A Tory leadership contender left her job as work a

first_imgA Tory leadership contender left her job as work and pensions secretary without answering key questions from an MP about links between her department and the deaths of benefit claimants, her former department has confirmed.Esther McVey (pictured) resigned her position last November in protest at the prime minister’s Brexit deal.But she left more than three months after receiving a letter from Stephen Lloyd, then a Liberal Democrat and now an independent MP, about claims of a possible cover-up by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).He had written to her after Disability News Service (DNS) reported how DWP was refusing to say if it showed key documents linking the deaths of claimants with the work capability assessment (WCA) to Dr Paul Litchfield, the independent expert the government hired to review the test in 2013 and 2014.He carried out the fourth and fifth reviews of the WCA but has refused to say if he was shown two letters written by coroners and a number of secret DWP “peer reviews”.Litchfield, who was recognised by the prime minister with a CBE in last June’s birthday honours, published his two reviews in December 2013 and November 2014, but neither of his reports mentioned the documents, which all link the WCA with the deaths of claimants.In his letter to McVey, Lloyd said he found it “astonishing” that Litchfield appeared not to have been shown the documents.He added: “In light of Dr Litchfield being awarded a CBE, could you please confirm whether or not he was shown the documents linking the government’s WCA program with the deaths of benefit claimants?”Weeks later, having failed to receive a reply, the MP wrote a follow-up letter to McVey.He never received a reply.This week, DWP claimed it could not comment because McVey was no longer with the department, while McVey’s office claimed it was for DWP to answer any questions about the failure to reply.A DWP spokesperson said: “As his letter was sent to Esther McVey I can’t say why a response wasn’t sent.”But a spokesperson for McVey said: “Although the letter was addressed to Esther, the ministerial correspondence team will have forwarded it to the correct person to respond.“In this case, it would not have been the secretary of state.“I am sorry I am not able to provide further information, it would be a matter for the Department for Work and Pensions to address.”Lloyd said this week: “It’s absolutely deplorable that Esther McVey, when she was secretary of state at the DWP, simply didn’t bother to respond to my letter which was first sent on the 2nd of August last year.“My office even followed her up twice, but still nothing.“This showed a total reluctance by her and the DWP to engage on what were and are shocking allegations.“To think that she’s now trying to become the new Conservative leader and even, god help us, prime minister, beggars belief.”Since DNS revealed the existence of the documents in the years after Litchfield’s final report was published, concerns have grown that senior DWP civil servants and ministers deliberately covered-up evidence showing the fatal impact of the assessment on disabled people.The admission that McVey failed to respond to Lloyd’s letter adds weight to calls in the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition* for an independent inquiry into deaths linked to DWP failings, and for evidence of criminal misconduct by civil servants or government ministers to be passed to the police.It also calls for MPs to recognise that DWP is institutionally disablist and not fit for purpose, and for DWP to “urgently change its policies and administration of social security benefits to make the safety of all claimants a priority”.The cover-up over the benefit deaths documents appeared to be confirmed earlier this month when DNS revealed how DWP had finally admitted failing to send Litchfield’s review team the coroners’ letters and the internal reviews.The admission came in DWP’s response to a complaint lodged by DNS with the Information Commissioner’s Office about the department’s failure to confirm if it passed the information to Litchfield.A senior ICO case officer told DNS: “Consultation with the ex-review team elicited statements that no such information was received from DWP nor were any physical files sent to stores.”The coroner’s letters followed the deaths of two men with mental health conditions in 2010 and 2013; they were sent to DWP in the spring of 2010 and early 2014, each warning of further such deaths if changes were not made to the WCA.Peer reviews – now known as internal process reviews – must be carried out by DWP civil servants into every death “where suicide is associated with DWP activity”, as well as other deaths and serious and complex cases that have been linked to DWP activity.DWP has admitted that at least seven peer reviews written in 2012 mentioned the WCA, and there are almost certainly more that were written by the time Litchfield wrote his final report in late 2014.One of the aims of a peer review is to “determine whether local and national standards have been followed or need to be revised/improved”, so DWP would find it hard to explain why they would not have been shown to Litchfield, whose job it was to review how the WCA was working.But neither of Litchfield’s reviews mentioned either the peer reviews or the coroners’ letters, although the second coroner’s letter was not written until he had begun work on his second review.Professor Malcolm Harrington, who carried out the first three WCA reviews in 2010, 2011 and 2012, has told DNS that he believes he was shown neither the first coroner’s letter nor any WCA-related peer reviews.To sign the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition, click on this link. If you sign the petition, please note that you will need to confirm your signature by clicking on an email you will be sent automatically by the House of Commons petitions committeeA note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

MIKE Rush was understandably delighted with his si

first_imgMIKE Rush was understandably delighted with his side’s tenacity as they held on to beat Catalans 20-15.Despite having Tony Puletua sent off for a tackle on Gregory Mounis and receiving a big slice of luck with a no-try decision at the death, Saints rose to third in the Stobart Super League table.“Yeah, I would have had complaints if that decision had gone against us,” he said. “But I’m not going to moan too much, because the decision has gone our way!“It was nice for us to get a win after we threw away two points at home against Catalan. We might not have been in our best form but we’re picking up some points.“It is always tough to come away from home and we had a long day travelling on Thursday and a long day waiting for the 9pm local kick off time too. We showed courage, determination and a lot of heart.“There were some contentious calls throughout the game and I’m sure both coaches will feel aggrieved. TP’s tackle looked ok from where we were sitting, but we’ll wait until we see the video, and Trent (Robinson) won’t be happy with that no try.“But it would have been heartbreaking to come away with nothing with the amount of effort we put in.”As some fans will have seen, Rush celebrated the dramatic win with great emotion at the final hooter.“Yeah, it was good! You get caught up in the emotion,” he added. “In the stands we were surrounded by passionate fans and when something went wrong it wasn’t the ref’s fault, it was mine, Keiron (Cunningham’s) and Kel’s (Coslett).“It is a hard environment to coach in, something I have never known. It means so much to get something out of this environment and our fans were superb weren’t they?”last_img read more

PAUL Sculthorpe has received an MBE in the New Yea

first_imgPAUL Sculthorpe has received an MBE in the New Year Honours List.The double Man of Steel who won countless accolades in a glittering career was given the award for services to Rugby League and Charity.Sculthorpe is currently in a Business Development role at the club and is pictured here with another League legend and fellow MBE holder Steve Prescott.last_img

SAINTS will take on Warrington at the Magic Weeken

first_imgSAINTS will take on Warrington at the Magic Weekend on Sunday May 18 (5pm) and tickets are now on sale.The two sides will lock horns at the Etihad Stadium in what is sure to be a mouth-watering clash.Tickets are now on sale from the ticket office at Langtree Park or by calling 01744 b455 052. They will be online at www.saintssuperstore.com laster today.Super League club season ticket holders can purchase their tickets at the specially discounted price of just £20 for the full weekend and £12.50 per day when purchased through their club.Regular prices start at £40 for the weekend and £20 per day*Daily TicketsCategoryTypeRegular Price Season Ticket PriceAdultConcAdultConc1Reserved Seating£27*£22.50  £22.50£11.252Unreserved Seating£30 £15 £15£7.503Reserved Seating£20* £12.50 £12.50£6.25*If bought before 5pm on March 5, 2014Weekend TicketsCategoryTypeRegular Price Season Ticket PriceAdultConcAdultConc1Reserved Seating£60£30 £30£152Unreserved Seating£45 £22.50 £22.50£11.253Reserved Seating£40 £20 £20£15last_img read more

Man accused of setting uncles house on fire

first_imgGebriel Jermaine Shipman is in jail after officials say he intentionally try to burn down a relative’s home that he was staying in. (Photo: CCSO) COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Whiteville man is in jail after officials say he intentionally try to burn down a relative’s home that he was staying in.Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigative Unit and Columbus County Fire Marshal’s Office have completed a joint investigation of a structure fire that happened at 166 Johnny George Road in Whiteville. As a result, Gebriel Jermaine Shipman has been charged for intentionally setting the fire.- Advertisement – On April 12 at approximately 6:30 a.m., the Columbus County Deputy Fire Marshall was dispatched to the home on Johnny George Road. Columbus County Sheriff’s Office was notified to assist with the investigation.The home belonged to Thomas Baldwin of Whiteville. Baldwin allowed his nephew, Shipman, to live at the home. Shipman reported that he came home from work that morning, to find that the interior of the house had been burned.During the investigation, tips led investigators to consider Shipman a person of interest. Shipman obtained a renter’s insurance policy in March 2018. However, throughout the investigation, Shipman allegedly lied to investigators about having an insurance policy. Shipman contacted the insurance company the same day as the fire, to initiate a claim.Related Article: 13 charged in Myrtle Beach prostitution stingInvestigators learned that the mortgage payments for the property were past due. Shipman was paying the mortgage payments directly to the lender. Therefore, Baldwin was unaware of any issues with the mortgage. On March 7, a representative from the mortgage company met with Shipman concerning the late mortgage payments. At that time, the home was fully furnished with Shipman’s belongings. Investigators found the home to be minimally furnished when they responded to the fire. The investigation revealed that Shipman had removed his personal belongings prior to the fire.On April 11, Shipman used available materials to ignite the furniture, window coverings, and various other items inside of the residence. He then left the residence to burn. When he arrived home from work on the 12th, he dialed 911 to report the fire.On June 13, Gebriel Shipman was arrested without incident at 105 Covey Run Apartments in Whiteville. He is in the Columbus County Law Enforcement Center under a $10,000 unsecured bond.Charges:1 felony count of Insurance Fraud1 felony count of Attempting to Obtain Property by False Pretense1 felony count of Fraudulently Burning a Dwelling.last_img read more

New Brunswick Co program to get rid of dilapidated homes

first_img “The benefits are that it will be helpful to the public or the neighborhood from property value stand point,” said County Planning Director Kirstie Dixon. “From a property crime stand point… from a perception view point as well…as well as from tourism to improve Brunswick County.”The program is strictly voluntary and requires that the residence have an active violation case related to an oridnance, code or nuisance.The average cost of mobile home removal $2,500 and wood framed structure is $5,700.Related Article: Sources say Vertex closing its Wilmington plantBut, although some homes may look tattered from the outside, some people say the homes still have history.George Irving, who has lived on the same street all his life and owns a dilapidated building on his property says these aren’t just old buildings.“[This building] was a weight station that used to pick up cucumbers, cotton, any kind of merchandise like that on the train station and it went from Wilmington to Bolivia to Southport so it was called WBS railroad line.”Brunswick County has 32 homes that they have already planned to begin work on by the end of the year. BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Home is where the heart is in Brunswick County.Leaders are trying to find ways to keep the area looking its best as more people look to live in the area.- Advertisement – last_img read more

After Florence what to know about your insurance coverage

first_imgAs homeowners in the Carolinas recover from Florence, it’s important they know how insurance may or may not help.Damage to a property from wind is covered under a standard homeowners policy. Damage from flooding covered by a separate policy, typically purchased from the federal government.- Advertisement – Many homeowners’ policies can help cover costs beyond damage to structures or belongings. They may, for insurance, cover the cost of evacuation and temporary housing.Also, a homeowner should contact their insurer before signing a contract for repairs to their home.And those who missed days at work due to the storm should talk to their employer. Some businesses have insurance that allows them to pay workers for a number of days missed due to mandatory evacuation.last_img read more

Republicans Democrats disagree on election fraud investigation in Bladen County

first_img Unofficial totals have Republican Mark Harris leading Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes. But the state elections board refused to certify the results last week because of allegations of “irregularities and concerted fraudulent activities” involving mail-in ballots in the district. The board is meeting later this month to hear evidence, but it’s unclear whether the race will be settled then.North Carolina GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse texted a statement to The Associated Press saying that the GOP would back a new election if the state’s elections board were to show that absentee ballot issues changed the outcome of the 9th Congressional District race.“If they can show a substantial likelihood it could have changed the race then we fully would support a new election,” he said.Related Article: Pirro’s show not on Fox lineup, week after Omar commentsHowever, he said that if the investigation shows that the outcome would not have been changed, Republican candidate Harris should be certified the winner.Entertaining the idea of a new election represents a significant change from last Thursday, when state GOP Chairman Robin Hayes issued a statement saying: “Democrats are throwing everything, including the kitchen sink, at the wall to try and steal an election.” On Sunday, Hayes said there weren’t enough questioned ballots to change the race’s outcome, and the next day he accused a Democratic member of the state board of “score-settling.”At issue is who can handle completed ballots. North Carolina law allows only a family member or legal guardian to drop off absentee ballots for a voter.In affidavits offered by the state Democratic Party, some Bladen County voters have described that people came to their homes to collect their absentee ballots, whether or not they had been fully completed or sealed in an envelope to keep them from being altered.The revelations and ensuing national news coverage have put pressure on Republicans and attracted attention from top Democrats.Pelosi, who’s nominated to become House speaker when Democrats take control in January, said Thursday that “any member-elect can object to the seating and the swearing-in of another member elect.” She also noted the investigative power of the House to determine race winners.It’s “bigger than that one seat,” she said, pointing to the overall “integrity of elections.”A state election board spokesman confirmed Thursday that subpoenas seeking documents had been sent to the Harris campaign, the firm serving as Harris’ chief strategist and the campaign committee of the sitting Bladen sheriff. The board released documents showing that McCrae Dowless, a contractor hired by the firm, seems to have collected the most absentee ballot request forms in Bladen County this fall.In North Carolina, several state Senate Republicans whose districts overlap the 9th called for further scrutiny of voting irregularities going back to 2010 and urged Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to create a bipartisan task force — separate from the state elections board — to investigate irregularities beyond this year’s election.They point to unusual outcomes in the mail-in ballot totals in previous elections that appeared to benefit Democrats or Republicans, depending on the race and the year. They said neither election boards, appointed by governors from both parties, nor prosecutors have adequately addressed recurring issues in Bladen.“What we cannot have going forward from this point is an investigative and enforcement effort or process that has a partisan taint that could dramatically worsen the situation,” said Sen. Dan Bishop, a Charlotte Republican. But he and his colleagues were cautious about saying whether a new election is necessary.“If there are not enough votes to overturn the election, then we probably need to go ahead and certify,” said Sen. Tommy Tucker of Union County. “If we find the irregularities and the vote count being where it is, then (a new election) certainly is an option.” 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Republican Party would support a new election in the state’s unresolved congressional race if an investigation shows that wrongdoing swayed its outcome, its executive director said Thursday, softening the organization’s stance as allegations of absentee ballot fraud mount.Amid the developments, U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said the House “retains the right to decide who is seated” and could take the “extraordinary step” of calling for a new election if the winner isn’t clear.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Bladen County man pleads guilty to trafficking heroin

first_img The seizure of approximately 237.5 grams of heroin along with cash and an AK-47 (Photo: Bladen Co. District Attorneys Office) Monte Williams (Photo: Bladen Co. District Attorneys Office) Monte Williams (Photo: Bladen Co. District Attorneys Office) BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Bladen County man will spend up to ten years in prison after pleading guilty to trafficking heroin.Monte Williams, of Bladenboro, was also ordered to pay a $100,000 fine.- Advertisement – According to the Bladen County District Attorney’s Office, Williams was investigated by the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office in the summer of 2018.An undercover purchase from Williams was conducted during the investigation. The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office also executed several search warrants on July 26, 2018. These search warrants led to the seizure of approximately 237.5 grams of heroin along with cash and an AK-47. An analysis conducted by the North Carolina State Crime Laboratory found that the heroin was laced with fentanyl.center_img 1 of 2 Related Article: Standing naked in window draws charges of indecent exposurelast_img read more

Watch 29 killed in Madeira bus accident

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint At least 29 people, most of them German tourists, were killed and 27 others injured on Wednesday when their bus veered off a steep narrow road on the Portuguese island of Madeira, authorities said.The white tourist bus — which was carrying 55 passengers and a tour guide in addition to the driver — overturned in a residential area in the coastal town of Canico at around 6:30 p.m. (1730 GMT), its mayor, Filipe Sousa, told reporters.TV images showed the vehicle on its side on a bank next to a small road and surrounded by rescuers.The driver reportedly lost control of the bus on a sloping road and the vehicle plunged down, overturning next to a house, according Portuguese news agency Lusa.“I have no words to describe what happened. I cannot face the suffering of these people,” Sousa told SIC TV.He said the tourists on the bus were all German but some pedestrians might have been hit by the bus.Germany’s Bild daily reported that many of the tourists were retirees, and those killed included 18 women and 11 men.The German foreign ministry had set up a hotline and embassy staff were in close touch with local officials about the accident, a spokeswoman said.Other members of the same group of German tourists were travelling on another bus, which was not involved in the accident, a regional civil protection spokesman told a news conference.Those injured were taken to a hospital in Funchal, the capital city of Madeira.From the 28 injured initially taken to the hospital, one German tourist did not survive the injuries, bringing the death toll to 29, a hospital spokesman told a news conference on Wednesday evening.Three of the injured underwent surgery, 23 were under observation and two were discharged. There were no children among the victims, the hospital confirmed, adding that two of the injured are from Portugal while the others are foreign nationals.Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa told SIC TV that some of the victims were from Madeira but most were German.A regional civil protection official said the tourists involved in the accident were aged between 40 and 50 years old.Portugal’s public prosecutor’s office plans to open an investigation into the accident, said Lusa.Madeira is a popular tourist destination. The peak season is during the summer but it also gets many visitors around Easter.Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa sent a message of condolences to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.“It was with deep regret that I learned about the tragic accident in Madeira,” Costa said on Twitter. “To all families involved I send the deepest condolences.”The spokesman for the German government Steffen Seibert also expressed his condolences on Twitter. “Our deep sorrow goes out to all those who lost their lives in the bus, our thoughts are with the injured,” he said in a tweet.Three days of mourning have been declared by Madeira’s regional government.WhatsApplast_img read more

Bernat joins PSG on transfer deadline day

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a7617b59&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=128&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint Paris Saint Germain have completed the signing of Spanish left-back Bernat for €15m. The 25-year-old has decided to leave Bayern Munich so as to seek a new challenge in the French capital.Bernat joined the Bundesliga side from Valencia in 2014 and managed to win four league titles while scoring five goals in 113 appearances. The left-back stated that on his new club’s official website that the possibility of working with Thomas Tuchel was important to his decision-making;“I am also looking forward to working under Thomas Tuchel, whose work in Germany was remarkable. I am truly excited to be taking the next step of my career with Paris.”WhatsApplast_img read more

Turkey targets Rwandas ICT sector

first_imgAdvertisement The surge in Turkish interest in the country follows the opening of a Rwandan consulate in the Turkish capital Istanbul in September last year.Other countries are also eyeing the opportunities in Rwanda’s ICT sector.Early this year, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) signed a $6.7 million contract with Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited to provide 1.244 Gbps of internet bandwidth. – Advertisement – The RDB hopes that these inputs, together with other ICT related investments, will make Rwanda East Africa’s ICT hub as it reduces its dependency on agriculture.Rwanda has transformed its economy since the 1994 genocide, to become East Africa’s preferred investment destination for foreign investors.The World Bank’s 2012 Doing Business Report ranks Rwanda in 45th position for ease of doing business worldwide and the 1st in East Africa.The country’s ambitious plan to become a middle income country by 2020 is gaining momentum, and being driven mostly by the private sector.Other than the Governments own investment in developing ICT infrastructure, the RDB has over the last three years attracted more than $ 500 million towards the ICT sector.Some of the investments that are likely to transform Rwanda into an ICT hub include its $93 million worth 2,500 kilometre fiber optic cable throughout the country, with 9 regional links to neighboring countries, Wireless Broadband in Kigali, an ICT Park to incubate start-ups and implementation of the One Laptop per Primary School Child that is aimed at increasing the use of ICT in education.Last year, the RDB’s mobile ICT buses which seek to bridge the digital divide, especially among the rural population, reached over 1,500 .Rwanda is also investing $24 million in Regional Communication Infrastructure to connect the country to the global network.By Dinfin Mulupi, ITWebAfricalast_img read more

Twitter to start tailoring trends to individuals

first_imgAdvertisement If you’re a journalist who uses trends as a valuable reporting tool, don’t panic. If you don’t wish to see tailored Trends, but instead want to see a more general list of Trends, just change your location on twitter’s website.You can still select individual countries and cities to see trends in those locations.Tailored trends start rolling out 25th June. – Advertisement – By Nur Bremmen,MemeBurnlast_img

Yahoo acquires automated video slideshow company Qwiki

first_imgAdvertisement Yahoo has announced it acquisition of Qwiki, an automated slideshow compay describing it as one “that uses awesome technology” for storytelling by bringing together pictures, music, and video.Yahoo will continue to support Qwiki’s app, but the team behind it will be moving to Yahoo’s New York city office. The Qwiki app automatically takes pictures and videos that you already have on your iPhone and turns them into movies with transitions and a soundtrack.[related-posts] – Advertisement – It is only available for Apple’s iOS, and now that Yahoo bought the startup, it’s unclear if the app will ever arrive on Google’s Android.Yahoo did not disclose how much it paid for Qwiki, but estimates have been flying around for a while. All Things Digital estimated $40 million to $50 million, and it is sticking by that estimate.Yahoo’s acquisition spree appears to be far from over. We’ll keep you posted as it continues as well as what the Qwiki team ends up building.Source: TNWlast_img read more

How to Create a Successful Social Media Profile

first_imgWhen it comes to wired personal or business branding, the conception of social media profiles is absolutely essential. Whether you are just trying to get more revelation online, connecting with your fans or customers, or working to purify your online reputation, social networking profiles are the way to go. Image Credit: SeoTwist Advertisement When it comes to wired personal or business branding, the conception of social media profiles is absolutely essential. Whether you are just trying to get more revelation online, connect/ with your fans or customers, or working to purify your online reputation, social networking profiles are the way to go as they will rank highly in search engine results when people search for your name. It’s a very common trend in Uganda and world over today for people to look out for News and latest happenings from the different brand Social Media Accounts Hence the need for a professional social media profile set up.I want you to think of each social media profile you create as a landing page for your brand. This landing page is possibly the first encounter that someone is going to have with your brand, and you will want that first impression to be golden and make the visitor want to know more about you. You do not want those looking out for your brand or business online to start having questions as soon as they take a glance at your social media profile, that’s why it’s important to fully understand the different cardinal parts of creating a successful Social Media Profile.[related-posts]The following are the most important elements that are recommended during the setup of a brand of Business Social Media profile. They are crucial elements that must be put into consideration if brands are to create prosperous profiles; – Advertisement – Profile Brand NameFor a while, I thought that your username or the name that usually shows up in the URL (such as http://twitter.com/Ugaman01 ) was extremely important in getting your profile to rank in search results. I found, however, that unlike usual website SEO that says that the URL counts in ranking, the real ranking for social media profiles happens with your name. So be sure to enter the name you want to be found under. Ensure that your business or brand name used on your Social Media profiles is the same across all the various social media platforms where you have established your presence. Do not ever alter your brand name while establishing a social media profile irrespective of the social web platform.Profile UsernameA username is an identification used by a person or Brand with access to a computer, network, or online service.  So where does the username emanate into play? Some people who can’t find your social media links may just assume it is something obvious and type it in directly. Ruminate about what people would search you under, and make sure that your username that is included in the URL. Be sure to think of brand supremacy when it comes to this part, otherwise you’ll end up being hard to discover on the web. Take note that your name can still be used as your username but not the other way round.Profile PictureThere is a boundless debate when it comes to profile photos / avatars on social networks in terms of whether you should go with your brand logo or the face of a person. My usual thought is that if you are a big enough brand or business with a well-recognized logo, definitely go with the logo. If you’re building a personal brand or you are a public figure like a blogger, politician, musician, artist, etc., go with the personal picture. Despite the fact that people are more likely to want to engage with a person than a brand logo. Business Social media profiles must use the business logo for clarity to all those looking for the brand not individuals behind the brand. Once you have selected your default photo, be sure to stick with the same picture as your default photo from one network to the next, that way people easily recognize you across all social networks. Another thing that helps in SEO value is naming your photo file appropriately before uploading it. Be sure you have named it yourname.jpg or yourbusiness.jpg as opposed to uploading IMG0153.jpg.Web page LinkHow and where you place the link in your social media profile differs from one platform to another, however most of the platforms allow users to situate their website link within the profile bio.  Another good idea for your links is to create a social network specific landing page so you can track which profiles are bringing your site the most traffic. You can use these pages to offer a special discount for people who have found you on Twitter, or share information that is specific to a network, like recent blog posts you have written about Facebook.Brand/ Company BioYour main social profile’s bio is usually just a sentence or two about yourself or your business. Think of it as a perfect place to put your elevator pitch and include your main keywords. I don’t mean in a salesy way, but just if someone were to ask you to tell them briefly what you or your business is about, what would you say? Be sure to fill out your bio to its full potential. While some networks allow you to only have a limited amount of characters, others encourage more robust and lengthy bios. Take advantage of this to share only the best about yourself and your brandInterestsSome profiles permit you to have additional protracted information about yourself in the form of favorite books, television shows, movies, and so on. A lot of people skip over this, especially when it comes to business profiles, but that is a big mistake.  Businesses can fully discuss their passions, values and interests to all those following their profiles.  Look at these fields as an additional place to get some great keyword value. BackgroundAlthough this one is limited to select networks, such as your Twitter and YouTube channel profiles, this is one to invest in for those networks that allow it. A customized background will allow you to share additional information that may not fit in the fields of your profile, as well as share additional links and icons to other networks so people know your brand can be found elsewhere. Cover images are a great channel to communicate more details about your brand.Profile Privacy SettingsSo after you have all of your profile filled out, pictures uploaded, and backgrounds designed, the next thing that you will need to take a look at are your privacy settings. These vary from network to network, but you will want to make sure that the information you would like to be public is viewable.Online ActivityOnce your profile setup is complete, your on-going mission will be to maintain a healthy level of activity on your main social networks, which for most will be Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest  and LinkedIn. These are three open ended yet imperative guidelines to follow on any network.Don’t just add friends – engage with them!Don’t just join groups – participate in them!Don’t just post updates to update – think about what your connections want to see and share!Promote Your Brand Finally, there is nothing like a little health promotion of your social network profiles to help more people find and connect with you, giving you more people to engage with! Be sure to add your social networking profile links to:Your website.Your email signature.Your forum signature.Your business card.Also, don’t fail to recall interlinking your profiles to each other. If you can share multiple links on a social profile, make sure some of those are to your main social profiles!last_img read more

Social media usage triples in the 65 age bracket

first_imgOld people are finally going crazy for social media. Image Credit: Mase TV Advertisement If you thought old people don’t “get” social media, you may want to think again.According to a report by Pew Research Center last month, 35% of all adults aged 65 and older said they’re on social media. That’s more than triple what was reported in 2010, when only 11% said they were social media users.That still vastly lags behind young adults (ages 18 to 29), who said 90% are on social media, but it’s a dramatic improvement from 2005, when only 2% of adults 65 and over said they used social media of any form. – Advertisement – The report didn’t explain why the sudden jump was happening, but some of the reasons it cited in its previous reports include: reconnecting with old friends, reaching out for chronic disease support, and simply a way to bridge generational gaps.The report was based on 27 surveys and 62,000 interviews conducted by Pew Research Center from March 2005 to July 2015.[related-posts][BUSINESS INSIDER]last_img read more

Ugandas top online publishers form association

first_imgOnline Media Association Uganda members with the Minster of ICT, Hon Frank Tumwebaze Advertisement Over the last 10 years, print media has seen steady decline in both readership and revenue, and this year’s circulation or advertising spend reports are unlikely to reflect a change in the trend. Ugandans who used to rely on newspapers for their information and entertainment are quickly turning to the internet which meets their information needs with speed, ease and convenience that the print media can’t quite keep up with.The leading online publishers who have, on the other hand, seen their audiences grow tremendously over the years have come together to form the Online Media Association – Uganda through which they plan to build capacity, improve quality, impact and value to both readers and advertisers.The OMAU members led by the interim Chairman, Mr Giles Muhame, Founder of ChimpReports met the Minister of ICT, Hon Frank Tumwebaze on Thursday 1st September at the Ministry of ICT. – Advertisement – Hon Tumwebaze welcomed the formation of the Association and pledged his support, informing members that his ministry is already in the process of making some policy changes that will help interaction between the government and online publishers.Online Media Association Uganda members with the Minster of ICT, Hon Frank Tumwebaze“We’re in the process of introducing a media buying policy which will give government departments and bodies guidelines on how to choose the best media for particular purposes. When online publishers are organized in an association, it makes it easier for us to hold members accountable to responsible reporting, and also give us as government bargaining power when we buy media,” Tumwebaze said.“We are also considering outsourcing the entire media buying function to competent advertising firms”, he went on to say.Mr Giles Muhame assured Hon Tumwebaze that the online publishers subscribe to the highest standards of reporting, which has won them both following and trust from their audiences.Mr Muhame said, “The association will be self regulating and will have internal mechanisms to guide members on the best practices, build capacity and continuously improve skills for high quality news, information and entertainment.”Presenting the OMAU profile to the minister, Mr Kyamutetera Muhereza, the founder of CEO Magazine said the 15 online media in the association have over 5 million visitors combined monthly and nearly 100 journalists who are influencers in their own right, commanding close to 500,000 followers on social media.He also urged the government to make changes that would increase government communication online to reach their people.“Government needs to urgently look into a policy that requires government agencies to consider online channels for their communications across board- including statutory notices. Relaxing and or changing government PPDA – focused media buying protocols will also go a long way towards earning government better returns on investment,” Mr Kyamutetera said.Mr Tumbwebaze also urged the OMAU members to always market Uganda online, saying, “When online, whenever you speak, you are speaking on behalf of Uganda, even if you didn’t intend to. So let us put aside our political differences and market Uganda collectively at all times.”The OMAU has received generally warm reception from the public, and expectations are high as the association progresses through the legal processes to formalize their existence.last_img read more

BENS BLOG All of a sudden greyhound trainers are 2 kool 4

first_img[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he most endearing quality Greyhound Racing has, must be, that it is such a ‘genuine’ sport. There is no pretence, and arrogance is not welcome. It’s a mucker-inners game.The Trainers Championship. Surely, an honour, for any dog-handler to be invited to enter?Now, I know that everyone’s on the relentless Towcester suck-up, and ‘save Wimbledon’ bandwaggon. And both causes are fully deserving, and absolutely necessary for the game.HOWEVER, contrary to popular belief, there are some other tracks about, and Sittingbourne is one of them. Promoters were invited to apply to hold the yearly competition, and the Kent venue were the only people to come back with a proper package.So, they were totally deserving of being awarded the prize.Everyone else had their chance to step forward. No unlucky-faces can possibly be permitted.And ALL OF A SUDDEN, Greyhound Racing has become snooty! Three of the trainers have pulled out, because Sittingbourne isn’t their cup of tea! 2 kool 4 skool?! How very disappointing, and what unattractive and snobbish behaviour. POOR SHOW.Action from last year…..In other news:I have made a book at Oxford, Sittingbourne, Walthamstow, and Coventry. BY FAR, the nicest and most welcoming crowd and regulars, were at Sittingbourne. And despite being seen as a MUCH smaller fish, they are the only track, of those mentioned, to have stood the test of time. I will never forget the busy Sunday night open-race meetings there. Betting next to John ‘Curly’ Wilson (what a nice man and excellent bookmaker). Sponsoring my first competition (The New Kid on The Block Stakes). Going right the way, down the book, on favourites Lofty didn’t fancy. And recruiting half the punters in the ring to be putter-onners. THANK YOU, ROGER CEARNS (pictured, right), FOR GIVING ME MY FIRST PROPER START. HAPPY MEMORIES.Over and out, B xlast_img read more

STAR PREVIEW West Ham v Man U

first_img[dropcap]I[/dropcap]’ve only just woken up. Not from any New Year over-indulgences you understand but from trying to watch the Middlesbrough v Leicester earlier game.Hopefully, Premier League 2017 will deliver more excitement than that 0-0 borefest.West Ham take on Man U at the London Stadium in the late televised kick off and I strongly fancy the visitors to come out on top.Man U have found some good form – coming from behind to beat Middlesbrough on Saturday and in doing so recording their sixth straight success which has lifted them to sixth in the table. This will be their final league game before hosting Liverpool at Old Trafford on the 15th January so they’ll no doubt be anxious to get another three points on the board.Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said: ”It’s difficult for us and difficult for West Ham. We’ve both played at the same time, we’ve both had difficult matches and couldn’t rest players.“The intensity of the game was very high for them, for sure, against Leicester, and for us the same. And now we have 48 hours to play, so it’s difficult for all of us.”West Ham looked liked getting dragged right into the relegation zone prior to Christmas but have bounced back well with three wins in a row against Burnley, Hull and Swansea.The Hammers might be without captain Mark Noble who will be assessed after he took a blow to his knee against Leicester.Alvaro Arbeloa, Arthur Masuaku, Diafra Sakho and Gokhan Tore all remain out.West Ham v Man UtdPremier League17:15 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD / Sky Sports Ultra HDHEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Maximum 10 matches)Nov 2016 EFL CUP Man Utd 4-1 West HamNov 2016 PREMIER Man Utd 1-1 West HamMay 2016 PREMIER West Ham 3-2 Man UtdApr 2016 FA CUP West Ham 1-2 Man UtdMar 2016 FA CUP Man Utd 1-1 West HamDec 2015 PREMIER Man Utd 0-0 West HamFeb 2015 PREMIER West Ham 1-1 Man UtdSep 2014 PREMIER Man Utd 2-1 West HamMar 2014 PREMIER West Ham 0-2 Man UtdDec 2013 PREMIER Man Utd 3-1 West HamThe Arsenal HT/FT bet obliged last night and I’m sticking with the same bet at around 11/8 with Star Sports for Man U to be in front at the end of each half.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)BACK MAN U / MAN U 12 points at 11/8 with Star SportsPROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: +10.00 pointsBET NOW WITH STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

JULIE COLLIER Thurs Starters Orders

first_imgHORSE RACING3.40 SalisburyLifeboat 6/1 > 3/15.35 ChepstowGibeno 4/1 > 3/18.05 TranmoreTornado Watch 3/1 > 15/8LIVE FOOTBALLCarabao Cup 1st Round19:45 Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Main Event5/4 Sunderland19/10 Sheffield Wednesday5/2 DRAWBET NOW starsports.bet or 08000 521 321 Welcome to Starters Orders. Julie Collier with our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Thursday 15 AugustJULIE COLLIERIntroduces the daily specials and offers on Thursday:<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>last_img read more

SIMON NOTT The Games Greatest Commodity

first_imgI’ve recently had the pleasure of having a rare insight into the incognito world of two modern day professional punters via our #BettingPeople series. They both generally work from home, rather than the previous cut and thrust of the betting ring. The trouble most of them get when trying to avail themselves of the ‘value’ on offer is actually getting the value. To borrow a line from a pre Credit Crunch advert, those offers are often available to ‘Brand New Customers Only’, if that’s a bit strong them maybe confirmed losers, or, if in betting shops, people they don’t have down as ‘sharp’ so they have people sticking on for them.Fear not, this is not going to be another of those ‘can’t get on’ blogs because there are people that can’t get on with Star Sports either, it’s the nature of the game.Before I continue I’m going to hark back to ‘The Good Old Days’ and yes I know that there are going to be groans out there, here we go again, but humour me and join me meandering back for a couple of paragraphs.The grease that kept the betting ring running like clockwork was honesty and trust. The bookie employed change men who he trusted with the money, he employed floormen who in turn called, sometimes huge, hedge bets in over punter’s heads to other bookies, when went in the book ‘with a ring’ to be paid or drawn afterwards.Punters were also trusted, their favourite bookie would often put their bets in the book ‘cash after’ or ‘with a ring’, ‘with a ring’ being an instruction to the clerk to circle the bet to show it wasn’t paid on. Some punters weren’t given a ticket even if they’d paid on, instead the bookie would call ‘down to Mr C’ or ‘Farmer’ which would give the punter a warm glow of being a valued customer. Of course, the most famous of all the tic-tacs would relay bets between rings without a word being spoken.The change-men gave out the right change and didn’t steal any of it, the floorman paid the bets or the bookie paid the floorman, the cash after punter settled after the race, win or lose and the credit client and tic-tacs on the agreed date. The whole operation worked like a well-oiled machine.That is of course unless there was an iffy cog. When I first started working with Jack Lynn he made me roll my sleeves tidying the bag up. That humiliation/precaution due to a story that nobody really knew if it was true or not. It was a tale of a bag man that had elastic bands around his arms up his sleeves to snare notes when he plunged deep into the hod’s readies, remember the game was good then. Some people couldn’t quite grasp the notion of honesty or trust. With all that money flying around many a novice workman, given the chance to work on a racecourse, couldn’t resist supplementing his wages with a snaffled score, the bookie wouldn’t notice, of course he eventually did. A thieving workman was never given a second chance.Trust in a team was always the utmost importance, there was no place for two-faced backstabbing in bookmaking firms, if there was an issue it got dealt with face to face. Bookmakers had a strange relationship with others, it still continues today, they view rival firms as brethren but with a combatant’s eye while individual firms are rock solid and look out for each other.When we talk about getting in too deep, bookies’ sons were the worst culprits for betting with money they didn’t have. There are plenty of stories where, after seeing clever punters calling in ‘£500 – £70’ or an ‘Even Bottle’ then copping with no money ever changing hands a bookmaker’s sons would start to follow them in. Cruelly, at first, they’d win, the stakes would rise, the punter’s purple patch was over and the called in bets with a ring figure would rise.Ultimately the father would get a whisper in his ear, would pay off the son’s debt with a bollocking and hopefully a lesson learned. Floormen of course always knew better than their boss. There was a regular horror story where a workman, pocketed the requested £500 -£15 a back-bet on a rag, ‘because it couldn’t win’ then had to pay it back when it did. That took some doing at a pony a day wages, not a breach of trust so much as Sod’s Law, not so being sent of for a £300-£100, bagging a £350-£100 in the back row then copping the extra £50 when it won. These guys were inevitably caught and mostly sacked. There’s no need to go on about punters that knocked, there are too many for a short blog, but you get the drift, the whole thing worked if everyone played the game. It’s all different now of course, there’s still trust between bookmakers but very little need to rely on it in the modern say betting ring.So back to those professional punters, one of the questions I have asked modern-day stay at home professionals is why you operate alone? Most don’t totally but do have a small honourable team that they confide in and do business with, a solid nucleus of trustees. I’m the same with a couple of betting pals, sadly there’s no call for me to have big lively bets placed for me but should I go on holiday or be unable to get on for other, not shrewd reasons, I can ask them the place any bets that might arise. I go and enjoy my holiday and when I return ask if it’s a ‘blew’ or ‘cop’ and we square up accordingly. No need to see slips or ask for figures. Honesty, integrity and trust, commodities that abound in our community in ‘The Game’ but rare in others, something we pride ourselves on and cherished most of all, lose those attributes and you are nothing.Simon Nott Simon Nott is author of:Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting RingCLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILSlast_img read more

STARTERS ORDERS Thurs Movers and Specials

first_imgHORSE RACING2.10 LudlowCourt Royale 13/2 > 3/1That’s A Given 6/4 > evens4.20 ThurlesChaparral Dream 11/2 > 9/45.45 ChelmsfordWise Ruler 9/2 > 5/2LIVE FOOTBALLUEFA Europa League Group Stage17:55 BT Sport 34/11 RB Leipzig15/2 Celtic17/4 DRAWUEFA Europa League Group Stage17:55 BT Sport 23/1 Sporting CP10/11 Arsenal11/4 DRAWUEFA Europa League Group Stage20:00 BT Sport 22/15 Chelsea22/1 BATE Borisov15/2 DRAWUEFA Europa League Group Stage20:00 BT Sport 3 / BT Sport 4K UHD6/5 Rangers23/10 Spartak Moscow5/2 DRAWBET NOW starsports.bet or 08000 521 321 Welcome to Starters Orders. Julie Collier with our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Thursday 25 OctoberJULIE COLLIER Introduces the afternoon daily specials and offers on Thursday:<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>last_img read more

