CAC Secures $14 Million in Redress for Consumers

first_imgThe Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) secured over $14 million on behalf of aggrieved consumers during the 2012/13 financial year, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dolsie Allen, has disclosed.In an interview with JIS News, Mrs. Allen said that the sum was for the settlement of 1,607 of 1,782 complaints received, representing a 90 per cent resolution rate.She noted that the most frequent complaints filed were in the categories of electrical equipment and appliances, accounting for 30 per cent of the total and utilities, representing close to 11 per cent.As it relates to electrical equipment and appliances, the CEO urged persons to be mindful of illegitimate vendors selling substandard products.“One of the problems is that persons buy from vendors that are not really established and there is a challenge in terms of getting redress…so we are encouraging persons that whenever possible, check the appliance before you leave the store or point of purchase to ensure that the item is working and if possible, get somebody to go with you who might be knowledgeable about these items,” Mrs. Allen advised.She added that consumers need to ask relevant questions especially as it relates to the warranty, exchange and return policies of vendors, which are all critical when consumers seek some form of redress.“Once you are purchasing items especially electrical appliances and gadgets or any high value product, you must ensure that you have your warranty document in place. If it is not given to you, ask for it and ensure to get it in writing, whether it is noted on your receipt or a separate document,” Mrs. Allen advised.She noted that if this is not provided, the CAC, through the Consumer Protection Act, can impose a six-month warranty period.According to Mrs. Allen, the purchase of motor vehicles is another category, which continues to be of great concern to the CAC, with over 80 complaints still outstanding for the past financial year.“We are encouraging persons that whenever you are purchasing a motor vehicle, you do all the due diligence and try to get all the information you possibly can, including the model and year of the vehicle,” she stated.The CEO urged consumers to be more responsible in their purchasing decisions, especially on high value investments such as motor vehicles and stressed the need for a certified or experienced mechanic to be present during the time of transaction and/or purchase, to assess the vehicle and identify any existing problems or defects.In terms of outreach and public education initiatives, the CAC was involved in some 314 activities islandwide, directly reaching over 74,000 persons for the period under review.The CAC has pledged its commitment to keep consumers informed about their rights and responsibilities and assist them in obtaining redress when necessary.The CAC is the national agency responsible for consumer advocacy. It was established to promote fair and honest business practices, by investigating alleged violations of consumer protection laws, taking legal action to stop unfair or deceptive practices in the marketplace, and educating consumers and businesses regarding their respective rights and obligations.For further information on consumer-related issues or queries, persons may contact the CAC at 978-4998, or visit their website: www.cac.gov.jm or facebook page, www.facebook.com/cac.gov.jm.Contact: Kadian Brownlast_img read more

