General News

OS: New service features in the recently launched Nokia Maps 2.0 include; improved optional car navigation, enhanced pedestrian navigation, added multimedia city guides, and now satellite images and a redesigned user interface.

Ordnance Survey’s Code-Point data is underpinning the GPS service by providing the exact location for the 1.7 million postcodes in the UK.  This allows users to get direction information that is both highly accurate and linked to an actual place ‘on the map’.
Press release ~ Nokia Maps 2.0 ~ Ordnance Survey’s Code-Point data
 
Newswire - IOCP: At its recent conference entitled ‘Commissioning for Personalisation’, the IOCP learnt that Self Directed Care must have limits and rules.  If it didn’t, then the policy would collapse through abuse, lack of fairness and misdirected expenditure.  There is a further risk of self inflicted damage through the introduction of massive administration costs, as unless new technology is used to its fullest extent, then administration costs will rise substantially. 
 
The example used was for 2,500 service users making individual and personal choices, where as much as £750 pa each could be spent if paper purchase orders were used.  At 21%, it’s a considerable overhead on a personal budget of £3,500 pa.
 
Even if service users switch to Direct Payments (where they make their own arrangements for care), then with current practice, costs could be as much as £400 per direct payment holder.  And this is on top of any assessment, advocacy, brokerage or agency costs designed to help deliver self directed care.
Press release ~ Institute of Commissioning Professionals ~ CSIP Personalisation Network ~ National Foundation for Self Directed Care ~ ScotGov: Direct Payments For Self-Directed Care: Draft Policy and Practice Guidance ~ DH: Self care support for commissioners and providers
 
PCS: In July 2008, leaders of eight of the world's wealthiest and most powerful nations - the G8 - will meet in Hokkaido, Japan for their annual meeting.  Every year on July 7, the people of Japan celebrate Tanabata by making their wishes for the coming year, and tying them to a bamboo tree.
 
This year, people across the globe are invited to make their wish for immediate action from the G8 on workers rights, education, health and HIV and Aids, climate change and international aid. Your wish, along with millions of others will be handed to the Japanese Prime Minister on July 6, the day before the meetings begin.
Press release ~ Sign the TUC’s e-action petition on the TUC's website.
 
YF: From new cancer treatments to wheelchairs that can drive themselves, 26 of Yorkshire and Humber’s most innovative ideas are being given financial support to help take them out of the university laboratory and into the marketplace thanks to the latest round of Yorkshire Enterprise Fellowships.

The Yorkshire Forward funded Yorkshire Enterprise Fellowship scheme (delivered by YKTO Consulting Ltd) is a region wide programme aimed at helping academic researchers take their idea to commercialisation.  The scheme provides £10,000 financial support to fellows, as well as specialist mentoring & business development advice that helps them to develop their ideas into sound commercial concepts.
Press release ~ Yorkshire Enterprise Fellowships ~ Yorkshire Forward
 
TfL: Transport for London has issued a reminder to Londoners that alcohol has been banned from the Tube, bus, Docklands Light Railway and tram services and stations across the capital as from 1 June 2008. Drinking from & carrying open containers of alcohol will be banned, making travelling on London’s public transport network a safer and more pleasant experience for passengers.

The Mayor announced the ban, a key manifesto commitment, earlier this month and information posters advising passengers of the ban have been carried across the transport network. TfL intends to implement the policy through a change to the Conditions of Carriage relating to Underground and Bus services.  The ban will also come into force on London Overground later next month.
Press release ~ TfL ~ Related news item
New Ways to Engage: The Potential of Voice Technology in the Public Sector