L'A380 traverse l'Atlantique

LEMONDE.FR avec AFP |    
Le premier Airbus A380 d'Air France,
qui avait décollé de l'aéroport parisien de
Roissy avec plus de 500 passagers
à bord, a atterri vendredi 20 novembre
à l'aéroport Kennedy de New York.

L'Airbus A380 a effectué sa première
traversée transatlantique commerciale.
L'appareil d'Air France, qui avait
décollé de l'aéroport parisien de
Roissy avec plus de cinq cents
passagers à bord, a atterri vendredi
20 novembre à l'aéroport Kennedy
de New York.

Ce vol marque le début de l'exploitation
commerciale de l'avion géant
par une compagnie européenne.
Parmi les passagers, près de
trois cent quatre-vingts avaient payé
un billet aux enchères, autour
de 1 000 euros pour un siège
en classe économique, dont
le bénéfice est destiné à
des œuvres de charité
 à destination des enfants.

Le résultat net des enchères a atteint
"plus de 300 000 euros", a annoncé
le directeur général d'Air France,
Pierre-Henri Gourgeon.

Les dirigeants de la compagnie, ainsi
que des invités étaient
également du voyage.

Parmi eux des dirigeants
d'entreprises françaises comme
le président de la SNCF, Guillaume Pepy,
le président du directoire de Safran,
Jean-Paul Herteman, ou encore
l'ancien PDG du groupe
d'électronique Thales, Denis Ranque.

Link here

Sent from Kigali, Rwanda


Senate hold on ambassador threatens Boeing deal

Aubrey Cohen: Aerospace reporter

Boeing may lose a $7.5 billion jet fighter

sale to Brazil unless the

U.S. senator lifts a four- month

delay in confirming President

Barack Obama's nominee for

ambassador to the country,

Bloomberg reported Thursday.

"This will cost thousands of

U.S. jobs," Bernard Aronson,

who served as top envoy to

the region from 1989 to 1993,

told Bloomberg. "It's an insult

to Brazil to tell them they're

not important enough to have

an ambassador like so-called

advanced countries but that we

want them to buy

our planes over the French."

Aronson is one of nine ex-Assistant

Secretaries of State for the

Western Hemisphere who

yesterday sent a letter urging

Sen. George LeMieux, R-Fla.,

to stop blocking a vote on

career diplomat

Thomas Shannon's nomination,

Bloomberg reported.

Aronson said the delay may

help France's Dassault Aviation SA

beat Boeing in the competition

to sell Brazil 36 warplanes.

Link here


AfDB Approves Funding for Railway Project Study

African Development Bank

AfDB Approves Funding for


Railway Project Study

Tunis — The second phase of

the Dar es Salaam-Isaka-Kigali/Keza-

Musongati Railway project study will

cover the existing 970-km

Dar es Salaam-Isaka railway

link and its extensions.

The project is part of the East African

Community (EAC) priority investment

programme which attaches

great importance to multinational

poverty reduction projects,

through regional infrastructure

development and cooperation

among member countries.

The study will benefit from lessons

drawn from Phase I of the project

co-financed by the AfDB which

analyzed various rail alignments

with associated physical and

technical constraints, project

environmental and social impact,

economic and financial feasibility

and existing institutional framework.

The results were presented to

a development partners' and

private sector round table held

in Tunis in March 2009.

Phase II will focus more on deepening

the institutional framework and

structuring the project in the form

of a Public Private Partnership (PPP).

It will involve Analysis of the

project's socioeconomic benefits,

notably for the most vulnerable

people (women, children,

rural dwellers, etc.), in terms of

business development and

enhancement of economic

potential (particularly in mining,

industry and agriculture) as well

as facilitating the low-cost marketing

of goods and movement of people.

There will be a comparative analysis

of modes of transport (road, rail and

rail-road and lake-rail combination)

on the corridors to Rwanda and Burundi;

The third component comprises

environmental and social impact of

the future railway project (impact

of climate change on the project,

spread of sexually-transmitted infections,

including HIV/AIDS and the impact

of rail transport on public security)

as well as appropriate measures for

mitigating the negative impacts

during and after project implementation;

and finally, private sector participation

in financing the project and

managing railway infrastructure.

The project will provide the governments

of Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi

with data and decision-making tools

to facilitate mobilization of financing,

project implementation and

railway infrastructure management.

Four mining sites will be connected to

the Keza- Musongati Section by

50 km-branch lines.

The Project Impact Area (PIA) covers

Rwanda, Burundi and North-West

Tanzania (Shinyanga and Kagera regions),

with a population of 22.7 million,

53% of whom live below

the poverty line.

* 1 UA (Units of

Account) = USD 1.59 as

at 17/11/2009


Lotfi Madani

Link here

Sent from Kigali, Rwanda

Farmers raise incomes from Intercropping

Tanzania Distilleries Limited board
chairman Arnold Kilewo clicks a
computer mouse during the
inauguration of the company's selling
point in Arusha

By The Citizen Reporter

Growing coffee and banana plants together
can increase farmers' revenues by as
much as 50 per cent, researchers say.

They are encouraging coffee and
banana farmers in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi
and the Democratic Republic of Congo
to grow the two crops together,
an International Institute of Tropical
Agriculture (IITA) statement has noted.

