Servicing Success, One Step at a Time

first_img The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Investment, Market Studies, News, Print Features Previous: FinTech’s Influence on Home Financing Next: Why Did Mortgage Delinquencies Rise? Servicing Success, One Step at a Time Tagged with: Banks Finances Servicing Banks Finances Servicing 2019-07-22 Seth Welborn  Print This Post Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago July 22, 2019 1,951 Views Subscribe Related Articles Courtney Thompson is the SVP and Director of Default Servicing Operations for Flagstar Bank. Thompson is responsible for all consumer default assets at Flagstar, including default call center and the design and operation of Flagstar Bank’s component default servicing oversight model—including the management of the specialty servicing vendor partners as well as Flagstar’s crossfunctional oversight team. Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Servicing Success, One Step at a Time The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Share Save About Author: Courtney Thompson The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily With default volumes reaching historical lows, servicers nationwide are looking to get their houses in order by enhancing control environments, tightening processes, and redesigning or implementing new technologies to manage operations more efficiently while mitigating the risk to scale quickly in the next market downturn. While there is a massive push in the industry to tech-up with process automation, artificial intelligence, robotics, big data solutions, and the latest and greatest workflow tools, the cost to implement is high, the business requirements are complicated, and people with the right skills required to implement them are either non-existent or in excruciatingly high demand, especially with the default workforce steadily shrinking to meet operational bottom lines.  We have learned through trial and error that sometimes the high-cost of technological enhancement is the best answer. For instance, after conducting a deep dive into all of the available end-to-end loss mitigation options for better consistency and control in the loss mitigation workflow, Flagstar was unable to find a solution that met our goals. As a result, we are committing substantial resources to build our a proprietary tool that will be nimble enough to keep up with the bank’s conservative perspective on loss mitigation requirements, while maintaining the quality of a thorough evaluation with a robust audit package to meet regulatory needs in advance of a request. We anticipate that our solution will eliminate 10 days from the final conversion process but remain so user-friendly that even I could underwrite a loss mitigation application. Learning From the BestIn the stability that a lower volume environment created, the Flagstar default team swapped our jackets for cardigans and slippers and took the time to develop better solutions to manage our bottom line. Taking a page out of philosophical history (also a luxury in the mortgage servicing business), we leveraged Occam’s Razor and tried our best not to overcomplicate it. Academically credited to William of Ockham, a 13-14th-century friar, philosopher, and theologian, Occam’s Razor supposes that the best strategy among competing hypotheses is the one with the fewest assumptions. Others agree. Aristotle is first credited with the idea that, when capturing the inherent value in the simple solution, “we may assume the superiority, other things being equal, of the demonstration which derives from fewer postulates or hypotheses.”The forefather of infectious disease, Theodore Woodward, once stated, “When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses, not zebras.” Albert Einstein’s perspective? “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”Said another way, the simplest solution is often the correct one. The best news? We found that adopting this strategy in default servicing operations is a veritable gold mine. We looked at the rules, the people, our P&L, our service providers, and our customers. We evaluated expensive technologies and cringed at implementation calendars. We scratched our heads. And then, we endeavored to define a series of small wins—simple changes—that have yielded significant returns. Keep It SimpleMost significant among the small wins in our new strategy was connecting our two favorite groups of lawyers—our internal legal department and our business line foreclosure/bankruptcy attorney network (the “business line attorney network”). At many servicers, the foreclosure and bankruptcy departments carry the responsibility to manage the contested foreclosure or adversary proceedings, by leveraging the business line foreclosure and bankruptcy attorney network managed by the business. For matters that fall outside the general contested rubric, the bank’s in-house legal department will review the matter to determine whether its intervention of a file is warranted—based on risk factors such as a proactive claim against the bank. If the matter meets the criteria and is escalated, then the legal department will take jurisdiction and manage the matter through their process. In turn, the legal department appropriately leverages their network of attorneys to manage these files—these attorneys are typically not in the business line foreclosure and bankruptcy attorney network and carry a multi-state or national presence. Although this strategy generally works, we learned that it was not the best approach in all cases.When we evaluated our litigation expense budget and the litigated matters portfolio for default loans, we found it largely consisted of cases arising from a foreclosure or bankruptcy matter, and the crux of that litigation was residing within the foreclosure or bankruptcy matter itself—comprised of an attempt to avoid the underlying foreclosure. We realized that, instead of leaving the foreclosure avoidance matters with the business line attorney network firm managing the actual foreclosure or bankruptcy, we were moving them to another law firm—one residing in the corporate legal department network. Typically, these firms are used to charging the hirer hourly rates to support the management of matters of much greater diversity and complexity (requiring independent research, and time spent by associates), and of much higher operational, reputational, or financial risk to the bank.  