A disabled MP has spoken of her pride at being abl

first_imgA disabled MP has spoken of her pride at being able to speak openly about being dyspraxic, after having to hide her diagnosis from employers for years before she entered parliament.Emma Lewell-Buck (pictured) was previously a social worker but was “acutely aware that if there were any job cuts that would come around, it would be used against me and I would be the first one in the dole queue”.She said sheused to take work home with her at weekends, work late into the evening andstart early in the morning because, like many other disabled people, she feltshe had to “go the extra mile” and “work that little bit harder to proveyourself or keep up”.She wasspeaking at the launch event of Neurodivergent Labour (see separate story), a political campaign group that will fight forthe rights of people with neurological differences such as autism, dyslexia,dyspraxia and dyscalculia, both within the party and in wider society.Lewell-Buck,the shadow minister for children and families – who later confirmed toDisability News Service that she is happy to be described as a disabled MP –said that being dyspraxic affected her every day in her work.She said:“Every single thing I do I need to prep for meticulously, down to the tiniestdetail. “But I’m oneof the lucky ones because I am in a job where I can openly speak about mydisability and I can use my profile to raise awareness.”The MP forSouth Shields said she was only diagnosed at the age of 27, after beingassessed by an educational psychologist on the advice of a lecturer while shewas studying for a masters degree.She said:“My whole life clicked into place. I suddenly realised why, when I was growingup, I always felt different to other kids and always used to isolate myself. “I realisedwhy I put my shoes on the wrong feet, why I couldn’t tie my laces properly,button my coat up, why I was always spilling my drinks and why the whole familyalways referred to me as ‘our clumsy Emma’. “I wasalways so frustrated that things that used to come so easily to other kids wereso, so hard for me.”This caused“tremendous low self-esteem and self-confidence” as a child, she said.But she saidshe now saw her dyspraxia as an advantage.She said: “Ijust see it as I’m a little bit different to some of those around me. I’veembraced it. “It doesn’tdefine me, it’s just part of me. I’ve been forced to adapt and face thosechallenges, and come up with solutions, and I certainly don’t feeldisadvantaged.”She thankedthose neurodivergent party members who had developed the idea of the neworganisation, as well as shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who has supportedthe idea over the last three years and spoke at Saturday’s launch event.She said:“It is thanks to you that people like me have the confidence to talk about andembrace who we are and thanks to all of you that the fabulously neurodivergentpeople have been given this platform to help us on the way to that much-neededsocietal and cultural shift.”Lewell-Bucksaid that she, McDonnell and other Labour colleagues were “determined to changethe culture of our society and how neurodivergent people and people withdisabilities are treated. “Ourapproach is a clear move away from the dehumanising and debilitating hostileenvironment we have seen under the Tories to one where people will be treatedwith dignity and respect.”She said itwas “the neurodivergent people in this world who have always been the bigthinkers, and creators and innovators. “We are theones who always have the ability to think outside the box and come up withsolutions to some of the world’s greatest problems.”Among thedecisions agreed by the launch event was to endorse a draft Labour autism andneurodiversity manifesto that neurodivergent party members have spent threeyears developing.Included inthe manifesto are calls for neurodiversity training for all teachers andteaching assistants as part of their “core training”, support forneurodivergent students, smaller class sizes, and neurodiversity to be includedin the school curriculum.Lewell-Buck,who is leading on Labour’s special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)reforms, said the proposals in the draft manifesto were “an exact fit to thosethat I have been arguing for behind the scenes in my team meetings”, becauseshe was committed to making SEND “an embedded and intrinsic part of our overalleducation system”.She saidthat a good education “can make the difference between where you begin in lifeand where you end up. “I am livingproof of that: a dyspraxic, dyslexic, shy working-class girl, growing up on theestate where I did, and never destined to be a member of parliament. “So goodeducation can absolutely make the impossible happen. I am proud to be a LabourMP and I am very proud to be dyspraxic.”She added: “You have all stopped me feeling different and I have found my home and for that alone you are always going to have my help and support, and I look forward to working with you all.”A 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

Multikulti on Valencia Street to Close After 16 Years

first_img 0% Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% The rest of the store’s items are full price, though they were vanishing on Wednesday as customer after customer came in to say goodbye.“What! What! It’s for real?” said one woman, her arms outstretched.“I know, I know,” Darwish said. “It’s been a long time here.”The shop is one of a few weird spots left on Valencia Street, customers said.“It’s just not your typical Valencia Street shop,” said Julie Mahony, who was buying a pair of pig-patterned socks and a lunchbox made to look like a first-aid kit. Mahony, who has been coming to the shop for 15 years, said it did not sell “overpriced furniture” and was not filled with “reclaimed wood” like other outlets on the street. She would shop here for costume parts or other knickknacks, and lamented the loss.“I will always think of you when I wear these socks,” she said as she left.Some of the dozens of designs at Multikulti. Photo by Joe Rivano Barros.Randy Jimenez, the manager of the clothing and accessories store Therapy two doors down, said he used to go to the shop often in his drag queen days to buy quality makeup instead of going to expensive stores downtown. He said Multikulti and Therapy were among the “last few” quirky shops on the corridor.“He kind of held that eccentric Valencia Street feel — and it’s gone,” he said. “It’s a sign of the times.”Darwish would change the shop often. When he first opened before 2000, it had some musical instruments and dancing accessories, he said, and the jewelry that still sits in display cases. Based on customer feedback, he began adding items, particularly geared towards the festival-going crowd. “Some people like stuff for Burning Man, some stuff for going to festivals — so I changed the merchandise,” he said. “It was fun.”Darwish said the landlord was selling the building and that his long-term future at the spot would have been uncertain. The shop’s last day will be December 31, and his own plans for the future, it seems, are unclear as well. As one customer said, the only certainty on Valencia Street is change.“That’s the thing with Valencia Street,” said Atoya Gibson, who has been coming to the shop for 10 years and lives around the corner. “Every other month things are changing. Nothing lasts.” center_img The clothing and accessories shop Multikulti, which has been on Valencia Street for the past 16 years, is shutting its doors in a month and a half, its owner said, because of a rent spike.“The rent is gonna increase,” said Reda Darwish, adding that he was presented with a three-year lease option that would have cost him $5,000 a month – too much for the costume shop to afford. Even with that guarantee, the rent would likely have gone up more after that, he said. “I know after these three years it’s gonna jump to double.”Multikulti, located at 539 Valencia St. near 16th Street, is filled with items for festival-goers, Burners, or quirky clothing aficionados. Groucho Marx noses, masquerade masks, and other costume parts are half off before the closure, and the mannequins themselves were on sale – $5 for a plastic leg, $3 for a torso.last_img read more

Popsicles at the park Not without proper documentation says SF park ranger

first_imgA neighborhood ice cream vendor dodged a $192 fine this week with the help of Mission residents.  The citation was reduced to a warning shortly after neighborhood activists angrily took to social media, saying that the citation was unfair — that In Chan Kaajal Park at 17th and Folsom was built for the community, and the vendor was doing no harm. “We fought for eight years to get this park built for the people of this neighborhood. Now that it’s here [Rec and Park] has nothing better to do than stand around harassing and ticketing the ice cream man,” Nancy Pili, an educator at the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, tweeted. Pili witnessed the ranger giving the paletero a ticket. She said she asked the ranger what the peddler was being cited for, and he replied “3.10,” parks code for “vending without a permit.” 0% In an email, Rec and Park spokeswoman Connie Chan said the ranger, Raul Garcia, “had previously warned the vendor, in both English and Spanish, that he was not allowed to sell without proper permits, including a health permit to ensure food safety.”Unpermitted popsicle (and other treat) sales are common in the city’s parks, including at Dolores Park, which accounted for 38 percent of vending citations citywide last year.Mission Local was unable to contact the paletero. His name was not immediately released by Rec and Park, though we have learned he purportedly goes by “Sanchez.”On Thursday, Rec and Park contacted Pili on Instagram, saying that the vendor’s citation had been “downgraded.” “Through the Department’s citation review process, the Chief Park Ranger downgraded the citation to a warning,” Chan confirmed. In Chan Kaajal Park opened last June, the city’s first new park in a decade. For some 17 years, community members rallied to convert the former parking lot into a green space.“This is a community open space, and it’s inequitable to charge immigrant vendors at our parks,” said Merilyn Duran, a community organizer with PODER, a local environmental justice organization. “It’s part of our community to have people vending on the street,” she said. “I mean, it’s ice cream.” Duran said the incident highlights a double-standard in the Mission’s parks. She said she very frequently sees people letting their dogs run off-leash in parks. That’s the same level of offense under the park code, which says dogs cannot be off their leashes in public.  “We’re not saying we hate dog owners,” she said. “We’re thinking about the disparities between folks being targeted and fined.” center_img Tags: parks • street vendors Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

Distillations Strikes and gutters at Mission Bowling Club

first_imgI believe that. Justine is a woman of compelling contradictions. The first time I met her, she told me this story about herself:Just before she turned 18, Justine’s mother decided it was a scandal that her wild, tomboy daughter had never been confirmed in the church. She demanded that Justine go through the process. Justine, not quite yet independent, had no recourse — and so she went to be confirmed, wearing a tight and revealing red dress. After the service, where the holy words were said over her in a moment every bit as uncomfortable as you can imagine, Justine went home to get ready for a wild night of drinking with friends. But from her window she saw a propane tank explode out on a neighbor’s property, setting up a fire that threatened to engulf the whole area. Justine ran outside and began digging a fire stop, in her red dress, as the flames roared closer. Her efforts might very well have saved her homestead, but when the firefighters pulled her out her dress was melted to her body and they had to rush her to the hospital. When her mother came to visit her in the intensive care unit, all Justine could think to say, drugged and in pain, was: “Momma, tonight God and the Devil were at war for my soul.” There is a city surrounded by Detroit, Justine tells me. It’s a city enveloped by another city, and it once had the most bars, per capita, of any place in America. In the heyday of Detroit’s industrial revolution, it became a settlement for Polish immigrants coming in to work the assembly lines; gradually they converted the warehouses, churches, and markets around them into bars, each one amassing its own lifetime customers.Twenty years ago, Justine’s boyfriend heard about one of these bars — a perfect dive bar — in this city within a city, and the two of them went to see it. There they found what Justine describes as the most perfect jukebox in the world, and they met Eddy, a wrinkled old man who owned this bar and had been tending it most of his life. A painting of his wife, made in the 1950s when she was young and beautiful, hung on the wall beside the top-shelf booze. The woman herself lived above the bar but never came down. And as Eddy told them his story and poured them some scotch & gingers, Justine fell deeply in love with him.She got up, and put quarters in the jukebox, and a moment later, Eddy asked her boyfriend why he wasn’t dancing with her. The boyfriend said that wasn’t something he did. So Eddy walked around the bar and asked Justine if he could have a dance. Idon’t know who won. I don’t care. All I know is that I don’t want to go back to bowling alleys and mini-golf. I don’t see the point of adding better beer and craft cocktails to experiences that were never good enough to hold my interest anyway, things that were only a way to kill time with people I never liked quite enough to try and do something really special with. It’s worth exploring new places. That’s a worthy goal. But the truth is: I was in this bar/bowling alley ironically.A server came up to the balcony, where we’d been sitting alone all this time, to tell us that the place is closing down — at 8:30 — and we’d need to settle up. Justine looked at me inquisitively, wondering what we were going to do next. Maybe something more adventurous? That’s more like it. Just a few blocks up and over, there is another converted warehouse that now serves as a bar and mini-golf course. I know that some people go there because they sincerely like mini-golf, and some people go there for the unexpected novelty of playing mini-golf inside a San Francisco craft beer bar — but I have no idea what the ratio is. If this trend keeps up, however, we’ll soon have a whole district dedicated to drinking mediocre cocktails made of high-end booze while we play the favorite games of the places we deliberately ran away from. Was bowling and mini-golf always that much fun? Or does this represent a fundamental failure of a rich and tech-savvy metropolis to actually invent something better to do?Justine knows bowling, and enjoys it. “Growing up in the blue-collar Midwest? Oh yeah, guys joined leagues, my childhood was filled with it,” she said. “It was there, it was a thing to do.”But like me, she admits, she’s not very good at bowling. We both agreed that pool is the game we always wanted to be good at. “It takes me a while to get back into it,” she told me. “My first three games are terrible, then I suddenly get good, and everybody assumes I’ve been pulling a fast one on them this whole time.” That got her boyfriend up on his feet — not to dance with her, but to tell Eddy that this wasn’t okay, and he couldn’t do that.Eddy took the “no,” and went back to slinging beers. A year later, his bar was incredibly popular, in part from all the cool kids Justine’s boyfriend had brought. A few years after that, Eddy died and the bar fell apart, and now it’s gone. Tonight we were in San Francisco, sipping craft drinks at Mission Bowling Club on an upstairs balcony overlooking six regulation-sized bowling lanes within a converted warehouse. People who look an awful lot like hipsters are playing frames. I don’t know what Justine thinks of all this, although we both think it’s a fascinating view to drink by. But I can’t help wondering: Are these people bowling ironically? If they were, how could I tell?“Is it all in the wrist?” I asked out loud.“What?” Justine said.“Nothing.” I waved it away. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Email Addresslast_img read more

SAINTS had their World Club Challenge hopes dashed

first_imgSAINTS had their World Club Challenge hopes dashed by a ruthless first half South Sydney Rabbitohs performance.In front of a packed Langtree Park, four tries gave the visitors a 24-0 half time lead before they made the game safe in the second half.Keiron Cunningham’s men worked hard and put their bodies on the line but Souths were simply too strong in all facets of the game to secure their first world title.Saints’ supremo put faith in the same side that won at Salford last week with both Luke Thompson and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook on the bench.Souths looked formidable on paper – and got off to the best possible start when Glenn Stewart dove onto a kick through after just three minutes.Saints forced a drop out from the restart, but another penalty – somewhat harshly given for ball stealing – gave Souths a shot in front of goal.Reynolds making no mistake for 8-0.Saints almost hit back moments later; the ball swept right for Mark Percival to slide over from close range – but the video ref ruled he didn’t ground the ball.Saints defended more pressure and more sets but conceded again on the 20 minute mark.The ball was shifted right at pace, Joel Reddy made the break, cut back inside and Dylan Walker side stepped his way to the line.And moments later Greg Inglis ghosted through the defence after an error.Saints forced a dropout from the restart – lifting the crowd – and then a penalty and another drop out got them repeat sets.Souths were more than to the challenge though and turned defence into attack.With ten minutes remaining they drove down the field and a cross field kick took the most unluckiest of bounces if you are a Saints’ fan – straight into the welcoming arms of Joel Reddy.Mark Percival had another one chalked off right at the end the first half and Adam Swift was unlucky as he chased Wilkin’s kick in the final ten seconds.Saints began the first half with two strong clearing kicks but it was a kick from the Bunnies that led to their fifth try of the night.Luke Keary mopping up after a towering bomb.On 52 minutes Saints peppered the Souths’ line and went close through Wilkin and then Tommy Makinson who was bundled into touch.Seven minutes later Chris McQueen finished off another fine move to increase the advantage.Saints had their chances in the final 20 minutes – Swift combining with Lomax for one – but the South were simply too dominant and defence.Joel Reddy added his second try and Reynolds notched over a one pointer in the final stages to underline Souths’ world crown.Match Summary:Saints:Tries:Goals:Rabbitohs:Tries: Stewart, Walker, Inglis, Reddy (2), Keary, McQueenGoals: Reynolds (5 from 7), Luke (0 from 1)Drop: ReynoldsPenalties:Saints: 5Souths: 7HT: 0-24FT: 0-39 Ref: Richard SilverwoodAtt: 17,980Saints:1. Jonny Lomax; 2. Tommy Makinson, 17. Mark Percival, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Adam Swift; 6. Travis Burns, 12. Jon Wilkin; 10. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 8. Mose Masoe, 21. Joe Greenwood, 11. Atelea Vea, 15. Mark Flanagan.Subs: 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Alex Walmsley, 18. Luke Thompson, 25. Andre Savelio.Souths:1. Greg Inglis; 2. Alex Johnston, 3. Dylan Walker, 4. Bryson Goodwin, 5. Joel Reddy; 6. Luke Keary, 7. Adam Reynolds; 8. George Burgess, 9. Issac Luke, 10. David Tyrrell, 11. Glenn Stewart, 12. John Sutton, 15. Ben Lowe.Subs: 13. Jason Clark, 16. Chris McQueen, 17. Thomas Burgess, 20. Chris Grevsmuhl.last_img read more

Boil water advisory for parts of Whiteville

first_imgWHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — A boil water advisory is in effect for some residents in Whiteville.City of Whiteville Safety and Risk Management Officer Hal Lowder, Jr. said the boil water advisory is for water customers impacted by the water outage in the areas of North Lee Street.last_img

Johnson garden featured on Azalea Garden Tour

first_img Searching for unique touches is a passion and her garden reflects many of her unique finds.Johnson’s dogs are another passion and her backyard is designed with them in mind.All plants that could be trampled by exuberant pets are elevated in pots and troughs for protection and easy maintenance.Related Article: 2019 Azalea Festival Home Tour: Sullivan HomeThis is the garden’s first time being on the Garden Tour.“My garden is different than a lot of others, I think, in that I haven’t been nurturing mine for a long time,” Johnson said. “Mine has been much more of a rehab, restore situation before and after which I think people will find interesting.”The garden also offers eclectic seating around a fire pit.The Cape Fear Garden Club’s Azalea Garden Tour runs Friday through Sunday. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Azaleas come in many different colors.Color is very important to the owner of this garden, Susan Johnson, and she uses it abundantly on her front door and in the vibrant pots placed on her front steps.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Salvation Army begins Angel Tree and Red Kettle initiatives

first_imgMajor Mark Craddock introduces the Angel Tree program at Independence Mall (Photo: Justin McKee/WWAY) Wilmington, NC – The Salvation Army of Cape Fear, serving New Hanover, Bladen, Pender, Columbus, and Brunswick counties, is pleased to announce that 3,000 children will be helped this year in the annual Salvation Army Angel Tree program which, with generous help from the community, gives children in need the Christmas of their dreams.To start the new Angel Tree Season, The Salvation Army will host an Angel Tree Kickoff on Friday, November 16, 2018, at 12:00 Noon inside the Independence Mall (San Felipe Entrance). The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary will host the event and provide volunteers to assist Angel Adopters.- Advertisement – The Community Brass Band will provide Christmas music. The Salvation Army is pleased to share that Harris Teeter serves as the main sponsor of The Salvation Army Angel Tree.Placed within Independence Mall, the Angel Tree will operate from November 10 – December 10, 2018. On the tree are printed angels that have the name, age, and gift suggestions for a child “angel” registered in the program.Each angel is ready for members of the community to “adopt” (purchase gifts) for Christmas. Businesses and community organizations that would like to adopt angels or volunteer for the program can call Dottie Playforth at 910-762-2070 for more information.Related Article: Burgaw Christmas parade cancelled due to inclement weatherWhen ready to return Angel gifts to The Salvation Army, Angel Adopters may return their unwrapped, new gifts to the following locations:The Angel Tree in Independence Mall, Wilmington.The Salvation Army Family Store at 1411 Floral Parkway, WilmingtonThe Salvation Army Family Store at 820 N Second St., WilmingtonThe Salvation Army Family Store at 4566 Long Beach Road, SouthportThe Salvation Army is also kicking off its annual Red Kettle Campaign, with a goal of raising $325,000. The money raised in the Red Kettles helps with The Salvation Army’s social service programs. In 2018, The Salvation Army of Wilmington, NC has served more than 4,000 people through its social service programs that provide food, clothing, and emergency financial assistance to those in need.Over 1,000 additional people received service through The Salvation Army Red Shield Center of Hope.Community members who would like to volunteer to ring the bells can call Angela Fox at 910-762-2070.“The Salvation Army is grateful for the community and community partners. Because of their generosity, we can serve residents in need at Christmas and throughout the year with our social service programs,” said Major Mark Craddock , Corps Officer of The Salvation Army Wilmington, NC Corps.last_img read more

Google Finds Search Hijacking Virus on 1 Million Computers

first_imgAdvertisement Google users will now be greeted with a yellow warning at the top of their search results if they are affected, according to the security blog KrebsonSecurity.Damian Menscher, a Google security engineer, said the malware appeared to find its way onto computers via fake anti-virus software, also known as scareware. Unsuspecting victims download the software, which then uses a vulnerability in Windows takes control of web searches.When a search is entered, instead of going straight to Google it is first sent to servers controlled by the cyber criminals, which modify and redirect the traffic. – Advertisement – The ruse was discovered when engineers temporarily shut down one of Google’s data centres for maintenance. Normal search traffic was diverted to another of the firm’s sites, but Mr Menscher noticed more than a million computers were still trying to contact the dormant data centre.Further investigations uncovered the unique traffic signature generated by the malware, which Google will now detect and encourage victims to remove from their computer.The intiative is another sign that internet firms are becoming more aggressive in their response to cyber crime. Microsoft recently shut down the world biggest source of spam through the courts, and Virgin Media and TalkTalk have implemented systems, to warn broadband subscribers if their computer is infected or visiting a dangerous website respectivelySource: Telegraph Newslast_img read more

Huawei working on new entry level mobile phones for Africa

first_imgAdvertisement Following recent media reports that Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei Technologies has decided to put off its entry level smartphone segment, the company has reiterated that the market segment will always be an important part of its business strategy.Reports had suggested that the company will now focus on the middle-to-high-end space.But Yudi Rambaran, the product marketing director for Huawei South Africa, explained that whilst the Company is primarily focused on the mid-to-high-end space, it would continue to service the entry level segment. – Advertisement – “Our focus is indeed on the mid-tier and high end segments. However, for Africa and including South Africa, we will continue to bring some entry level devices to the market based on our market share ambitions and consumer requirements. In addition, we will continue to evaluate our key focus areas and adjust according to market conditions as well as our strategies.”Huawei’s IDEOS Android smartphone range, launched to the Kenyan and Ugandan market four years ago, strengthened the Company’s entry level smartphone portfolio in Africa. In May 2011 Huawei’s leadership lauded the phone’s performance, claiming at time the IDEOS was the “top selling device”.Rambaran told ITWeb Africa that the company has maintained the Ascend Y220 android smartphone within the operator channels and will be going into retail at a R599 price point, the Company’s most affordable smartphone offering.“Based on smartphone sales we’ve had a few of number one smartphone market share months in 2014, specifically around the Y220 and Y22000 models… so from that perspective, we know there is a demand for entry level models,” he said.Huawei has now brought to market the higher spec Y221 model, which is pitched at a slightly higher margin within the R800-to-R850 price range. However, the company is confident that operators will support the offering, subsidise the solution and help bring the price down closer to the entry price point.Referring to media reports that the company is distancing itself from the entry level mobile phone segment, Rambaran explained that this notion was more from a global view and Western ideal perspective.“… the majority of the entry level smartphones do not sell within the Western markets,” said Rambaran. The truth is that it is standard practice within the mobile space to focus on the mid-to-high tier segment because that is where the margins are, he explained. “This is where Huawei’s marketing efforts will be concentrated on.”At the same time the Company has recognised the strong consumer demand for a recognised brand, entry proposition across South Africa and Africa. To this end Rambaran also confirmed that the Company will be releasing three new entry-level products/ models in 2015.Huawei’s strategy has always centred on the desire to establish itself as a recognised brand in its own right. The intention is to build on the progress it believes it has made in this regard, to leverage off its evolution from ODM to OEM, and to grow the mid-to-high end segment within Africa, a market the Company describes as “aspirational and key to its growth strategy.”In November 2014 the company shipped more than three million smartphones in Eastern and Southern Africa.Larking Huang, general manager at Huawei Consumer South Africa has described 2014 as good for the company’s consumer device business.He added that in South Africa alone the company has shipped more than a million units, making Huawei the number 2 smartphone provider in the Middle East and Africa region.Credit: IT Web Africalast_img read more


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Synthetic enzymes could help ID proteins

first_imgAddThis ShareCONTACT: Jade BoydPHONE: 713-348-6778E-MAIL: jadeboyd@rice.eduSynthetic enzymes could help ID proteins‘Smart’ catalysts programmed to recognize specific molecular shapeUsing a rare metal that’s not utilized by nature, Rice University chemists have created a synthetic enzyme that could help unlock the identities of thousands of difficult-to-study proteins, including many that play key roles in cancer and other diseases.The research was published online this week in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.“We have combined the chemical capabilities of rhodium with what biology already knows about recognizing and selecting specific proteins,” said study co-author Zachary Ball, assistant professor of chemistry at Rice. “The result is a tool that, in many ways, is more powerful than any biological or chemical approach alone.”Ball began studying dirhodium catalysts more than three years ago. He did not start out trying to create enzymes with them, but he was intrigued by a study that showed dirhodium catalysts could be used to modify tryptophan, one of the 21 amino acids that are the basic building blocks of life.Catalysts enhance chemical reactions by increasing the rate of reaction without being consumed themselves. In living things, proteins called enzymes serve the same purpose. But unlike many inorganic catalysts, enzymes are very selective. In a process that biologists often liken to a “lock and key,” enzymes associate only with molecules that match their shape exactly. This prevents them from spurring extraneous reactions throughout the cell.Ball and postdoctoral research associate Brian Popp wondered if they could marry the selectivity of enzymatic reactions with a rhodium-based catalyst. They tested the idea by attaching their catalyst to a short segment of protein that can wrap with other proteins, like strands of rope fiber. This “coiled coil” wrapping motif is common in biology, particularly in signaling proteins. Signaling proteins are those that activate or deactivate key processes like apoptosis, the “programmed death” response that’s known to play a key role in cancer.“Signaling pathways are like a trail of dominoes,” Ball said. “Dozens of proteins can be involved, and they interact one after the other in a cascade. In most cases, the interactions are both fleeting and weak. They are difficult to observe with traditional methods, and as a result we are still in the dark about the roles that key signaling proteins play in health and disease.” Ball said his and Popp’s synthetic enzyme strategy might help solve that problem. In their tests, the chemists were able to develop synthetic enzymes that could selectively bind with proteins and attach tags that would allow biologists to identify them.In addition to tryptophan, the method worked with phenylalanine and tyrosine, two amino acids commonly found in signaling proteins. And recent unpublished studies indicate the researchers’ strategy might work for even more amino acids.Ball said the process must be refined before it can be used in the majority of biology labs, but he and Popp are already working toward realizing broad applications of the strategy.The research was funded by the Welch Foundation and Rice University.last_img read more

Better batteries from the bottom up

first_imgAddThis ShareCONTACT: Mike WilliamsPHONE: 713-348-6728EMAIL: mikewilliams@rice.eduBetter batteries from the bottom upRice University researchers build microbatteries with nanowire heartsRice University researchers have moved a step closer to creating robust, three-dimensional microbatteries that would charge faster and hold other advantages over conventional lithium-ion batteries. They could power new generations of remote sensors, display screens, smart cards, flexible electronics and biomedical devices.The batteries employ vertical arrays of nickel-tin nanowires perfectly encased in PMMA, a widely used polymer best known as Plexiglas. The Rice laboratory of Pulickel Ajayan found a way to reliably coat single nanowires with a smooth layer of a PMMA-based gel electrolyte that insulates the wires from the counter electrode while allowing ions to pass through. The work was reported this week in the online edition of the journal Nano Letters.“In a battery, you have two electrodes separated by a thick barrier,” said Ajayan, professor in mechanical engineering and materials science and of chemistry. “The challenge is to bring everything into close proximity so this electrochemistry becomes much more efficient.”Ajayan and his team feel they’ve done that by growing forests of coated nanowires — millions of them on a fingernail-sized chip — for scalable microdevices with greater surface area than conventional thin-film batteries. “You can’t simply scale the thickness of a thin-film battery, because the lithium ion kinetics would become sluggish,” Ajayan said.“We wanted to figure out how the proposed 3-D designs of batteries can be built from the nanoscale up,” said Sanketh Gowda, a graduate student in Ajayan’s lab. “By increasing the height of the nanowires, we can increase the amount of energy stored while keeping the lithium ion diffusion distance constant.”The researchers, led by Gowda and postdoctoral researcher Arava Leela Mohana Reddy, worked for more than a year to refine the process.“To be fair, the 3-D concept has been around for a while,” Reddy said. “The breakthrough here is the ability to put a conformal coat of PMMA on a nanowire over long distances. Even a small break in the coating would destroy it.” He said the same approach is being tested on nanowire systems with higher capacities.The process builds upon the lab’s previous research to build coaxial nanowire cables that was reported in Nano Letters last year. In the new work, the researchers grew 10-micron-long nanowires via electrodeposition in the pores of an anodized alumina template. They then widened the pores with a simple chemical etching technique and drop-coated PMMA onto the array to give the nanowires an even casing from top to bottom. A chemical wash removed the template.They have built one-centimeter square microbatteries that hold more energy and that charge faster than planar batteries of the same electrode length. “By going to 3-D, we’re able to deliver more energy in the same footprint,” Gowda said.They feel the PMMA coating will increase the number of times a battery can be charged by stabilizing conditions between the nanowires and liquid electrolyte, which tend to break down over time.The team is also studying how cycling affects nanowires that, like silicon electrodes, expand and contract as lithium ions come and go. Electron microscope images of nanowires taken after many charge/discharge cycles showed no breaks in the PMMA casing — not even pinholes. This led the researchers to believe the coating withstands the volume expansion in the electrode, which could increase the batteries’ lifespans.Co-authors are Rice graduate student Xiaobo Zhan; former Rice postdoctoral researcher Manikoth Shaijumon, now an assistant professor at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram, India; and former Rice research scientist Lijie Ci, now a senior research and development manager at Samsung Cheil Industries.The Hartley Family Foundation and Rice University funded the research.last_img read more