In 2005, IITA and the Ugandan National
Agricultural Research Organisation
were requested to evaluate the success
of a Usaid-funded Agricultural
Enhancement Programme.

Their finding was that Ugandan farmers
got nearly 50 per cent more income
from growing coffee and bananas
together than growing either crop alone.

"The study showed that when farmers
intercropped banana plants with coffee
in their fields, the coffee yield remained
almost the same, with farmers gaining
additional income from bananas.

This is despite a slight reduction in
the number of coffee plants to make
room for bananas," Mr Piet van Asten,
a scientist with IITA based in Uganda,
said in the statement.

The research, conducted in 2006/07,
showed that in the arabica coffee-growing
region around Mt Elgon, annual returns
per hectare averaged $4,441 for coffee
and bananas grown together compared
with $1,728 and $2,364 for bananas
and coffee grown alone respectively.

In the robusta-growing areas in South
and Southwest Uganda, annual returns
per hectare averaged $1,827 for coffee
plus bananas while farmers earned $1,17
and $1,286 for solely growing bananas
and coffee respectively.

"These results were spectacular: coffee yields
did not decline when intercropped
with banana plants compared
with when grown alone.

Therefore, all revenue generated by
the banana was a bonus to
the farmers," Mr van Asten explained.

Intercropping of coffee is not
a common practice in the region,
with some countries even
discouraging it for fear it will
reduce coffee yields.

However, many farmers in Uganda,
especially in densely populated areas,
have practiced coffee
intercropping for many years.

Mr van Asten said the two crops
complemented each other.
Coffee plants love the shade,
which is provided by the much
taller bananas. Also, with this set-up,
intercropped coffee also seemed
less potassium-deficient
than when grown alone.

"The increase in coffee yields is
most likely a result of the high
biomass turnover in the banana system,
resulting in more soil organic matter
and nutrients in a form more
easily available to the plants.

The increased canopy and self-mulch
reduce weed pressure and
the need to till. Tillage usually damages
both coffee and banana roots
which are normally shallow," he said.

According to him, bananas provide
farmers with food and a modest
but continuous cash flow
throughout the year.

Coffee gives a more substantial income
to farmers twice a year that can be
used to purchase additional
farm inputs and equipment,
improve shelter, and meet
family obligations such as
school fees for children.

Coffee is an important cash crop
for countries in the Great Lakes
where it is a major source of
foreign exchange revenue and
income earner for small holder farmers.

Bananas are important staple produced
all year round. Working under
an initiative called the Consortium
for Improving Agriculture-based
Livelihoods in Central Africa,
Mr van Asten and his colleague at
IITA are now urging farmers in
Rwanda, Burundi and DRC to
not only put bananas in their
coffee fields but to also put coffee
in their banana fields.

In Uganda, IITA and partner organisations
are exploring opportunities on how
to expand the benefits of this research
to the coffee farmers who still
practise monocropping.

Link here

Sent from Kigali, Rwanda

Lake project also to cover Burundi, Rwanda

The Citizen

By Zephania Ubwani, Arusha

The World Bank supported Lake Victoria
Environment Management Programme
(LVEMP), launched in the mid-1990s,
will now be extended to Burundi and Rwanda.

Its second phase, initially confined to
Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya because
they share the vast water body, will now
cover the two states which became
members of the East African
Community in 2007.

Implementation of the LVEMP II started
last month after the signing of
financial agreements between Tanzania,
Uganda and Kenya and the World Bank
as well as between the Bretton Woods
institution with the EAC.

Under the World Bank's Adaptable
Programme Lending (APL)), the financing
arrangement for the eight-year programme
has been split into three parts.

APL1 has received support of the IDA
(the development arm of the World Bank)
amounting to $90 million (Sh119.2 billion)
for the initial four years.

This will only involve Tanzania ($ 32.5 million),
Uganda ($27.5 million) and Kenya ($30 million).

The component would also be financed
by the Global Environment Facility- GEF
($ 7 million), Swedish International
Development Agency -Sida ($10 million)
and borrowers (about $7.8 million
equivalent in local currencies).

EAC sources say the GEF and Sida support
would mainly finance activities at
the regional level where the project
would fall under the supervision of
the Lake Victoria Basin Commission
(LVBC), an institution under the EAC.

APL 2, with grant support of $30 million,
will bring Burundi and Rwanda
into the programme.

Its preparations are expected to be
finalised by December 31, this year.
Although they do not share the lake,
the two countries are within
the broader Lake Victoria Basin.

Other major projects being implemented
around the lake in collaboration with
LVBC are EAC/AMREF Lake Victoria
HIV/Aids Partnership Programme
(EALP) and the Mt Elgon Regional
Ecosystem Conservation
Programme (MERECP).

Yet another is the Lake Victoria Water
and Sanitation Project supported
by the United Nations Human
Settlements Programme (UN Habitat).
It covers 15 urban centres around
the lake, three from each partner state.

According to an EAC report, the project
consultants, Mr Mott MacDonald of UK,
have prepared draft investment plans
for the 15 towns.

Discussions were underway with
various development partners
to fund the investments, it said.