In partnership with our trusted legal department partners, we posed a simple hypothesis, which becomes a key cost savings initiative that was put into action through a pilot program wherein we believe, conservatively, that we will reduce our litigation expense budget by at least 30% for these matters within the next year. The Case for Cost SavingsWhat if we leveraged the line of business attorney network (the litigation department at an assigned foreclosure firm) instead of the corporate legal department network (frequently national firms, with enhanced cost structures)? Said another way, what if we did nothing and left the cases where they were? Total timeline to implement: Hours. Comprised of coordinating the right partners both internally and externally, and conducting the steps necessary for the legal department to leverage the business unit attorney network. Total cost to implement: $0The total effort on behalf of the BU: NothingKey factors leading to the success of this program include:  It is not only what you know, but who you know that is important in matters having a geographic origin. Default matters are sensitive, deserve compassion, and are frequently litigated in the counties and municipalities where our customers live. Banks and servicers are outsiders, and when it comes to default, especially, we are often viewed as the bad guy. Frequently, the outcome of a matter is dependent not only on the merits of a case, but also on geography, local practice, judicial disposition, judicial appointment practice, and many other characteristics tied to the community wherein they are litigated. Firms in your business foreclosure and bankruptcy network have inherent ties to the states, communities, and municipalities in which they operate. Compared to a firm with a multi-state or national presence who may either hire a local attorney to achieve the above objectives (thus increasing the cost); or send a young associate to a neighboring state where they happen to have a bar card to manage the matter in an unfamiliar court—which can be detrimental and undermine the increased expenditure. The firm in the business line attorney network has both a history with the file and a vested interest in the litigation resolving well. Foreclosure avoidance lawsuits, more often than not, arise out of an attempt by a borrower to delay what is often inevitable, the loss of their home through a foreclosure process. Given the fact that real harm to borrowers in servicing is rare, frequently borrower’s counsels are left with the only strategy they have to accomplish their clients’ goals. They challenge the veracity of the underlying foreclosure process itself, whether at the servicer or at the foreclosure firm. We have learned that the most interested party in defending a compliant foreclosure, is the party conducting it—the foreclosure firm used in the underlying foreclosure action. The foreclosure firm is responsible for ensuring under their state’s legal framework and federal law that files are in ship shape at every juncture of the process.  Who better to address challenges to the underlying action, then the firm that did the doing? Additionally, the business line firms are incentivized to succeed because their business depends on client service to generate referrals. With low default volume, the competition is fiercer than ever, and the business line firms are keenly aware that the stakes are high.  Would you rather pay a legal expert $20,000 to resolve your lawsuit, or a foreclosure legal expert $10,000 to resolve your lawsuit? This is neither news nor a shocking revelation. Your business line foreclosure and bankruptcy attorney network are regulated by governmental agencies requiring caps on the fees and expenses associated with litigation. Their rates are fundamentally lower.  In a high-level cost analysis of our legal spend in 2018, we found that, for an average foreclosure avoidance matter, we would spend between $15,000 and $25,000 on legal fees (on matters not going to trial). Applying the same files to the capped foreclosure/bankruptcy firm hourly rate structure would yield at 30-50% savings, by simply keeping the file with the local experts—the business line firms. Assuming you close 100 matters in a year, this initiative could save you $500,000 annually, with zero overhead associated with changing this strategy. Et cetera.  While the straightforward math and the limited implementation cost yields a direct financial benefit to the bottom line, there are some potential intrinsic benefits to leveraging the business line attorney. We can also hypothesize cost savings in the approach to file management. Namely, your foreclosure and bankruptcy network firms are in the business of practicing foreclosure and bankruptcy law—it is what they know. Further, in any given state, this also means that you are allowed to have a much higher expectation of efficiency with the management of your matter—this is what they do. Your business line foreclosure and bankruptcy attorney network should know the players (both plaintiff’s counsel, and the judiciary), have the experience with the right arguments to plug and play into your matters (brief banks), and have previously synthesized almost every legal issue that could be presented. In short, you should not be billed for excess legal research, motion practice, and brief writing. Finally, and the key to the underlying resolution of these matters, they tend to have a higher level of expertise with investor/insurer level requirements—they recognize the stakeholders in the case. The business-line firm’s operations are evaluated by these requirements, and thus, the firm’s ability to maintain a viable practice depends on this knowledge. As more than half of these matters resolve with some sort of loss mitigation solution, this is important. In potential contrast, the legal department networks are frequently comprised of lawyers from national firms, with a recognizable name, with smart and capable lawyers from notable law schools; they will likely do a good job. These service providers are legal experts, no doubt. However, because they are typically used to managing larger, high-stakes, high-dollar matters, they are not spending their hours becoming experts in state-level foreclosure matters, developing the brief banks, or developing a relationship with the local bar. Moreover, it doesn’t make financial sense for these firms (with multiple locations, and generally higher paid associates), to reduce their hourly rates for less complex matters. There are cases that come through the door that will be best managed by these firms and some that aren’t. Knowing the difference is key.In philosophy, a razor is a rule of thumb that allows one to avoid unnecessary actions. In default servicing, the best solution is often the quickest solution, which has a clear potential of mitigating risk and reducing cost. We would suggest “doing nothing” like us, and adding your business line foreclosure and bankruptcy firms to your legal department network.last_img read more