Another Independent Publisher Burned by Photo Mishap

first_imgThat didn’t do much to sway readers, who feel passionately about the topic and understandably felt fleeced. On Monday, VegNews issued a full apology, saying “With regard to our use of symbolic imagery in VegNews, our readers got it right. We wholeheartedly apologize. We assure you that we will never again use non-vegan photographs in VegNews.” The publishers say they will also build a vegan photo data bank. “To give you some background, 95 percent of all photos in VegNews are indeed vegan,” associate publisher Colleen Holland told FOLIO:. “In the rare situations that we’ve had to make the tough call on using a non-vegan stock image, we’ve taken it very seriously. We exhaust all of our possible options, and ensure that a vegan version looks exactly the same or better than the image we’re really considering using. It really is a last resort at that point.” In one example, VegNews photoshopped a plate of barbecue ribs to make them look like their vegan counterpart. “This was an 11th hour decision after an exhaustive photo search,” says Holland. “It was a singular case, we knew the vegan version looked exactly the same, and the photo used in the magazine was 2×2 inches. That was an absolute anomaly and something we didn’t do before or since. It goes without saying that our goal has always been to have 100 percent vegan photography.”That said, “We never expected this reaction,” says Holland. “And had we ever felt that readers would be so strongly opposed to the practice, we wouldn’t have done it. But our readers spoke and we listened, and they are happy we’re figuring out a way to increase the number from 95 percent to 100 percent.”   Photoshop controversies are nothing new among magazines, usually in the context of some celebrity digitally shaving a pound or ten for a cover shoot. Last week VegNews, an independent vegan magazine, was called out by a blogger for using stock images of dishes with meat and other non-vegan recipes, sometimes photoshopping out the offending images. “We’ve always been fans of VegNews, since back in the mid-2000s when we’d wait with bated breath for the US Mail to deliver our copy,” the blogger writes. “We’d eagerly flip through, reading all about the latest veg stuff, salivating over the amazing pictures, trying out a vegan recipe, and maybe even discovering a restaurant in our home town through one of their reviews. It’s sad, then, that the pictures we’ve been drooling over for years are actually of MEAT! Veg News has written tens (possibly hundreds) of articles extolling the virtues of a vegan lifestyle, while purchasing rock-bottom priced stock photos of MEAT, EGGS, DAIRY and other completely non-vegan things.”The magazine’s initial response was that it was “deeply saddened with the dialogue” that transpired and explained that the photos were a necessary evil. “VegNews is a privately owned, independent publication with no funding or investors,” the publishers replied. “Publishing a magazine is extremely costly-with exorbitant costs for printing, postage, paper and production. . .Yes, from time to time, after exhausting all options, we have resorted to using stock photography that may or may not be vegan.” Getting a magazine out as an independent publisher these days is no small feat, but there’s no excuse for deliberately putting one past your audience; just as there is no excuse for lifting someone else’s work (which Countryside Publications was accused of last year for running photos without permission; or the infamous Cook’s Source, which did the same with content). No matter how tight things get, you can’t do it in the first place. And if you do, in these days of the long tail and readers having their own voices, you’re not going to get away with it forever.On the VegNews Facebook page, readers are split in their reaction, with most seeming to accept the apology, while a minority staunchly reject it. The brand is likely to lose some readers, but overall the magazine probably won’t be hurt too bad because it owned up. As a business, VegNews could be an inspiration to smaller publishers. What started with an investment of $3,000 in 2000 has grown to a company with more than $2 million in revenue and a readership of more than 1 million per month. At FOLIO:, we even recognized them with an Eddy Award for their Web site earlier this year. Everybody is cutting corners these days; but go too far, and both publisher and reader end up the losers.last_img read more

Will Virat Kohli drop Rohit Sharma Big changes expected for 3rd T20I

first_imgThe series triumph in Florida has given Indian team the cushion to try new faces for the third T20I in Guyana, said captain Virat Kohli. The selectors have included a number of young players in the squad, forcing Kohli to make a couple of decisions. On the face of it, Rohit Sharma could be rested because he has been on the move for almost six months. A break is also not expected to hinder with his imperious form. The decision will also allow KL Rahul to be slotted back as the opener in the format which he has dominated.Dhawan needs to find form Twitter/Cricket World CupShikhar Dhawan could be given another game as the left-hander is trying to hit his stride and find form ahead of the ODI series. Kohli could rest Manish Pandey and give Shreyas Iyer a go as both the players will form an important cog in India’s middle-order. Iyer has been in good form and this is when he should be tested out.Rishabh Pant has only underperformed in two matches so far. But since he is the only primary wicket-keeper in the squad, he could get in another game and perhaps, could be bumped up the other to find some form. Rishabh PantAlbert Perez/Getty ImagesAs far as the bowling attack is concerned, Bhuvneshwar Kumar could be rested because he is a proven performer. This opens the door for Deepak Chahar. The fast bowler was a bank for MS Dhoni in the IPL and after a horrendous debut, this could be his chance to stake a claim for more opportunities.The management could also rest Ravindra Jadeja and hand a debut to young Rahul Chahar as his wrist spin needs to be tested. The series is sealed and Jadeja has been consistent all the while. Thus, there is an opportunity to give Rahul Chahar a go.Krunal Pandya has shown great promise in the two matches so far and hence, the management should be confident of him shouldering the responsibility of the primary all-rounder in the side. This will also allow Krunal to be more expressive when he comes out to bat.last_img read more

Karaoke bar blaze kills 15 in central Myanmar

first_imgAt least 15 people have died after a fire ripped through a karaoke bar in central Myanmar, trapping revellers inside singing rooms filled with poisonous smoke.Eleven men and four women died when the blaze consumed the top floor of the Shwe Myat Min Thamee KTV bar in the town of Magway, northwest of the capital Naypyidaw, on Sunday night.A local fire official said the electrical system had apparently overheated and set fire to the sound-proof lining inside the singing rooms.”All those killed were inside KTV rooms at the time … It seems the wires became hot and started burning the foam,” Magway region fire department director Aung Win Sein told AFP on Monday.The four women who were killed were all said to be workers at the bar.Police have opened two cases against the bar owner for negligence.Karaoke bars are popular in Myanmar, where many also serve as fronts for illegal brothels.last_img read more