Undocumented immigrants report stress psychological and physical loss

first_imgFacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis ShareRice UniversityOffice of Public Affairs / News & Media RelationsDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduAmy McCaig713-348-6777amym@rice.edu Undocumented immigrants report stress, psychological and physical lossRice study examines impact on undocumented Mexicans living in USHOUSTON – (Feb. 4, 2019) – Many undocumented Mexican immigrants suffer psychological and physical losses related to their migration to the U.S., according to a new study from researchers at Rice University.Luz GarciniThe study, “High Price Paid: Loss and Distress Among Undocumented Mexican Immigrants,” appears in the Journal of Latinx Psychology. It examines migration-related loss and psychological stress among undocumented Mexicans living in the U.S. The lead author hopes the research will highlight the mental health concerns and the challenges faced by this vulnerable population.“Learning about and quantifying the impact of migration-related loss on the wellbeing of undocumented immigrants is essential to identify strategies helpful to lessen the negative effects of such losses,” said Luz Garcini, a postdoctoral research fellow in Rice’s Department of Psychological Sciences, a faculty scholar at the Baker Institute for Public Policy and the study’s lead author.Garcini studied the prevalence of different types loss among undocumented Mexican immigrants in high-risk neighborhoods. She and her fellow authors were also interested in identifying the prevalence of clinically significant distress associated with this loss.They organized these losses in five categories: symbolic self, which assesses the loss of traditional cultural beliefs, values and behaviors; interdependence, which assesses the loss of social position and support; home, which assesses the loss of house, land, country and possessions; interpersonal, which assesses the death of or separation from friends or family; and intrapersonal integrity, which assesses the loss of autonomy, well-being and familiar food.The authors found that migration-related loss was extremely high across all categories. Almost all of the immigrants in the study suffered due to the loss of their homes (98 percent), long separation from family members (96 percent) and loss of their symbolic self (95 percent). About 87 percent reported loss of interdependence and about 81 percent reported loss of intrapersonal integrity.These losses were also linked to psychological stress, the study found. Psychological stress was measured using the Brief Symptom Inventory, a 53-item scale that is widely used to determine clinically relevant levels of psychological stress. Immigrants who experienced personal loss, particularly death of family members abroad or physical separation from family, reported the highest levels of psychological stress.Data for the study was collected from November 2014 to January 2015. The average age of participants was 38 years old. Most of them were female, married, had little formal education and lived on a monthly household income of less than $2,000. Most of them had been living in the U.S. for more than 10 years in mixed-status families, where some relatives are undocumented and others are legal residents or U.S. citizens.The study was coauthored by Thania Galvan of the University of Denver, Juan Pena of the University of New Mexico, Elizabeth Klonoff of the University of Central Florida, Deborah Parra-Medina of the University of Texas, and Khadija Ziauddin and Christopher Fagundes of Rice University.The study was funded by the Ford Foundation.-30-For more information or to request a copy of the paper, contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777 or amym@rice.edu.This news release can be found online at http://news.rice.edu/.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related materials:Luz Garcini bio: https://www.bakerinstitute.org/experts/luz-maria-garcini/Headshot link: https://news.rice.edu/files/2018/06/Luz-Garcini-21nukhm.jpgPhoto credit: Jeff Fitlow.Photo link: https://news.rice.edu/files/2019/02/pexels-photo-568027-1lwfvkb-pmioae.jpegPhoto credit: 123rf.comLocated 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 3,962 undergraduates and 3,027 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 lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for quality of life 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.If you do not wish to receive news releases from Rice University, reply to this email and write “unsubscribe” in the subject line. Office of News and Media Relations – MS 300, Rice University, 6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005last_img read more

Shark Tanks Mr Wonderful Talks About MBAs and More – Toronto News

first_img RelatedHow Toronto Schools Can Help You Pay for Your MBAEarning your MBA can be an expensive prospect. In Canada, tuition at the most expensive MBA programs can cost more than $100,000 for full-time and part-time students. This can be difficult for some low-income applicants. So, what are some Toronto schools doing to help offset the cost of tuition, living,…March 7, 2018In “Featured Home”Schulich Professor Honored, and More – Toronto NewsThis week has seen strides for Toronto’s business schools, so lets take a look at some of the highlights. Serving the Public Good – Corporate Knights Ed Waitzer, professor at the Osgoode Hall Law School and York University’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto, is the newest recipient if the Corporate…June 4, 2018In “Featured Home”Views from the 6: Top Employers in TorontoHome to the Maple Leafs, “Licky-Boom-Boom-Now” MC Snow, and those wacky Kids in the Hall, Toronto, Ontario, Canada is a piebald metropolis of 2.6 million with its own unique tempo. Our neighbor to the great white north feels much more like its own sovereign territory—one that not only actively welcomes…May 17, 2016In “Featured Home” regions: Toronto ‘Shark Tank’s’ Mr. Wonderful Talks About MBAs, and More – Toronto News Last Updated Mar 30, 2018 by Jillian MarkowitzFacebookTwitterLinkedinemail center_img About the AuthorJillian MarkowitzView more posts by Jillian Markowitz Take a look at some of the top stories coming out of the Toronto business schools this week.Kevin O’Leary: Here’s How Much an MBA Matters in Business – CNBCKevin O’Leary may be one of the most successful businessmen in Canada now, but when he graduated from the University of Waterloo in 1977, he struggled to even land an entry-level job. After two years of frustration and rejection, O’Leary decided to pursue an MBA at Western University Canada’s Ivey Business School. The business giant, known on ABC’s Shark Tank as “Mr. Wonderful,” sees his decision to enroll at Ivey as a turning point in his life.“The real value of an education is who you meet while you’re getting it,” O’Leary said in an interview with CNBC. “Think about that if you’re in college right now.”“‘The great thing about an MBA is not the technical skills you’ve learned—because frankly, to be honest with you, I forgot all of those—it was the people I met in my class,’ O’Leary explains. ‘Where are they now? Running banks, they’re industrialists, they’re venture capitalists, they’re investors, they’re all around the world,’ he says. ‘I can pick up the phone and say, ‘Hi. Mr. Wonderful here, let’s talk about a business idea.’”You can read more about O’Leary’s education and success here.Bank of Canada Fellowship for Rotman School Professor Renewed for Second Term – EurekAlert!In 2013, Peter Christoffersen, professor of finance at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management was awarded the Bank of Canada Fellowship, which was recently renewed. The Fellowship Award goes to academics whose research provides insight in areas essential to the bank. Christoffersen has been committed to researching new technology and its effects and potential in the finance realm.“The Bank is pleased to renew its support for Professor Christofferesen’s work,” said Governor Stephen S. Poloz. “He is helping to shed light on some important issues facing Canada’s financial industry.”Learn more about Christoffersen and the Bank of Canada Fellowship Award here.Schulich Students Win Developers’ Den Competition – RemiNetworkTwo groups of students from York University’s Schulich School of Business placed in the top three in this year’s Developers’ Den international case competition. The winning team was made up of four students from Schulich’s Master in Real Estate and Infrastructure (MREI) program: Derek Wei, Jordan Trinder, Alannah Bird, and Bao Nguyen. The competition, which took place on March 23rd, is in its eighth year.“The Developers’ Den competition provides an important opportunity for the best students to develop and showcase their analytical, creative and presentation skills as emerging talent in front of leaders within the real property sector,” said Jim Clayton, who was recently appointed to the Timothy R. Price Chair at Schulich’s Brookfield Centre in Real Estate and Infrastructure. “We are grateful for the tremendous support the competition receives from industry and alumni.”Check out more about the competition here.last_img read more

Woman Who Admitted to Dropping Baby to Her Death Gets Probation

first_img Woman Who Admitted to Dropping Baby to Her Death Gets Probation By Jack Phillips July 13, 2017 Updated: July 13, 2017  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Crime and Incidents Share A 20-year-old woman who was convicted of dropping her baby to her death in Chicago received probation, it was reported this week.Mubashra Uddin, who was initially charged with first-degree murder in the death, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, the Cook County state’s attorney’s office said.On Thursday, she was sentenced by Judge Carol Howard 48 months’ probation and received a $573 fine, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.“This has been a tragic event in the life of a naive 19 year-old girl. Although she will be forever haunted by what occurred, the end of this case will enable her to salvage the remainder of a productive life,” Uddin’s attorney, Adam Sheppard, told the newspaper.Uddin threw the baby from an eighth-floor window after hiding her pregnancy from her Muslim-Pakistani parents, the Chicago Tribune reported. After hiding it for nine months, she gave birth to a seven-pound, 11-ounce baby girl in her the family’s high-rise apartment on West Eastwood Avenue in 2015.After the birth, Uddin said she heard her mother’s footsteps before throwing the child out the window, according to prosecutors. A man then discovered the child at around 11:45 p.m. local time before calling 911. The infant was pronounced dead an hour later. Uddin was arrested the day after her infant died. streetAccording to ABC7, only her boyfriend and another friend knew about her pregnancy. She apparently wore only baggy clothes to conceal her bump.(Google Maps) (Google Maps)“The act of dropping a newborn out of an eighth-story window to its eventual death is exceedingly evil, exceedingly cruel,” Judge James Brown said at a court hearing in 2015.But her childhood friend explained the situation to another Cook County judge, “At that moment she probably wasn’t thinking and she cracked … because the Mubashra I know wouldn’t do something like this if she was in right state of mind,” ABC7 reported.Her friend said that Uddin’s home had been quite difficult. “Sometimes she felt under pressure to be this perfect daughter … even pressure to be this perfect Muslim woman that prayed, fasted, was humble and also didn’t make mistakes,” the person said, as reported by the Chicago Tribune.Her boyfriend’s mother said that Uddin’s parents removed her from school after they learned of their relationship. “With all her family has put her through, I’m surprised she didn’t jump out of the window herself,” the mother told DNAInfo.com. “No one is mad or upset because we all know the household she’s coming from.”At her sentencing, Uddin received credit for serving 603 days in jail.  center_img Show Discussion Share this article (Cook County Sheriff’s Office) last_img read more

Southern California Fire Thats Putting 20000 People Under Evacuation Orders May Have

first_img US News  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   QualityAuto 1080p720p480p360p240pRewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video Southern California Fire That’s Putting 20,000 People Under Evacuation Orders May Have Been Set Intentionally By Wire Service Content August 9, 2018 Updated: August 10, 2018 Share this articlecenter_img About 20,000 residents are under mandatory evacuation orders as a Southern California fire — which authorities say was set intentionally — spread this week.The Holy Fire started Monday in the Cleveland National Forest and has so far destroyed 12 structures, according to fire authorities.A man has been arrested in connection with the fire that is wreaking havoc near the border between Orange and Riverside counties, which are among the most populous counties in California.The Holy Fire has burned 6,200 acres and is 5% contained.Although it’s not the largest fire burning in the state, there are growing concerns about how it could affect residential communities — including Lake Elsinore. Some small communities in Riverside County are under mandatory evacuation orders affecting about 7,000 residential structures, according to authorities.Forrest Gordon Clark, 51, was being held at the Orange County Jail on Wednesday on suspicion of two counts of felony arson, a count of felony threat to terrorize and misdemeanor resisting arrest, the Cleveland National Forest said via Twitter. He is being held on $1 million bail and expected in court on Thursday.The charges being leveled could carry a life sentence, said Susan Schroeder of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.“Arson is a terrible crime that destroys dreams,” she said in a press conference Wednesday.Witness statements, physical evidence and fire burn patterns connected the man to the fire, said Shane Sherwood with the Orange County Fire Authority.Volunteer Fire Chief Mike Milligan told the Orange County Register that Clark was screaming in the community and sent an email that said “this place will burn” last week.Before he was arrested, Clark told a cameraman he was asleep when the fire started and had no idea how it began.“Who would go out with low humidity, and high wind and highest heat temperatures this time of year and intentionally set the forest on fire?” asked Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer during Wednesday’s press conference.An excessive heat warning for the fire area has been issued with temperatures higher than 100 degrees.“We know this district burns, but it should never burn because of an intentional act,” Spitzer said. “This shouldn’t be called the Holy Jim Fire, this should be called the Holy Hell Fire.”Spitzer added that his constituents are “scared” and “fleeing their homes.”“They’re leaving property behind, they’re putting everything they can in the back of their cars as quickly as possible.”Fire officials warned residents to heed evacuation orders.“Even if you’re miles way, you want to be prepared if you’re near the fire area or in an environment that can burn,” said Thanh Nguyen with the SoCal Team One Fire Management Team, who suggested having a packed bag ready to go.Top Three Largest Fires in CaliforniaFirefighters in California are battling 15 large fires.The largest fire in California history is the Mendocino Complex Fire, which consists of the Ranch and River fires — in Northern California. That blaze has burned burned 302,086 acres and injured two firefighters, as of Wednesday evening.The second biggest fire is the Carr Fire in Shasta County, also in Northern California. The deadly fire has been burning for more than two weeks and consumed 176,069 acres as of Wednesday. It has killed seven people and destroyed more than 1,100 homes.The third largest is the Ferguson Fire, near Yosemite National Park, with 94,992 acres. That fire has lasted more than three weeks and killed two people. Share Show Discussionlast_img read more

Video Hurricane Florence Starts to Hit North Carolina Beach

first_img US News  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Share this article Share QualityAuto 1080p720p480p360p240pRewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video The 11 a.m. update on Hurricane Florence has the storm at a Category 2 just south of Wilmington, North Carolina. The winds are near 105 mph with higher gusts as it moves to the northwest at 12 p.m., according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC).Heavy rainbands with tropical-storm-force winds spreading across the Outer Banks, North Carolina, and coastal southeastern North Carolina. “Life-threatening storm surge and rainfall expected” soon, the NHC said.  Rewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video Storm surge warnings and hurricane warnings are in effect for all of North Carolina and most of South Carolina.North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Georgia declared states of emergency for the storm.  Rewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video “It truly is really about the whole size of this storm,” National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham told The Associated Press. “The larger and the slower the storm is, the greater the threat and the impact—and we have that.”Forecasters have said that Florence’s eye could come on shore on Sept. 14, near the North Carolina-South Carolina line. Then it is likely to hover along the coast Sept. 15. New video footage shows Hurricane Florence’s storm surge inundating parts of North Carolina’s beach.Scroll down for more videosNBC Charlotte posted video footage at around 12 p.m. on Sept. 13, of the ocean water moving swiftly over the beach next to a home in Rodanthe, North Carolina. Tim Fitch sent in the footage to the station. Video: Hurricane Florence Starts to Hit North Carolina Beach By Jack Phillips September 13, 2018 Updated: September 13, 2018 Show Discussionlast_img read more

MEXICO BEACH Fla—Searchandrescue teams began f

first_img MEXICO BEACH, Fla.—Search-and-rescue teams began finding bodies in and around Mexico Beach, the ground-zero town nearly obliterated by Hurricane Michael, an official said on Oct. 12 as the scale of the storm’s fury became ever clearer. But he gave no details on the number of dead.The death toll across the South stood at 13, not counting any victims in Mexico Beach.Miami Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban, leader of a search-and-rescue unit that went into the flattened town, said: “There are individuals who are deceased. We do not have a count, but we are working to identify them.”Zahralban spoke as his team — which included a dog — was winding down its two-day search of Mexico Beach, the town of about 1,000 people that was nearly wiped off the map when Michael blew ashore there on Oct. 10 with devastating 155 mph (249 kph) winds.Blocks and blocks of homes were demolished, reduced to piles of splintered lumber or mere concrete slabs, by the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental U.S. in nearly 50 years.As the catastrophic damage across the Florida Panhandle came into view 48 hours after the hurricane struck, there was little doubt the death toll would rise. How high it might go was unclear. But authorities scrapped plans to set up a temporary morgue, suggesting they had yet to see mass casualties.State officials said that by one count, 285 people in Mexico Beach defied mandatory evacuation orders and stayed behind. Whether any of them got out at some point was unclear.Emergency officials said they have received thousands of calls asking about missing people. But with cellphone service out across vast swaths of the Florida Panhandle, officials said it is possible that some of those unaccounted for are safe and just haven’t been able to contact friends or family to let them know.Across the ravaged region, meanwhile, authorities set up distribution centers to hand out food and water to victims. Some supplies were brought in by trucks, while others had to be delivered by helicopter because roads had yet to be cleared of debris.Residents began to come to grips with the destruction and face up to the uncertainty that lies ahead.“I didn’t recognize nothing. Everything’s gone. I didn’t even know our road was our road,” said 25-year-old Tiffany Marie Plushnik, an evacuee who returned to find her home in Sandy Creek too damaged to live in.When she went back to the hotel where she took shelter from the storm, she found out she could no longer stay there either because of mold.“We’ve got to figure something out. We’re starting from scratch, all of us,” Plushnik said.President Trump announced plans to visit Florida and hard-hit Georgia early next but didn’t say what day he would arrive.“We are with you!” he tweeted.Shell-shocked survivors who barely escaped with their lives told of terrifying winds, surging floodwaters and homes cracking like eggs.Emergency officials said they had done an initial “hasty search” of 80 percent of the stricken area, looking for the living or the dead.Gov. Rick Scott said state officials still “do not know enough” about the fate of those who stayed behind in the region.“We are not completely done. We are still getting down there,” the governor added.Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Brock Long said he expects to see the death toll rise.“We still haven’t gotten into the hardest-hit areas,” he said, adding with frustration: “Very few people live to tell what it’s like to experience storm surge, and unfortunately in this country we seem to not learn the lesson.”Long expressed worry that people have suffered “hurricane amnesia.”“When state and local officials tell you to get out, dang it, do it. Get out,” he said.On the Panhandle, Tyndall Air Force Base “took a beating,” so much so that Col. Brian Laidlaw told the 3,600 men and women stationed on the base not to come back. Many of the 600 families who live there had followed orders to pack what they could in a single suitcase as they were evacuated ahead of the storm.The hurricane’s eyewall passed directly overhead, severely damaging nearly every building and leaving many a complete loss. The elementary school, the flight line, the marina and the runways were devastated.“I will not recall you and your families until we can guarantee your safety. At this time I can’t tell you how long that will take, but I’m on it,” Laidlaw wrote. “We need to restore basic utilities, clear our roads of trees and power lines, and assess the structural integrity of our buildings.”By Russ Bynum and Brendan Farrington  Official: Searchers Find Bodies in Hurricane-Stricken Town By The Associated Press October 12, 2018 Updated: October 12, 2018  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Share this article Sharecenter_img Show Discussion Crime and Incidents Boats are seen among the rubble along the canals Oct. 12, 2018, in Mexico Beach, Fla., two days after a Category 4 Hurricane Michael devastated the small coastal town just outside PANAMA CITY, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) last_img read more

When will the world stop dehumanizing our Palestin

first_imgWhen will the world stop dehumanizing our Palestinian people who just want to be free? Headlines like this & framing it in this way just feeds into the continued lack of responsibility on Israel who unjustly oppress & target Palestinian children and families. #FreePalestine https://t.co/p3X3j8WtwM— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) May 5, 2019 Here’s @RepRashida direct quote, “There’s a calming feeling I always tell folks when I think of the Holocaust.” And her “history” of what happened after is a fantasy based on lies spread to delegitimize the state of Israel. https://t.co/5akpUSApIE— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) May 13, 2019 President Trump Calls Out Rep. Rashida Tlaib for ‘Highly Insensitive’ Remarks on the Holocaust By Janita Kan May 13, 2019 Updated: May 13, 2019 In an interview on the podcast “Skullduggery,” the Palestinian-American lawmaker said she felt a “calming feeling” when she thinks about the Holocaust—a genocide that saw about 6 million Jews killed. train tracks at Auschwitz View of the railway tracks at the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland, on Holocaust Day, Jan. 27, 2014. (Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images)“There’s always kind of a calming feeling I tell folks when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors—Palestinians—who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out, and some people’s passports,” Tlaib said.“And just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time. And I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways. But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away and it was forced on them,” she added.The president is among the many Republican lawmakers who have condemned the Michigan congresswoman for her comments and her version of what happened during the Holocaust. Many of them have called for Democratic leadership to “take action” against Tlaib for her comments.“There is no justification for the twisted and disgusting comments made by Rashida Tlaib just days after the annual Day of Holocaust Remembrance,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise( R-La.) said in a statement, reported Fox News. “More than six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust; there is nothing ‘calming’ about that fact.”“Unfortunately, this is far from the first display of heinous anti-Semitic comments coming from Democrat House members this year, and it’s clear this is now the norm for their caucus,” Scalise added. “It’s long past time for Speaker Pelosi to take swift action and make it clear that these vile comments have no place in Congress.”House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said that Democratic leaders should weigh in.  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   “Surely now Speaker Pelosi⁩ & ⁦Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) will finally take action against vile anti-Semitism in their ranks. This must cross the line, even for them,” Cheney wrote.Tlaib has responded to the criticism on Twitter and in a statement through her representative. Policing my words, twisting & turning them to ignite vile attacks on me will not work. All of you who are trying to silence me will fail miserably. I will never allow you to take my words out of context to push your racist and hateful agenda. The truth will always win.— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) May 13, 2019 Democrat Rep. Tlaib is being slammed for her horrible and highly insensitive statement on the Holocaust. She obviously has tremendous hatred of Israel and the Jewish people. Can you imagine what would happen if I ever said what she said, and says?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2019 “Policing my words, twisting & turning them to ignite vile attacks on me will not work. All of you who are trying to silence me will fail miserably,” she said. “I will never allow you to take my words out of context to push your racist and hateful agenda. The truth will always win.”Tlaib had previously defended Palestinians after the terror group Hamas launched hundreds of missiles at Israel. Hamas and another group, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, fired more than 600 missiles at Israel in less than 24 hours earlier this month, which resulted in four Israeli deaths and several more injured.center_img “When will the world stop dehumanizing our Palestinian people who just want to be free? Headlines like this & framing it in this way just feeds into the continued lack of responsibility on Israel who unjustly oppress & target Palestinian children and families,” Tlaib wrote. She shared a missive by activist Yousef Munayyer, who criticized the headline of a New York Times story that read “Gaza Militants Fire 250 Rockets, and Israel Responds with Airstrikes.”NTD News reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report. Follow Janita on Twitter: @janitakan Politics Share President Donald Trump has called out Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) for her recent comments about the Holocaust, accusing the congresswoman of “hatred of Israel and the Jewish people.”“Democrat Rep. Tlaib is being slammed for her horrible and highly insensitive statement on the Holocaust. She obviously has tremendous hatred of Israel and the Jewish people. Can you imagine what would happen if I ever said what she said, and says?” Trump said on Twitter on May 13. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on Feb. 27, 2019. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images) Share this article Show Discussionlast_img read more

Todd Lamirande APTN News Prime Minister Justin Tru

first_imgTodd LamirandeAPTN NewsPrime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a cabinet shuffle on Wednesday, adding new ministers and shifting responsibilities for others.Carolyn Bennett is becoming the minister of Crown-Indigenous relations – dropping “northern affairs” from her title.Dominic LeBlanc, previously the minister of fisheries, oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, will now be overseeing northern affairs in his new portfolio. He’s now the minister of intergovernmental and northern affairs and internal trade.The significance of splitting northern affairs from Crown-Indigenous relations is unclear.A release from the prime minister’s office states, however, that Bennett will continue working “to renew the nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown and government-to-government relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples.”A spokesperson from Bennett’s office said the minister will remain responsible for any negotiations and agreements concerning Indigenous people in the North.Any non-Indigenous issues in the North, including contaminated sites and the devolution of Nunavut, will fall under LeBlanc’s portfolio.In a press release, Yukon Premier Sandy Silver, Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod and Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq congratulated the new cabinet ministers and stressed the need for a “more flexible approach to federal-territorial infrastructure funding.”Meanwhile, Jane Philpott remains the minister of Indigenous Services.As the new minister of natural resources, Amarjeet Sohi will be answering questions on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, along with other important pipeline projects.He’s taking over the portfolio from Jim Carr, who will become the new minister of international trade diversification.tlamirande@aptn.calast_img read more

Workers with the City of Halifax remove a statue o

first_imgWorkers with the City of Halifax remove a statue of Edward Cornwallis in January 2018.Angel MooreAPTN NewsA statue of Edward Cornwallis has been sitting in a warehouse since the City of Halifax removed the controversial effigy last January.To some, Cornwallis was regarded as the father of Halifax. But to others, he was a brutal British General who issued a bounty for Mi’kmaq scalps in 1749.After much debate, and public controversy, city council voted to remove the statue as a step towards reconciliation. On Thursday, councillors took another step towards reconciliation.Halifax Regional Council announced a 10-member committee that will decide what to do with the statue, and how to honor Mi’kmaq history.Half of the committee is nominated by the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs.Chief Roderick Googoo of We’koqma’q First Nation, a co-chair of the committee, said in a statement from city hall that it is important the public remains involved in the process, and that Indigenous history is honored.“The Mi’kmaq have been here since time immemorial and it is important that our history is also recognized and told. This process will start the dialogue on how we tell our stories, together.”Protesters gathered in Halifax in January to call for the removal of the controversial statue of the infamous General Edward Cornwallis.Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Morley Googoo said the darkest parts of history should not be kept secret.“We need to look at new narratives, the old narratives had a lot of misinformation, a lot of no information and people react to that and only know that. The new narratives will be better for all of us in Canada,” Chief Morley Googoo said in a telephone interview.Deputy Mayor Waye Mason said it is important to move forward, and is pleased with the committee, “I am truly excited by these diverse backgrounds, knowledge and thoughtful collaborators around the table.”The committee includes experts in Mi’kmaq history, social justice, linguistics, community experience, and more.Christina Simon from Paqntkek First Nation said that Cornwallis is a part of history, and we have to learn the good and the bad.“The reason that you learn history is to ensure that is does not repeat itself,” she said in a text message.The committee meetings are expected to start this fall.amoore@aptn.calast_img read more

The Bookmark that charges your phone

first_imgYou know what blows up? Lithium Ion Batteries. You know what doesn’t? A Solar Panel. Safer, much more eco-friendly, and a whole lot more cheaper than an external battery, a solar panel may take slightly longer to charge your gadgets, but it does so with clean energy that’s free of cost.The Solar Paper by Yolk literally fits two high-efficiency solar panels into a product the size of your phone, but just a dazzling fraction of the thickness. Thin enough to be used as a bookmark (although it comes with a rather beautiful leather pouch of its own), the Solar Paper can harness the sun’s energy to charge your devices. The two-fold design can even be made to expand by magnetically plugging in more panels. The Solar Paper comes with a hub on the top with a seven-segment LCD panel that measures electrical current. The device even comes with its own auto-shut and auto-resume feature in case the sunlight gets temporarily obstructed by a cloud or any other object.The Solar Paper charger is clean, conscientious, and card-thin. It also doesn’t need periodic charging, like that clunky old power bank of yours.Designer: YolkBUY NOWBUY NOWSharePinShareFlipSharePocket1.0K Shareslast_img read more

Newport Avenue Market in Bend Oregon Wins Unified Grocers Award

first_imgNewport Avenue Market in Bend, Oregon Wins Unified Grocers Award 0 Google+ Tumblr Facebook Share. Pinterest E-Headlinescenter_img Twitter (Photo above: Family kitchen staff preparing meals. Photo by Newport Avenue  Market)Newport Avenue Market, known to many as the food hub of Central Oregon offering shoppers both mainstream and specialty grocery options, was recently awarded the Ben Schwartz Retail Grocery Visionary Award from Unified Grocers. This is the tenth year that Unified Grocers has presented the award to an outstanding independent retailer, and the first time this award has been given to a single store. Rudy and Debbie Dory and their daughter Lauren Johnson, owners of Newport Avenue Market, accepted the award at a special awards dinner last week in Los Angeles.“It’s an honor to receive this prestigious award and I’m proud that Newport Avenue Market is the first single-store recipient,” said Rudy Dory.In presenting the award, Bob Ling, president and chief executive officer, Unified Grocers, said that Newport Avenue Market has thrived because it’s a reflection of the Dory family. “Rudy, Debbie and Lauren are committed not only to their customers and their staff but also to the local community and that’s reflected in their many successes over the years,” said Ling.“Their passion to create a unique shopping experience is clearly evident as you walk through the store,” he added. “Innovation, quality and a friendly, knowledgeable staff are central to the success of Newport Avenue Market and that’s why customers come from near and far.”The award is given to an independent retail grocer or grocery company that is a leader and innovator in the retail grocery industry. The award recognizes retailers who, by their practice and example, have consistently demonstrated initiative, creativity and leadership within their businesses and, in the process, have inspired others to think and act creatively and with passion in the grocery field. To be eligible, retailers must be — or have been — a member of Unified Grocers or one of its predecessor companies.Located on the west side of Bend and locally family-owned since 1976, Newport Avenue Market offers shoppers both mainstream and specialty grocery options, all in a vibrant environment. Their expansive selection of high-quality, in-demand food and beverage items, otherwise known as the “Triple G” – Groceries, Gadgets and Gifts! – keeps shoppers always on their toes.The store employs over 100 “internal foodies,” with an average employee tenure of 10+ years.541-382-3940www.newportavemarket.com LinkedIn By CBN on February 19, 2015 Emaillast_img read more

