ISO standards help develop new toilet technology that will save millions of lives

New ISO International Standard for revolutionary sanitation systems launched at the Reinvented Toilet Expo, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, held in Beijing today.

“International Standards are key to the progression of new sanitation technology and developing an industry that saves lives,” said ISO Secretary-General Sergio Mujica at the Reinvented Toilet Expo held today in Beijing, China. Mujica was speaking on a high-level panel as part of the opening plenary that featured Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Dr Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank, as well as other leading representatives from industry and government.

The panel, which is part of the three-day Reinvented Toilet Expo summit, discussed commitments to non-sewered sanitation and actions required to develop the industry, including standardization. Reinvented toilet technology is all about stand-alone sanitation systems that safely treat waste without the need to be connected to a traditional sewerage system. It is designed to revolutionize the lives of billions of people around the world who lack sufficient clean sanitation systems, saving lives and improving well-being.

Keynote speaker Bill Gates said: “This expo showcases, for the first time, radically new and pilot-tested approaches to sanitation that will provide effective alternatives for collecting, managing and treating human waste. The technologies you’ll see here are the most significant advances in sanitation in nearly two hundred years.”

This technology can be supported and further developed with the launch of the world’s first dedicated International Standard. ISO 30500Non-sewered sanitation systems – Prefabricated integrated treatment units – General safety and performance requirements for design and testing, provides safety and performance requirements that will not only enable their effective manufacture, but the development of the sector as a whole.

Read more here

By Clare Naden

 

 

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ISO 50001:2018 – Energy Management Systems

What is this standard about?

ISO 50001 helps organizations use energy more efficiently and integrate better energy management into business strategy.  It does this by outlining how to implement and maintain an energy management system (EnMS) that continually improves the organization’s energy performance and saves money.

Who is this standard for?

It’s for use by any organization, regardless of its type, size, complexity, geographical location, organizational culture or the products and services it provides. Specifically, the standard will be used by:

  • Any organization wanting to improve energy management to reduce costs and carbon emissions
  • Any organization wishing to implement an energy management system
  • Those who want to develop a deeper understanding of internationally recognized best practice for energy management
  • Users of ISO 14001 who would like to develop their energy management systems

Why should you use this standard?

Implementing an EnMS provides a systematic approach necessary to continually improve energy performance. Once in place, an EnMS enables an organization to set and achieve objectives and energy targets, take action to improve its energy performance and benefit from efficiency and costs savings as a result.

It will help organizations to reduce energy costs, grow more sustainably, become more resilient and comply with legislation.The standard:

  • Applies to activities affecting energy performance that are managed and controlled by the organization
  • Applies irrespective of the quantity, use, or types of energy consumed
  • Requires demonstration of continual energy performance improvement but does not define levels of energy performance improvement to be achieved
  • Can be used independently, or be aligned or integrated with other management systems

What’s changed since the last update?

This revision incorporates ISO’s new high-level structure (HLS) of terms, definitions and headings, thus bringing the 2018 standard into line with the other key management systems standards. It makes this version compatible and easier to integrate with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, which are now also in the ‘HLS’ format.

Other key changes and benefits include:

  • A stronger emphasis on the responsibility of leadership
  • Clarification of key concepts related to energy performance
  • Improved sections on data collection and normalization
  • Additional minor revisions reflecting seven years of using the standard in the real world

ISO 50001 Guide

This free guide is aimed at decision-makers and senior managers.  It outlines key aspects of the energy management standard and how it can benefit your organization and help transform how you manage energy. Get free download.

 

For more information contact the International Organization for Standardization.  If you are in Jamaica you may visit the Bureau of Standards Jamaica.  If you are in England, please contact the British Standards Institute.

The BSJ Launches Online Learning Platform!

The Online Learning Platform of the Bureau of Standards Jamaica is nearing its completion, with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Training set to be the first course offered on this new platform. The move by the organization to offer online training will be followed shortly by the BSJ’s E-Commerce website, for purchasing standards.

After GMP Online, the following courses are expected to follow suit:

  • HACCP Training
  • Understanding & Interpreting ISO 9001:2015
  • Quality Management System
  • Food Safety Management System
  • Occupational Health & Safety Management System
  • Foundation ISO 18001 – Occupational Health and Safety

The platform will give greater freedom to the customer, who would have the opportunity to be a part of these training programmes at their own convenience. It is surely a major breakthrough for the Bureau of Standards Jamaica, as we look to give our customers and prospective customers the tools to achieve excellence.