"The African Development Bank (AfDB)
has indicated an availability of $565 million
(Sh748.6 billion) for the purpose,"
said the report.

It will be presented to the EAC Council
of Ministers one of its
policy organs - meeting in Arusha.

The AfDB has also provided $495,000
for a detailed pre-investment
analysis/study of the Maritime
Communications for Safety
on Lake Victoria.

This is a project whose implementation
would be based on public/private partnership.

Last September the US Government
granted $3 million to the EAC to support
the management and conservation
of the Mara river basin as
a trans-boundary resource.

The project covers the famous
Serengeti National Park and
Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya.

Link here

Sent from Kigali, Rwanda


Truly Remarkable Academic Insights on Sarah Palin

[David French]

It has often been said that today's

rank-and-file conservative is

"anti-elite." I've always been uncomfortable

with that characterization because — in

my experience — conservatives are quite

respectful of certain kinds of elites,

like elite soldiers, elite athletes,

and talented musicians and other

artists (provided those artists don't

believe that their abilities also provide them

with unique insight into, say,

health-care policy or war strategy).

The elite that conservatives tend

to disdain is the contemporary

intellectual (or academic) elite,

not because intellectual excellence

isn't obtainable or worth respecting

but because we look at what

passes for academic thinking

these days and, frankly, it's

remarkably unimpressive.

Nowhere is this high-minded mediocrity

on better display than in the

near-universal disdain for Sarah Palin.

And today's Inside Higher Ed provides

a tremendous gift, a near-perfect

example of condescending nothingness

masquerading as insight.

Called "Palintology," the column,

by Scott McLemee, begins:

Important as it was, the campaign of

Barack Obama was not the only

history-making element of the

2008 presidential election.

With Sarah Palin, we crossed another

epochal divide. The boundary

between reality television and

American politics (already somewhat

weakened by the continuous

"American Idol" plebiscite) finally collapsed.

Her campaign's basic formula was

familiar: members of an ordinary

middle-class family turn into

instantly recognizable national

celebrities while competing

for valuable prizes.

This is good stuff. Let's begin with

a shot at reality TV and then deliver

the ultimate insult: that Sarah Palin

is like one of "those people," you know,

a member of the "middle class"

desperate for fame. How her emphasis

on her humble roots is any different

from John Edwards's "son of a millworker"

schtick, or Joe Biden's emphasis

(sometimes false) on his blue-collar ancestry,

or even our own prep school- and

Ivy League-educated president's emphasis

on the challenges of his upbringing

is left unexplained. I guess

intelligent people should just know

that Sarah Palin's emphasis on her

"every(woman)" identity was

somehow worthy of contempt.

But that's not all, of course.

I love this part:

I'm not sure what Sarah Palin's

favorite work of postmodern theory

might be (all of them, probably)

but she seems to take her lead

from Jean Baudrillard's Seduction.

Other political figures use the media

as part of what JB calls "production."

That is, they generate signs and

images meant to create an effect

within politics. For the Baudrillardian

"seducer," by contrast, the power

to create fascination is

its own reward.

What is Joe Biden's favorite work

of postmodern theory?

Nancy Pelosi's? (I'm pretty sure that

Barack Obama has a favorite postmodern

theorist because he seems to be

that kind of guy.)

And as for the power to create

fascination being "its own reward": What

evidence is there that Sarah Palin enjoys

this more than, say, virtually any

other public figure?

Politicians are notoriously addicted

to crowds and the limelight.

But I suppose other politicians are

mostly motivated by a desire

to serve the public, generating

"signs and images" for

"political" ends — but not Sarah Palin.

She has to be more cynical,

more self-regarding, right?  

Watching Palin respond to questions

about her book Going Rogue

(or not respond to them, often enough)

is, from this perspective,

no laughing matter.

She grows ever more comfortable

talking about herself. 

Forgive me, but I thought the book

was an autobiography.  

Is this too cynical?

I fear it may not be cynical enough.

For it assumes that Palin will

eventually be integrated into

her party's apparatus and turned

into a mouthpiece of old-school

Republican electoral politics — a

basic platform of tax cuts for

the rich and unregulated handgun

ownership for everybody else. 

Yep, that is the "basic" Republican platform.

Tax cuts and guns. I thought we were

all about "guns and religion." Tax cuts

replaced religion?

I'll have to update my talking points.

Of course Republicans have nothing

at all to say about foreign policy,

health care, abortion, marriage,

banking regulation, energy policy,

or any other relevant topic — it all

goes back to the "basic platform.

" Lower taxes and Glocks.

At this point, the column takes a bit

of a turn, lionizing the publishers

of Going Rouge, a collection of critical

essays about Sarah Palin.

Why lionize them?

Because — hold on to your hats — they

don't have much a budget, so they're

creatively using the Internet

to publicize their book.

That's a novel idea.

Please, tell me more.

But one can only lionize marginal

left-wing publishers for so long

before returning to the bogey(woman)

of the moment. I loved this bit:

But she is busy demonstrating

a strong intuitive grasp of how

mass media can be used — among

other things, to change the subject.

An example is the item Palin

posted on Facebook in early

August: "The America I know and love

is not one in which my parents

or my baby with Down Syndrome

will have to stand in front of

Obama's 'death panel' so his

bureaucrats can decide,

based on a subjective judgment

of their 'level of productivity

in society,' whether they are

worthy of health care.