Bends Vacation Rental Controversy Keep the Solution Simple

first_img E-Headlines By Pamela Hulse Andrews CBN Publisher/Founder, Bend, Oregon Google+ Email Upon receiving complaints about livability issues regarding vacation rentals in local neighborhoods, the Bend City Council chose to proceed cautiously and appoint a 23-person task force consisting of various stakeholders (residents, property owners, managers and tourism representatives) who have been reviewing and attempting to make recommendations about regulating vacation rentals.Recently the Bend Planning Commission took testimony from local residents, vacation property owners and managers as it reviews new regulations that could impact the vitality and viability of the vacation rental business as well as homeowners ability to rent out their residents.The vacation rental controversy stems mostly from two westside neighborhoods who have, in some views, an over abundance of homes that are rented out to visitors. The vast majority of the time the visitors come and go and no one is bothered by their presence. However, occasionally there’s a problem when late night celebrations become noisy and out of control bothering surrounding neighbors. It’s easier to resolve some of these problems when the house is managed by a responsible and professional property manager.But often the house has been rented by an absent homeowner and the only recourse the neighbors have is to call the police (or try to resolve it themselves). The lack of accountability in these cases is aggravating.Overtime it’s understandable that neighbors impacted by unruly tenants become frustrated and resent the vacation rentals. So it seems appropriate to try to put some regulations in place that would alleviate some of these challenges. Neighbors should be able to contact a responsible party in charge of the vacation rental.The volunteer task force under the guidance of city staff have been meeting since last October to draft new regulations. The task force was divided on the outcome, some wanting very strict regulations but most agreeing that changes are in order.It appears that during the task force deliberations one particular task force member wanted to eliminate vacation rentals completely. He had become excessively resentful of a neighbor who turned their residence into a vacation rental and has vowed to get even, resorting to bullying the visitors to his neighborhood. The complaints on both sides of this case made finding a simple solution challenging just like any neighborhood disagreement might be.One thing remains clear, as the deliberations continue: vacation rentals are a significant contributor to our economy.As Doug La Placa of Visit Bend points out Bend’s tourism industry has grown substantially over the past 10 years and with that growth so too have Bend’s tourist amenities evolved (restaurants, breweries, shopping, entertainment, recreational assets, etc.). However, during the same timeframe, the inventory of available hotel and motel rooms has not kept pace with the growth and evolution of the other segments of Bend’s tourism industry. As a result, vacation rentals have become an integral component of Bend’s thriving tourism economy. Ten percent of the available lodging units in Bend are vacation rentals, but 18 percent of Bend’s visitors stay in vacation rentals.Vacation rental tenants should be subject to the same kind of courtesies that residents adhere to: keeping the noise down, parking in your own driveway, maintaining your property and not having numerous people coming and going at all hours of the night. Vacation rental companies and most homeowners who rent out their homes to visitors are cognizant of being a good neighbor. But they can’t always control the behavior of their guests and the city then faces a dilemma to resolve these issue.The answer: keep it simple. Don’t make it so complicated and restrictive that vacation rental are eliminated.Neighbors should have access to responsible parties so they can let them know about problems. Any rented living space, whether long-term or part-time should be monitored by the owner who must take responsibility for the problems. At the same time neighbors should not be able to harass visitors and make their stay uncomfortable.Any plan to put a cap on vacation rentals within neighborhoods should not be too stringent and inflexible. Current vacation rentals should be allowed to continue under new regulations. Restricting what homeowners can do with their property can most certainly generate lawsuits.It would be really unfortunate to make vacations rentals so difficult for homeowners and property managers that Bend became known as an unfriendly place for tourists. Tourism is a top economic contributor in Bend and thanks to Visit Bend it is increasingly known as a destination of choice for travelers from all over the world. Having distinctive and affordable accommodations in the form of short-term rentals is important to our tourism industry and overall economy. on March 10, 2015 0 Share.center_img Facebook Tumblr Bend’s Vacation Rental Controversy. Keep the Solution Simple. 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Redmond and Bend City Officials Prepare for Uber

first_imgRedmond and Bend City Officials Prepare for Uber Facebook Share. Pinterest Google+ Given the number of tourists and growing population in Central Oregon it is noticeably peculiar that the region is without popular app-based ride sharing services such as Uber. City officials in Redmond and Bend are working to change that by allowing app-based ride sharing options in Central Oregon as soon as December.Changes to city ordinances are currently underway with the Redmond Airport (RDM) at the forefront due to the high demand for transportation to and from the airport.“Uber is looking at Redmond and the airport is one of the primary reasons for coming here because of the over 30,000 people that get on and off planes each month,” Redmond City Manager Keith Witcosky said.As transportation network companies continue to grow in popularity it is becoming commonplace for airports the size of RDM to offer app-based ride sharing services.RDM is revamping their codes to create fair competition between cab companies and Uber while providing the best service for travelers.“The problem that the airport faces is that currently we only do an annual fee of $250 for taxi companies. If Uber has 500 cars that are driving we need to figure out how to track that. This is forcing us to take a good look at our whole system and bring the process into the twenty-first century with more of a per trip fee,” Redmond Airport Director Zachary Bass said.Uber drivers will be stationed off-site in what is called a geofence. Uber uses technology within the app to build a virtual fence that allows the airport to track every pick up and drop off. Drivers must be within the geofence to receive a call and pick somebody up from the airport. RDM will continue charging companies an annual fee in addition to adding a per visit fee giving cab companies with a smaller fleet of cars the same advantage as Uber.“Travelers are used to using their phone to access rides so if people can’t land in an airport and use their app to get transportation it’s going to be viewed as an inconvenience. It is great for Central Oregon to elevate itself technologically by giving the choice of Uber,” Witcosky said.The planning stages are vital for a successful launch. Witcosky has worked directly with Uber’s Oregon Public Affairs Manager Jon Isaacs to ensure that policies are in place to create fair competition between cab companies and Uber. Ensuring that wheelchair accessible vehicles are offered and that drivers have clean background checks and driving records are priorities.“We want to make sure that whether people are using a cab company or if they’re selecting Uber we’re looking out for the users as well. And that’s what we’re trying to figure out in writing the codes,” Witcosky said.Witcosky intends to get the city ordinance proposal to the Redmond City Council by October 25 with the goal of having Uber operating in Redmond in December and at RDM in January.Uber encourages cities to revamp their entire system so that every company is operating on the same codes. However, there are widespread concerns that Uber will hurt the current transportation companies.“Transportation network companies may have a negative impact on existing taxi companies and car rental agencies. On the other hand, it may expand jobs and make it easier for tourists to get from place to place without extra burden on our network of streets,” Bend City Councilor Victor Chudowsky said.According to Isaacs, Uber launches have successfully boosted the transportation industry in cities like Portland and Boise.“In Portland more cab companies have popped up because the new codes revolutionize and grow the whole industry. It should offer more transportation options and we are excited to partner with cab companies,” Isaacs said.EDCO Executive Director Roger Lee believes Uber will be beneficially to people in Central Oregon.“EDCO is a longstanding advocate for competition and innovation because customers win in the short and long term where these are encouraged. Uber’s particular business model allows local residents to supplement their income while providing new options for locals and tourists alike,” Lee said.Bend Assistant City Manager Jon Skidmore has been working to allow Uber to operate by updating Chapter 7.35 of the City Code that regulates taxi-cabs.“City staff has met with Uber to better understand their business model and services offered. Uber representatives provided some draft code language for consideration. As we work with the business community and City Council on this issue we will be reaching out to all stakeholders for comments and suggestions. We will work with all involved to make sure the community is protected and the taxi-cab companies can successfully operate within the regulatory environment created,” Skidmore said.In updating the City Code on transportation Bend would be working to shift the administrative responsibility of background checks, insurance coverage verificationand inspection of driving records from the City of Bend Police Department to the actual company providing the transportation services. In most cases the transportation network companies have stricter requirements than the city according to Skidmore.Skidmore and City of Bend staff plan on meeting with taxi-cab companies and the Bend Economic Development Advisory Board in October with the goal of having a proposal in front of City Council in November.The culture of Bend and Central Oregon seem like a perfect match for an entrepreneurial tech company like Uber.“Bend is really appealing because of its burgeoning tech industry, downtown area, breweries and booming tourism. We realize it’s a car dependent area to live and we hope to help clear up traffic congestion with ride sharing while providing a safe option for people,” Isaacs said.Although Uber is a worldwide company they are able to customize specialty services at the local level to accommodate the needs of the people they serve. In Portland they encourage small business owners to hang signs in their cars that say ‘ask me about my business’ so drivers can advertise their business. They offer a product called Uber Ski which would allow drivers with a ski rack on their car to take people to Mt. Bachelor. Isaacs is excited to get rolling with tailor-made services to meet the needs of the people in Central Oregon. on October 4, 2016 Emailcenter_img Twitter LinkedIn Tumblr By David Clewett CBN Feature Writer 0 E-Headlineslast_img read more

Bricks from Kenwood Gym in Bend Oregon Available for Community

first_imgBricks from Kenwood Gym in Bend, Oregon Available for Community Share. Google+ Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest By CBN 0center_img on April 6, 2017 E-Headlines 1,000 bricks distributed Saturday, April 8 from 11am to 1pm at High Desert Middle SchoolInterested community members are invited to obtain a brick from the former Kenwood gym during a distribution event Saturday, April 8 from 11am to 1pm at High Desert Middle School. One thousand bricks, in all, will be distributed to the public on first come, first serve basis, with each individual allowed to receive one brick. The bricks were cleaned and prepared thanks to contractor Kirby Nagelhout Construction as a donation to Bend-La Pine Schools and the community.“We want to allow members of our community the opportunity to celebrate the Kenwood gymnasium for the unique place that it was, while also looking forward to rebuilding,” said Superintendent Shay Mikalson.The process to rebuild a gym at Highland Magnet at Kenwood School is currently underway, with a proposed timeline for the new gym to open in the fall of 2018. The school district hired BBT Architects and design meetings begin next week.The brick distribution will coincide with Bend-La Pine Schools’ Classified Job Fair taking place at the same location, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.Facts About Kenwood SchoolOpened for the 1919-20 school year.Gym built in 1950.Oldest school building in Bend-La Pine Schools that has been in continual use as a schoolThe school was originally built with open-air hallways in a U-shape. The hallways were lined with archways that allowed rain, snow and wind in and also opened onto a large courtyard.In 1923, the archways were blocked off and sealed. A fourth side of the school was built a few years later.Part of the courtyard was covered by the building of the school’s media center in the 1970s.Jack Ensworth was named National Teacher of the Year in 1973 while he was a teacher at Kenwood (Ensworth Elementary School is named in his honor.)A magnet program began at the school in 2000 with six classrooms dedicated to the Scottish storyline model.In 2006, the program became school-wide.Anecdotes:When the gym was built in 1950, it was the largest floor in Bend. The opening was marked with square dancing.Sheep and pigs once grazed in the outdoor courtyardA porcupine in a cage lived in the hallway.The school closed in 1935 when a student contracted polio.The school also closed in 1938 when the circus came to town.Neighbors planted victory gardens in the front lawn during World War II. Tumblr Facebook Emaillast_img read more

I Shot the Deschutes

first_imgI Shot the Deschutes Tumblr Google+ Pinterest Business & Industry, E-Headlines Share. LinkedIn Twittercenter_img Email (Big Eddy | Photo courtesy of Seventh Mountain Resort)Do you ever remember being a kid and wanting something so bad, but your parents wouldn’t let you have it. Here is a brief story about what I wanted and how it turned into a career.In the 1970s our family vacation was a week stay at Sunriver. My father would present at seminars allowing for our vacation. As a kid I would ride my bike around the property with a fishing pole looking for that perfect spot. I usually found success at the marina with a worm and bobber just after the ODFW truck came and stocked the river. I wasn’t picky, I just wanted to make sure I returned just after dark with enough fish to fry.About the year 1980 when I went to my usual spot, I noticed a new shack built at the marina. As an inquisitive young boy I hung out at the shack and asked numerous questions and of course looked at the shirts they had for sale. I was captivated by a black shirt with a purple faded writing that said “I shot the Deschutes”, I had to have it! I wanted the shirt so bad I left fishing early just to tell my parents about it. I got the usual answer, “We’ll see.”The next day my mother took me to the marina to take a look. I have a feeling it was the $10 price tag that made her reluctant to buy the shirt. Instead she used the excuse, “Well you have to run the river first”. The obvious counter to such a statement is “Let’s go shoot the Deschutes!” At this point any cautious mother is going to look for an out. “The trip costs $7, if you save your allowance you could go next year.” Deal!For a year I saved quarters from doing dishes, I saved birthday and holiday cash. The next summer we went to Sunriver we went straight to the marina and I dropped $7 in coins on the counter so I could shoot the Deschutes and get my shirt. The man at the counter counted the money and politely said “the trip is $8 now”. My mother said, “Looks like you are going to have to save a little more”. I went ballistic! I made it a personal mission to make sure that if my vacation dreams were squashed that so would everyone else’s. Fortunately my father had a compromise.The next day we drove to GI Joes in Bend and bought a four-man raft. It became our family tradition to inflate the raft, plug the valves with gum/tape, tie the raft to the car roof, walk the shuttle and float from Harpers Bridge to the Sunriver Marina. I even got my shirt.When something is as captivating as an adventure down the Deschutes River, impressions are huge. A simple shirt lead to running a river, which lead to a lifetime of employment. It’s also about the interactions we have — my first season guiding on Big Eddy I recognized one of the older guides but couldn’t place it. We contemplated over it for days. I finally told him this story as how I got my start as a raft guide. He then remembered the kid that he had to disappoint by a dollar at the old marina shack. It was how he handled that difficult interaction that helped get me on the path of being a rafting guide.Now close to 40 years later I have been guiding whitewater rafts for 25 years and manage the rafting operations at Seventh Mountain Resort. We take thousands of families down Big Eddy every year with the focus on making every trip a memorable vacation and hopefully create rafters for life.seventhmountain.com on July 11, 2019 By Justin Wellman, Recreation Manager, WorldMark Seventh Mountain 1 Facebooklast_img read more

The AlleyWatch NYC Startup Daily Funding Report 21418

first_imgThe AlleyWatch NYC Startup Daily Funding Report: 2/14/18 by AlleyWatch Payfone $23M Overtime, the Brooklyn-based digital network for sports fans, has raised $9.5M in Series A funding from investors that inclue Andreessen Horowitz, Greycroft, BoxGroup, Correlation Ventures, 645 Ventures, Afore Capital, Chaac Ventures, David Stern, Kevin Durant, Fitz Gate Ventures, TACK Ventures, Jordan Levy, Alpha, Imagination Capital, Michael Spirito, Rich Kleiman, and Geoff Yang. This brings the total funding raised to $12M over two rounds for the startup founded by Dan Porter in 2016. Tagged With: 645 Ventures, Afore Capital, Alpha, Andreessen Horowitz, Andrew Prozes, Anil Aggarwal, BoxGroup, Chaac Ventures, Correlation Ventures, Dan Porter, David Stern, Fitz Gate Ventures, Geoff Yang, Greycroft, Imagination Capital, Institutional Investor, Investinor, Jonathan Weiner, Jordan Levy, Kevin Durant, Kjartan Slette, MassMutual Ventures, Michael Spirito, Mike Brody, OpenOcean, Overtime, Payfone, Rich Kleiman, Rodger Desai, Synchrony Financial, TACK Ventures, Telia, Thomas Walle Jensen, Unacast, White Star Capital Overtime $9.5M – Series A Payfone, the identification and vertification platform that uses mobile to confirm identity, has raised an additional $23M in funding from investors that include MassMutual Ventures, Institutional Investor, Jonathan Weiner, Synchrony Financial, Andrew Prozes,and Anil Aggarwal. Founded by Mike Brody and Rodger Desai in 2008, the company has now raised a total of $93.6M in funding over six funding rounds. center_img Unacast, the location data platform, has raised $17.5M in funding from investors that include White Star Capital, Investinor, OpenOcean, and Teli. Founded by Kjartan Slette and Thomas Walle Jensen in 2014, Unacast has now raised a total of $24.1M in funding across three funding rounds. Unacast $17.5M – Series B 252SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin Here are the latest venture capital, seed, and angel deals for NYC startups for 2/14/18. This page will be updated throughout the day to reflect any new fundings.PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POSTlast_img read more

New York The Gateway To Industry 40

first_img Filed Under: #NYCTech, AlleyTalk New York: The Gateway To Industry 4.0October 3, 2018 by Oliver Mitchell 220SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin As Hurricane Florence raged across the coastline of Northern Carolina, 600 miles north the 174th Attack Wing Nation Guard base in Syracuse, New York was on full alert. Governor Cuomo just hung up with Defense Secretary Mattis to ready the airbase’s MQ-9’s drone force to “provide post-storm situational awareness for the on-scene commanders and emergency personnel on the ground.” Suddenly, the entire country turned to the Empire State as the epicenter for unmanned search & rescue operations.Located a few miles from the 174th is the Genius NY Accelerator. Genius boasts of the largest competition for unmanned systems in the world. Previous winners that received one million dollars, include AutoModality and FotoKite. One of Genius’ biggest financial backers is the Empire State Development (ESD). Last month, I moderated a discussion in New York City between Sharon Rutter of the ESD, Peter Kunz of Boeing Horizon X and Victor Friedberg of FoodShot Global. These three investors spanned the gamut of early-stage funders of autonomous machines. I started our discussion by asking if they think New York is poised to take a leading role in shaping the future of automation. While Kunz and Friedberg shared their own perspectives as corporate and social impact investors accordingly, Rutter singled out one audience participant in particular as representing the future of New York’s innovation venture scene.Andrew Hong of ff Venture Capital sat quietly in front of the presenters, yet his firm has been loudly reshaping the Big Apple’s approach to investing in mechatronics for almost a decade (with the ESD as a proud limited partner). Founded in 2008 by John Frankel, formerly of Goldman Sachs, ff has deployed capital in more than 100 companies with market values of over $6 billion. As the original backer of crowd-funding site Indiegogo, ff could be credited as a leading contributor to a new suite of technologies. As Frankel explains, “We like hardware if it is a vector to selling software, as recurring models based on services leads to better economics for us than one-off hardware sales.” In the spirit of fostering greater creativity for artificial intelligence software, ff collaborated with New York University in 2016 to start the NYU/ffVC AI NexusLab — the country’s first AI accelerator program between a university and a venture fund. NexusLab culminated in the Future Labs AI Summit in 2017. Frankel describes how this technology is influencing the future of autonomy, “As we saw that AI was coming into its own we looked at AI application plays and that took us deeper into cybersecurity, drones, and robotics. In addition, both drones and robotics benefited as a byproduct of the massive investment in mobile phones and their embedded sensors and radios.  Thus we invested in a number of companies in the space (Skycatch, PlusOne Robotics, Cambrian Intelligenceand TopFlight Technologies) and continue to look for more.”Recently, ff VC bolstered its efforts to support the growth of an array of cognitive computing systems by opening a new state-of-the-art headquarters in the Empire State Building and expanding its venture partner program. In addition to providing seed capital to startups, ff VC has distinguished itself for more than a decade by augmenting technical founders with robust back-office services, especially accounting and financial management. Last year, ff also widened its industry venture partner program with the addition of Dr. Kathryn Hume to its network. Dr. Hume is probably best known for her work as the former president of Fast Forward Labs, a leading advisory firm to Fortune 500 companies in utilizing data science and artificial intelligence. I am pleased to announce that I have decided to join Dr. Hume and the ff team as a venture partner to widen their network in the robotics industry. I share Frankel’s vision that today we are witnessing “massive developments in AI and ML that had led to unprecedented demand for automation solutions across every industry.”ff’s commitment is not an isolated example across the Big Apple but part of a growing invigorated community of venture capitalists, academics, inventors, and government sponsors. Yesterday, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) officially announced the winner of its $30 million investment grant to boost the city’s cybersecurity ecosystem. CyberNYC will include a new startup accelerator, city-wide programming, educational curricula, up-skilling/job placement, and a funding network for home-grown ventures. As NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett explains, “The de Blasio Administration is investing in cybersecurity to both fuel innovation, and to create new, accessible pathways to jobs in the industry. We’re looking for big-thinking proposals to help us become the global capital of cybersecurity and to create thousands of good jobs for New Yorkers.” The Mayor’s office projects that its initiative will create 100,000 new jobs over the next ten years, enabling NYC to fully maximize the opportunities of an autonomous world.The inspiration for CyberNYC could probably be found in the sands of the Israeli desert town of Beer Sheva. In the past decade, this Bedouin city in the Holy Land has been transformed from tents into a high-tech engine for cybersecurity, remote sensing and automation technologies. At the center of this oasis is Cyber Labs, a government-backed incubator created by Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP). Next week, JVP will kick off its New York City “Hub” with a $1 million competition called “New York Play” to bridge the opportunities between Israeli and NYC entrepreneurship.  In the words of JVP’s Chairman and Founder, Erel Margalit, “JVP’s expansion to New York and the launch of New York Play are all about what’s possible. As New York becomes America’s gateway for international collaboration and innovation, JVP, at the center of the “Startup Nation,” will play a significant role boosting global partnerships to create solutions that better the world and drive international business opportunities.”Looking past the skyscrapers, I reflect on Margalit’s image of New York as a “Gateway” to the future of autonomy.  Today, the wheel of New York City is turning into a powerful hub, connected throughout America’s academic corridor and beyond, with spokes shooting in from Boston, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Silicon Valley, Europe, Asia and Israel. The Excelsior State is pulsing with entrepreneurial energy fostered by the partnerships of government, venture capital, academia and industry. As ff VC’s newest venture partner, I personally am excited to play a pivotal role in helping them harness the power of acceleration for the benefit of my city and, quite possibly, the world.Reprinted by permission.PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POSTlast_img read more

Wellness Revolution on Main Street The Biotanica

first_img Filed Under: HealthTech, Wellness My most recent post talked about how wellness could be the soul of the transformation of streetside retail. Several trends drive this shift:The disappearance of traditional stores from Main Streets across America.The forceful emergence of experiential retail as a way to get consumers into a physical store, often in concert with a compelling online buying experience.The drive in healthcare to bring treatment closer to customers and to involve consumers more directly in their own care.Breakthroughs in science that bring treatments once reserved for hospitals and clinics onto the wrists or screens of consumers or that bring the expansiveness of crowd-sourcing to care.Today, these forces are expressed by pharmacies providing inoculations, housing mini-clinics; by retailers like Wal-Mart bringing mental health centers into the store; by walk-in clinics that include instant body scans tied to wearable sensor data; meditation pods in workout wear stores; blood pressure monitors in grocery stores; and dozens of other new experiences.But I think what we are seeing today is just the tip of the wellness retail iceberg.Within a few years, we will see the emergence of an entirely new kind of Main Street facility. I call it “the Biotanica”: the combination of biology and science with the spiritual, herbal and community aspects of traditional Hispanic botanicas.Biotanicas will deliver care and comfort. They will dispense drugs alongside biome and natural treatments. They will provide space for VR experiences, meditation, and exercise. They will house primary care doctors, nutritionists, and mental health professionals. They will have some of the feel of a health club, some of a clinic, some of an Apple store, some of a gourmet grocery and some of an AA meeting.Individuals will go to their biotanica to pick up personalized health products and treatments they purchased online. They’ll be able to buy next-gen food, in many cases formulated specifically for their needs. Many, if not most, of the basic medical treatment that now is in a clinic will move to biotanicas.The centers will also have doctors – not only RNs and primary care physicians in-house, but also diagnosticians and specialists available via telehealth connections.And, because of the range of activities housed in biotanicas and their deep importance to health and wellness, these facilities will become centers for community. They’ll house information sessions, counseling groups, bull sessions, meditation classes, nutrition and exercises classes.Biotanicas will be the general stores of the 21st century. Decades from now, young people will find the assertion that Main Street was once totally dominated by stores stuffed with products, and medicine only occurred in sterile, scary, expensive clinics and hospitals, bizarre. Having all the elements of wellness available next door and at their fingertips will seem utterly natural and obvious to future generations.Reprinted by permission.PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST Wellness Revolution on Main Street: The BiotanicaJanuary 28, 2019 by Mike Edelhart 221SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedinlast_img read more

These are the 14 Largest NYC Tech Startup Funding Rounds of February

first_imgArmed with some data from our friends at CrunchBase, I broke down the 14 largest NYC Startup funding rounds in New York during the month of February 2019.  I have included some additional information such as industry, description, round type,  total equity funding raised, funding details, and links to AlleyWatch full coverage to further the analysis for the state of venture capital in NYC.CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LARGEST NYC STARTUP FUNDING ROUNDS OF FEBRUARY 2019 The 2019 NYC Tech Influencers is now live on AlleyWatch. Join us in celebrating 50 individuals that are driving progress and innovation in New York – 2019 NYC Tech Influencers.PREVIOUS POST1 / 20NEXT PAGE These are the 14 Largest NYC Tech Startup Funding Rounds of February 2019March 1, 2019 by Reza Chowdhury 412SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin Filed Under: #NYCTech, AlleyTalk, Funded in the Alley, Funding News, Startups, Venture Capital Tagged With: Aetion, BANDIER, Botify, Ceros, Chainalysis, CTRL-labs, Extend Fertility, Jetty, JOOR, Landit, Overtime, Rebag, Rockets of Awesome, Socure, TheGuarantors, VAST Data, YieldStreet, Zoovulast_img read more

428 Offices and Counting How I Work From Everywhere

first_img428 Offices and Counting: How I Work From EverywhereAugust 10, 2017 by Michael Affronti 289SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin I’ve been a prolific Foursquare user ever since it was released several years ago. I rely heavily on its Swarm check-in app to keep a digital journal of my travels for auditing, sharing, and the occasional #tbt.I recently did some searches for words like “work,” “office,” “Fuze” (our company name), “working,” etc. in an effort to find all of the places I’ve checked-in over the past two years where I was working.What I discovered was actually a little surprising.All in all, I found 428 “offices” in my travel history. That’s 428 unique places that I can claim to have been doing work at.Here’s a sample of some of the random places I’ve called an office:A Waffle House restaurant in Atlanta, GA (breakfast meeting with the local sales team)Stalled somewhere in the south of France on the EuroStar train from Paris to London (a video call with a customer back in the U.S.)A donut shop in Park City, Utah (emergency virtual team meeting during a ski weekend)The pilot’s lounge at Heathrow Airport (internet was down in the BA lounge so they brought me in there as I claimed I needed to join this emergency meeting)While I was looking through this diverse list from across the globe, I started thinking about how few of my friends and colleagues are able to work in these sorts of places with any kind of consistency.Some of course, would just prefer not to, and that’s perfectly fine.However, in working at a globally-distributed company I have found that my ability to work from anywhere has not only increased my productivity, but also has allowed me to enjoy the freedom of having the world as a workplace.For me, that beats the corner office any day. Build Hubs, Not HQ’sMore than anything, leaders and companies today should focus on making their spaces more conducive to the modern digital worker.At our company, Fuze, we’ve recently taken steps to do this by making our new headquarters a true hub for our workforce. Our offices are now designed around collaboration spaces – both for large-scale meetings as well as smaller, huddle sessions – in addition to more traditional, individual work spaces. It has lots of “hotel” desks for employees like myself that are typically there for a few days before moving locations.We made these changes because an increasing amount of our employees expressed a desire to work from home, and a majority of remote/field workers (myself included) wanted a better experience when they are in an office for a few hours or a few days. This was coupled with the primary goal of using the office space to work more collectively with fellow colleagues when you’re face-to-face.In this way our office has become a hub for face-to-face interactions and networking amongst teams. Unsurprisingly, this has led to higher productivity and better ideas, since workers can take care of their own agendas at home, and spend their in-office time focusing on shared projects. Embrace MobilityIndividually speaking, in order to do this well you should invest in some common tools of the trade.My must haves?Get a good headset (I love the Apple AirPods). Get a great portable battery (I love my Anker). And get comfortable using remote collaboration software.In terms of helping your employees become more mobile, take steps to build positive team culture by requiring video to be turned on in all meetings, and practicing effective video conference techniques.Perhaps even more importantly, be sure you’re present and stick to your meetings schedule whenever possible while traveling. This will encourage your team to do the same.At the end of the day, transparency and mobility like this is good for everyone, and has been shown to increase productivity and employee satisfaction – two important indicators of a successful business. The reason why is not a difficult concept to wrap your head around, since if employees are encouraged and able to work whenever and wherever they want, they’re able to get more done. Be Physically PresentAnother way to encourage working remotely and collaboratively is to plan time to bring your team together at one of your company’s hubs once per quarter.When doing this, budget and spend the money to bring remote people to the hub. Also, make sure it is not always the typical two-day “offsite” gathering, and instead do a week where everyone just “works from the hub.”Doing this will leave time for spontaneous and planned face-to-face meet ups, which are some of the best opportunities you’ll have to connect with your employees during the get together.Importantly, these one on ones will also offer a chance for you to promote further mobility by doing things such as bringing the meeting outside – a surefire way to be more effective and constructive with this time. Balance Your LifeUltimately, moving around a lot will often translate into suddenly realizing you never found the time to get to the dentist or run other life errands that you needed to be home for in order to do.To remedy this, I make a point of blocking off one Friday per month to pack all of those appointments and tasks into, and I leave that day otherwise untouched on my calendar.Doing something like this will ensure you remain grounded.Embracing a flexible work style will unlock your true productive potential and probably even make you happier in your job, but without balance it can also allow your work to bleed too far into your life.In other words, go see the dentist.And, if you find yourself on a EuroStar train or sitting in a Waffle House somewhere in Georgia, you can have that video conference. But don’t forget to also appreciate the French countryside flying by, or just how much you enjoy putting syrup on top of everything.Reprinted by permission.PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST Filed Under: Lifestylelast_img read more