JULIE COLLIER Weekend Premier League Preview

first_imgWEEKEND PREMIER LEAGUE Julie Collier looks ahead to this weekend’s Premier League action with some recommended bets. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET MARKET<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span> BET NOW starsports.bet or 08000 521 321last_img read more

Baker Institute paper Persian Gulf states have new role to play in

first_imgAddThis ShareDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduJeff Falk713-348-6775jfalk@rice.eduBaker Institute paper: Persian Gulf states have new role to play in Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution HOUSTON – (Sept. 17, 2014) – The shifting regional geopolitics of the Middle East have created new opportunities for the Persian Gulf states to engage in Arab-Israeli conflict resolution, according to a new paper from Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.Image credit: thinkstockphotos.com/Rice University“The Gulf States and Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Resolution,” authored by Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, proposes a set of policy recommendations on how the Gulf states can engage with regional and international partners to create new pathways for action and cooperation. Ulrichsen is the fellow for the Middle East at the Baker Institute, who specializes in the political, economic and security trends of the Middle East and the changing position of Persian Gulf states in the global order.“The late August announcement of a cease-fire to end the latest round of violence in Gaza offers an opportune moment to devise fresh approaches to Arab-Israeli conflict resolution,” Ulrichsen said. “Moreover, the changing landscape of Middle East politics provides multiple points of entry for discrete, issue-specific and technocratic-led cooperation among all principal regional states. Above all, the emergence of the Gulf states as proactive regional actors makes it imperative for international actors and multilateral agencies to identify ways of working together in pursuit of a common objective.”There is little to no formal state-to-state contact between the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — and Israel; geographically, the Gulf states are not, and have never been, “frontline states” in the Arab-Israeli dispute, Ulrichsen said. His paper documents a range of mechanisms that can, and in fact already do, constitute a practical basis for involving the Gulf states in regional mediation and conflict resolution initiatives.These range from the projection both of direct and indirect influence over the various Palestinian factions to quiet cooperation on technocratic and “nonpolitical” issues such as energy and water. Moreover, the Saudi proposed Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 remains the most comprehensive and credible plan to bring about a durable settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Ulrichsen said. In the 12 years since the plan was unveiled, a realignment of regional geopolitics has created a convergence of interest between most GCC states and Israel over issues such as the Muslim Brotherhood, violent extremist groups such as the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), Iran and Arab Spring challenges to the status quo. “GCC states’ responses to the political upheaval combined a more expansive capability with greater policy intent and positioned them at the heart of regional policymaking as the Middle East and North Africa emerge unsteadily from the Arab Spring,” Ulrichsen said.He concluded: “As regional powers with a wide array of political and economic leverage, the Gulf states can play a significant role that goes beyond the provision of humanitarian assistance in conflict-afflicted environments to encompass a range of innovative conflict resolution tools as well.”-30-For more information or to schedule an interview with Ulrichsen, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at jfalk@rice.edu or 713-348-6775.Related materials:Paper: http://bakerinstitute.org/media/files/files/20f674a4/CME-pub-PolicyReport61.pdf.Ulrichsen bio: http://bakerinstitute.org/experts/kristian-coates-ulrichsen.Ulrichsen on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Dr_Ulrichsen @dr_ulrichsen.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top 15 university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog.last_img read more

Hunt for Huntingtons cause yields clues

first_imghttp://news.rice.edu/files/2016/11/1114_POLYGLUTAMINE-1-WEB-1uwa05n.jpgRice University researchers built computer simulations of mutated proteins implicated in Huntington’s and other neurological diseases to see how they develop. From left, Weihua Zheng, Min-Yeh Tsai, Peter Wolynes and Mingchen Chen. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) AddThis http://news.rice.edu/files/2016/11/1114_POLYGLUTAMINE-2-web-1mf49zm.jpgA graphic shows the simulated aggregation of proteins implicated in Huntington’s and other neurological diseases. (Credit: Mingchen Chen/Rice University)Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,910 undergraduates and 2,809 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for happiest students and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview. https://youtu.be/9kk8rSiH3p8A simulation shows 20-repeat polyglutamines aggregating. These low-repeat proteins require four or more in close proximity to form a nucleus around which aggregates can form. (Credit: Wolynes Research Lab/Rice University) Share1Editor’s note: Links to videos and high-resolution images for download appear at the end of this release. David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduHunt for Huntington’s cause yields cluesRice University scientists analyze repeats in proteins implicated in neurological diseases HOUSTON – (Nov. 10, 2016) – Rice University scientists have uncovered new details about how a repeating nucleotide sequence in the gene for a mutant protein may trigger Huntington’s and other neurological diseases.Researchers at Rice’s Center for Theoretical Biological Physics used computer models to analyze proteins suspected of misfolding and forming plaques in the brains of patients with neurological diseases. Their simulations confirmed experimental results by other labs that showed the length of repeating polyglutamine sequences contained in proteins is critical to the onset of disease.The study led by Rice bioscientist Peter Wolynes appears in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.Glutamine is the amino acid coded for by the genomic trinucleotide CAG. Repeating glutamines, called polyglutamines, are normal in huntingtin proteins, but when the DNA is copied incorrectly, the repeating sequence of glutamines can become too long. The result can be diseases like Huntington’s or spinocerebellar ataxia.The number of repeats of glutamine can grow as the genetic code information is passed down through generations. That means a healthy parent whose huntingtin gene encodes proteins with 35 repeats may produce a child with 36 repeats. A person having the longer repeat is likely to develop Huntington’s disease.Aggregation in Huntington’s typically begins only when polyglutamine chains reach a critical length of 36 repeats. Studies have demonstrated that longer repeat chains can make the disease more severe and its onset earlier.The paper builds upon techniques used in an earlier study of amyloid beta proteins. That study was the lab’s first attempt to model the energy landscape of amyloid aggregation, which has been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease.This time, Wolynes and his team were interested in knowing how the varying length of repeats — as few as 20 and as many as 50 — influenced how aggregates form.“The final form of the protein detected in people who have Huntington’s disease is a macroscopic aggregate made of many molecules, much like an ice crystal formed out of water has many molecules in it,” Wolynes said. “This process needs to start somewhere, and that would be with a nucleus, the smallest-size cluster that will then be able to finish the process and grow to macroscopic size.“People knew that the length of the repeats is correlated with the severity of a disease, but we wanted to know why that matters to the critical nucleus size,” he said.Experiments had demonstrated that sequences of 20 repeats or less remained unfolded – or “noodle-y,” as Wolynes described them; they were able to clump into a nucleus only when four or more were gathered together in proximity.The researchers’ simulations showed how sequences with 30 repeats or more are able to fold by themselves without partners into hairpin shapes, which are the building blocks for troublesome aggregates. Thus, for the longer sequences, even a single protein can begin the aggregation process, especially at high concentrations.The Rice team found that at intermediate lengths between 20 and 30 repeats, polyglutamine sequences can choose between straight or hairpin configurations. While longer and shorter sequences form aligned fiber bundles, simulations showed intermediate sequences are more likely to form disordered, branched structures.“We don’t know if branching is good or bad,” Wolynes said. “But it explains the weird shapes the experimentalists get in the test tube.”Mutations that would encourage polyglutamine sequences to remain unfolded would raise the energy barrier to aggregation, they found. “What’s ironic is that while Huntington’s has been classified as a misfolding disease, it seems to happen because the protein, in the bad case of longer repeats, carries out an extra folding process that it wasn’t supposed to be doing,” Wolynes said.The team’s ongoing study is now looking at how the complete huntingtin protein, which contains parts in addition to the polyglutamine repeats, aggregates.Rice graduate student Mingchen Chen is lead author of the paper. Co-authors are Rice postdoctoral researcher Min-Yeh Tsai and research scientist Weihua Zheng. Wolynes is the D.R. Bullard-Welch Foundation Professor of Science, a professor of chemistry, of biochemistry and cell biology, of physics and astronomy and of materials science and nanoengineering at Rice and a senior investigator of the NSF-funded Center for Theoretical Biological Physics at Rice.The National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan, supported the research. The researchers used the NSF-supported DAVinCI supercomputer administered by Rice’s Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology.-30-Read the abstract at http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jacs.6b08665Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNewsVideos:center_img https://youtu.be/Zy_yEnPJNeoA simulation shows 30-repeat polyglutamines aggregating. These higher-repeat proteins require only one to nucleate aggregates of the type implicated in Huntington’s disease. (Credit: Wolynes Research Lab/Rice University) https://youtu.be/YlV3dCFIpZgA simulation shows 30-repeat polyglutamines aggregating in slow motion. (Credit: Wolynes Research Lab/Rice University)Related materials:Wolynes Research Lab: http://wolynes.rice.edu/node/129Center for Theoretical Biological Physics: https://ctbp.rice.eduWiess School of Natural Sciences: http://natsci.rice.eduImages for download: https://youtu.be/Jg1bfz9PKZw A simulation shows 20-repeat polyglutamines aggregating in slow motion. (Credit: Wolynes Research Lab/Rice University)last_img read more

Letters of recommendation for women more likely to raise doubts

first_imgShare1NEWS RELEASEDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.edu Letters of recommendation for women more likely to raise doubtsHOUSTON — (June 7, 2018) – Letters of recommendation written for women are more likely to contain words or phrases that raise doubts about job or education qualifications than letters written for men, according to new research from Rice University and the University of Houston.“Raising Doubt in Letters of Recommendation for Academia: Gender Differences and Their Impact” is available online and will appear in an upcoming print edition of the Journal of Business and Psychology. The research was led by Mikki Hebl, the Martha and Henry Malcolm Lovett Professor of Psychology, and her former graduate student, Juan Madera, now an associate professor of hospitality management at the University of Houston.The paper included two studies about language that raises doubts in letters of recommendation. The researchers defined “doubt-raisers” as phrases or statements that question an applicant’s aptness for a job. This language falls into four categories: negativity (directly saying something bad), faint praise (indirect criticism of someone or something by giving a slight compliment), hedges (cautious or vague language) and irrelevant information (going off in a direction unrelated to the job description). Examples of doubt-raisers are statements like “the candidate has a somewhat challenging personality” or “she might be a good leader in the future.”The first study revealed that, on average, letters written for women were more likely to contain a doubt-raiser than letters written for men (regardless of whether a man or a woman wrote the letter). This was true for negativity, hedging and faint praises but not for irrelevancies. Hebl notes that doubt-raisers are not extraordinarily uncommon — on average, more than half of the letters contained at least one. She also notes that such wording might weigh in on decisions in which candidates otherwise have very similar qualifications.“Letters of recommendation are usually so positively skewed to begin with that a ‘doubt-raiser’ can stand out in a sea of positivity,” Hebl said. “Also, recommendations are made all the time, even if they’re not in letter form. It’s so important to think about the ways language reflects subtle biases, as these spoken subtleties also may add up over time to create disparities.”In the second study, the researchers examined whether people actually recognized and were influenced by a doubt-raiser within a recommendation letter. Approximately 300 university professors across the country were asked to rate one recommendation letter. Letters were manipulated to have just one of the four doubt-raisers and to be written for either a man or woman; all other information contained in the letter was identical across conditions. The researchers found that the presence of any one of three doubt-raisers — negativity, faint praise or hedges — caused the professors to rate these letters negatively. The fourth doubt-raiser, irrelevant information, made no difference in how the letters were rated.Hebl noted that doubt-raisers were considered negative regardless of whether the letter was written for a male or female.“I would suggest avoiding these types of phrases in recommendations if you are trying to write a strong letter,” Hebl said, “and to be aware that they might be more likely to unintentionally slip into letters for women than men.”Madera was the study’s lead author. Randi Martin, the Elma W. Schneider Professor of Psychology at Rice, and Virginia Valian, a distinguished professor of psychology at the City University of New York, co-authored the paper. The study was funded by a National Institutes of Health grant.-30-Related materials:Photo for download:http://news.rice.edu/files/2018/06/hebl-recommendation-letter-art-1oj5tya.jpgPhoto courtesy of Rice University/123rf.com.Read the study online via subscription at https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10869-018-9541-1. Members of the news media without journal access can request a copy by emailing David Ruth at david@rice.edu.Mikki Hebl bio: https://psychology.rice.edu/mikki-heblRice Department of Psychology website: https://psychology.rice.edu/Rice School of Social Sciences website: https://socialsciences.rice.edu/Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.This news release can be found online at http://news.rice.edu.Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,970 undergraduates and 2,934 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for happiest students by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview. AddThislast_img read more

TCU Neeley Management Professor Michael Hitt Earns Career Achievement Award

first_img Last Updated Aug 30, 2017 by Alanna ShafferFacebookTwitterLinkedinemail A Distinguished Research Fellow at the Texas Christian University – Neeley School of Business, Michael Hitt, has received the Career Achievement/Distinguished Educator Award for his many contributions to the field of management throughout his career.Hitt was presented with the award this year at the annual meeting for the Academy of Management. The award, one of the highest honors the Academy can give, was given in recognition of Hitt’s long career and service to the field of management through research, breakthrough developments, and innovative teaching methods.“Letters of support from former students show Michael’s engagement and ongoing support for his students—encouraging everyone to be the best they could be, and going above and beyond to help them get there,” said one committee member who selected Hitt for the award. Over his 40 years of teaching and research, Hitt has left his impact on the field of management in a number of ways. This is not the first time Hitt has been honored by the Academy of Management, however. He received the Irwin Outstanding Educator Award from the organization and being named as a “Thomas Reuters Highly Cited Researcher.” He has also served in different capacities for several scholarly journals, acting at one time as editor for the Academy of Management Journal, co-editor for the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, and with research published in a number of premier journals such as Organization Science, the Journal of International Business Studies, and many more.Before coming to TCU, Hitt was a teacher at Texas A&M University, where he was the University Distinguished Professor Emeritus. He holds a BBA and MBA from Texas Tech University and a Ph.D. in organizational theory/behavior, quantitative methods in economics, and business policy from the University of Colorado. About the AuthorAlanna ShafferStaff Writer, covering MetroMBA’s news beat for Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas.View more posts by Alanna Shaffer TCU Neeley Management Professor Michael Hitt Earns Career Achievement Awardcenter_img regions: Dallas RelatedTCU Neeley Faculty Gains Eight New Business ProfessionlsThe Texas Christian University – Neeley School of Business has recently added eight new faculty members to the TCU Neeley faculty, who will further strengthen their rigorous and committed curriculum. Michael Hitt and Brad Harris will be joining the Department of Management, Entrepreneurship and Leadership as the Distinguished Research Fellow…January 15, 2016In “Featured Region”Mays Gives Their First Lifetime Achievement AwardTexas A&M Uniersity’s Mays Business School recently gave its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award for Research and Scholarship. The honor was awarded to Michael A. Hitt, a University Distinguished. According to Mays’ online news website, Mays Dean Jerry Strawser said, “We are starting a new tradition in a place that’s full…March 30, 2015In “Featured Region”Mays Professor Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award for Scholarship ContributionsDuane Ireland, Executive Associate Dean of the Texas A&M University – Mays Business School, has recently been awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award for research and scholarship contributions. Ireland is the current Executive Associate Dean at Mays and also serves as University Distinguished Professor while holding the Benton Cocanougher Chair in…March 15, 2017In “Featured Region”last_img read more

Our Favorite MBA Recruiters Facebook

first_imgOur Favorite MBA Recruiters: Facebook Start the process earlyGet some practical experienceKnow how to build somethingUnderstand the products inside and outHave a unique value proposition These days, it seems like everyone and their mother is on Facebook—no, really, your mom sent me a friend request last week. Your family vacation looked like a blast! As more and more people subscribe to the undisputed king of social media, Facebook seems to hire more and more MBAs to continue to move the company forward into the future.Facebook was famously started by a college dropout—who may or may not be planning a monotone presidential run in 2020 (wink)—but that doesn’t mean the tech company doesn’t value accomplished business students with impressive resumes. Let’s take a deeper dive in how Facebook recruits new MBA talent to the company.Who is Facebook Looking For in New Hires?How much does Facebook value MBA degrees? Some answers may surprise you: In a Quora thread a few years ago, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg famously said “MBAs are not necessary at Facebook and I don’t believe they are important for working in the tech industry.” Now, Sandberg (who earned an MBA at Harvard in ’95) may have a point—you don’t officially need an advanced business degree to make it in the world of tech. However, as Business Insider points out, most hiring managers in Silicon Valley don’t necessary agree with Sandberg, even those currently working for Facebook.In fact, research suggests that Silicon Valley overwhelmingly wants MBAs. Tapwage, a job discovery startup, analyzed more than 100,000 job postings to see how many hiring managers listed the advance degree as a criteria for selection. Looking specifically at Facebook, the analysis found that the company had 75 jobs postings that either had a preference for an MBA, or required one—9 percent of total openings. Other tech companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple featured similar averages. Interestingly enough, Tapwage concluded that MBAs were actually in higher demand at tech companies than on Wall Street. Numbers show Facebook looks for three times as many MBAs as Goldman Sachs.While hiring managers in Silicon Valley—and more specifically Facebook—are clearly looking for fresh MBA talent, recent grads are also excited to enter the tech sector. According to CNN, almost 10 percent of MBAs want to work for Facebook.YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: MBA Alumni Spotlight: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg“As we grow, we have a set of unique problems and challenges that are somewhat unprecedented for other companies in our industry,” Adam Ward, Facebook’s Head of University Recruiting, told CNN. “MBA students love challenges, they love tough problems. It’s become a great marriage.”How to Get Your Foot in the Door?According to Ward, Facebook looks for MBAs “who want to roll their sleeves up and build things, solve problems, take risks and be creative with the problems we face.” While the company doesn’t disclose its plans for hiring, Facebook’s three-month internship program is considered the best route to a full-time job offer.According to Vault, Facebook consistently has one of the top-ranked internship programs in the country. Interns have said the program boosts self-confidence, and helps create a foundation that carries into successful careers at Facebook and elsewhere. More than 1,000 interns pass through Facebook each year.“Our intern program is one of the best ways to identify the next generation of Facebook talent,” Hyla Wallis, University Programs and Operations manager at Facebook, told TODAY. Each intern is given a final review before he or she leaves, with some being offered a full-time position. “We want to make sure that every intern that joins has the opportunity for the full-time offer,” Wallis added.Last summer, Fast Company published a guide outlining “What It Really Takes To Get An Internship At Google, Facebook, Apple, And More.” According to that article, prospective interns should follow these steps if they want to get into one of these tech giants: Last Updated Oct 26, 2017 by Max PulciniFacebookTwitterLinkedinemail About the AuthorMax PulciniMax Pulcini is a Philadelphia-based writer and reporter. He has an affinity for Philly sports teams, Super Smash Bros. and cured meats and cheeses. Max has written for Philadelphia-based publications such as Spirit News, Philadelphia City Paper, and Billy Penn, as well as national news outlets like The Daily Beast.View more posts by Max Pulcini What Do Current and Former Interns Think?TODAY spoke with current and former Facebook interns and asked them to share how they landed their internships, and some of the experiences they’ve gained through the program:Marion Xu, junior, current Software Engineer Intern:“I have a background in computer science. I got involved and got pretty passionate. I prepared a lot for the interviews, looked at a bunch of different resources,” she said. “They had a technical challenge so I went online and did practice problems.”Javier Fraire, current Software Engineer Intern:“It was definitely one of the best experiences of my life. The benefits of a hackathon is getting great product ideas. A lot of our products come from hackathons. In fact, this year I worked on a feature during a hackathon that will be shipping in the next few weeks.”Devon Porter, Business Operations, former intern:“Facebook expects their interns to do the same work as a full-time employee. There’s a lot of responsibility and autonomy given to you on day one, so in a very short period of time you gain a huge amount of hands-on experience.”How Much Are New Hires Compensated?One of the benefits to working at Facebook, or the tech sector in general, is the salary. An article published by CNBC shows that major companies don’t skimp when it comes to starting salaries and other benefits. A recent poll shows that companies like as Facebook, Google, Snapchat, and Twitter can offer six-figure annual salaries to new graduates, not to mention additional stipends, stock options, and signing bonuses. Facebook specifically offers the following compensation to new hires on average:center_img regions: Atlanta / Baltimore / Boston / Chicago / Dallas / Denver / Houston / London / Los Angeles / Miami / New York City / Online / Philadelphia / Research Triangle / San Diego / San Francisco / Seattle / Toronto / Washington, DC For more information on open Facebook positions for business school students, head the company’s official grad school recruitment page.Want to know what other companies are actively looking for MBAs? Check out some of our favorites here. Annual base salary: $107,000Stock/stipend per year: $37,500Signing bonus: $75,000 to $100,000 RelatedMBAs and Silicon ValleyEarning an MBA is no easy task: With so much time and money invested in a business education, the last thing you need to hear is that your degree isn’t worth the effort. And yet, just a few years ago, many MBAs hoping to enter the tech industry heard just…April 7, 2016In “Featured Home”MBA Alumni Spotlight: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Harvard MBA ‘95Mark Zuckerberg may be the biggest and most recognizable person behind Facebook, but there’s a whole team of executives behind the scenes making sure that the social media giant is paying dividends to investors. One of these executives is Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook Chief Operations Officer (COO) and Harvard Business School alumni.…April 17, 2017In “Alumni Spotlight”Millennials: Should You Get an MBA?Millennials: you either love them, hate them or are one of them. If you were born between 1980 and the mid-2000s, we’re talking about you! You’re the most recent age group to enter the workforce. Even more impressive, you represent one third of the total U.S. population. Millennials are hard…May 30, 2016In “Admissions Tips”last_img read more

United Passenger Dragged From Plane Has Concussion Broken Nose Lawyer

first_imgCrystal Dao Pepper, daughter of Dr. David Dao, speaks during a news conference at Union League Club in Chicago, Ill., on April 13, 2017. (REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski) US Show Discussion CHICAGO—The United Airlines passenger dragged from a plane in Chicago in an incident that sparked international outrage and turned into a corporate public relations nightmare suffered a concussion and broken nose and will likely sue, his attorney said on Thursday.“For a long time airlines, United in particular, have bullied us,” Thomas Demetrio told a news conference in Chicago, outlining the potential causes of action they may pursue against United and the city of Chicago.“Will there be a lawsuit? Yeah, probably.”David Dao, a 69-year-old Vietnamese-American doctor, was hospitalized after Chicago aviation police dragged him from the plane as the airline sought to make space on a flight from the city’s O’Hare International Airport to Louisville, Kentucky.Demetrio said the law stated that passengers could not be ejected from planes with unreasonable force. Chicago runs the airport and the city’s department of aviation employs the three officers who dragged Dao off the plane.Thomas A. Demetrio, Chicago Aviation Attorney and Co-founder of Corby & Demetrio who represents Dao family, speaks during a news conference at Union League Club in Chicago, Ill., on April 13, 2017. (REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski) Thomas A. Demetrio, Chicago Aviation Attorney and Co-founder of Corby & Demetrio who represents Dao family, speaks during a news conference at Union League Club in Chicago, Ill., on April 13, 2017. (REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski) Dao, who was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday night, suffered a significant concussion, a broken nose and lost two front teeth in the incident, and he will need to undergo reconstructive surgery, Demetrio said.Video of Sunday’s incident taken by other passengers and showing Dao being dragged up the plane aisle and with a bloodied mouth circulated rapidly, causing public outrage that was not calmed by the airline’s initial response.Dao’s daughter, Crystal Dao Pepper, told the news conference that the family was “horrified, shocked and sickened” by what happened to her father. One of Dao’s five children, Pepper, 33, described him as a “wonderful father” and “loving grandfather” who had been returning from vacation in California.“What happened to my dad should have never happened to any human being,” she said.Crystal Dao Pepper, daughter of Dr. David Dao, speaks during a news conference at Union League Club in Chicago, Ill., on April 13, 2017. (REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski) Crystal Dao Pepper, daughter of Dr. David Dao, speaks during a news conference at Union League Club in Chicago, Ill., on April 13, 2017. (REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski)Demetrio said Dao had told him that being dragged down the plane aisle was more terrifying than his experience fleeing Vietnam in 1975.Demetrio and a second attorney, Stephen Golan, said neither they nor the family had heard from United yet.United, in a statement, said Munoz and the company “called Dr. Dao on numerous occasions to express our heartfelt and deepest apologies.” The company did not comment on what its response would be to any litigation, and did not comment on whether the airline would try to settle with Dao.Dao’s lawyers filed an emergency request with an Illinois state court on Wednesday to require United Continental Holdings Inc and the City of Chicago to preserve video recordings and other evidence related to Sunday’s incident, which would be a precursor to a lawsuit.Other attorneys said state courts are typically more favorable to plaintiffs.Officials from the city could not be reached for comment on Thursday’s news conference.A video screengrab shows passenger David Dao being dragged off a United Airlines flight at Chicago O'Hare International Airport in this video filmed by @JayseDavid on April 9, 2017. (Jayse D. Anspach via REUTERS) A video screengrab shows passenger David Dao being dragged off a United Airlines flight at Chicago O’Hare International Airport in this video filmed by @JayseDavid on April 9, 2017. (Jayse D. Anspach via REUTERS)At a later city council aviation committee meeting, Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans said the department was investigating how the incident happened and reviewing its training.United officials at the meeting apologized again and said they were reviewing all company policies related to the incident and would complete that process by April 30.United Vice President John Slater said he was not at liberty to say who called the aviation police, but it was not the plane’s captain. United has no set policy for physically forcing passengers to deboard, he added.“Chicago employees should not be doing the dirty work for the friendly skies airline,” Chicago Alderman Edward Burke said at the meeting, adding Dao’s civil rights had been violated.Evans and United officials said they could not discuss the incident in detail, citing the pending litigation.United Chief Executive Oscar Munoz is under pressure to contain a torrent of bad publicity and calls for boycotts against United, including in China, where people have been angered because Dao was an Asian-American passenger.United shares have lost about 1 percent of their value since Monday. The stock was down 1 percent shortly before the market close.CEO of United Airlines Oscar Munoz in New York on June 2, 2016. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson) CEO of United Airlines Oscar Munoz in New York on June 2, 2016. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)Munoz has sought in the last two days to make amends. In a statement on Tuesday he said he “deeply” apologized and was disturbed by what had happened. On Wednesday, he apologized to Dao, his family and United customers in an ABC News interview, saying the company would no longer use law enforcement officers to remove passengers from overbooked flights.Demetrio called the apology “staged” and a response to the airline executive’s earlier comments, which were heavily criticized by many.In a letter to employees on Monday, Munoz did not apologize to Dao and defended the airline’s actions, saying Dao had been “disruptive and belligerent.”The incident occurred when the airline was seeking to free up space on the plane for crew members it wanted to fly to Louisville.Dao was offered $800 for his seat by United but did not want to take it, Demetrio said. Munoz previously said the airline offered up to $1,000.Dao’s wife was told to leave the plane after he was dragged off, Golan said.Airport PoliceThe city of Chicago, which Demetrio said had also not contacted the attorneys and family, is also potentially involved in any lawsuit because of the officers’ involvement.Chicago’s Aviation Department said on Wednesday that two more officers had been placed on leave in connection with the incident. One officer was placed on leave on Tuesday.Given the wide public outrage over the incident, Dao is in a strong position as he prepares to launch a legal action, lawyers who represent airlines and passengers said.“United is looking at a legal claim, but they’re also looking at a huge public relations and business problem,” said Justin Green, a partner at the law firm Kreindler & Kreindler in New York who represents airline passengers.“United, if they’re smart, will quickly and quietly settle the case.”  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   center_img Share Share this article United Passenger Dragged From Plane Has Concussion, Broken Nose: Lawyer By Reuters April 13, 2017 Updated: April 13, 2017last_img read more

Top US General Says Committed to Working Through Difficulties With China

first_img  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Share BEIJING—There are many difficult issues between the United States and China but both share a commitment to work through them, the United States’ top general said on Tuesday during a visit to Beijing amid tensions over nuclear-armed North Korea.“I think we have to be honest. We have many, many difficult issues where we don’t necessarily share the same perspective,” Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Fang Fenghui, chief of the Joint Staff Department of the People’s Liberation Army.“We share a commitment to work through these difficult issues,” he added, without elaborating.Fang said China attached great importance to his visit and had arranged a visit for him to view a military exercise.There was no mention of specific issues in comments made in front of reporters.The United States has called on China to do more to rein in its isolated neighbor North Korea, while China has said it is Washington that needs to be making more efforts to lessen tensions and speak directly to Pyongyang. Related CoverageDunford Says US Military Prepares For North Korea’s Development CapabilityNorth Korea’s leader has delayed a decision on firing missiles towards Guam while he watches U.S. actions a little longer, the North’s state media said on Tuesday, as South Korea’s president said Seoul would seek to prevent war by all means.China and the United States, the world’s two largest economies, say they are committed to having a stable military-to-military relationship, but there are deep fault lines.China has been angered by U.S. freedom of navigation patrols near Chinese-controlled islands in the disputed South China Sea and continued U.S. arms sales and support for self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims as a wayward province.The United States has expressed concern about what it calls unsafe intercepts of U.S. aircraft by the Chinese air force and a lack of transparency in China’s military spending, China being in the midst of an ambitious military modernization program.By Michael Martina and Ben Blanchard US Show Discussioncenter_img Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf) Share this article Top US General Says Committed to Working Through Difficulties With China By Reuters August 15, 2017 Updated: August 15, 2017last_img read more

NFL Stadium Worker Who Quit Job Over Anthem Protests Speaks Out

first_img  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Buffalo Bills players kneel during the American National anthem before an NFL game against the Denver Broncos on September 24, 2017 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. (Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) NFL Stadium Worker Who Quit Job Over Anthem Protests Speaks Out By Bowen Xiao September 28, 2017 Updated: September 28, 2017 Nikischer then described what his father told him after he made his decision to leave his job.“He called me that night and he was broken up, he was proud of me but he was in tears with pride,” he told “Fox & Friends.” “I stood up for veterans and I did the right thing in my heart and his heart.”The former security guard has vowed to never set foot in the stadium again, or even watch another NFL game until the protests stop.He said that he has mostly received supportive comments.“I’ve talked to some co-workers who gave me a lot of support. I’ve, of course, got a lot of support on Facebook from veterans, other law enforcement officers, Goldstar mothers, and of course I’ve gotten some hate mail on Facebook, but I take that for what it’s worth.”Instead of kneeling, Nikischer recommends players to instead work on a real solution to the issue and go out into the community.“I believe kneeling is to me is the players saying there’s a problem, someone else fix it. I believe if they went out into the community took some time and did something for a solution” he said. “Do something about it.”You can watch the full interview below.Watch the latest video at &amp;amp;amp;lt;a href=”//video.foxnews.com”&amp;amp;amp;gt;video.foxnews.com&amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;gt;President Donald Trump said recently there was “tremendous backlash” over the NFL. He said that players disrespect the country by kneeling instead of standing.“Tremendous backlash against the NFL and its players for disrespect of our Country. #StandForOurAnthem,” he tweeted on Sept. 25 From NTD.tv Follow Bowen on Twitter: @BowenXiao3 The man who quit his job as an NFL stadium worker on Sept. 24  over the recent national anthem protests is now speaking out.Erich Nikischer, who worked at Buffalo’s New Era Field for nearly 30 years, walked out of the stadium after he witnessed Buffalo Bills players taking a knee during the national anthem in protest.Now in a new interview, Nikischer told “Fox & Friends” that he stood by his decision to quit.The anthem is “something I hold dear to my heart,” he told “Fox & Friends.” “A lot of people have fought and died for this country, and the song and the flag signify that to me. I have a lot of friends that are veterans, I have family members that are disabled veterans and my father is a Korea War vet.”“It was a personal stand, I had to quit,” he added. Show Discussioncenter_img US News Man quits stadium job after Bills protest https://t.co/elDelJEPpC pic.twitter.com/9AeedXZGRT— WGRZ (@WGRZ) September 25, 2017 Tremendous backlash against the NFL and its players for disrespect of our Country.#StandForOurAnthem??— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2017 Share this article Sharelast_img read more

Jet With 2 Blown Tires Lands Safely Post Malone Fans Cheer

first_img Jet With 2 Blown Tires Lands Safely, Post Malone Fans Cheer By The Associated Press August 21, 2018 Updated: August 21, 2018 Share QualityAuto 1080p720p480p360p240pRewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   NEWBURGH, N.Y.—A private jet that blew two tires during takeoff at a small New Jersey airport on Tuesday made a safe emergency landing hours later at an airport in New York.Fans of rapper Post Malone had gathered at New York Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, about 70 miles (112 kilometers) north of New York City, after hearing he was on board, and they cheered when the plane landed just before 4 p.m. There was no confirmation that he was on the plane.The troubled Gulfstream IV was en route from Teterboro to London Luton Airport in Luton, England, when the pilot realized shortly after takeoff that the tires had blown. The pilot began circling the airport for about 30 minutes before the jet was diverted.The plane originally was to attempt an emergency landing at Westfield-Barnes airport, said Eric Billowitz, manager of Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport in Massachusetts.A small group of the curious and fans who had heard Post Malone was on the plane gathered at the airport in Westfield, Massachusetts, hoping to watch the landing.“We came down because he had the biggest day of his life yesterday and we wanted to make sure he is safe,” said Jessica Kielb, of Chicopee, Massachusetts. Billowitz said he was told the plane was first headed to the Massachusetts airport because there is a Gulfstream service center there and because the airport has “one of the longest runways in the Northeast” at 9,000 feet (2,740 meters), but the plane was then diverted to Stewart.Stewart’s signature feature is a nearly 12,000-foot (3,650-meter) runway, long enough to handle the fat-bodied C-5A Galaxy planes laden with supplies and better for such emergencies.More Post Malone fans started arriving at Stewart airport later Tuesday.Post Malone was scheduled to perform at the Reading and Leeds Festival in England over the weekend, according to his website’s tour schedule.The face-tattooed singer/rapper took home the song of the year award at the MTV Video Music Awards on Monday night in New York for his hit “Rockstar,” featuring 21 Savage. The song is from his latest album, “Beerbongs & Bentleys.”The 23-year-old was joined on stage by rockers Aerosmith and 21 Savage for a wild performance that closed out the awards show.The plane had 16 people on board when it left Teterboro Airport around 10:50 a.m. Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration said, but didn’t specify if the number of people aboard included the pilot.By  David Klepper center_img US News Share this article Show Discussionlast_img read more

The teen was hospitalized for precautionary medic

first_imgThe teen was hospitalized for “precautionary medical treatment,” said police, reported NBC Philadelphia.Other details about the incident were not disclosed by officials.Meanwhile, nine minutes after midnight on New Year’s Day, Philadelphia recorded its first homicide.Officers from the police force’s 25th District responded to a “hospital case/person with a gun” in the Kensington neighborhood, reported Philly.com. That’s when they found an unresponsive man who was shot. Officials pronounced him dead two minutes later at 12:09 a.m. ET on Jan. 1.Anyone with information is urged to call the homicide unit at 215-686-3334 or call 911. A $20,000 reward is being offered information leading to an arrest and conviction in the Jan. 1 homicide.Philly Murder Rate RisesPhiladelphia saw a sharp increase in the number of murders in 2018 with 353 in total. That’s the worst since more than a decade ago when 391 people were killed in 2007.President Trump in 2017 noted that “the murder rate has been steady—I mean just terribly increasing” in Philadelphia. When 2017 ended, Philadelphia saw more homicides than it had since 2012. Girl, 15, Arrested After Leaving Baby in Philadelphia Dumpster: Officials By Jack Phillips January 1, 2019 Updated: January 1, 2019 Share A 15-year-old girl was arrested after she allegedly left her newborn baby in a dumpster on New Year’s Eve, Philadelphia police have said.The baby later died after it was found around 10:30 p.m. local time on Dec. 31, 2018, according to The Associated Press. A 40-year-old woman approached police officers, telling them her daughter’s friend placed a baby in a dumpster near Kensington.The woman said she took the baby from the dumpster and reported the incident to police officers, AP reported. The child was taken to Temple University Hospital and was later pronounced dead, ABC6 reported.The teen, who was not named, was found at home with her mother. Officials believe that’s where the girl gave birth.Now, homicide detectives are investigating the matter. The teen has been arrested, AP reported. US News Show Discussioncenter_img Stock photo of police tape. (Carl Ballou/Shutterstock) Share this article  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON    QualityAuto 1080p720p480p360p240pRewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video The city had 314 murders as of Dec. 28 of 2017, an increase of about 13 percent over the previous year, according to an Associated Press report at the time.Philadelphia Police Captain John Ryan lamented the city’s burgeoning murder rate. “We did have a very violent August. We recorded 41 murders in August and there were 19 murders in August last year,” he told ABC6 last year.Some said the city has a severe drug—particularly an opioid—problem.“Territorial disputes and people that are on drugs. They gotta go out and start robbing people so you have all this violence, violence, violence,” John Appledorn of the Citizens Crime Commission said in the ABC affiliate report.A small group of people are committing most of the crimes, police said.“It’s a very small minority committing most of the havoc,” Philadelphia Police Capt. Sekou Kinebrew told the AP.These groups, he said, “use violence” as a means to accomplish their goals.“A lot of times, it is the young people pulling the trigger. Many of them will end up feeling cynical and feeling jaded, and feeling hopeless and they harden themselves to this reality,” Scott Charles, trauma outreach coordinator at Temple University Hospital, told KYW.“It really is a consequence of young people who have given up on hope, young people who have been exposed to high levels of violence, who have been hardened, where there isn’t the sense of compassion for others.” last_img read more

Travis Criswell 27 opened the door and officers

first_imgTravis Criswell, 27, opened the door, and officers noticed a strong “burnt marijuana” smell emitting from the home. Officers asked Criswell about children in the home, and he confirmed there were children inside.A 2-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl were spotted with their mother, Brittnie Morford, 27, according to the Fox affiliate report.The two toddlers were described as being “very dirty and seemed to be very cold,” according to court documents obtained by the news outlet. They were also apparently “soaked from head to toe in urine,” officials said. A stock photo showing police tape. (Mark Makela/Getty Images) Share this article US News  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Two people in Washington, Indiana, were arrested after two toddlers were discovered inside an “extremely dirty and cold” home, according to local reports.A Department of Child Services (DCS) worker was contacted on Dec. 7 about two toddlers who were inside a house that was described as being unsuitable for children.The worker went to the house in the southern Indiana town, but she said the occupants would not allow her inside the premises, Fox59 reported.Police officers were then contacted by DCS, who responded to the scene and knocked on the door. Toddlers Found Inside ‘Extremely Dirty and Cold’ Indiana Home, Say Police By Jack Phillips January 3, 2019 Updated: January 3, 2019 Toddlers found inside Indiana home “soaked in urine” with “purple feet” because they were so cold, court docs say https://t.co/lDRZierq7z pic.twitter.com/GB8muDFSku— FOX59 News (@FOX59) January 3, 2019  QualityAuto 1080p720p480p360p240pRewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video WTHI-TV reported that the children’s feet appeared purple due to the house’s temperature.There were also “multiple injuries on each child” before they were taken to Daviess Community Hospital for an examination. A doctor said the 2-year-old had second-degree burns, but the report didn’t elaborate on how.Morford and Criswell were arrested and charged with two counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury. They were also charged with neglect of a dependent.The two were both being held in the Daviess County Security Center on $25,000 bond, WBIW reported.gove indiana today The worker went to the house on Grove Street in the southern Indiana town of Washington. This photo shows the Grove Street neighborhood. (Google Street View)One of The Nation’s Most Serious Concerns’According to a report published by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (pdf), around 3.5 million children in 2016 were the subjects of at least one maltreatment report to authorities.“Child abuse is one of the nation’s most serious concerns,” the authors of the report wrote.About 17 percent of those reports were substantiated, and the department said that there were an estimated 676,000 victims of child abuse and neglect. That amounts to 9.1 victims per 1,000 children.Children in their first year of life had the highest rate of victimization at 24.8 per 1,000 children, the report said.About three-fourths of the cases were neglect, and about 18 percent were physical abuse. Some children suffered from multiple forms of maltreatment, the HHS said.Four-fifths of the child abusers were between the ages of 18 and 44 and more than half were women, the report stated. Show Discussion Sharelast_img read more

