Email [email protected] Press office Press mobile – out of hours only 07785 748787 The Commission has been engaging with the charity since August 2017 over serious concerns about adult safeguarding. Concerns escalated during this engagement, prompting the opening of a statutory inquiry on 8 November 2018.It is the Commission’s policy to publish a report at the conclusion of the case.Ends This Inquiry has now closed. Read the full Inquiry report for Rigpa Fellowship.,A trustee has been disqualified from all charities for a period of 8 years as a result of an ongoing Charity Commission inquiry into the Rigpa Fellowship charity.Patrick Gaffney was serving as a trustee of the charity, which is based in London and has objects to advance the Buddhist religion.Evidence uncovered by the Commission shows Mr Gaffney had knowledge of instances and allegations of improper acts and sexual and physical abuse against students at the charity.Mr Gaffney failed to take appropriate action in response to this information and is therefore responsible for misconduct and/or mismanagement in the administration of the charity.He was entered onto the list of disqualified trustees on 12 April 2019.Amy Spiller, Head of Investigations Team at the Charity Commission, said: We are continuing to investigate concerns about this charity via our ongoing statutory inquiry. However, the safety and wellbeing of beneficiaries and those that come into contact with the charity, must always be a priority for the trustees and staff of a charity. This trustee has been disqualified with immediate effect for failing in his duty to protect those who came into contact with the charity. The public rightly expect charities to be safe places, where people are free from harm. Where we find charities that are failing in this essential duty, we will take action to remove those responsible.
The smartphone is dead? Long live the smartphone!In the fast-moving world of high tech, you’re up one day and down the next. Desktop computers were bumped aside by laptops, and tablets are now returning the favor, grabbing laptop market share. Basic cellphones gave way to feature phones, which now fill the middle of the market, having ceded the high end to smartphones.Since the only unchangeable thing in the tech industry is change, some observers are wondering not if smartphones will get knocked off their perch, but when, and looking toward Google Glass and a wave of smartwatches as potential successors. Business watchers, meanwhile, are worried by the possible disruption of the business model, and an end to the dominance of Apple and Samsung as multiple other players enter the fray.Woodward Yang, the Gordon McKay Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a University Fellow at Harvard Business School, has had his finger on the pulse of the industry since his work developing the CMOS image sensors common in cellphone cameras; more recently, his expertise was sought in Apple’s patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung over technology created for — you guessed it — smartphones. The Gazette asked him about prospects near and far in personal tech. GAZETTE: The smartphone seems to have comfortably reached the top of the market, but with technology disappearing as fast as it appears today, this can’t last. What do you see happening next?YANG: The smartphone is now a burgeoning business for big players and the two big players are Apple and Samsung. They’re fighting over it, but what’s happening is that the features and functions have become more commoditized.It’s classic in what you see with technology. It rises very fast, it becomes more mature, it becomes a commodity, and as it becomes a commodity, more and more people can do it.But what’s happened is that the technology — [though it’s] quite sophisticated —has become so commoditized, now almost anybody can just buy the parts and put together a reasonable system. So Huawei does this, HTC does this, while Google provides the key Android software. They just have to put the pieces together now. This has even happened in the automobile industry and especially with electric vehicles.GAZETTE: Do you see a disruption in this technology coming?YANG: That’s exactly what you see. As the technology matures, you get a disruption. It’s not a disruption of technology, though, but a disruption of the business, the high-margin business.The high margins that Apple and Samsung get on the smartphones are going to be eaten away by companies like HTC, Huawei, and others to be named. They’re going to introduce smartphones that are almost as good and most people are not going to be able to tell the difference.So Apple and Samsung, and maybe Motorola-Google, are trying to innovate to make sure your smartphone stays special and doesn’t become a commodity. They’re going to do that by trying to create a web of devices — like a smartwatch, the Google Glasses, the iCloud, and Samsung can connect to your TV.That’s what they’re trying to do, so you feel like you’re getting extra value for your phone. That’s what people are talking about. It’s a classic thing that happens to tech all the time. This is the motivation behind the relentless innovation in tech and the differentiation that it gives your products so that you can command higher margins and larger market share.GAZETTE: Have you seen earlier disruptions, where new technology wipes out old?YANG: I’ve seen this happen several times already. I did a lot of the fundamental work on the CMOS [complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor] image sensor, that little camera inside your phone. It actually wasn’t very good technology. CCD [charge-coupled device] was a better technology — this was about 20 years ago.CMOS came out and for various reasons started to replace CCDs. CCD cameras were big and bulky, used a lot of power, and were expensive, which was fine when it was a video camera. CMOS cameras are smaller, use less power, are cheaper, and now it is even