Reflecting On IGE 2018 In Barcelona With Alan Paul [Photos/Interview]

first_imgLoad remaining images I’ve long considered the music I love to be holy and compared going to a great show to attending religious services. But I rarely felt that emotion or thought that thought so viscerally as I did one rainy night last October in Barcelona.Wearing a sports jacket and walking through tiled hallways lined with giant looming statues, I felt a little awkward for a few minutes as I filed into a gallery at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, a rococo 19th century museum, and took my seat surrounded by a room full of new friends also scrubbed up clean for the evening’s formal gala, with guests and artists alike turning in their T-shirts for embroidered Western wear, sequined gowns, and a few tuxedos.Related: Jay Blakesberg & Alan Paul’s IGE 2018 Barcelona Diary: Sala Apolo, Everyone Orchestra, & The Music Of The Grateful Dead [Photos]Centuries-old paintings stared down at us from every angle: gorgeous, gold leaf-framed Catalan royalty. It was easy to imagine them wondering what the heck was going on in their home. They surely saw through our duds into this crew’s mongrel hearts.In the front of the room, the musicians started to file in and perform completely unamplified, their voices, guitars, mandolins, dobros echoing through the marble room. Grahame Lesh, Ross James, Scott Law, Nicki Bluhm, Holly Bowling, Matt Butler, Eric Krasno, Elliott Peck, Jillian Nershi, Greensky Bluegrass’s Anders Beck and Paul Hoffman, the String Cheese Incident’s Bill Nershi, Keith Moseley and Jason Hann all came and went from the front of the room, performing in various groupings for me and my 100 or so lucky fellow travelers. It was the midpoint, more or less, of last year’s IGE trip to Barcelona—a full-bore musical immersion.This was day 5 of 10, I think. Maybe it was day 6. Who’s to say. I could go check the itinerary, but the larger point would be lost; by then, the days and nights were blending together into a holistic whole. The days were no easier to separate than were the activities. Sightseeing. Exploring. Finding different pockets of friends to hang out with in the friendly little tribe. That day had begun with a wonderful guided tour of Sagrada Familia, the renowned, appropriately trippy cathedral designed by architect Antoni Gaudi early last century that remains under construction. I toured it in a smaller group with Moseley, Hann and their wives. The night before, we had been treated to a private flamenco guitar and dance performance in a 16th-century barroom. The next night we’d all be at the large Apolo club for the week’s single open-to-the-public performance, which would see the trip’s musicians collaborating with like-minded Spaniards. After that, we’d take over the Harlem Jazz Club, down a cobblestone street for an Eric Krasno trio performance featuring Hann and The New Mastersounds bassist Peter Shand. One cool thing after another, unforgettable nights and days blending together into an unforgettable whole.“It’s a wonderful opportunity to see cities and really get deep into them,” says Grahame Lesh, who was in Barcelona last year and in Venice with IGE the prior year, and who will be in Lisbon with them this October. “I’ve visited them, but we don’t have an opportunity to see the music scene of the city, to see the Grateful Dead scene and the American roots music scene in a city across the Atlantic.”“It’s also pretty great to hang out and jam with musicians that I know and don’t know, all of us brought together in different formations to try cool things,” Lesh continues. “We’re all on the road a lot so we know each other but never get to spend real time together and to meet one another’s spouses and have adventures together, so this is such a pleasure. All of this is why we block the time out and make the IGE trips a priority.”Grahame’s words encapsulated beautifully what I saw day in and day out, staying in an apartment building where the musicians were camped out in a block of units; what I saw walking a few blocks through some twisting alleys to the hotel where the 100 or so guests were staying. Many nights ended there, with groups of musicians taking the stage for impromptu acoustic performances, with the guests stretched out on the floor, chilling, sipping wine, doing yoga, canoodling in the corner. Their experience wasn’t all that different from the musicians’. Seeking a little insight into that, I got in touch with Dave Fleishman (@Deadesq), a Californian who has attended the last two IGE events and will also be in Lisbon. He told me that he’s transferred almost all of his music-travel spending to these events.