The guy had a 40year record of abuse Whatever l

first_img“The guy had a 40-year record of abuse. Whatever lead to his death, it’s a certain amount of karma.”The local Star-Ledger had covered Capparelli extensively for years in the city of Newark.A lawsuit was filed against Capparelli in July 2011 by Andrew Dundorf, who accused him of abuse spanning over a decade, including at trips to Disney World and a Boy Scouts camp where Capparelli worked. The lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount.In the same year, the Star-Ledger uncovered the fact that back in 1989 Capparelli was sent to a New Mexico treatment center that specialized in alcoholism and pedophilia.The Star-Ledger revealed that he had been hired as a math teacher at a public high school in Newark in 2011 when allegations against him began to surface again.Fitter wants to know if Capparelli continued his alleged abuses after he moved to Nevada in 2016.“I can’t see a change,” Fitter said. “I’ll be very interested to see what police find in his house … I don’t see that type of sociopath and predator changing.”” I can’t say that I feel sorry for him,” he told KTVN. ” I can’t say that I feel any sort of loss. I’m just kind of numb. I don’t want to sound cold, but the world is a safer place without him.” Follow Simon on Twitter: @SPVeazey In 2016, he moved from New Jersey to the town of Henderson, about 15 miles away from Las Vegas, in Nevada, where his body was found on March 8. An aerial view of the street where former priest John Capparelli lived in Henderson, Nev. (Screenshot/Googlemaps)Henderson Police Department said that investigators have not identified a suspect, according to the New York Times, but they were “following up on developed leads” and cited “suspicious circumstances” surrounding his death.Robert Hoatson, who runs a  nonprofit, which aids sexual abuse survivors, said he has helped some of Capparelli’s alleged victims.“The murder of the former priest John Capparelli is shocking and sad,” Hoatson told USA Today. “That’s not the way we want people to be handled. We want them to go through the proper procedures. We hope the victims are taking care of themselves and that the murderer is brought to justice.”Capparelli operated a porn website featuring young men wrestling for several years, according to the Star-Ledger.One of those alleged victims,  Rich Fitter, told the Newark Star-Ledger, “The world is a safer place without him.” The collar of a priest is seen at St. Adalbert Catholic Church March 29, 2002, in Chicago. (Tim Boyle/Getty Images) Share Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse Found Shot Dead in Nevada Home By Simon Veazey March 13, 2019 Updated: March 13, 2019 US News center_img A defrocked priest accused of sexually abusing children over decades was found dead in his Nevada home with a single bullet wound to the neck.The name of John Capparelli, 70, was recently published on a list along with 187 other clergy that have been been “credibly accused” of abusing minors in Newark, according to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.Capparelli died of a single bullet shot to his neck, the Clark County Coroner’s Office in Nevada said, according to reports.Police found his body in the kitchen of his home in Henderson during a welfare check on the morning of March 9, reported NBC.He had been accused of groping teenage boys in lawsuits but had never faced criminal charges related to the allegations. The home of former priest John Capparelli in Henderson, Nev. (Screenshot/Googlemaps) He was permanently removed from ministry in 1992, then defrocked. His teaching license was subsequently revoked in a settlement, according to USA today.He had never publicly acknowledged wrongdoing. Share this article  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Show Discussionlast_img read more

Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher who has been charged w

first_imgNavy SEAL Edward Gallagher, who has been charged with murder in the 2017 death of an Iraqi war prisoner. (Andrea Gallagher via AP, File) Share this article Military Judge Removes Prosecutor From Navy SEAL Murder Case By The Associated Press June 4, 2019 Updated: June 4, 2019 SAN DIEGO—A military judge took the rare step Monday to remove a prosecutor accused of misconduct from the war crimes case of a decorated Navy SEAL.Capt. Aaron Rugh ordered the lead prosecutor removed from the case of Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher after defense lawyers accused the prosecution of spying on their emails, according to the ruling. The defense asked Rugh to dismiss the case or remove prosecutors because of the surreptitious effort to track defense emails without court approval in an effort to find the source of news leaks. Rugh said it was not in his power to determine if Cmdr. Christopher Czaplak violated ethical or professional rules, but the potential for a probe into those actions required that he be removed from the prosecution.Czaplak received word of the ruling during a deposition while questioning an Iraqi general, who is a witness in the case, defense lawyer Tim Parlatore said.Czaplak left in the middle of the testimony being recorded on video in San Diego for use at the trial. He did not return to the courtroom.Parlatore said it was a step in the right direction.“There’s no way he should be allowed to continue on this case,” Parlatore said. “We’re still hopeful the entire case will be dismissed.”Rugh said he would rule on whether to dismiss murder and attempted murder counts against Gallagher by the end of Wednesday.A Marine Corps lawyer, Capt. Conor McMahon, assigned to the case will not be removed, Rugh said.But it’s not clear if McMahon will stay on the prosecution team. McMahon’s commanders ordered him to stop participating in the case last week and he didn’t appear at hearings on Thursday and Friday.The Navy would not say if he would remain on the team.Czaplak will be replaced with another attorney from the Navy, spokesman Brian O’Rourke said.“Chief Petty Officer Gallagher is entitled to a fair trial and the Navy is committed to upholding that principle,” O’Rourke said.Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, left, hugs his wife, Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, left, hugs his wife, Andrea Gallagher, after leaving a military courtroom on Naval Base San Diego in San Diego, on May 30, 2019. (Julie Watson/AP Photo)Last week, Rugh unexpectedly released Gallagher from custody as a remedy for interference by prosecutors in the middle of a hearing that also included accusations they withheld evidence from the defense.The removal of Czaplak could delay the trial scheduled to start June 10.Republicans in Congress have rallied in support of Gallagher, saying he has been mistreated. President Donald Trump, who intervened to move Gallagher to better confinement, has considered dismissing the charges.Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, left, hugs his wife, Andrea Gallagher, after leaving a military courtroom on Naval Base San Diego in San Diego, on May 30, 2019. (Julie Watson/AP Photo)Gallagher pleaded not guilty to murder in the death of an injured teenage terrorist in Iraq in 2017 and to attempted murder for picking off two civilians from a sniper’s perch.At hearings last week, Rugh indicated he was misled about the investigation into news leaks.He said investigators told him privately they planned to embed code in what he believed to be a court document to help them find the source of leaks. But the judge said he didn’t have the power to authorize such a tactic and wasn’t told they planned to target emails sent to the defense lawyers or a journalist.Rugh also said he believed Czaplak was working with federal prosecutors and his approval was not necessary.Rugh received a letter Friday from the U.S. attorney’s office in San Diego, saying they had not approved or coordinated the tracking, Parlatore said.Evidence at the hearings showed prosecutors enlisted a Naval Criminal Investigative Service intelligence specialist to conduct criminal background checks on three civilian lawyers and a Navy Times journalist who has broken several stories based on leaked documents.Parlatore, who was among the three lawyers investigated, accused prosecutors of a “rogue, relentless, and unlawful cyber campaign” that may have violated attorney-client privilege and hurt his client’s ability to get a fair trial.Czaplak downplayed the move, saying the embedded code recorded nothing more than what marketers use to find out where and when messages were opened by recipients.Another prosecutor, Lt. Scott McDonald said the effort only gathered data, such as internet protocol addresses, and did not snoop on the content of emails or require a search warrant.“Even if there was some intrusion” in violation of attorney client-privilege, it didn’t rise to the level to dismiss the case, McDonald said.Czaplak said the tracking ended May 10 after he was confronted by Parlatore who discovered the code in an unusual logo of an American flag with a bald eagle perched on the scales of justice beneath the prosecutor’s signature.Several experts testified that the code couldn’t generally be used to identify a specific person or capture content.By Julie Watson And Brian Melley Sharecenter_img  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   US News #BREAKING: The prosecutor in the murder trial for Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher has been removed from the case by a military judge.https://t.co/xO2jUWDHPm— #NBC7 San Diego (@nbcsandiego) June 4, 2019 Show Discussionlast_img read more

Cleaning the ocean one sunglass at a time

first_imgLet’s file this one too under eye-wear made out of interesting materials. After Shwood’s Cactus Sunglasses come Norton Point’s Ocean Plastic Frames. Each frame follows Norton Point’s philosophy of “One Pound One Pair”, which basically mean that each pair of sunglasses is responsible for cleaning and reusing one pound of the Ocean’s plastic waste.Creating an ecosystem and a business that’s more about consciously cutting down on plastic waste than about profitability, Norton Point sources their plastic from the wastelands in Haiti, employing hundreds, and incentivizing the waste-collection process. The spectacles/sunglasses are then made from this recycled plastic (although honestly, it looks and feels just like regularly molded virgin plastic). Each piece of eyewear even comes with the GPS coordinates of the place the plastic was sourced from. Now isn’t that just amazing?!Designer: Norton PointBUY NOWBUY NOWSharePinShareFlipSharePocket822 Shareslast_img read more

Nacho Ordinary Fundraiser and Dance Party

first_img on September 10, 2013 By CBN 0 E-Headlines Nacho Ordinary Fundraiser and Dance Party Pinterest Google+ Twittercenter_img Email Share. Facebook Tumblr LinkedIn On Saturday, September 14 local chefs will throw down for the title of champion in a “Nacho Ultimate” competition at Locavore, Central Oregon’s local food marketplace and education nonprofit. These chefs will provide their rendition of the world’s best plate of nachos using all local ingredients. Who will take home the crown? You’ll be the judge! But the real winners of the night will be the children of our community as funds from this event mean another season of Farm Kids—Kids Dig It! and local food youth education programs through Locavore. This program gets kids out of the classroom and onto the farms of Central Oregon where they learn where food really comes from. The program specifically focuses on low-income youth—in some cases these kids have never before been to a place where food grows.  A $25 ticket, available through centraloregonlocavore.com or in the Locavore marketplace on 1st Street, includes one free drink, all you can eat nachos, and an evening of music and dance. We’ll keep the party, and the no-host bar, cranking ‘til the wee hours. Locavore thanks Tims Chips (which distributes for Juanitas) O-Hana Salsa, Savory Spice Shop, Broken Top Bottle Shop, Eberhards, Redtail Farm, Fields Farm, Juniper Jungle Permaculture Farm, Rathole Brewing, Piggyback Ranch and Oregon Spirit Distillers whose generous contributions provide all the supplies for this event. Clearly, this is nacho ordinary fundraiser. See you there!What: Fundraiser for Central Oregon Locavore and Farm Kids – Kids Dig It! When: Saturday, Sept. 14. Doors at 6 p.m. Music at 7pm. Final judgment at 8pm. Dance party at 10pmWhere: Central Oregon Locavore, 1216 NE 1st St. in BendTickets: Tickets for the Nacho Competition are $25, which includes one drink. Tickets for dance party only are $10.last_img read more

Family Resource Center Stages Midsummer Night in White to Celebrate Corporate Advocacy

first_img Pinterest LinkedIn By CBN Family Resource Center Stages Midsummer Night in White to Celebrate Corporate Advocacy Honorees including Brooks Resources and Co-Founders of the Local Nonprofit E-Headlines on June 9, 2016 Facebook 0center_img Share. Twitter Email Tumblr The Family Resource Center of Central Oregon, a local parenting education nonprofit, announce their 2016 Corporate Advocacy Honoree, Brooks Resources Corporation and the 2016 Advocacy Honorees, the co-founders of the organization: Loren Irving, Carol Stiles, Tim Higdon, Sue Hollern, Sue Shepardson, Father Donal Burke, Vicki Ertle, Carol Palmer, Anne Van Dusen, the late Dennis Maloney, Ralph Delamarter and Meredith Mason.The honorees will be recognized Saturday, June 18 at Midsummer Night in White, the Family Resource Center’s annual white party that raises awareness and funds to strengthen and support family relationships through parenting education, information and resources. Midsummer Night in White will take place at the Miracle Barn in Tumalo. Local lifestyle TV producer, host and founder of Blue Pool Media, Kerri Willerton, will Emcee the event.“We admire how much the Family Resource Center’s 2016 honorees have been an integral part in the formation and commitment to our organization,” said Wendy Harmon Hanson, board president of Family Resource Center.  “Because of them, we are proud to be celebrating 25 years of providing services to strengthen parents and families in Central Oregon.”Midsummer Night in White is a white themed event to celebrate the summer solstice and launch the start of summer in central Oregon.  It will also be a celebration of the Family Resource Center’s 25th Anniversary.  The event will be held in a beautiful rustic barn setting and will feature a summer grill with signature cocktails, wine, beer and kombucha from local distributors. The event will also feature a Rockin’ After Party with dancing.Event premier co-sponsors are Sean Brennan of Summit Funding and Kristi Kaufman and Catherine Scanland of KC Bend Living powered by Bend Premier Real Estate.  Other program sponsors include Swanton Family Foundation, Bigfoot Beverages, The Bulletin, Brooks Resources Corporation, Les Schwab, Bend Urology, Bend Garbage and Recycling, Infocus Eye Care, Central Oregon Radiology Assoc., SunWest Builders and Bend Research.To purchase tickets or learn more about Midsummer Night in White, visit www.frc.preclickbid.com.ABOUT FAMILY RESOURCE CENTERThe Family Resource Center of Central Oregon is a parenting education non-profit dedicated to providing access to parenting education classes for parents of children of all ages. These programs are fueled by a dedicated staff, caring volunteers and generous donors. Parenting Education Classes are available throughout the year in Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson counties.  For more information or to be put on a class waitlist, please call 541-389-5468or visit www.frconline.org.ABOUT BROOKS RESOURCES CORPORATIONThe Family Resource Center has been fortunate to be the recipient of many years of support by the 2016 Corporate Advocacy Honoree, Brooks Resources Corporation.  Unwavering commitment to philanthropy is an important component of the Brooks Resources corporate philosophy.  Brooks Resources Corporation donates at least 3% of its pre-tax profits to Central Oregon charitable endeavors each year.  The Bend Foundation was established by Brooks Resources to help support local programs that are vital to the community, including the Family Resource Center.ABOUT THE CO-FOUNDERSOver 25 years ago, a group of concerned citizens worked together to come up with a strategy to address the prevention of youth problems such as dropping out of school, substance abuse, youth delinquency, teenage pregnancy and child abuse.  Their mission and purpose evolved to focus on providing parents in central Oregon with child raising strategies that strengthen their children’s physical, mental and social development. The following 2016 Advocacy Honorees were instrumental to the formation of the Family Resource Center: Loren Irving, Carol Stiles, Tim Higdon, Sue Hollern, Sue Shepardson, Father Donal Burke, Vicki Ertle, Carol Palmer, Ann Van Dusen, the late Dennis Maloney, and Meredith Mason.  Without their vision and tireless work, the Family Resource Center would not have been able to serve families in Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook counties for 25 years.Chuck Keers 541-389-5468development@frconline.org Google+last_img read more

Business of the Year Dana Signs

first_img Facebook Tumblr Share. on February 1, 2018 Twitter LinkedIn Google+ E-Headlinescenter_img Business of the Year, Dana Sign’s (Photo above by Caleb Thomas, Redmond Chamber of Commerce)Dana Sign’s was awarded the 2017 Redmond Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year. The company is a full service shop that provides custom signs throughout Central Oregon. The recognition is given each year to a company that demonstrates inspiration and resourcefulness in the development of its business, products and services. Candidates are businesses that are involved in Chamber, community and/or serve on committees.Dana Sign’s was named Redmond’s business of the year for their success as a local business and contributions to the community.“Judy and I were in shock. We never expected it. But after reflection we realize that it would never happen without the help of our employees and the opportunities presented to us by our awesome customers,” said Brent Grenfell, co-owner of Dana Sign’s.Dana Sign’s has operated in Redmond for nearly two decades and survived the recession to remain a leader in their industry. The company is owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Judy and Brent Grenfell who put a premium on customer service, community involvement and giving back through donations to clubs, organizations and charities in Central Oregon.The work being done by the Grenfell’s is literally leaving a mark on the city as their signs are displayed inside and out of businesses throughout town. Most notably, Dana Sign’s designed and built Redmond’s Downtown Centennial Arch which welcomes visitors into town.“It’s kind of a unique feeling. I call it making our mark on Central Oregon. We have done lots of signs and some are iconic. When we are out and about and we see one of our products it is a reminder of the relationships that we have built in service of our customers. Our employees love being able to see our work out in the community, it gives them a feeling of satisfaction,” said Grenfell.The Grenfell’s business is based on a goal of daily living up to their mission statement and values which consists of putting each customer first. They take pride in helping businesses create a high quality identity by providing unique signs and related products that exceed expectations.“For Judy and I our goal is the same as it’s been since we’ve owned the shop. We just want to do the best job we can for our customers, have our employees experience and enjoy the unique trade of sign making and then try to make a positive contribution to the community,” said Grenfell.The Grenfell’s and their team work closely with customer’s from the initial inquiry, designing the sign, revision process and final installation at the business or on a vehicle. It is this hands on process that allows Dana Sign’s to assuredly provide customer satisfaction.Dana Sign’sMain Office: 615 SW Umatilla Ave. Redmond, OR 97756danasigns.comPhone: 541-548-7226info@danasigns.comOwners: Brent and Judy GrenfellNo. Employees: 10 full time employees and 3 part time between Dana Sign’s in Redmond and MC Smith Signs in Bend.Year Established: 2001Product/Service: A full service sign design and production company that offer custom and high quality indoor and outdoor signage, graphics, vehicle wraps and lettering, banners, decals and printed logo wear.Hot News: Awarded 2017 Redmond Chamber Business of the Year in Redmond. Email 0 Pinterest By David Clewett CBN Feature Writerlast_img read more

Online Gaming Industry – Statistics and Trends

first_img LinkedIn 0 E-Headlines Share. Tumblr Facebook Email Twittercenter_img Everybody loves Las Vegas. This is the place where we can have fun in the casino, go to nightclubs, shopping, and watched shows. However, if we can bring Vegas into the computer, that would be a dream come true. The online gaming industry has become a major phenomenon. It is the place to gamble, make money, make friends, and have fun. Plus, there are other adventurous games and RPG (role-playing games) that allows gamers to enter the virtual world to conquer new obstacles and meet new people. Throughout the years, the gaming industry has become more advanced and addicting. There are even changes in the statistics that show a major shift in advancement in the industry.Mobile gameMobile game has become very popular. Games like Joker123 allows you to play Casino and other gambling game on your iPhone. Just imagine walking around with the Las Vegas experience in the palm of your hands. This can be very useful if you are standing in line at the DMV or just sitting in the park while watching your kids play. It’s convenient because you can turn on the game and start gambling with other people. If you are lucky, you can make a lot of money. In fact, some people even turned this into a profession.Online gamesOnline casino games have become a very popular and trendy avenue for gamblers to alleviate their cravings. Another cool thing is that PlayStation and Xbox live has also become a major phenomenon in the game industry. In 2018, a subscription of the PlayStation plus has increased to about 22.8%. This means that this online adventure has experienced around 26.4 million subscribers. The Xbox Live Gold, on the other hand, has experienced a 33% growth of gamers in the United States. This shows that online games are becoming more trendy and popular as the years progress.PlatformsThere are various gaming platforms that are often used in the industry. The gaming statistics have shown that 38% of the users prefer smartphones and tablets, 53% likes PC and Mac, 22% enjoy the Xbox, 30% useless web browser, and 4% for Apple TV. Other statistics also showed that web browsers have experienced a 13% gaming usage, Linux has 7%, AR headset is 5%, and Nintendo switch is 3%. These trends basically showed that gamers prefer using the computer rather than an old-style gaming technology like Nintendo.Who is playingWhen it comes to online games, practically everyone is going crazy. Over 64% of the general population are gamers in the US. The average age of male gamers is around 33 years old, and female games are 37 years old. Also, male gamers often play for competition and destruction, whereas female gamers are motivated to play for designs and fantasy. This means that for war and fight games will be filled with guys, whereas role-playing, designing, and fashion will be filled with girls.Popular gamesThere are various games out there, and a lot of them are quite popular. In 2018, the most popular PC game in the world is the League of Legends. In China, PUBG is the favorite with over 52% of gamers visiting the website. In 2018, over 6.33 million have played World of Warcraft. Diablo three have experienced the best selling PC games despite being in third place. The Texas Hold ‘Em poker online game has experienced a massive 65.35 million of players. Modern warfare has estimated around 24.37 fan base. The Legend of Zelda and Mario was ranked as the best game in 2017.Games for childrenAdults are not the only one who loves games; children love it as well. The online game is trending their way into the classroom. In the past, schools have always emphasized on reading and memorizing to teach kids. They find that this is highly ineffective, so they decided to utilize a new modality in teaching children in the classroom. Research has found that active learning from the online game is filled with challenges and obstacles that have helped skyrocketed the children’s GPA and memory. It’s the constant engagement and interaction from the game that has helped students learn and progress. Because of this advantage, more schools are implementing game style active learning approach in the classroom.EsportsSporting games and gambling have become very popular. In 2017, the Esports market have profited a total of 655 million in revenue. This is mainly because sports gambling has become very convenient from iPhones and other more convenient avenues. The Asian market has also benefited from Esports with a 36% of shares. The leading sporting game is Doda which have estimated to about $38 million profit in price.Video game monetization30% of gamers in the US are not subscribed to any payment type game. That means 70% are paying a monthly bill to play their favorite game. This indicates that the video gaming industry is experiencing a major profit. In addition, 20% of gamers in the US have pre-ordered video games on a continuous basis. 56% have purchased Apple app games. The most exciting trending statistic is that in 2017, PayPal reported that 40.1% of gamers utilize the payment method to pay for their games.Console gameThe digital console games can take up about 23% of the gaming industry arena. The physical console game has covered over 66.3% of the global worth. Into 2017, microtransaction console has taken up over 10.5% of the industries’ market.Virtual realityIn the past, there are ideas about creating a virtual reality world where you can experience another place. Now in this millennium, this world can come to life. In the near future, 20% of the online game will be placed in the virtual world. This is where players will wear a headset and stare at a screen of another world around them. For example, if the game takes place in a forest, the headset will showcase a tropical forest. It will look and feel like you are in the actual forest. This will give the user an out of the body experience. It will create an illusion that the player is actually in the game. In the future, a lot of combat and battles will be done in virtual reality. As technology advances, so will be the gaming experience. This will open up a door to new opportunities.Online RPG gamesRPG stands for role-playing games. This used to be a very popular modality, but not in the online arena. Games like Dungeons and dragons have often created a huge community. As the years go by, there has been a 20% rise in RPG game. This is where users become a character in which they have to make decisions that can affect the results and outcome of the game. It’s almost like a real-life situation where each choice you make can change your destiny. Overall, a lot of games focus towards creating a real-life concert for their users.Online games for senior citizenBecause the brain is like a muscle where the more you use it, the stronger it gets. This is very helpful for senior citizens in order to slow down the progression towards dementia. Online games can create puzzles and strategies for senior citizens to play. This will stimulate the neurons in the brain. That way, they can enjoy the adventure and build a healthy brain. In 2017, reports claim that there was a 50% improvement in cognitive function in senior citizens that are involved in online strategy games.Artificial intelligence in gameArtificial intelligence emphasizes on teaching a certain technology or robot to learn new things. This is very useful in online gaming system where programmers can train certain aspects of the game and programs to learn through that user’s interaction. As time goes by, the advancements in technology can re-create an amazing human experience for gamers. In 2017, there is a 10% rise in artificial intelligence in the gaming system. In fact, a lot of RPG, dating games, and cyberpet games often utilize artificial intelligence to communicate with users. It’s the process of learning and interaction that brings the game to the next level.Professional GamersIn the past, people never thought about video games or online games as a profession. Now, there is a rise in gamers who are determined to make this a profession. In fact, a lot of gamers are making over six figures worth of salary. The main thing is that they play and live stream their games and interact with various users. The more people visit, the more money they make. This is mainly from advertisement. Youtube has witnessed a 30% growth of gamers within the 2016 to 2018 years. As the gaming world becomes more advanced, there will be more innovative ways for users to earn money.Online work out gameThe great part about working out in the gym is the endorphins and feeling good about yourself. The issue is that it can be very annoying and trouble to get dressed and go to the gym. Sometimes, we don’t have the time to work out so we end up skipping it. This could be very detrimental to our health. Luckily, a lot of game developers have create an online games that are geared towards work out. There is a 20% rise in workout games. These games have state of the art technology to track the user’s heart rate and blood pressure. They can even help predict the amount of calories that the users can burn. Some of these games incorporate Sports such as tennis, basketball, or soccer. If the user wants to work out, he or she can lift or jog in front of the computer. The computer or live TV can showcase either a sporting event or a beautiful forest for the user to jog. The main concept is to re-create a workout or sporting experience for the user.Game interactionIn the past, people don’t communicate with other users. You’re basically playing a game on your own. Into 2015 and onward, there is a 50% growth of games where you can not only play and compete but also communicate with other players. It’s the interaction in meeting new people that make the experience more appealing. It got even better when you are able to put a headphone on to talk to the users. It was a gradual experience because it used to start off as a chat room which then progressed towards audio. Eventually, you might even see other users on the screen.Pokémon GoThis is an innovative game that has garnished millions of users and profit. The game emphasizes on collecting all the Pokémon. It utilizes the iPhone where the camera creates a world out of our own world. It then implements the Pokémon in this world. That means you could be walking your dog while looking at your iPhone, and spot a Pokémon right in front of the tree. The cool part is that you can grab a Pokéball and captured the monster. You can also search for various gyms to battle different Pokémon trainer in order to claim the gym. Pokémon go has become a major phenomenon that people often rave about. It also create a community where people could meet and exchange Pokémon‘s.Fashion gamesThere has been an increasing number of female gamers in the last couple of years. In 2017, there is a 30% increase in female gamers. This is mainly because online games and iPhones have released various games that emphasizes on designs and fashion. This is more focus on the female population. For example, Kim Kardashian has created her own online game where you can use her character and play dress up. This pretty much changes the gaming industry to create an equal gender industry.ConclusionThe gaming industry has become a major trend. Statistics have shown that every year, more and more people are purchasing, subscribing, and playing games. Even the classroom is implementing the gaming system to promote and foster active learning to better assist students and improve their GPA so they can get into a better college. In the near future, it has been estimated that the gaming industry will experience an exponential growth. This is mainly because the advancement in technology and computer system can create a more realistic virtual fantasy for people to escape everyday life and enter a world of challenge and excitement. Overall, the gaming industry will eventually get to the point where the statistics will go over 90%, and it may ultimately become a billion dollar industry. Google+ Pinterest on November 13, 2018 Online Gaming Industry – Statistics and Trends By CBNlast_img read more

How to Visit Dubai on a Budget in 2019

first_img Pinterest Accommodation on February 11, 2019 LinkedIn Entertainment E-Headlines Tourists can save money on plane tickets in different ways. Booking your flight at least 2-3 months in advance is a sure way to reduce costs and stress. It’s common for airlines to provide discounts and special packages to tourists. Visit their websites and sign up for their newsletter so that you will be notified as soon as cool deals are available. You can also download their apps or follow them on social media platforms to avoid missing out on offers. 0 Share. Booking your flights Dubai has several public transport services which include trams, water taxis, metros, and car rental services. Taxi services in Dubai are safe and affordable. Apart from that, the Dubai Metro Train System is a smart solution to the traffic problems within the city. The good thing is that most of the tourist attractions such as the Mall of the Emirates and Gold Souk are very close to the Dubai Metro. Food Avoid booking hotels near the high brow areas of Dubai. This is because they are expensive. Tourists can get decent hotels or hostels in other parts of the city. Make sure that its close to one of the Dubai Metro for convenient transportation. Try to start searching for accommodation as early as possible. This will enable you to get a room with a comfortable bed and essential facilities. In addition, you may be lucky to snag discounts on hotel rooms.center_img Facebook Transportation Budget travelers tend to explore the city on their own instead of booking tours. These tours are usually expensive and can set you back at hundreds of Dirhams. Dubai offers many sightseeing and entertainment at little or no cost. Your best bet is to buy cheap souvenirs from local souks and markets in Dubai. Other activities you can enjoy include camel racing, horse racing and visiting the Burj Khalifa. Twitter Luxury restaurants and hotels remain one of the highlights of Dubai. They offer tourists the opportunity to enjoy local and international dishes. The downside is that most of them are costly. Cheaper alternatives include Lebanese, Arabic or Indian restaurants. Deira and Bur Dubai are filled with budget-friendly restaurants.Your vacation is incomplete without booking for a dinner cruise in Dubai Marina. Don’t miss Dubai shawarma for anything as you can get them easily. Consider buying fresh food products from local stores and cook if you will be spending some days or weeks in the city. Google+ Tumblr How to Visit Dubai on a Budget in 2019 By CBN Dubai is a luxurious city that is living up to expectations and unarguably a hub for the rich. Despite the rate of development and technological advancement, the cultural heritage of the city is still in its purest form. Nevertheless, it is also welcoming to backpackers who can master a few hacks.There are lots of feeding, transportation and accommodation options for budget travelers. It’s even possible for such individuals to go back home with enough souvenirs and some change in their wallet. Prioritize setting a budget and plan your itinerary ahead to have the type of travel experience you’ve always dreamed of. Here are some money saving tips for your trip to Dubai. Emaillast_img read more

These are the 13 Largest US Tech Startup Funding Rounds of March

first_imgArmed with some data from our friends at CrunchBase, I broke down the largest US startup funding rounds from March 2019. I have included some additional information such as industry, company description, round type, founders, and total equity funding raised to further the analysis.CLICK HERE TO SEE THE TOP US STARTUP FUNDINGS OF MARCH 2019The TechWatch Media Group audience is driving progress and innovation on a global scale. With its regional media properties, TechWatch Media Group is the highway for technology and entrepreneurship. There are a number of options to reach this audience of the world’s most innovative organizations and startups at scale including sponsoring a piece like this, which will be read by the vast majority of key influencers in the entrepreneurial universe. Find out more here.PREVIOUS POST1 / 22NEXT PAGE These are the 13 Largest US Tech Startup Funding Rounds of March 2019April 3, 2019 by Reza Chowdhury 409SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin Filed Under: Funding, Startups Tagged With:  Matt Sacks,  Michael Bruno,  Phong Nguyen, 1stdibs, Aman Narang, Angus Pacala, Branch International, Brandon Krieg, Brian Bair, Casper, Chime, Chris Britt, Cloudflare, Constantin Eis, Craig Ramsey, Dale Branlund, Daniel Jung, David Ronick, David Schmaier, Drew Perkins, Ed Robison, Edward Robinson, Emily Weiss, Eric Wu, Gabriel Flateman, Glossier, Grassroots Cannabis, Gregory Mark, Ian Wong, James Ramsey, Jason Gardner, Jeff Chapin, Jennifer Fleiss, Jennifer Hyman, Jerry Coleman, John Thomson, Jonathan Grimm, Justin Ross, Keith Rabois, Kevin Jones, Lauren Perkins, Laurence Forcione, Lee Holloway, Luminary Media, Mark Armenante, Mark Frichtl, Markforged, Marqeta, Matt Flannery, Matthew Prince, Michael Deering, Michael Plunkett, Michael Wiemer, Michelle Zatlyn, Mitch Kahn, Mojo Vision, Neil Parikh, Offerpad, Omar Bakr, Opendoor, Ouster, PayIt, Philip Krim, Rabin Patra, Random Bares, Rent the Runway, Ryan King, Sergiu Nedevschi, Stash, Steve Fredette, T. Luke Sherwin, Tarana Wireless, Toast, Vlocity, Young Sohnlast_img read more

The AlleyWatch Startup Daily Funding Report 7102019

first_imgThe latest venture capital, seed, pre-seed, and angel deals for NYC startups for 7/10/2019 featuring funding details for Signpost, Particle Health, and much more. This page will be updated throughout the day to reflect any new fundings.PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST The AlleyWatch Startup Daily Funding Report: 7/10/2019 by AlleyWatch Signpost $52M – Series D Tagged With: Bank of Montreal (BMO), Collaborative Fund, Georgian Partners, HighBar Partners, John Buchanan, Particle Health, Signpost, Spark Capital, Stuart Wall, Taylor Greene, Troy Bannister CRM software Signpost has raised $52M in Series D funding from investors that include Spark Capital, Georgian Partners, Bank of Montreal (BMO), and HighBar Partners. Founded by John Buchanan and Stuart Wall in 2010, Signpost has now raised a total of $88.6M in reported equity funding. center_img Particle Health, the medical records access authorization solution, has raised $2.3M in funding according to a recent SEC filing. The filing indicates that there were thirteen investors in the round and lists Taylor Greene of the Collaborative Fund as a Director. Particle Health was founded by Troy Bannister in 2018. 219SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin Particle Health $2.3Mlast_img read more

I Really Do Miss That Crazy Guy John McAfee

first_imgI Really Do Miss That Crazy Guy, John McAfeeNovember 23, 2016 by Thomas Yohannan 294SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin In a country that is obsessed with privacy and opinion, it is disconcerting to see that this election cycle has failed to thoroughly address the issue of cybersecurity. The closest we had come to a bold proclamation of our need for a security evolution has been John McAfee. What America needs now is a new “moon shot” for the near future.Every candidate had a chance to speak about cybersecurity except for, possibly, someone who promises a free pony for every American. However, behind the din of two-party politics, John McAfee, running as a Libertarian Party candidate, placed cybersecurity as the single most compelling reason to listen to him. In most years, the Libertarian Party appeared as nothing more than a slightly detectable nod on Election Day. However, 2016 created some interesting insight into the direction of the country. In a poll by undergroundpoliticalpolling.com, Libertarian candidates garnered 12.8 percent of votes.The Far AfieldUntil a few months ago, John McAfee was a viable candidate despite his laundry list of apparent illegalities or just his sense of humor. He has accomplished many things: NASA programmer, drug dealer, technology guru, so-called “eccentric millionaire” (McAfee sold his company to Intel in 2010 for $7.68 billion), living a bizarre existence in Belize surrounded by dogs, armed guards, and young women. However, his ideals about technology and cybersecurity and his platform of “Privacy, Freedom, and Technology” were quite serious attempts at making the American citizen aware enough to understand that the American dream must be protected in all realms of commerce.Every generation has a vision of a great society that needs to be defended against an apocalyptic prophecy. In the 1980’s, Reagan promised to restore Americans’ faith in their nation and themselves, to shrink “Big Government,” and to defend America more aggressively, especially against the Soviet Union. Today, Barack Obama has changed the way we are treated at hospitals, created new sources of energy, put the country back on a better long-term fiscal plan, and allowed all of us to be treated a bit more equally. We live in a time of real, progressive change with technological revolutions rewriting our view of everything from politics to biology. However, we are a country in transition with “dark web” enemies.The need for a clear cybersecurity manifesto from our next commander in chief is not only a privacy issue, but also an economic imperative. The study for the Internet Association — which includes major companies such as Facebook and Amazon — found the online sector accounted for $966 billion in economic activity in 2014, and some three million jobs. The Internet’s economic impact has doubled since 2007 and now fuels at least six percent of the overall U.S. economy. Yet, unlike McAfee, many candidates, even those who have been in technology, viewed security as an afterthought.We’re Not in the 80’sRonald Reagan did not have to deal with today’s world. In the mid 1980’s, cybersecurity was all about protecting data from theft, manipulative modification, or destruction. Keeping personnel records, financial information, industrial secrets, and similar data safe from competitors, foreign governments, and malicious individuals was the prime focus. It was a simple time with simple problems. In later years, the cybersecurity landscape has evolved into a complex interconnected web of data, devices, and automated control systems.There will be more security scares and more leaks of the private business of our nation’s leaders. We live in uncommon times where elections of recent memory cannot compare to the extremism of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. While being a torchbearer for idealism and leftist leaners, Democrats turned away from Bernie Sanders to support him while also hurting Hillary Clinton’s race. Donald Trump uses history’s scars to temporarily strengthen yet ultimately weaken our country. Add to this Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio — who were meant to be the face of the Republican party — and you can see why fear and hope are the only two ingredients needed for a successful campaign (common sense may be peppered in at times).New BeginningsAmericans are more concerned about cyberattacks than ballistic missiles, but, because there is no real consensus on what a massive cyberattack could look like, there is no urgency to prepare. As a result, political rhetoric dare not tread on uncertain footing. The good news is that the government is slowly but surely understanding the need to create a strategy. Initiatives such as the “Third Offset” strategy are not just a quest for next-generation technologies, but also a re-evaluation of existing defense programs with an eye toward how we can continue to have competitive, technological, and operational advantages in the world. In this context, cybersecurity must encompass everything from our televisions and automobiles to our military hardware.While his history of murder, sex, drugs, and prison create elements of uncertainty, McAfee had the charisma, intelligence, and media savvy to change the presidential conversation in far too many ways. However, did anyone listen? A most urgent reason to have listened to McAfee was his views on the changing cybersecurity landscape. I’m not sure whether his concerns come true in the next four years or the next 40, but Mr. McAfee understands the dangers of the encroachment of technology into our daily habits.The debate of privacy versus security is neither new nor without controversy. While socio-economic issues are always at the forefront in elections, technology seems to have taken a backseat based on its impact to society. The events of the past few months are examples of the murky waters we currently tread in. Hillary Clinton said in 2008, “One of the great challenges before us as a nation is remaining steadfast in our fight against terrorism, while preserving our commitment to the rule of law and individual liberty.” I have hope that the political class is starting to understand the dangers before the U.S. and the need for our new President to usher in an era of American exceptionalism. Image Credit: CC by Gage SkidmorePREVIOUS POSTNEXT POSTcenter_img Filed Under: Op-ED, Securitylast_img read more