Democrats set April 23 deadline to receive Trumps tax returns

first_imgLondon best pest control Democrats have seized on the issue of Trump’s undisclosed taxes since taking control of the House of Representatives — citing a little-known law that allows Congress to review anyone’s returns to conduct an investigation.“I am aware that concerns have been raised regarding my request and the authority of the Committee,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal said in a letter to Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig after an initial April 10 deadline lapsed. “Those concerns lack merit.”On Wednesday, Mnuchin said the Treasury was handling the request and that a deadline set for that date would be missed, citing possible constitutional issues.But on Saturday, he said the administration would respond by the revised deadline.“I’m sure we’ll respond by that deadline, not going to make a commitment prematurely whether we’ll be able to conclude a legal review by that deadline,” Mnuchin said. “We have people working on it diligently.”Weaponizing the IRS?Calling Neal’s new deadline an “arbitrary” date, Mnuchin said the Democrats’ request could set “enormous precedent in potentially weaponizing the IRS.”Trump argues that he cannot release his tax returns because they are being audited, but the IRS has said this is no impediment to their release.“It is not the proper function of the IRS, Treasury or Justice to question or second guess the motivations of the Committee or its reasonable determinations regarding its need for the requested tax returns and return information,” Neal said.“Concerns about what the Committee may do with the tax returns and return information are baseless.”Neal gave the government until 5:00 pm (2100 GMT) on April 23 to hand over the tax records.“Please know that, if you fail to comply, your failure will be interpreted as a denial of my request,” Neal wrote.The request looks set to trigger a protracted legal showdown.Trump broke with a long-established norm during the 2016 elections by refusing to release his income tax returns, as most presidents have done since the 1970s even though it is not required by law.Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, asked last week whether Democrats would ever see the returns, was unequivocal.“Never,” he said on Fox News Sunday. “Nor should they.”Mulvaney asserted that since voters knew ahead of the 2016 election that Trump would not reveal his returns and then elected him anyway, the matter was “already litigated.” Democratic lawmakers on Saturday gave tax authorities a final deadline of April 23 to hand over President Donald Trump’s tax returns, which Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration was considering.last_img read more

Using LinkedIn for Recruitingand Influence Marketing

first_imgMost likely you probably use LinkedIn as a part of your recruiting strategy whether you are posting jobs or proactively looking for candidates. But are you using LinkedIn as an effective channel for your influence marketing strategy?LinkedIn currently boasts having over 60 million registered users. That is a pretty large number. Here are a few ideas to capitalize on your LinkedIn presence with your company’s influence marketing strategy in mind:Conduct advanced searches with different keywords to identify potential key influencers and industry experts. Check out an older post for more ideas on identifying your influencers.There are a few consulting firms that can help you find your target influencers as well. If you have embraced the influence marketing strategy to the fullest extent, check out Influence50.Use LinkedIn as a social networking tool to begin building relationships with your influencers by sharing relevant content.Identify groups on LinkedIn that apply directly to your space and join the conversation.For example, if your company sells technology into the higher education space, investigate the EDUCAUSE and Higher Education Management groups.Remember to always use LinkedIn groups to show your thought leadership, rather than provide your 30-second elevator pitch.If a group does not exist, create one and invite industry leaders to participate in the discussion. The point it to add value here, not sell software. Be sure that you are able to supply educational content, moderate discussions, and encourage participation to ensure your group is a success.If you are interested in learning more about LinkedIn and recruiting, please visit my colleague Diana Wining’s blog for more insights on how OpenView Venture Partners provides recruiting support to our expansion stage portfolio companies. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

Turn Your Packaging into a Selling Point

first_imgPeople judge books by their covers all the time.Buyers readily make decisions based on first impressions. To be certain, your product packaging can be your first and only impression. Whether your product is available digitally or on store shelves, there are package design ideas that can help you move it more effectively. In a recent post for the Customer Collective, Drew McLellan shares an example of one company that has perfected its packaging.The company? Help Remedies. The innovative packaging of their products cuts through all of the clutter and gets right to the point. Plenty of companies can learn from them. For more on how to make sure your product launch is a successful one, and that your packaging is a selling point, read the full article by McLellan.Related Content from OpenView:Slick packaging with an appealing message sells. But before you can utilize it you must understand exactly why it sells. Find out more about buying behavior in this post from OpenView. And to discover why your sales may depend on your ability to think a lot, read this article from an OpenView guest contributor.Photo by: Leo HidalgoAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

A 5 Step Plan for Developing a Video Content Strategy

first_imgDeveloping a video content strategy should no longer be considered a luxury. Apply these tips and connect with consumers like never before.Those ingenious YouTube clips you can’t get enough of are more than productivity killers and email-chain generators. When done right, they’re incredibly powerful marketing tools. Believe it or not, you can be the one everyone is buzzing about. Just follow these 5 tips for developing a video content strategy that Tim Washer lays out in this post at Monetate.The flash and sizzle that accompanies these videos might make you feel out of your depth. But Washer explains that the majority of videos, even the slickest, are made on a shoestring budget. Read on to learn why you shouldn’t over-invest and why you need an open mind when measuring the success of your videos.Photo by Peter Taylor AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

Bitcoin Is Money US Judge Says in Case Tied to JPMorgan Hack

first_imgBitcoin U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan rejected a bid by Anthony Murgio to dismiss two charges related to his alleged operation of Coin.mx, which prosecutors have called an unlicensed bitcoin exchange. 2 min read The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Next Article 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Bitcoin Is Money, U.S. Judge Says in Case Tied to JPMorgan Hack Reuters September 20, 2016 Add to Queue This story originally appeared on Reuters Bitcoin qualifies as money, a federal judge ruled on Monday, in a decision linked to a criminal case over hacking attacks against JPMorgan Chase & Co. and other companies.U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan rejected a bid by Anthony Murgio to dismiss two charges related to his alleged operation of Coin.mx, which prosecutors have called an unlicensed bitcoin exchange.Murgio had argued that bitcoin did not qualify as “funds” under the federal law prohibiting the operation of unlicensed money transmitting businesses.But the judge, like her colleague Jed Rakoff in an unrelated 2014 case, said the virtual currency met that definition.”Bitcoins are funds within the plain meaning of that term,” Nathan wrote. “Bitcoins can be accepted as a payment for goods and services or bought directly from an exchange with a bank account. They therefore function as pecuniary resources and are used as a medium of exchange and a means of payment.”The decision did not address six other criminal counts that Murgio faces, Nathan wrote.Brian Klein, a lawyer for Murgio, said he disagreed with the decision.”Anthony Murgio maintains his innocence and looks forward to clearing his name at his upcoming trial,” he added.Prosecutors last year charged Murgio over the operation of Coin.mx, and in April charged his father Michael with participating in bribery aimed at supporting it.Authorities have said Coin.mx was owned by Gery Shalon, an Israeli man who, along with two others, was charged with running a sprawling computer hacking and fraud scheme targeting a dozen companies, including JPMorgan, and exposing personal data of more than 100 million people.That alleged scheme generated hundreds of millions of dollars of profit through pumping up stock prices, online casinos, money laundering and other illegal activity, prosecutors have said.Shalon has pleaded not guilty, and is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. He hired new lawyers last month and is seeking permission to replace lawyers who joined the case in June, a Monday court filing showed.The case is U.S. v Murgio et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 15-cr-00769.(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by David Gregorio and Diane Craft) Image credit: Reuters | Eric Thayer 44shares Apply Now »last_img read more

The Solution to Ubers Culture Crisis Could be Hiring Veterans

first_imgUber Add to Queue Guest Writer Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. –shares Image credit: Uber Next Article Andrew D. Wittman The Solution to Uber’s Culture Crisis Could be Hiring Veterans March 10, 2017 Military service imbues values that every employer hopes new hires have. 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Uber is being skewered in the news right now for their “unrestrained” corporate culture that may have led to incidents of sexual harassment at the company. Not to mention the recent caught-on-camera argument between the company’s CEO and one of its drivers. Believe it or not that’s not all. The New York Times has now reported that Uber’s been deliberately evading the authorities in markets that were trying to limit the company’s operating ability.Uber isn’t the only company to be exposed for their corporate culture kinks. The sales scandal involving millions of fake customer accounts at Wells Fargo as well as the dog-eat-dog environment that exists over at Amazon are just a few that come to mind.Related: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Says He Needs to ‘Grow Up’ after Video of Argument with a Driver ReleasedSo you see, even the CEOs of the world’s most innovative and successful companies need leadership help from time to time. My best advice to companies like these? Hire more veterans.By far, the biggest values a veteran adds to any company’s broken culture are restraint and unit cohesion. They’re taught to adopt a philosophy that equally embraces two crucial business priorities: mission accomplishment and troop welfare, something that the companies mentioned here seem to struggle with.There’s a philosophy out there among many organizations that says, “We can train hard skills, but we hire for attitude and soft skills.” Soft skills being things like positive attitude, strong work ethic, resilience and mental toughness to name a few. The problem with that philosophy is, anyone can have a good attitude when they want to get something from you, like a job for example. It’s easy to put on a show for an interview or series of interviews and relying on personality assessments has hardly solved the problem.In order to increase your firm’s chances of landing a recruit with a bona fide, genuine package of those ever-elusive softs skills, hire more veterans. Why? Because they’ve already been trained, tested and trained and tested again for them. Here are 8 soft skills that veterans bring to every company’s culture and why you should hire them into leadership positives to solve corporate culture problems.Related: Uber Says It Will No Longer Use Tech to Target Law EnforcementUnit cohesion.This goes beyond simply being a team player. It is the bonding together of team members and employees in such a way as to sustain their will and commitment to each other, the company, the task at hand, and the overall mission and values of the organization, despite obstacles, adversity and stress.Balanced business objectives.The veteran equally embraces two crucial business priorities: mission accomplishment and troop welfare. The mission must be accomplished and it gets accomplished by the troops. Companies that run roughshod over their employees in order to accomplish the mission will not last. As this progresses, good employees leave and it gets more difficult to acquire real talent going forward. Veterans in leadership positions unconsciously do this so you don’t have to spend time and money training it.Related: Uber Founder Resigns From Trump Council.Withstanding burnout.Veterans generally are much better at withstanding burnout because they have been tested beyond what we would consider normal limits. Thus, veterans have more stamina and endurance for stress. Most veterans are mentally tough and resilient because they been through far more difficulty and stress than you can imagine. They’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt, coffee mug and souvenir shot glass — all before they were in their mid-20s.Related: In Defense of Uber, Amazon and MeritocracyDealing with difficult people.Veterans are desensitized to difficult personality and communication styles by design, and therefore, learn not to internalize a boss’s demeanor, or to confuse style with content. Veterans are trained to put more weight on what was said and less weight on how it was said, which makes for a dream employee for tough and demanding bosses. As a byproduct, veterans don’t get sucked into office drama of personal slights and gossip.Can do attitude.Veterans spend their energy focusing on what can be done, not why it can’t be done. This is a radical shift from the clear majority of employees in today’s workforce. For veterans, proactively solving problems is who they are. Being a walking solution to any and all problems is infused in the veterans’ DNA.Related: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Launches Investigation into Sexual Harassment ClaimsDiversity and inclusion.From the first day to the last of military service, veterans entrust their lives and well-being to those in their unit. Military units are made up of every imaginable combination of background, race, socio-economic level, religion, personality, education, gender and ethnicity. Nothing like a little incoming to get over differences and divides real-quick.Related: How a Stronger HR Function Could Have Helped Uber Avoid the Sexual Harassment ScandalMonster work ethic.For veterans, entitlement is something for civilian millennials, please don’t lump them in with that group. Companies are spending massive amounts of money on figuring out how to manage millennials. The military already did, so do yourself a favor and piggy-back on what they’ve already accomplished.Related: What Businesses Can Learn from #DeleteUberCore values.Veterans live by the core values of duty, honor and respect. They know who they are and what values they ascribe to. Most people are rarely able to articulate the core values that dictate their actions, habits and behaviors, but without them, company cultures easily find themselves astray. Sexual harassment, discrimination, records falsified, short cuts taken, fake accounts created, prices fixed, insider trading and on and on.Most importantly, veterans lead from the front. They influence the entire company culture by modelling these behaviors. Regardless of their title or position, veterans will set a shining and unbending example to every single person in the company. The more you fill your ranks with them, the greater impact they will have on your culture, performance and bottom line. Personal and Executive Leadership Advisor Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Register Now »last_img read more

Tesla Seeks 16 Billion to Build a Gigafactory

first_imgInnovators Add to Queue 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Jason Fell 2 min read –shares Tesla Seeks $1.6 Billion to Build a ‘Gigafactory’ Entrepreneur Staff February 26, 2014 “The Gigafactory is designed to reduce cell costs much faster than the status quo and, by 2020, produce more lithium ion batteries annually than were produced worldwide in 2013,” Tesla says in a blog post. “By the end of the first year of volume production of our mass market vehicle, we expect the Gigafactory will have driven down the per kWh cost of our battery pack by more than 30 percent.”Despite a series of fires, Tesla’s Model S luxury electric car was recently named Consumer Reports’ overall top pick for 2014.Related: Elon Musk Admits to ‘Conversations’ With Apple About Tesla The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Director of the Entrepreneur Partner Studio Elon Musk’s electric car company, Tesla, needs some cash. It says it needs $1.6 billion, to be exact.The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company today announced that it is opening an underwritten registered public offering for that amount in order to fund its growth plans, which include the development and production of its “Gen III” mass-market vehicle and construction of a battery-making facility called the “Gigafactory.”Tesla says it will work with “strategic battery manufacturing partners” to build the Gigafactory, which will span 500 to 1,000 acres of land and employ approximately 6,500 workers. The factory could be located in one of a small handful of U.S. states that are vying for the project, including Texas and Nevada.Here’s an early rendering of the Gigafactory plans: Next Article Apply Now »last_img read more

Uber Hires Senior Target Executive to Lead Global Operations

first_img Image credit: Cindy Ord | Getty Images Reuters Jeff Jones 37shares Jeff Jones’s exit is the latest in a string of executive departures from Target, which has made a series of management changes since last year. Next Article This story originally appeared on Reuters Uber Technologies Inc. has plucked a top executive from U.S. retailer Target to help lead the growing ride-services company and reshape its image.Uber said on Tuesday it hired Jeff Jones, chief marketing officer for Target Corp., to oversee the bulk of its global operations. Jones will be president of ride-sharing at Uber, running local Uber services in every city, as well as marketing efforts and customer support.The hire underscores efforts by Uber, which has become the dominant on-demand ride service, to bolster its reputation and brand. Since 2009, the company has aggressively expanded to more than 450 cities, at times steamrolling regulators and launching campaigns against local lawmakers.Jones joined Target in 2012 to rejuvenate its brand and is credited with modernizing the retailer’s marketing efforts. He led campaigns including #MoreMusic, under which Target partnered with singer Gwen Stefani for a live video that aired during the Grammy Awards and released exclusive tracks from artists such as Adele, part of an effort to burnish Target’s cool image.Prior to that, Jones led marketing for Gap Inc. and worked for Coca-Cola and advertising firm McKinney.”Jones has a strong track record of driving the narrative around Target’s brand, and will now try to do the same for Uber,” said Mike Mannor, associate professor at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.”You can surely expect to see stakeholders responding positively to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick taking steps to upgrade his middling in-house talent with proven professional chops.”Kalanick said in a blog post that he and Jones met in February and “within minutes we were debating how Uber could improve its reputation.” Kalanick said he wants to align Uber’s marketing functions more closely with individual city operations and put more focus on customer service.Uber’s global operations span dozens of countries and about 1.5 million drivers.Jones’s hiring marks a change for Ryan Graves, who has been at Uber since 2010 and ran the company’s operations and global expansion. Graves will give up some of those responsibilities but continue to work on Uber’s delivery businesses, including UberEats and UberRush, as well as other projects, Kalanick said.Jones’s exit is the latest in a string of executive departures from Target, which has made a series of management changes since last year.Among other moves, the big-box retailer appointed Chief Financial Officer John Mulligan to the newly created role of chief operating officer. It has also added new hires as it focuses on higher-margin categories such as baby and wellness products and revamps online sales.(Reporting by Heather Somerville in San Francisco and Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Tom Brown) The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue.center_img Uber Hires Senior Target Executive to Lead Global Operations August 31, 2016 3 min read Add to Queue Uber 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Apply Now »last_img read more

Jack Dorsey Says an Edit Tweet Feature Is Definitely Needed

first_img Add to Queue –shares The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Some think that could worsen problems with fake news, though. December 30, 2016 Apply Now » Next Article Twitter Jack Dorsey Says an Edit Tweet Feature Is ‘Definitely Needed’ 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List CEO Jack Dorsey asked Twitter users what improvements they most wanted to see, and as you’d expect, he got an avalanche of replies — more than 5,700 so far.The most requested feature was the ability to edit tweets after you’ve sent them, rather than having to delete and start again. Dorsey agreed that “a form of edit is def needed,” and that the company is “thinking a lot about it.” However, he thinks anything beyond quick edits would require a changelog, and some users suggested any edits would worsen trust issues with the site.Dorsey suggested that there are two types of edits Twitter could implement. The first would allow a window, say five minutes, to fix any typos, bad links and other user errors. The other would allow you to make edits anytime, much as you can on Facebook. However, as with Facebook, Twitter would be forced to implement a revision history in that case so that edits don’t go “off the public record,” Dorsey said.@howardlindzon not sure why you’re quoting this tweet but yes, a form of edit is def needed. But for everyone, not just those w badges— jack (@jack) December 29, 2016It might even allow a short window to edit that could further damage trust in the network. By altering tweets, news sites or prominent individuals could slightly changing their context and meaning, for instance. President-elect Donald Trump, for one, considers the site as his own personal “newspaper — without the losses,” he once tweeted. While it’s clear when he deletes tweets, many users might not notice if one has been slightly altered.”Delete is enough. Context changing post-fact is dangerous,” user Justyn Howard replied to Dorsey. He added that even short edit windows between 30 seconds and five minutes aren’t really needed, since you can just delete and repost a tweet. As for a revision history, he points out that “80 people liked [your tweet]. Which version?”@JBoorman I say “do you like to eat pizza”, you reply “yes” 3 minutes later. I change pizza to babies. Wouldn’t you rather I deleted it?— Justyn Howard (@Justyn) December 29, 2016Other top suggestions were to introduce bookmarks so you could find favorite tweets easier, rather than just using the “like” button, which also effectively endorses the tweet. The other main demand, of course, was to improve safety and reporting options for bullies, something Twitter has been taken to task for many times. In replying to many of those requests, Dorsey called it the company’s “top priority.”Twitter is already looking or has previously looked at a lot of the ideas, Dorsey said, and that’s the rub of the problem with Twitter in general. It’s stuck between pleasing its existing users and trying to attract new ones to a site that’s notoriously difficult to grok and potentially dangerous once you get popular. Dorsey was perhaps hoping to see a genius idea that could solve all those problems and finally help make the site profitable — or saleable. 3 min read Image credit: via engadget This story originally appeared on Engadget Steve Dentlast_img read more

Listen Here Ladies Guys Have WorkLife Stress Too

first_img The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Gender Differences You know what? It’s actually more stressful to be a working guy than most people think. If you don’t believe me then take a look at a new study on stress from the American Psychological Association.The research, which took several years and included the examinations of about 250,000 people around the world, concluded that men have similar levels of conflict related to work-life balance as women.”We essentially found very little evidence of differences between women and men as far as the level of work-family conflict they report,” Kristen Shockley, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Georgia and the study’s lead researcher said. “This is quite contrary to the common public perception.” The study found that, when pushed, men complain of similar challenges meeting their family needs and balancing their work-lives as their female colleagues.Amen, Dr. Schockley. Amen!Related: A Lesson on Striving for Gender Equality Learned at HomeSure, I admit some women have challenges in the workplace that could cause a wee bit of stress. I’ve known women that have been forced to smile politely and pretend they don’t mind when men fart, burp, surf porn or talk about inappropriate things within their earshot. I’ve read about women getting pinched, winked at, patted, pawed and approached for sex by male superiors who have an impact on their career advancement. Females in the workplace are still called “honey,” “dear,” “love,” “missy” and “sweetie” by some men. And guys, don’t even try to deny that you’re discussing their bottoms, tops, legs, arms and faces the minute they leave a room or at the bar that night. I’ve been there.I confess to the fact that there are other stressful things in a woman’s working day that men don’t ever have to deal with. For example, women can’t just wear the same suit every day to work like most guys do. Their outfits can’t be too short or too long. Their hair can’t be mussed. Their makeup must be applied professionally. They are forced to paint, pluck, perfume and groom every exposed part of their bodies. They are judged critically if they’re too heavy…or too thin. Their shoes must be professional, despite the pain they endure wearing them.OK, I also admit I’ve heard that women must be especially aware of predators at work and during the day. For example, it’s not uncommon for a woman walking down the street to work — even in 2017 — to be the recipient of rude comments or aggressive behavior from male strangers just because they made the mistake of catching someone’s eye. Even when travelling I’ve never had to be careful about who’s sitting next to me on a plane, the rental car bus, or even a restaurant. But women do. That seems kind of stressful.Related: 4 Words That Reinforce the Gender Gap at WorkRelated Video: Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran: There’s No Such Thing as Work-Life BalanceAnd yes, I’m aware that many experienced female executives are still sometimes asked to “get their boss on the phone” or to “check the boss’ calendar”… even when they’re the boss. I’ve watched as female colleagues are asked to fetch coffee, make dinner reservations and order food for the company barbeque despite having a more responsible position than other male colleagues who could (and should) perform the same tasks. I can name specific clients that have avoided giving career-advancing assignments to women because the work is deemed to be too physical, demanding or taxing.When it comes to the family, I do concede that it always seems to be the working mom who’s the first responder for any child or home emergency, doctor’s appointment or school meeting in lieu of dad. I grant that pregnant woman have it especially tough, battling nausea, sickness and the aches and pains of their pregnancy with little sympathy from their male colleagues. When they do take time off to care for their newborns their commitment to the job and long term status at the company is at risk of being called into question. Yet, their commitment to their child is called into question if they take less time off than is offered by the company.Then again, if a mother chooses to work instead of being a stay-at-home mom then she’s criticized by other stay-at-home moms while at the same time being ostracized by working moms if she chooses to stay at home. Phew.Oh, almost forgot: women get paid a lot less than men.Related: 4 Mistakes We All Make to Perpetuate Gender BiasBut hey, just a few years ago, I had to come home early from the company softball game because one of our kids had to be picked up from a friend’s house and my wife couldn’t be there. That was a huge pain and caused me a lot of work-family stress. See? We guys have the same pressures too! That’s what the American Psychological Association says and they are very smart people with advanced degrees and stuff, so they must be right.You just can’t argue with the data, can you. 5 min read Gene Marks Add to Queue –shares 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Contributor Image credit: Westend61 | Getty Images Apply Now » A major study has concluded men are as stressed balancing work and home as women. Oh, please. Listen Here, Ladies: Guys Have Work-Life Stress Too! August 29, 2017 President of The Marks Group Next Article last_img read more

Jacobs Creek targets fizzy wine trend with new Prosecco Spritz

first_imgJacob’s Creek targets fizzy wine trend with new Prosecco SpritzPosted By: News Deskon: July 25, 2017In: Alcohol, Beverage, Industries, New productsPrintEmailJacob’s Creek has launched a new premium sparkling wine in Australia, responding to the trend of consumers enjoying more prosecco, spritz and aperitif drinks throughout the year.Called Jacob’s Creek Prosecco Spritz, the wine has flavours of blood oranges, sweet citrus and botanicals such as cinchona and liquorish root extract.The wine brand claims that prosecco sales in Australia have increased by over 180% in the last three years.Available in a 750ml bottle with an ABV of 8.5%, the drink is best served over ice with a slice ruby red grapefruit.Jacob’s Creek sparkling winemaker Trina Smith said: “Our winemakers spent a lot of time perfecting the right mix of ingredients to best balance our prosecco and zesty sweet blood oranges.“Jacob’s Creek has a rich and impressive history of producing high quality sparkling wine since 1976. All of our prosecco is grown and sourced Australia, and Jacob’s Creek Prosecco Spritz is an example of our love and passion for sparkling winemaking, combined with a progressive spirit to create something new and exciting for consumers.”The beverage is now available with a recommended retail price of AUD 19.99 ($15.86).Share with your network: Tags: AustraliaJacob’s Creeknew productproseccowinelast_img read more

Nestlé China launches campaign to encourage breastfeeding

first_imgNestlé China launches campaign to encourage breastfeedingPosted By: News Deskon: July 31, 2017In: Industries, Nutrition, Social ResponsibilityPrintEmailWith World Breastfeeding Week almost underway, Nestlé China will start a campaign to promote the health benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and children.From 1 to 7 August, the brand will carry out a series of activities to convey the idea that breastfeeding is not just a matter of meeting a baby’s nutritional needs, but also has an impact on long-term health.Binu Jacob, vice president of infant nutrition at Nestlé Greater China, said: “Research findings show that there are 42.8% of infants below six months of age exclusively receiving breastfeeding and there is still a lot of room for this number to rise.“Therefore, Nestlé has been sparing no effort in promoting breastfeeding. In addition to the special establishment of a breastfeeding module through the ‘Start Healthy, Stay Healthy’ nutrition education project to spread knowledge of maternal and child nutrition and feeding solutions, Nestlé also continues to launch a variety of activities during the Breastfeeding Week every year to call on the whole society to support breastfeeding.”Nestlé said it will not advertise or carry out any promotional activities for infants under 12 months old to encourage breastfeeding.Share with your network: Tags: ChinaNestlésocial responsibilitylast_img read more

Musgrave seals deal to acquire La Rousse Foods from Aryzta

first_imgMusgrave seals deal to acquire La Rousse Foods from AryztaPosted By: News Deskon: December 07, 2017In: Business, Food, Foodservice, Industries, Mergers & AcquisitionsPrintEmailIrish retail and wholesale company Musgrave has acquired La Rousse Foods from Aryzta for an undisclosed sum.Earlier this year Swiss-Irish company Aryzta reported revenue down 2.1% to €3.8 billion, and a net loss of €970.8 million, leading to speculation that it could sell of its assets.Aryzta CEO Kevin Toland then bought more than $100,000 worth of shares as a vote of confidence in the struggling bakery group.The Irish Times reported earlier in the year that La Rousse – which Aryzta bought in 2015 – could be worth around €30 million.With offices in Dublin and Belfast, La Rousse serves more than 1,500 customers. Musgrave’s intention is that La Rousse will continue to operate as a standalone brand.Commenting on the deal, Musgrave CEO Chris Martin said: “La Rousse Foods is an excellent strategic fit for our business and complements our market-leading foodservice offer.“We look forward to working with the La Rousse Foods team and customers who will benefit from the support of Musgrave in terms of supply chain infrastructure and access to an increased product range. “The acquisition forms part of our growing good business strategy, which focuses on growing our brands in the food market across the island of Ireland.”Share with your network: Tags: AryztaIrelandLa Rousse FoodsMusgravelast_img read more