Such a system is downright evil."

This was fantasy. But it was

effective fantasy. To borrow again

from Baudrillard, it seduced — abolishing

reality and replacing it

with a delirious facsimile.

I hate to "borrow again from Baudrillard,"

but this is a rich irony — coming

from a writer who just reduced

the entirety of Republican thought to

"a basic platform of tax cuts for the rich

and unregulated handgun ownership

for everyone else." Who, exactly, is

"abolishing reality and replacing it

with a delirious facsimile"?

The column ends thus:

Well, consistency is, after all,

the hobgoblin of tiny minds.

Sarah Palin is playing the political game

on a much grander scale — with

rules she may be rewriting as she goes.

With a first printing of 1.5 million

copies of her book, I don't know that

the intervention of an upstart press

can pose much of a challenge.

But OR Books deserves credit for

trying. Someone has to speak up

for reality from time to time.

Otherwise it will just disappear.

Let's see . . . a politician rises from a

small town, governs a small

(by population) state, and then runs

for high office in part by emphasizing

their humble roots. Nope, that's

never been done before.

I guess she really is "rewriting

as she goes." Thanks, Mr. McLemee,

for speaking up for reality.

Link here

Sent from Kigali, Rwanda


How Marriott Broke Down Customer Data Siloes ?

Integrating customer data from
multiple brands enabled the hotelier
to craft unique offers for
customers and exceed sales goals.
By Rick Swanborg

  Click here to find out more!
CIO — Make every interaction
meaningful: It's the Marriott philosophy.

This is not an easy task given
the multitude of Marriott brands
and the plethora of campaign
management tools used
to contact customers.

By partnering with brand leaders
and marketing leaders, Marriott's IT
department built a unified framework
for engaging with customers.

The project enabled Marriott
to exceed its revenue goals
while sending customers fewer,
more targeted communications.

The Situation: With more than

3,200 properties operating under

19 brands in 67 countries, Marriott

needed a campaign management

platform that could scale across

brands, programs and marketing

organizations; integrate guest

communication preferences;

and efficiently serve offers

to millions of customers.

Click here to find out more!
To read more on this topic
see: Get More from CRM: Activities
vs. Campaigns and The Keys
to Marriott's Success.

What They Did: A cross-functional team

of marketing leaders, brand leaders

and IT defined the experience

they wanted to provide to customers

across all Marriott regions, brands

and franchises. "We needed to fully

understand Marriott's marketing goals,"

says Mike Keppler, senior vice president

of sales, marketing and revenue

management systems. To accomplish

this goal, Marriott built a data

warehouse that provides sales

and marketing employees with

a "working memory" of the customer.

A data appliance provides

the computing power necessary

to very quickly parse large amounts

of disparate data about customers

collected in different hotel systems.

Statistical models derive and

present offers to customers based

on their past preferences

and behavior. Metrics gathered

from each campaign fuel

future campaigns and build upon

the working memory

about each customer.

Why It Was Unique: Marriott knew

its customers visited multiple brands;

for the first time, it had a way to tailor

its offers to how guests use

its different services. In the spring

of 2007, the first e-mail campaign

to use the platform was sent

to 3 million recipients. It included

2.9 million unique messages with

offers targeted to the recipients.

The campaign exceeded its

original revenue goals by

35 percent within six months

of deployment. The platform also

includes a Web-based self-service

tool for regional marketers,

cutting regional campaign

development from six weeks

to two days.

The Takeaway: A cross-functional

approach facilitated the creation

of an end-to-end business

process supported by

technology that provides balanced

marketing with relevant offers.

Rick Swanborg is president of

ICEX and a professor

at Boston University.

For more information,

visit www.icex.com.

Link here

Sent from Kigali, Rwanda

Outcomes vs. Tasks ( Outsourcing)

What Matters Most
in Outsourcing: Outcomes vs. Tasks

No one who outsources IT
really cares about servers
or switches or man-hours.

They want business results.

Outcome-based outsourcing
promises to deliver those results,
but moving from input-based pricing
to outcome-based contracts
is easier said than done.

By Stephanie Overby


Outcome-based outsourcing is

the holy grail of IT services.

Both customers and providers

agree that if they can figure out

a way to tie sourcing strategy

to business results everyone

will be happier in the end.

The problem with many traditional

outsourcing arrangements is that

they focus on input rather

than output.

Just as U.S. health care reform

advocates criticize a system

that incents doctors to

perform tests and procedures

with few rewards for the

ultimate goal—a healthy patient,

some outsourcing reformers

say too many IT services deals

are myopically focused on

tasks or man-hours rather

than business results.

Outcome-based contracts—at

least, in theory—can

change that. "Paying for outcomes

is the idea of paying for

success toward a desired

result instead of paying for

individual items like servers

or programming hours,"

says Adam Strichman,

an independent outsourcing

consultant based in

Mechanicsville, Va.

"Nobody really wants servers,

or switches or a mainframe.

They generally want

a business outcome, such as

faster access to information

or an automated delivery system."