Drones Land Back To Earth At Xponential 2017

first_imgPREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST Drones Land Back To Earth At Xponential 2017May 15, 2017 by Oliver Mitchell 382SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin JD Claridge’s story epitomizes the current state of the drone industry. Claridge, founder of xCraft, is best known for being the first contestant on Shark Tank to receive money from all the Sharks – even Kevin O’Leary! Walking the floor of Xponential 2017, the annual convention of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems Integration (AUVSI), Claridge remarked to me how the drone industry has grown up since his TV appearance.Claridge has gone from pitching cellphone cases that turn into drones (aka phonedrone) to solving mission critical problems. The age of fully autonomous flight is near and the drone industry is finally recovering from the hangover of overhyped Kickstarter videos (see Lily drone’s $34 million fraud). xCraft’s pivot to lightweight, power efficient, enterprise drones is an example of this evolved marketplace. During the three days of Xponential 2017, several far-reaching announcements were made between stalwarts of the tech industry and aviation startups. Claridge introduced me to his new partner, Rajant, which is a leader in industrial wireless networks. xCraft’s latest models utilize Rajant’s mesh networks to launch swarms of drones with one controller. More drones flying simultaneously enables users to maximize the flight time limitations of lithium batteries by covering greater areas within a single mission.Bob Schena, Rajant’s CEO, said, “Rajant’s network technology now makes it possible for one pilot to operate many aircrafts concurrently, with flight times of 45 minutes. We’re pleased to partner with xCraft and bring more intelligence, mobility and autonomy to UAV communication infrastructures covering greater aerial distances while supporting various drone payloads.”The battery has been the achilles heel of the small drone industry since inception. While large winged craft rely heavily on fossil fuels, multirotor battery-operated drones have been plagued with shorter missions of under 45 minutes. Innovators like Claridge are leading the way for a new wave of creative solutions:Solar Powered Wings Airbus showcased its Zephyr drone products or HAPS (High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite) UAVs using solar-winged craft for power. Zephyr UAVs can fly for months at a time saving thousands of tons of fuel. The HAPS also offers a number of lightweight payload options from voice communications to persistent internet to real-time surveillance. Airbus was not the only solar solution on display; there were a handful of Chinese upstarts and solar cell purveyors for retrofitting existing aircrafts.Hybrid Fuel Solutions  In the Startup Pavilion, William Fredericks of the Advanced Aircraft Company (AAC) demoed a novel technology using a hybrid of diesel fuel and lithium batteries with flexible fixed wings and multirotors, resulting in over 3 hours of flying time. AAC’s prototype, the Hercules (above) is remarkably lightweight and fast. Fredricks is an aircraft designer by trade with 12 designs flying in the air, including NASA’s Greased Lightning that looks remarkably similar to Boeing’s Osprey. The Hercules is available for sale on the company’s website for multiple use cases, including: agricultural, first responders, and package delivery. It is interesting to note that a few rows from Frederick’s booth was his former employer, NASA, promoting their new Autonomy Incubator for “intelligent flight systems” and its “autonomy innovation lab,” (definitely an incubator to watch).Vertical Take Off & LandingIn addition to hybrid fuel strategies, entrepreneurs are also rethinking the launch procedures. AAC’s Hercules and XCraft’s commercial line of drones vertically takeoff to reduce wind resistance and maximize energy consumption. Australian Startup Iridium Dynamics takes this approach to a new level with astonishing results. Its winged craft, Halo, uses a patent-pending “hover thrust” of its entire craft so its wings actually create the vertical lift to hover with minimal power. The drone also has two rotors to fly horizontally. According to Dion Gonano, Control Systems Engineer, it can fly for over 2 hours. The Halo also lands vertically into a stationary mechanical arm. While the website lists a number of commercial applications for this technology, it was unclear in my discussions with Gonano if they have deployed this technology in real tests.New Charging EfficienciesPrior to Xponential, Seattle-based WiBotic announced the closing of its $2.5 seed round to fund its next generation of battery charging technologies. The company has created a novel approach to wireless inductive charging for robotics. Its wireless inductive charging platform includes a patent-pending auto detect feature that can begin recharging once the robot enters the proximity of the base station, even during flight. According to Dr. Ben Waters, (CEO), its charge is faster than traditional solutions presently on the market. Dr. Waters demonstrated for me its suite of software tools that monitor battery performance, providing clients with a complete power management analytics platform. WiBotic is already piloting its technology with leading commercial customers in the energy and security sectors. WiBotic is the first inductive charging platform; other companies have created innovating battery-swapping techniques. Airobotics unique drone storage box that is deployed currently at power plants in Israel, includes a robotic arm, housed inside, that services the robot post flight by switching out the payload and battery.Reducing Payload WeightIn addition to aircraft design, payload weight is a big factor of battery drain. A growing trend within the industry is miniaturizing the size and cost of the components. Ultimately, the mission of a drone is directly related to the type of payload from cameras for collecting images to precise measurements using Light Detection and Ranging sensors (or Lidar). Lidar is typically deployed in autonomous vehicles to provide the most precise position for the robot in a crowded area, like a self-driving car on the road. However, Lidar is currently extremely expensive and large for many multirotor surveys. Chris Brown of Z-Senz, a former scientist with the The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), hopes to change the landscape of drones with his miniaturized Lidar sensor. Brown’s reduced sensor, SKY1, offers major advantages for size, weight, and power consumption without losing accuracy of high distance sensing. A recent study estimates the Lidar market is expected to exceed $5 billion by 2022, with Velodyne and Quanergy already gaining significant investment. Z-Senz is aiming to be commercially available by 2018.Lidar is not the only measuring methodology, Global Positioning Solutions (GPS) have been deployed widely. Two of the finalists of the Xponetial Startup Showdown were startups focused on reducing GPS chip sizes and increasing functionality. Inertial Sense has produced a chip the size of a dime that is capable of housing an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), Attitude Heading Reference System (AHRS), and GPS-aided Inertial Navigation System (INS). Their website claims that their “advanced algorithms fuse output from MEMs inertial sensors, magnetometers, barometric pressure, and a high-sensitivity GPS (GNSS) receiver to deliver fast, accurate, and reliable attitude, velocity, and position even in the most dynamic environments.” The chips and micro navigation accessories are available on the company’s e-store.The winner of the Showdown, uAvionix, is a leading developer of avionics for both manned and unmanned flight. Their new transceivers and transponders claim to be “the smallest, and lightest and most affordable on the market” (already GPS is a commodity). uAvionix presented its “Ping Network System that reduces weight on average by 40% as compared to the two-piece installations.” The Ping products also claim barometric altitude precision with accuracy beyond 80,000 ft.Paul Beard, CEO of uAvionix, said, “our customers have asked for even smaller and lighter solutions; integrating the transceivers, GPS receivers, GPS antennas, and barometric pressure sensors into a single form factor facilitates easier installation and lowers weight and power draw requirements resulting in a longer usable flight time.”As I rushed to the airport to catch my manned flight, I felt reenergized about the drone industry, although follies will persist. I mean who wouldn’t want a pool deckchair drone this summer? This and all other autonomous subjects will be explored at RobotLabNYC’s next event with Dr. Howard Morgan (FirstRound Capital) and Tom Ryden (MassRobotics) – RSVP.center_img Filed Under: Cool Tech, Techlast_img read more

Metro dev 4A Games is making new AAA project

first_img$29.99 Buy $38.40 $36.00 US$36.00 center_img Metro Exodus: Day One Edition – PlayStation 4 THQ Nordic has signed a deal for 4A Games’ big new AAA project. Could it be the next Metro project?   Metro Exodus developer 4A Games is making a brand new big-budget game, THQ Nordic today confirmed in its yearly earnings report. “The Company invested SEK 305.2 million ($31.7 million) in its growing development pipeline that will be driving growth and profitability in the coming years. During the period multiple new projects were signed, among them a new development agreement with 4A Games, the developers of Metro franchise, for their upcoming, still undisclosed AAA-project,” the company said in the report. 4A Games has enjoyed massive success with their game adaptations of Dmitry Glukhovsy’s post-apocalyptic book series. Metro Exodus was a huge driver to the publisher’s quarterly earnings, driving up net sales and operating profits. Given Metro is 4A Games’ biggest cash crop, the new project could be another chapter in the franchise. But a new Metro game runs into one big problem: Glukhovsky isn’t writing any more books. So the studio will have to come up with source material themselves. At the same time, Glukhovsky usually consults with the team to ensure authenticity. We’re not sure what 4A Games is working on, but the last non-Metro game they shipped was a VR shooter called Attika.1. We could see 4A fork into a new IP or even a new original series altogether as it pivots away from Metro games. Remember THQ Nordic’s IP library is absolutely massive and Deep Silver could conscript 4A to adapt another shooter-based series. THQ Nordic and its subsidiaries currently have over 80 games in development, and only 48 of them have been revealed this far. E3 2019 could be a big event for THQ as the company reveals new titles to supplement the incoming next-gen console war. TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days agolast_img read more

Why an Exit Strategy is not as Valuable as Many Believe

first_imgIs an exit strategy really necessary?Writer Vivek Wadhwa is a visiting scholar at UC-Berkeley and senior research associate at Harvard Law School, among other titles. At first glance, he doesn’t seem like the sort of person that would advise against an exit strategy, an entrepreneurial must-have. But that is exactly what he is suggesting to budding entrepreneurs: savor the journey and ignore the destination.He questions the motives behind building a business just to relinquish it to the hands of an investor or through a buyout. Even if profits are the main concern, holding on to and developing a business may net the largest dividends. And don’t overlook the obvious: running a company with your particular set of ethics ensures that you’re building the sort of business that you would want to work for.Wadhwa questions the norm in this article for good reason. Occasionally, the predetermined guidelines of entrepreneurship lack common sense. Why build the business of your dreams only to employ an exit strategy?AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

How to Go Viral

first_imgWhat do Mullets, Mormon, and Maniacs have in common?As a marketing analyst on the OpenView Labs team, I have spent some time researching the best practices process for inbound marketing campaigns. Essentially, one of our expansion stage portfolio companies would approach the Labs looking for help on increasing web traffic, getting more inbound leads, increasing trial sign-ups, etc. in a quick, viral way. They were looking for the silver bullet of viral marketing so to speak.We all know that a silver bullet to any strategy does not exist, but I recently stumbled upon a great presentation that claims to be very close. Last week Erick Schonfeld wrote an article on TechCrunch highlighting a recent presentation on viral marketing from Jonah Peretti, CEO of BuzzFeed.Peretti shares a well-thought approach to creating something viral. He offers insightful tips on when you should try (and try again) in addition to how you can get started today. Here are Peretti’s 5 steps to going viral:Create media for the Bored at Work network: There are millions of people trapped at their desks everyday. Create something that the masses will enjoy consuming and sharing.Practice the Mullet Strategy:  Just like the infamous hairdo, keep the business up front and the party in the back. This means to maintain a corporate looking appearance while still catering to the fun.Try Big Seed Marketing: Don’t be afraid to spend some money to get really creative campaigns out there.Target the Maniacs: “Crazy people run the web.” Capitalize on that.Be a Mormon, Not a Jew: It is not of the quality of the content that matters. It is the quality of the effort you put into spreading it.Jonah Peretti Viral Meetup TalkHubSpot, maker of inbound marketing solutions, has experienced a lot of success with its viral videos. Many of their videos meet most, if not of all Peretti’s tips above. Here is one of my favorite viral videos from HubSpot:Has your company had any success in viral marketing? What tips can you offer?AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

3 Lessons To Learn From SAP Losing a Software OEM Agreement Case

first_imgIt seems like every company seeking a venture capital investment or growth capital can learn from SAP being sued under a software OEM agreement (and losing). Without going into the details of the case, here are the basic facts:SAP distributed and sublicensed certain AMC Technology software embedded with an SAP product.When the software OEM agreement expired, SAP tried to provide specific instructions to its customers on how to use the AMC software with a new version of the SAP product, yet the customers actually could not do this (the OEM agreement specifically stated that post termination SAP could only sublicense the AMC software with the ‘then current version of the SAP software’).SAP tried to argue that its customers could use the AMC software with the new version of the SAP software, but the court correctly said no way.Ok, here are the takeaways:1) You Can’t Grant More Rights Than You Have. This is a fundamental aspect of property law, and dates back hundreds of years to when people tried to grant more rights to buyers of real estate than what they (the seller) had; (it is kind of common sense too). This is the first example I saw where this legal doctrine was applied in the software OEM world. It is good to see that it is still true (at least in this context). So remember that you cannot grant more rights than you possess, and as the recipient you can’t acquire more rights than the grantor has. 2) Plain English Matters. This agreement was clear as can be, but SAP missed it. . . thankfully the judge didn’t. SAP tried to argue that the customer had a perpetual license to the software and this restriction did not apply to them. The court correctly disregarded this argument, and said the agreement is clear on this point… “the then current version of the SAP Software.” Remember; try to be clear on post termination rights in your software OEM agreements, as judges will read the agreement closely to figure out what you meant.  3) Take Ownership of Your Agreements. When you are working on a software OEM deal, dig in and don’t simply outsource it to your attorneys (too many companies do this). The details really matter, and specifics such as the rights you are granting and what rights you have after termination should be clearly outlined in the agreement. So next time you are on the receiving end of a software OEM agreement or the granting end, remember this blog post and use common sense, for even in the intangible world of software you can’t give someone something you don’t have! Just some thoughts from a person who serves as a venture capital advisor to the OpenView portfolio of expansion stage companies. Here is the actual court order, for you detailed oriented people. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

29 CEO Blind Spots What are Yours

first_imgHere is my (running) list of 29 CEO blind spots I have seen over the years. Take a look and see which ones apply to you (warning: remember they are blind spots, so you might not recognize them and you may want to ask your close advisors to help you!)Market Blind Spots1. Not focusing on the best customer segments for your company– In the beginning, you just wanted customers. Anyone that would pay for using your product was a great win. But, over time, you need to focus your limited resources on the best possible customers. Once you find your best customer segment to target, you need to find the best influencers, indirect marketing channels, and indirect sales channels to reach them. Most CEOs are blind or partially blind with respect to their market. Optimize your focus to achieve market clarity!2. Not finding or losing the true voice of your customers– You may have started with a clear voice of the customer, as you were on the front lines of your organization. But as you grow, you lose a real sense of the customer because you are exposed to a limited sample and you are getting filtered information from sales, customer service, marketing, and other departments. You need a true voice of the customer if you are going to perfect your delivery into the market. The more complete, the better.3. Not understanding the competitive dynamics in the market– There is a lot going on in your market but, like the voice of the customer, you have limited and filtered information coming to you. The more clearly you understand the competitive dynamics, the better you can adjust what you are doing to address the issues and opportunities. For example, if a competitor is having problems you might want to acquire its best people and target its customers! If a competitor is moving right, you might want to cover it or you might want to move left. Either way, you need to understand what is going on and then do something about it!4. Not creating the right ecosystem surrounding your company– Every company needs an ecosystem of integrations, partners, influencers, advisors, and others in order to really own and defend a product market. Many CEOs are blind to the need to target and create the right ecosystem. Market Touch Point Blind Spots5. Not focusing on competitive advantage– If you want to win, you have got to focus on creating competitive advantage. If you don’t know what your advantage and disadvantage is or if you don’t have clear goals for improving it, you are running blind!6. Not focusing/aligning your touch points in a way that keeps your brand promise and creates your competitive advantage- your touch points include your product, professional services, customer services, marketing, sales, billing, and other interactions with your market participants. Focusing and aligning your touch points to deliver on your brand promise is key, but many CEOs don’t have this as a clear focal point. Methodology/Process Blind Spots7. Being too process-oriented– In the early development of your product and customers you need to maximize your ability to make changes and test new approaches. Being too process oriented both takes focus away from more important things and reduces your ability to iterate extremely quickly.8. Not being process-oriented enough– As your touch points with the market become clear and are working well, you need to scale up everything you are doing. If you don’t have clear methodologies/processes in place, you won’t have a consistency of touch points and scaling up will be difficult. What worked in the early stage doesn’t work in the expansion stage! People Blind Spots9. Hiring below par in areas in which you are strong– This is the number one most common blind spot for CEOs. You are good at sales management so you don’t hire a strong sales manager. You are good at product management, so you don’t hire a strong product manager.10. Hiring “caretaking” managers rather than “creating” managers– Your company needs senior people that can create methodology, programs, and teams, but many CEOs are blind to the fact that really good senior managers may not actually be really good for your company because they don’t have experience creating. If you need creation, hire people that can create!11. Not creating new senior roles as the company grows– Young companies have small management teams and successful larger companies have larger management teams. As your company grows, CEOs need to carve out new senior roles, but many CEOs are blind in recognizing the need. For example, one of the most important senior roles that generally gets carved out too late is the Product Management role. It is the most difficult role to carve out politically, as either the CEO or development head clings to it too long. Another role that gets missed in many companies is the Business Development head, who generally works to build out the company’s ecosystem (#4 above)12. Not hiring the best person into each role– As your company grows, you have the ability to hire more specialized and more experienced people into most jobs. Many CEOs follow a blind loyalty to their incumbent employees rather than matching the best person to the job (you can still be loyal by getting the incumbent manager into the right role for them!). Often CEOs don’t know what “A-Caliber” looks like in a particular position because they haven’t experienced it yet…this is a real blindness that the board, investors, advisors, and professional recruiters can help with.13. Not building a high-performing team– High performing teams can have 10x the impact of the same people operating as a low performing team. Many CEOs are blind to this fact and don’t put the effort into building the teamwork into the team.14. Not building a high-performing board– Great boards add significant impact and network to a company, but some CEOs are blind to this fact and consider the board a necessary evil. Again, the board, investors, advisors, and professional recruiters can help with this. Management System Blind Spots15. Not Being Clear on the company’s aspirations (mission, vision, values), Competitive Advantage goals, business growth strategies, or company development strategies. The CEO, many times, believes there is clarity, but CEOs are blind to the fact that most people in the organization don’t really have the clarity (you can test this by individually asking several people what they are…I guarantee you will get different answers!). The more clarity the te am has about what the long term goals are, the more they will naturally do things that will get you there quicker!16. Being vague on Goals– CEOs are blind to the fact that the goals are not clear to the organization. Very few companies get truly locked and loaded for the year and locked and loaded for each quarter. Again, you can test your blindness by surveying a few people independently. The more clear the goals, the easier it will be for your team to achieve them.17. Being too detailed with Goals– If you have too many goals or you are too detailed with the goals you give your team, it is just as bad as being vague on goals. The team will not have clarity about which goals to focus on. The CEO thinks that he/she is being clear, but is blind to the fact that too many goals lowers clarity.18. Not developing and maintaining a rhythm in the organization– Organizations perform best if they have a rhythm to them (I like annual, quarterly, weekly, and daily cycles). Many CEOs fail to recognize the need to develop a rhythm and, therefore, do not create one in the organization. As a leader, there are many ways to create rhythm.19. Not ensuring that the organization is up to date– All of the important information gets to the CEO, and the CEO sometimes becomes blind to the fact that the rest of the organization does not have this information. Keeping the organization up to date on the state of the markets and company is important, as it helps everyone understand where you are as a company. This, combined with where you want to go, helps people to know what they need to do to close the gap.20. Trusting a new senior person too much– Some CEOs hire a new senior person and assume they know exactly what to do. They are blind to the fact that the senior person does not know the goals and aspirations for the company, the goals and aspirations for the unit the senior person is managing, and the history of what has been tried successfully and unsuccessfully to date in the unit. This raises the probability of the new person failing in the role.21 Not Trusting a new senior person enough– Entrepreneurs are generally control freaks. It’s what makes them successful in the early stage of a business as many pieces need to be created and aligned. As the company grows and the entrepreneur remains the CEO, they are sometimes blind to the management style change that they need to make to allow a senior person to be successful in their organization. The senior person needs the full understanding described above, but the senior person also needs enough operating room to build a unit and accomplish the goals.22. Spending time on things that other people should be doing for the company– As the organization grows, the role of the CEO changes and many CEOs are blind to the need to change. The CEO’s role tends to start off focused on product and then turns to customer development and company development. Over time, the CEO role has only three things that matter and everything else should be delegated to the team. Economic Model Blind Spots23. Not having a clear understanding of the company’s economic model– Your economic model is the model that articulates how the activities (and their costs) and pricing create your cash flow from customers and how the two together drive your current and projected economic results. The better a CEO understands the economic model, the better you can determine what adjustments you should try to improve your economic model performance. Many CEOs are blind to the company’s true economic model or overly complicate it which makes it difficult to manage.24. Lack of economic model goals– Goals, combined with the current situation, create the basis for change. Many CEOs are blind to the need for economic goals or are blind to what they can do to improve economic model performance.Other CEO Blind Spots25. Being the chicken playing the piano– Some CEOs blindly do the same things that worked for them in prior companies or that they see other people doing. Some chickens are trained to think that playing the piano gets them food so they keep playing the piano over and over. Approaches that worked in the past or work for others won’t necessarily work for you in your present situation! This poor chicken plays the piano and then looks for the food that doesn’t arrive. Don’t be the piano playing chicken!26. Following poor advice from trusted sources– Having a great set of trusted advisors is really important, but not all advice is good advice. But many CEOs blindly follow the advice of their trusted advisors. Take the advice for what it is worth, consider it in the context of your situation, and test the advice with others before you act on it!27 Not listening to great advice from certain sources– Some CEOs are blind to advice from people they don’t trust. There are a lot of great ideas out there and many newer people on the scene that you don’t trust may have the best new ideas!28. Going wide– The number of possible things that a company can do is endless. Some CEOs are blind to the fact that the more things you try to do, the fewer things you will accomplish. It is really important to focus on the few things that matter and drive those things to completion, but many CEOs try to get their organizations to do too many things, and it actually makes the organization accomplish less!29. Being Lonely– Some CEOs are blind to the fact that the role of the CEO is the loneliest role in the company. When I tell these CEOs about how the role is the loneliest role in the company, I generally can see them relax…it is a lonely role, so if you are lonely in the role, you are normal!This is my CEO blind spot list for now. What are your blind spots? What are the CEO blind spots that I am missing from the list?AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

8 Rules of SellSide Technology Mergers and Acquisitions

first_imgAlmost all startup and expansion stage technology founders build and operate their business with the hope that their fantastic product — and the hard work their people have invested in building and selling it — will eventually lead to a wildly profitable exit. If only the exit process was simple.When a company’s board of directors determines that it’s time to pursue an exit strategy, several decisions need to be made that will impact the company’s ongoing business and ultimate exit valuation and structure, say Michael O’Hare, Head of M&A, and Chris Hieb, Managing Director, of M&A Pacific Crest Securities LLC.In a paper entitled “Eight Rules of Sell-Side Technology M&A,” O’Hare and Hieb suggest that, in most cases, an investment banker can provide valuable advice and support through the M&A process, resulting in a successful outcome for investors and management. Of course, that means that selecting the right process strategy and banking team is critical.Below is a summary of the eight rules that O’Hare and Hieb cover in detail. Each one should help companies better understand the sell-side mergers and acquisitions process and the role an investment banker should play.Rule 1: It’s best to be bought, not soldO’Hare and Hieb say that most (but not all) technology company sales that result in a high valuation occur when a buyer is convinced that it needs your particular solution. And because most strategic buyers have sophisticated corporate development groups, they can proactively identify and partner with potential acquisition candidates. The “bought, not sold” concept applies mostly to fairly well-known companies in active markets where the buyers know most of the players.Rule 2: Valuation means more than just purchase priceWould you accept a valuation that was entirely contingent on future performance? Would you sell your company for a very high valuation, but allow the buyer to come back and recover money up to the purchase price for any minor breach of a representation or warranty? Those are just some of the questions that O’Hare and Hieb say companies should consider. Great care needs to be taken negotiating these terms as early as possible when the seller has the highest negotiating leverage.Rule 3: Bird in hand is better than two in the bushIt’s an old adage, but a good one that applies to M&A. O’Hare and Hieb write that investors are often biased and believe they deserve a premium valuation. And though many valuation methodologies and publicly available statistics may dictate a “market” or “above market” valuation on paper, valuation is ultimately determined by the type (e.g., big, small, acquisition experience, etc.) and number of buyers.Just like in stock investing, it’s better to sell too early at a profit than too late with no profit at all.Rule 4: Walking away is your “silver bullet” – use it wiselyIt’s not uncommon for sellers to grow frustrated with buyers when the two parties begin negotiating business and legal terms. And while the buyer and seller may want to do a deal, there will always be points of contention, the paper states.If, as the seller, you determine that a certain term is unacceptable after exhausting all alternatives and opportunities to explain your position to the buyer, then the ultimate strategy might be to simply walk away.Rule 5: Bankers don’t convince buyers to do dealsBankers are experienced at delivering articulate messages and highlighting key points about the target that a buyer should consider. However, the ultimate decision will be made by the buyer’s sophisticated corporate development, product development, strategy, and sales managers.O’Hare and Hieb offer a few reasons why a buyer might not opt to participate in the process. For example, they may already have or be involved with a similar product or solution.Rule 6: Time kills dealsEvery seller enters a process hoping that multiple buyers will be excited about their solution, resulting in a short auction process that bids up the price and terms to “above market” levels. But the longer the process takes, the lower the probability the transaction will close, write O’Hare and Hieb. As entrepreneur and venture capitalist Mark Suster writes on his blog, overshopping your company and allowing greed to supersede a good deal can be a killer.Rule 7: There is no such thing as perfect informationIn the end, the deal team will never have the benefit of operating with perfect data on the buyer’s internal assumptions and approval process. It’s the banker’s job to get a “feel” for the buyers’ motivations and quantify how serious they are in the process, O’Hare and Hieb write. The more the banker appreciates the subtleties of communication and negotiations, the more detailed intelligence the board will have for decision making.Rule 8: To sell is great, to run an auction is divine (and rare)A sale process for a technology company typically results in one to three highly interested buyers. But while a full auction with more than three active bidders is possible, it’s not common, say O’Hare and Hieb. In fact, it’s very difficult to run an open auction that focuses only on maximizing value when customers and employees need to be managed carefully and buyers have many other priorities. So, while an auction is ideal, it’s also unlikely — and sellers shouldn’t count on it.To read more detailed explanations of each rule, check out the full whitepaper here.Michael O’Hare and Chris Hieb lead the M&A Group at Pacific Crest Securities. Michael is located in New York City and Chris resides in San Francisco. For more information go to: http://www.pacific-crest.com/Public/IB_MAAdvisory.aspxAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis2last_img read more

The Death of the Career Ladder

first_imgcareer ladderIn a post for Harvard Business Review, Priscilla Claman explains why the career ladder is an artifact from the past.“Career ladders died out during the late 1980s and early 1990s, when over 85% of Fortune 1000 American companies downsized their white-collar workforce,” she writes.Claman says as companies thinned out, those leadership positions disappeared — and most haven’t come back since.She adds, there are better ways to think about career moves and suggests trying these tips for diverting your attention from the next step up.Look laterally for career moves.“Don’t think of job descriptions as much as job families, or groups of jobs that have something in common,” she writes.Claman says it’s  easier to move within a company where you are a known factor. The experience can also broaden your skills, she says, which improves your chances of moving up.(See Getting Hired: How to Quickly Position Yourself as an A+ Candidate)Prove you can handle a promotion.“Volunteer to help your manager with components of her job and learn to do them well,” she writes.For example, offer to help interview job candidates, train and coach new people, and give them performance feedback, she suggests(See Want to move up in your company? Here are some tips)Grow your skills to grow your job.“Seek out and take advantage of opportunities when they appear, and actively exceed expectations,” she writes.For more career advice, read Claman’s full post here.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

Innovation 10 Keys to Walking the Walk

first_imgInnovation is a word that gets heavy rotation in the boardroom, but when it comes down to it there’s often very little time devoted to actually making it happen.For the majority of employees, much of their time is taken up by their established day-to-day roles and to-do lists, leaving little, if any, time to think outside the box. As Aaron Shapiro, CEO of Huge, puts it in a post for Fast Company, the reality is innovation has been more or less regulated to the weekends.Yet with innovation and adaptability now more important than ever, Shapiro argues, it’s crucial for companies to find ways to “overcome the structural impediments and time constraints to real change by approaching innovation from two directions: outside-in and inside-out.”For more established companies, what he means by “outside-in” is actually creating a skunkworks project, a division of sorts kept separate from the restrictive bureaucracy and structure of the organization. For the “inside-in” approach, he points out three crucial ingredients necessary for existing staff to “be revolutionary” within their existing positions, including freedom to fail, free time, and training. For Shapiro’s full recipe for making innovation happen now, read the full post here.Related Content from OpenView:Simply thinking about innovation won’t lead to results for more advice on how to turn ideas into impact, read this post from the OpenView Blog. And more for more on product innovation, in particular, look no further than this post.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

Channel Ready Checklist Everything You Need to Set Your Channel Up for

first_imgCongratulations, it’s a Channel Strategy! If you’ve just given birth to your company’s first channel strategy, the fun is just beginning. As my grandmother used to say, “The devil is in the details,” and such is true for your new channel strategy. With so many things to think about, it’s helpful to have a channel ready checklist to be sure you haven’t forgotten anything.Doing business with the channel requires a cross-functional team to have the resources required for execution. You will have the task of orchestrating activities in sales, services, enablement, operations and marketing to deliver the requirements for product readiness in the channel. Developing and successfully implementing a channel model right the first time is not a sales-only initiative, it’s a company-wide effort!As you begin your partner relationships, it’s very important that everyone is on the same page with how you will support this relationship. Being “ready” for the channel helps to establish a trusted relationship that can scale and grow with success.For example, training and enablement is a must have in your initial launch. It is critical for partners to intelligently talk about and demonstrate your product or service in order to sell it for you. If elementary training is not available at launch, it can slow your efforts with partners, resulting in resource-intensive sales cycles for you and a longer time to revenue with partners.Here’s a checklist to help you gage your readiness. As you read each item, you should be able to reply “yes” or “very close to yes” with each of these:You have determined there is enough market demand to support partners.You can point to credible third-party validation that the market is ready.You have developed compelling business propositions for both the customer and your partners.You are ready to support your partners with technical, sales and program management skills.You have a ramping methodology to provide knowledge and skills training to your partners for your product technically, but also for sales, marketing and vertical expertise.You can clearly and easily demonstrate an ROI to partners who participate in your strategy.The timing is right and you have the right product and the right go-to-market channel type for you product/solution.All the elements that your product needs to be successful are ready now, even if that means you don’t supply them yourself.You have clear product marketing messages that resonate with buyers.You have an ideal client profile to help partners target their efforts.You have something in the way of sales and support tools to offer to your partners.Your product has documentation you can share with partners (technical, logistical and financial)You have channel-pricing strategies that allow for a competitive price and competitive margin for your partners.You have a channel program defined for partners.Your product and service are available now.If you are expanding internationally, are your product and support materials localized?Now, before you wonder how you will ever get all that done, I do not mean to suggest you need to build all of this in a perfect final format before you launch, but you should be able to check each item off in agreement. Partners don’t need polished and slick materials, but they do need basic information, support and structure. As you mature in your channel strategy, these items will naturally evolve and mature, so don’t let that stop you now. A shaky video, a self-recorded training session, an excel spreadsheet of benefit and requirements is better than nothing. Be upfront and honest with your partners about what you have and what you will have for them in the future. Investing in your partner readiness and building trust with your partners now will pay off down the road.Provided that you are headed in the right direction, and you are committing to “yes” with all of the above, you should enjoy a prosperous relationship with your channel, and will mature together to sustainable channel revenue.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

WHO Cannabis Rescheduling Recommendations Are Too Little for Some

first_img The proposal would be great progress for medical marijuana and CBD but does much less for those who think adults can make their own choices about recreational cannabis. WHO Cannabis Rescheduling Recommendations Are Too Little for Some Each week hear inspiring stories of business owners who have taken the cannabis challenge and are now navigating the exciting but unpredictable Green Rush. –shares Legal Marijuana Green Entrepreneur Podcast Brought to you by Marijuana Business Daily 5 min readcenter_img February 6, 2019 Image credit: FilippoBacci | Getty Images Next Article The World Health Organization (WHO) made great strides in its recommendations on how cannabis should be scheduled, but the global industry believes there’s more work to be done.Martin Jelsma, drugs and democracy program director at the Netherlands-based Transnational Institute, emphasized to Marijuana Business Daily that there are “very positive elements in the WHO recommendations,” including:Recognition of “medical usefulness” with its removal from Schedule IV.Additional clarity about CBD not being under international control.Resolution of the inconsistency of having cannabis under the 1961 and THC under the 1971 Convention.But the recommendations – first reported by Marijuana Business Daily – didn’t go far enough, Jelsma said. “(It’s) quite disappointing that the WHO recommends to keep cannabis in Schedule I,” he added.Pavel Pachta, director for international regulatory affairs at the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute in the Czech Republic, agreed the recommendations “might be a disappointment for the proponents of recreational use.”Few people expected a really bold move, especially since it is the first time in nearly 50 years that cannabis classification has been considered by the international body. “Complete descheduling of cannabis is more a political matter, not a scientific issue for WHO experts,” Pachta said.The recommendations are nonbinding and must be voted on by the 53 member countries of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). The earliest a vote could take place is in March, but a delay in the release of the recommendations may push the consideration to next year.A government official from a member state who asked not to be identified told MJBizDaily that the CND chair is currently seeking input on whether to hold the vote this year.Validation for legalization.“It is auspicious that WHO has adopted a rational approach to cannabis and its compounds, incorporating advances that have long been accepted by the scientific community,” Diego Olivera, head of Uruguay’s National Drugs Council, told MJBizDaily. “The recognition of medicinal uses and a more adequate assessment of the potential for abuse of THC are elements that support the processes of responsible legal regulation such as the Uruguayan case.”Most view this as a positive step, albeit just a single step, forward for the blossoming industry.“I am sure politicians and industry leaders will follow the WHO development closely as it will set the tone to a large degree for the future in the industry,” said Michael Prytz, investment manager for Invest in Denmark and senior adviser for Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.If the recommendations are followed, “more countries will establish medical cannabis programs, and proponents of medical use of cannabis and its derivatives will now have the possibility to refer to the obligation of parties to the 1961 Convention to make cannabis medicines available to patients,” Pachta said.Key industry players also welcomed the recommendations — especially the clarifications around CBD.“The WHO’s decision is another positive step forward for the global movement to end prohibition and the many harms it causes,” Brendan Kennedy, president and CEO of British Columbia-based Tilray, told MJBizDaily. “By changing the international standard for the classification of CBD, the WHO is opening the door to governments to establish regimes that properly regulate CBD products.”If the recommendations are accepted, business prospects around the globe could expand exponentially.“It could turn the CBD-based products into a regular commodity and will open the world market,” said Inbar Maymon-Pomeranchik, founder of Israel-based Biodiligence and executive director of Ananda Developments. “With far less limitations, products range will be unlimited. Once it will be possible, countries like Israel, with amazing technologies, will be able to export products in a very easy way.”Greg Engel, CEO of Canada’s Organigram, agreed: “Does it become the next Omega 3? As the restrictions come off, it opens the door for that market to evolve quickly.”Tempered reactionsNot everyone is as quick to embrace the recommendations as the bastion of hope. Nathan Emery, a business executive from Lesotho, Zimbabwe and South Africa, noted that “the CND is a reactionary dinosaur in regards to cannabis and should probably be ignored — and definitely not tied to other UN assistance or censure, where developing countries would capitulate to their pressure points in developing a cannabis industry because they rely heavily on multilateral assistance.”In addition, the Transnational Institute’s Jelsma worries about possible implications for medicinal preparations.“On the one hand, the WHO notes that ‘preparations’ (defined as mixtures containing a scheduled substance) on the basis of treaty article 2.3, are subject to the same measures of control as the drugs which they contain, except for specific exemptions made for preparations under Schedule III,” he said.But the WHO also recommends an exemption for THC as a component of a pharmaceutical preparation that “cannot be recovered by readily available means.”“It appears that the WHO attempts to introduce a somewhat arbitrary and ill-defined distinction between products like Sativex and Marinol (which are specifically mentioned as examples) and other types of medicinal cannabis preparations,” Jelsma said.Such an exemption could “favor specific products of the pharmaceutical industry over more natural oils/extracts without a clear rationale.”A government official who asked not to be identified explained to MJBizDaily that a country could ship products in Schedule III to another country without asking for international quotas or import permits from the country of destination, simplifying international trade.This article originally appeared in Marijuana Business Daily and is posted here under a content partnership with Green Entrepreneur. 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Amazon Awarded Patent for Parachute Shipping Label

first_img 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List This story originally appeared on PCMag Matthew Humphries Next Article It’s a shipping label with a built-in parachute enabling packages to be dropped from a drone in flight. Add to Queue 2 min read Amazon is clearly determined to deliver packages via drone using Prime Air, having already carried out a Prime Air drone delivery earlier this year at the Mars Conference. Now the system has taken another step forward with the awarding of a patent Amazon filed back in 2015.The patent is for an “Aerial Package Delivery System,” but more specifically a new type of shipping label. Why do you need a patent for a shipping label? Because Amazon created one with a built-in parachute.The sheer volume of orders Amazon handles each day means every aspect of the packaging needs to work as efficiently as possible. This label is no exception. The patent describes a label with self-adhesive backing and containing, “a plurality of parachute cords, a parachute and a breakaway cover.” Sensors could also be incorporated to feedback on landing accuracy, and even a shock absorber is mentioned.The label would be attached to the top of the package, which then sits against the bottom of the drone in flight. When the package is dropped, the parachute is deployed as the drone releases it, allowing for a steady descent to the ground. For larger packages, there’s nothing to stop multiple parachute labels being attached to ensure a safe drop.Using a parachute makes a lot of sense for drone deliveries. Having the drone descend with the package would require a lot more energy, which would drain the drone’s battery quicker. It also puts the drone at risk of being stolen, and people on the ground at risk from being injured by the drone. Dropping packages from a safe height removes those risks, although someone could still get thumped on the head by a falling package.Amazon is taking drone deliveries and the use of parachutes very seriously. They are even thinking about ways to maneuver a package once dropped, with landing flaps and air canisters mentioned in a patent filing discovered back in February. Amazon Awarded Patent for Parachute Shipping Labelcenter_img The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Apply Now » –shares Senior Editor Amazon May 31, 2017 Image credit: Amazon via PC Maglast_img read more

Windows Bounty Program Offers Up to 250000 Per Bug

first_img Next Article Add to Queue 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Microsoft –shares Apply Now » July 27, 2017 Image credit: Microsoft via PC Mag Bug bounty programs are a very efficient way of getting the wider security community involved in helping to protect a piece of software. In return for spending time trying to break through the security of any given system, you can earn some cash and a little bit of fame.This week, Microsoft announced the Windows Bounty Program, challenging “friends, hackers and researchers” to break into any and all parts of Windows 10 and Windows Server.Microsoft isn’t new to the bug bounty game. Mitigation Bypass Bounty and Bounty for Defense programs have been running since 2013, and a Microsoft Edge bounty has been in place since August 2016. The latest bounties are really more of an expansion of what’s already in place and includes the Windows Insider Preview, Windows Defender Application Guard and Microsoft Hyper-V.Rewards range anywhere from $500 right up to $250,000 for the most serious Hyper-V bugs. Hyper-V is Microsoft’s solution for running virtual machines and helps power the Azure cloud computing service, so you can see why Microsoft would like to identify and fix any vulnerabilities there quickly. In order to earn $250,000 you need to identify a vulnerability that qualifies as Remote Code Execution, Information Disclosure or a Denial of Service.A nice additional feature of this bounty program is the 10 percent reward. If a bug is reported that Microsoft already discovered internally, the first finder will still receive 10 percent of the qualifying reward. So if they found a vulnerability worth $250,000, which Microsoft already knows about internally, they’ll still receive $25,000.Taken as a whole, Microsoft is clearly very keen to ensure its core products of Windows 10, Windows Server, the Edge browser and Windows Defender are as secure as possible. And with the rate at which new threats appear, it would be almost impossible to keep up relying solely on an internal security team at Microsoft.center_img In a bid to make Windows 10 and Windows Server more secure, Microsoft turns to the wider security community and tempts them with very healthy cash rewards. The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. This story originally appeared on PCMag Matthew Humphries Senior Editor 2 min read Windows Bounty Program Offers Up to $250,000 Per Buglast_img read more

Creator of Doomed Fyre Festival Gets 6Year Prison Sentence

first_img Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Add to Queue Next Article Billy McFarland defrauded investors of tens of millions of dollars. Image credit: Variety via engadget Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Creator of Doomed Fyre Festival Gets 6-Year Prison Sentence 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Edgar Alvarez prison Billy McFarland, the founder of the disastrous Fyre Festival from 2017, has been sentenced to six years in a federal prison, The New York Times reports. The 26-year-old was found guilty of defrauding investors, an act he admitted to earlier this year.McFarland told prosecutors then that Fyre Media got $26 million from lenders by lying and forging documents, for what was then billed as “the cultural experience of the decade.” As we know now, though, Fyre Festival ended up being the completely opposite of that, leaving attendees stranded at airports and eating sad cheese sandwiches instead of the five-star meals McFarland and his group promised them.Bands like Blink 182, which were supposedly set to perform at the event, never even showed up to the Bahamas, where the Fyre Festival was taking place. “The organizers assured us that all measures were taken to ensure a safe and successful event,” the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism said in a statement in 2017, “but clearly they did not have the capacity to execute an event of this scale.” Thousands of people also bought tickets thinking they’d be hanging out with supermodels such as Kendall Jenner, but that was obviously just another lie.”The defendant is a serial fraudster,” Manhattan federal judge Naomi Reice Buchwald said on Thursday, according to ABC News. “Mr. McFarland is a fraudster and not simply a misguided young man. Bad intent was longstanding.” –shares October 12, 2018 Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

Researchers Recognize an International Tide Effect Driving Worldwide Cannabis Reform