 

 

Free Open Source – Part 1

Free Open Source Software

Since the invention of the computer, humans have become dependent on the internet and software/applications. Buying software can be expensive, especially for persons who need access to multiple software to do a particular job.  With free open source software, the cost to do your job is drastically minimized.  Below are a few software you can use:


Software Description

 

GIMP

Gimp is a powerful image editing software and is a free alternative to Adobe Photoshop.

Download

INKSCAPE

Inkscape is a free multiplatform vector drawing software and is widely used by graphic designers for custom logo designs or vector drawings. Inkscape is a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator.

Download

XMIND

With Xmind you can create your own flow charts, and organization charts. Useful for your everyday meetings.

Download

OpenOffice

OpenOffice is a free alternative to Microsoft Office suite. The powerful all-in-one  software enables you to create and edit your documents.

Download

LibreOffice

LibreOffice is a productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and GNU/Linux. It is a free alternative to the Microsoft Office Suite providing document production and data processing.

Download

CamStudio

Create your own video tutorials in a flash using this awesome screen recording software.

Download

PSPP

PSPP is a free alternative to SPSS. Perform descriptive statistics, run T-test, linear  regression and more. Designed to perform analysis as fast as possible.

Download

Organize and manage your projects using openproj. This is a free alternative to Microsoft Projects.

Download

LimeSurvey Using Limesurvey is a very easy and exciting way to create and upload online surveys using its built in PHP functions. Questionnaires are created with just the click of a button.

Download

Call for Experts to Building and Associated Materials Technical Committee

The Bureau of Standards Jamaica announces a call for experts to provide technical support to the Building and Associated Materials Technical Committee.

 

Scope of work:

 

The Committee is mandated to adopt, adapt international standards and review Jamaican standards relating to the construction industry for the purpose of ensuring that industry practices are aligned with international best practice and reflect the parameters that are applicable to Jamaica.

 

Eligibility requirements:

 

Interested persons should have extensive knowledge and experience in the construction industry, especially related to Structural Steel and Treated Lumber.

 

Interested persons are invited to contact Mrs. Sherieka Satchell-Knight at

Tel: (876) 632-4275, (876) 618-1534 ext. 3221, (876) 303-0818 or via email at ssatchell@bsj.org.jm

6 Essentials To Adulting After High School

If you are about to leave high school or you’ve already graduated, you need to get these six essential items, as they are critical to ‘adulting’. This is the number one channel for tons of great life skills information and advice. Here you will find life hacks and tips that will get you ahead. If this is your first time, thanks for dropping by.

Craig McNally maybe contact via email @ thetalktank@gmail.com

Jamaica Customs Integrating Business Processes

Chief Information Officer of the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) Andre Williams (left) and Acting Operations Manager, JCA, Owen Gayle, observe data on a laptop in the JCA’s server room. The JCA is implementing the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), a web-based system designed to transform the agency to a paperless operation through the use of electronic documents.
Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson

A wide cross-section of entities are making it easier for Jamaicans  to receive the products and services they need in the most cost effective and less troublesome way.

This change is quietly taking place at the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) where the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), a web-based system designed to transform the agency to a paperless operation through the use of electronic documents has been rolled out.  Full implementation of ASYCUDA is expected to be completed in March 2016.

The new automated system is in keeping with the Government’s strategy to improve trade facilitation and service delivery in customs administration and when completed will see customs declarations, shipping manifests as well as accounting procedures, and transit and suspense procedures all being conducted electronically.

The system is being implemented through a US$4 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Customs Broker, Junior Waugh, who has been using ASYCUDA since its pilot phase in December 2014, said he is pleased with the new processes being implemented.  He noted that the system is no longer paper-based and customs brokers do not have to print multiple forms to file declarations.

“So that is considered savings on our part and the importers as well,” he said. It is mandatory for all cargo agents, including Freight Forwarders, Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers (NVOCCs) and Sub-Agents who submit advance cargo information to do so using the ASYCUDA world system.

“It is a good thing. It is basically what one would expect in 2016 for us to be working in a smarter environment…to use information technology to guide the process,” Mr. Waugh told JIS News during an interview.

He noted that during the initial roll-out, some brokers have had challenges connecting to the system and filling out their documents.