[ For more stories on

outsourcing pricing models,

see Offshore Outsourcing:

Introducing a New, Hybrid Pricing Model. ]

But devising outcome-based

outsourcing deals that satisfy

both the customer and the

vendor has proven difficult.

Time-and-materials contracts

remain the most common

outsourcing model in the industry,

particularly offshore, says

Sandeep Karoor, managing

director of outsourcing

consultancy Neo Advisory.

Fixed-price contracts run

a distant second.

Outcome-based contracts

account for, at most,

15 percent of new deals,

says Strichman, and they may

only apply to part of

the outsourced work.

Who's Outcome Is It Anyway?

Part of the problem with this

new paradigm, whereby

contracts are based on results

rather than resource consumption,

is in defining outcomes.

Every stakeholder has

a different desired end

state—or two or three.

The CEO wants happy customers

and shareholders or to be

the industry leader.

The CFO wants an increase

in profitability. The business

unit leader may desire

best-of-breed systems.

And the CIO?

He's got a whole list—lower costs,

better service levels,

increased customer satisfaction.

What may be the biggest

problem of all is that

the IT service provider has

very little control over

or connection to any

of those outcomes.

Outsourcing: Pros and Cons

  • More cohesion of work being delivered

  • Freedom from interviewing
  • and monitoring individual staff members

  • Ability to incent more
  • innovative behavior from provider

  • Potential for higher eventual
  • savings as labor arbitrage
  • is replaced by productivity
  • and synergies between
  • tasks as key savings drivers

  • Lack of transparency into
  • how work is being performed

  • Little insight into costs
  • of service (unless visibility
  • into resource consumption
  • is maintained)

  • Additional administrative
  • burdens associated with
  • root cause analysis (if service
  • is not being delivered
  • as promised) and evaluation
  • of service delivery from
  • outcome-based perspective

--Source: Forrester Research

"The measure of success—or

outcome—has to be directly

related to the success or

failure of the

underlying services,"

says Strichman. "It sounds simple,

but it can be hard when

you start talking about

business outcomes.

The supplier cannot influence

things beyond the

supplier's realm of responsibility."

For example, the CFO may

want to tie the outsourced

application development of

a new product to the profitability

of that new product, but that

may be impossible.

The application development

provider could design

the world's best system

two weeks ahead of schedule

and a million dollars under

budget, but it has little

control over other

factors—such as marketing,

economic conditions,

bad management,

inept delivery managers,

bad press—that affect

the profit outcome.

"There are all types of

outcome-based pricing,"

says Strichman. "Sometimes

these models have

moderate success.

Often they have no

success whatsoever."

The most common business

outcome tied to IT services

deals to date is increased

customer satisfaction,

says Strichman, but that

may encourage the vendor

to construct customer

surveys that will deliver

the desired result.

"The belief is that by

tying metrics and pricing

to the success of the business,

both parties now have

their goals in alignment,"

says Strichman. "But the

reality is, alignment is not

enough; the vendor must be

able to influence a significant

portion of the costs which

influence the outcome

being measured. And

the metrics must make

sense related to the service.

Customer satisfaction may

have nothing to do

with the vendor."

Contracts focused on

desired outcomes at

the CIO level have a

concrete record of success.

With these types of deals,

a vendor takes responsibility

for "end-to-end" IT

service levels. "The vendor is

responsible to create

an entire system—design,

infrastructure, network,

programming, maintenance

and customer support/help,"

says Strichman. "These contracts

are not uncommon

and can work. But even

that is really, really hard to do."

Resistance on Both Sides

Beyond the ability to identify

and connect business

outcomes to IT services delivery,

another roadblock on

the journey to outcome-based

outsourcing is

cultural resistance—from both

the client and the vendor.

[ Outsourcing Definitions

and Solutions ]

Customers often are not

comfortable ceding the level

of day-to-day control necessary

to enable the vendor

to focus on outcome,

rather than service delivery.

"Considerable change

management is required

in the client's mindset

during the initial

delivery phases," says Karoor.

Handing over the reins

requires that the client has

enough self-knowledge

to be able to create realistic

outcome-focused SLAs,

not to mention a deep level

of trust in its vendor.

While Gartner has noted

that providers are moving

toward output-based pricing

models where services

support a process with

measurable outcomes,

buyers for the most part

still seek out the safety

of traditional outsourcing models.

Only more mature clients

are beginning to link

outsourcing outcomes to

business objectives,

says Gartner, which "typically

involves an evolved pricing

model developed after

relationships and trust

have been established."

Providers may resist

business-outcome focused

contracts because of

the risk they represent.

Although moving away

from input-based

pricing enables vendors

to deliver IT services as

they see fit, "the vendor assumes

much more risk for the

relative freedom of

choice [it gets] regarding

the means for implementation,"

says Strichman. Indeed,

the higher up the outcome

on the business value chain,

the more risk the provider assumes.

One Vendor's Approach

Symphony Services,

a Palo Alto, Calif.-based

provider of offshore IT services

in India and China has been

touting its "outcome certainty"

pricing model for software

engineering. "It commits us

to meeting mutually

agreed-upon goals," says

Neil Fox, Symphony

Services' vice president

of strategic consulting.

"If we don't meet them,

clients pay reduced costs

for our services."