possible to put two or three cameras into your cellphone.As that happened, it not only eclipsed CCDs, but it literally crushed film photography. I was on the science and technology board of Polaroid and warned them for many years in the late 1990s, “You guys are going to get your lunch eaten by CMOS image sensors.” They said, “No, we still have a good margin on Polaroid instant cameras and film and we can’t just throw away that business.”GAZETTE: Do you see anything similar happening with the smartphone?YANG: I’ve lived through this enough times that I realize nobody really knows what’s going to happen. All I can tell you is that what’s going to happen is probably not what you expect.But that’s in the long run. In the short run, people are still going to have smartphones. The business is going to get more complicated, you’re going to see new entrants coming in with smartphones.Whether Samsung, Apple, Motorola-Google, and Nokia-Microsoft will be able to innovate to the next stage, I don’t know. But I think you’re going to see this further evolution. The idea that a smartphone just does your phone stuff, a little Internet browsing, and email — if that’s your definition of smartphone, it’s going to change. Your smartphone is going to do more and more things.GAZETTE: What about things like Google Glass and smartwatches?YANG: In the short run, I don’t think they are any [danger to] smartphones. What people don’t talk about is those form factors aren’t big enough for the processor, data storage, cellular communications circuitry, and especially the battery, so you still need a smartphone. The watch still connects to your smartphone, and I believe the glasses will still need to connect to your smartphone, because you still need someplace to store the data and provide a communications link to the Internet and the rest of your stuff.People predict the demise of things, but it doesn’t happen as immediately as people think. It takes a long time to dismantle something. But once it starts to happen, it can happen very rapidly.Digital cameras were around a long time together with film cameras. And all of a sudden — I think it was within a span of five years — nobody bought a film camera anymore. So they’re kind of a traveling along slowly and boom, it’s gone. I think laptops and desktops were going along pretty smoothly, and all of a sudden people stopped buying desktops. And so that’s the kind of thing that happens.Feature phones, the ones replaced by smartphones, were going along with smartphones, which had been around since 2000. They were always there, but never took off. A few years after Apple introduced their first iPhone was when smartphones just started to take off.I don’t like to talk about “cool gadgets.” I prefer to talk about: What is the job that needs to be done? Why did smartphones take off? Because I have this necessity to be connected to my email as well as be able to talk to people. And I have necessity every now and then to look at stuff on the Internet, which is annoying, by the way, because it’s such a small screen. But sometimes, out of necessity, I have to look for my reservation code number, for example, because I have to check in at the airport.Because of that, I choose to buy a smartphone, since it is able to do those jobs. You can think of all sorts of other jobs and once people think [a technology] is important enough and does that job well enough, people will elect to use that device. In the end, it’s people using the technology to do a job. People buy it to do a job.
Radcliffe’s ‘jellyfish guy’ follows the light Jellyfish are about 95 percent water, making them some of the most diaphanous, delicate animals on the planet. But their remaining 5 percent has yielded important scientific discoveries, such as green fluorescent protein that scientists now use extensively to study gene expression, and life-cycle reversal that could hold the keys to combating aging.Jellyfish may very well harbor other, potentially life-changing secrets, but the difficulty of collecting them has severely limited the study of these “forgotten fauna.” The sampling tools available to marine biologists on remotely operated vehicles were largely developed for the marine oil and gas industries, and are far better-suited to grasping and manipulating rocks and heavy equipment than jellies, which they often shred to pieces while trying to capture them.Now, a new technology developed by researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and Baruch College at City University of New York offers a novel solution to that problem in the form of an ultra-soft, underwater gripper that uses hydraulic pressure to gently but firmly wrap its fettuccini-like fingers around a single jellyfish, then release it without causing harm. The gripper is described in a new paper published in Science Robotics.“Our ultra-gentle gripper is a clear improvement over existing deep-sea sampling devices for jellies and other soft-bodied creatures that are otherwise nearly impossible to collect intact,” said first author Nina Sinatra, a former graduate student in the lab of Robert Wood at the Wyss Institute. “This technology can also be extended to improve underwater analysis techniques and allow extensive study of the ecological and genetic features of marine organisms without taking them out of the water.”The gripper’s six “fingers” are composed of thin, flat strips of silicone with a hollow channel inside bonded to a layer of flexible but stiffer polymer nanofibers. The fingers are attached to a rectangular, 3D-printed plastic “palm” and, when their channels are filled with water, curl in the direction of the nanofiber-coated side. Each finger exerts an extremely low amount of pressure — about 0.0455 kPA, or less than one-tenth of the pressure of a human’s eyelid on their eye. By contrast, current state-of-the-art soft marine grippers, which are used to capture delicate but more robust animals than jellyfish, exert about 1 kPA.The