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. January 16, 2018 A U.K. study finds marijuana legalization in one nation encourages reform by neighboring countries. Something similar is happening between states in the US. Keep up with the latest trends and news in the cannabis industry with our free articles and videos, plus subscribe to the digital edition of Green Entrepreneur magazine. Researchers Recognize an International ‘Tide Effect’ Driving Worldwide Cannabis Reform Image credit: Saeed Khan | Getty Images Add to Queue Cannabis Journalist | Tech Evangelist Covering High Growth Trends Next Article Download Our Free Android App –shares Long-standing United Nations drug conventions are now being challenged at their legal core. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has acknowledged the criminalization of illicit drug users isn’t nearly as effective as treating them through rehabilitation. In a joint statement last summer, the United Nations (UN) and World Health Organization (WHO) expressed their support for countries in the review and repeal of laws that criminalize drug use and possession of drugs for personal use.Twelve European and Eastern European countries have decriminalized the use and possession of cannabis: Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta and Slovenia. Those possessing or consuming cannabis incur a fine, but no criminal prosecution.This fabulous article in Kindland outlines the world’s evolving cannabis policy challengers.”…the same country that previously banned sarcasm, says it’s perfectly legal to smoke, sell and cultivate as much marijuana as one might so desire, and is reasonably capable of.” https://t.co/y0MHgHqUVC pic.twitter.com/8rfbvhWRGZ— Andre F Bourque ? (@SocialMktgFella) January 7, 2018A study by the Adam Smith Institute in the U.K. argues the growing international “Tide” of mainstream acceptance, understanding and support for legalization of cannabis will ultimately force drug reform in the country. It considers the gradual, steady shift in European and North American sentiment around cannabis a strong suggestion the U.K. should follow suit in reevaluating its current laws around the plant.Related: California Unleashes a Massive Market for Legal CannabisThe eight main points outlined in the Adam Smith Institute’s study are:”The U.K. government strategy is based around three main pillars: reducing demand, restricting supply and building recovery. All three are failing.”Regulation is substantially more desirable than simple decriminalization or unregulated legalization, because only regulation addresses all four key issues: ensuring that the product meets acceptable standards of quality and purity; removing criminal gangs from the equation as far as possible; raising revenue for the Treasury through point-of-sale taxation, and best protecting public health.”The entire language used to address cannabis-related issues needs to change. Language poses a barrier every bit as formidable as legislation does. The opponents of legalisation have long been able to reinforce their position by using the words of public fear — ‘illegal,’ ‘criminal,’ ‘dangerous’ and so on. Only by using the language of public health, consumer rights and harm reduction, the same language used for alcohol and tobacco, can we move towards regulation.”The scale of a legalized industry will be huge. The U.S. market is estimated to be worth $25 billion by the time of the next presidential election in 2020. A similarly regulated U.K. market could be worth around £7 billion per annum.”Legally regulating cannabis will allow long-term studies of its health effects not currently possible. The effects of both tobacco and alcohol are well understood because of the amount of scientific scrutiny brought to bear on them.”Many shifts in public policy are prompted, or at least prodded, by an emotional response on the part of the public. Greater efforts must be made to show that the cannabis issue also has a human aspect to which many people respond.”Any campaign to legalize cannabis must be multifaceted, involving public support, media analysis and political engagement.”Responsibility for cannabis policy should be moved primarily to the department for Health, while the role of the Home Office should change from enforcement of prohibition to enforcement of regulation and licensing.”The report concludes, “When the question of cannabis law reform does again cross the desks of U.K. parliamentarians, it must be made clear to them that the status quo is failing, and what solutions the examples of Canada and US states have to offer to remedy this failure — those laid out here in The Tide Effect.”Related: The Cannabis Industry’s Largest Conference Showcases a Maturing IndustryInternational Tide EffectItaly has already demonstrated the Tide Effect on fellow European countries. Italy has evolved its legislation on the recreational use of all drugs since 1993. Italians can grow cannabis for personal use “as long as there is no evidence that the owner is trafficking and the number of plants remains reasonable.”Drug decriminalization in Uruguay has pushed the Tide over to neighboring Chile, the Latin American country with the highest per capita marijuana use. While all public production and consumption of cannabis is illegal, the country is progressively reforming its drug legislation since 2005. Recent proposals include reconsideration of cannabis as a Class A drug, as well as regulating herb allowed for personal use. Last summer Chilean pharmacies in Santiago began selling cannabis-based medicines.Influenced by Holland’s welcoming cannabis laws, the Danish neighborhood of Copenhagen appropriately named “Freetown Christiania” declared cannabis consumption and sales legal. Considered the “green light district,” federal laws are not enforced.Facing billions of dollars in economic despair and observing Colorado’s huge revenue gains from legalized cannabis, the U.S. province of Puerto Rico legalized medical marijuana in July of 2017. Puerto Rican Governor Rosselló Nevares, a scientist before becoming governor of Puerto Rico, understands the value of nature’s arguably most powerful herb to alternative health medicine, and the influence other countries have had in substantiating it.“As a scientist, I know firsthand the impact that medicinal cannabis has had on patients with various diseases. The time has come for Puerto Rico to join the flow of countries and states that have created similar legislation.”Puerto Rico Becomes Latest County To Legalize Medical Cannabis | https://t.co/edZ1uvqKEN | #RicardoRossellNevares pic.twitter.com/CA2G3FwIxJ— 420 Meta (@420Meta) July 13, 2017Related: Canada Is Creating a Multi-Billion Dollar Legal Marijuana IndustrySome experts with whom I spoke, reference Canadian cannabis progress as an example of how the United States may be influenced by The Tide Effect. Canada is expected to fully legalize cannabis for recreational purposes in the Summer of 2018, but it’s taken 17 years to get there after legalizing medical marijuana in 2001.“The U.S. is struggling to balance their federal and state laws, whereas countries like Canada have taken a lawfully unified approach to cannabis and cannabinoid molecules that makes working in the regulatory environment safer and more stable,” Boris Weiss, CEO of Medipure Pharmaceuticals, told me in a written interview. “We in Canada arrived at this point with similar state challenges, and ultimately our differences were and are being resolved. I can only expect that the U.S. will stabilize and experience the same process.”  If cannabis legalization and regulation is, in fact, internationally contagious, the condition has spread across borders in the same way the herb originally navigated its way across the globe.In 1545 when the Spaniards imported cannabis from Chile for its fiber, it soon spread throughout the western hemisphere where it began to be widely grown on plantations across North America… https://t.co/gS530N0zsW pic.twitter.com/4j1CuflHN9— Andre F Bourque ? (@SocialMktgFella) January 6, 2018If it does, Canada’s recreational cannabis market opening in July of 2018 might provide just The Tide the United States needs for legislators to make cannabis legal. Guest Writer Andre Bourque Free Green Entrepreneur App Cannabis 7 min readlast_img read more

Texture and stressrelief the next food and drink trends – Mintel

first_imgTexture and stress-relief the next food and drink trends – MintelPosted By: News Deskon: October 27, 2017In: Beverage, Food, Functional, Health, Industries, Ingredients, RetailPrintEmailMintel has released its prediction for the food and drink trends set to drive the industry forward in 2018 – including texture, lab-grown food and products that incorporate stress relief into a consumer’s diet.Its annual report claims that texture is “the latest tool” to engage the senses and deliver experiences that are worth sharing online, with Mintel predicting that texture will follow the lead of colour in creating experience for consumers. Driven by demand for natural ingredients, food and beverage companies have been incorporating activated charcoal and matcha green tea to create vividly colourful beverages, which could now be followed by texture-based innovations like chewy drinks, crispy ice cream inclusions and popping candy.According to its research, European consumers are open to trying new food and drink with unusual textures, including more than a third of people surveyed in France and Spain. “In 2018, the sound, feel, and satisfaction that texture provides will become more important to companies and consumers alike,” Mintel said. “Texture is thenext facet of formulation that can be leveraged to provide consumers with interactive and documentation-worthy experiences.”It also believes that consumer interest in clean-label foods will cause the industry to step up its effort in creating healthier and more transparent products. Consumers will expect more from the products they buy – specifically in terms of stress relief and fulfilment – and manufacturers will capitalise by utilising more ingredients that either relieve stress or help with fatigue. They include the neurotransmitter GABA; specific combinations of vitamins like B1, B2, B5 and B6; plus extracts of chamomile, green tea and lavender.Brands will be forced to develop new sensory experiences for their consumers. © MintelMintel claims recent innovations in food retail such as meal kit deliveries, click-and-collect services, voice-activated ordering and more intelligent loyalty programmes underline consumer desire for greater time-saving and money-saving. Indeed, the expansion of online and mobile food shopping could herald in a new era for the retail industry. As well as broadening their offering, retailers will be under pressure to provide consumers with more target products and promotions.Mintel said: “The rapid expansion in the variety of food and drink retail channels will fuel the opportunity for recommendations, promotions, and product innovations based on actual consumer behaviour patterns. While this offers opportunity, it also could compromise brand discovery and endanger brand loyalty because custom offers might prioritise benefit, such as convenience, value, or time, over brand.”It cited the example of Brandless, an online-only grocery store in the US that provides private-label and plainly packaged products – all at $3. Mintel said that more varied ways of shopping – including new technologies – was making the retail space more competitive and forcing mainstream supermarkets to be earlier adopters than in previous decades.Elsewhere, the industry has been making solid progress on the development of alternative proteins to feed a growing population. Businesses like Memphis Meats, which has created meatball and chicken prototypes with a target launch date of 2021; Mosa Meat, which has brought down the cost of producing its tissue-cultured hamburgers from €250,000 to €10 per burger; and Impossible Foods, which specifically made its plant-based burger sizzle, smell, and release juices like an ordinary hamburger, are getting ever-closer to replicating the experience of meat and integrating genuinely sustainable protein sources into the mainstream food supply.“Technology will begin to disrupt the traditional food chain in 2018 as enterprising manufacturers aim to replace farms and factories with laboratories,” Mintel said. It pointed to the dairy industry as another example of this, with companies evolving beyond plant-based milk to engineer dairy products that are safe to drink regardless of a consumer’s tolerance of lactose.”Jenny Zegler, global food and drink analyst for Mintel, said: “In 2018, Mintel foresees opportunities for manufacturers and retailers to help consumers regain trust in food and drink and to relieve stress through balanced diets as well as memorable eating and drinking experiences. There also is an exciting new chapter dawning in which technology will help brands and retailers forge more personalised connections with shoppers, while enterprising companies are using scientific engineering to create an exciting new generation of sustainable food and drink.”Share with your network: Tags: 2018Mintelresearchtrendslast_img read more

Wacker begins cystine production as its new facility in León Spain

first_imgWacker bought the León facility in 2016.Wacker begins cystine production as its new facility in León, SpainPosted By: Contributoron: September 14, 2018In: Bakery, Food, Industries, IngredientsPrintEmailWacker Biosolutions, the life sciences division of the Wacker Group, has begun producing fermentation-generated cystine at its new site in León, Spain.Over the past 18 months, the division has modernised part of the 800 m³ fermentation capacity acquired at the end of 2016, including the introduction of a production line for cystine. In total, €30 million has been spent at the facility.In the coming months, the plants are to be ramped up to full capacity as Wacker aims to meet its customers’ rising global demand.Cystine and cysteine, the amino acid produced from it, can be used in the food sector to manufacture flavourings and make doughs in baked goods easier to process.Germany-headquartered Wacker said that due to the plant-based and inorganic raw materials used, its cystine and cysteine are both vegetarian.Gerhard Schmid, head of Wacker Biosolutions, said: “With our investment in the León site, we are well equipped to further strengthen our position as the global market and technology leader for fermentation-generated cystine.“The modernised fermentation plants and the new cystine production plant enable us to reliably meet our customers’ growing demand for cysteine and cystine, and to commercialise new fermentation-generated products.”Share with your network: Tags: SpainWacker Chemielast_img read more

Mindful Chef raises £6m in funding round led by Piper

first_imgMindful Chef raises £6m in funding round led by PiperPosted By: News Deskon: January 07, 2019In: Food, Industries, NutritionPrintEmailUK meal kit firm Mindful Chef has secured £6 million in a funding round led by private equity firm Piper.Founded in 2015, Mindful Chef provides a range of nutritionally-balanced meals which are gluten and dairy free and made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Each week, consumers can choose from 16 different recipes using the service.The firm experienced a 178% rise in sales in the past year, and has delivered over two million meals since the company was founded, registering annual sales of around £10 million.A statement released by M&A advisement firm Cavendish Corporate Finance, who advised Mindful Chef on securing the funding, claims that the investment will enable the business to continue to grow and expand its customer base in the UK, helping it capitalise on the rapid growth of the meal kit market, which is projected to double over the next 10 years.Tim Lee, CEO of Mindful Chef, said: “With 2018 ending on a high, this major investment from Piper signifies the great confidence they have in our business, and will help support our established marketing programme as well as our exciting NPD pipeline.“The global recipe box market is ripe for expansion and we believe that Mindful Chef’s proposition ticks all the boxes for people who want to live healthier lives.”Rory Gibbs, Piper’s investment director, added: “Mindful Chef is well placed to continue accelerating the growth of the recipe box market with its highly differentiated health-focused positioning.“We are backing a young, dynamic team who are passionate about making healthy eating easier for their customers. We are excited to be joining them and helping them to realise their ambitions.”Meal kits are proving increasingly popular with consumers who want to eat healthily and also desire convenience, and this investment follows the news that fellow UK meal kit firm Gousto raised £18 million in a funding round part led by health influencer Joe Wicks earlier today.Last week, US meal kit firm Blue Apron partnered with Weight Watchers to release a new range of recipes inspired by the Weight Watcher Freestyle weight management programme.Share with your network: Tags: meal kitsMindful ChefUKlast_img read more

Ohly inks supply agreement with Lallemand for yeast ingredients

first_imgOhly inks supply agreement with Lallemand for yeast ingredientsPosted By: Contributoron: January 22, 2019In: Bakery, Food, Industries, Ingredients, ManufacturingPrintEmailOhly has entered into a strategic partnership with Lallemand as it divests its yeast production site in Hutchinson, Minnesota, to the firm.Germany-headquartered Ohly has transferred the ownership of the Hutchinson torula facility and associated torula whole cell business with immediate effect.The divestiture follows a strategic review to find a partner to better utilise and sustainably secure the future of the Hutchinson site. Ohly will continue to operate within the US out of its Boyceville, Wisconsin, facility.As part of the agreement, Lallemand and Ohly have entered into a long-term supply partnership to supply Ohly with cream raw material from Hutchinson for use in all downstream products at Boyceville.Ohly CEO Ralf Fink said: “We are proud of the vital role that the Hutchinson site has played in enabling Ohly Americas to expand in the North American yeast market.“We believe this transfer of ownership will yield important benefits for our partners, customers and employees by ensuring the continued delivery of whole cell yeast products to its existing customers whilst providing job security for the Hutchinson site team, whose valuable contributions we are deeply grateful for.”  Lars Asferg, president and GM of the Lallemand Bio-Ingredients business, added: “Lallemand is already a well-established global supplier of inactive yeast products for savoury and health food applications. The acquisition of the Hutchinson business will provide our new and existing customers with a wider choice of products and taste profiles and further develop our technology leadership. We are delighted to have formed a supply partnership with Ohly, demonstrating our long-term commitment to the specialty inactive yeast sector.”Lallemand is a privately-owned Canadian group specialising in the research, development, production, marketing and distribution of yeast and bacteria. It has approximately 4,000 employees located in more than 40 countries.Share with your network: Tags: LallemandOhlyUSlast_img read more

Vegan brand Qwrkee releases Pea Mlk range in Whole Foods

first_imgVegan brand Qwrkee releases Pea M’lk range in Whole FoodsPosted By: Jules Scullyon: March 22, 2019In: Dairy, Industries, Innovation, New productsPrintEmailUK plant-based food and drink brand Qwrkee has launched a new line of pea milks, which are said to be made “using the purest pea protein”.Called Pea M’lk, the range is available in unsweetened and sweetened variants and has gone on sale at Whole Foods, retailing for £3 per 1 litre carton.Qwrkee said the products are high in protein, allergen free and a source of fibre, omega 3, calcium, iron, iodine and vitamins B2, B12, D and A.Vishal Madhu, Qwrkee founder, said: “We founded Qwrkee with a clear mission: to help protect the planet by fuelling the plant-based movement, creating foods for the future.  “We’ve taken a lot of time to develop products that deliver on taste, nutritional quality and sustainability, whilst bringing something completely new to the market.  We’re so excited to be now launching the brand and to have the early support of Whole Foods.”Qwrkee Pea M’lk retails for £3 per carton.Miguel Uribe, UK grocery buyer at Whole Foods Market, said: “We are always on the lookout for new and unique products for our customers, and Qwrkee is certainly delivers. Pea M’lk is tipped as one of the top new trends for 2019, as we see more people looking for milk alternatives that do not compromise on the nutritional benefits. We can’t wait to add them to our growing portfolio.”Qwrkee said it aims to deliver great-tasting plant-based food and beverages that have a nutritional twist, and its Pea M’lk product was a finalist in both the ‘Best plant-based product’ and ‘Best food concept’ categories in the 2019 World Food Innovation Awards.The firm also sells a range of Probiotic Puffs and vegan Qwrkee Jerky.New products will be added to its portfolio in the comping months, all with vegan ingredients and sold in 100% recyclable packaging.Share with your network: Tags: Dairy alternativeQwrkeesustainabilityUKveganlast_img read more

Trump will ask justice department to look into campaign surveillance

first_img Read more Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday: ‘I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes’Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters This article is more than 1 year old US politics Lawyer Giuliani said he and president did not know of a spyTrump attacks NY Times over report on son’s campaign meeting Trump administration Sun 20 May 2018 15.18 EDT Facing Trump, a historian appeals to America’s soul: ‘I think we’ll survive’ … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Donald Trump Share on WhatsApp Trump/Russia review: Le Carré meets Mario Puzo in Moscow and Manhattan Share on Facebook Share via Email FBI Guardian staff and agencies Share on Facebook First published on Sun 20 May 2018 14.31 EDT Read more On Friday, Trump quoted Fox Business anchor David Asman: “Apparently the DOJ put a Spy in the Trump Campaign. This has never been done before and by any means necessary, they are out to frame Donald Trump for crimes he didn’t commit.” Earlier this month, the National Review raised the question of whether there was an FBI spy in Trump’s campaign. The article cited work by Devin Nunes of California, an ardent Trump supporter and chairman of the House intelligence committee, who has demanded information on an FBI source in the Russia investigation. Opponents of Nunes’s request have stressed the need to protect sources and methods. The New York Times reported separately last week that at least one government informant met several times with Page and George Papadopoulos, another former foreign policy adviser on Trump’s campaign. The Times reported, citing current and former FBI officials, that the informant talked to Page and Papadopoulos because they had suspicious contacts linked to Russia. Papadopoulos was charged last year by special counsel Robert Mueller and pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. He has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. center_img Share on Twitter This article is more than 1 year old Donald Trump Trump tweeted: “I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!”Trump has been promoting a theory circulating in conservative circles about a possible FBI spy on the campaign.His attorney Rudy Giuliani cast doubt on that this week, saying neither he nor the president knew for certain if there was a spy. Giuliani said they had been told about possible “infiltration” of the campaign. “For a long time we’ve been told that there was some kind of infiltration,” he told CNN. “I don’t know for sure, nor does the president, if there really was one.”The justice department declined to comment on Sunday. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The justice department’s internal watchdog is in fact already examining Republican complaints of FBI misconduct in the early stages of the investigation into Russian election interference and possible links between Trump aides and Moscow. The inspector general, Michael E Horowitz, announced an investigation in March, at the request of attorney general Jeff Sessions and congressional Republicans. Sessions and the lawmakers urged Horowitz to review whether FBI and justice department officials abused surveillance powers by using information compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British spy, and paid for by Democrats as part of the basis to justify monitoring Carter Page, a former campaign adviser to Trump.Horowitz said his office would look at those claims as well as communications between Steele and DoJ and FBI officials. Trump’s “demand” was one of a series of tweets on Sunday. The president earlier posted seven tweets denouncing as a “witch hunt” the federal investigation of whether his campaign worked with Russia to sway the election.On Saturday, he tweeted: “If the FBI or DOJ was infiltrating a campaign for the benefit of another campaign, that is a really big deal.” Only the release or review of documents the House intelligence committee is seeking from the justice department “can give conclusive answers”, he added. Share on Messenger Reuse this content Donald Trump said on Sunday he will ask the justice department to look into whether his 2016 presidential campaign was infiltrated or surveilled. US elections 2016 Share on Twitter Trump will ask justice department to look into campaign surveillance Share on LinkedIn Support The Guardian Share via Email Since you’re here… Share on Pinterest Shares4141 news Topicslast_img read more

Former White House counsel for Obama charged in Muellerrelated case

first_imgShare on Twitter Last modified on Fri 12 Apr 2019 10.16 EDT Share on LinkedIn Gregory Craig was charged with lying to US authorities about his work alongside Paul ManafortFollow the latest in US politics – live This article is more than 3 months old … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. @jonswaine Read more Reuse this content Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest William Barr says ‘spying did occur’ on Trump campaign during Obama era Thu 11 Apr 2019 15.45 EDT Share on Facebook Paul Manafort Share via Email Since you’re here… Obama administration Craig worked in 2012 for Ukraine’s ministry of justice while he was a partner at the prestigious law firm Skadden Arps. Manafort, a veteran Republican operative, meanwhile worked as a consultant to Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s pro-Kremlin president, who was later ousted.A team at Skadden produced a report to help the Yanukovych government defend its prosecution of a former Ukrainian prime minister, which critics said had been politically motivated. Craig also coordinated public relations work to boost the government’s image.Craig wanted to avoid registering as a foreign agent in order to protect his ability to work in the US government in the future, according to the indictment, and so Skadden could avoid disclosing the $4m it was secretly receiving for its work from a wealthy Yanukovych backer.When Skadden was asked by the Fara unit for information on its Ukraine work, the firm submitted a response signed by Craig that failed to disclose Craig’s contacts with US media on behalf of Ukraine as part of a public relations strategy.Skadden Arps reached an agreement with the justice department in January this year to avoid prosecution. The deal forced the law firm to turn over the more than $4.5m it was paid by Ukraine and to register as a foreign agent retroactively. Craig has since left the firm.Prosecutors said on Thursday that, if convicted, Craig faced sentences of up to five years’ imprisonment for each charge. He could also be fined up to $100,000 and $250,000 for the respective charges.Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, were later charged by the US with money laundering in relation to their payment for work in Ukraine. Manafort was convicted and Gates pleaded guilty to lesser charges. Trump-Russia investigation Obama administration Support The Guardian Gregory Craig, a former White House counsel to Barack Obama, has been charged with lying to US authorities about his work alongside Paul Manafort for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine. Shares102102 news Former White House counsel for Obama charged in Mueller-related case Share via Email Gregory Craig is the first prominent Democrat to face criminal prosecution as a result of Robert Mueller’s investigation.Photograph: Pablo Martínez Monsiváis/AP Robert Mueller Sign up for the US morning briefing Topics This article is more than 3 months old Share on WhatsApp Craig, 74, was indicted by a grand jury in Washington on Thursday following an investigation that grew out of Robert Mueller’s inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. He has denied wrongdoing.He is the first prominent Democrat to face criminal prosecution as a result of Mueller’s investigation, which led to the conviction of Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, for a series of financial crimes.Craig is charged with giving false information to the justice department officials who regulate work in the US by lobbyists, lawyers and other representatives of foreigners under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (Fara). He is also charged with concealing details of his work from the same officials.Attorneys for Craig said in a statement that the charges were unfair and that prosecutors had chosen to omit evidence that was favourable to him.“Mr Craig had no interest in misleading the Fara unit because he had not done anything that required his registration,” the attorneys said. “That is what this trial will be all about.” Share on Messenger Jon Swaine in New Yorklast_img read more

ATU344 – AMAC Accessibility Solutions and Research Center – Carolyn Phillips

first_imgPodcast: Play in new window | DownloadYour weekly dose of information that keeps you up to date on the latest developments in the field of technology designed to assist people with disabilities and special needs. Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedATU134 – Discovering Your Personal Genius – Learning Disabilities (Carolyn Phillips and Martha Rust), Voice My Mail, Andrea Bocelli visits MIT, ATIA early bird discount, Switch Access to YouTube Videos, What to Expect from Apple in 2014December 20, 2013In “Assistive Technology Update”ATU064 – Assistive Technology Re-Use (Carolyn Phillips and Liz Persaud), AT and Disaster Recovery, Voicebook VO, Dragon 12 Turns Your Mobile Phone into a Microphone, Autism Speaks AppAugust 17, 2012In “Assistive Technology Update”ATU135 – Critical Apps for Learning Disabilities (Carolyn Phillips & Martha Rust) www.gatfl.org, Tablet Computer for People who are Blind or Visually Impaired, Priests use Technology to Hear Confessions of People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, International Association of Accessibility Professionals, Panther Math PaperDecember 27, 2013In “Assistive Technology Update” AMAC Accessibility Solutions and Research Center with Interim Director Carolyn Phillips | amacusg.orgA Bitcoin Whitepaper Braille Version has Finally Been Made Available | BTCMANAGERhttp://bit.ly/2CNT3KdLyft announces a new partnership with Aira to make ridesharing easier for the visually impaired http://bit.ly/2oWpcNw——————————If you have an AT question, leave us a voice mail at: 317-721-7124 or email tech@eastersealscrossroads.orgCheck out our web site: https://www.eastersealstech.comFollow us on Twitter: @INDATAprojectLike us on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/INDATA——-transcript follows ——CAROLYN PHILLIPS:  Hey, this is Carolyn Phillips, and I’m the interim director of AMAC, Accessibility Solutions and Research Center, at Georgia Tech, and this is your Assistive Technology Update.WADE WINGLER:  Hi, this is Wade Wingler with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals crossroads in Indiana with your Assistive Technology Update, a weekly dose of information that keeps you up-to-date on the latest developments in the field of technology designed to assist people with disabilities and special needs. Welcome to episode number 344 of Assistive Technology Update. It’s the last one for 2017 and scheduled to be released on December 29.Today I have a fun conversation with my friend Carolyn Phillips who is the interim director of AMAC, Accessibility Solutions and Research Center, at Georgia Tech. We also have some information about bitcoin and how braille readers might be able to have access to more information about bitcoin. And Lyft the ridesharing company has done yet another thing to make sure that their service is more accessible.We hope you check out our website at www.eastersealstech.com, sent us a note on Twitter at INDATA Project, or call our listener line. We love to hear your questions and comments. The number is 317-721-7124.***Bitcoin has been in the news a lot lately. The value has just skyrocketed. We will wait to see how long it stays like that. From an accessibility standpoint, bitcoin is something that is a playfield leveler in terms of currency. There is a new initiative to make sure the white paper that is entitled “Bitcoin:  a peer-to-peer electronic cash system” is available to people who read braille appeared in gentleman named Adam Newbold started a crowdfunding effort and raised about $4000 and is working to create, in partnership with the American printing house for the blind, braille copies of information about bitcoin. Lots of details and you can find those on our show notes. I’ll pop a link.***I’ve seen a couple of stories lately about some of the accessibility things that Lyft, the ridesharing service, is doing. Back in the springtime, they added features to make their service more accessible to people who work deaf or hard of hearing. Now they have partnered with Aira, which is an assistive technology service for people who are blind or visually impaired. We had them on our show not long ago. They worked hard to make sure their systems are integrated, and if you are an Aira user, it makes it really easy to get a Lyft ride. I’ll pop a link in the show notes to a blog that will tell you about the details related to that, I hope we see more about Lyft and accessibility and its partnership with Aira. Check our show notes.***So I don’t do a lot of this, but check out this audio clip that’s going to be highlighting our interview for next week.SPEECH SYNTHESIZER:  Swipe one finger left and right on the screen to hear available options. Once you have selected your desired choice, tap the screen twice with one finger. When the kingdom becomes trapped in perpetual winter, fearless and I joined forces with money Kristof and his reindeer sidekick to find Anna’s sister, snow queen Elsa, and break the icy spell. Tap the screen twice with one finger to play. Please connect headphone to continue. American sniper. Child 44. Exodus: Gods and Kings. Hobbit:  the battle of five armies. In the heart of the scene. Night at the Museum:  secret of the tomb.WADE WINGLER:  What you heard was a few sound samples from the interview that I have with David Brown next week. This is the world’s first accessible in-flight entertainment system that is being featured on Virgin Atlantic Airlines right now. If you are interested in accessibility or airplanes or movies or those things, make sure you check out our interview next week.***I’m super excited about our interview today. It’s because – I mean, I have a lot of friends in the field of assistive technology, but this is someone who is super special to me. Is fun when you get to have a laid-back conversation with a good friend to talk about some pretty cool stuff happening in her career.I recently saw a no on the Internet that the AMAC Accessibility Solutions and Research Center, which is very well known at Georgia Tech University, has a new interim director. It just happens to be my friend Carolyn Phillips. She is on the line with us. Hey, Carolyn.CAROLYN PHILLIPS:  Hey, thank you. As you know, I’m a huge fan of yours too. It’s an honor to be able to talk with you today. Thank you so much.WADE WINGLER:  It’s good to have you here. You’ve been on the show a couple of times, and actually you’ve been in studio. That would be the only thing that could’ve made the interview better today is if you could have been here in Indianapolis.CAROLYN PHILLIPS:  I love your studio. I’m thankful for this a virtual opportunity, but I always love seeing the great work you all are doing in your studio and your center.WADE WINGLER:  You are not new to the field of assistive technology. You and I have probably worked together for at least 10 years, and you’ve been doing that a lot longer than that, as have I. For those who aren’t familiar with you, let’s start by talking a little bit about yourself, how you became interested in assistive technology, and questions about your day job, your primary roles, responsibilities, that kind of thing.CAROLYN PHILLIPS:  Yes, yes. A little bit about me:  I am one of many folks that this is true within our practice and the work we do on a daily basis. Assistive technology is personal and professional for me. The victories that we have on a daily basis, but also the bigger visions and goals, the work we need to get done for future generations and even for folks right now, are very real for me. I have learning disabilities. I obviously have had those my whole life. I used to dream of the solution that we are caring in our hands in pockets, and even solutions like this. I have dyslexia, dysgraphia, some auditory processing issues, and I absolutely need assistance technology. I got into this field as a need so that I could be successful in college and high school and also in my career. That was how that began for me.Pretty much everything I do, even on a daily basis, is geared towards how can we change a system, how can we develop a product to move from problem to product, problem to solution. That’s a lot of the work we’re doing here at AMAC. When I was offered this opportunity to work as interim director here at AMAC, Accessibility Solutions and Research Center, at Georgia Tech, I was just humbled and honored because I see the big picture and I see the great work we are collectively doing. One of the things that, even in this interview, is you can see a lot of these relationships go well beyond a physical ability. Is not an Atlanta thing. It’s a national thing. It’s a global thing. I think that’s part of our strength, is being able to do that kind of collaboration and push the whole field of assistive technology, accessibility, inclusion, universal design forward.WADE WINGLER:  You and I have known each other primarily – and you’ve been on the show before — because of your work at tools for life. Tell me a little bit about AMAC and tools for life and how are those things related.CAROLYN PHILLIPS:  As you referenced, we are at Georgia Tech under the College of design. AMAC is the umbrella organization, and there are a lot of initiatives and projects that we have that are actively going on, whether it is research, development of product, or practice or service. Tools for life, the assistive technology act here in Georgia, is probably under AMAC. We also have the national Pass It On Center which is all about assistive technology re-use, best practices, technical assistance, training. We work with the AT3 national Center. That’s all under AMAC.WADE WINGLER:  In terms of AMAC, I know it’s an umbrella, what are some of the core services in the organization?CAROLYN PHILLIPS:  We are growing and developing all kinds of cool systems and products and ways of doing business. Our core services can be broken down into what are some of the areas that we’ve had problems with for years. We were born out of the concept of being that change maker. E-text, electronic text, when I was in college back in the early 90s, I would take a class in college and I would wait for my book. Sometimes that book would show up within three months and I’m well into my course. It may show up even three years later because people had to read the book. It was ridiculous. Our leader, the person who founded AMAC, Doctor Christopher Lee, he is the one who actually said we could do better. And I agree, we can do better. Once again, personally and professionally, I knew this had to change.He created a system, and now you can get your book in electronic format. You can get PowerPoint converted into electronic format. We have a wide variety of formats now in different products and services we offer under our e-tech services. You can get a book within 24 hours, maybe even less. When they are saying, oh, it’s going to take a while – it’s not three years and not three months. They are saying it’s going to take a while, three weeks at the most, which is incredible.We also have real-time captioning, see you can be sitting in a meeting and somebody in my office is going to be captioning the meeting for you so that you can be participating in the meeting in real time or in a class or conference. That our real-time captioning. We are doing some research around that to see what kind of captioning really does make a difference. Is the size font a factor to consider?  Is the color of the font something we need to consider?  Thinking about all of that and wrapping research into all of these various things we create.Also looking at audio description and trying to find tune and make it even better and working out the best practice. And ICT, information communication technology, accessibility is another area we’ve grown in. We had a massive open online course that is free to all of you. Feel free to take the course. It is offered through Ted X. We have over 7,500 students from 166 countries that are learning more about information communication technology accessibility and are getting credit for it if they want. It’s a great way to learn more about the field. That’s probably what you’re going to find is the foundation of what we do, is pushing the field forward and that holistic approach to not leaving things in the lab but putting research and practice.WADE WINGLER:  As we think about AMAC and all these different services, are we talking about services more to individuals or organizations?  Who is your customer?CAROLYN PHILLIPS:  The other one that I do want to — and this is an excellent way to answer this question – one of my favorite initiatives that we have here is our braille services. We offer Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math braille. If you come here physically and see what we are doing, you can be on site and see all of these various programs in action. Our and customer within braille, for example, is actually that student who had doors closed before because they weren’t able to go into the sciences or technology or engineering because their books were not accessible. The end user is the customer. But it’s actually helping colleges’ disability student services offices. It’s helping publishers. Those are all customers too. So that we can get the information put into an accessible format and expand the whole field. I would even say some of the colleges that we have that our partners and members of AMAC have started advertising us, that they can indeed come and participate and enroll regardless of your disabilities, that we want to focus on the ability. That’s the key here.The other cool thing about our braille initiative is that we are connected within the prison system. We have a whole initiative about second chances and real job opportunities and career opportunities for folks as they get out. That’s very exciting to be part of that.WADE WINGLER:  That’s really cool. You mentioned membership. Tell me about that.CAROLYN PHILLIPS:  Through AMAC, we have memberships. Let’s say for example you wanted to have an assistive technology evaluation, or you wanted to start an assistive technology lab, or you wanted to order a book in digital format, or you wanted to have you website or map that you’ve developed audited. We can do all that. If you wanted to get braille or also request real-time captioning or you have a video that you want to be audio described, you would join. You can go to our website and join. We have one of the tabs on our website is membership. You can also see what our memberships and initiatives are, and also our research. Those are all in primary focus is on our website.WADE WINGLER:  Your office are doing a whole lot of work. I know that you are doing this because there are stories and people and lives being changed as you are doing this work. We see that here. It’s where we get up every day. I want you to tell me a story. I know you’re a good storyteller, so tell me a story about a life that’s been changed.CAROLYN PHILLIPS:  This is hard for me because one of the things I love about the work we collectively do, you do, I do, we do, is the stories, that personal impact, which is why we want to have that constant research and practice and academia. The first story that comes to mind is a woman, her name is Lisa. She was driving on the road minding her own business, just like any of us on an average day. She was in a car wreck, and that moment changed her life. She ended up in a nursing home and wanted to get out of the nursing home. The folks that we were working with — we are also partners with division of aging services – got in touch with us through their Money Follows the Person initiative. They said, hey, can you just come talk with her. One of our occupational therapy experts and AT specialists, her name is Rachel Wilson, went out and met Lisa. Sure enough, instantly – as I said, we move from problem to product, problem to solution.She started talking to Lisa, and the next thing you know, we actually [Inaudible] her up pretty quickly. What are some of those everyday solutions, mainstream solutions, universal design solutions such as Alexa?  How do you use what’s built in to your iPhone, those great accessibility features?  How did you use Amazon products or some things that Microsoft has created?  Where does assistive technology bump in so that we can make sure that Lisa can be independent and get dressed?She has a spinal cord injury and is constantly trying to improve her fine motor skills. She works hard. But in the meantime, she’s excited because she can turn on the lights with her voice. She can this to her audiobook. She can write an email and text with her voice. She can even unlock doors and open doors now. We are living in a very exciting time where the promise of assistive technology and promise of universal design is a promise that’s been kept. We see that everyday.WADE WINGLER:  That’s an amazing, life impacting story.CAROLYN PHILLIPS:  She’s just one of many, as you know.WADE WINGLER:  I know. We could probably do stories all day. We should do that for a show sometime, just talk about the stories. As you are thinking about the AMAC, accessibility solutions and research center, was in your crystal ball for the center?  What do you see as things on the horizon?CAROLYN PHILLIPS:  I work with incredible folks here within AMAC. In this position, this new opportunity as interim director, I have really been amazed by folks that have been my peers for years. I just didn’t know the depth and breadth of their work. If I’m looking into a crystal ball, what I’m seeing is the entire collaboration of researchers with folks who were in the field, that knowledge translation and how powerful that is. I have been within our labs at AMAC, and I have seen people that can actually move quickly, within hours, from you give them a problem and they have a solution. They love that process. I think in my crystal ball, we continue to see the world becoming more accessible and more inclusive. We see best practices. We see where everybody can truly live, learn, work, and play and communities of their choice for as long as they want to. And it’s not something that is layered on later. It’s not something that’s added. Accessibility is not an afterthought, but it’s actually core to the conversation of how we make sure that everyone is included.That may sound kind of dreamy, but I’m seeing it in reality. I think that crystal ball is something that we are going to see manifest from our ideas, yours, mine, other folks cut into reality. It’s going to actively change people’s lives.I have seen some of the most complex situations, folks with highly complex disabilities that come in, and we are able to find solutions that we could only dream of. It’s becoming a reality. That makes me very excited and motivates me every day. I’m one of those that, Sunday night, I don’t think I wish it were Sunday night and I had to work on Monday. I have no problem getting up and going to work.WADE WINGLER:  One other thing I like about you is that you do a nice job of pairing up your dreams and a vision with very practical stuff. It’s a good balance.CAROLYN PHILLIPS:  I’m a huge fan of yours and your work. I think we are like-minded. I’m so thankful for this opportunity to talk with your great listeners and move the conversation forward.WADE WINGLER:  Enough of this lovefest. You’ve been working in the field of assistive technology for number of years and have been using it for a long time as well. I want to back out our conversation a little bit something bigger picture. What have you seen as the biggest one or two changes in the field of assistive technology in your career?CAROLYN PHILLIPS:  The biggest changes I would say are those daily solutions that are coming out. Universal design and assistive technology and accessibility being built in to my iPhone so that I can go get my iPhone, just like you can, or I can get my Google phone just like you can, what have you, and I can use it the same way you can. That was unheard of way back. That’s huge. That’s a game changer.Using my voice for pretty much everything. Because of my learning disabilities, it’s a true issue. In the past, we were very paper dependent, text dependent, form dependent. Having the freedom to fill out a form with my voice and do it quickly and efficiently is a game changer. I think having products that are rolling out, whether it’s Amazon Echo or Google Home or Siri or Cortana, whatever it is, where we can instantly get information, have these answers – now we do have to double check them — but have those answers and be able to control my environment, once again game changers. Those are the things I think are really exciting and move the whole field forward.WADE WINGLER:  Is interesting. As you were talking about that, I got to flashback to attending early trade shows, early Closing the Gap and CSUN and ATIA, and remembering that one time Microsoft showed up with a booth and they were talking about their built in assistive technology. I had a panic for a moment and said if they start building this stuff in, what happens to the world of assistive technology?  Our industry is going to go away and I’m not going to have a job because the stuff is all going to be built in and free. What we would do?  What would you say to a much younger Wade Wingler having a panic moment?CAROLYN PHILLIPS:  I would say you and I are in jobs, and a lot of people are in jobs, that were not even on the radar when we were in elementary school. There was no director of tools for life at that time. There was no interim director of AMAC, accessibility solutions and research center. Those were not real things. What I would encourage people to do is go with the flow, not just follow, but be a part of the conversation. We have in our field such a valuable and powerful voice. Get certified. The International Association for Accessibility Professionals has this great certification. I just got certified. It’s important to have those kinds of certifications behind you. Also, if you did a job search, you can find that companies are hungry for accessibility and they are hungry for assistive technology. That’s a very hot, and will continue to be very hot, topic in the way of moving forward when it comes to product development and also service provision.I understand your fear. I’ve had those panic moments. What I’ve done is take some breaths and think, now what do we contribute?  What I found is that time and again, we are invited to the table, we are invited to the lab, we are invited to the think tank. I think that’s part of it, is what we have as users of assistive technology, what we have as leaders is valuable. We just have to keep that conversation going and active.WADE WINGLER:  We could go on like this for hours, and sometimes we have. Sadly we are out of time for the interview today. I want to make sure that people are interested in reaching out to you, learning more about AMAC. What kind of contact information do you have?CAROLYN PHILLIPS:  You can go to our website, www.AMACusg.org. You can find all the information I was just sharing with you about our services, research initiatives, and membership. We would love to continue the conversation.WADE WINGLER:  Carolyn Phillips of the interim director of AMAC, accessibility solutions and research center, and my good friend. Thank you so much.CAROLYN PHILLIPS:  Thank you. Take care.WADE WINGLER:  Do you have a question about assistive technology? Do you have a suggestion for someone we should interview on Assistive Technology Update? Call our listener line at 317-721-7124, shoot us a note on Twitter @INDATAProject, or check us out on Facebook. Looking for a transcript or show notes from today’s show? Head on over to www.EasterSealstech.com. Assistive Technology Update is a proud member of the Accessibility Channel. Find more shows like this plus much more over at AccessibilityChannel.com. That was your Assistance Technology Update. I’m Wade Wingler with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads in Indiana.***Transcript provided by TJ Cortopassi.  For requests and inquiries, contact tjcortopassi@gmail.com***last_img read more