The trick to outcome-based

outsourcing, says Fox,

is "linking contractually

guaranteed work by the vendor

to measurable client business

outcomes, such as improving

product line revenue,

raising customer satisfaction,

increasing product innovations

or reducing time to market."

For customers who want to

align vendor goals with

business goals, outcome-based

pricing can be the differentiator,

says Fox. But not everyone

is into the idea. "Some clients

opt out of our outcome

certainty-based contracts

because they want the most

simplified approach to managing

their outsourcing partner,"

says Fox. Those customers

sign more traditional

fixed-cost or time-and-

materials contracts.

Some customers shied away

from the strategically focused

outcome-based approach to

sourcing during the recession

when all eyes were on

cost-cutting, according to

Forrester Research principal

analyst Bill Martorelli.

Just 24 percent of outsourcing

customers said increasing

their use of output-based

pricing was a high or

critical priority, according to

a Forrester survey conducted

during the second quarter

of this year. Nearly one-fourth

(24 percent) said it was a

low priority, while 37 percent

reported that it was not on

the agenda. But Martorelli predicts

outsourcing customers' interest

in outcome-based outsourcing

will increase as

the economy stabilizes.

Other stories by Stephanie Overby
© 2009 CXO Media Inc.

Link here
Sent from Kigali, Rwanda


“Le XXIe siècle sera religieux ou ne sera pas.”

On répète souvent une phrase

attribuée à Malraux : "Le XXIe siècle s

era religieux ou ne sera pas."

En fait, l'auteur des Antimémoires

n'a jamais prononcé cette phrase.

Il a même précisé à

Pierre Desgraupes (Le Point,

10 novembre 1975) : "On

m'a fait dire : "le XXIe siècle

sera religieux". Je n'ai jamais dit

cela bien entendu, car je

n'en sais rien.

Ce que je dis est plus incertain.

Je n'exclus pas la possibilité

d'un évènement spirituel

à l'échelle planétaire."

Georges Verpraet, journaliste à

La Croix, rapporte les propos

du curé de Strasbourg, qui avait

fait dire à Malraux en 1973

dans L'Enfant du rire : "Le XXIe siècle

sera métaphysique ou

ne sera pas".

Huit ans plus tard, l'écrivain

André Frossard assurait avoir

entendu sur les lèvres

de Malraux: "Le XXIe siècle

sera mystique".

En réalité, Malraux était athée.

Comment remplacer Dieu,

se demandait-il?

C'est ce qu'exprime Tchen,

un des personnages de son

grand roman humaniste

La Condition humaine: "Que faire

d'une âme s'il n'y a ni Dieu, ni Christ?".

Le 23 novembre 1976,

ses obsèques n'eurent droit

à aucun honneur religieux,

mais plutôt à une étrange

cérémonie dans la cour carrée

du Louvre, devant la haute statue

colorée d'un chat.

Il y a donc tout lieu d'utiliser

cette citation avec

une grande prudence...

(Sources: Courrier International /

George Verpraet - La Croix)


Link here

Sent from Kigali, Rwanda

Kenya combs forest for squatters

Children in the settlement known as
"Sierra Leone" stand before
forest land which has been
cleared for cultivation

Many of those evicted have
no where else to go

Officials have started combing
Kenya's largest woodland, the Mau forest,
to ensure squatters have left after
a deadline for their eviction expired.

Many of its rivers, which supply vital water,
have dried up and the government
wants to restore the eco-system.

Most of the region's 20,000 families
have left their farms, officials say.

But a BBC reporter in the area says
many had nowhere else to go and are
now living in squalid and desperate
conditions on the forest boundaries.

During the past 15 years, more than
100,000 hectares - one quarter of the
protected forest reserve - had been
settled and cleared.

The problem here is mental torture
Mau forest evictee

In pictures: Mau forest
Life dries up in Mau forest

The government has said it would
compensate settlers who could
supply title deeds to their land.

However, it is estimated that as few
as 1,962 families have genuine title deeds.

Much of the land was handed out
by politicians in the run-up to elections
and then re-parcelled and
sold on illegally.

The BBC's Ruth Nesoba in the Mau forest
said it has been raining heavily
and some of homeless evictees
were very angry.

"We've obeyed the government rules
and come out.

"But the problem we are facing here
is the problem of hunger, some are sick,
some have injuries, the problem here
is mental torture," a distraught man
told the BBC.

The government says the destruction
of the forest canopy has sparked
an environmental disaster downstream,
with millions of people
suffering from water shortages.

And the East African country has just
suffered its worst drought in years.

Officials now intend to replant the more
than 100 million trees felled
by the squatters and illegal loggers.

But environmentalists estimate that it will
be many decades before
Kenya rivers flow again.

Link here


Première faille critique confirmée pour Windows 7

Systèmes d'exploitation

Sortie Windows 7 Le dossier complet

par Christophe Auffray, ZDNet France

Tags: , ,
, , ,
, , ,
Sécurité - Microsoft a confirmé l'existence
d'une faille non corrigée dans le protocole
SMB de Windows 7 et Windows
Server 2008 R2.

L'éditeur reproche au chercheur
Laurent Gaffié d'avoir révélé
publiquement ce problème de sécurité.