Walmart unites with Rakuten in alliance against Amazon

first_imgWalmart unites with Rakuten in alliance against AmazonPosted By: News Deskon: January 26, 2018In: Business, Distribution, Food, Industries, Mergers & Acquisitions, RetailPrintEmailWalmart has partnered with Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten to launch a new online grocery delivery service in the country this year.The move by Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, will also see it sell e-books and audiobooks in its US stores and online as it aims to gain foothold in an area that has been dominated by Amazon.As part of the alliance, Walmart will become the exclusive retail partner of Rakuten Kobo in the US, enabling it to offer Kobo’s nearly 6 million book titles. The retail giant will also sell digital book cards in stores, enabling more than 4,000 shops to carry a broader selection of books for customers. All e-book content will be accessible through a Walmart/Kobo co-branded app.  Meanwhile, in Japan, Rakuten and Walmart subsidiary Seiyu GK have reached an agreement to establish a joint venture with the aim of launching a new online grocery delivery service to be called Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper. It will be launched in the latter half of 2018.Both companies said that to respond to the needs of customers increasingly short on time for preparation, the service will include not only fresh produce and daily consumables but also a line-up of convenient items such as cut vegetables, partially prepared foods and meal kits.Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon and Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani met in Tokyo today to announce the alliance that aims to leverage each company’s unique strengths and assets to expand consumer reach.McMillon said: “Rakuten is a strong e-commerce business and we’re excited to collaborate with the top online shopping destination in Japan. Here in Japan and everywhere we operate, we’re constantly exploring new ways to make every day easier for customers by offering great experiences in stores, online, via mobile – no matter how customers want to shop. We look forward to expanding our grocery footprint in Japan and launching a new offering of e-books and audiobooks for our customers in the US. ”Mikitani added: “As global leaders in e-commerce and offline shopping, Rakuten and Walmart are uniquely positioned to empower our customers around the world with innovative services. We are excited to partner with Walmart because of its commitment to creating the best solutions to serve customers with low prices.”  Speaking of the US e-book service, Rakuten Kobo CEO Michael Tamblyn said: “Walmart is one of the top retailers in the world and one of the largest booksellers in the US. Our strategy from day one has been to partner with the world’s best retailers, so that they can easily offer their customers the option of reading digitally.“This informs the software and devices we create, the books and authors we promote, and also the partnerships we build. For us, this is another great opportunity to serve book lovers at Walmart, those people who make reading an important part of their lives.”Last year, Walmart announced plans to build a new headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, as it faces increasing competition from online retailers like Alibaba and Amazon.Earlier this week, Amazon opened its first checkout-free supermarket as it continues to disrupt the brick and mortar retail sector.Share with your network: Tags: AmazonJapanonlineRakutenUnited StatesWalmartlast_img read more

France is no longer free Marine Le Pens niece brings French far

first_img‘France is no longer free’: Marine Le Pen’s niece brings French far right to CPAC Share via Email This article is more than 1 year old This article is more than 1 year old Read more The far right Marion Maréchal-Le Pen to share stage with US conservatives news Since you’re here… Play Video Share on Messenger Marine Le Pen Share on Pinterest Shares228228 Share on Facebook … 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. @Bencjacobs Share on Twitter Last modified on Thu 22 Feb 2018 17.05 EST ‘France is no longer free,’ Marion Maréchal-Le Pen tells conservative summit – videocenter_img US news Speaking to a crowd of conservative activists that booed every time she mentioned the European Union, Maréchal-Le Pen combined condemnation of the trans-national bloc with attacks on Muslim immigration and old fashioned social conservatism in an effort to link her political efforts against “the domination of the liberals and the socialists” with the election of Trump and the Brexit process in the United Kingdom.Maréchal-Le Pen claimed French sovereignty was under siege. “France is no longer free today,” she proclaimed. “After 1500 years of existence, we now must fight for our independence.” She also claimed that after 40 years of mass immigration, Islamist lobbies and political correctness, France was in the process of going “from the eldest daughter of the Catholic Church to the little niece of Islam”.She talked about a global conservative youth that wants to “protect their children from eugenics, the elderly from euthanasia and humanity from transhumanism”.Maréchal-Le Pen’s speech was well-received at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) with occasional shouts of “Vive La France” punctuating her remarks. However, her attendance brought controversy as many American conservatives expressed dismay over her attendance, comparing the National Front to the American alt-right. Former Fox News host Glenn Beck called her “a national socialist”.However, Matt Schlapp, the head of the American Conservative Union that organizes CPAC, has insisted that Maréchal-Le Pen is “a classical liberal”, unlike her aunt and others in the National Front. France Marion Le Pen’s speech at the conference was well received but her attendance also brought controversy as many American conservatives expressed dismay US news Share on Facebook Topics Donald Trump 2:38 Share on WhatsApp Ben Jacobs in Fort Washington, Maryland Share on Twitter Far right French politician Marion Maréchal-Le Pen addressed a leading conservative conference outside Washington DC on Thursday as part of growing effort by those on the right to link the rise of Donald Trump in the United States with populist nationalism across Europe.Maréchal-Le Pen is the granddaughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of the far right National Front and the niece of the party’s current leader Marine Le Pen. She was elected to represent it in the French National Assembly in 2012 at the age of 22 but has since taken a step back from politics. Share on LinkedIn Support The Guardian Share via Email Thu 22 Feb 2018 14.11 EST Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Politics war and Picasso David Douglas Duncans life in pictures

first_imgTwitter Korean war, 1950 Pablo Picasso ‘Born in Kansas City, Missouri, and knowing nothing about Picasso,’ said Duncan, ‘I had the audacity to knock on his door, became his friend and took thousands of photographs, of him, his studios, his life and his friends’ US Marines, Seoul, Korea, September 1950 Share via Email Shares187187 Pinterest David Douglas Duncan looking through a camera fitted with a prismatic lens.Photograph: Sheila Duncan/Courtesy Harry Ransom Center,Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter He spoke of wanting to give his readers an idea of what the soldier’s experience was: ‘His apprehensions and sufferings, his tensions and releases, his behaviour in the presence of threatening death’ US military Facebook Pablo Picasso, La Californie, 1957 Facebook Con Thien, 1967 Pinterest Facebook Photography Of his work as a combat photographer, Duncan said: ‘I just felt maybe the guys out there deserved being photographed just the way they are, whether they are running scared, or showing courage, or diving into a hole, or talking and laughing. And I think I did bring a sense of dignity to the battlefield’ Twitter Topics Twitter Facebook From US Marines in Korean trenches to Picasso in his studio and Nixon deep in thought, the photojournalist captured the tumult of the 1950s and 1960sWar photographer David Douglas Duncan dies aged 102 Twitter Facebook Pinterest Main image:David Douglas Duncan looking through a camera fitted with a prismatic lens.Photograph: Sheila Duncan/Courtesy Harry Ransom Center Twitter Richard Nixon, Miami Beach, 1968 Duncan gained rare access, capturing Picasso at work in his studio and at home Photograph: David Douglas Duncan. Courtesy Harry Ransom Center Twitter Facebook Alone in his hotel room, Nixon writes his acceptance speech as the Republican party’s nominee to fight the 1968 presidential election – which he went on to win and become the 37th president of the United Statescenter_img Picasso’s face reflected for an instant, 1967 Pinterest Facebook Pfc John L Lewis, Khe Sanh, February 1968 Picasso on the front steps of Mas Notre-Dame-de-Vie in Mougins, 1959 Pinterest Facebook Twitter Magazines After fighting in the second world war as a Marine, Duncan made soldiers a focus of his work while shooting for Life magazine, beginning with an assignment during the Korean war Facebook Pinterest ‘My objective always is to stay as close as possible and shoot the pictures as if through the eyes of the infantryman, the Marine or the pilot,’ he said in 1951 Last modified on Thu 27 Jun 2019 06.43 EDT,Korean war, 1950 He met Pablo Picasso in 1956, and they remained close until the artist’s death in 1973 The internationally renowned American photojournalist David Douglas Duncan has died at age 102 in France.All images are from Duncan’s archive at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin War reporting Pinterest Facebook Twitter Politics, war and Picasso: David Douglas Duncan’s life in pictures Fri 8 Jun 2018 12.21 EDT Duncan’s work from Korea was published in the 1951 tome, This Is War!, to worldwide acclaim. To photographer Edward Steichen it was “the greatest book of war photographs ever published” Richard Nixon, Miami Beach, 1968 Twitter Pinterest Korean war, 1950 Richard Nixon South Korea Pinterest Facebook The presidential candidate responds to a question at his press conference at the Republican National Convention Pinterest Twitter Pinterestlast_img read more

Will there be a recession What small business owners can expect in

first_imgWill there be a recession? What small business owners can expect in 2019 Share on Twitter Topics US economy Businesses can’t afford to be stingy – or they risk losing good employees @genemarks A few other things will challenge business owners in 2019. As mentioned above, interest rates will continue their rise. Inflation will creep up as the economy grows. Investments in certain technologies will be vital in order to keep up with the competition and changing customer demands. Finally, as today’s baby-boomer business owners continue to age towards retirement, deciding on the right exit strategy could be the difference between days spent playing golf or working part-time at the local Home Depot.All of these issues will weigh heavily on the US small business owner this year. How we tackle these issues will impact the long term sustainability of our companies. It sounds like a lot of pressure and it is. But we’re used to that. It’s part of the job. How business owners tackle these issues will impact the long term sustainability of their companies Read more Share on Twitter Share on Facebook … 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. Sun 23 Dec 2018 07.00 EST Share on Pinterest Last modified on Thu 21 Feb 2019 08.24 EST US small business Since you’re here… International trade has slowed, reflecting both tariff disputes with the US and an overall drop in demand. Oil prices are declining, mostly due to the effects of the trade slowdown. Financial markets have wiped out their gains for 2018, which could cause a pullback in consumer confidence and spending in the new year. Builder and small business confidence have recently fallen and our national debt, budget deficits and interest rates are rising. All of these factors are reasons why nearly half (48.6%) of US CFOs believe that the country will be in recession by the end of 2019, and 82% believe that a recession will have begun by the end of 2020, according to a new Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook study.Economic volatilityFans or not, most business owners I know admit that the Trump administration has overseen a tremendous reduction in taxes and regulations and that’s been a good thing for the business community. But will the president’s continued erratic behavior offset these positives? As a result of the midterm elections, there’s now a Democratic-controlled House and its members are openly sharpening their knives in advance of a two-year battle with the White House that will certainly include investigations, accusations and potential impeachment hearings.The president has seen the recent departures of his chief of staff and secretary of defense and the people who he chooses to replace them will impact his longer term decisions. Will they reign him in? Regardless, many of us are bracing for more online rants and continued attacks on allies, trading partners, business, government and financial leaders. All of this means more surprises and uncertainties, which will encourage continued volatility in the financial markets and the economy. Most of my clients will be keeping an eye on the president’s antics, especially as to how his decisions could affect their business. Those concerns will no doubt cause them to be more conservative with their cash if there’s continued volatility.Rising labor costsIt’s no secret that the labor market is tight and good employees are finding themselves in high demand. Like any market, this is starting to reflect in the costs of labor. Regardless of whether a recession occurs sometimes in the next two years, most business owners I know are still planning for continued economic growth at least in the first half of 2019, which means more pressure on the costs of their most important asset: their people. Wage rates are expected to rise well above inflation next year and many small companies are being forced to meet their larger competitors and provide additional benefits such as more paid time off, family leave, childcare and bonuses in order to attract and retain talent. Add to that continued increases in healthcare costs and the rise of workplace protections and the typical small employer will find it even more expensive to not only recruit but pay their existing people in 2019 – assuming they can find people to do the work they need. Contact author US politics Gene Marks Gene Marks Support The Guardian If, like me, you’re running a small business, you probably had a decent year. The economy has been strong and demand has been good. Every year, however, presents its challenges and 2019 will be no different. As we head into the new year, these are the three biggest challenges that will likely impact both my business and many of the business owners I know.An economic slowdownWill there be a recession in 2019? Regardless of all the predictions, no one really knows for sure. But anyone (like me) who’s been running a business for more than 10 or 20 years will agree on this: a recession will come, eventually. It always does and – big picture – we’re kind of due for one. The good news is that the fundamentals – production, output, confidence – remain strong. But there are some signs that a downturn is imminent. Gene Marks Trump administration Was a ‘sexy cow’ logo the real downfall of a New Jersey ice-cream shop? Share via Email Share on WhatsApp comment Read more Reuse this content US small business Share via Email Share on LinkedIn Shares4343 Financial markets have wiped out their gains for 2018, which could cause a pullback in consumer confidence and spending in the new year.Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images Share on Messenger Share on Facebooklast_img read more

ExUS marine accused of spying in Russia is British citizen

first_img Since you’re here… Share on Twitter Support The Guardian news Europe Russia Share on Messenger Paul Whelan, 48, was reportedly arrested after receiving a USB drive containing a list of names.Photograph: AFP/Getty Images Share on Twitter The former US marine who is being held in Moscow on charges of spying is a British citizen, it has emerged.Paul Whelan, who is thought to be facing 20 years in a Russian prison if convicted, was initially thought to be American, but was revealed to be a dual national on Thursday evening. The UK Foreign Office said: “Our staff have requested consular access to a British man detained in Russia after receiving a request for assistance from him.”The 48-year-old’s lawyer, Vladimir Zherebenkov, has said he has applied for Whelan to be released on bail, though a decision is not expected soon. According to the Associated Press, Zherebenkov said he visited Whelan on Wednesday and found him in a “very hopeful” mood.The US ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, met Whelan at Lefortovo prison, the former KGB facility where he is being held, the same day. The ambassador said Washington had complained to the Russian government about the length of time it had taken to grant consular access to Whelan after his arrest.Whelan works for a Michigan-based car parts supplier and, according to the Rosbalt news agency, was arrested shortly after receiving a USB drive containing a classified list of names. The information could not be independently verified by the Guardian.His brother, David, said: “We have not had any details from the state department about the circumstances of Paul’s arrest.”David Whelan has previously said that his brother was in Moscow for the wedding of a fellow former marine. “This visit was entirely for pleasure, from what I understand,” he said. Whelan’s family added that he has been to Russia “numerous times”, as far back as 2007.The Russian authorities have said little about Whelan’s arrest, save that he had been held accused of “carrying out an act of espionage”. Thu 3 Jan 2019 18.46 EST This article is more than 6 months old Russia This article is more than 6 months old Share on Facebook Kevin Rawlinson Share on LinkedIn Shares330330 Share via Email Share on Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Share on Facebook Last modified on Thu 3 Jan 2019 18.53 EST Share via Email … 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. Ex-US marine accused of spying in Russia is British citizen Topics Paul Whelan revealed to be dual national after being arrested in Moscow for ‘act of espionage’ Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Outdoor Voices Activates The Future of Retail with NewStore

first_img“We’ve been looking for the right partner that will make it easy to manage a 360 degree view into our retail shops and for us, that’s NewStore,” said Kevin Harwood, Vice President of Technology of Outdoor Voices. “The NewStore Omnichannel Platform creates a symbiotic relationship between our online and in-store transactions by ensuring that our shop teams have the data they need at their fingertips and our customers the technical apparel they’ve been looking for.”“It’s so important for modern brands to balance technology with authentic experiences,” said Stephan Schambach, Founder & CEO of NewStore. “Mobile-powered store associates are what makes this possible. Outdoor Voices is changing the face of the athletic category, not only with its best-in-class apparel but also by committing to omnichannel. With intuitive iPhone apps, the brand can build customer relationships in all retail environments and expand its community far and wide.”Marketing Technology News: Merkle Named 2019 Pegasystems’ Partner Excellence in Digital Transformation RecipientBy running its stores on iPhone with NewStore, the Outdoor Voices brand experience now boasts the following omnichannel benefits and then some:Omnichannel OMS: Store associates can rely on automatic order routing to get apparel to customers quickly and cost-effectively.NewStore Checkout: Store associates can facilitate iPhone to iPhone checkout from anywhere on the store floor leveraging Apple Pay so customers can easily and securely pay using just their iPhone or Apple Watch. Mobile checkout can also be used to accept cash, credit card or gift card.Store Fulfillment: Customers can choose modern fulfillment options, including buy online pickup in-store (BOPIS) and ship from store.Inventory Management: Store associates can leverage RFID technology and NewStore apps to access enterprise-wide real-time inventory, enabling endless aisle transactions.Clienteling: Store associates can deliver one-to-one customer experiences with access to the customer’s complete shopper profile, including purchase history and preferences.Marketing Technology News: Esri Software Powers Location Intelligence in Microsoft’s Defense System Demonstration Outdoor Voices Activates The Future of Retail with NewStore Business WireJune 13, 2019, 10:20 pmJune 13, 2019 Marketing Technology News: SRAX and The ALS Association Give BIGtoken Users a New Way to Donate Real Money with Their Data Earnings Activewear brand now runs retail operations on iPhone, bringing joy to associates and customers #DoingThingsNewStore, the first to provide Omnichannel-as-a-Service, announced Outdoor Voices shops are now running on its platform. The activewear brand introduced the NewStore Omnichannel Platform, which runs exclusively on iOS, in its nine locations across the country to bridge online and in-store shopping experiences. Now, store associates are empowered with iPhone to ensure all customer touchpoints are secure, seamless and cohesive.Outdoor Voices, a digital-first brand, has grown exponentially since its founding in 2014. Its approachable call to action #DoingThings unites a nationwide community of Recreational enthusiasts who exercise for the joy of it. As the company’s retail operations continue to expand, it is reinvigorating its customer experience and prioritizing technology’s role in the shopping journey, specifically how iPhone can enable associates to securely provide the best customer experience. The NewStore platform’s integrated cloud OMS and mobile POS gives Outdoor Voices a single system of truth for its customers, orders and inventory. Data insights are made available to store associates on iPhone, allowing them to quickly and easily deploy omnichannel capabilities including endless aisle, mobile checkout, store fulfillment, inventory management and clienteling. Marketing TechnologyNewsNewStoreOmnichannelOutdoor Voices Previous ArticleOracle Moat to Measure Viewability for Samsung AdsNext ArticleInsightSquared Unveils New Revenue Intelligence Solutions to Drive Predictable Company Growth at Ramp 2019last_img read more

BlueCrest Wins Two Direct Commerce Awards

first_img BlueCrestcustomer experienceDirect Commerce AssociationMarketing Technology NewsNewsOutstanding Customer Experience (B2B) Previous ArticleM-Files Makes Microsoft Office 365 the Single Point of Access to All Enterprise InformationNext ArticleKibo Announces Enhanced B2B Features to eCommerce Platform BlueCrest, a global technology provider of innovative, secure, and agile solutions that effectively and efficiently deliver high value client communications and parcels, recently won two Direct Commerce Awards. The Direct Commerce Association (DCA) awarded BlueCrest with the “Outstanding Customer Experience (B2B) Direct Commerce Award” and the “Best Exploitation of Technology” award for companies with annual sales over £25m.“Outstanding Customer Experience (B2B) Direct Commerce Award”he “Outstanding Customer Experience (B2B)” award was given to BlueCrest for its reinvention of customer service to drive long-term value. BlueCrest touts a pioneering approach to solve the challenges facing the traditional print and digital communications market. BlueCrest demonstrated success in delivering outstanding customer experiences through its exceptionally high service levels, its partnership with customers to drive reduction in costs, its dedication to providing easier routes to faster, better technology, and its improved contact center and spare parts ordering touch points—all of which was maintained during a major company transformation. Highlighting this success was the near-doubling of BlueCrest’s customer NPS scores in the UK over an 18-month period.Marketing Technology News: Button Raises $30 Million in Series C Funding to Build the Future of Mobile CommerceThe “Best Exploitation of Technology” award for companies with annual sales over £25m was given to BlueCrest for its demonstrated ability to collaborate with clients and extract value from existing technology while enabling new technological investments. By moving away from sales-led interactions and focusing more on outcome-based services and partnerships with clients, BlueCrest was better able to align themselves with client objectives. The strategy started with looking to make the most of the client’s existing assets first, then considered ways to leverage new technology where the business fit made sense based on the expected outcomes for the client. This strategic shift earned a trusted partnership with a key UK-based client who went on to reduce costs and secure business wins.Direct Commerce Association Direct Commerce Association (DCA) was founded in 2004 by retail business owners who were keen to establish a forum for sharing and exchanging expertise and insight. DCA actively supports many member companies by making recommendations of known, quality suppliers in the UK and overseas. DCA also refers legal issues to DCA’s legal advisors, provides quality training workshops, and writes white papers spanning many key topics. DCA also facilitates a series of quality regional and national events each year which enable members to network, gain inspiration, update skills, and share insight. DCA’s role is to consistently ensure that every member company’s executives have access to the support and information needed to enable them to progress and make informed decisions.Marketing Technology News: New Competitive Report by BIA Advisory Services Shows Similarities and Differences Among Leading Call Tracking PlatformsBlueCrest – Where Message Meets MomentumBlueCrest, formerly the Document Messaging Technologies (DMT) division of Pitney Bowes, is an independent technology company with a long tradition of global leadership in enterprise print, mail, and customer communications. With the industry’s most comprehensive line of printers, inserters, sorters and parcel solutions – and a renewed commitment to providing innovative software – BlueCrest serves clients around the world.Marketing Technology News: Say It Now and Booxscale win Amazon’s European Alexa Cup BlueCrest Wins Two Direct Commerce Awards Business WireJuly 5, 2019, 6:02 pmJuly 5, 2019 last_img read more

Elon Musk Starship Super Heavy Will Have 41 Total Engines

first_img Willow Smith’s Transformation is Turning Heads Most spaceflight firms would never hang around on Twitter and randomly tweet information on upcoming rocket designs. But most companies aren’t SpaceX, and most CEOs aren’t Elon Musk. During his daily Twitter ramblings, Musk revealed that the Starship launch platform is now up to a total of 41 Raptor engines. Although, he jokes that the design is begging for just one more. In his initial tweet, Musk announced that the Starship Super Heavy would have 35 Raptor engines in total. After a request for clarification, Musk explained that the “full stack” of the Starship and Super Heavy launch vehicle will have 41 engines — 35 of those will be on Super Heavy and another six on the Starship itself. From what we know of the Starship’s design, the craft will have three Raptors optimized for use in the atmosphere and three others designed for vacuum usage.Before this most recent update, the Super Heavy was slated to have just 31 Raptor engines. Traditionally, rockets have relied on smaller numbers of more powerful engines. However, SpaceX has always gone the other way. According to Musk, the added complexity is outweighed by the redundant nature of having many engines. If one or two fail, the vehicle can still fly its mission. Full stack is 41 rn, but kinda beggin for just one more …— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 21, 2019Musk has explained many of the Starship’s design updates and milestones on Twitter. For example, the momentous test firing of the Raptor engine earlier this year and the name change from BFR (Big Falcon Rocket) to Starship, perhaps a more suitable name for something that could one day ferry 100 passengers to Mars. SpaceX is closing in on the first real test flight of the Starship in a configuration known as the StarHopper. That vessel will lift off, hover, and land safely. Late this year, the company could launch a high-altitude sub-orbital version of the Starship later this year. The first orbital flight is currently scheduled for 2020. At 41 engines for the full stack, the count is just one shy of the answer to life, the universe, and everything from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. No one really knows why Elon Musk does the things he does, so it would not be shocking at all to see another engine pop up on the final Super Heavy. After all, this is the man who launched his car into space on top of the most powerful rocket in the world.Now read:SpaceX Starship Moves Closer to Launch With Successful Engine TestSpaceX Successfully Launches, Partially Recovers Falcon HeavyElon Musk Explains Why the Starship Will Be Stainless Steel Bran’s Deleted ‘GoT’ Scene Would Have Changed Everything Iconic Movie Scenes These Actors Totally Regret Filming Facebook Twitter Linkedin Pinterest Google Plus Reddit Hacker News Flipboard Email Copy 1shares This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. 5 Comments By Ryan Whitwam on July 23, 2019 at 7:23 am New ‘Harriet’ Trailer Packs An Emotional Punch Tagged In sciencespaceelon muskrocketsstarshipSuper Heavy Post a Comment 5 Comments Things Only Adults Notice in ‘ThunderCats’ This is Where ‘Thor 4′ Will Take Place in the Marvel Timeline Maisie Williams’ Transformation is Turning Heads Movies You Should Watch By Yourself You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet Elon Musk: Starship, Super Heavy Will Have 41 Total Engineslast_img read more

At a Glance Kingston KC2000 1TB SSD Review

first_img The Most Inappropriate Comic Book Characters Ever 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 Joaquin Phoenix Goes Bonkers In Three New ‘Joker’ Photos Tagged In SSDsreviewsat a glancekingston Post a Comment 3 Comments At a Glance: Kingston KC2000 1TB SSD Review Kingston’s new KC2000 series SSDs were designed to tackle the high-end consumer SSD market. With capacities available up to 2TB in size and read/write speeds as high as 3,200/2,200MB/s, this drive has the potential to play a major role in the SSD market. But so far, the drives are off to a rough start.DesignKingston’s KC2000 SSDs use 96-layer 3D TLC Kingston NAND that connects to an SMI 2262EN controller. This controller features Silicon Motion’s NANDXtend ECC technology, which helps to keep data secure by preventing read/write errors. The drive also supports 256-bit XTS-AES encryption. These features make the drive better suited for business use, where the loss or theft of data could have serious consequences.These drives have average endurance ratings that match up with what we’ve seen from other 3D TLC NAND products in the past. In short, for each 250GB of NAND, the drive is able to handle 150TBW before failing.BenchmarksOur sister site PCMag ran a 1TB model of Kingston’s KC2000 through its usual quartet of benchmarks alongside three competing products from Adata, Samsung, and Western Digital. In the first test using PCMark 8 Storage test, we see virtually no difference from one drive to the next.Stepping things up with Crystal DiskMark 6.0 we start to see some deviation between the competing drives. In the sequential read/write test, Kingston’s KC2000 places second while reading data and last while writing it. It’s worth noting that the KC2000 actually exceeds its maximum reported read/write performance. The same can’t be said for the other tested drives, all of which come in below their rated performance.Reading and writing random 4K chunks of data is a weakness of this drive. It doesn’t come in dead last in this test, but its performance results leave much to be desired.Turning last to AS-SSD’s file transfer test, we once again see the KC2000 in a rather mixed position. The KC2000 came finished in second place while transferring the program folder and the game folder, and its performance results were close to what was achieved by the Adata XPG SX8200. Conversely, the drive’s performance while transferring the ISO file was significantly lower than the other tested drives.ConclusionFinally, there’s pricing. The 1TB model PCMag tested has an MSRP of $201.50, and strangely, it’s currently available for a higher price of $218.06 from Amazon. Unfortunately for Kingston, SSD prices have been trending downward, so that’s somewhat high for a 1TB SSD at the moment.The 1TB model of Samsung’s 970 Evo is similarly priced but offers better performance in most scenarios. The Adata XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB is significantly less expensive at $134.99, and it also supports ECC technology.Now read:At a Glance: Adata XPG SX6000 Pro ReviewAt a Glance: Acer Nitro XV3 XV273K ReviewAt a Glance: Dell UltraSharp U3219Q Review New Details Confirmed About Natalie Portman As Mighty Thor Maisie Williams’ Transformation is Turning Heads By Michael Sexton on July 18, 2019 at 2:29 pm Saying Goodbye to Johnny Depp 3 Comments Season 2 of Netflix’s ‘Mindhunter’ Release Date Confirmed Jason Momoa’s Marriage Just Keeps Getting Weirder and Weirder Deleted ‘Endgame’ Scene Showed Us Tony Stark In The Afterlifelast_img read more