Prime Day Prep 4 Strategies for the Day

first_img The deadline to submit deals has long since passed, Amazon’s purchase orders have been placed, and vendors and sellers have packed their inventory, ready to be loaded on trucks if not already in transit to Amazon’s fulfillment centers. And now it’s official: Amazon announced that Prime Day 2019 will begin at midnight on July 15th and run to the end of July 16th – full 48 hours.In anticipation of another record-breaking Sales event, Amazon advertisers are gearing up to get the most out of Prime Day. In the past, many have simply upped their ad spend and left it at that – but that’s not going to cut it in 2019.Every year since its inception, Prime Day has been one of the three most highly-trafficked days on Amazon. That means more competition on keywords and higher CPCs. In isolation, spending more should increase your chances of winning those keywords, but Prime Day is not just about higher traffic, it’s an event that inspires different kinds of consumer behavior. On Deal Days, shoppers are hunting for bargains, but they’re also caught up in the excitement and ready to spend a lot of money. So your marketing strategy should be tailored to particular shopping habits we tend to see on Deal Days.With a little bit of understanding of what makes Prime Day unique coupled with strategic thinking about how to capitalize on that, you can save yourself from poor visibility and wasted ad spend on what ought to be among the most successful days in the retail year.Read more: Putting Paid Social to Work for Amazon Prime Day and BeyondHere are some of our best tips for where and when you should be driving traffic, and how to target your campaigns to the shoppers most likely to buy:1.    BudgetIn 2018, shoppers flooded Amazon.com as soon as Prime Day started, so much so that the site couldn’t handle the traffic. There were rolling outages that prevented most shoppers from using the search (or accessing the site at all) throughout the early hours of the day until Amazon installed temporary servers to accommodate the traffic. Despite these interruptions, most of the growth of the event took place during the first six hours. If anything, the media’s coverage of the traffic only helped to bolster awareness of the event.This year, Amazon is ready for the traffic and you should be ready for the intense competition that comes with it. When thinking about your budget, you should consider what you want to get out of Prime Day, how much you’re willing to spend to meet your goals and how you can prevent overspending. In addition to being one of retail’s biggest Sales events, your Prime Day performance will also be felt throughout the year. The spike in traffic and conversion that accompanies a successful Deal Day can cause a lift in organic search rank, and the visibility and new customers gained can drive sales of your entire assortment long after the event.That being said, Prime Day can also be a drain on your budget. With CPCs likely reaching new highs, some advertisers may decide it’s not worth the expense and instead invests their marketing budget in the off-peak lead-up and lead out in hopes of unlocking higher efficiencies. We suggest scaling your budget for each of the three periods: lead up, Prime Day, and lead out. What you’re bidding on, and how much, should vary between each. For example:During lead up, you could bid aggressively on must-win keywords for products that are going to have the best deals to boost visibility and encourage pre-Prime Day browsers to load their shopping carts ahead of time.During Prime Day you might want to pull back from those expensive must-win keywords and increase bids on medium and long-tail keywords where you find more efficiency.During lead out, many shoppers will be looking for add-ons and accessories for the big-ticket items they just bought, so you could invest in terms and placements that target this shopping behavior.Prime Day poses a big risk for overspending. If you don’t cap your campaign spend, the high level of competition can drive your CPCs up to unsustainable levels. Consequentially, if you’re too conservative with your keyword bids, you risk losing a term that could perform well for you. Limit the total budget of campaigns and set rules to reduce or eliminate spending on inefficient terms to allow for more aggressive spending on the best performers. And throughout the event, manually monitor and tweak your campaigns to increase/decrease bids based on your return.2.    BehaviorShoppers eagerly anticipate Prime Day as an opportunity to finally get all those big-ticket items they’ve had on their wishlists (and to be enticed by deals on items they didn’t know they wanted). To capitalize on this behavior, brands should focus on investment in three areas:Premium ProductsDemand for high priced products is consolidated around Deal Days when shoppers’ usual tentative approach to these items is mitigated by the excitement of the event, the consumer trust that Amazon has earned, and the discounts available on many such items. It can be a good investment to focus your ad dollars on premium products during Prime Day and to target competitive items with Product Display Ads that showcase your deals. That being said, when competitive targeting it’s important that your product is at a similar or lower price point as the price can still be a barrier to conversion. As such, base and mid-tier products are also an important part of a successful Prime Day.Price-Agnostic CategoriesOn Prime Day most shoppers are on the hunt for deals, but some categories will always convert regardless of price. If you sell in categories where the price is not the main motivator such as baby products (where shoppers want the highest quality regardless of price), the high traffic on Prime Day is an opportunity to gain visibility for a deal and non-deal items alike through Sponsored Product and Sponsored Brand ads.Attached ProductsOn Deal Days, the latest in tech, appliances, and gadgetry tend to take center stage. Luckily for brands, shoppers that buy these products typically go on to buy many attached products as well, such as upgrades, accessories and recipe/instruction books. Amazon’s new Product Attribute Targeting functionality can effectively promote products that shoppers are unlikely to choose a variant of, such as video games for a specific console (new Switch owners aren’t going to buy the PS4 edition of a game just because it’s the cheaper option).3.    TimingAt midnight on July 15th, shoppers will once again flood Amazon.com to be the first to take advantage of Prime Day’s thousands of deals. This year we expect Amazon to be ready for the traffic, but that doesn’t mean that vendors will be ready for the keyword bid rush. As in previous years, it’s very likely that a high proportion of vendors will exhaust half of their budgets within the first three hours (some may even use all of their daily budgets in that time) as keyword bid competition drives up CPCs.Consider manually pausing your campaigns until the bid rush is over to eliminate the risk of draining your budget. Starting campaigns at 6:00 am, rather than midnight, should increase efficiency significantly, as some competitors will have already fallen out of the race and CPC prices may have passed their peak. Optimal times will vary by category and target audience, however, so we advise dayparting – adjusting your keyword bids to focus your budget during key strategic hours to maximize visibility, conversion and/or efficiency – using historic data to identify peak hours.Amazon will also be doing things a little differently this year. For Prime Day 2018, which lasted 36 hours, many shoppers came back on the second day to search for new deals but found that the Spotlight Deals-of-the-Day ran for the full 36 hours. To add value for (and encourage) repeat visitors, this year Amazon will run shorter deals more frequently across the full two-day period, including the introduction of the new four-hour WOW Deals. So don’t forget about day two – keep your campaigns funded and optimized for the full 48 hours of Prime Day 2019.4.    TrackingWith a record-setting volume of traffic and sales, Prime Day is a treasure trove of data. By tracking your Share Of Voice (SOV) and Organic Search ranking before, during and after the event, you can arm yourself with the resources to optimize your marketing strategy for Q4. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are Prime Day’s only competitors in terms of search volume and sales, so make sure you’re testing, measuring, and learning so that you can be ready for a successful holiday season. Similarly, monitor your competitors’ activity and how it impacts your SOV to learn from their successes and failures and stay ahead of the game.It’s important to set goals and define success beforehand. Did your investment in Amazon Advertising yield an increase in your organic search rank for top keywords? The opportunity posed by Prime Day is that the higher traffic and conversion will yield a residual lift in organic search ranking that drives additional growth after the event. Outlining the results that you’re hoping to achieve to justify the investment of time and budget will help you set expectations, measure ROI, and plan for future Deal Days.Planning your Prime Day strategy requires a significant time investment. Consolidating and analyzing search data from multiple sources, manually adjusting your bids throughout the day, and adapting your strategy based on performance in real-time are big tasks, but the effort will pay off in the form of a better and more efficient Prime Day performance. And we can help – Pacvue’s powerful and intuitive platform enables you to consolidate and visualize multiple data sources, identify the best actions to take, and programmatically manage and optimize your Amazon Advertising campaigns.In 2018, most of the growth of Prime Day took place during the first six hours, despite the fact that outages meant many shoppers couldn’t search. Instead, shoppers loaded up their shopping carts ahead of time and then decided what to buy once the deals went live. Now that Amazon has announced the timing of Prime Day 2019, shoppers will start preparing their wishlists, which means that brands need to start getting their attention. Whatever your budget, using the above strategies will allow you to maximize the impact of your investment and prepare you to grow your sales before, during, and after Prime Day, through Q4 and into 2020. Click here to learn more or request a free Pacvue demo today.Read more:  How to Create Viral Content That Generation Z Will Love Ad Spendconsumer behaviorMarketing Budgetmarketing strategyPrime DaySales Event Previous ArticleStudy Finds Enterprises Rapidly Shifting to Hybrid, Multi-Cloud Business ModelNext ArticleiSON Xperiences Commended by Frost & Sullivan for its Rapid Growth in the African BPO Market Prime Day Prep: 4 Strategies for the Day Melissa BurdickJuly 11, 2019, 9:00 pmJuly 11, 2019 last_img read more

Google Stadia Isnt Netflix for Games

first_imgGoogle: Stadia Isn’t ‘Netflix for Games’ 10 Scientifically Proven Side Effects of Growing a Beard Quentin Tarantino’s 50 Greatest Quotes ‘Dark Phoenix’ Director Reveals Who Is to Blame for Massive Flop The Transformation of Daisy Ridley Is Turning Heads This ‘Fire Emblem Heroes’ April Fools’ Day Joke Broke Hearts We Finally Understand Why Hollywood Dumped Wesley Snipes (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)Google held an AMA yesterday on its upcoming cloud gaming service, Stadia. Stadia is a unique project in gaming — there’s no other service quite like it available — but that particular facet is going to cut both ways. Users have had a lot of questions, and the Stadia team has now provided some answers to how various facets of the service will work.One thing they made clear upfront: Stadia isn’t “Netflix for games.” Stadia director of product, Andrey Doronichev, writes:Stadia Pro is not “Netflix for Games” like some people have mentioned, a closer comparison would be like Xbox Live Gold or Playstation Plus. The Pro subscribers get 4K/HDR streaming, 5.1 sound, exclusive discounts and access to some free games. Roughly one free game per month give or take. Starting with Destiny 2 (yay!).This comparison isn’t very good either. Whether you like the idea of Stadia or not, what it offers — games that exist only in the cloud that you purchase at full price — is not the model that Microsoft, Sony, or any other company uses. The major companies that offer cloud streaming services also offer physical downloads for local play or they offer a Netflix-style streaming service with a large back catalog of titles.Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus are thematically similar to Stadia Pro in that yes, all three of these services are “value adds” on top of the base platform experience. Stadia, however, is a very different service than what Sony and Microsoft offer. This changes the value proposition of Stadia Pro relative to Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus.When Will Google Kill It?Another question gamers raised is whether Google is invested in the product in the way it needs to be to encourage players to invest in it. This is not an unfair question. Every large company launches and retires products. But few, if any, do so at the rate Google has.As this article discusses, from just January to April 2019, Google retired the Chromecast Audio, removed YouTube annotations, abandoned Louisville KY’s fiber installation, dropped IoT support from Android Things, gutted its laptop and tablet division, shut down Google Allo, closed its Spotlight Stories VR studio, stopped accepting new users for the Goo.gl URL shortener, shut down IFTT support, and ended both Google+ and Google Inbox.The Google Cemetery lists 155 projects that Google has killed, as well as some statistics on its long-term behavior:2019 is shaping up to be a very good year for shutdowns, though 2011 is the easy leader.When asked whether there were any EoL guarantees associated with Stadia, Doronichev implied that gaming moving to the cloud is no different than the way music, movies, photos, and documents have already done. He emphasized Google’s investment to date in Stadia before declaring:[W]e’re committed to making Stadia a success. The games you buy on Stadia are yours to play. From day one we’ll support Takeout, so that you can download your game metadata, including saves if you want to.Of course, it’s ok to doubt my words. Theres nothing I can say now to make you believe if you don’t. But what we can do is to launch the service and continue investing in it for years to come. Exactly how we’ve been doing with gMail, Docs, Music, Movies and Photos. That’s exactly what we’re committed to.The actual question, however, was: “If the Stadia service is discontinued, do we know what (if anything) will happen with game purchases? Alternately, are they any minimum EoL guarantees, etc.”Donichev never actually answers the question, leaving the de facto answer: “No.” He begins by drawing parallels to how movies, documents, and photos have moved to the cloud, but he ignores that this content has either generally been made available on streaming sites with Netflix-style content systems or that the cloud services in question are used for storing one’s own personal data. Stadia isn’t the same as these services. The fact that Google continues to try and elide that difference is troubling.You can quit subscribing to Stadia Pro and still access the games you’ve purchased (though not the titles you got for free for being a subscriber). If Google shuts Stadia down, however, you’ll lose access to the titles you bought. This point is being confused in some spaces, with reports that you can “quit” the service and still keep the titles you previously got for being a subscriber. This does not appear to be the case. You regain these titles if you resubscribe, but that’s not the same as having a version of a game you can download and keep if the company decides to shut its servers down.No company ramping up for a major launch is going to declare that they only intend to operate a service for the short term or imply no one at Google is committed to making the launch a success. The fact that Google didn’t have anything to share about an EOL guarantee could mean that the company simply hasn’t finalized that aspect of its service, but given the company’s history, Google is one of the last companies I would bet on when it comes to the long-term question of whether it will keep a product in-market.Google Docs is a major component of Google’s efforts to take on Microsoft Office as a business productivity suite. Some of Google’s other cloud services are directly tied to Android. Google Stadia, in contrast, is an attempt to take on Microsoft and Sony in an entirely new market with an unproven business model. If Stadia takes off, Google will keep it. If it doesn’t — and keep in mind, we have no idea what metrics the company has set internally for what “takes off” means — then Google is one of the companies least likely to commit to iterative improvement or a marketing pivot. Google may rehabilitate some of its products, but its long-term tendency has always been to throw them away and launch something new. (This is how the company ended up with seven messaging platforms simultaneously at one point).If you’re the type of person to buy a game, beat it, and never play it again, this risk may not matter to you. But evaluated in terms of its commitment to offering users long-term platform support, no Silicon Valley company I can think of has done a worse job than Google. Some companies dig in and make products better; some companies throw them out and start over. Google has always tended far more towards the latter than the former.Other PointsOther tidbits from the AMA include:Stadia game prices will be competitive with other platforms. Playing on a TV will require a Stadia Controller ($69) and Chromecast Ultra ($69), though there’s also Founders Edition for preorder that includes these components, three months of Stadia Pro, and a coupon to give Stadia Pro to someone else for the same time period for $130.If you unsubscribe from Stadia and resubscribe later, you will regain access to games that you claimed while you were a Pro subscriber. You will not receive games that were given away while you were unsubscribed.Bluetooth audio support will not be present at launch but may be added at a later date. Support for audio through the Stadia Controller is via headphone jack only.Google is committed to adding support for cross-play. The company is starting with adding support to Chromecast Ultra but might enable the service on other devices. Andrey wants to add support for iOS and Android as well.Achievement support will be added post-launch but not available on day one.The free game per month offer is for Pro users only. The game is yours to keep for as long as you remain a subscriber. Stadia Base does not include a game, only the option to buy games.Google thinks ISPs will raise data caps to allow services like Stadia to function without eating all your bandwidth. There will be some unspecified tools and services for bandwidth management. Doronichev writes, “There’s a lot of great ISPs offering plans with 100s of mbps or even gigabits and no caps,” which is really cute, considering roughly 40 percent of the country, including myself, has access to exactly one ISP.Family sharing is coming “early next year.”On the whole, it’s a solid AMA, but I’d wait a year or three before investing any money into the platform. Google has been far too willing in the past to kill products that were passionately loved by its user base for me to put any faith in the company not to kill Stadia at the drop of a hat. It has never cared about the fact that users depended on products like Hangouts or Reader when it made the decision to kill them, and it doesn’t deserve to be trusted to have started now — unless, of course, the company is willing to explicitly guarantee it in writing. Thus far, Google has not done so.I will not be recommending that anyone buy products on Stadia unless Google is willing to provide a written guarantee that it will provide the service for a minimum length of time. “Trust us,” is a flatly unacceptable answer at this point.Now Read: How Google’s Stadia Game Streaming Service Can SucceedGoogle Reveals Stadia Pricing, Launch Date, and GamesGoogle Stadia Will Eat 1TB Bandwidth Caps for Breakfast The Tragedy of Marie Osmond Just Keeps Getting Sadder and Sadder By Joel Hruska on July 19, 2019 at 4:32 pm Facebook Twitter Linkedin Pinterest Google Plus Reddit Hacker News Flipboard Email Copy 0shares This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet 11 Comments Jason Momoa’s Marriage Just Keeps Getting Weirder and Weirder Tagged In microsoftgooglegamingsonyconsole gamingcloud gamingStadiagoogle hangoutsgoogle readerGoogle CemeteryGoogle ChatGtalk Post a Comment 11 Commentslast_img read more

Microsoft Blocks Windows 10 May 2019 Update on Surface Book 2

first_img This is Where ‘Thor 4’ Will Take Place in the Marvel Timeline This Is Where ‘The Man With the Golden Voice’ Ended Up The Most Inappropriate Comic Book Characters Ever Tagged In microsoftwindowswindows 10bugsmicrosoft surfacesatya nadellaWindows 10 1903Surface Book 2Windows 10 2019 May Update Post a Comment 2 Comments By Joel Hruska on July 16, 2019 at 3:29 pm Artist Reimagines Iconic Disney Scenes with a Hilarious Twist The Most Offensive Video Game Characters of All Time Here’s How To Catch And Purify Shadow Pokemon In ‘Pokemon Go’ You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet Facebook Twitter Linkedin Pinterest Google Plus Reddit Hacker News Flipboard Email Copy 0shares This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. Microsoft Blocks Windows 10 May 2019 Update on Surface Book 2 Microsoft has been forced to block the Windows 10 May 2019 update from its own hardware, due to incompatibilities with the GPUs used in its Surface Book 2. It’s the latest self-own from a company that promised its new methods of rolling out updates and patches would result in more consumer trust and fewer issues four years ago. So far, those promises have not materialized.Microsoft’s methods of testing Windows 10 have been broken for years. After Satya Nadella took over as CEO, Microsoft made QA changes that left programmers in charge of fixing their own bugs and turned Windows 10 users into voluntary beta testers via the Windows Insider program. Unfortunately, members of the Windows Insider program rarely use the OS as a daily driver (and Microsoft does not recommend doing so). This has been the explanation for how certain flaws have shipped on an ongoing basis.Microsoft has repeatedly shipped updates with significant problems, though the number of people hit by said problems has varied. We’ve seen the company push major updates that deleted decades worth of customer files, caused blue screens when certain USB devices were plugged in, and broke various other critical system components, including third-party antivirus utilities, System Restore, Windows Media Player, and file associations. The Windows 10 May 2019 update is already blocked on PCs that use USB storage and SD cards. Microsoft has made much of the fact that its overall incidence rate has declined over time, but has not addressed user concerns about the severity of some of the bugs it has introduced.From Microsoft’s compatibility warning page.In this case, as PCMag reports via ZDNet, a bug in the Windows 10 2019 update causes the secondary Nvidia GPU on the Surface Book 2 to vanish. Since the main reason to buy a Surface Book 2 is for the unique design that allows for an Nvidia discrete GPU in a thin portable with a detachable option, this is a major flaw. It is not clear why this flaw solely affects the Surface Book 2 but not the Surface Book. It appears to have been discovered as Microsoft gears up to push the May 2019 update out to larger numbers of customers, due to the large number of people still using the April 1803 update, which officially leaves support in November of this year.As a side note: Microsoft has also identified an issue with 1903 that causes gamma ramps, color profiles, and night light settings to stop working. I’m fairly certain this explains the distinct purple tint that’s been popping up on testbeds in between driver swaps and occasionally in the middle of reboots. We didn’t mention this in the Gigabyte Aorus Xtreme 8GB review or the 5700 / 5700 XT review, but I’ve talked about it with several other publications and they’ve been seeing oddities around driver updates as well. If you do happen to run into this weird purple-tint issue, it can sometimes be solved by rebooting or by reinstalling a display driver. In one case, setting a specific color profile for the monitor I was using also worked. It causes the Windows 10 blue screen that pops up when you Ctrl-Alt-Delete to be a distinct shade of purple but does not harm performance (it does, however, wreck screen colors and is generally off-putting to look at).Now Read:Microsoft Includes Telemetry Update in Security Patches, Raising Fears About Company MotivesMicrosoft Kills Automatic Registry Backups in Windows 10Bill Gates: My Greatest Mistake Ever Was Letting Microsoft Lose to Android We Finally Understand Why ‘Criminal Minds’ Got Canceled Dani From ‘Girl Next Door’ is Absolutely Gorgeous Now at 36 2 Commentslast_img read more

Marketpoint to Preview NextGen CRM Solution featuring Zuant Integration at CRM Evolution

first_imgMarketpoint to Preview NextGen CRM Solution featuring Zuant Integration at CRM Evolution MTS Staff WriterApril 23, 2019, 6:57 pmApril 23, 2019 Global CRM Pioneer Marketpoint Will Preview the Relaunch of Its Signature Solution, Marketpoint CRM 3.0, During the 2019 CRM Evolution Conference and Expo. This Year’s Show Will Be Held at the Renaissance Washington DC Hotel, April 29 – May 1. Register Here and Visit Marketpoint in Booth #400Global CRM pioneer Marketpoint will preview the relaunch of its signature solution, Marketpoint CRM 3.0, during the 2019 CRM Evolution Conference and Expo. This year’s show will be held at the Renaissance Washington DC Hotel, April 29 – May 1.Now celebrating its 21st year, Marketpoint CRM is the world’s first web-based CRM system. Version 3.0 will be officially relaunched this fall and features full integration with Zuant, an award-winning mobile app for lead retrieval. Used by sales and marketing professionals worldwide, the advanced solution is currently being beta tested by Civica, one of Marketpoint’s largest clients.“The Marketpoint team is thrilled to exhibit at CRM Evolution for the first time,” said Peter Gillett, CEO of Marketpoint and Zuant. “We look forward to showcasing Marketpoint CRM 3.0 and receiving valuable feedback from some of the industry’s top CRM gurus.”Marketing Technology News: AdGreetz Launches First, Fully-Automated & Integrated Marketing Platform, AdChefMarketpoint CRM / Zuant IntegrationMarketpoint CRM 3.0 features secure GDPR user access, an advanced UI for peak performance, database profiling & management, visual lead qualification & tracking, real-time marketing reports and sales forecasting. Marketpoint CRM delivers end to end relationship management, accessible anywhere, and all supported through its integration with Zuant. A sister company to Marketpoint, Zuant offers mobile event lead capture solutions. Connected to Marketpoint CRM, users can now manage their leads from the initial event all the way to sales follow up and close – providing marketing with much needed visibility into campaign ROI.Marketing Technology News: Philo Reveals Connected TV Ad Platform to Reach Latest Generation of TV LoversThe new application has been re-written from the ground up, incorporating a modern, layered approach, utilizing the latest Angular front end framework to drive the client side application. This communicates with a web API written in ASP.Net using json data. This interfaces with the SQL server database running on Rackspace.Marketing Technology News: HipChat Founders Launch Swoot, a Social Podcast App Artificial IntelligenceCRM EvolutionGDPRMarketing TechnologyMarketpointNewsZuant Integration Previous ArticleG2Crowd Named Panoply “High Performer” Data WarehouseNext ArticleCision 2019 State of the Media Report Reveals a Decline in Distrust of the Media and Growing Concerns About Staffing and Resourceslast_img read more

Influencer Marketing Is Maturing Heres What You Need to Know

first_imgInfluencer Marketing Is Maturing: Here’s What You Need to Know PRNewswireJune 15, 2019, 7:00 pmJune 14, 2019 Julius, a leading influencer marketing platform, recently published its State of Influencers Report 2019 in coordination with New York public relations and digital marketing agency, Lippe Taylor. For the report, Julius conducted an in-depth survey of 300 influencers, asking about their motivations, how they leverage social media, and their preferences when working with brands.“Influencers are motivated more by the opportunity to be creative or share their passions and expertise than they are by financial drivers,” says Amy Nutt, VP of Marketing, Julius. “Overall, they’re thoughtful about opportunities and looking to build long-term relationships with brands that align with their audiences and content.” The survey also explored influencers’ approach to authenticity, regulations, management, and compensation. Despite media reports to the contrary, influencers have a keen sense of what behaviors are fraudulent or unethical, and fewer than 20 percent of influencers report seeing such behaviors frequently. In fact, 80 percent consider it very important to be a fan of a brand to create sponsored content for that brand, and 84 percent follow the FTC guidelines for influencer marketing, using #ad, #sponsored, or #brandpartner in sponsored posts.Marketing Technology News: VidMob Closes $25 Million In Series B Financing To Fuel Global Expansion Of Creative Technology Platform, Agile Creative Studio“As marketers have become more sophisticated in their use and application of influencer marketing, so have the influencers,” said Amy. “More than a third of our respondents consider being an influencer a full-time job or are transitioning to full-time soon, and 18 percent of full-time influencers earn more than $100,000 annually as an influencer. It’s becoming a viable career path, and influencers are invested in keeping the industry honest and authentic.”Marketing Technology News: Oracle Moat to Measure Viewability for Samsung AdsBeyond quantitative results, the survey also included the open-ended question: What’s the one piece of advice you’d give marketers who are looking to partner with influencers? Respecting influencer creativity, negotiating fairly, communicating clearly, and being a good partner were all popular responses.Marketing Technology News: VidMob Closes $25 Million In Series B Financing To Fuel Global Expansion Of Creative Technology Platform, Agile Creative Studiocenter_img Digital Marketing AgencyInfluencer marketingJuliusMarketing TechnologyNewsState of Influencers Report Previous ArticleTallwave Earns Key Industry Awards from the American Marketing Association; Also Claims Spot as a Top Company to Work for in ArizonaNext ArticleThe Age of AI and Wall Streetlast_img read more

Orange County United Way and Salesforce Team Up to Revolutionize Philanthropy

first_imgOrange County United Way and Salesforce Team Up to Revolutionize Philanthropy PRNewswireJune 26, 2019, 9:43 pmJune 26, 2019 Today’s employees are socially conscious, and more engaged than ever with their local communities and the world at large. New generations of the workforce expect the companies they work for to prioritize giving back and be engaged in meaningful corporate social responsibility campaigns. The 2018 Charitable Giving Statistics from Nonprofit Source found that 88% of millennials find their job more fulfilling when they have opportunities to make a positive impact on society and the environment, and employees who did engage in corporate giving programs have 75% longer tenures with the company.Marketing Technology News: Eggplant Expands Test Automation Across Entire Lifecycle United Way and Salesforce have partnered to create the next-generation philanthropy platform. Philanthropy Cloud is a first-of-its-kind network platform that transforms the way corporations connect with employees to engage and support workplace giving and streamline volunteering. Orange County United Way and Salesforce have partnered to revolutionize workplace giving and volunteering through first-ever corporate social responsibility platform called Philanthropy Cloud. First-ever corporate philanthropy platform, Philanthropy Cloud, streamlines volunteering and transforms workplace giving Philanthropy Cloud connects every aspect of social giving into a single portal and makes it easier than ever for employees to engage in volunteering experiences and drive impact through simple, one-click actions.“Philanthropy is changing, especially in a workplace setting. More employees, shareholders and investors expect companies to put corporate giving at the forefront of their business plans,” said Susan B. Parks, President and CEO, Orange County United Way. “Philanthropy Cloud combines innovation and social impact to bring a simple, personalized giving experience to the marketplace for the first time and makes creating a robust corporate social responsibility campaign easier than ever. It’s the latest digital disruptor and it’s revolutionizing the future of workplace giving.”Philanthropy Cloud provides an end-to-end solution leveraging Salesforce’s technology to deliver a comprehensive impact platform that includes managing donations, setting year-round goals, organizing and tracking volunteer opportunities and hours, mapping individual philanthropy goals against friends, team and corporate goals, and assessing total personal, community and company impact.Marketing Technology News: Whitebox Raises $5 Million in Series A Funding to Accelerate eCommerce “Factory Floor to Front Door” Tech PlatformWith the platform, employees create a unique profile with their philanthropic interests and preferences. From there, artificial intelligence software is used to deliver personalized, relevant content for each user – helping employees discover volunteer and giving opportunities that are meaningful to them.The partnership draws upon on the strengths of both partners – its traditional charity meets cutting-edge technology for the first time. Philanthropy Cloud offers all the technology and innovation you’d expect from the Salesforce brand combined with the philanthropy expertise of United Way.Nearly 100 companies across the country have already signed to adopt the platform, including Kellogg and Deloitte, to help them build a deeper connection with their employees and make a greater impact in their communities.Orange County United Way is hosting an exclusive, free Philanthropy Cloud launch event on Thursday, August 1 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Lincoln Experience Center at Fashion Island, giving companies an up-close look at the new platform and its ability to accelerate their local impact and streamline employee volunteering.Marketing Technology News: Top of Mind Networks Adds BombBomb Integration to Surefire CRM cloudMarketing Technology NewsNewsOrange CountySalesforceUnited Way Previous ArticleQualtrics Ranked #1 Enterprise Leader for Customer Experience and Employee Experience in Industry-Leading Product RankingNext ArticleInnovid Continues Rapid Global Expansion with New Tokyo Office and Appointment of Toichiro Watanabe as Regional Director, Japanlast_img read more

Crateio Receives 2019 IoT Evolution Industrial IoT Product of the Year Award

first_img Crate.ioCrateDBIoT database technologyIoT Evolution WorldMarketing Technology NewsNews Previous ArticleOracle Names Rona Fairhead to the Board of DirectorsNext ArticleTactical Marketing Automation Announces Master List Creation Tool for Act-On Software CrateDB Cloud for Iot Honored for Exceptional Innovation in Managing and Scaling Industrial Time-Series Data Across a Multitude of Businesses and Use CasesCrate.io, developer and supplier of the IoT database technology CrateDB with a focus on Industrial IoT use cases, announced that CrateDB Cloud for IoT has received a 2019 IoT Evolution Industrial IoT Product of the Year Award from IoT Evolution World, a leading magazine and website covering IoT technologies. The award honors “the best, most innovative products and solutions powering the Industrial Internet of Things.”Connected factories, energy networks, smart city infrastructure, vehicle fleets, and other business-critical Industrial IoT use cases generate millions of sensor readings every minute, demand 100s of terabytes of retained data, and can have hundreds or thousands of disparate sensor message data structures. Whereas other time-series databases were built for smaller IT monitoring scenarios and cannot manage these massive – and growing – industrial time-series data requirements, CrateDB Cloud is built to consistently meet organizations’ IIoT data requirements.CrateDB Cloud is a scalable SQL cloud service fully-managed and operated by Crate.io, which makes it extraordinarily simple to build scaling real-time backends for IIoT applications. Used and trusted by large enterprises including Nokia, Gantner Instruments, Qualtrics, Comcast, and ALPLA, CrateDB Cloud features unlimited scaling and 10x better price performance when compared to other time-series cloud databases. The database is capable of handling millions of IIoT data points per second with fast, linearly-scalable data ingestion.Marketing Technology News: British Gas Goes the Extra Mile to Improve Customer Experiences with Local“Through the optimized IIoT data architecture enabled by CrateDB’s time-series database, Industrial IoT customers have consistently seen 75% savings in cloud costs,” said Christian Lutz, CEO, Crate.io. “Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) – the standard for measuring manufacturing productivity – has also improved significantly for organizations on CrateDB. One of our biggest IIoT customers (18,000 employees at nearly 200 locations) has seen dashboard queries 250x faster than their incumbent solution (getting results in milliseconds, not minutes). Another customer can now combine nearly 1000 different IIoT sensor readings into a single table for easier maintenance and faster querying. Industrial IoT applications are incredibly data-intensive, and CrateDB Cloud for IoT is purpose-built to handle them.”“The solutions selected for the Industrial IoT Product of Year Awards represent the diverse range of innovation driving the multi-billion dollar IoT market today. It is my honor to congratulate Crate.io for their innovative work and superior contribution to the rapidly evolving IoT industry,” said Ken Briodagh, Editorial Director for IoT Evolution.Marketing Technology News: New ISG Study Focuses on Digital Business Services“It is my pleasure to recognize CrateDB Cloud for IoT, an innovative solution that earned Crate.io the 2019 Industrial IoT Product of the Year Award,” said Rich Tehrani, CEO, TMC. “I look forward to seeing more innovation from Crate.io in the future.”Marketing Technology News: Nordic XR-company Bublar Group Acquires Finnish Augmented Reality Pioneer Sayduck Crate.io Receives 2019 IoT Evolution Industrial IoT Product of the Year Award Globe NewswireJuly 11, 2019, 3:18 pmJuly 11, 2019 last_img read more

Google Admits Humans Listen to Our Conversations With Assistant But Its Policies

first_imgGoogle is defending the policy that allows humans in the company to hear audio recordings of conversations between users and its Google Assistant software. These audio recordings are expected to hold personal information, sensitive information including locations and addresses, business conversations and even private chats in the comport of your home. Google has said that humans only review a fraction of all the conversations that millions of users have with Assistant globally. Google Assistant is the artificially intelligent voice assistant that is available on Android smartphones, Android TV based smart TVs and the Google Home line-up of smart speakers. “Language experts only review around 0.2 percent of all audio snippets. Audio snippets are not associated with user accounts as part of the review process, and reviewers are directed not to transcribe background conversations or other noises, and only to transcribe snippets that are directed to Google,” says David Monsees, Product Manager, Search, in an official statement, before adding “We apply a wide range of safeguards to protect user privacy throughout the entire review process.” The tech giant has responded after Belgian public broadcaster VRT NWS detailed how contract workers have access to audio recordings and can listen in on user conversations with Google’s virtual assistant platform. Google insists that the human workers listen to parts of the conversations to help Assistant improve its responses and be able to work well with multiple languages. “As part of our work to develop speech technology for more languages, we partner with language experts around the world who understand the nuances and accents of a specific language. These language experts review and transcribe a small set of queries to help us better understand those languages. This is a critical part of the process of building speech technology, and is necessary to creating products like the Google Assistant,” says Monsees. It surely must be for our own good then.Then there is the good old excuse of “Google Assistant only sends audio to Google after your device detects that you’re interacting with the Assistant—for example, by saying “Hey Google” or by physically triggering the Google Assistant.” And we are also told that the indication on our smartphone screens and the flashing LEDs on the Google Home speakers are indicators that the smart speaker is now listening. “Rarely, devices that have the Google Assistant built in may experience what we call a “false accept.” This means that there was some noise or words in the background that our software interpreted to be the hotword (like “Ok Google”). We have a number of protections in place to prevent false accepts from occurring in your home,” is Google’s way of assuring us. If you buy it, that is. What is not clear from Google’s clarification is how these audio clips are selected for manual scanning, what sort of access Google’s own employees or the contract workers have and how this is being used to make general language improvements. It was quite shocking how Tim Verheyden, a journalist with Belgian public broadcaster VRT, was able to get access to thousands of audio clips from a Google contractor, and this included audio captured from smart speakers and Android phones. The conversations included sensitive information such as addresses being discussed. The privacy information for Google’s home devices do not provide any clarity on whether the company uses human workers to review audio clips of interactions you do with Google Assistant. If we are to look at the Data security & privacy policy for Google Home, there is absolutely no clarification for this. Let us look at the question – “What does Google do with the data it collects?” Google has given a long winding answer to this question, but this is perhaps an example of saying a lot and not saying anything at the same time. Google says, “First and foremost, we use data to make our services faster, smarter, and more useful to you, such as by providing better search results and timely traffic updates. Data also helps protect you from malware, phishing, and other suspicious activity. For example, we warn you when you try to visit dangerous websites. Also, on surfaces where we show ads, we use data to show you ads that are relevant and useful, and to keep our services free for everyone. Google Home learns over time to provide better and more personalized suggestions and answers.” Then comes the question – “ Where are you saving my data?” To this, Google clarifies with “Google stores data about your interactions with the Google Assistant on its servers, which reside in its data centers.” Interesting. You might, at this point, want to ask – “Is my data safe with Google?” To this, the tech giant says, “Your security comes first in everything we do. If your data is not secure, it is not private. That is why we make sure that Google services are protected by one of the world’s most advanced security infrastructures.” Again, this look like perfect PR speak. The big question – “Is Google Home recording all of my conversations?” You really want to know, don’t you? Google’s response starts off with “No.” Mind you, look carefully at the word “no”. The company says “No. Google Home listens in short (a few seconds) snippets for the hotword. Those snippets are deleted if the hotword is not detected, and none of that information leaves your device until the hotword is heard. When Google Home detects that you’ve said “Ok Google” or “Hey Google”, or that you’ve physically long pressed the top of your Google Home device, the LEDs on top of the device light up to tell you that recording is happening, Google Home records what you say, and sends that recording (including the few-second hotword recording) to Google in order to fulfill your request. You can delete these recordings through My Activity anytime. When you interact with your Assistant by voice, we may use the text of those interactions to inform your interests for ad personalization.”Did you get any indication so far that some human working at Google or some Google contractor will be sitting somewhere on planet earth listening to you talking about how your child’s growth has been so far, where you intend to go on a date over the weekend, how much money your bank account has and when you need to use the washroom? No? We didn’t, either.The next question – “Does Google Home share my information with anyone / my contacts / Google / other apps / advertisers / other companies?” Oh, that’s a biggie. Google says, “We do not sell your personal information to anyone. There are some circumstances where we share information with third parties, which are listed in Google’s Privacy Policy. On Google Home, if you request a service from a business like Uber, we will send information you’ve provided to that service to complete a booking or confirm a ride. In these cases, we will have previously asked you to give us permission to share that information with that service.” Nope, we again didn’t hear anything about Google contractors listening to our conversations claiming to make Assistant’s language responses better. But okay, Google did mention that it may share some information with third parties based on their own Privacy Policy. So, let us look at that. Oh no. “We’ll share personal information outside of Google when we have your consent. For example, if you use Google Home to make a reservation through a booking service, we’ll get your permission before sharing your name or phone number with the restaurant. We’ll ask for your explicit consent to share any sensitive personal information,” says the privacy policy. The policy also states, “We provide personal information to our affiliates and other trusted businesses or persons to process it for us, based on our instructions and in compliance with our Privacy Policy and any other appropriate confidentiality and security measures. For example, we use service providers to help us with customer support.” But who are these affiliates? The description given for affiliate, as shared by Google is, “An affiliate is an entity that belongs to the Google group of companies, including the following companies that provide consumer services in the EU: Google Ireland Limited, Google Commerce Ltd, Google Payment Corp, and Google Dialer Inc. Learn more about the companies providing business services in the EU.” Are Google Contractors a part of the Google group of companies? Because if they are not, then did Google take anyone’s consent to share the audio clips with contractors?At least Amazon lets you say “Alexa delete everything I said today” so that you can then sleep in peace after the great digital purge for the day. Including all intended conversations with the smart assistant, and all “false accepts” too. advertisingamazon alexaamazon primeandroid First Published: July 12, 2019, 10:17 AM ISTlast_img read more