“The IGE experience is clearly music-oriented, but there’s so much more to it,” he says. “It’s also an incredible travel experience. You settle into this city and you learn the neighborhood you’re in and the city you happen to be in—and you have these remarkable musical experiences. It’s a fantastic combination of the two. And they do such a great job picking venues and putting unique and one-of-a-kind musical experiences together. It’s very different than the experience you would have anywhere else.”“It’s the essence of live music and I think it’s as much if not more fun for the musicians as it is for the fans,” he continues. “They seem to be having the time of their lives on these trips and it comes through in their music: the way they play, the explorations they make. There’s something about being cloistered away together for 10 days that allows for explorations you just don’t experience anywhere else. Some of the music makes me think, ‘I can’t believe I’m hearing this.’”“They know they’re with knowledgeable music fans,” Fleishman concludes. “We’ve got 10 days with these people and get to hang out with them outside the music. It’s a very relaxed way to vacation to hear music and to sightsee. There’s nothing like it and I’ll keep coming along as I can.”Below, you can check out some photos from the 2018 IGE experience in Barcelona courtesy of photographer Jay Blakesberg.The 2019 IGE Music & Art Immersion Experience will take place in Lisbon, Portugal from October 4th through October 13th, 2019.  For more information, or to book your spot on the 2019 IGE trip, head here. Load remaining imagescenter_img Load remaining imageslast_img read more

Thierry Henry announces retirement

first_imgFrench veteran Thierry Henry has brought down the curtain on a stellar career, announcing his retirement from football on Tuesday.Henry, 37, ended his four-and-a-half-year stay with MLS club New York Red Bulls earlier this month ahead of his contract expire at the end of the year.The former France international, who won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 as he amassed 123 international caps, was linked with an emotional return to Arsenal.But Henry – Arsenal’s all-time leading goalscorer with 228 goals – has decided to call time on his career, making the announcement via his official Facebook page.Henry will work as a pundit for Sky Sports next year.”After 20 years in the game I have decided to retire from professional football,” Henry wrote.”It has been an incredible journey and I would like to thank all the fans, teammates and individuals involved with AS Monaco, Juventus, Arsenal FC, FC Barcelona, the New York Red Bulls and of course the French National Team that have made my time in the game so special. “It is now time for a different career path and I am pleased to say that I will be returning to London and joining Sky Sports.”I will  hopefully,share some of the insights, observations and experiences I have learnt over the years with you guys.”I have had some amazing memories [mostly good!] and a wonderful experience. I hope you have enjoyed watching as much as I have enjoyed taking part.”See you on the other side…”Henry enjoyed a trophy-laden career, winning titles in three different countries. After lifting the Ligue 1 title with Monaco in 1996-97, Henry went on to claim two Premier League titles, three FA Cups as well as two Community Shields during his Arsenal spell.He also clinched two La Liga crowns and the 2008-09 UEFA Champions League among others as a Barcelona player.last_img read more