How Deepfakes and Other RealityDistorting AI Can Actually Help Us

first_imgHow Deepfakes and Other Reality-Distorting AI Can Actually Help Us The Hate for ‘Captain Marvel’ May Never Stop 16 Comments Tagged In scienceartificial intelligenceaineurosciencepsychologydeepfakeshuman brain Post a Comment 16 Comments Don’t Watch These Movies With Your Parents We Now Understand How Curt Schilling Blew His Entire Fortune You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet Things Only Adults Notice in ‘ThunderCats’ ‘Black Widow’ Set Photos Reveal The Main Villain By Adam Dachis on July 19, 2019 at 11:02 am 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. We’re not far from the day when artificial intelligence will provide us with a paintbrush for reality. As the foundations we’ve relied upon lose their integrity, many people find themselves afraid of what’s to come. But we’ve always lived in a world where our senses misrepresent reality. New technologies will help us get closer to the truth by showing us where we can’t find it.From a historical viewpoint, we’ve never successfully stopped the progression of any technology and owe the level of safety and security we enjoy to that ongoing progression. While normal accidents do occur and the downsides of progress likely won’t ever cease to exist, we make the problem worse when trying to fight the inevitable. Besides, reality has never been as clear and accurate as we want to believe. We fight against new technology because we believe it creates uncertainty when, more accurately, it only shines a light on the uncertainty that’s always existed and we’ve preferred to ignore.We Already Accept False Realities Every DayThe dissolution of our reality—a fear brought on by artificial intelligence—is a mirage.  For a good while, we’ve put our trust in what we see and hear throughout our lives, whether in the media or from people we know. But neither constitutes reality because reality has never been absolute.  Our reality is a relative construct.  It’s what we agree upon together based on the information we gain from our experience.  By observing and sharing our observations we can attempt to construct a picture of an objective reality.  Naturally, that goal becomes much harder to achieve when people lie or utilize technology that makes convincing lies more possible. It seems to threaten the very stability of reality as we know it.But our idea of reality is flawed.  It’s comprised of human observation and conjecture.  It’s limited by how our bodies sense the world around us and how our brains process that acquired information.  Although we may capture a lot, we can only sense a sliver of the electromagnetic spectrum and even that constitutes too much for our brains to process at once.  Like the healing brush in Photoshop, our brains fill in the gaps in our vision with its best guess at what belongs.  You can test your blind spots to get a better idea of how this works or just watch it in action by looking at an optical illusion like this:Image credit: BrainDen | Scroll or turn your head if you don’t see motionThis, among other cognitive processes, produces subject versions of reality. You already cannot experience every aspect of a moment, and you certainly won’t remember every detail. But on top of that, you don’t even see everything you see.  Your brain constructs the missing parts, hides visual information (especially when we’re moving), makes you hear the wrong sounds, and can mistake rubber limbs for your own. When you have a limited view of any given moment and the information you obtain isn’t fully accurate, to begin with, you’re left with a subjective version of reality than you’re able to gauge. Trusting collective human observations led us to believe geese grew on trees for about 700 years. Human observations, conclusions, and beliefs are not objective reality. Even in the best of circumstances we will, at times, get things extraordinarily wrong.Everything you know and understand passes through your brain and your brain doesn’t offer an accurate picture of reality.  To make matters worse, our memories often fail us in numerous ways.  The way we see the world is neither true or remotely complete. So, for a long time, we have relied on other people to help us understand what’s true.  That can work just fine in many situations, but sometimes people will lie or have vastly different versions of the same situation due to past experiences.  Either way, problems occur when subjective observations clash and people cannot agree upon what really happened.  Technology has helped us improve upon that problem—technology we widely feared during its initial introduction.We Either Trust or Distrust Technology Too MuchThroughout time we’ve created tools to help us survive as a species.  By developing new tools we’ve been able to spread information more easily and create a sense of trust. Video and audio recordings allowed us to bypass the brain’s processes and record an un-augmented record of an event—at least, from a singular point of view.  A video camera still fails to capture the full reality of a given moment.Security footage can look bad or even creepy but that doesn’t always indicate a real problem. | Image credit: Horror Freak NewsFor example, imagine someone pulls out a knife in a fight and fakes a swipe to try and frighten their attacker without any intention of doing actual harm. Video surveillance paints a different picture without this context. To an officer of the law, the security footage will show assault with a deadly weapon. With no other evidence to provide context, the officer has to err on the side of caution and make an arrest.Whether or not such assumptions lead to less crime or more questionable arrests doesn’t change the fact that an objective recording of reality misses information. We trust recordings as truth when they only offer a part of the truth. When we trust video, audio, or anything that cannot tell the full story, we put our faith in a medium that lies by omission by design—just like any observer of reality.Faults exist in technology but that doesn’t offer cause to discard it. Overall, we’ve benefited from advancements that allowed objective recordings of the world around us. Not all recordings require additional context. A video of a cute puppy might not be cute to everyone, but—for the most part—people will agree they’re seeing a puppy. Meanwhile, we used to call the sky green and can’t agree on the color of a dress in a bad photograph. As technology progresses and becomes accessible to more and more people, we all begin to learn when and how it can paint reality with a less accurate brush than we liked to believe.This realization causes fear because our system of understanding the world starts to break down. We can’t rely on the tools we once could to understand our world. We have to question the reliability of the things we seen recorded and that goes against much of what we’ve learned, experienced, and integrated into our identities. When new technologies emerge that further erode our ability to trust what’s familiar they incite this fear which we tend to attribute to the technology rather than ourselves. Phone calls are a normal part of life but they were, initially, seen as an instrument of the devil.Today, AI enjoys similar problems. Deepfakes stirred a panic when people began to see how easily a machine could swap faces in videos with startling accuracy—with numerous quality video and photos that met specific requirements. While these deepfakes rarely fooled anyone, we all got a glimpse of the near future where artificial intelligence would progress to a point where we’d fail to know the difference. That day came last month Stanford University, Princeton University, the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, and Adobe released a paper that demonstrated an incredibly simple method of editing recorded video to change spoken dialogue both visually and aurally that fooled the majority of people who saw the results. Take a look:Visit the paper’s abstract and you’ll find most of the text dedicated to ethical considerations—a common practice nowadays. AI researchers can’t do their jobs well without considering the eventual applications of their work. That includes discussing malicious use cases so people can understand how to use it for good purposes and allow them to also prepare for the problems expected to arise as well.Ethics statements can feed public panic because they indirectly act as a sort of a vague science fiction in which our fearful imaginations must fill in the blanks. When experts present the problem it’s easy to think of only the worst-case scenarios. Even when you consider the benefits, faster video editing and error correction seem like a small advantage when the negatives include fake news people will struggle to identify.We Only Lose When We Resist ProgressNevertheless, this technology will emerge regardless of any efforts to stop it. Our own history repeatedly demonstrates that any efforts to stop the progression of science will, at most, result in a brief delay. We should not want to stop people who understand and care about the ethics of what they create because that leaves others to create the same technology in the shadows. What we can’t see might seem less frightening for a while, but we have no way of preparing, understanding, or guiding these efforts when they’re invisible.While technologies like the aforementioned text-based video editor will inevitably lead both to malicious uses and more capable AI in the future, we already fall victim to similar manipulations on a daily basis. Doctored photos are nothing new and manipulative editing showcases how context can determine meaning—a technique taught in film school. AI adds another tool to the box and increases mistrust in a medium that has always been easily manipulated. This is unpleasant to experience, but ultimately a good thing.Image credit: Will SigmonWe put too much trust in our senses and the recordings we view. Reminders of this help prevent us from doing that. When Apple adds attention correction to video chats and Google actually makes a voice assistant that can make phone calls for you we will need to remember that what we see and hear may not accurately represent reality. Life doesn’t require accuracy to progress and thrive. Pretending we can observe objective reality does more harm than accepting we can’t. We don’t know everything, our purpose remains a mystery to science, and we will always make mistakes.  Our problem is not with artificial intelligence, but rather that we believe we know the full story when we only know a few details.As we enter this new era we should not fight against the inevitable technology that continues to shine a spotlight on our misplaced trust. AI continues to demonstrate the fragility of the ways we conceive of reality as a species at a very rapid pace. That kind of change hurts. We lose our footing upon realizing we had only imagined the stable ground we’ve walked upon our entire lives. We seek a new place of stability as we tumble through uncertainty because we see the solution as the problem. We may not be ready for this change, but if we fight the inevitable we will never be.Artificial intelligence will continue to erode the false comforts we enjoy, and that can be frightening, but that fear is also an opportunity. It provides us with a choice: to oppose something that scares us or attempt to understand it and use it for the benefit of humanity.Now read:Soon, Alexa Will Know When You’re About to DieNew Research Warns of ‘Normal Accident’ From AI in Modern WarfareGoogle Duplex AI Still Needs a Lot of Help From HumansTop image credit: Getty Images Wesley Snipes Fans Have Something to Say About ‘Blade’ Reboot Actors Who Could Barely Stomach Kissing Each Other on Screen The Truth Behind the Affair That Halted Meg Ryan’s Careerlast_img read more

Amazon Prime Day After Hours Sale Samsung Galaxy 10e 59999 Apple AirPods

first_img The Most Inappropriate Comic Book Characters Ever Winnie From ‘Wonder Years’ Is 44 Now and Unrecognizably Gorgeous By Michael Sexton on July 17, 2019 at 3:33 pm Paul Walker’s Daughter is Head-Turningly Gorgeous Now at 20 Tagged In et deals Post a Comment 1 Comment This is Where ‘Thor 4’ Will Take Place in the Marvel Timeline 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. Prime Day is officially over, but it seems someone forgot to tell that to Amazon, Dell, and Walmart. There are still tons of excellent deals available with huge discounts, but for how much longer no one can say. If you missed out on buying anything during the shopping event, here’s a list of deals that you can still take advantage of.Samsung Galaxy S10 Factory Unlocked w/ 128GB Storage ($599.99) During Amazon’s Prime Day sale you can get one of Samsung’s Galaxy S10 smartphones with 128GB of storage marked down from $899.99 to $599.99. This phone is one of the fastest smartphones available on the market today with a high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC and 8GB of RAM. It also features a relatively high-quality camera and it comes fully unlocked.Apple AirPods w/Wireless Charging Case ($169.99)This set of Apple’s AirPods comes with a wireless charging case. Simply set the earbuds into the case whenever you are finished using them and they will automatically start charging. They also have support for Siri to quickly access your iPhone, and they can last for over 24 hours while listening to music. Amazon is offering these AirPods currently marked down from $199.00 to $169.99.Overpowered DTW2 Intel Core i7-8700 Gaming Desktop w/ Nvidia GTX 1080, 512GB SSD, 2TB HD, 32GB RAM ($899.00)Overpowered’s DTW2 desktop comes loaded with high-performance components at an unbelievable price. At its heart rests an Intel Core i7-8700 and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card. Best of all, this system is marked down from $1,899.00 to $899.00 at Walmart. Discounted as much as it is, it would be impossible to build a system to match it without paying more. The system appears to have some cooling issues, however, so you should probably plan to buy a few extra case fans or switch the hardware to a different case entirely if you buy it.Featured DealsAmazon Echo Dot 3rd Gen Smart Speaker for $24.99 at Amazon (list price $49.99).Apple iPad 32GB 9.7″ Retina WiFi Tablet (2018 Model) for $249 at Walmart (list price $329).Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case for $169.99 at Amazon (list price $199).Apple Watch Series 4 44mm GPS Smartwatch for $359.99 at Amazon (Select “Free No-Rush Shipping” at checkout – list price $429).Samsung Galaxy S10e 128GB 5.8″ Unlocked Smartphone for $549.99 at Amazon (list price $749.99).Google Pixel 3 XL 128GB 6.3″ Unlocked Smartphone for $779.99 at Amazon (list price $999).ASUS ROG Strix Intel Core i5-9300H 6-Core 15.6″ 1080p 120Hz Laptop with GTX 1660Ti, 512GB SSD for $899 at Walmart (list price $1299.99).Dell Vostro 15 5000 Intel Core i5-8265U Quad-core 15.6″ 1080p Win10 Pro Laptop with 256GB SSD for $559 at Dell (list price $1127.14).Dell XPS 8930 Intel Core i7-8700 6-core Tower Desktop with 16GB RAM for $699.99 at Dell (use code: AFF300XPS – list price $999.99).Dell Inspiron 5676 AMD Ryzen 7 2700 8-core Gaming Desktop with Radeon RX 580, 16GB RAM for $699.99 at Dell (list price $1199.99).Prime Exclusive: Free 3 Months Kindle Unlimited at Amazon (list price $29.97).Prime Exclusive: 66% off 3 Months Audible Membership for $14.85 at Amazon (list price $44.85).50% off 1 Year of IPVanish VPN for $39 at IPVanish (list price $77.99).Check out more deals from TechBargains. 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You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet 1 Comment This Isn’t the First Time Marvel Refused to Cast Wesley Snipes The Sad Situation That Hayden Panettiere Is Living In Today Actors Who’ve Sadly Died So Far in 2019 What Natalie Portman Could Look Like as the Mighty Lady Thorlast_img read more

The GoFast GoSafe Parts You Only Get on Police Cars

first_img 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 Tagged In carsautomobilesautosfordhybridshybrid carsFord Police Interceptorcop carsF-150 Police ResponderLos Angeles County Sheriff’s DepartmentMichigan State Policepolice carsPolice Responder Hybrid Sedanpolice safety Post a Comment 7 Comments The Go-Fast, Go-Safe Parts You Only Get on Police Cars 7 Comments The Real Reason Emma Watson Refuses to Do a Nude Scene Stuff Niantic Should Add to ‘Pokemon GO’ The Sad Situation That Hayden Panettiere Is Living In Today Proof Henry Cavill Isn’t a Very Good Dude at All The Main Thing the ‘Thor 4’ Director Wants to Make Crystal Clear Ford wants to own the police car business. Cops always want safe cars that go fast. But municipal and state governments also want police cars that don’t guzzle gasoline, so hybrids are a now big part of the picture. For every high-speed chase, there are dozens of hours sitting in parking lots watching traffic and writing reports, and for that, hybrids play an increasing role. Ford is focusing on police cars based on the 2020 Ford Explorer SUV, but it’s also selling Ford Fusion hybrids and F-150 pickups in police livery.Ford this spring has been running a coast-to-coast road show for public safety and government officials, as well as journalists looking for news, or free doughnuts. Here’s what Ford is up to.Take rear parking sonar and blind spot detection, or BLIS (blind spot information system) in Ford parlance. On civilian cars, it warns if you’re about to back into something or change lanes into the path of a car you didn’t see in your side mirror. (If you’d bothered to look.) Here, Ford’s Police Perimeter Alert provides 270 degrees of coverage and tracks the pitter-patter of feet moving around the patrol car when police are stopped and writing reports.The electronics also pick up people (on civilian cars as well) behind the car. Ford adds icons and motion paths on the center stack display and tracks if the people are moving around the car or if they’re approaching the car. It can sound an alert, or even roll up the windows and lock the car.Ford police vehicles also offer rear camera on demand. Flip a switch when you’re parked or moving and you can see what’s behind you. Regular cars only show what’s behind when you’re backing up.Traditional safety means making the car more crash resistant. Ford can add bracing to the underside of a highway-intended vehicle to allow for a survivable accident when a parked police car is stopped on the roadside and it’s hit by another car at up to 75 mph.Federal standards specify 50 mph protection. An impact at 75 mph results in an impact twice as severe.Two levels of ballistic armor can be added to the side door panels, providing Level III+ and Level IV+ protection against a specified list of ammunition being fired a the vehicle.Ford is building into its cars some of the special flashing lights abilities that used to call for aftermarket equipment. It’s also standardizing additional mounting points for specialty lights.The steering wheels get four buttons that can be designated for specific tasks, something that would be nice on civilian cars.The seats are typically fabric — very long life fabric — and the bolsters are designed with an eye toward the equipment cops wear and carry, specifically equipment belts and body armor. Ford said it has made the space between the front seats 11 inches apart, although it continues to make mounting points designed for industry-standard 9-inch equipment panels where radios go. To that end, the console shifter is now a column-mount shifter. Rear seats are vinyl and made for easy cleanup.The same telematics as on civilian Fords is on police cars. Ford includes two years of free service (free once you pay for the car) and, like on civilian cars, it’s AT&T-only, meaning rural departments where Verizon signal is better will have challenges.Police Fords get standard pre-collision assists, including emergency braking but with a disable switch in case a pursuit calls for a controlled tap on the back of the car ahead to spin it. That’s called a precision immobilization technique.Depending on police needs, Ford makes three engines available. Standard on the Police Interceptor Utility is a 3.3-liter hybrid. There’s also a 3.0-liter turbo (EcoBoost) V6 and a 3.3-liter V6. All get 10-speed automatics and full-time all-wheel drive.Ford designed the lithium-ion hybrid battery to power the car’s electronics, lights, and HVAC for extended periods when parked. Ford said it projects the Police Interceptor Utility delivering 24 mpg, a 41 percent improvement over Ford’s current vehicle with a 3.7-liter gasoline engine. Ford projects savings of $3,500-$5,700 in annual savings for the typical car driven two eight-hour shifts daily. It still hits 137 mph. Rural and highway patrol forces can opt for the V6 turbo and do 150 mph.All these are designed to make police departments forget the once-universal V8 Ford Crown Victoria, which went away in 2011. Ford says it currently has 65 percent of the US police vehicle business.Now read:Ford Drops $500M on Rivian, Gets Head Start on EV Pickups, SUVs2020 Ford Explorer: Performance, Cop Car Packages, Tesla-Like Display2019 Ford Edge Review: Self-Driving, Hot Rod Engine, Better Looks What the End of ‘Big Little Lies’ Meant Natalie Portman Reacts to Being the Next ‘Thor’ By Bill Howard on June 18, 2019 at 2:01 pm Helen From ‘Waterworld’ Is 56 Now and Incredibly Gorgeouslast_img read more

Boeing Completes CST100 Starliner Parachute Testing

first_img Saying Goodbye to Johnny Depp What the Biggest ‘America’s Got Talent’ Stars Are Doing Now 2 Comments By Ryan Whitwam on June 27, 2019 at 10:18 am We Now Understand Why Sean Connery Has Disappeared 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. Boeing and SpaceX have traded the lead a few times in the race to send a crewed spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). Initially, Boeing was the favorite due to its long history navigating the intricacies of government contracts, but SpaceX pulled ahead on the strength of the Falcon 9 and a fuel leak that delayed Boeing. Now, SpaceX is looking at a delay after the loss of a Dragon 2 capsule during engine tests. Meanwhile, Boeing is back on track after completing its final and most challenging parachute test. Boeing’s CST-100 “Starliner” is a reusable spacecraft that builds on the design heritage of the Apollo command module. It has room for a crew of seven and can launch atop four different rockets: the Atlas V, Delta IV, Falcon9, and Vulcan. Testing has been underway in some form since 2011, but the timeline has slipped repeatedly. Boeing finally seems to be in the home stretch after the latest test. Being attached the CST-100 to a balloon above the US Army’s White Sands Missile Range last week. After reaching an altitude of 40,000 ft (12,200 meters), the balloon dropped the CST-100. The capsule has six parachutes to gently lower it to the ground following atmospheric reentry. Unlike past crewed vehicles, the CST-100 isn’t limited to water landings. In this four-minute test, three of the six parachutes had been intentionally disabled — two drogue chutes and one main. Boeing reports that the Starliner still managed a safe landing at White Sands thanks to its remaining parachutes and airbag system. SpaceX reportedly failed a similar parachute test with its Dragon II capsule. This was separate from the testing that led to the test stand explosion. The CST-100 can carry up to seven passengers to and from the ISS.This success keeps Boeing on track to complete its first launch test later this summer. This mission will be uncrewed, with the CST-100 maneuvering autonomously to the ISS and then returning to Earth. SpaceX completed a similar mission several months ago before the now-infamous explosion. If Boeing nails the uncrewed test, it could be ready for a NASA-approved crew mission in November of this year. The first passengers will be Michael Fincke, Christopher Ferguson, and Nicole Aunapu Mann. SpaceX has not announced a new testing schedule yet, but the delay could be measured in months.Now read:SpaceX completes successful test of parachutes for manned Dragon capsuleBoeing Reportedly Delaying Crew Capsule Flight by MonthsNASA May Launch Orion Crew Module on Commercial Rocket Anna Kendrick’s Transformation is Turning Heads 7 Best and 7 Worst Couples Ever on ’90 Day Fiance’ Winona Ryder Is Not Letting Anyone Forget She’s Married to Keanu Tagged In sciencespacenasaspacexinternational space stationissBoeingcommercial crew programcst-100 Post a Comment 2 Comments The Most Offensive Video Game Characters of All Time The Transformation of Daisy Ridley Is Turning Heads Boeing Completes CST-100 Starliner Parachute Testing You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNetlast_img read more

Okera Introduces AttributeBased Access Control for Data Lake Security and Access Management

first_imgOkera Introduces Attribute-Based Access Control for Data Lake Security and Access Management PRNewswireApril 29, 2019, 4:46 pmApril 29, 2019 Automates Sensitive Data Tagging and Policy Assignment for Managing Access at ScaleOkera, the leading active data management company for data lake security and governance, announced the release of new attribute-based access control (ABAC) and automated business metadata tagging and policy enforcement capabilities. These new features help enterprises simplify how to manage, secure, and govern data access on data lakes at scale in an easy and automated manner. ABAC enables users across multiple business units to work with data in data lakes faster while satisfying the requirements of data stewards responsible for governing data in compliance with standards like GDPR, CCPA, and other privacy and data security regulations.With ABAC, data stewards can easily assign access permissions based on attributes and tags, going beyond roles and data objects. For example, data stewards can tag a table as “sales data” or tag columns as “PII” and then automatically apply access policies, including redaction, based on those tags across multiple datasets and users without replicating the policies.Marketing Technology News: Factual Launches Measurement Intelligence to Track Real-World Conversions and Optimize Campaigns Across New and Emerging Digital Channels“The ability to associate business context with technical metadata and then use that business context to assign policy is critical to achieving data access at scale for enterprise end users,” observed Paige Bartley, Senior Analyst for Data, AI & Analytics, at 451 Research. “To date, many organizations have not realized the full potential of their data lake architecture, partially due to problems in administering appropriate access controls and policy. Okera aims to address this challenge, ultimately allowing for higher potential ROI of informational assets.”Furthermore, Okera can automatically discover and tag sensitive data in the data lake through new automated discovery and tagging capabilities. This allows data stewards to easily automate the protection of sensitive information.In addition to ABAC, the latest release of Okera’s Active Data Management Platform (ODAP) includes a new native JDBC client interface. This interface empowers end users of business tools, such as Tableau and Microsoft Excel, to seamlessly access data with consistent governance enforced.Marketing Technology News: SalesLoft Scoops $70 Million Series D to Fuel Growth in Sales Technology“Regulations such as GDPR and CCPA continue to exert new pressure on large enterprise customers to secure and govern data lakes, and it’s only going to get worse as a myriad of legislation on the state and federal level emerges,” said Amandeep Khurana, CEO and co-founder of Okera. “Our customers know that complying with governance standards isn’t a ‘one time fix’ – innovative dynamic governance technologies like ABAC that can adapt to evolving requirements are critical because compliance and governance itself are and will remain a moving target for some time to come.”Marketing Technology News: Snap Inc. Names Kenny Mitchell Chief Marketing Officer ABACAmandeep Khuranadata management platformGDPRMarketing TechnologyNewsODAPOkera Previous ArticleSAS Invests in Humans, Powered by AI and Analytics EducationNext ArticleWpromote Announces Facebook Marketing Partners Ad Technology Badgelast_img read more

MarTech Interview with Alan Braun CEO at Ingage

first_img Alan Braun is a dedicated entrepreneur who has served as the Chief Executive Officer of NY-based Scrollmotion since 2016. Scrollmotion is the leader in interactive Content Creation that empowers businesses to connect with customers in a whole new way, and is best known for its sales enablement platform — Ingage and its social media platform Ingage Instants.Alan is a frequent speaker and content contributor on a number of topics across leadership, product development, innovation and the mobility market. He has been featured in Inc. Magazine, Fast Company and Medium, among others.Alan is a graduate of University of Maryland at College Park and lives in New Jersey. MarTech Interview with Alan Braun, CEO at Ingage Sudipto GhoshJune 20, 2019, 1:30 pmJune 18, 2019 Tell us about your role and journey into Marketing Technology. How did you arrive at Ingage?I joined Scrollmotion as Chief Technology Officer in 2016 and six months later was named Chief Executive Officer.  Now called Ingage(formerly Scrollmotion), the company is focused on interactive content creation that empowers businesses to connect with customers in a whole new way, and is best known for its sales enablement platform – Ingage and its social media platform – Ingage Instants. Before joining Scrollmotion, I had worked for 15 years in new product creation and delivery. I worked at Apple as Head of Worldwide Enterprise Developer Strategy for six years.My first role at Apple was working with customers to build iPhone apps. When the company focus shifted to developing the iPad, I created an organization to support Fortune 1000 customers in building enterprise apps for all iOS devices. Eventually, my team was responsible for assisting Apple’s Mobility Partners with the design and architecture of their apps. Prior to working at Apple, I was leading a team of engineers at MicroMuse, before it was acquired by IBM.Which key technologies in Marketing are you keenly following?Seeing as Ingage is very content focused and active in the Sales and Marketing tech space, I’m closely following the trends around these categories and content development and associated technologies. How are people transforming web properties and other content types into more modern experiences designed for the devices we love?  The ad space is also something that continues to evolve and is very interesting right now.  Learning how to leverage all of the platforms out there to capture someone’s attention continues to be a huge challenge. We’ve gone through lots of cycles of innovation in this space and it’s exciting to watch as new methods and platforms continue to pop up. There is so much opportunity to get creative and innovate here, it makes it exciting to follow.And probably not a surprise, but I spend a lot of time following Apple products and more specifically mobility. Paying very close attention to where the smartphone and tablet markets are going and the associated technologies. We are in the very early days of AI and AR with a bright future ahead.How does Ingage fit into a modern CMOs technology stack? Ingage really fits into two categories: Content and Experience, and Social and Relationships. We are laser focused on building content experiences that change the way businesses interact with their customers.  Giving people the opportunity to have agency level design without the costs associated with that is a powerful motivator for us in our product development. Our platform focuses on allowing any company to create content that will deepen the relationships with their customers, which ultimately will lead to more sales. We deliver on multiple different types of content experiences, everything from presentations to kiosks to social media posts. We really try to get technology out of the way – making it super simple to use, while leveraging it to create amazing experiences.Tell us how Ingage helps Content Marketing campaigns for various online platforms?With our Instants product, you can create beautiful and engaging custom videos in under 60 seconds. Adding movement and professional animations to your content drives more engagement from your customers. This content can then be easily integrated into any of your favorite social networks (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc). In addition, you can save these videos and integrate into social media management tools like Hootsuite, Buffer and Sprout Social.Why did you launch Instants 2.0? Instants 2.0 enables businesses to create beautiful and engaging custom videos, using the speed and simplicity of the 3-step Instants workflow, in under 60 seconds. Our goal in building Instants was to create the fastest solution for building social media videos that can be designed and shared on the go. With the high level of interest in Instagram Stories, we wanted to make sure our users had all of the compelling content features at a full-screen, 9:16 aspect ratio. It allows for free download for iPhone and offers more customization free of charge, including the brand new Instagram-friendly 9:16 aspect ratio, built-in templates, styles, filters, custom colors, speed control, branding, fonts and more, which is perfect for building vibrant, full-screen content for Instagram Stories.What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in Content Marketing and Branded Story management? Are these two different from each other?We will continue to see disruption in the Content Marketing space as we focus our strategies on bringing content to where the eyeballs are. We are all spending more and more time on different screens than we were just 5 years ago. We must evolve our storytelling and content experiences to match that reality and the expectations will continue to rise. People use lots of apps and the blend between consumer and business is getting blurrier every day. The tools we use in marketing must catch up to that reality. As for the second part of the question, Content Marketing without great storytelling falls completely flat. The problem is great storytelling is incredibly difficult and we’ve yet to see technology that helps solve this problem. These two must be linked together if you are going to drive effective results. We believe that we’re doing this at Ingage today.How can Marketing teams better prepare for AI and Automation? How do you prepare for these technologies? This is an interesting question and one that we are spending a good amount of time as a company focusing on. I don’t think ‘prepare’ is the right word here, instead I think marketing teams need to get comfortable accepting and adopting new technologies.  This will be an evolution and those that don’t get on board are going to be left behind. It’s like any change, change is hard, but must be accepted to move forward in big ways. We always look for new ways to optimize and improve the way we do marketing and at Ingage, we’re very focused on providing tools to measure the content that we build.Tell us about how the industry cares less about the creative and the way ad effectiveness is suffering as a result?I disagree with this premise, I don’t believe the industry ‘cares’ less about creative, but rather they don’t know how to build experiences for modern devices. Ad effectiveness is all about knowing how to communicate with people on the platform where they are seeing the ad. The old traditional methods of communication are not matching the expectations of consumers who are using the devices they love.How do you see ‘Playable Ads’ growing in line with Consumer Privacy? What’s blocking greater adoption of this format?Time is precious and ‘Playable Ads’ compete directly against that. I believe blocking greater adoption is capturing people’s attention enough to be willing to spend time with the Ad. I also think this comes back to building experiences for the device you are on.  It is really expensive to get this right, so companies try to short-circuit this by creating a one-size-fits-all solution and that doesn’t drive the results they want. Building a great experience will earn the trust of the people which in turn will convince them to spend more time with the ad.Which Marketing and Sales Automation tools and technologies do you currently use in your current role?We currently do not use any Sales Automation tools in our organization. We are advocates of Sales Enablement tools like those we have built in Ingage Instants and Ingage Presentations that make it super simple to create compelling stories, share them and measure their impact.What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in AI and Data Management technology on the Content Creation business for 2019-2020?At Ingage, we’ve always been very focused on making sure that our platform has the ability to measure its effectiveness. Gone are the days where marketing and sales teams are using tools and wondering if they work. Now, integrating Data Management, AI and other techniques to constantly test what’s working and not working allows us to change up our storytelling in real time and drive sales.What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now? At Ingage, we’re very focused on companies in the MarTech and Sales Enablement space. We’re interested in what creative social platforms are emerging to ensure that we can build Ingage tools for any emerging platforms that appeal to marketers and sales teams.How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a Business leader?At Ingage, we’re very data centric. We always want to build a tool for our platform that captures data so show how effective the tool has been. It’s powerful to be able to tell our customers what is working and not working in their sales presentations. So, AI is a natural progression for our platform and will continue to create more data, more predictions, better accuracy and ultimately close more deals for our customers’ sales teams.How do you inspire your people to work with technology? Two key things:Lead by example, always show new ideas and technology that is making my life easier or better. Show everyone that it is ok to try new technology and welcome new ideas and suggestions on how we improve the company.Foster an environment that empowers people to drive positive change. Encourage them to improve the way they do their jobs and set associated goals to measure the progress.One word that best describes how you work.Grit – Doing whatever it takes to get the job done. Whether it is rolling up my sleeves to help the team or learning a new technology or concept to drive the business forward or jumping into a gnarly situation to fix it.What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?Ingage, Slack, Trello, Google Docs, Microsoft Excel, iMessage, and XcodeWhat’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?Setup a keyboard shortcut on your mac to make it simple to Archive email (CMD-Z for me). Encourages me to clean out my inbox.What are you currently reading?I read books, twitter and the news are my current ways of consuming information. I’m currently in the middle of three books: INSPIRED: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love, The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google and, Ready Player One.What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?To be indispensable, but replaceable. If you are going to continue to grow you must have a succession plan in place, otherwise, you will get trapped doing the same thing because nobody can do your job.Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?Work Ethic: I will do whatever it takes to get the job done. As I mentioned earlier, using grit to solve problems and not be scared of the challenges that present themselves.Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read.Seth Godin.Thank you, Stephen! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon. The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick. Ingage is a content activation platform that provides tools to create more engaging presentations, social media posts, kiosk experiences, digital souvenirs, look books, portfolios and other unique experiences. Sales teams are empowered with better sales materials when using the Ingage platform. Administrators can manage the distribution of Ingage content and how it is used outside the company walls and measure its impact in the world. About Ingagecenter_img About AlanAbout IngageAbout Alan MarTech Interview Series AIAlan BraunARGritIBMIngageinterviewsIoSMarTech InterviewSeth GodinSocial Media Previous ArticleOne-Quarter of Small Businesses Use Influencers to Create Content on Social Media, According to SurveyNext ArticleExpanse Appoints Sherry Lowe as Chief Marketing Officer “We will continue to see disruption in the content marketing space as we focus our strategies on bringing content to where the eyeballs are”last_img read more