“From time to time, the complaints that we get from individual brokers, sometimes they are not able to go on, but in talking to JCA we realized that we have a number of issues, in terms of the connectivity, in terms of the band width that we get from our Internet service providers,” he said, adding that some of these problems are being remedied.

“It’s a new thing and one would expect that you will have some teething pains. The teething pains are there and they are real but based on discussions, I am confident that they will get it right,” he added.

Mr. Waugh who is also President of the Jamaica Society of Customs Brokers said  since the roll out, training sessions have been organized for custom brokers in Kingston and Montego Bay.

“They had a train-the-trainer initially for the customs brokers to train other customs brokers …but since the roll out they have had sessions with custom brokers to re-sensitise them on the whole ASYCUDA System,” he said, adding that the brokers were brought up-to-speed with the changes and improvements made to the system after the initial training was done about a year ago.

He said that members of the Society who are having challenges will be monitored “in terms of getting them up-to-speed with the new system.”

“It [The system] has improved and trust me if we can save time in our business, time is really money and so it should be a win for everyone,” he added.

Chief Information Officer of JCA, Andre Williams said the system has eliminated the use of paper, which has reduced the processing and waiting times at various stages and has resulted in cost saving.

“Based on the number of yearly transactions, where it concerns exports and commercial imports, there is a saving of $66 million per year just for the purchasing of forms,” he informed.

“There is greater efficiency, transparency and accountability on the part of our business partners as well as the JCA [because] there is an immediate electronic submission of the declaration and supporting documents,” he continued.

The Chief Information Officer said ASYCUDA has allowed the JCA to be fully integrated with the Tax Administration of Jamaica (TAJ) and receiving “real time Tax Registration Number and Tax Compliance Certificate data.”

“We have also been transferring motor vehicle details to the Automated Motor Vehicle System by TAJ, so once the vehicle has been cleared of all liabilities to the agency and to the port, that information is relayed in real time to TAJ for the registration of the vehicle,” he added.

The data from ASYCUDA is also being used by the Island Traffic Authority to issue fitness certificates for motor vehicles, as well as by the Ministry of Finance and Planning and the Statistical Institute of Jamaica.

In addition, once a licence, certificate or permit has been issued by the Trade Board Limited or other bodies, including the Ministries of Health and Agriculture, the data that has been placed by them on their E-Trade System is automatically sent to ASYCUDA, eliminating the need for physical documentation and therefore allowing for the quick approval of declarations for processing.

As it continues to improve its business processes, the JCA will also be introducing an Electronic Single Administrative Document, which will integrate all forms currently used at the agency.

Commissioner of Customs and JCA Chief Executive Officer, Major (Ret’d) Richard Reese, said the form, which is being tested, allows for all the various types of entries to be made.

“In the past, we would have had a specific form for specific transactions. This combines all those forms into an electronic entry and [allows] you [to] select from a menu,” he explained, adding that the single form will save millions of dollars for the agency as well as its clients.

Under the ASYCUDA project, Major Reese said the JCA has completed implementation of the export and import modules for sufferance wharves. Additionally, he said the import module for personal shipments in Kingston and Montego Bay has been implemented.

“We will also be implementing the import module for commercial shipments, the incentive module and also the permits and licences. So at the end of the implementation programme all aspects of Customs operations will be fully automated and all payments, of course, will be electronic or by cash,” he added.

Since January 4, the JCA had mandated that all personal shipments will require the use of the ASYCUDA World System island wide.

“What this entails is the loading of that information by the various carriers whether by air or sea and the consolidators, so we will have that information in advance and when individuals come to clear their shipments it will make the process even faster,” he said, noting that personal shipments are being cleared within an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and 20 minutes.

“So that in itself is evidence of the level of efficiency when we compare to earlier periods when persons would travel to the warehouses or the ports and expect to spend a day or at least a half-a-day,” he said.

Changes at the JCA are being monitored under the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation Programme designed to support the government’s priorities of improving ‘ease of doing business’ and public sector efficiency. Acting Principal Director, Public Sector Modernisation Programme Implementation, Cabinet Office, Wayne Robertson, said the Office has been working with all the entities that are involved in trade.

“We are currently working with the World Bank in terms of building out a sustainable programme of facilitating trade and we are not just looking at public sector entities, but also private partners and so all the entities that are involved in trade we work with them,” he said.