Brilliant Bolt storms to third 200 gold

first_imgRio de Janeiro, Brazil | AFP | Usain Bolt wrote another chapter of improbable Olympic history with a third consecutive 200m crown on Thursday as Ashton Eaton led an American gold rush by clinching back-to-back decathlon titles.Bolt, who just days earlier had become the first man in history to win three 100m titles in a row, surged to victory in the 200m in 19.78sec at the Olympic Stadium.Canada’s Andre De Grasse took silver in 20.02sec, just ahead of France’s Christophe Lemaitre, who nicked bronze in 20.12.Bolt’s triumph was greeted with rapturous applause by Brazilian fans who roared their appreciation as the sprint superstar set off on a lap of honour, with Bob Marley booming from stadium speakers.The win left the 29-year-old Bolt just one win away from his targeted “triple triple” — a repeat of his sweep of 100m, 200m and 4x100m golds at the 2008 and 2012 Games.“No, I can’t grasp what I’ve achieved, definitely not,” said Bolt. “You work so hard for years and then you just hope it pays off. It is a brilliant feeling.“I’m getting older and my body is ageing. Personally I think this is my last 200 but my coach may beg to differ.”Bolt will attempt to put the seal on what he says is his final Olympics in Friday’s 4×100 relay.  Solo relay replay Kerron Clement had earlier launched the US gold blitz in the men’s 400m hurdles, coming home in 47.73 to claim gold from Kenya’s Boniface Tumuti.Clement, who won silver in the event in the 2008 Olympics, said he had been determined to win gold this year after injuries derailed his 2012 Games.“I had one goal in mind and my mindset was to come here and get a medal,” Clement said.“In 2008 I fell short and got a silver. In 2012 I was battling injuries and surgeries. I was just happy to make the finals in 2012,” he added.The other American gold came in the shot put, where Ryan Crouser won with a best of 22.52 metres, a new Olympic record.Crouser’s teammate and reigning world champion Joe Kovacs claimed silver with 21.78m. New Zealand’s Tomas Walsh took bronze (21.36).Elsewhere Friday, the USA’s 4x100m women’s relay team survived a potentially costly dropped baton blunder in their heat that left them facing disqualification.The Americans however were granted a reprieve when race officials found that runner Allyson Felix had been barged by a Brazilian rival.The US quartet were then ordered to return to the track to run a solo time trial in order to qualify for Friday’s final, which they duly did with a fastest time of 41.77sec.“It was different, it was really weird,” Felix said after the unprecedented solo race.“Running without competition is just strange.” “The reality of winning is even better than the dream; Olympic champion, in front of my name,” Muhammad said.“Being the first American to win this title adds a bit of extra sparkle,” added Muhammad, who finished in 53.13sec.Sara Slott Petersen of Denmark took silver in 53.55sec while Muhammad’s team-mate Ashley Spencer claimed bronze in 53.72. US gold rush Bolt’s win came on a day when US athletes snapped up four more golds with wins in decathlon, men’s and women’s 400m hurdles and shot put.Eaton, the defending decathlon champion and world record holder, overcame a fierce challenge from France’s Kevin Mayer to win the punishing 10-event discipline with a total of 8,893 points.Mayer won silver with a total of 8,834pts, with Canada’s Damian Warner taking bronze.Eaton’s back-to-back titles matched Britain’s Daley Thompson, who won gold in the event in the 1980 and 1984 Olympics.“To win two Olympic golds in a row like Daley Thompson is very special,” Eaton said.“One day, I’m going to have to meet Daley, shake his hand and thank him for giving me something to chase after.”Arguably the performance of the day by a US athlete came in the women’s 400m hurdles, where Dalilah Muhammad became the first American to win the event since it was introduced at the 1984 Olympics. Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Austrian club turns stadium into forest to raise climate change awareness

