thanks for doing the interview. It’s always fun to talk about OpenSync, because it’s really the right thing.

Armin:

Thank you for taking your time and doing this interview. I really appreciate your help!

Tobias:

Thanks for your work. Publication and marketing is something that is really missing in the open source community. We have nice software but nobody knows 😉

Further Information on OpenSync can be found on the OpenSync Website: www.opensync.org


This Interview was done by Arne Babenhauserheide in April 2006 via e-mail and KOffice on behalf of himself, the OpenSource Community, SpreadKDE.org and the Dot (dot.kde.org). It was first published on the Dot and is licensed under the cc-attribution-sharealike-license. A pdf-version with pictures can be found at opensync-interview.pdf (OpenDocument version: opensync-interview.odt)

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

News briefs:June 10, 2010

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What To Look For When Shopping For A New Wooden Coffee Table}

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What To Look For When Shopping For A New Wooden Coffee Table

by

Annie Thompson

No longer just another piece of a furniture set, coffee tables are a unique and interesting way to accent your living room or den. Because of this, think about your family’s lifestyle before choosing your new wooden coffee table. Here are a few things to make sure you keep in mind when searching for your new piece of furniture.

To start with, what are you using it for the most? A piece used to display some picture frames or kept clear is different than the one that always has coloring books and DVDs sitting on it. While some coffee tables never have drinks resting on them (at least, not without coasters), some are used as makeshift dining tables. So have a good idea of what your new table will have to withstand before you start choosing designs and styles.

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Next, pay attention to how you decorate your home. Is your home decorated with a certain theme? You may love a modern table, but a rustic coffee table would better suit your home’s country theme. If your living room tends to be dark, light colored furniture will bring a bit of light to its surroundings. But if you have a very traditional style, your room would look best with a dark wooden coffee table. Of course, it’s up to you which design you will choose, but if you keep with the style in the rest of your home, you will be happier with your table in the long run.

Lastly, what’s the best size for you and your family? Usually around 18″ high, coffee tables can be a bit higher or lower. If you usually eat off of it, you may want a higher one. The general rule to follow is to keep your table’s height about even with or a couple of inches lower than the sofa or the chair seats.

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What To Look For When Shopping For A New Wooden Coffee Table }

Latest trial of the One Laptop Per Child running in India; Uruguay orders 100,000 machines

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

India is the latest of the countries where the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) experiment has started. Children from the village of Khairat were given the opportunity to learn how to use the XO laptop. During the last year XO was distributed to children from Arahuay in Peru, Ban Samkha in Thailand, Cardal in Uruguay and Galadima in Nigeria. The OLPC team are, in their reports on the startup of the trials, delighted with how the laptop has improved access to information and ability to carry out educational activities. Thailand’s The Nation has praised the project, describing the children as “enthusiastic” and keen to attend school with their laptops.

Recent good news for the project sees Uruguay having ordered 100,000 of the machines which are to be given to children aged six to twelve. Should all go according to plan a further 300,000 machines will be purchased by 2009 to give one to every child in the country. As the first to order, Uruguay chose the OLPC XO laptop over its rival from Intel, the Classmate PC. In parallel with the delivery of the laptops network connectivity will be provided to schools involved in the project.

The remainder of this article is based on Carla G. Munroy’s Khairat Chronicle, which is available from the OLPC Wiki. Additional sources are listed at the end.

Contents

  • 1 India team
  • 2 Khairat
    • 2.1 The town school
  • 3 The workplace
  • 4 Marathi
  • 5 The teacher
  • 6 Older children, teenagers, and villagers
  • 7 The students
  • 8 Teacher session
  • 9 Parents’ meetings
  • 10 Grounding the server
  • 11 Every child at school
  • 12 Sources
  • 13 External links

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