Microsoft Windows Hearts Backgammon and Other Internet Games Are Coming to an

first_imgSoftware giant Microsoft is killing all of its iconic Internet games including Hearts, Spades, Checkers, Backgammon, MSN Go and Reversi from Windows version XP, ME and 7. The company would be focusing on developing and launching its xCloud Xbox streaming service that would be debuting in October, CNET reported on Friday. “While Microsoft Internet Games services on Windows XP and ME will end on July 31, 2019, services on Windows 7 will end on January 22, 2020,” M. Hamer, Microsoft Agent and moderator from the Windows Gaming Team wrote in a blog post. According to the post, the company is looking forward to work with its hardware and software partners in investing their resources towards more recent technologies. “While we’re saddened to leave this chapter behind, we continue to be committed to delivering engaging, delightful gaming experiences. We hope you’ll come with us on this journey and join the community of any of the other Microsoft casual games,” Hamer added. With its upcoming October xCloud Xbox streaming service, the software giant would let users play 3,500 games in the Xbox One library and the 1,900 titles still in development on devices like phones and tablets. backgammoncheckersheartsmicrosoft First Published: July 13, 2019, 3:56 PM IST | Edited by: —last_img read more

A Celebrated Dancer Madhuri Dixit is Not to Keen on Turning Choreographer

first_imgBollywood’s dancing diva Madhuri Dixit Nene, a judge on reality TV show Dance Deewane—which will have talent from three different age groups competing for a title—says age should not come in the way of one’s talent.”I believe that age cannot and should not restrict someone to dance. Earlier in other dance shows, usually children would participate and the parents would watch the performance as a part of the audience. “With this show, we are breaking that norm and the whole family gets to participate… from three generations—the kids, their parents as well as grandparents. This year, we have got so much active participation from the elder generation because they have got encouragement from our first season,” Madhuri told IANS.She will be one of the judges alongside filmmaker Shashank Khaitan and dancer-choreographer Tushar Kalia. The show which will go on air on Colors TV from June 15.On if she has any interest in exploring her talent as a choreographer, Madhuri said, “Recently, I went to a music reality TV show called Rising Star, where I did an impromptu performance. Shankar Mahadevan, one of the judges of the show, was singing a beautiful tarana and I was dancing on that.”I just realised that I can choreograph for myself that way. But I do not know if I will be able to choreograph for others as a regular choreographer,” she said.”I know my skill as a dancer and accordingly I can present it. But as a choreographer, you do it for another talent. Right now, I am not sure if I want to explore that. “Who knows, tomorrow I might take it as a challenge and try my hand at it… but no immediate plan,” she added.Follow @News18Movies for more. Dance DeewaneMadhuri DixitMadhuri Dixit danceMadhuri Dixit dance deewane First Published: May 29, 2019, 9:36 AM ISTlast_img read more

EC Bans Release of Filmmaker RamGopal Varmas NTR Biopic Until End of

first_imgAmaravati: The Election Commission on Tuesday directed filmmaker Ramgopal Varma Tuesday not to release ‘Lakshmi’s NTR’, the biopic based on the life of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister NT Rama Rao, reiterating its April 10 order not to screen it and another movie until further orders.The biopic was planned to be released on May 1. State Chief Electoral Officer Gopal Krishna Dwivedi informed Varma, in reply to the latter’s letter, that the movie should not be released till the model code of conduct was in force.Dwivedi cited the Election Commission of India’s April 10 order related to biopics and said it should be adhered to.The EC had on April 10 ordered the producers of ‘Laxmi’s NTR’ and ‘Udyama Simham’, the two biopics based on the lives of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister NT Rama Rao and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao respectively, not to release the movies till further orders.It had said that any biopic material in the nature of biography/hagiography sub-serving the purpose of any political entity or an individual entity connected to it, which is intended to, or which has the potential to disturb the level playing field during the elections should not be displayed in electronic media including cinematography during the operation of Model Code of Conduct.’Lakshmis NTR’ is based on the life of Telugu Desam founder and former Chief Minister NT Rama Rao. Following a ban imposed by the Andhra Pradesh High Court, the movie could not be released in the state early this month, though it hit the screens in all other places.”It has been brought to the notice of the Commission that the said movie is publicized as a biopic of late N T Rama Rao, which purported to depict N Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and a leader of a recognised political party, in a manner allegedly diminishing the electoral prospect of his party. You are hereby directed not to exhibit the film till further orders,” the ECI had said in its April 10 order.As the general elections in the state were completed on April 11, Ramgopal Varma wrote to the CEO on April 25, requesting exhibition of “Lakshmi’s NTR” in Andhra Pradesh.The CEO, however, rejected Varma’s plea and maintained that the film should not be released till further orders. 2019 lok sabha electionsAndhra Pradeshelection commissionNT Rama Rao First Published: April 30, 2019, 7:33 PM ISTlast_img read more

Singham Punjabi Teaser Parmish Verma Steals the Show as Inspector Dilsher Singh

first_img Aata Majhi SatakliAjay DevgnDhartiDilsher Singh First Published: July 3, 2019, 6:20 PM IST The Bollywood fans might be well-aware of Ajay Devgn’s ‘Aata Majhi Satakli’ in Rohit Shetty’s Singham. Well, the fans of Polywood have something new to rejoice as the official teaser of the Punjabi version of Singham is already out. Starring Parmish Verma in the lead role, the movie is scheduled to release on August 9. Sharing the teaser of the Punjabi version of the Ajay Devgn’s movie, T-series wrote, “Watch the teaser of Singham (Punjabi) now. Film releases 9th August.”Watch the teaser of Singham (Punjabi) now. Film releases 9th August.https://t.co/KkT6Cydbg2@ParmishVerma @bajwasonam #KartarCheema #NavaniatSingh @ADFFilms @PanoramaMovies @KumarMangat @AbhishekPathakk @ajaydevgn @itsBhushanKumar— TSeries (@TSeries) July 3, 2019 Actor-producer Ajay Devgn and producer Bhushan Kumar also took to Twitter to share the teaser of the upcoming Punjabi movie. The makers of the movie made sure to release the official teaser of the movie on the birthday of Punjabi singer Parmish Verma, who is playing police officer Dilsher Singh.In the teaser, Verma can be seen as a strong-headed honest cop who pledges to fight against injustice. The one-minute long video the video in around a minute gives a good scoop of action and thrill that the Pollywood film is packed with.Apart from the same background score of Hindi movie Singham, Parmish Verma also tries to recreate the famous dialogue ‘Aata Majhi Satakli’ in his own style with apt Punjabi translation. The Punjabi version of Singham is directed by Navaniat Singh, who has directed films such as Mel Karade Rabba, Dharti and Taur Mittran Di in the past. The movie also stars Sonam Bajwa in the lead role, however, her appearance was missing in the teaser.Follow @News18Movies for more last_img read more

Wondering Where Did the Dothraki Go in Game of Thrones Here Are

first_imgGame of Thrones wrapped up its eight-season long saga in May, with many unanswered questions to plague people’s minds. One prominent one was the fate of the Dothraki horde, who sailed across the seas with Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) to Westeros, only to be suggestively killed off in a great visual effects sequence that involved the savages’ weapons ignited, as they thundered towards the forces of the Night King.It may seem like the entire fleet of the Dothraki was left for dead in The Long Night episode, they do make a comeback in the later episodes when Daenerys decides to attack King’s Landing. Some of them also appear in the funeral ceremony conducted at Winterfell, but not as many needed to take over King’s Landing. So what could’ve happened with the most-feared forces in Game of Thrones? Here are the possibilities:Not with Grey Worm and The UnsulliedConsidering the Dothraki are wary of allegiance, except towards their Khal, its highly unlikely that they boarded the ship with Grey Worm. Moreover, there was no sign of them on the Unsullied ships. The Dothraki are not in WesterosThe Dothraki’s fear plagued the minds of the lords of Westeros, who were scared of their pillaging ways. It is unlikely that they were welcome to stay back after the great war between the two queens- Daenerys and Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey)- was over. Also, they don’t have the wherewithal to manage the high life of Westeros, that is money and means.The Dothraki are clueless without the KhalThe Dothrakis are trained to obey and follow the Khal. When Daenerys dies in season 8, it is likely that they are left in the lurking, without a leader to lead their cause, whatever it maybe. There’s a possibility that a new Khal will rise amongst them, but the makers were a little insensitive towards their combined character arc.The Dothraki basically sum up everything wrong with the final season of Game of Thrones. What becomes of them eventually is still shrouded in mystery, worthy of being unlocked by fans and watchers. What’s your take on their fate?Follow @News18Movies for more Bad WritersBattle of Winterfellcersei lannisterdaenerys targaryen First Published: July 11, 2019, 3:31 PM ISTlast_img read more

Marital Rape Reduces Woman to Corpse Must be Made Ground for Divorce

first_imgNew Delhi: A plea was filed in the Delhi High Court on Wednesday seeking direction to the Centre to frame guidelines for registration of FIR for marital rape as also laws for making it a ground for divorce.The PIL sought that there should be a clear guideline for registration of cases related to marital rape under framed guidelines and laws, so that accountability, responsibility and liability of the authorities concerned can be fixed. The plea, likely to be listed next week, was filed after the Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain it and asked the petitioner, advocate Anuja Kapur, to approach the high court for relief. She also sought direction to the government for fixing appropriate punishment/ penalties for violation of the guidelines and laws to be framed and enacted respectively.”Marital rape is no less an offence than murder, culpable homicide or rape per se. It denigrates the honour and dignity of a human being, and reduces her to a chattel to be utilised for one’s self convenience and comfort. It reduces a woman to a corpse, living under the constant fear of hurt or injury. Medical evidence proves that rape has severe and long-lasting consequences for women,” the plea said.Kapur said in her plea that at present there is an ambiguity in the implementation of the context of marital rape as a ground of punishment or penalty during the registration of such a case in ambit of law.”There is a lot of confusion with the concerned authorities that under which law they should register an FIR / case related to marital rape. There should be a clear guideline for registration of the case of marital rape under framed guidelines and laws, so that accountability, responsibility and liability of the concerned authorities can be assigned and, penalties and punishments be awarded to safeguard the fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution and dignity of the woman in marriage,” the plea said.Since marital rape at present is not a crime, there is no FIR registered by a wife against her husband in any police station, it said. Rather, it is being compromised by the police authorities to maintain the sanctity of the marriage between the victim and the husband, it added.”As marital rape is not a ground for a divorce in Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 and Special Marriage Act, 1954, it cannot be used as a ground for divorce and cruelty against husband,” it said. delhi high courthindu marriage actMarital RapeMuslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act First Published: July 3, 2019, 5:34 PM ISTlast_img read more

Jharkhand High Court Asks State Govt to Submit Report on Tabrez Ansari

first_imgRanchi: The Jharkhand High Court Monday asked the state government to submit a report on the lynching of Tabrez Ansari by a mob in Seraikela-Kharswan district.Hearing a PIL filed by Pankaj Yadav demanding a high- level inquiry into the incident, the division bench of justices H C Mishra and Deepak Roshan asked the state government to submit an action-taken report on July 17, the next date of hearing of the case. The bench also directed the Ranchi police to give a report on July 17 about the recent incidents in the district. On June 17, when Ansari was returning home, he was brutally thrashed by a mob for alleged theft. He succumbed to his injuries on June 22.Eleven people were arrested in connection with his death. On July 5, some miscreants wounded a youth with a knife, beat up some people and broke window panes of vehicles in Ranchi city. ​ High CourtJharkhandJharkhand High Courtmob lynching First Published: July 8, 2019, 10:57 PM ISTlast_img read more

3 Bodies Blood on Shivalinga Treasure Hunters Behind Gory Human Sacrifice at

first_imgNew Delhi: Three people, including a local priest, were found brutally murdered within the premises of a temple in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh on Monday. The victims are suspected to have been offered as human sacrifice after the police discovered blood sprinkled on the Shivalinga inside the temple. The incident occurred at Koditikita village in the district. The bodies of 70-year-old Priest Sivarami Reddy and 75-year-old sister K Kamalamma along with Satya Lakshmamma (70) were found with their throats slit, The Times of India reported. Lakshmamma had travelled from Bengaluru to fulfil her vow by staying at the Lord Shiva temple for one night.Villagers informed the police after the bodies were lying around at separate locations in the temple.Prima facie it appears that the trio was murdered in a treasure hunt bid, the police said. Andhra Pradeshhuman sacrificemurdertemple First Published: July 16, 2019, 9:53 AM IST | Edited by: Ahona Senguptalast_img read more

Down But Not Out Rahul Gandhi May Have Quit But Its Not

first_img bengaluruBharatiya Janata PartyCommunist Party of India-Marxistcongress First Published: July 4, 2019, 9:57 AM IST New Delhi: In the face of a comprehensive defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi may have quit as the Congress president but there are signs that he may continue to spearhead the party’s ideological battle against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the RSS. Gandhi’s itinerary for this week and the next will take him from Patna to Mumbai and Ahmedabad where he will personally appear in cases filed against him by BJP leaders and the RSS. On Thursday, Gandhi travelled to Mumbai where he is at present making a personal appearance in an RSS-linked case filed against him in Sewri court for allegedly linking the organisation with the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh. In February, RSS Swayam Sevak Dhrutiman Joshi had filed a defamation case against Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Sitaram Yechury and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) for defaming the RSS following the death of Gauri Lankesh. Lankesh, a senior journalist was murdered at her residence in Bengaluru on September 5, 2017.On July 6, he will be in Patna for hearing in a defamation case filed against him by Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi for his reported statement that “all thieves have Modi in their surnames”. On July 9, Gandhi will visit Gujarat.Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday officially resigned from his post as president of the Congress party, saying accountability was critical to its future growth. In a four-page letter posted on his official Twitter handle, Gandhi said it would be unjust to hold others unaccountable but ignore his own contribution to the party’s performance in the Lok Sabha elections in which the BJP won a sweeping majority. Gandhi said that while his colleagues had asked him to choose the next party chief, he felt it would not be right to do so. He added that the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s highest decision-making body, should name his replacement at the earliest.Gandhi’s resignation has been the subject of much controversy since the Lok Sabha election results were announced on May 23, plunging the party into a crisis. Two days later, Gandhi had declared his decision to step down from the party. While the decision was unanimously rejected by the CWC, Gandhi had called it “non-negotiable”.In the aftermath, several senior leaders of the party had urged him to stay on, Gandhi was adamant to step down from the post. Last week, a number of office-bearers had also tendered their resignations, citing “collective responsibility”. last_img read more

Motorolas back with Moto Z2 Play a new Verizon phone

first_imgStory TimelineLenovo’s Moto Z Play Droid and Hasselblad Mod first impressionsUnlocked Moto Z, Moto Z Play start pre-order phaseMoto Z2 Play will sacrifice battery life for a thinner frame The Moto Z2 Play works with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 processor with Adreno 506 graphics. Inside it has either 3 or 4GB of RAM depending on the model. Two models exist, by the way – there’s one with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage and another with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Both versions of the smartphone have a 5.5-inch 1080p AMOLED display. Both are 5.99 (basically 6) mm thick and both have the same battery inside. Motorola calls their 3,000mAh battery a “30 hour” battery – but we’ll see when we get our review units in. Both versions of the phone have water-repellant nano-coating like many Motorola smartphones in the past. This means you can take it out in the rain, but that you shouldn’t take it swimming. This device also has USB-C with USB 3.1 data transfer speed.Cameras on this device include a 5-megapixel camera up front and a 12-megapixel camera around the back. The front-facing camera has a flash, which is awesome. The back-facing camera has an f.17 lens with 1.4um sized pixels.This device is also compatible with Moto Mods. Verizon has a bunch of those available for sale as well. This version of the Moto Z lineup will cost users around $500 USD for the lesser of the two editions. This week the folks at Motorola and Verizon brought back the Moto Z Play series with the Moto Z2 Play. This device rolls with many of the same radical features as the Moto Z line, but with a few of the non-essentials cut back a bit to keep the price low. As such, the affordable nature of this smartphone with the looks and some of the abilities of its more expensive predecessor make this an interesting device to be sure.last_img read more

Energous WattUp over the air charging gets FCC nod

first_imgWhy is the FCC involved in such a technology? That’s because WattUp utilizes radio frequency in order to transmit power to WattUp-enabled devices. Unlike current wireless charging solutions, WattUp doesn’t require very close, almost physical, proximity to the charger nor does it need the device to be aligned perfectly with the pad.WattUp, however, will need specialized receivers to accept that wireless power. Considering nothing integrates that technology yet, that would mean, at least for phone, WattUp-compatible cases or dongle. The advantage, Energous says, is that the technology is manufacturer-agnostic and that a charger from one company will work with the receiver from a different company. In other words, it’s a standard of its own.At least that’s the theory. The problem will be the actual market adoption. The FCC approval does overcome the last legal hurdle to WattUp’s adoption but that doesn’t immediately translate to actual products using it. Energous may have missed its chance with the iPhone 8, which was initially rumored to support the technology. It, instead, uses the more standard Qi wireless charging standard.SOURCE: Energous Fumbling for charging cables and even charging pads could soon become a thing of the past. That is if Energous will be able to take advantage of the door that has just been opened for it. The company’s WattUp Mid Field Transmitter has just gotten the approval of the Federal Communications Commission, making it the first “power-at-a-distance” wireless charging tech to get the green light. Should actual commercial products get created from this tech, it could mean we’d be charging devices from as far as three feet away from the charger.last_img read more

Google Fuchsia OS demo lets you test the future in your browser

first_imgOf course, there isn’t much to look at or do. There are no apps to speak of, but the demo does reveal the Google-centric experience which puts Google search at the very heart of the interaction model. While Fuchsia, and the demo, will theoretically run on any device, it is best experienced on a smartphone or tablet.VIA: Reddit Google is known, even notorious, for having so many overlapping projects and moonshots on its plate. Even while both Android and Chrome OS fight for consumers’ affection (and wallets), it is believed to be working on a third wheel. At one point it was nicknamed “Andromeda”, a fusion of the two. Now that third OS is believed to be Fuchsia, which already has a number of code and assets available for developers to pick apart. But if you’re a simple end user, you can use this web-based third-party demo to see what all the fuss is about. The earlier Andromeda rumors were born out of the desire to have just one “Google OS” instead of two. That, however, implied it would carry years’ worth of baggage from both platforms. Good for continuity, terrible for maintenance and future development.Fuchsia, in contrast, is a new OS built from the ground up. It even uses a completely new kernel developed in-house, instead of the Linux kernel both Android and Chrome OS use. It also starts from scratch when it comes to the user interface, which is what this browser demo tries to show.The user interface for Fuchsia OS isn’t really a secret, but until now it has been mostly revealed in bits and pieces of code and nothing but the most hardcore of developers or enthusiast can try out. This demo, which can be run on any browser, whether desktop or mobile, gives even curious onlookers a chance to see what Google has been cooking in private.last_img read more

Chrome OS now supports installing arbitrary Linux packages

first_imgSamsung recently presented the Galaxy Tab S4 as the ultimate productivity portable device but initial reviews have been rather scathing. Thanks to its timing, Samsung’s premium tablet is being compared to the likes of the cheaper iPad, the cheaper Surface Go, and, closer to home, Chromebooks. The latter, especially, is getting more and more talented and the latest experimental feature nearly turns it into that ultimate productivity OS. That is if you live and breathe Linux. Chrome OS now officially supports three kinds of apps: its own Chrome apps, Android apps, and Linux apps. The latter, however, requires familiarity with the command line and installing only software available from the Debian repositories, the Linux version of app stores.XDA and Chrome Unboxed discovered that’s no longer the case. In the latest Canary builds, it is actually possible to install .deb packages by simply double clicking on the file in Chrome OS’ file browser, pretty much like what you’d do on Windows, macOS, or even Android. Debian (.deb) packages, after all, are analogous to Android APKs or Windows MSI/EXE installers (technically they’re not, but that’s for a different story).While enabling that feature requires going through a few hoops, it does mark an important milestone in Linux support on Chrome OS. Not all software available for Linux is available in Debian’s repositories, especially proprietary ones. This would, in theory, allow any Linux program to be “sideloaded” on Chrome OS, including software like Visual Studio or, for fun, Chrome for Linux (running on Chrome OS).Of course, it isn’t available to all users just yet, not even those with Linux support on Chrome already. With the arrival of new Chromebooks in multiple form factors, including tablets and 2-in-1s, Chrome OS is well on its way in making Android tablets practically irrelevant.last_img read more

Logitech MX Vertical mouse may look weird but it might just save

first_imgSpending a long time at a computer day in and day out can wreak havoc on your hands, wrists, and forearms, so a lot of people turn to ergonomic keyboards and mice to relieve some of the strain. Today, Logitech announced that it wants in on the ergonomic game, introducing the MX Vertical. Like most vertical mice out there, this has a pretty strange look to it, but it may save your wrist from unnecessary strain. The idea, as Logitech explains it, is to put your hand and wrist in a more comfortable handshake position. Specifically, that means your hand will be resting at a 57-degree vertical angle, which not only reduces strain but also cuts back and wrist pressure by as much as 10%. That might not seem like a massive change, but it could certainly be significant when you’re using a PC for hours every day.As you can see from the image above, this is clearly a right-handed mouse, despite the fact that many of Logitech’s recent gaming mice have been ambidextrous ones. Logitech’s announcement didn’t say whether or not the MX Vertical will have a left-handed model, so for now, this is a righty-only product.Beyond its ergonomic design, the MX Vertical boasts a number of features. It’s been equipped with a 4,000 DPI sensor that can be adjusted on the fly through use of a dedicated switch. Logitech says that the MX Vertical’s rechargeable battery can go for as long as four months on a full charge, and it can provide three hours of power after charging for just one minute. The MX Vertical is also compatible with Logitech Easy-Switch and Flow, which will allow you to use the mouse across multiple computers at once.The MX Vertical seems like a good choice if you’re looking for an ergonomic mouse, but it’s going to cost you. Logitech has set the price of the MX Vertical at $99.99, which is a fair bit more expensive than some other vertical mice out there. Still, Logitech has made a name for itself in making solid PC peripherals, so that inflated cost could very well be worth it for fans of the brand. The MX Vertical is available today from Logitech.com. Story TimelineLogitech G305 gaming mouse serves up LIGHTSPEED tech on a budgetLogitech shells out some serious cash to acquire Blue MicrophonesLogitech has a new wireless charging stand for your iPhone [Update]last_img read more

Samsung Portable SSD X5 can transfer a 20GB video in 12 seconds

first_imgThe new Portable SSD X5 is available in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities; this model is Samsung’s first NVMe-based portable SSD. The model features Thunderbolt 3 40Gbps connectivity, as well as a slim size at 4.7 x 2.4 x 0.8-inches. The X5 is compatible with both PCs and Mac, assuming they have Thunderbolt 3 ports.The rapid speeds offered by Thunderbolt 3 make the drive particularly suitable for creatives and other individuals frequently dealing with very large files, such as 4K videos. The X5 boasts read speeds up to 2,800MB/s and write speeds up to 2,300MB/s. At such rates, a 20GB 4K video can be transferred in 12 seconds, according to Samsung.The drive is protected within a shock-resistant internal frame, which itself is encased within a metal housing. The shell has a glossy finish and a mat on the bottom to prevent slipping. The portable case also features a Dynamic Thermal Guard and a heat sink to keep the drive cool. With this case, the drive can handle drops from up to 6.6ft.Samsung includes its Portable SSD Software with the drive, which uses AES 256-bit encryption; users can optimally set a password and adjust the security settings. Assuming something does go wrong with the drive, Samsung includes a three-year warranty with the X5.The Samsung Portable SSD X5 will be available starting September 3 at $399.99 (500GB), $699.99 (1TB), and $1,399.99 (2TB).SOURCE: BusinessWire Samsung has launched a new external storage solution for individuals who need Thunderbolt 3 and a durable, compact form factor. Called the Samsung Portable SSD X5, this new model is relatively slim and sporty, offering up to 2TB of storage and fast transfer speeds for portable access to loads of data. Though there’s a lot to like about this drive, it comes with a big price tag to match.last_img read more

Wacom Cintiq 22 pen display adds bigger screen for smaller price

first_imgWacom has a new Cintiq pen display, and if you’ve wanted a sizable art and design tablet-screen before but couldn’t quite stomach the price, the Cintiq 22 might be the one. Larger sibling to the Cintiq 16, the new model has a 21.5-inch 1920 x 1080 IPS display that works with Wacom’s Pro Pen 2. Story TimelineWacom Cintiq Pro update will add massive 24″ and 32″ 4K screensWacom Cintiq Pro 24 gets slot-in Win 10 ‘Engine’ moduleWacom Cintiq 16 is a pen display for the rest of us With that, you get 8,192 levels of pressure recognition, both for the tip of the Pro Pen 2 and its eraser at the opposite end. The stylus is battery-free and cordless, has two side buttons for shortcuts, and the Cintiq 22 can recognize up to 60-degrees of pen tilt. The larger body of the Cintiq 22 over the existing Cintiq 16 means Wacom could fit in more ports, too. The smaller pen display uses a 3-in-1 cable port, combining video and power into a single connection. Tidy, yes, but not so great if you lose or break the cable, or just want a second one.The Cintiq 22, however, has room for separate HDMI and USB-A ports. There’s also an AC adapter thrown in, and Wacom includes an adjustable stand and a detachable pen holder with three replacement nibs. Options include Wacom’s Pro Pen slim and Pro Pen 3D styli, and the Wacom ExpressKey Remote. AdChoices广告If there’s a downside, it’s the resolution. Both the Cintiq 16 and the new Cintiq 22 run at 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution, which means anybody hoping for more pixels along with their bigger panel will be disappointed. That’s not to say the larger screen isn’t better in other ways, mind: at 22 ms, it has a faster response time than the 16-inch model, and the viewing angles are slightly improved. The display has a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, and 210 cd/m2 of brightness. The stand can tilt between 16- and 82-degrees, unlike the 19-degree fold-out legs on the smaller model. Wacom clearly isn’t expecting Cintiq 22 owners to be moving their pen display around much, however: at over 12 pounds it’s about three times as heavy as the Cintiq 16, and there won’t be an official carrying case offered. Those artists and designers who want 4K resolution and an optically-bonded display will still want to look to the Wacom Cintiq Pro line, but there’s a significant price difference between the ranges. The Wacom Cintiq 22 is shipping this month, priced at $1,199, whereas a similarly-sized Cintiq Pro 24 Touch clocks in at $2.5k.last_img read more

Viewpoints Class War Over Medicare Funding GOP Needs Courage To Cut Entitlements

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Des Moines Register: Congress Again Just Delayed Its Day Of Reckoning [T]he cost of federal entitlements — namely Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — will rise dramatically in future years. So, we will still need that “grand bargain” on higher tax revenues and entitlement spending cuts that Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, came close to reaching last year (1/3). The New York Times’ Opinionator: Better, If Not Cheaper, Care While end-of-life care has improved considerably over the last 30 years, many Americans still die in hospitals when they would rather die at home. Nearly 20 percent of deaths occur in an intensive care unit or immediately after discharge, and too many patients experience symptoms like pain that are controllable with appropriate palliative care (Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, 1/3). The New York Times’ Economix: The Complexities Of Comparing Medicare Choices A fundamental question that has engaged health-policy researchers and commentators for some time is whether coverage of Medicare’s standard benefit package under Medicare Advantage plans is cheaper or more expensive than it is under traditional fee-for-service Medicare. The answer is yes (Uwe E. Reinhardt, 1/4). The Medicare NewsGroup: Can Medicare Fraud Be Curbed? As Congress batted around higher eligibility ages and reduced Medicare spending last year, two topics that have not garnered much public discussion are fraud and overbilling. If Medicare is to clean up its fiscal act, it will need to be much more aggressive in these areas (John Wasik, 1/3).WBUR: Beating Obesity By Any Means Necessary Obesity remains a serious and costly epidemic. If the country is ever going to get its health care costs under control, these are the people government has to reach. We ban unsafe cribs and scrutinize toys for safety. Why not help children and their parents make better choices about food? (Ed Fouhy, 1/3). Minneapolis Star Tribune: We’ve Lost Our Balance On Mental IllnessI once knew someone, many years ago, who was sent to a “rest home” by her aggravated husband. Today, you and I would call that “involuntary commitment,”  … It was a time when horrific places like Pennhurst were still operating, and anyone who grew up in the Philadelphia area knows what I’m talking about. Dante himself couldn’t have conjured up something as infernal as this “hospital” where the patients were chained to their beds and starved for days on end (Christine Flowers, 1/4). The Washington Post: Virginia’s Phony Concern Twenty clinics in Virginia performed slightly more than 25,000 first-trimester abortions in 2011. In carrying out that legal, safe and relatively simple procedure, there were very few reports of mishaps or complications. … Nonetheless, in that same year Republicans in Richmond enacted legislation requiring stringent and unnecessary rules that would reclassify abortion clinics as the regulatory equivalent of hospitals (1/3). Viewpoints: ‘Class War’ Over Medicare Funding; GOP Needs Courage To Cut Entitlements In Debt Fightcenter_img CNN: Fiscal Cliff Deal Bad For Future Generations Failure to curb our deficits and reform unsustainable entitlement spending means passing greater debt burdens on to future generations. Democrats and Republicans have the opportunity to reverse this trend and claim credit. … Sadly, the deal struck this week in Congress maintains the trend of $1 trillion deficits for at least another year while continuing to ensure that federal health care spending a generation from now will be untenable (Alex Brill, 1/4).The New York Times: Battles Of The Budget For the reality is that our two major political parties are engaged in a fierce struggle over the future shape of American society. Democrats want to preserve the legacy of the New Deal and the Great Society — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — and add to them what every other advanced country has: a more or less universal guarantee of essential health care. Republicans want to roll all of that back, making room for drastically lower taxes on the wealthy. Yes, it’s essentially a class war (Paul Krugman, 1/3). Fortune Magazine: 2013: The Year We Became The Health Care Nation Medicare and Medicaid are the biggest element of our most serious national problem: crushing federal debt. … Without changes, health care alone will consume more of the federal budget than all discretionary spending does now — defense, law enforcement, courts, and all regulatory agencies. Every time we have to reconcile taxes and spending or approve a federal budget or raise the debt limit, we’ll face the inescapable need to cut Medicare’s and Medicaid’s growth. And every time an elected official whispers such a thing, large groups of citizens will scream (Geoff Colvin, 1/4).Los Angeles Times: More Cliffs To Come Obama insists he won’t negotiate over the debt ceiling this time around, and Democrats seem to believe that they can extract more tax hikes in return for agreeing to curb spending on entitlements. This week’s deal, however, appears to have drained their leverage. … The compromise that McConnell worked out with Biden wasn’t a complete washout. … It avoided a steep cut in fees that could have driven many doctors out of the Medicare program while continuing a tax break that improves the work incentives for low-income families (1/3).The Washington Post: Making Future Cliffs Count [I]f the president and Republicans want to restrain entitlement growth, but neither wants to offer specifics, let them come together around a new aggregate annual cap on entitlement spending. If Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are together slated to grow by 6.7 percent a year for the next decade, enact a law saying they can only grow by, say, 5 percent … And an entitlement cap embraced by both sides could put fresh energy into bipartisan efforts to make the health-care system more efficient (Matt Miller, 1/3). The Wall Street Journal: The Debt-Ceiling Fight Will Be Dirty Throughout the fiscal-cliff negotiations, the Republicans kept thinking Mr. Obama would sign on to entitlement reform, giving both parties political cover. In this vain hope, the GOP shrunk from laying out its specific demands on Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. … The GOP must know by now that the president’s only goal is to water down any reform proposals. So their only chance of making a dent in the debt is to begin bold. Do House Republicans have the courage to lay out big demands (say, premium support for Medicare or block grants for Medicaid), send a bill to the Senate, and sell entitlement reform to the public? (Kimberley A. Strassel, 1/3). The Wall Street Journal: Boehner’s Second Chance During the Reagan years when the GOP held the Senate, John Dingell used the Energy and Commerce Committee to highlight executive branch sins (real and imagined), while Henry Waxman used every lever of power to expand entitlement benefits. Republicans should do a reverse Waxman, reforming the likes of Medicaid quietly and at the margin until they can do it wholesale (1/3). last_img read more

Minnesota Authorizes Online Health Insurance Marketplace

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Gov. Mark Dayton has promised to sign the legislation, which enables his administration to move forward on building the infrastructure necessary for the marketplace to begin enrolling people Oct. 1 — a tight deadline that officials said would require massive work to meet.The Associated Press: Major Insurance Overhaul Passes At Minnesota CapitolMore than 300,000 uninsured Minnesotans will have a route toward health coverage under a bill the state Senate passed Monday, the final legislative step toward implementing one of the major features of the new federal health-care law. The Senate approved the health insurance exchange bill on a party-line vote of 39-28. They sent the bill to Gov. Mark Dayton, who has vowed to sign it and whose administration already has been working for months on setting up the venture and hiring its employees ahead of a planned Oct. 1 enrollment [date] (Condon, 3/20).MPR News: Minnesota’s Health Insurance Exchange: What’s NextGov. Mark Dayton has promised to sign into law the contentious health insurance exchange bill that was approved by the House and Senate. The legislation enacts a new online marketplace where more than a million Minnesotans will obtain health insurance starting in October. But that’s only the beginning of the exchange story. Here’s a list of six next steps to watch for as the health exchanges take shape (Stawicki, 3/19).MinnPost: Minnesota Health Exchange A Step Nearer, But Massive Work And Tight Deadlines RemainMinnesota’s health insurance exchange is a major step closer on the long path to becoming a reality. The state-based exchange — the linchpin of federal health reform — is on its way to Gov. Mark Dayton for his signature, following Senate approval Monday on the compromise bill. Major work remains, though, in designing the physical exchange and in working out rules and regulations (Nord, 3/19). Minnesota Authorizes Online Health Insurance Marketplacelast_img read more

Study Finds Health Law Is Helping Protect Young Adults From High Bills

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Study Finds Health Law Is Helping Protect Young Adults From High Bills The RAND Corp. research finds that the law’s provision allowing children up to the age of 26 to stay on their parents’ health plans resulted in $147 million in hospital bills to be covered by insurance.Kaiser Health News/NPR: Study: Health Law Protected Young Adults From High Hospital BillsResearchers at the RAND Corporation set out to find some hard data on one aspect of the health law: Does having medical insurance protect young adults from the financial ruin that often comes with a major injury or illness? The quick answer: Yes, it does. … The RAND analysis, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the new law resulted in $147 million in hospital bills charged to private insurance companies in 2011 (Varney, 5/29). CBS News: Young Adults Protected From Emergency Room Costs Under Affordable Care Act: StudyThe Affordable Care Act has provided financial protections for young adults facing medical emergencies, according to a new study. President Barack Obama signed the law in March 2010, and one of its provisions that kicked in that September allowed young adults between the ages of 19 and 25 to stay on their parents’ private health insurance plans. The extra coverage stops when they turn 26 years old (Jaslow, 5/29). NBC News: Insurers Pick Up $147 Million Tab For Young Adults Under ObamacareOne of the first provisions of the 2010 health reform law has had its intended effect: shifting costs from hospitals, taxpayers and families to health insurance companies, researchers reported on Thursday. It’s one of the most popular aspects of the law. It requires insurance companies to cover young adults, aged 19 to 26, on their parents’ policies if the families ask. These young adults are the most likely to “wing it” without insurance (Fox, 5/29). last_img read more

In A Major Pitch Obama Says Health Law Is Benefiting Consumers

first_imgIn a Thursday White House speech, President Barack Obama stepped into his role as the overhaul’s campaigner-in-chief and talked about the millions of Americans who are already benefiting from insurance benefits. The New York Times: Speaking Out for Health Care Act, Obama Says Millions Will Get RebatesPresident Obama, slipping back into his episodic role as a vigorous campaigner for his new health care act, said Thursday that thanks to the law, more than 8.5 million Americans are getting rebates this summer from their insurance providers. Mr. Obama was joined by families who have benefited from a provision in the law, which requires health insurers to spend at least 80 percent of the revenue from premiums on medical care rather than on administrative costs (Landler, 7/18).Kaiser Health News: Obama Says Health Law Is Saving Consumers MoneyRatcheting up the campaign to sell the health law, President Barack Obama delivered a speech Thursday touting how millions of individuals are already benefiting from its insurance rebates, and others who buy coverage online in states such as California, New York and Oregon will pay lower-than-projected premiums next year because of increased competition (Galewitz and Appleby, 7/18). Kaiser Health News: Obama On Health Law: ‘Working The Way It’s Supposed To’ (Video) This video clip includes remarks by the president at the White House Thursday in which he touted lower-than-projected premiums that have been announced for health insurance marketplaces in several states (7/18). Los Angeles Times: Obama Touts Savings From Healthcare LawPresident Obama, facing a new Republican push to dismantle his healthcare law, redoubled his efforts to sell his signature achievement Thursday at a White House event with Americans who have benefited from the law. The president pledged to “blow through” GOP attacks on the law and continue working to implement it (Levey, 7/18).CNN: Obama Says Refund Checks Show Obamacare SuccessSurrounded by middle-class Americans, President Barack Obama touted the successes of his signature health care law on Thursday and the ways consumers are seeing tangible benefits. “Because of the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies have to spend at least 80 percent of every dollar that you pay in premiums on your health care; not on overhead, not on profits, but on you,” the president said during an event Thursday in the White House East Room. The president highlighted a provision in the law called the medical loss ratio policy that forces health care providers to refund money to consumers like Chicago resident Dan Hart, a father of two who got a check in the mail for $136 (Lothian, 7/18). The Associated Press/Washington Post: Obama Touts Insurance Rebates Under Health Care Law, While GOP Vows To Keep Trying For RepealFacing public doubts and embarrassing setbacks to his signature health care law, President Barack Obama stepped forward Thursday to extol the program’s benefits, emphasizing that some Americans already are receiving insurance rebates and lower premiums. Obama said the program is working the way it was supposed to with “better benefits, stronger protections, more bang for your buck.” The assertion was ridiculed by Republicans, with House Speaker John Boehner calling the Affordable Care Act “a train wreck” that he will keep working to repeal (7/18).Fox News: Obama Touts Health Care Rebates, Pushing Back After House Votes To Delay MandatesPresident Obama touted a provision in his Affordable Care Act on Thursday that would require health insurance providers to return money to consumers, pushing back on Republican criticism a day after the GOP-led House voted to delay key parts of the law. The president’s signature health care overhaul — commonly referred to as ObamaCare — has come under fire by many Republicans who have worked to defeat, delay or gut major parts of it. At the White House event Thursday, Obama highlighted more of the financial benefits tied to it — specifically, a half billion dollars in rebates going to 9 million people under a provision of the law (7/18). NBC News: Obama Defends Health Care Law, Slams GOP For “Re-Fighting” Old BattlesMore than three years after signing a massive health care system reform into law, President Barack Obama on Thursday worked to sell the legislation’s benefits to an American public still largely skeptical about the overhaul. Highlighting nearly half a billion dollars in insurance rebates going back to consumers due to the law’s requirement that insurers spend 80 cents on the dollar towards medical care, Obama said the law is “doing what it’s designed to do” (Dann, 7/18). Politico: Barack Obama Defends Health Care law, ‘Glitches’ And AllObama said he was confident that, despite resistance, even hardened foes will come to like the law. There were plenty of opponents of Medicare and Social Security when those programs became law, “but once it got set up, people started saying ‘it’s a pretty good deal, it gives me more security,'” said the president (Epstein, 7/18).The Wall Street Journal: Obama Tries To Woo Health-Law SkepticsSpeaking from the White House, Mr. Obama said people across the country have gotten rebates from their health-insurance companies that they can use to pay other bills and support their families (Favole and Dooren, 7/18).Politico: The Fine Print Of Obama’s Health Care PitchPresident Barack Obama said Thursday that his health care law is already providing real savings and is working as planned — despite some expected glitches and unrelenting political opposition. He painted an optimistic picture of how Obamacare is putting money back into the pockets of consumers. … And all that political opposition? Just noise, Obama said. Of course, that picture isn’t complete. The massive health care overhaul comes with enough moving parts and political baggage to make it difficult to sort through what’s actually happening (Norman and Millman, 7/18).Reuters: Obama Steps In To Push Health Plan As Critical Date Draws NearFending off delays and a barrage of political criticism of his signature healthcare law, President Barack Obama on Thursday touted benefits Americans already are reaping from the law and vowed to work through setbacks to fully implement it (Felsenthal, 7/18).PBS NewsHour: Will Health Reform Law Make Premiums More Expensive Or More Affordable? (Video)President Barack Obama defended the benefits of the Affordable Care Act in a news conference, part of a broader effort to sell the law amid continuing criticism from Republicans. MIT’s Jonathan Gruber and Avik Roy of the Manhattan Institute join Jeffrey Brown to debate the cost of coverage under the health reform law (7/18). ABC News: Obamacare Health Insurance Rebates: Who Gets A Check (Video)An estimated 8.5 million Americans will receive rebates from their health insurers this summer thanks to the Affordable Care Act, which says companies that fail to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on health care must refund the difference to consumers. President Obama today touted the benefit as part of his mid-summer push to educate Americans on the continued rollout of his health care law (Dwyer, 7/18). In A Major Pitch, Obama Says Health Law Is Benefiting Consumers This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