researchers fitted their ultra-gentle gripper to a specially created, hand-held device and tested its ability to grasp an artificial silicone jellyfish in a tank of water to determine the positioning and precision as well as the optimum angle and speed at which to capture a jellyfish. They then moved on to the real thing at the New England Aquarium, where they used the grippers to grab swimming moon jellies, jelly blubbers, and spotted jellies, all about the size of a golf ball.The gripper was successfully able to trap each jellyfish against the palm of the device, and the jellyfish were unable to break free from the fingers’ grasp until the gripper was depressurized. The jellyfish showed no signs of stress or other adverse effects after being released, and the fingers were able to open and close roughly 100 times before showing signs of wear and tear.,“Marine biologists have been waiting a long time for a tool that replicates the gentleness of human hands in interacting with delicate animals like jellyfish from inaccessible environments,” said co-author David Gruber, a 2017-2018 Radcliffe Fellow, professor of biology and environmental science at Baruch College, and a National Geographic Explorer. “This gripper is part of an ever-growing soft robotic toolbox that promises to make underwater species collection easier and safer, which would greatly improve the pace and quality of research on animals that have been under-studied for hundreds of years, giving us a more complete picture of the complex ecosystems that make up our oceans.”The ultra-soft gripper is the latest innovation in soft robotics for underwater sampling, an ongoing collaboration between Gruber and Wood that has produced the origami-inspired RAD sampler and multifunctional “squishy fingers” to collect a diverse array of hard-to-capture organisms, including squids, octopuses, sponges, sea whips, corals, and more.“Soft robotics is an ideal solution to long-standing problems like this one across a wide variety of fields, because it combines the programmability and robustness of traditional robots with unprecedented gentleness thanks to the flexible materials used,” said Wood, a Wyss core faculty member, co-lead of the Wyss Institute’s Bioinspired Soft Robotics Platform, the Charles River Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences at SEAS, and a National Geographic Explorer.The team is continuing to refine the ultra-soft gripper’s design, and aims to conduct studies that evaluate the jellyfishes’ physiological response to being held by the gripper, to more definitively prove that it does not cause the animals stress. Wood and Gruber, who are also co-principal investigators of the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Designing the Future project, will further test their various underwater robots on an expedition aboard the research ship Falkorin 2020.“At the Wyss Institute we are always asking, ‘How can we make this better?’ I am extremely impressed by the ingenuity and out-of-the-box thinking that Rob Wood and his team have applied to solve a real-world problem that exists in the open ocean, rather than in the laboratory. This could help to greatly advance ocean science,” said Wyss Institute Founding Director Donald Ingber, who is also the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, and professor of bioengineering at SEAS.Additional authors of the paper are Clark Teeple, Daniel Vogt, and Kevin Kit Parker from the Wyss Institute and Harvard SEAS. Parker is a core faculty member of the Wyss Institute and the Tarr Family Professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics at SEAS.The research was supported by the National Science Foundation, the Harvard University Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative, and the National Geographic Society. Related Pneumatic digital logic eliminates the last hard components from robots Replacing hard parts in soft robots A soft touch Marine biologist David Gruber’s research plumbs the potential of an oceanic enigma Researchers develop ‘soft’ valves to make entirely soft robots
17SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Deedee Myers Deedee Myers is founder and CEO of DDJ Myers, Ltd. and co-founder of the Advancing Leadership Institute. For the past 20 years, she has been passionate about establishing and developing … Web: www.ddjmyers.com Details Are you one of the board members pretending to look engaged and interested? How curious are you in the board packet and in understanding how your organization is confidently and consistently serving your community? What are you doing to add value while mitigating risk? It is a shame that 67% of board members are Pretenders. This phenomenon of looking busy during the board meeting is called social loafing. Individuals tend to put forth less effort in a group than if they were working alone. Group meetings with six people have individuals contribute with a 40% effort, and most boards have at least seven members. Heavy social loafing is a challenge for the CEO. How satisfied would you be if your CEO performed at 40% effort? What would be different if each board member arrived ready to contribute at 100%, asked one or two strategic oriented questions, and lead or proactively added value to rigorous dialogue? Such an exuberant board meeting requires a: forward focused agenda board packet aligned with a strategic board mindset skill at asking the right questions (not the micro questions!) competence in framing the challenge, issue, or opportunity new practices moving from tactical to framing a commitment to be a high-performing board be each board memberEvery organization needs a high performing board and it as a right of each account holder. A collateral advantage is caliber professionals will be more apt to join a rigorous board. The CEO will be higher performing to pace with a strategically focused, high performing board. Why are you waiting? No longer permit the Pretenders in your boardroom.