En début de semaine dernière,

un chercheur en sécurité, Laurent Gaffié,

avait publié une preuve de concept sur

Full Disclosure afin de démontrer

la présence d'une vulnérabilité dans

Windows 7 et Windows Server 2008.

Mercredi 11 novembre, Microsoft indiquait

évaluer la faille. Quelques jours plus tard,

l'éditeur a émis une alerte pour confirmer

l'existence de cette vulnérabilité,

qui exploitée permet de provoquer

un déni de service sur un ordinateur vulnérable.

Microsoft rappelle son opposition

au Full Disclosure

Selon Microsoft, la faille de sécurité

découverte par Laurent Gaffié ne permet

pas de prendre le contrôle d'un ordinateur

à distance ou d'installer du code malveillant.

Aucune attaque exploitant ce bug de

Windows n'a pour l'instant été identifiée

indique l'éditeur sur son site Internet.

Un correctif est actuellement

en cours de développement.

Si les travaux de Laurent Gaffié ont permis

à Microsoft d'identifier une faiblesse

dans le code de son logiciel, l'éditeur

lui reproche néanmoins sa méthode

de divulgation, non-responsable.

D'après la firme de Redmond,

la divulgation publique expose

les utilisateurs à des risques.

Microsoft encourage les développeurs

et chercheurs à lui signaler directement

l'existence de failles de sécurité.

Cela lui permet ainsi de concevoir

un correctif sans que les utilisateurs

soient exposés à des attaques.

Toutefois, si des chercheurs pratiquent

le full-disclosure, ou divulgation totale,

c'est aussi afin d'éviter que les éditeurs

concernés dissimulent la présence

de failles (qui peuvent ternir leur image)

et ne les corrigent pas promptement,

laissant les utilisateurs dans

l'ignorance et vulnérables.

Christophe Auffray, ZDNet France.

Link here

Sent from Kigali, Rwanda


Tips and Tools to Stay Safe and Sane

Drowning in Passwords ?

Another day, another password: Thanks
to Web-based apps, we're all
acquiring passwords at quite a clip.

How do you remember them all
while staying secure?

Here are some helpful tools and
strategies -- that don't involve
writing your passwords on sticky notes.
By  Bill Snyder

  CIO — Who the heck am I? Am I
shopper-Bill, flyer-Bill, reader-Bill,
buyer-Bill, potrero-Bill, or this that
and the other Bill on the 30
or more sites that comprise
my online life?

And which of my many passwords
do I need right now?

If you spend much time online,

you probably have the same

problem I do: How to remember

your ever-growing list of

online usernames and

passwords—and stay

secure at the same time.

[What's the latest in

Microsoft's War against

Google Apps?

See CIO.com's recent analysis

of where Office stands a

gainst rival Web-based apps. ]

You're savvy enough to know that

identity theft and illegal access

to personal and financial data

are real-world problems that

you want to avoid. But what are you

doing about it?

Odds are, not much, says

Andrew Jaquith, a computer

security analyst at Forrester Research.

"There are two classes of people; those

who seem to care about the security

of their accounts, and those who

act as if they don't."

Most people, he says, fall in

the later category.

If you're one of the majority,

your security strategy may be

nothing more than using

a single password for every site

you need to access. On the one hand,

the chances of it being stolen

aren't terribly high and you

probably won't forget it. But if it

is stolen, the malefactor will have

access to your entire online life,

including bank accounts and

maybe medical records.

Not a pretty thought.

It turns out that there are a number

of strategies that will help you

avoid that ugly scenario. Most of them

are simple, free or quite inexpensive,

and much more secure than

what you're doing now. But some

are just halfway measures that

could let you down in a pinch.

A Password Safe of Sorts

Let's start with my favorite.
A Windows program called RoboForm,
($29.95) from Siber Systems.
RoboForm stores your passwords,
usernames, personal information,
and the URLs of sites you visit
on its secure server. Your information
is protected by a master password
that you'll enter before
logging into a site. The program will
then log you in, and automatically
fill out the kinds of forms you need
to do things when shopping online.

If you typically work on two computers,
say one at home and one
in the office, you can synch
the two PCs and have your
passwords on both systems.

Until recently, RoboForm suffered

from the same flaw that most

password managers

suffer from:it was useless if you

were on a public computer.

That's a real problem if you're

traveling without your laptop and

suddenly realize you have bills

to pay via your banking site,

or want to make an online trade.

RoboForm Online fixes that.

It is however, in beta form, and

a bit clunky, requiring a double sign

on and a few other minor annoyances.

But it does work (based on my try out)

and the company expects

to have a finished, and presumably

more polished, version out

within a few months.

There's also a version for the iPhone,

and it's possible to load RoboForm

onto a USB drive and take it

with you for use on public computers.

The company says the USB version

leaves no traces behind.

If you use RoboForm do not

forget your master password—it is

not recoverable. Although password

recovery is a common feature

on many Web sites, Siber Systems

decided that enhanced security

was more important than

potential inconvenience.

Tools for Mac Users

By the company's own admission,
RoboForm doesn't work
very well on a Mac (that's supposed
to change next year) but a similar
program called 1Password ($39.95)
from Agile Web Solutions,
offers many of the same features
for use on Apple hardware.