first_imgAdvertisement xoNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vsqi2Wingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Ekb9( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) utWould you ever consider trying this?😱hp0Can your students do this? 🌚moyRoller skating! Powered by Firework A second-tier side from the Austrian football league, SK Austria Klagenfurt, have temporarily left their home ground in an effort to create a forest on the pitch. Yes, you read that correctly. The 32,000-seater Wörthersee Stadion, which hosted some games of the 2008 Euros, will now have more than 300 trees inside the arena thanks to Swiss artist Klaus Littmann, who proposed the idea on an exhibit named “For Forest: The Unending Attraction of Nature” in Klagenfurt’s stadium to raise awareness on climate change.Advertisement In an interview with the Reuters, the Swiss artist said, “For many, because of the current situation, this represents a memorial as part of the climate change discussion.”Advertisement An Austrian artist, Max Peintner who also happened to be an architect created a pencil drawing of a forest in the middle of a stadium surrounded by a crowd back in 1970. And Littmann, claims that his project was influenced from that drawing itself.” In 1970, he had the vision that one day, it could happen that we look at nature in designated areas only, for example in a crater architecture such as a stadium.” he added.Advertisement The exhibition is scheduled to open for public next week and has generated much curiosity among the people of Klagenfurt, the lakeside city in southern Austria.Meanwhile, SK Klagenfurt will be forced to play in a smaller stadium nearby until the For Forest exhibition ends on Oct. 27.[Credits IG/brfootball] Advertisementlast_img read more

Woman airlifted to hospital after fall at Malin Head

first_imgA successful rescue operation took place this Friday afternoon to help a woman who fell while walking near Banba’s Crown at Malin Head.The casualty was airlifted to hospital after suffering a suspected broken ankle.The rescue was co-ordinated by Malin Head Coast Guard, who received a call from a member of the public at 12.30pm. The Rescue 118 helicopter was tasked to transfer the woman to Letterkenny University Hospital, with assistance from the Greencastle Coast Guard.Woman airlifted to hospital after fall at Malin Head was last modified: August 2nd, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

First-half latest: Swansea 1-0 Chelsea

first_imgChelsea fell behind following a scrappy opening at the Liberty Stadium.Gylfi Sigurdsson scored with a volley from the edge of the area to put Swansea ahead after the Blues failed to properly clear.Chelsea had just started to get on top, with Oscar close to opening the scoring.The Brazilian’s effort went just over following a corner, while Ruben-Loftus Cheek had a shot easily saved and was then denied a tap-in by some last-ditch defending.Blues goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, making his first Premier League start since November, was barely tested until a mistake by Matt Miazga forced him to make a fine save from Gylfi Sigurdsson.Alexandre Pato, on his full Premier League debut, showed some bright touches without having a sight of goal.But Sigurdsson’s strike put relegation-threatened Swansea ahead.Gary Cahill failed his late fitness test, meaning Miazga is partnered in central defence by Branislav Ivanovic, who captains the team in the absence of John Terry.Oscar also came in, for Kenedy, while youngsters Ola Aina, Charlie Colkett and Kasey Palmer are on the bench.Swansea City: Fabianski, Rangel, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor, Cork, Fer, Sigurdsson, Ayew, Montero, Paloschi.Subs: Nordfeldt, Naughton, Amat, Ki, Barrow, Routledge, Gomis.Chelsea: Begovic; Azpilicueta, Miazga, Ivanovic, Baba Rahman; Mikel, Fabregas; Pedro, Loftus-Cheek, Oscar; Pato. Subs: Courtois, Aina, Kenedy, Colkett, Palmer, Traore, Falcao.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Going wild over indigenous silk