Mr. Robertson continued: “We are looking at how we can improve import and export service provision to MSMEs (Micro Small and Medium Size Enterprises) and so rather than making 10 stops, we are saying, listen, you need to make one stop.” He stated that one stop shop facilities will not only be implemented in the Kingston Metropolitan area but also in the second city, Montego Bay.

By

(Source: JIS)

Windows 10 Available on July 29

Yes! Finally. I have been waiting too long for this. I reserved my copy this morning!

Microsoft announced today that it will release Windows 10 on July 29.

The OS will be available as a free upgrade to all licensed Windows 7 and 8.1 users.

Windows 10 will feature Microsoft’s voice assistant Cortana, the company’s all-new Edge Web browser and will run on desktops as well as tablets and phones.
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Blog post by the Windows Team:

Today, I’m excited to share the availability date for Windows 10. In fact, I thought I’d let Cortana, the world’s most personal digital assistant, share the news. You can ask Cortana for the answer! You can ask Cortana for the answer, or if you don’t have a Windows phone or a PC running the Windows 10 Insider Preview handy – you can hear it for yourself here:

Through the feedback and testing of over four million Windows Insiders, we’ve made great progress on Windows 10 and we’re nearly ready to deliver this free upgrade to all of our Windows customers*.

Do Great Things with Windows 10

We designed Windows 10 to create a new generation of Windows for the 1.5 billion people using Windows today in 190 countries around the world. With Windows 10, we start delivering on our vision of more personal computing, defined by trust in how we protect and respect your personal information, mobility of the experience across your devices, and natural interactions with your Windows devices, including speech, touch, ink, and holograms. We designed Windows 10 to run our broadest device family ever, including Windows PCs, Windows tablets, Windows phones, Windows for the Internet of Things, Microsoft Surface Hub, Xbox One and Microsoft HoloLens—all working together to empower you to do great things.

Familiar, yet better than ever, Windows 10 brings back the Start menu you know and love. Windows 10 is faster than ever before, with quick startup and resume. And Windows 10 provides the most secure platform ever, including Windows Defender for free anti-malware protection, and being the only platform with a commitment to deliver free ongoing security updates for the supported lifetime of the device.

1

We’ve designed Windows 10 to help you be more productive and have more fun, with a range of innovations**:

  • Cortana, the world’s first truly personal digital assistant helps you get things done. Cortana learns your preferences to provide relevant recommendations, fast access to information, and important reminders. Interaction is natural and easy via talking or typing. And the Cortana experience works not just on your PC, but can notify and help you on your smartphone too.

Cortana in Windows 10

  • Microsoft Edge, is an all-new browser designed to get things done online in new ways, with built-in commenting on the web – via typing or inking — sharing comments, and a reading view that makes reading web sites much faster and easier. With Cortana integrated, Microsoft Edge offers quick results and content based on your interests and preferences. Fast, streamlined and personal, you can focus on just the content that matters to you and actively engage with the web.

Inking on websites in Microsoft Edge

  • Office on Windows: In addition to the Office 2016 full featured desktop suite, Windows 10 users will be able to experience new universal Windows applications for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, all available separately. These offer a consistent, touch-first experience across a range of devices to increase you productivity. Designed from the ground up to run on Windows 10, you can easily create and edit Word documents, and deliver PowerPoint presentations while annotating on the fly. With new touch-first controls in Excel you can create or update spreadsheets without a keyboard or mouse. You will also be able to enjoy new versions of OneNote and Outlook, which are included with Windows 10 at no additional cost.
  • Xbox Live and the integrated Xbox App bring new game experiences to Windows 10. Xbox on Windows 10 brings the expansive Xbox Live gaming network to both Windows 10 PCs and tablets. Communicate with your friends on Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One – while playing any PC game. You can capture, edit and share your greatest gaming moments with Game DVR, and play new games with friends across devices. You can play games on your PC, streamed directly from your Xbox One console to your Windows 10 tablets or PCs, within your home. Games developed for DirectX 12 in Windows 10 will see improvements in speed, efficiency and graphics capability.
  • New Photos, Videos, Music, Maps, People, Mail & Calendar apps have updated designs that look and feel familiar from app to app and device to device.  You can start something on one device and continue it on another since your content is stored on and synched through OneDrive.