I haven't tried it out, but it's
earned good reviews and gets
nod from Forrester's Jaquith.

Users of various versions of
the Mac OS can also take
advantage of a built-in feature
called Keychain that offers
password management
on a single machine.

Another option that's similar

to RoboForm, Callpod's $29.95

Keeper utility, comes in versions

for Mac, Windows, and Linux users

(The vendor offers a 15-day free trial.)

A separate mobile Keeper version

serves iPhone and iPod touch users.

If you are a smartphone user,

the first step you should take

to stay safe is password protect

your whole device: See instructions

from CIO.com's Al Sacco on how to do it.

A Free Trick or Two

Don't want to spend money?

You could simply put your passwords
in a password-protected file.
If you use Microsoft Word, it's easy.
Simply go to Tools, then Options
and click the security tab.
You'll have the option to require
a password to open the file,
or just to modify it.

If you're traveling, you can put
that file on a USB drive.
But don't forget that password.
If there's a backdoor that will let
you recover the file without it,
I haven't heard about it.

Warning: Many security gurus,
such as Bruce Schneier,
don't advocate keeping this type
of file on your PC. (See this useful blog
post from Schneier for some more
advanced advice on crafting
and managing passwords. )

Most browsers, including

Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari,

can automatically fill in forms

and passwords for you.

That's certainly helpful and if

you're certain that no one else

has access to your computer,

it's not terribly risky.

However, if your teenager or

someone else does use your computer,

you could be in trouble.

A simple solution is to delete

saved passwords and forms

when you get done. In Firefox,

for example, go to "Tools," "Options"

and then the security tab and look

for the "saved passwords" button.

Click it and a list of saved passwords

and usernames opens up.

Simply delete all or some of them.

Other browsers have similar features.

Also remember that public computers

are often infected with malware, including

keyloggers that copy everything you type.

Password managers defeat them,

since the password is not

actually typed on the page.

Finally, Google and some other

online heavyweights are reviving

an old idea, a secure, single

password/username combo,

such as your Google or Yahoo ID,

that you could use for multiple sites.

Sun and other companies have

experimented with similar schemes,

but none ever got off the ground.

Maybe this attempt will be

the charm. But I'm not holding

my breath, and will continue to explore

password management options

that really exist. So should you.

San Francisco journalist Bill Snyder

writes frequently about business

and technology.

Follow everything from CIO.com

on Twitter @CIOonline.

Link here

Sent from Kigali, Rwanda

Rwanda’s agriculture up despite global crisis

[Paul Kagame ]
The Independent
By Kelvin Odoobo
Rwanda's agricultural sector continues
to maintain an impressive growth
trend in the first half of 2009
in spite of taking a hard hit from
the current global economic downturn.

The Permanent Secretary of the
Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI)
Ernest Ruzindana said that despite
an 8.12% reduction in export volume
the sector registered growth
in 2009.

In a presentation, Overview
of Achievements and Challenges
in the Agricultural sector,
January - June 2009, during
the Joint Agriculture Sector Review
at Laico Umubano Hotel in Kigali,
Ruzindana said agriculture
registered a 6.6% increase
in food production in Season B of 2009.

Rwanda experiences a short
rainy season from September
to November (Season A) and
a long rainy season from
February to May (season B).

The short dry season runs
from December to January
and the long dry season
from June to mid-September.

However at 2.9%, the reduction
in export earnings was much
smaller than the reduction
in total volume of exports.
Increases in yields stood
at 99% for maize, 43% for wheat,
 28% for rice and sweet potatoes.

More importantly was an
11% increase in bean production
which marks a significant
increase in protein supply to the population.

There was a also a significant
growth in milk production and
consumption during the first
half of the year during which
143.15 million litres, 11.2% increase,
contributed to the increase from
about 25 litres per person
per year consumption in 2008
to 29 litres/per person /year in 2009.

This is closer to the FAO
recommendation of 54 litres/person/year.
However the dairy sub-sector still
faces crucial challenges in
increasing milk production in
few collecting centres, low capacity
of milk processing plants,
lack of animal feeds,
artificial insemination services
and weak veterinary services.

The volume of coffee exported
from January to June fell from
4.92 million kilograms in 2008
to 4.27 million kilograms in 2009
while the value of coffee exports
fell further from US$12.05 to
US$9.5 million due to the fall
in coffee prices.

However, despite a fall in volume
of tea expected by 2.5%, earnings
from tea exports increased by
10.6% from US$2.06 million to
US$2.34 million during the same
period mainly due to the increase
of tea prices by 13.6%.

Ruzindana also said that investments
in higher-value products
are paying off.
The Rwanda government through
its policy of adding value
to agricultural products locally
to boost farmers' earnings has
seen the development of
special Rwanda coffee and tea brands.

The Minster of Agriculture
Agnes Kalibata said the proposed
Rwanda Agricultural Board which
will streamline the sector initiatives
and harmonise them with
various government institutions
was pending cabinet approval.

The new Rwanda Agricultural
Board will combine the Rwanda
Agricultural Research Institute,
Rwanda Agricultural Development
Authority and Rwanda Animal
Resources Development Authority.

Link here

Sent from Kigali, Rwanda