Socialbakers Debuts Content Hub to Deliver Deep Content Intelligence for Digital Marketers

first_imgSocialbakers Debuts Content Hub to Deliver Deep Content Intelligence for Digital Marketers MTS Staff WriterJuly 10, 2019, 12:12 pmJuly 10, 2019 Content Hub Helps Marketers Collaborate, Plan and Create Engaging Content for Their Target Audiences by Providing Centralized Content Insights and Analysis Across Digital ChannelsSocialbakers, the leading unified marketing platform, announced the release of Content Hub, the go-to place for marketers to collaborate, plan and create engaging content by leveraging AI-powered content intelligence. Content Hub empowers organizations to create content strategies that deliver compelling experiences to their target audiences. With deep content insights, marketers can now leverage the right activation channels and effectively allocate the budget to stay competitive. Content Hub is fully integrated into the Socialbakers platform to ensure seamless workflows and efficient teamwork at scale. Content Hub was created to address the challenges marketers face as they seek to create and promote engaging content while maintaining high velocity across multiple channels. With instant access to AI-driven insights, marketers can easily personalize content for their target audiences and spend more time on content creation rather than tedious data gathering. It also makes the sentiment and performance analysis effortless across both owned and competitive profiles, so that marketers can have the insights they need when activating their content all in one place.Marketing Technology News: ada Strengthens Its Leadership Team as It Doubles Its Headcount“Content Hub is an entirely new way for marketers to work with content,” said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO, Socialbakers. “With these shareable insights, marketers can now better collaborate, measure, analyze, plan and execute great content strategies from a single platform. Everyone on the team will have the deep intelligence they need to create compelling content that their audiences love.”Marketing Technology News: Veritonic Launches First Audio Score For Marketers To Understand Relative Power Of Their Creative AssetsContent Hub solves key pain points that marketers face every day:Guide content strategies with AI-powered insights – Trade incomplete data sets that require hours to collect and analyze with actionable insights; create engaging content for targeted audiences, select the right activation channels, and spend the budget smarter.Automate data collection and analysis at scale – Replace repetitive manual data collection with an all-inclusive overview of the entire competitive landscape to boost team efficiency and leave more time for productive work.Replace team barriers and from-scratch plans – Break down departmental silos and siloed solutions, quickly learn from regional performance insights, and apply best practices globally.Content Hub is now available as a fully integrated service within the Socialbakers platform.Marketing Technology News: Leadspace Acquires ReachForce to Offer Customers Even More Robust B2B Customer Data Platform Content HubDeep Content IntelligenceMarketing Technology NewsNewsSocialbakers Previous ArticleDMA United and Nelson Mandela Family Partner To Create New Media BusinessNext ArticleOpenText Expands Strategic Partnership with Google Cloudlast_img read more

Laying down the Foundation for a Complete TradeIn Model

first_imgLaying down the Foundation for a Complete Trade-In Model Stephen Wakeling4 days agoJuly 19, 2019 With a dependable and transparent trade-in model in place, mobile and online retailers have the opportunity to offer the maximum value for previously owned devices. By laying down the foundation for a flexible and honest trade-in model, consumers will be encouraged to convert their pre-owned devices for cash to put towards the latest devices and accessories, therefore driving Sales and Revenue for retailers.If you’re a retailer and unsure about what steps to take to establish a trade-in model, here is some advice to get started:A Transparent User ExperienceIt’s imperative to be transparent with your customers. Providing market-leading analytics and reporting tools to your staff will result in them being prepared to offer customers the best possible deals for the device they’re looking to trade-in. Maintaining analytics and data will create a sense of conformity amongst your organization. Staff should be equipped with past and present average trade-in value for every device, insight into how this compares amongst competitors, and an analysis of the latest market trends is key.When it comes to trading in a device, it should be a priority to offer customers an omnichannel experience so that they have the flexibility to start their trade through one channel and finish it in another, if need be. For example, if a customer decides to visit a physical storefront to trade in their device, they may soon realize they have important data, like photos and contacts, that needs to be backed up before completing the trade-in process. In circumstances like these, if you provide multiple channels for customers to utilize, customers will be covered.Even though they started their transaction at a brick-and-mortar location, they have the opportunity to finish backing up their phones at home and completing the trade-in process online.MarTech Blogs: Five Key Trends for Programmatic Advertising in 2018Establish a Simple Grading SystemWhen receiving and inspecting a device, it is a good idea to create conditions and an extremely simple pricing scale for customers. This allows your organization to easily communicate and be aligned on the customer assessment conditions while keeping it straightforward for customers and Sales reps to perform.If a device is fully operational and in good condition, the device can be labeled as “working.” If the device has water damage, a cracked or pixelated screen, or the phone is unresponsive, the device can be categorized as “damaged.”Whether working or damaged, utilizing a pricing structure will ensure consistency and structure for employees working with current and future customers.So even though rigorous testing is necessary to responsibly handle devices on the back-end, on the front-end, it is crucial to keep device conditions and pricing simple and objective to foster trust and eliminate confusion.Recommended: Welcome the New Kids on the Block: How Millennials and Gen Z Are Disrupting FinTechData Security is VitalSecurity plays an essential part in the trade-in process. Your organization must be thorough when conducting routine security audits to ensure your trade-in platform is secure and working correctly.Prior to completing the trade-in process, preventive measures must be taken to make sure all data from a customer’s device is entirely erased. In the event data can’t be wiped from a device, give your customers alternative options for their device to be sent back to them or for their device to be recycled.By following these steps and establishing a transparent and omnichannel trade-in model, your organization will benefit from brand elevation, profitability, customer retention, and growth. Customers will also benefit from a seamless and honest trade-in experience.Read more: Engagement-Led Marketing: How Brands Can Deliver More Customer-Focused Journeys in 2019 analyticscustomer retentiondata securityTrade-In Modeltransparencyuser experience Previous ArticleConnecting the Modern Seller to the Modern Buyer: The Role of Marketing in Sales EnablementNext ArticleVitagene Intends to Acquire In-Video Impressions, to Accelerate the Delivery of Personalized Health and Wellness Productslast_img read more

New TimeTrade ScheduleADemo Solution Helps B2B Software Companies Increase Inbound LeadtoMeeting Conversion

first_imgNew TimeTrade Schedule-A-Demo Solution Helps B2B Software Companies Increase Inbound Lead-to-Meeting Conversion by 4X PRNewswireJuly 16, 2019, 1:30 pmJuly 16, 2019 By Using Lead Forms Alone, Marketers Are Missing out on More Than $5 Billion in Potential Revenue Through Ineffective Lead Generation PracticesTo help sales organizations deliver on customer-first engagement strategies, TimeTrade, the leader in Intelligent Appointment Scheduling, has released a new Schedule-a-Demo solution.The free software lets prospects schedule a confirmed demo with your sales team via a custom calendar link on your website, or from within your marketing emails and social media campaigns. TimeTrade Schedule-a-Demo connects directly with your team’s personal calendars, allowing interested buyers a real-time view of available demo slots for instant booking. Incoming appointments are then routed to an available sales team member and your prospect as a new calendar invitation, supported by email confirmations and reminders that dramatically increase meeting fulfillment rates.When testing the approach with its own sales team, TimeTrade found that replacing traditional lead capture forms with a schedule-a-demo link led to a 4X increase in confirmed appointments, as well as a 5x improvement in new opportunities added to the pipeline.According to Chief Marketer’s 2019 B2B Marketing Outlook Survey, the biggest challenges to generating new leads are finding prospects that convert, and getting targeted prospects to successfully engage. Schedule-a-Demo addresses both these hurdles by capturing prospect interest at its peak, via the marketing channel of their choice, with a hassle-free conversion process that can be completed in just a few clicks. The result? Prospects have more control over how and when they interact with your sales team, while revenue-focused teams enjoy an accelerated path from lead to opportunity.Marketing Technology News: Wix and FaZe Clan Launch Global Partnership“Regardless of your marketing stack, we know that too many qualified leads fall through the cracks,” said Lauren Mead, CMO of TimeTrade. “Given the time and money spent on campaigns to attract qualified prospects, why are we letting them die in our CRM? This product eliminates the tired process of asking leads to fill out lengthy forms and then wait hours or even days for a sales rep to respond. And too often they don’t get a response at all: 51% of respondents to TimeTrade’s 2018 State of the B2B Buyer Experience survey said they had previously failed to hear back from a company representative after making a purchase inquiry.”Marketing Technology News: JotForm Reaches 5 Millionth User After Major LaunchTimeTrade Schedule-a-Demo can help your organization:Increase inbound lead conversion and reduce lead-to-meeting cycle timesDistribute demo appointments across the sales team via round-robin routingEliminate double bookings with real-time calendar integration to the most popular business platforms, including iCal, Outlook, Google calendar, and Office 365Improve demo show rates with automated confirmations and remindersAccurately report on campaign attribution and demo success metricsMarketing Technology News: Seal Software Announces Executive Leadership Changes 4XB2B MarketingIntelligent Appointment SchedulingMarketing Technology NewsNewsSchedule-a-Demo solutionTimeTrade Previous ArticleMarTech Interview with Philip Inghelbrecht, CEO and Co-Founder at TatariNext ArticleMerkle/HelloWorld Named a Strong Performer Among Loyalty Service Providerslast_img read more

TechBytes with Jacob Ross President at PebblePost

first_imgTechBytes with Jacob Ross, President at PebblePost Sudipto GhoshJune 25, 2019, 1:00 pmJune 24, 2019 Tell us about your role and the team/technology you handle at PebblePost?I joined PebblePost as President, in April. In my new role, I’ll partner closely with CEO Lewis Gersh and the team to drive growth and innovation for the company’s digital-to-direct mail marketing platform.I have been in the AdTech and MarTech space for many years, and have been fortunate enough to be on the cutting edge of digital marketing becoming more addressable, performance-driven and also accountable (although the latter is very much a work in progress, as I’m sure most industry insiders will agree).After five years at MediaMath, most recently as Chief Product Officer, I recognized the huge opportunity that PebblePost had harnessed in the space: where the digital world and the physical world intersect. As marketing becomes more digital and digital marketing becomes more addressable, the next frontier is being explored where those worlds come together: television and connected TV, radio and streaming audio, out of home and digital out of home, and, of course, direct mail and Programmatic Direct Mail (a term PebblePost coined as inventors of the space).PebblePost has identified a unique market position, and we’re just getting started. My role is to take our CEO Lewis’ enduring vision of ‘bringing good marketing home’ and make it a reality, with the right strategy, plan, and team to fully realize it. We have a responsibility as the category leaders to build great experiences for both brands and consumers that are effective, respectful and relevant. Given that remit, most of the team will roll up to me, from engineering to sales to Business Intelligence.How did you start your journey in the Technology industry?I fell into this wonderful, unique industry by chance. I was working on Wall Street, putting my Literature degree to good use, as a trader and analyst on a trading desk. I have always had a passion for markets of all sorts, and technology. When a friend told me about Right Media (the first real ad exchange), I was immediately hooked. He described it as a real-time marketplace for the buying and selling of ads, using cutting edge technology, that did more volume than all the world’s stock exchanges combined and ran 24/7/365. My first job was convincing publishers and agencies to adopt a bid-based philosophy and technology (we didn’t call it ‘programmatic’ quite yet) to help them run their businesses more effectively.I had a chance to work with a series of other leading companies in the years since, from Demand Media to Criteo to MediaMath; each of them has played a critical role in pioneering the evolution of digital advertising and creating new solutions for our young but rapidly maturing industry.What is the current technology roadmap to build powerful ROI-centric Marketing, Sales and Advertising stacks?Great question. Many companies struggle with actually providing clear ROI. The solution has a few necessary components. First, there must be clear, measurable goals, and the technology has to be able to hit that goal. Second, there has to be a way to measure performance. Third, the entire offering and experience must be grounded in how companies measure success and need their marketing departments to drive that success, so at the heart of it all, we solve a company growth problem, not just a mathematical equation.In PebblePost, I’ve already seen evidence of all three. We have developed intellectual property to harness and use digital data signals that results in highly effective (and respectful) mail. The solution is fully integrated. We are solving more and more parts of this brand measurement challenge with each product release.The challenge we came to in the early days was that the performance was so good that the results were hard to believe! We invested heavily here, developing strong data science and BI team with experienced leadership in Hongyan Jing and Bridget Gola, and we committed to holding ourselves accountable to both ROI and incrementality. Incrementality is so powerful – it is a way to measure the precise impact of a marketing tactic on overall ROI. PebblePost has consistent positive incrementality – that means the more our brands spend with us, the more they drive revenue, and we can prove that.Finally, our brands are looking for more than a report, they need to know that we deeply understand their business objectives and that their marketing efforts are making the impact that they need. When we get to know a new brand we try to understand this upfront, and when we share the results we make sure it aligns with what we are aiming for. We talk about ROI, ROAS, etc. But what we aim to deliver in every brand engagement is improved business outcomes. That is ‘true ROI.’What are the key Advertising Analytics/metrics that Digital Advertising and Marketing teams should be keenly following?We start with what most of our brands are measuring. They are looking to acquire new customers and delight their current customers. They want to achieve this effectively and respectfully. With all the fragmentation present in the industry today, all proxy metrics (and self-judged results) should be looked at with some skepticism. That’s why we believe strongly in metrics directly impacting business outcomes: sales. Our brands are measuring sales by looking at ROI, ROAS, and other metrics. We believe strongly in incremental lift measurement as well, and we conduct transparent incrementality analysis for almost all our brands now.The other challenge we have seen is that digital-only metrics are often not sufficient. Our Transaction Match Analysis, a proprietary study we do for every brand we work with now, looks at true sales holistically, wherever the customer was, to understand the true impact. We do this transparently for the brand. This gives our clients more confidence that their marketing efforts are really working, without smoke and mirrors.How is PebblePost’s strategy transforming the way modern brands do their Marketing and Sales?PebblePost is helping to connect the physical and digital worlds and make-at-home marketing a more effective, relevant experience. We do that by using data and decisioning to ensure that we only send mail to the most interested consumers, and we help mail move closer to the speed of digital. Brands who work with us are looking for modern solutions to modern problems, and we are working to deliver that every day. With brands like Dyson, Boxed.com, Parachute and many more we’ve already delivered – but we’re just getting started.Tell us more about your expertise in AI and Machine Learning initiatives for Marketing and Sales Intelligence.So much has been said about Machine Learning, so I want to try to say something new and useful here as a business leader, as opposed to a technical expert. I’ve been fortunate to work in innovative companies with very smart teams who are at the forefront of how to use data science to make better decisions, at scale.At Right Media, we used various Machine Learning techniques to predict the probability a user would take a certain action that, among other things allowed us to innovate a new pricing type: dynamic CPM (dCPM). This conferred great benefits to brands and publishers because it allowed a ‘true price’ to be paid.At Demand Media, we built an incredible content platform. We were publishing 10,000 articles per day, and our content technology allowed us to predict and optimize how useful each piece of content would be for the 150MM+ visitors to our sites each month. This informed what content we would create, allowing AI to guide our content strategy, as it were. Of course, we integrated our ad strategy into this stack.At Criteo, we employed incredibly powerful Machine Learning to predict both how likely a user would be to convert on an ad that they saw, and the actual content that the ad showed. This powerful personalization and targeting drove incredible performance.Finally, at MediaMath, we built both prediction and recommendation algorithms that could be used in a variety of scenarios, but we also built a Machine Learning platform that allows others to plug in their own algorithms. As the market has progressed it’s less about having one great Machine Learning algorithm, but more about allowing the variety of use cases and technologies out there to learn and compete for the best insights and performance out there. I’m still very excited about the partnership that MediaMath has with IBM’s Watson.At PebblePost that evolution continues, with the machine learning being laser-focused on driving the best performance in the digital-to-physical worlds. It’s incredibly powerful, and we’ll be sharing a lot more about this topic soon.What are the biggest challenges in measuring the ROI of Marketing and Advertising?Aside from the technical and analytical challenges we discussed above, we are looking at a moment of real maturation for the industry, in MarTech and tech more broadly.None of us will be successful if we don’t take consumer privacy and the security of consumer’s data seriously. Between the increasingly central role large tech companies have in our society, consumers who are fed up with the feeling that their data is out of their hands, and changing behaviors overall, we have arrived at incredibly important crossroads as an industry.At PebblePost we put consumer privacy and security first as we believe that how we approach these challenges in the next year or two will determine how effectively we can make marketing a progressive force for good and growth.How do you prepare your team to leverage analytics and technology for Search, Display, and Programmatic?PebblePost is a technology company, and in that, we have to be at the forefront. In addition to the technical expertise we have in our engineering, data science and BI teams, we’ve adopted tools and processes and training to help ensure those technical skill sets are married with a deep understanding of industry context.What is your prediction on the disruptive application of Video and TV Advertising Analytics in B2B and B2C marketing initiatives?The home is certainly a huge focus for many in the space: how do we market effectively and respectfully to consumers as devices proliferate, everyone spends more time online, and ways of consuming content continue to become more personal and tailored?I predict the trend will continue and accelerate, although new measurement standards will need to emerge that are omnichannel in nature, and purpose-built for the world we live in today.PebblePost is pushing the envelope on this frontier as well, focused on better at-home marketing experiences for consumers. We welcome the innovation we see in this space and will be building new offerings for our brands alongside TV, radio, and other at-home focused solutions. Direct MailJacob RossPebblepostTech Bytes Previous ArticleSpotX and Mediaocean Announce Integration Giving TV Buyers Direct Pipeline to Premium Video SupplyNext ArticleDun & Bradstreet Survey Reveals One in Five Businesses Loses Revenue and Customers Due to Incomplete Data Jacob will be responsible for accelerating PebblePost’s growth even further, and to prepare the company for the next stage. He is responsible for the near-term success of the business managing sales, customer success, marketing, operations, business intelligence, product, and engineering. Given the rapid growth this New York headquartered leading digital-to-direct mail marketing platform company is experiencing, another priority is to bring people in to help them with the next phase of growth. About PebblePost About JacobAbout PebblePostAbout Jacob PebblePost is the leading digital-to-direct mail marketing platform. We capture online interest and intent data to send relevant direct mail that activates buying decisions at home and drives conversions everywhere.We invented Programmatic Direct Mail® to help brands convert more shoppers into buyers using advanced targeting, algorithmic optimization, attribution and quantitative analysis. PebblePost® is a venture-backed company based in NYC.last_img read more

In Land of Sabarimala Temple Rahul Says Congress Believes in Allowing People

first_imgThiruvananthapuram: With the BJP led NDA trying to turn the Sabarimala issue into a major poll plank, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi Tuesday said his party believes in allowing people to express their faith and sentiments and never stop them from “genuinely” expressing their belief. Addressing a massive poll rally in Pathanamthitta, where the famed Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple is located, Gandhi said his party wants an India “where people can express what is there inside their heart as long as those expressions are peaceful and non-violent.” However, he was cautious not to mention the name of Lord Ayyappa or the recent agitations witnessed by the state against the entry of young women there.Pathanamthitta was ground zero of the Sabarimala women’s entry agitations last year. The entire Kerala, including Pathanamthitta, had witnessed frenzied protests by devotees and right wing outfits against the CPI-M-led LDF government’s decision to implement the September 28 Supreme Court verdict, permitting women of allage groups into the hillock shrine.”The Congress.party believes in allowing all people to express their faith, express their beliefs and express their sentiments,” Gandhi said. “But the Congress will never take an action that stops peoplefrom genuinely expressing their faith,” he said, adding that he leaves the matter to the “wisdom of the people of the state.” The Congress chief also said he chose Wayanad in Kerala as his second constituency as the southern state respects other people’s ideas.Pathanamthitta is witnessing a fierce tri-cornered fight between Anto Antony of the Congress-led UDF, Veena George of the CPI(M)-headed LDF and BJP-NDA nominee K Surendran. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, while addressing an election meeting in Kozhikode on April 12, also not mentioned the words like ‘Sabarimala’ or ‘Lord Ayyappa’.But the Prime Minister had said that the BJP government would ensure that the centuries old beliefs of devotees would be protected. However during his campaign meetings in Tamil Nadu later, Modi had alleged that the communists, Congress and Muslim League were playing a dangerous game on the Sabarimala issue, which Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan rubbished as “misleading” and “utter lies”. congressLok Sabha elections 2019Pathanamthittapathanamthitta-s11p17 First Published: April 16, 2019, 4:54 PM ISTlast_img read more

Katrina Kaif on Doing Third Film in Tiger Franchise Im Always Last

first_imgFilmmaker Ali Abbas Zafar recently confirmed that he has already found the story for the third instalment of Salman Khan-starrer Tiger franchise and even discussed the idea with the actor as well as producer Aditya Chopra.The first instalment of the franchise, Ek Tha Tiger was helmed by Kabir Khan while the second, Tiger Zinda Hai, was directed by Ali. Both the films featured Salman alongside Katrina Kaif. However, in an interview with Mumbai Mirror, Katrina revealed that she had no clue whether or not she’d be a part of the third film of the Tiger franchise.She also said that she’s “always the last one to know” from Ali about any film developments. “Ali has not shared his idea with me but then with Ali, I’m always the last one to know. He is very secretive and keeps his scripts close to his chest till the last minute despite me being a good friend,” Katrina said.Katrina and Ali have also worked together in 2011 romantic comedy Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, in which the actress was paired opposite Imran Khan.Earlier, Ali confirmed the third instalment to PTI in an interview. He said, “I am extremely happy and kicked with the story I’ve found for Tiger Zinda Hai (sequel). It’ll take the instalment forward and will be synonymous with what the franchise has been doing.”The director also said that he was yet to put pen to paper and would only start working on the project once his latest release Bharat was “out of his system.” Bharat is a Hindi remake of the 2014 Korean drama Ode to my Father.Follow @News18Movies for more Ali Abbas ZafarBharat movie releaseBharat releaseEk Tha Tiger First Published: June 9, 2019, 2:29 PM ISTlast_img read more

Remembering Michael Jackson Five Evergreen Songs by the King of Pop on

first_img Anti-gravity LeanbadBillie JeanBlack or White First Published: June 25, 2019, 2:35 PM IST The King of Pop aka Michael Jackson left for the heavenly abode on June 25, 2009, leaving a void in the world of music and dance. The singer was found dead at his home on North Carolwood Drive in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, due to acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication. On the 10th death anniversary of the singer and dancer, we remember him through his songs, that left everlasting impact in the world: 1. They Don’t Care About Us: The song was the fifth single from Michael Jackson’s album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I, released on June 16, 1995. Marked as a protest song, this one remained one of the most controversial pieces Jackson has ever composed. The singer was alleged for using antisemitic lyrics, which led him to issue multiple apologies and re-record the song with altered lyrics. 2. Man In The Mirror: A sparkling, gospel-tinged mantra of self-betterment, the song Man in the Mirror was one of the inspirational songssung by Jackson. Composed by Siedah Garrett and Glen Ballard, the song peaked at number 1 in the United States when released in January 1988. It was the fourth single from his seventh solo album, Bad (1987). It was also nominated for Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards. 3. Billie Jean: Released on January 2, 1983 as the second single from Jackson’s sixth studio album, Thriller, Billie Jean narrated the tale of a young girl who claimed to be the mother of Jackson’s alleged son. 4. Smooth Criminal: The song was from Jackson’s seventh studio album Bad. The track featured a fast beat with lyrics about a woman who has been attacked in her apartment by a ‘smooth criminal’. 5. Black or White: Released on November 11, 1991, Black or White wasthe first single from Michael Jackson’s eighth studio album, Dangerous. The song ascended from number 35 to number one in three weeks, becoming the fastest chart topper since The Beatles’ Get Back. Follow @News18Movies for morelast_img read more

Fan Dies of Shock after Dhonis Dismissal vs New Zealand in World

first_img 2019 ICC World Cupcricketcricket fanMS Dhoni First Published: July 11, 2019, 11:55 PM IST Khanakul/Bhwanipatna: India’s shock defeat against New Zealand in the ICC World Cup’s semi-final on Wednesday claimed the life of a sports enthusiast in West Bengal, while another tried to commit suicide in Odisha.Unable to bear Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s run out, Srikant Maity apparently suffered a heart attack and died, police said on Thursday. Maity, 33, owner of a cycle repairing shop at Sekenderpur in West Bengal’s Hooghly district, fell unconscious immediately after watching the former India team captain being run out in the cricket match at Manchester in England on Wednesday, police said.Dhoni’s exit was the turning point of the crucial match, which Maity was watching on his mobile phone at his shop, they said. When Dhoni was declared run out, Maity trembled and fell down in a severe shock and lost consciousness, police said quoting villagers.The villagers rushed him to Khanakul Rural Hospital where the doctors declared him ‘brought dead’, the police said. They organised a commemorative programme on Thursday and condoled his death. Maity is survived by his son and daughter.Two-time champions India made a shock exit from the quadrennial showpiece after failing to chase a modest target of 240 following a top-order batting collapse. The defeat also led to a 25-year-old man attempting suicide in Odisha’s Kalahandi district by consuming poison on Thursday, state police said.The man, who was identified as Sambaru Bhoi of Singhbhadi village, watched the match on television along with his friends on Wednesday evening. Bhoi was confident that India would win and had even argued with his friends about it, said Odisha police, quoting the man’s parents.Bhoi was reportedly depressed at the outcome of the match. He left his home in the early hours and consumed poison in an agricultural field, police said. He was rushed to Dharamgarh Sub-divisional Hospital by his family and later shifted to the district hospital at Bhawanipatna.Bhoi is under treatment at the district hospital and according to doctors his condition is now stable. last_img read more

Amit Shah to Tour Telangana Every Month to Strengthen BJP for Next

first_imgHyderabad: BJP Chief Amit Shah would tour Telangana every month in a bid to strenghten the party in the state ahead of the next assembly elections, party’s state President K Laxman said here on Sunday.As part of ‘Mission 2023’ of the BJP, Shah has asked the party’s state unit to achieve 50 per cent vote share in next Assembly polls and ensure that the saffron party comes to power, Laxman told reporters here. “In the core-committee meeting held Saturday, our national president Amit Shah gave clear directions to focus on Telangana and come to power. When we have got 20 per cent vote share in the Parliamentary elections, we have ample time to reach every nook and corner of the state (before the next Assembly elections),” Laxman said.Accusing the TRS government of not “sincerely” implementing the welfare schemes of the central government in Telangana, Laxman said the state government “feared” that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity would rise.”Amit Shah has promised to tour Telangana once in a month.. two Union Ministers will also tour the state every month to review and monitor the implementation of Centre’s welfare schemes and strengthen the party at village level..These tours will definitely help us in strengthening our party in Telangana,” he said.The BJP had suffered a humiliating defeat in the Assembly elections last December, winning just one seat out of the 119 segments, but the party performed better in the Lok Sabha elections by winning four seats.Alleging that the ruling TRS government was adopting “anti-poor” policies, he claimed that the people were fed up with it.Laxman flayed the TRS Working President K T Rama Rao for terming the union budget as “extremely disappointing and insipid”.”Why is he scared of Amit Shah? Whenever our national president visits Telangana, KTR makes such “irresponsible” tweets,” he said.In a series of tweets on Saturday, Rama Rao, the son of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, had given a “thumbs-down” to the #UnionBudget2019.Laxman alleged that the TRS government did not provide any Detailed Project Report of the Kaleshwaram irrigation project to the Centre nor did it seek national project status for it. Amit ShahAssembly election Telanganak laxmanMission 2023 First Published: July 7, 2019, 8:50 PM ISTlast_img read more