Photos app in Windows 10

  • Windows Continuum enables today’s best laptops and 2-in-1 devices to elegantly transform from one form factor to the other, enabling smooth transitions of your tablet into a PC, and back. And new Windows phones with Continuum can be connected to a monitor, mouse and physical keyboard to make your phone work like a PC.
  • Windows Hello, greets you by name and with a smile, letting you log in without a password and providing instant, more secure access to your Windows 10 devices. With Windows Hello, biometric authentication is easy with your face, iris, or finger, providing instant recognition.
  • Windows Store, with easy install and uninstall of trusted applications, supported by the broadest range of global payment methods.

In addition to these innovations, we will continue to update Windows 10 over time with new innovations to help you be more productive and have more fun. Like Windows 10 itself, these updates will be free for the supported lifetime of your device.

You can see these features in action in this video.

Get Ready for Windows 10

On July 29, you can get Windows 10 for PCs and tablets by taking advantage of the free upgrade offer, or on a new Windows 10 PC from your favorite retailer. If you purchase a new Windows 8.1 device between now and then, the Windows 10 upgrade will be available to you and many retail stores will upgrade your new device for you.

The Windows 10 upgrade is designed to be compatible with your current Windows device and applications*. We are hard at work to make this upgrade process a great experience. You can reserve your free Windows 10 upgrade now through a simple reservation process. Look for this icon in your system tray at the bottom of your screen, simply click on the icon, and then complete the reservation process. You can find more details on how this works at Windows.com.

Reserve your Windows 10 upgrade

Thank you for choosing Windows. We are designing it for you, so you can be more secure, more productive, have more fun.

Terry

* Initial release will be for PC and tablets. See Windows.com/windows10upgrade for availability and other details.

** Specific features may not be available in certain markets, some features require specified hardware, and Continuum for phone available on select premium models at launch.  More details at Windows.com/windows10specs and xbox.com/windows-10.

Why Microsoft is calling Windows 10 'the last version of Windows'

“Right now we’re releasing Windows 10, and because Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we’re all still working on Windows 10.” That was the message from Microsoft employee Jerry Nixon, a developer evangelist speaking at the company’s Ignite conference this week. Nixon was explaining how Microsoft was launching Windows 8.1 last year, but in the background it was developing Windows 10. Now, Microsoft employees can talk freely about future updates to Windows 10 because there’s no secret update in the works coming next. It’s all just Windows 10. While it immediately sounds like Microsoft is killing off Windows and not doing future versions, the reality is a little more complex. The future is “Windows as a service.”

IT’S ALL ABOUT WINDOWS AS A SERVICE

Microsoft has been discussing the idea of Windows as a service, but the company hasn’t really explained exactly how that will play out with future versions of Windows. That might be because there won’t really be any future major versions of Windows in the foreseeable future. Microsoft has altered the way it engineers and delivers Windows, and the initial result is Windows 10. Instead of big releases, there will be regular improvements and updates. Part of this is achieved by splitting up operating system components like the Start Menu and built-in apps to be separate parts that can be updated independently to the entire Windows core operating system. It’s a big undertaking, but it’s something Microsoft has been actively working on for Windows 10 to ensure it spans across multiple device types.

While we’ll witness the results in the coming months, Microsoft is already in launch mode for a number of its apps and services that power Windows 10. The software company is testing preview builds of Window 10 with willing participants, and apps like Xbox and Mail have been engineered for regularly monthly updates. Even Office for Windows 10 will also get regular updates, much like a mobile version, instead of the big bang release every few years.

WINDOWS ISN’T DEAD, BUT THE IDEA OF VERSION NUMBERS COULD BE

When I reached out to Microsoft about Nixon’s comments, the company didn’t dismiss them at all. “Recent comments at Ignite about Windows 10 are reflective of the way Windows will be delivered as a service bringing new innovations and updates in an ongoing manner, with continuous value for our consumer and business customers,” says a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. “We aren’t speaking to future branding at this time, but customers can be confident Windows 10 will remain up-to-date and power a variety of devices from PCs to phones to Surface Hub to HoloLens and Xbox. We look forward to a long future of Windows innovations.”

With Windows 10, it’s time to start thinking of Windows as something that won’t see a big launch or major upgrade every few years anymore. Much like how Google’s Chrome browser gets updated regularly with version numbers nobody really pays attention to, Microsoft’s approach will likely result in a similar outcome. This is really the idea of Windows as a service, and the notion that Windows 10 could be the last major version of Windows. Microsoft could opt for Windows 11 or Windows 12 in future, but if people upgrade to Windows 10 and the regular updates do the trick then everyone will just settle for just “Windows” without even worrying about the version number.

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