State Highlights Okla Gov Looks For Cuts To Cover 60M More In

first_imgA selection of health policy stories from Oklahoma, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Delaware, Texas, Colorado, Massachusetts, Georgia and California.The Associated Press: Fallin Warns Of $60M Spike In Health Care Costs[Oklahoma] Gov. Mary Fallin said Monday that state agency heads should be looking for ways to save money in next year’s budget, given reports of lackluster tax collections to Oklahoma’s general revenue fund and the more than $60 million increase in mandatory health care spending the state will bear next year (Murphy, 12, 2).The Associated Press: Bryant Wants To Give Hospitals Funds To Offset Health Care Reform[Mississippi] Gov. Phil Bryant is proposing the state give Mississippi hospitals $4.4 million to offset an expected loss of federal funds due to the Affordable Care Act. Under the federal health care law, over a period of years the reimbursement to hospitals for treating people with no health care coverage will be reduced (12/2).Bloomberg: Wisconsin Tries To Follow Texas In Reviving An Abortion LawOne month after Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott won a U.S. appeals court ruling overriding a decision to block abortion restrictions in his state, Wisconsin’s top lawyer is aiming for a similar result. Both states have laws requiring doctors who perform abortions to obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles (48 kilometers) of their clinic (Harris, 12/3).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Delaware Mental Health Task Force Continues WorkA task force studying Delaware’s civil mental health laws is finishing up its work in advance of a Jan. 1 deadline for submitting a report with its full findings to the General Assembly and the governor. Among the issues that have been examined by the task force, which meets Tuesday, are immunity provisions regarding involuntary mental health commitments. The immunity provision were the subject of a task force report that was due earlier this year and which was followed with legislation signed by Gov. Jack Markell in March (12/3).The Texas Tribune: In Texas, Uncertainty After Health Plan Cancellation UproarMany Texans in individual health care plans that don’t comply with the Affordable Care Act have been spared cancellation notices. But for the Texans whose plans have been dropped, health care experts are encouraging them to proceed carefully (Zaragovia, 12/3).The Texas Tribune: Despite Changes, Nurses Push For More IndependenceAs an advanced practice nurse specializing in family medicine, Holly Jeffreys operates the only medical clinics in two rural Texas Panhandle counties. The state requires that she have a contract with a physician to supervise both clinics, but she operates the facilities almost independently (Aaronson, 12/2).I-News/Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Delays To Implementing Mental Health Initiative ‘An Embarrassment’Susan Beckman wants you to know that “a lot of sloppy work” — and not a conspiracy — were behind the state’s botched job of finding someone to run a network of walk-in mental health crisis centers. Beckman heads the administrative branch of the Colorado Department of Human Services, the office responsible for the failed solicitation process. The department has been accused of colluding with local actors — that is, local providers of mental health services — to elbow out a newcomer, but Beckman says a slew of mistakes were just human error (Jones, 12/2).WBUR: Coming To Mass. Ballots? Nurse Staffing And Hospital ‘Claw Back’Two measures that the nurses’ union supports look like they’ve gathered enough signatures to move forward toward appearing on state ballots next year. One, titled The Patient Safety Act, would set a limit on how many patients a registered nurse can be assigned. The nurses’ association says the measures have both gathered more than 100,000 signatures. Secretary of State William Galvin tells us on his website that for the 2014 election, “the initiative petition must be signed by a minimum of 68,911 certified voters. No more than one-quarter of the certified signatures may come from any one county” (Goldberg, 12/2).Georgia Health News: Progress Being Made Against Costly ReadmissionsGeorgia’s nursing homes and hospitals are collaborating more than ever to reduce readmissions, say officials with Georgia’s Quality Improvement Organization (QIO), a state-based group funded by Medicare to review medical care. A big driver in this change has been the readmission penalties that hospitals now face. These penalties were created by the 2010 Affordable Care Act (Miller, 12/2). California Healthline: Health Information Exchange Taking Root In Northern CaliforniaNorthern California health information organizations are helping lay the groundwork for the next steps in expanding health information exchange throughout the state. Their participation in pilot programs for secure messaging, rural health information exchange and personal health records puts Northern California communities in the forefront of the campaign to increase the use of health information technology. There are 16 community HIOs in California, half of which are operational. A new map shows health technology has reached 35 counties — more than half of California’s 58 counties (Edlin, 12/2). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. State Highlights: Okla. Gov. Looks For Cuts To Cover $60M More In Health Care Costs; Miss. Gov. Wants To Offer Hospitals Money To Offset Health Lawlast_img read more

Questions Surround Future Of Some Troubled State Exchanges

first_imgQuestions Surround Future Of Some Troubled State Exchanges State insurance exchanges in Maryland, Oregon and Colorado are under the microscope and drawing criticism. Meanwhile, Republican state lawmakers in Tennessee and Texas propose legislation to undermine the health law in those states. And a cybersecurity official at the Department of Health and Human Services tells congressional investigators that testing of healthcare.gov, the federal online exchange, was inadequate.The Washington Post: Countdown Begins For Marylanders To Get Retroactive Private Health InsuranceMaryland health exchange workers are focusing the next few days on calling and emailing thousands of uninsured people to see if they need coverage for this month and to let them know they have until Tuesday at 5 p.m. to sign up for private health insurance that would be retroactive to Jan. 1. To qualify, Marylanders must prove that they tried unsuccessfully to get health insurance through the state’s marketplace before the new year began, and they must be willing to pay premiums for January and February before Feb. 15. For those that get in, the insurance will cover medical expenses incurred this year (Johnson, 1/15).The Washington Post: Maryland Senate Committee To Again Question State Official About Health Exchange ProblemsThe chairman of the Maryland Senate Finance Committee, after expressing frustration with not being informed of brewing problems with the state’s health exchange, has asked state officials to now provide updates on the status of the exchange every two weeks. Sen. Thomas M. Middleton (D-Charles) also asked Joshua M. Sharfstein, secretary of health and mental hygiene, to appear before the committee for a second time this month and again answer questions about what went wrong in the rollout of the state’s health exchange Web site. That briefing is expected early next week (Johnson, 1/15).Fox News: Problems In State Health Care Exchanges May Reflect Glitches In Federal SystemWith all the focus on the federal health care exchange, some of the problems in state exchanges have gotten less attention. But they may offer a glimpse of future problems in the federal system. Vicki Rapoport is the face of the breakdown in state exchanges — in her case, Maryland. “To me it’s very personal,” she says, “and it’s very frustrating because the system has failed me” (Angle, 1/16). The Denver Post: Audit Of Colorado’s Health-Care Exchange Proposal UnderwayA Republican lawmaker’s request to audit Colorado’s state health care exchange was viewed favorably Tuesday because an audit already is underway. Rep. Jared Wright of Fruita requested the audit late last year when reports surfaced that enrollments had fallen short of projections, there were problems with the website, and the CEO of Connect for Health Colorado asked for a raise and bonus. That request was later withdrawn (Bartels, 1/15).The Lund Report: Kitzhaber Hires Cover Oregon Examiner As Doubts Build On Fate Of ExchangeGov. John Kitzhaber told reporters Thursday that the state has hired an independent examiner to critically analyze the mistakes of contractor Oracle Corp and the state in rolling out Cover Oregon, while he and other Democratic officials have skirted discussion of whether the insurance exchange can survive its botched roll out. Kitzhaber said 170,000 Oregonians now have health coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act (Gray, 1/10).The Oregonian: Cover Oregon: Lawmakers Praise Hard Work, Question Its FutureRep. Jason Conger, R-Bend, said Wednesday it may be “time to throw in the towel” on the state’s nonfunctioning healthcare exchange website. “This is the most incredible train wreck I’ve ever seen,” Conger said about Cover Oregon. “I don’t believe anymore that it’s going to happen tomorrow, next week or next month. Maybe it’s time to declare a loss and stop throwing good money after bad.” In response, Cover Oregon Interim Director Bruce Goldberg said only: “I share your frustration and embarrassment” (Budnick, 1/15). The Dallas Morning News: Democrats In Congress Oppose Texas’ Proposed Rules For Obamacare ‘Navigators’Texas Democrats in Congress slammed proposed state rules requiring extra training for Obamacare navigators Wednesday, and they’ve asked Attorney General Eric Holder to intervene. Navigators help consumers sign up for health insurance through online exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act. Federal rules require navigators to have 20 to 30 hours of training. Rules proposed by the Texas Department of Insurance would add 40 more hours, require criminal background checks, and charge a fee of up to $800 for certification (Swartsell, 1/15). The Associated Press: Legislation Proposed By GOP Lawmakers Would Make Health Care Exchanges Illegal In Tenn.Health insurance exchanges established under President Barack Obama’s signature law would be illegal under legislation proposed Wednesday by Republicans aiming to prevent state agencies from carrying out the mandates of the health overhaul. Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet and Rep. Mark Pody of Lebanon held a news conference to announce the measure that seeks to prohibit any cooperation by the state or its agencies in implementing or administering the federal law (Johnson, 1/15).The Associated Press: Cybersecurity Chief Had Qualms Over Health WebsiteThe top cybersecurity officer for the Health and Human Services Department said he was concerned about potential vulnerabilities ahead of the launch of the Obama administration’s health care website. But Kevin Charest told congressional investigators he was unable to get answers to his questions from others inside the department. He concluded that the testing of the site was substandard (Alonso-Zaldivar, 1/16). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Pain Doctors Profit From Drug Tests On Seniors

first_img Medicare will cover annual screenings for lung cancer for older Americans with long histories of heavy smoking, the federal government said Monday in a proposal that would cover an estimated four million people, many of whom are at greatest risk for the disease. (Taversnise, 11/11) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. In addition, the program announces that it will cover lung cancer screening for a specific, high-risk population – The Wall Street Journal’s Total Return: Medicare Vs. Medicare Advantage: More Comparative Data Needed The New York Times: Medicare Proposes Paying For Lung Cancer Screenings For Older Longtime Smokers With almost four weeks remaining in Medicare’s annual open-enrollment period, a new study that looks at the research available to compare traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans finds that consumers have little good evidence to make informed decisions. Medicare beneficiaries have until Dec. 7 to change their insurance plans for the coming calendar year. Among the biggest decisions for any participant: choosing between traditional fee-for-service Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans, which are operated by private companies, including health-maintenance organizations and preferred-provider organizations. About 30% of all beneficiaries are now enrolled in the latter. (Ruffenach, 11/10) Medical guidelines encourage doctors who treat pain to test their patients, to make sure they are neither abusing pills nor failing to take them, possibly to sell them. Now, some pain doctors are making more from testing than from treating. Spending on the tests took off after Medicare cracked down on what appeared to be abusive billing for simple urine tests. Some doctors moved on to high-tech testing methods, for which billing wasn’t limited. (Weaver and Mathews, 11/10) Pain Doctors Profit From Drug Tests On Seniors The Wall Street Journal reports that some Medicare doctors are making more from testing their patients for drug abuse than for treating them for pain. Another story looks at the need for better information to help seniors compare traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans to figure out which is best for them. The Wall Street Journal: Doctors Cash In On Drug Tests For Seniors, And Medicare Pays The Bill last_img read more

Gilead Presses For Exclusivity On HIV Drug After Judges Ruling That FDA

first_img The Wall Street Journal: Alkermes Shares Surge On Favorable Data For Depression Drug Alkermes PLC said its depression drug helped patients not responding to standard treatments, news that added more than $3 billion to the company’s market value in after-hours trading. The company said that in a late-stage trial, its ALKS 5461 treatment significantly improved depression scores in patients who had an inadequate response to standard therapies. The most commonly reported adverse events associated with the treatment were nausea, dizziness and fatigue. (Beckerman, 10/20) Gilead Presses For Exclusivity On HIV Drug After Judge’s Ruling That FDA Policy Is ‘Capricious’ Gilead wants the agency to retroactively grant it five years of exclusive marketing. Meanwhile, groups say the gaps in Food and Drug Administration’s biosimilar policies are creating untenable situations. Politico Pro: Groups Press FDA For Biosimilar Policy, Resources  FDA must move faster to develop policies for cheaper versions of biologic medicines, and Congress should provide more resources to enable faster agency review, a broad array of health care groups told FDA. Gaps in FDA policy on biosimilars are creating challenging situations for states, providers and health insurers who must deal with already approved biosimilars, the agency was told at a Thursday meeting on a recently announced user fee agreement. The groups said the agency should finalize its guidance on key biosimilar policies — such as how to name and label treatments, and when biosimilars can be considered “interchangeable” with their brand counterparts — ahead of deadlines specified in that agreement. (Karlin-Smith, 10/20) Stat: Gilead Asks FDA To Expand Exclusivity For A Key HIV Drug In the latest development in a heated battle between Gilead Sciences and the US Food and Drug Administration, the company petitioned the agency this month to retroactively grant five years of exclusive marketing for an HIV medicine. And the drug maker argues that it otherwise faces lost sales and added expense from fending off a pending generic threat to its Stribild medication. The move follows a complicated legal battle in which Gilead challenged an FDA policy toward so-called fixed-dose combination drugs, which consist of two or more chemical entities. At stake are untold amounts of revenue as Gilead and other drug makers have battled the agency over its policy, which a federal judge recently ruled is  “arbitrary and capricious.” (Silverman, 10/20) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. And in other pharmaceutical news —last_img read more

The latest threat to the speedy UK 5G rollout Lampposts

first_img Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editor This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. As if the kerfuffle over the use of Huawei tech as part of the UK’s 5G infrastructure wasn’t threatening enough to the timely rollout of next-gen speeds, there’s an ongoing row about lampposts to contend with too.According to a Guardian report, we’re in the midst of legal wrangling about whether millions of lampposts around the country can be used to house a vast network of transmitters.Mobile network operators (MNO) in the UK are facing resistance from local governments and private landlords in the UK, who are resisting efforts to erect the structures on lampposts and other tall buildings. This, according to experts in the field, could jeopardise efforts to get 15 million premises connected to the next-gen network by 2025.Related: 5G PhonesTheo Blackwell, London’s chief digital officer, told the paper a new electronic communications code hasn’t done a good enough job of clearing cup who has access to what. Lengthy and expensive legal challenges have occurred as a result.He says: “Whilst the intention of the code was to make it easier and cheaper for MNOs to roll out infrastructure, by not providing guidance nor seeking compromise, the government have in fact delayed deployments by two years, whilst the new code is being tested in the courts.”According to the report there’s a massive backlog of cases to be heard, despite setting up a new tribunal system to deal with the increasing number of cases. One property lawyer reckons cases could face a two-year wait to be heard, which is bound to slow down the rollout of the infrastructure.“More and more cases are clogging up the tribunals than ever was the case under the old code.” said Alicia Foo, a lawyer representing operators and landowners. “One case has already been referred to the court of appeal and more are likely. Our court system takes a long time so a two-year delay is not inconceivable.”A BT spokesperson said it is working hard to ensure ‘street furniture’ is available to host the digital infrastructure necessary to deliver the services customers will expect.The spokesperson said: “We’re working with local, regional and national governments to roll out even better connectivity to the areas that need it most as quickly and efficiently as possible. Ensuring that street furniture can be used to host digital infrastructure will become increasingly important to deliver the services customers will expect. So, working closely with councils, we’re keen to remove existing barriers to access, reflecting the approach set out in the new electronic communications code.” 5Gcenter_img We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time.last_img read more

Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro adds key iPhone XS feature – then warns

first_img We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editor The Redmi K20 Pro just received an update which brings Face Unlock to the device. The catch is Redmi isn’t sure you should use it. When setting up the feature, Redmi warns the method isn’t as secure a PIN, password or pattern locking methods. Face Unlock is a popular feature on the iPhone XS and comes in various forms across Android devices. Unfortunately, the Redmi K20 Pro appears to be using the least secure method. Face Unlock on the K20 Pro only uses a single front camera – rather than using accompanying sensors like some other phones.Related: Best Android phonesAccording to GSMArena, the use of only one camera means the security of the unlocking method is significantly diminished. The phone is simply locked using the 2D image of your face – meaning the method can likely be tricked with a photo or even just a person who looks similar to yourself.The MIUI 10.3.8.0 update brings the Face Unlock changes to the Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro. The update adds a couple of other new features too. Three customisable lock screen clock styles are now available to use as well as a new way of organising Wi-Fi connections by signal strength The update itself is 392MB and is currently available in China – the only country it’s currently available in. The Redmi K20 Pro is launching around the globe on June 12 as the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro.Related: Best cheap phonesThe news emerged yesterday that the Redmi K20 Pro would likely come to the west under a different name. A Geekbench listing appeared to reveal the Xiaomi Mi 9T was simply the Redmi K20 under a different moniker outside of China. The name convention is expected to remain the same for the Pro version.The Redmi K20 Pro is an impressive device considering it is priced far lower than devices with similar specs. The K20 Pro has the same amount of RAM as both the OnePlus 7 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. Redmi’s flagship beats the 3400mAh battery life of the Galaxy S10 – coming in at 4000mAh. Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.last_img read more

Sony Xperia 2 Release Date Price and Early Rumours

first_imgRelated: Amazon Prime Day 2019Sony Xperia 2 Release Date – When will the Sony Xperia 2 be released?Sony flagships have historically been released on a regular six-month cycle. Take these recent examples:Sony Xperia XZ1 — Announced August 2017, Released September 2017Sony Xperia XZ2 — Announced February 2018, Released April 2018Sony Xperia XZ3 — Announced August 2018, Released October 2018Sony Xperia 1 — Announced February 2019, Released June 2019But as we can see, the lengthy period between the announcement and launch of the Xperia 1 could mean a delay to the launch schedule of the Xperia 2. Either way, we expect to know a lot more about this device by the time of IFA, the annual tech trade show held in September. Stay tuned for all the latest news and leaks until then.Sony Xperia 2 Price – How much will it cost?The starting price of the Sony Xperia 1 was £849 ($949), a price that puts it right near the top of the smartphone market shoulder to shoulder with the iPhone XS and Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus.Unfortunately we’d expect the Xperia 2 to come in at a similar price — and in fact it might even be influenced by the launch price of the Galaxy Note 10 around a similar time in the year, the cost of which could dip into the early £1000s/$1000s.Sony Xperia 2 ScreenThe most instantly recognisable element of the Sony Xperia was its unusual 21:9 aspect ratio, which makes it particularly narrow and tall. When held in widescreen mode however, it’s intended to fit movies perfectly without irritating black bars spoiling the experience.We expect this unique selling point to be continued into the Xperia 2. We were very impressed with the screen quality of the Xperia 1, the first-ever 4K OLED HDR on the market — but for next generation we’d love to see the refresh rate increased to match the 90Hz offered by the OnePlus 7 Pro, which gives users a very smooth experience when scrolling and navigating.Sony Xperia 2 Camera – How good will the snapper be?For years Sony smartphones cameras had over-promised and under-delivered, disappointing us with underwhelming images despite impressive Sony-brand hardware.The Xperia 1 was intended to be the device to break that hoodoo, so we compared it to the Google Pixel 3 in a shot-for-shot, side-by-side comparison. The Xperia 1 has a good portrait mode, with the three sensors giving a good amount of versatility. The macro is decent as smartphones go, but there are several aspects where it falls short compared to the Pixel, including level of detail, dynamic range, and especially shooting at night. Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. Some additional informationRear:20MP F2.4 16MM48MP F1.2/2.4 26MM16MP F2.4 52MM8MP F2.4 135MM12MP F1.2/2.4 26MM0.5MP ToFFront:10MP0.3MP— Max J. (@Samsung_News_) June 20, 2019The latest rumour from @Saumsung_Leaks_ is that the Xperia 2 will have a mind-boggling eight-sensor rear camera set-up. That easily trumps the Nokia 9 PureView‘s array of five lenses, which produced promising photos in our hands-on time with the device. If this rumour does prove to be true, we can’t wait to try it out.Sony Xperia 2 Performance and 5G – How powerful will it be?We expect the Xperia 2 to house the latest Snapdragon 855 processor — the same one as found in the Xperia 1. It’s also found on the OnePlus 7 Pro and the Xiaomi Mi 9, both of which deliver great performance metrics. We’ve got no early reservations regarding processing power.There’s also a chance if Sony holds off launching the Xperia 2 until 2019 it could pack the rumoured Snapdragon 865 – which could bring with it built-in 5G support. Soon after the release of the Xperia 1, Sony might be getting ready to launch another flagship smartphone. Here’s all we know so far about the Xperia 2.The Xperia 1 was an especially unusual smartphone for its very tall but narrow screen. It also showed a renewed focus on camera performance, which has tended to be poor from Sony smartphones — somewhat counter-intuitively as its sensors are ubiquitous among high-performing smartphones in the mid-range and premium market. It hasn’t been available for very long but already there could be a sequel on the horizon: the Xperia 2.Can it improve on the progress made by its predecessor? This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Email and Editor and tell us what you think.last_img read more

Excited about the Nintendo Switch Pro Its definitely not what youre expecting

first_imgThere we go: New Switch model announced with better battery lifehttps://t.co/GPylNUjjNS pic.twitter.com/moQfTZJ2kz— Nibel (@Nibellion) July 17, 2019Earning 4/5 in our original review, battery life was one of our main concerns with Nintendo Switch when it released back in 2017. Given it’s a portable console exclusively for many, running out of juice so quickly was a bit of a bummer.We’d love to see an updated model with an OLED screen, more powerful components and other changes, but right now, this isn’t going to happen. Nintendo Switch Console DealNintendo Switch Console – Neon 32GB – Use code: PARTYOne of the most versatile ways to game, the Nintendo Switch allows a smooth multi-player gaming experience, as well as great game play for single use too with impressive graphics and a nostalgic feel.eBay|Save £50.80|Now £227.19View DealNow £227.19|Save £50.80|eBay What are your thoughts on the Nintendo Switch Pro? Still going to buy a Lite when it comes out this September? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter @trustedreviews.  Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editor This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Nintendo has announced a revised model to its hybrid console, but it’s definitely not the huge upgrade many might be expecting. Being unveiled on the company’s Japanese website earlier today, the new model looks exactly the same as its launch counterpart, its the innards that have been changed. Much like the Nintendo Switch Lite which is due to launch this September, this new iteration will seemingly feature an improved processor and increased battery life compared to vanilla consoles. To be more specific, it will now support 4.5 to 9 hours of battery life, increasing the original’s capacity by roughly 3 hours. That’s a hefty upgrade, and should work in favour for those who enjoy portable play. So, this is essentially a brief revision to bring the original Nintendo Switch in line with its lightweight counterpart ahead of its release. Nintendo Japan has slated an August 2019 rollout for these new consoles. We’ll update this article once international details are confirmed. If you were expecting Nintendo to bust out hardware to rival PS5 and Xbox 2, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. You could argue that Nintendo doesn’t really need to compete anymore. Related: Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Litelast_img read more

Tydrolyte releases lowcorrosion lowtoxicity electrolyte alternative for leadacid batteries

Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine Electrolyte specialist Tydrolyte has released an electrolyte intended to replace the sulfuric acid found in lead-acid batteries. It claims that the patent-pending electrolyte is well suited for start-stop batteries, offers lower hold currents and water losses and is less toxic than sulfuric acid.Start-stop batteries are used for engine starts at a rate 100x that of traditional batteries. They must also be able to handle AC compressor loads and higher charging levels. Tydrolyte’s research has shown that its electrolyte provides 12-19% lower DC charge resistances over the critical partial State of Charge (pSOC) range of 10-20% State of Discharge and 90-80% State of Charge for stop-start and micro-hybrid vehicles. Early testing suggests that the electrolyte may also improve round-trip efficiency as well.Several companies have subjected the electrolyte to the EN50342-1 test, the standard for automotive accelerated life testing. A battery using the electrolyte was continuously charged at 14.4 V in 60˚ C. It was found that the electrolyte reduced hold current by 24% with the figure improving as the battery aged. The battery also showed smaller water losses and may provide lower positive electrode corrosion. As a cherry on top, the electrolyte is expected to receive non-toxic classification by the US DOT and EPA, which would lower handling costs for manufacturers.“In spite of its historic success, many aspects of lead battery chemistry are not fully understood, and this provides a significant opportunity to further enhance the performance of world’s most popular rechargeable battery technology,” said Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC) manager Dr. Boris Monahov. “We are delighted to welcome Tydrolyte into membership of the ALABC, and strongly support companies such as Tydrolyte in pursuing innovative new solutions to the challenge of improving lead battery performance. There is a bright future for the lead battery, but it is essential that the industry continues to drive innovation to meet future market requirements. We look forward to working with Tydrolyte in the future.” Source: Tydrolyte via Green Car Congress read more

Jaguar IPace gets official EPA range of 234 miles as questions about

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Jaguar’s first all-electric vehicle, the I-Pace, is slowly starting to make its way to some customers, and they are getting some real-world experience.Now, the I-Pace received its official EPA range of 234 miles as questions regarding efficiency and range are beginning to arise. more…The post Jaguar I-Pace gets official EPA range of 234 miles as questions about efficiency arise appeared first on Electrek.last_img

Honda Electric Car Past Present And Future

first_imgAfter 30 years, Honda is still not ready to commit to battery-electric vehicles.Honda started developing electric vehicles more than 30 years ago. In those three decades, the Japanese automaker made strides with battery-powered cars. But with each step, Honda reconsidered the potential of EV technology – and shifted its strategy away from pure EVs and toward hybrids. All the while, the company placed its biggest bets on the ever-receding future of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.More Honda EV News EV Comparison: 3 Flavors Of Honda Clarity: PHEV, BEV & Fuel Cell Source: Electric Vehicle News Honda Clarity PHEV Review After One Year Of Ownership Honda continues to take a portfolio approach to EV technology. That’s evident from its Clarity line of vehicles now on sale. It uniquely offers a choice of a plug-in hybrid, pure EV, and hydrogen fuel cell.In late 2018, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid became the top-selling PHEV in the United States. With its success  – and Honda again promising new upcoming electric cars – let’s consider the company’s EV history and what the future might bring.Started Developing EVs: 1988Future Target: Two-thirds of European sales will be “electrified” vehicles by 2030Honda EV with the Longest Electric Range: Honda Clarity Fuel Cell with 366 milesPlug-in Cars (And Date of US Introduction):Honda EV Plus (1999)Honda Fit EV (2011)Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid (2013)Honda Clarity Line of Electric Cars (2017)center_img PASTA team of four Honda engineers gathered at the company’s R&D center in April 1988. The turn of the century was still a dozen years away, but the team was already considering which technology held the most promise for the 21st century. “Electric operation was the most likely candidate in terms of alternative power,” said Junichi Araki, who led Honda’s first EV research team.The team, which had no experience in EV-related technology, had doubts if batteries could provide enough energy for decent range. Using a stripped down Honda CR-X and then a three-door Civic, the team built a series of prototypes that were presented to the company’s management team by October 1990. “At that meeting, I was convinced to continue the full-scale development of electric vehicles,” said Takefumi Hiramatsu, a research director. The team grew to 100 members.1993 Honda EVXThe timing was good. A month earlier, the first zero-emissions vehicle mandates were established by the California Air Resources Board. To sell cars in California, two percent of those purchases had to be zero-emission vehicles by 1998, rising to 10 percent by 2003. The race was on.After a series of rough prototypes emerge, Honda was able to exhibit the EV-X at the 1993 Tokyo Motor Show.  It was Honda’s first purpose-built electric car.That was followed by the CUV-4, an electric conversion of a Civic. A total of 10 cars were put on California roads for testing. Concerned about the durability of lead-acid batteries, Honda took the bold step of using nickel-metal hydride batteries, the first car company to make the switch.Honda CUV-4Honda’s First EVBased on 80,000 miles of real-world testing, Honda’s president Nobuhiko Kawamoto gave the go-ahead in January 1996 to create an original body design for Honda’s EV. In April 1997, newspaper reporters and television crews assembled at Takanezawa plant, Honda’s manufacturing facility for specialized small production runs. The cameras captured a single small unit of the EV Plus rolling off the line.The First EV Plus was produced in 1997.“There still are many issues at hand, including the battery,” said Kenji Matsumoto, head of the company’s development project. “But I can definitely sense the coming age of the EV.”The E.P.A. gave the Honda EV Plus a range rating of 81 miles – an achievement for the era. Power was modest at 66 horsepower and a top speed of about 80 miles per hour. The four-passenger compact was about a foot longer than today’s BMW i3 and 1,000 pounds heavier.The EV Plus’s surprising sticker price was $53,900, but Honda would only allow the car to be leased – at $455 a month for three years. Nonetheless, Honda found more than 100 customers in 1997, one year ahead of the California mandate’s deadline. However, 1998 California was already loosening its zero-emissions targets to include hybrids.1997 Honda EV PlusHonda produced and leased a couple hundred more EV Pluses in the following two years in California – and a handful in Japan and Europe. But with California regulators allowing hybrids to get ZEV credits, the pressure was off to sell a pure EV.On April 26, 1999, Automotive News reported that Honda had produced its last EV Plus and the “arrival this fall of Honda’s VV hybrid car hastened the end of EV Plus production in Japan.” The VV was the concept version of the Honda Insight hybrid. The company reclaimed and eventually destroyed its first EV.The Shift to Hybrids“We had limited production goals in mind from the beginning for EV Plus,” said Robert Bienenfeld, manager of alternative fuel vehicles sales and marketing for American Honda Motor Co. “It was not meant to be mass-market material. The real question, if we were to keep selling the EV Plus, would be, ‘Are we moving forward? Are we advancing the technology?’ And the answer would be ‘I think not.’”Compared to the limited production numbers for its first EV, Honda said that it would sell 5,000 Insights worldwide every year. The company’s shift from EVs to hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles became the strategy for the ensuing decades. Honda introduced the FCX Clarity fuel-cell sedan in 2006. By 2008, a couple of dozen California consumers were leasing the hydrogen-powered car.EV development was still simmering in the background. Tomohiko Kawanabe, Honda’s president of research and development, in 2010 said: “We are definitely conducting research on electric cars, but I can’t say I can wholeheartedly recommend them. It’s questionable whether consumers will accept the annoyances of limited driving range and having to spend time charging them.”A Toe in the WaterThe Honda Fit EV was unveiled at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.Against a background of rising fuel-economy standards, Honda unveiled an all-electric version of the Honda Fit at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. Honda committed to making just 1,100 units over a 20-month period. Again, it was only available for lease.The small yet spacious five-passenger Fit was equipped with a 20 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack providing an estimated range of 82 miles. When placed into Sport mode, the Fit EV’s dashboard took on a red hue and upped its output to 123 horsepower and 189 pound-feet of torque. Compared to the popular EVs at the time – the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, and Smart ED – the Fit was the most fun to drive.Matt Walton received delivery of the first Honda Fit EV on July 20, 2012, at a dealership in Woodland Hills, Calif.The lease price was set at $389 a month and then dropped to $259, creating waiting lists at dealerships in California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. But 20 months after Matt and Becky Walton received the first Fit EV, Honda announced that it had reached its sales quota and production would end earlier than expected.The Fit EV was not the only plug-in car produced by Honda in the early to mid-2010s. For three years, from 2013 to 2015, the company sold about 1,100 units of the Accord Plug-in Hybrid. The plug-in Accord was a spacious and capable mid-size sedan selling for $40,450. It offered 13 miles of all-electric range via a 6.7 kilowatt-hour battery pack. But unfortunately, the batteries were packed in the trunk where it reduced cargo space down to 8.6 cubic feet.The Honda EV-ster sports concept was displayed at auto shows throughout the world.In this period, Honda also introduced a series of funky concept EVs, including the 2009 EV-N retro-commuter, 2011 Micro Commuter mobility pod, and the bizarre 2016 NeuV that supposedly was capable of reading human emotions. The gem in the bunch was the 2011 Honda EV-Ster. The two-seat sports car, reminiscent of the classic Honda S2000, provided about 100 miles of range. It scooted to 60 miles per hour in about five seconds. (Honda revealed an updated EV sports concept in 2017.)PRESENTWith sales of the Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid dwindling to a few units per month, Honda showed up at the 2015 Detroit auto show with yet another concept: the FCV. From 2008 to 2014, Honda had leased a total of 46 FCX fuel-cell vehicles so the FCV looked like it would be the next iteration of a hydrogen car. But then Honda announced there would be battery-electric and plug-in hybrid versions of the Clarity by 2018.A trio of Honda Clarity electrified vehicles.Deliveries of the Clarity Fuel Cell began in Southern California in December 2016. Those were followed by the launch of the battery-electric Clarity in August 2017, and the plug-in hybrid version four months later.While the fuel-cell and battery-electric variants are available only for lease in California (plus Oregon for the EV), the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is a 50-state vehicle. Sales of the fuel-cell Clarity are limited by lack of availability of hydrogen stations, and the Clarity Electric is hobbled by offering only 89 miles of range on a single charge.2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in HybridHowever, the 2018 Clarity Plug-in offering 48 miles of all-electric range is a real contender. With the discontinuation of the Chevy Volt, the Clarity becomes the plug-in hybrid with the most all-electric range. It also claims a place in the market as a spacious mid-size sedan that provides more than enough electric range for daily commuting – and then it becomes a 42-mpg hybrid without range limitations.It’s currently the largest sedan sold by Honda. Unlike the Accord Plug-in Hybrid that preceded it, there’s no compromise on cargo space.These superlatives help explain why the Clarity Plug-in hybrid became the number one selling PHEV in December 2018. The base-level Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid starts at $33,400, not including a $7,500 federal tax credit. The Touring trim, which starts at $36,600, adds goodies like leather seats and navigation.2018 Honda Clarity ElectricIt’s easy to dismiss the other two Clarity versions. Yes, the fuel-cell offers an impressive 366 miles of range in a five-minute fill-up, but availability is limited to a few dealerships in California. The Clarity Electric, which leases in California and Oregon, has a compelling price of $199 a month. But its 89-mile range is a non-starter for most buyers.That leaves the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, which could be a leader in the space for a few years.FUTUREHonda continues to set meaningful goals for electrification. In 2016, Takahiro Hachigo, Honda’s chief executive, said Honda hybrids and other electrified vehicles would account for two-thirds of sales in Europe by 2025. Battery-EVs and fuel-cell cars are expected to represent 15 percent of Honda’s electrified cars, said Hachigo. (Today, Honda sells two conventional hybrids, the Accord and Insight.)The Honda Everus at the 2018 Beijing Motor ShowIn 2017, Honda created a new division dedicated to making fully electric vehicles. If Honda indeed starts getting serious about electric cars, it’s thinking more about China and Europe rather than the United States. Automakers need pure electric vehicles to compete in China, the world’s largest auto market.That explains why Honda unveiled the Everus all-electric concept at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show, followed by the Everus VE-1 production version at the Guangzhou Auto Show in November. Think of the VE-1 as a curvier all-electric version of the conventional HR-V crossover with an aerodynamic fascia and charge port.Honda Everus VE-1The Everus VE-1 is being produced with Honda’s Chinese partner, GAC. Partnerships are integral to Honda’s future EV strategy. In June 2018, the company agreed with General Motors to develop smaller, more capable lithium-ion batteries. Honda also has a partnership with China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), reportedly the world’s biggest battery maker.Nikkei’s Asia Review reported that the Honda-CATL partnership is expected to yield an all-electric version of the Honda Fit offering about 185 miles of range. Notably, Honda intends to sell 100,000 of the new Fit EV a year.Honda continues to roll out exotic EV and energy concepts, including next-generation ultra-fast charging, battery-swapping scooters, and a vehicle-to-grid system. But Honda’s most tangible plan is to put its Urban EV concept into full-scale production. The Urban EV, which was unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, bears a resemblance to the EV-N concept that Honda revealed a decade ago.Honda Urban EV ConceptThe cute and curvy all-electric concept was spotted (in four-door hatchback form) in testing in late 2018. Those sightings give credence to Honda enter production of the Urban EV as soon as 2019 – but probably only for the European market. Few details are known at this time, but there’s speculation that the Honda Urban EV will provide 200 miles of range using an entirely new dedicated electric platform. Honda Clarity PHEV: #1 Selling Plug-In Hybrid In U.S. In December 2018 Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 8, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Tesla Powerwall gets a massive boost in Australia with 50 subsidy for

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Australia is already a huge market for Tesla Powerwall for many reasons. But now you can add one more: the South Australian government has approved Tesla’s home battery pack for an important subsidy worth ~%50 of the battery pack for up to 40,000 homes. more…The post Tesla Powerwall gets a massive boost in Australia with ~50% subsidy for up to 40,000 homes appeared first on Electrek.last_img

The First Hyundai Kona Electric Delivered In US

first_img Hyundai Kona Electric Gets Priced In U.S: SEL, Limited, Ultimate Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 15, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News More details are expected to be released soon, but if Hyundai is following the same path as in other markets, the “Ultimate” will be the first trim level available. That variant starts at $44,650, while the “Limited” begins at $41,150. The most affordable trim, the SEL package, has a base price of $36,450 .Hyundai and John Hopkins have a history together. The automaker has donated over $2 million for cancer research there via its Hope On Wheels program. That includes $500,000 for grants toward pediatric cancer research this past September.Whether this means the floodgates will open and sales will begin in the other so-called ZEV states — California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont — remains to be seen, but we expect they will be starting shortly, if not right away. Apparently, this first shipment arrived at port about a week ago. If you’re interested in the car and don’t live in one of those states, it may be possible to arrange for its purchase through your local dealer. Just don’t expect them to carry inventory.While electric vehicles are, of course, more environmentally-friendly than their gas-guzzling cousins, this particular Kona Electric, we understand, will be going to a home that gets most of its energy from renewable sources. The doctor is not new to electric vehicle ownership, having already owned an EV for the past seven years.There should be more details on the way and we’ll update this post as we get them. Hyundai Kona Electric Road Trip From Los Angeles To Las Vegas: Video Will be powered at least partly with renewable energy.It’s finally happening. After months of watching the Hyundai Kona Electric being dispatched to other territories, the first U.S. delivery has taken place. In a small ceremony yesterday at The Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore, Maryland, the pediatric oncologist who leads his department had his all-electric crossover handed over.More with the Hyundai Kona Electric 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric, Edmunds Editors’ Choice Best EV: Videolast_img read more