Researchers design sixstate magnetic memory

first_imgThe main advantage of having six states is that it would increase the memory density while avoiding the problems inherent in miniaturization. Currently the primary strategy for increasing memory density is to miniaturize each memory element so that more of them can fit on a chip. However, at these small scales, the memory elements are so close together that they begin to interfere with each other’s states. The new design can avoid this problem, and also offers other advantages.”Going from two to six states would triple the density under certain conditions (for example, maintaining the lateral scale of the bit),” Klein said. “In addition, other advantages are also expected. The cost of the memory would probably decrease significantly, and when such bits are incorporated in a magnetic memory array, we may witness other benefits such as increased reading speeds.”The researchers expect that it may be possible to design patterns with even more magnetic states. For example, their simulations show that a pattern of four crossing ellipses would yield a memory element with eight magnetic memory states. “We intend to further increase the number of magnetic states and explore the limits of such an extrapolation,” Klein said. “In addition, we would like to progress towards fabricating a prototype that will help us convince the magnetic memory industry to make a shift towards multi-level magnetic memory.” Realizing the six-state magnetic element does not require any significant increase in complexity, such as adding layers, but rather involves simply structuring one of the magnetic layers differently—specifically, arranging the magnetic film into a pattern of three crossing ellipses. In the middle region where all three ellipses overlap, the researchers found that there are six different stable magnetic orientations. The orientations are parallel to the long axis of each ellipse, and can run in two opposite directions. If such a pattern with six magnetic orientations can be controlled and incorporated in a magnetic memory element, then the number of memory states can be increased from two to six. The researchers showed that such control is possible by using a technique called spin-orbit torque switching, which uses spin-polarized electric current to switch between magnetic states. This demonstration shows that the spin-orbit torques can write data onto the magnetic structure, showing the potential for using the structure as a memory element. The researchers, Yevgeniy Telepinsky et al., from Bar-Ilan University in Israel and New York University in the US, have published a paper on the new magnetic structure in a recent issue of Applied Physics Letters.This isn’t the first time that researchers have designed memory cells with more than two states, or bits. The best-known example is multi-level flash memory cells, which can store up to four bits per cell. While multi-level flash cells have advantages such as a higher density and lower cost, they also suffer intrinsic drawbacks such as lower writing speeds and higher power consumption.The new six-state memory element presented here is different because it is magnetic, whereas flash memory is electronic. Although electronic memories are currently the most commonly used type of memory, various types of magnetic random access memory (MRAM) are being actively researched due to advantages in low power consumption, fast operation, and long lifetime.”Our proposal paves the way for enjoying the benefits of multi-level cells in MRAM, making it even more attractive for applications,” Lior Klein, a physics professor at Bar-Ilan University and one of the study’s lead authors, told Phys.org. “Furthermore, since MRAM is different in its nature from flash, there is no reason that it should suffer from the drawbacks of multi-level-cell flash memory.” By arranging magnetic film into a pattern of three crossing ellipses, researchers demonstrated six magnetic configurations are possible in the overlapping region. Credit: Telepinsky et al. ©2016 AIP Publishing More information: Yevgeniy Telepinsky et al. “Towards a six-state magnetic memory element.” Applied Physics Letters. DOI: 10.1063/1.4948455 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Six magnetic configurations generated by simulations. Credit: Telepinsky et al. ©2016 AIP Publishing (Phys.org)—Computers are often described with “ones and zeros,” referring to their binary nature: each memory element stores data in two states. But there is no fundamental reason why there should be just two. In a new study, researchers have designed a magnetic element that has six stable magnetic states, which paves the way toward realizing a six-state magnetic memory element. Journal information: Applied Physics Letters New technology reduces 30 percent chip area of STT-MRAM while increasing memory bit yield by 70 percent © 2016 Phys.org Explore further Citation: Researchers design six-state magnetic memory (2016, May 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-05-six-state-magnetic-memory.htmllast_img read more