first_imgJanine ErasmusSilk is one of the most luxurious and desirable fabrics we know – but it does not come cheaply. A pilot project that has been running under the auspices of the North West provincial government has found that silk from the cocoons of the African wild silk moth Gonometa postica is of a very high commercial quality, certainly good enough for the discerning fashion and home décor industries.Partners in the project include the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which supplies technical support, the Department of Trade and Industry and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido), while relevant regional government will be consulted as the project moves from region to region.Gonometa postica and its close family member, Gonometa rufobrunnea, feed on the mopane tree (Colophospermum mopane), well known in Southern Africa. The wood of this tree is heavy and extremely termite resistant, and is becoming popular as a material for crafting musical instruments. It is best known, however, for its role as a food source – not only for the two Gonometa species, but also for the mopane worm, the large plump caterpillar of the moth Imbrasia belina. These caterpillars are a rich source of protein and the mopane worm industry provides an important source of income for rural communities because it forms the basis of a lucrative food industry.It is hoped that the collection and processing of the African wild silk moths’ cocoons will do much the same in providing people with an income. And because the cocoons are collected only when the moths have already emerged, the moth population is not affected – unlike the culinary mopane worm industry, which has led to overexploitation of the insects and a resulting decline in their numbers in certain areas. The caterpillar of the wild silk moth, although inedible, nonetheless has the potential to make as great an economic impact as its lepidopteran relative.The wild silk project could create thousands of badly needed jobs because it could potentially be extended to all areas of the Southern African region. Says the CSIR’s Sunshine Blouw, leader of the research team, “Gonometa postica, the African wild silk moth, is commonly found on camelthorn trees which are quite widespread, and so this project need not be limited to the regions where only mopane trees are found.“So far we have been focusing on Ganyesa in the North West, but we envision the project becoming a regional initiative. Once we have the Ganyesa project up and running at optimal capacity, with all issues ironed out, we will roll it out to Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, as well as other areas in South Africa.”Unido has been brought on board, says Blouw, because they are already running a similar project in Madagascar, with excellent results. “We are going to refer to the model they have used because we believe we will achieve the best results in this way.”And it’s not only worms that are under the spotlight.“We are planning to develop the local cashmere industry in a similar way,” says Blouw. “Already some of our cashmere garments have been successfully shown at Paris Fashion Week, so an opportunity exists that must be explored.” Cashmere, gathered from the soft undercoats of indigenous goats, is a highly sought-after material especially in luxury clothing, because it is soft, warm and delicate. Local goat breeds suitable for the cultivation of cashmere include the South African Boer goat and the Savannah, among others.last_img read more

Apigee-to-Go: Extending the Console Metaphor and the Concept of the Social Object

first_imgThe link may be shared in any manner. It may be posted on Twitter or to a community such as GitHub. It’s up to the developer. Apigee’s Sam Ramji says they are influenced by the embed practices developed by companies such as YouTube and Slideshare to create what Apigee’s Marsh Gardiner calls a “social object.” I like the concept of a social object. It extends the metaphor for commerce. A social object gives providers the power to scale a sharing capability, which in turn can speed development. The embeddable object creates value when it is shared. Today’s emerging API infrastructure is a core component of new commerce that is turning information into a fluid currency with its own value that is having effects on innovation, progress and the state of the economy.Companies such as Apigee, Mashery and Layer 7 Technologies are part of an equation with deep fits into the makings of commerce and the flow of data in real-time. There are many examples of this new commerce. Apigee-to-Go shows the value of providing a framework for speeding communication to quicken the development of application within a developer framework.Disclosure: Mashery is a ReadWriteWeb sponsor. The service caches a request, saves it as a snapshot and provides it as a link for the user. For example, a developer might be exploring the Twitter API.They may want share what is being viewed once the API is reached through Apigee. Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market alex williams Apigee is extending its console to be integrated into a provider’s Web framework.SoundCloud, PayPal and LinkedIn have been the first to integrate the Apigee service that lets developers explore an API from within the providers development environment and share it as a social object.Apigee-to-Go is an iFrame of the Apigee console that embeds into the provider’s CSS, allowing the site to be skinned and in the process make the experience transparent to the user.According to a blog post by Apigee’s Shanley Kane, developers using the provider’s service may:View the full surface area of an API.Authenticate through OAuth.View API requests and responses.Explore errors and share their results.Here’s what it looks like on SoundCloud:center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#cloud#news last_img read more