Bengal Congress Chief Somen Mitra Submits Resignation Taking Responsibility for Lok Sabha

first_img congressGaurav Gogoilok sabhaRahul Gandhi First Published: July 9, 2019, 2:00 PM IST Kolkata: West Bengal Congress president Somen Mitra submitted a letter of resignation from the post taking responsibility for the party’s poor show in the Lok Sabha election, sources said Tuesday.However, Gaurav Gogoi, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge of party affairs in the state, refused to accept Mitra’s resignation and requested him to continue in the post, they said. The Congress won two of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, down from four it had won in the 2014 election.Last week, Rahul Gandhi formally resigned as the Congress president, saying he was responsible for the loss in the Lok Sabha election and that accountability was critical for the party’s future growth. last_img read more

Jagan Govt Will Review Cancel Inflated Power Deals Committed to Bring Down

first_img Kallam said that officials found the TDP government bought power at a high cost from companies like Spectrum and Lanco Infratech even though their agreements had expired in 2016. The government plans to reallocate the gas allotted to these companies to GMR group that has a long-term PPA (till 2029) at a lower price, he said. Ajay KallamAndhra Pradesh Chief MinisterAnhdra Pradesh govtChandrababu Naidu First Published: July 15, 2019, 9:55 PM IST | Edited by: Sohini Goswami He said, “Neither the government is in a position to pay for this hiked prices nor can consumer pay the increased tariff.” Regarding the Centre’s letter, the senior official said, “We are pained as rather than appreciating the chief minister for trying to weed out corruption, he is being questioned.” He also raised suspicions about power lobbies playing a part in forcing the Union government to put pressure on the state against cancelling the PPAs.“Our government is deeply committed to protecting the interests of investors, and we would ensure transparent policies and sustainable power prices. Of the 221 PPAs in wind energy, more than 70% (worth Rs 40,000 crore) signed after 2014 benefitted mainly five players” the principal advisor said.In the garb of Renewable Power Purchase Obligations (RPPO), the Naidu regime procured about 23% very high cost renewable power and incurred losses due to these high cost purchases. A high-level committee has also been set up to hear the concerns of developers, negotiate these high-cost renewable agreements and bring down costs in a bid to bring relief to the consumers. center_img Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to review all agreements signed between the previous Chandrababu Naidu-led dispensation and power companies.Principal Advisor to the government Ajay Kallam on Monday announced that all the power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed by the last Telugu Desam Party (TDP) will be looked into as there was a huge disparity in tariff. The Jagan Mohan Reddy administration recently said an over-payment worth Rs 2,686 crore was made to electricity suppliers and after completing a probe into it, faulty deals would be cancelled. Soon after, Union Minister for Renewable Energy RK Singh wrote to Reddy and advised him against the same as it would have a negative impact on suppliers and investors across the country.last_img read more

AI analyzes video to detect signs of cerebral palsy in infants

first_img Groundbreaking A.I. can synthesize speech based on a person’s brain activity Will GPS ever become obsolete? Meet the ant-inspired tech that could replace it Fitbit, Cardiogram partner to bring heart health screening to users’ wrists Researchers discover a worrying security flaw in Zipato smart home hubs SpaceX hopes to blast off its Starship and Super Heavy Rocket project in 2021 An artificial intelligence algorithm capable of signaling early signs of neurodevelopment disorders in infants has been created by researchers in Finland and Italy. By analyzing conventional videos of infants, the algorithm can create “skeleton” videos, which depict a child’s movement in the form of a stick figure. The research could help in early detection of neurodevelopment disorders, such as cerebral palsy.“Medical doctors have shown that observing special features in the spontaneous movements of infants may be the most accurate way to predict later development of cerebral palsy,” Sampsa Vanhatalo, a neurophysiologist at the University of Helsinki who led the study, told Digital Trends. “However, such visual analysis of infant movements by experts is always subjective, and it requires substantial training. Here, we showed for the first time that it is possible to extract infant movements from conventional video recordings. That is, we make skeleton videos, at a very high accuracy.”The algorithm works by scanning a conventional video of an infant to detect certain poses and movement patterns. The algorithm uses a “pose estimation method” to generate a stick-man depiction of the infant. These movement patterns can then be analyzed to detect normal or unusual movements.Children are typically diagnosed with cerebral palsy between the ages of six months and two years. However, early detection would allow doctors to begin to provide therapeutic interventions to alleviate the impact of the condition. A system that can help doctors detect early signs of the condition could offer children a jump start on treatment.“A pose estimation method of this kind is like a Rosetta stone, which opens the world to myriad of A.I. solutions for advanced assessments, diagnostics, and monitoring of spontaneous infant behavior,” Vanhatalo said. “The first application would be to develop a diagnostic classifier of infant movements to be used in screening of at-risk infants that are not able to reach specialist attention. Indeed, most infants in this world live in areas or in conditions beyond the immediate reach of pertinent medical expertise.”Vanhatalo partnered with researchers from the University of Pisa and Neuro Event Labs, a company that specializes in A.I.-based video analysis for medical purposes.A paper detailing the research was published this month in the journal Acta Pediatrica. Editors’ Recommendationslast_img read more

Weve got Trypticon Transformers biggest Decepticon action figure yet

first_imgStory TimelineAngry Birds Transformers released – and not half badTransformers: Battle Tactics mobile game update brings first eventTransformers 5 movie confirmed, expected for 2017Retro-styled Transformers game shown off at E3Transformers: Devastation trailer hits all the nostalgia notesOh joy, there’s another 10 years worth of Transformers movies in development3 new Transformers movies on the way, including Bumblebee spin-off Trypticon holds another Transformer figure Full-Tilt in his chest. This figure can be pulled out in auto form or folded out into bot mode. When folded out fully, Full-Tilt has a Titan Master head called Necro. This Necro-named fellow folds out into the tiniest Transformer figure in the set: Wipe-Out!Of note: Wipe-Out’s arms are on ball hinges and, while versatile, are prone to easy popping off. The arm that pops off is shorter than a keyboard keycap. Wipe-Out (aka Necro) folds down into the head for two reasons. One, to be the head for Full-Tilt, and two, to fit in to the back of the head of Trypticon – which is then a button which pops up Trypticon’s head gun. While we prefer to keep this destructor in t-rex mode, it’s also able to flip into City Mode as well as Battle Station Mode. This Battle Station Mode, as it was called in the original toy’s release, is branded here as more of a Spaceship. Do with it as you will!Above you’ll see how spaceship mode has a sort of front garage door for smaller autos. Drive it right on up and store. This mode includes a few handy lock-spots in the build that allow the spaceship to stay how it is while it’s flying across the living room.Above you’ll see the garage door opening up for Full Tilt. Truly Trypticon is the most accommodating of Transformer action figures, for he can hold others in his belly.The City Mode on Trypticon allows him to spread out across the whole kitchen – with plenty of space to play with all the tiniest of bots. Above you’ll see Necro (Wipe-Out) and Full-Tilt playing a bit of hide and seek in the city. Take note, though, that if Necro is out, Full-Tilt has no head. Necro is the head.Above you’ll see the leg joint of Trypticon. Instead of the relatively immobile legs of yesteryear, this version of Trypticon has some most-excellent joints with which he can move about in a manner only beaten by the wildly and purposefully inaccurate representation of a t-rex in Jurassic Park. And his arms are much more usable. Look at these fabulous talons!Wrap-upThis hulking mass of an action figure is part of the latest “Titan Returns” line of Transformer toys. In addition to being the largest figure in this 2017 “Titans Return” toy line, Trypticon is officially the “biggest” Decepticon figure ever made. This toy is rated Ages 8 and up – don’t let your toddler son or daughter, brother or sister get at it – they’ll DEFINITELY eat the smaller parts like a dinosaur. This action figure is scheduled to be released in the Fall of 2017 – though if you’re lucky you’ll find it out and about already. Trypticon is going to cost right around $150 at retail – good hunting to you. This dinosaur transformer is the biggest bad-guy in the Transformer universe (depending on who you’re asking) – especially if you’re looking to the early video games to give you guidance. Despite his kingship’s obvious excellence, he only had one physical toy representation before now – his 1986 debut. Look how scrawny he was! What a tragedy when his true form was obvious in the minds of all those who’d experienced his fury in many a classic video game. Transformers Mystery of Comvoy came in 1986 for the Family Computer with Trypticon as the big boss! He returned in the 1987 Famicom Disk System game Transformers: The Headmasters!In all cases, Trypticon is the biggest, baddest dude in the Transformers universe – so ravenous and destructive that he often holds no allegiance to any camp! He was originally created in the Transformers universe to battle the equally-massive Metroplex. The Autobot Metroplex remains one of the tallest Transformers in the history of action figures.The biggest Transformer currently is the “Transformers Generations Titans Return Titan Class Fortress Maximus” at a standing height of just over 24-inches in Robot Mode. Fortress Maximus and Metroplex (less than an inch shorter at his highest, 2013 edition), are the biggest Autobots in the Transformers toy universe. But now there is Trypticon! Finally, evil returns to the global battlefield – as the most massive Decepticon ever!Trypticon is now the tallest Decepticon – and likely the biggest Transformer if we’re talking about sheer THICC-ness. Each of these massive monsters are Cityformers – city-sized Transformers large enough to hold the smallest figures in the series. In fact this toy’s mouth opens up to allow him to “eat” Titan Master figures, one of which is included in the box.Above you’ll see the Titan Master in the mouth of Trypticon. Down his throat he goes, and out his belly he returns. Or he can just stay in there and hang out – this is a City Bot after all. center_img Behold this absurdly massive action figure, and cower before his retro reboot mightiness. This is the 2017 edition of Trypticon, a Transformer chosen to be reborn by the fans themselves. It was back in 2015 that Hasbro asked fans to choose between Omega Supreme, Scorponok, and the king monster big-boss hunk of t-rex you see standing before you. Today we’ve got the real-deal result of that fan interaction, the mighty, mighty 2017 edition of the city-sized t-rex TRYPTICON.last_img read more

Nokia 9 pops up at FCC with discouraging specs

first_imgDoes Nokia and HMD Global have a flagship phone? Technically speaking, that would be the Nokia 8 but only because it is the most premium model in the companies’ lineup. For some reason, however, it feels lacking in punch, not to mention marketing push, that most smartphone flagships get from their makers and the community.That’s probably partly because of the Nokia 9 that was leaked early on. But if you were expecting the phone to be it, you might be severely disappointed. Based on FCC documents, it’s going to be a confusing mix of hardware,. both better and worse than the Nokia 8.The Nokia 9 is expected to get a 5.5-inch screen, resolution unknown. It would be shocking if it got a Full HD screen considering the Nokia 8 already has QHD, but, as we’ll see, bigger and newer isn’t better. For example, the dual cameras are noted to be a 13 and 12 megapixel pair, a slight downgrade from the Nokia 8’s equal 13 megapixel twins. Then again, the specs of the cameras will be more important than its megapixel count. The front camera, however, is a total letdown, down to 5 megapixels only. At least the battery is a larger 3,250 mAh.One of the biggest disappointments, however, will be the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, the exact same one on the Nokia 8. Granted, market dynamics might mean that OEMs other than Samsung won’t get their hands on the Snapdragon 845 until near the middle of 2018. But considering the Nokia 8 just launched two months ago, HMD Global shouldn’t be in any rush anyway.VIA: Android Crunch The Galaxy S9 might turn out to be a somewhat of a mellow device next year but another “9” might outdo it in disappointing fans. The Nokia 9 has just landed at the FCC, hinting at its impending launch and, unlike most FCC sightings, has some details to show. Unfortunately, they are details that Nokia fans might not be looking forward to seeing, painting the picture of a smartphone that might not start off the new year well. Story TimelineNokia 9 pops up at AnTuTu with competitive specsNokia 9 renders hint at curved edge screenNokia 9 might turn out to have rather powerful dual cameraslast_img read more

Windows 10 on Snapdragon isnt answering the right questions

first_imgA tale of two WindowsThis is hardly Microsoft’s first romance with ARM. Not counting the ancient Windows CE, the latest one is still fresh in the tech world’s memory, and not for good reasons. That was Windows RT, which was, to some extent, the ARM counterpart of Windows 8, which wasn’t also received positively in general.History has judged Window RT to be one of Microsoft’s catastrophic failures, right alongside Windows ME and Windows Vista. And it wasn’t for a lack of devices either. Compared to the initial Windows 10 on Snapdargon offering, which has yet to actually hit the market, there were more OEMs that rallied behind Windows RT back then. Perhaps companies have become warier exactly because of that.And it wasn’t because of the hardware either. Yes, the ARM processors of yesteryears pale in comparison to this upcoming Snapdragon 845 but, back then, they already touted many of the promises that Microsoft and Qualcomm are making, including and most especially battery life.AdChoices广告Battery life is importantWith significant improvements in processors and memory, battery life has become the bottleneck of user experience in modern devices these days. High-end smartphones no longer last more than a day of regular use. Laptops are only able to last for days because they are relatively ginormous batteries and they aren’t left running 24/7. Neither of which are ideal, especially for a certain class of devices that try to bridge those two worlds together.This new permutation of Windows 10 running on ARM processors, or specifically Qualcomm’s Snapdragon, is designed to address exactly that. It promises nearly, but not more than, a day of battery life thanks to ARM’s much-flaunted power efficiency. But even if you turn it off, it will boot up near instantly. But you might not want to turn it off anyway, because the other leg in the tripod is “Always Connected”. Unsurprisingly, the first Windows 10 on ARM devices are 2-in-1 hybrids whose designs are meant for always on, always connected use.But it isn’t the only important thingThe way Microsoft and Qualcomm played up the battery and connectivity benefits, you’d think that’s all there was to modern computing. Granted, you won’t really be productive if your computer’s battery dies out on new half-way through the day, exactly when you’re too far out of reach of a power socket. Conversely, the longest-lasting but most useless computer will still be useless and will sit there unused and unnoticed for days until it finally goes empty.That is to say, while battery life is important, being able to use that battery to actually do things is perhaps even more important. Being always on and always connected will be a total waste of energy if the user won’t be able to get work done. Because while Microsoft and Qualcomm preach the combination of Windows 10 and the Snapdragon like the second coming, its success will actually hinge more on just hours or signal bars. It will depend on software and the intersection of hardware and software.S is for SoftwarePutting aside the debate on the user interface introduced in that generation, Windows RT’s problem has always been about software. Microsoft envisioned an app ecosystem that it curated and controlled, much like Apple’s iOS, where developers used its own custom app platform. It presumed that it had enough clout in the industry to convince developers to invest in yet another non-desktop platform, in addition to Android and iOS. History has proven it very, very wrong.The names have changed and the situation is much better than it was nearly a decade ago, but some might be experiencing deja vu recently. Windows 10 S is Microsoft’s most recent attempt at a more controlled (read: locked down) operating system that revolves around very specific API, which is now markets as the Universal Windows Platform. And therein lies Windows on ARM’s first problem.While the Windows Store is a bit more populated than in the Windows RT/8 days, but its selection is hardly ideal nor desirable. Microsoft should be commended for using all possible means to make it easier for software developers to jump on UWP, even with existing win32 programs, but it just isn’t enough. There are things that, by nature, UWP won’t allow, things that Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney have raised again and again. The recent case of Google Chrome on the Windows Store is yet another prime example, one that was almost too hilarious if not for its rather serious implications.PerformanceThe counterpoint to the use of Windows 10 S on the first Windows on ARM devices is that users will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for a short period of time, just like on the first batch of Windows 10 S laptops. And there are, after all, win32 apps already available on the Windows Store taking advantage of Microsoft’s “bridge” tools. But that brings up the second of three Windows 10 on ARM problems: ARM itself.Make no mistake, ARM is a very competitive architecture. It is what made smartphones and tablets possible and has Intel worried even on the server front. But it wasn’t designed with a desktop use case in mind. And while modern ARM processors are becoming more and more powerful, they are still not yet at the point that they can comfortably take on desktop chores. Especially Windows desktop chores.Of course, Microsoft has worked closely with its hardware partners, particularly Qualcomm, to optimize Windows 10 for the architecture. It even showed off Photoshop, admittedly one of the most resource intensive popular software on desktops, running smoothly on Windows on ARM. But that is like optimizing for specific cases. The Windows software ecosystem is too wild and the use cases are too varied to make Photoshop the exemplar of what the platform is capable of on that specific kind of hardware. And while the Universal Windows Platform may be Microsoft’s way of ensuring acceptable performance on all supported platforms, it raises the third biggest question: who uses those apps anyway? Microsoft just recently revealed its play on the ARM platform that has Windows fans both excited and skeptical. On the one hand, it is a return of the operating system to a CPU platform that is hailed for its battery longevity, thermal management, and performance efficiency. On the other hand, it may feel like deja vu. Things do seem to be better this time, with both software and hardware set in place. But Microsoft might be kidding itself if it expect everything to be different and be successful. Because if Microsoft hasn’t learned from its past, it is bound to repeat it. And like the boy who cried wolf, there might not be a next time. Who is it for?The Surface tablets were initially intended to face off with the iPad but they slowly evolved into their own distinct category that the iPad would, in turn, emulate. Microsoft would later direct it towards creatives who needed the portability of a Windows computer but also the power of a stylus. Windows 10 S and the Surface Laptop would later come to take on Chromebooks in schools and workplaces. But who is Windows 10 on Snapdragon for?One could already hear the spiel. It is for users who demand all-day battery life from their computers, ready to spring into action at a moment’s notice. That, however, is generic enough to describe anything and everything, including smartphones and doesn’t exactly give it a clear vision other than “it can run on ARM!”Is it for creatives? It has to be able to run more than just Photoshop at more than just smooth performance? Is it for power users? They might find themselves constrained by the software selection of Windows 10 S, much less win32 programs that can run on ARM. Is it for the same type of mobile users that adore iPads? They might find that same app selection painfully lacking. Is it for Windows gamers? Probably not.Without a clear focus and target audience, Windows 10 on Snapdragon aims to offer everything that Windows users want, but might fail to deliver what they actually need.Wrap-upMake no mistake, there are a lot of reasons to be excited about Windows 10 on ARM. The possibilities of day-long battery life, always read and always connected computers, and Windows tablets that are as thin, light, and literally cool as iPads should excite not just Windows fans but computer users in general. At the moment, however, they’re all just possibilities.There are still so many open questions that Microsoft has not yet addressed. And there are questions that it won’t be able to answer itself. Some can only be answered when the devices do hit the market and people get their hands on more than just promotional models. And there might not be that many, if the initial raising of OEM hands is any indication.Windows 10 on ARM and Snapdragon is very promising. But Microsoft has made such promises before. One can only hope they can finally deliver.center_img Story TimelineASUS NovaGo Windows 10 on Snapdragon laptop has 22hr batteryASUS NovaGo and HP ENVY x2 hands-on: Snapdragon’s Windows starsWindows 10 on ARM: 4 facts you need to knowChrome comes to the Windows Store (kind of) [Update]last_img read more

Galaxy Note 9 Bixby update has an alternative to disabling it

first_imgSamsung’s latest flagships are nearly perfect but they all have one consistent flaw. No, it’s not Bixby per se but the obtrusive Bixby button at the side. Samsung dared to make it impossible to disable that button on the Galaxy Note 9 but, after major backlash, it said it would reconsider. Reconsider it did but not in the way users hoped. The latest update to Bixby doesn’t bring back that option but, instead, offers a way to make it harder to accidentally trigger Bixby in the first place. Bixby may not be all that bad. Sure, it doesn’t have the same scope as, say, Google Assistant, much less Amazon Alexa. But for something that’s barely two years old, it’s a bit impressive how much it can already do, especially when it comes controlling the phone and apps without touching them, something the other smart assistant still have to provide.No, the problem with Bixby lies mostly with Samsung’s strategy or lack thereof. The situation has come to a head in the Galaxy Note 9 with a button you can’t disable and a button that’s too easy to accidentally trigger. Samsung’s almost comical solution? Optionally require Bixby to be triggered with two button presses instead of one.That is the new “feature” that SamMobile discovered in the latest update to Bixby Voice. And like with most things Bixby, you have to actually press that button and launch Bixby before you can get to those settings.It is painfully obvious that Samsung really doesn’t want anyone to disable that button. It remains to be seen whether this compromise will sit well with Galaxy Note 9 owners. For those who hate Bixby with a burning passion, they could always physically remove it, though at the expense of phone’s physical integrity. Story TimelineGalaxy Note 9 durability test reveals a surprising flawGalaxy Note 9 Bixby 2.0 is going to increase hatersGalaxy Note 9 Bixby button disabled with melted gold (plus 2 more options)last_img read more

LG Watch W7 pokes mechanical hands through a Wear OS touchscreen

LG doesn’t just have the new V40 ThinQ smartphone today, it also has a brand new wearable, the LG Watch W7, which pairs physical hands with a touchscreen display. It’s the first Wear OS by Google smartwatch to have a full screen along with mechanical hands, with LG promising the digital functionality you expect but with the look and reliability of a traditional timepiece. That’s required some clever engineering, as you might expect. There’s a 1.2-inch circular LCD, with a hole puncturing it right through the center. That allows mechanical hands to sit on top of the screen. LG turned to Swiss watch specialists Soprod to help with the mechanism. In effect it’s a complicated sandwich of components which all work in tandem. First, the protective cover glass, then the touchscreen layer right underneath. Then come the physical hands, and finally the 360 x 360 display.AdChoices广告There are two buttons on the side, along with a knob for navigation, akin to the Apple Watch’s Digital Crown. The whole thing is rated at IP68 for water and dust resistance, and has WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.2 LE. No cellular option, at least not at this stage, but there are the usual sensors: accelerometer, magnetic, gyroscope, pressure, compass, altimeter, and barometer. Any 22 mm standard watch strap should fit. Inside, there’s Qualcomm’s APQ8009w Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset, with 768 MB of RAM and 4 GB of storage. That’s not Qualcomm’s very latest smartwatch SoC, but LG has done something special with it. The battery is a 240 mAh lithium polymer pack, which recharges using a special cradle making contact with the pogo-pins on the back. However, what’s really clever is how the LG Watch W7 manages battery life. In “Just Watch” mode, just showing the time with the mechanical hands, the Watch W7 should last for up to 100 days, LG promises. That’s because it can shut down the processor altogether and rely solely on the physical mechanism to keep track of the time. If you have Wear OS active, it’ll last for around two days of connected activity. However, even after that, there’ll be sufficient power for 2-3 days of using the smartwatch as just a mechanical watch, with the display a plain black background.The goal, LG says, was to create a watch that – from a single glance – you wouldn’t be able to tell whether it was a “smartwatch” or something more traditional. We’ve certainly seen smart wearables that promise to combine more basic watch functionality with optional smarter abilities, like the TicWatch Pro, but they still rely on a digital display rather than physical hands. This combination of analog and digital, though, doesn’t come cheap. LG says that the Watch W7 will go up for preorder on October 7, priced at $449.99. It’ll begin shipping on October 14. LG Watch W7 Gallery read more

A Brief History of Dodges Scat Pack – From late60s marketing masterstroke

first_imgAlmost as important was what the Scat Pack brings to the table is what it chooses to leave behind. Unlike the SRT 392 model, the Challenger R/T Scat Pack doesn’t ask you to pay more for a ‘track ready’ chassis, adaptive suspension, or 6-piston Brembo brakes up front, gear you don’t really need because Dodge’s chunky coupe simply isn’t intended to be enjoyed on a road course. Instead, the Challenger comes into its own as a comfortable, style-first driver, and the acres of bad attitude that come with the Scat Pack edition are perfectly suited for boulevard cruising or drag strip histrionics. The most fun version of the 2016 Dodge Challenger actually has a history that goes deeper than most of the modern marketing used to move muscled metal. The ‘Scat Pack’ was once one of the most feared groups of street machines every to rumble from one stoplight to the next, and the Challenger Scat Pack is a fitting tribute to that exciting period in Detroit’s high performance history.Let’s take a quick look at the history of the Scat Pack.The late 60s represented the fiercest period of competition between the Big Three (and to a lesser extent, AMC) for the attentions of speed-thirsty American buyers. By the time 1968 rolled around, Dodge was in the catbird seat with its line-up of fierce street machines, including the Dodge Coronet R/T, the Dodge Charger R/T, and the Dodge Dart GTS, each of which could be ordered with an (underrated) 375 horsepower, 440 cubic inch V8 under the hood. A 340 cubic inch Dart Swinger was also available, and of course 426 Hemi power was also in the cards for all three models.What was missing, however was a way to unify each of these uniquely-named models under a single, world-beating banner – an issue that would only get worse with the introduction of the Dodge Super Bee mid-year. The problem was put to the talented team at the Ross Roy Ad Agency, which came up with the idea of the ‘Scat Pack’ designation that would encompass each of these cars. It was a play on words – the Rat Pack had been Sinatra’s gang of Hollywood pals that became legendary for their partying and the pictures they made together – and as such Dodge also created an actual Scat Pack Club that both owners and Mopar fans could join for the very affordable price of three dollars. For the money, members received a monthly newsletter, a quarterly magazine, a wallet card declaring their loyalty, a bumper sticker and jacket patch, and a racing guide.The Scat Pack logo was a variation on the drag-racing Super Bee found on, well, the Dodge Super Bee, and collectively the group of cars was referred to as ‘the hive.’ The marketing team went on the warpath, blanketing dealerships, magazines, and television with references to ‘Scat City’ and the full line-up of Scat Pack cars. By 1970 the family had ground to include the Charger Daytona and the Dodge Challenger, and when the final year of the Scat Pack came to pass the Dodge Demon 340 was also included. So successful was the entire initiative that Plymouth got into the act with its ‘Rapid Transit System’ which would run from 1970 to 1972, and included the ‘Cuda, the GTX, the Superbird, the Duster 340, and the Roadrunner.1973 spelled doom for most American muscle cars as insurance concerns and emissions regulations slowly choked the life out of large V8s – a sad state of affairs that would last until the mid-80s. Still, for a brief shining moment the Scat Pack demonstrated what could be accomplished with just a little creativity and a lot of horsepower, and paved the way for its own revival many decades later. Story TimelineDodge’s craziest number for the Challenger SRT Hellcat is the mpgMopar made this retro drag monster from Dodge’s ChallengerDodge Charger and Challenger get Plum CrazyDodge Challenger GT AWD gets official at SEMA 2015The Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack is 485HP of tire hatecenter_img The 2016 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack is my pick for the best of the breed when it comes to the retro-themed muscle car. The Scat Pack checks all the right boxes: 485 horsepower from a 6.4-liter Hemi V8, the quicker steering, stiffer suspension, and bigger brakes found in the standard Super Track Pak package, a louder exhaust system, and the availability of the ‘Shaker’ intake option, which sticks up through a hole in the middle of the car’s hood and rumbles every time you rev the engine.last_img read more

Galaxy Note 10 availability details leak to complete the picture

first_imgThe price of the Galaxy Note 10 isn’t that surprising. The line has always been more expensive than its Galaxy S counterparts though. With every year, the price goes higher and this year is no exception, despite the removal o lack of some components.According to sources like WinFuture, the Galaxy Note 10 will start at 999 EUR for 256 GB of RAM. That’s around $1,100 for the base model presuming there’s no lower 128 GB model. For the Galaxy Note 10+, the price starts at 1,149 EUR or roughly $1,300, also for that same 256 GB storage.Korean media says Samsung plans to launch the Galaxy Note in late August. That would be August 23 in South Korea to be followed by other markets. Given its recent practice, customers in major smartphone markets need not wait that long for their turn.The Galaxy Note 10 will test the longevity of the S Pen-enabled line and Samsung’s ability to innovate in that regard. The phone has seen little significant change over the years and its biggest this year might prove to be unpopular. The OEM has removed the headphone jack and moved the back cameras to the corner, a design that may remind some people more of the iPhone X than any other Samsung phone to date. The Galaxy Note 10 has been leaked to death by now, but one thing that was left undecided was its launch date and price. Samsung has already announced when the phone will be unveiled but, as always, the exact details of when it would hit shelves have yet to be revealed. With less than a month left, that information is coming out to give prospective buyers the chance to save up and prepare for the most expensive Galaxy Note phones yet.last_img read more

Marvels Avengers singleplayer campaign customization make splash at ComicCon

first_imgMarvel’s presence at San Diego Comic-Con is always massive, as people check in to see where the company’s many properties are going next, but this year is a special one for gamers. Marvel’s Avengers by Crystal Dynamics, Nintendo Switch exclusive Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, and Iron Man VR were all in the spotlight during the Marvel Gaming panel and ComingSoon live-blogged all the announcements.Marvel’s Avengers was revealed during E3 2019 but not much was said about it or shown. The Marvel Gaming panel at SDCC 2019 gave onlookers the first real look at gameplay and some additional details about the game. We don’t have the gameplay footage yet, but one of the ComingSoon reporters did share that the game will have a single-player campaign. Players will be able to jump out of it straight into multiplayer, which is built around that campaign.We know that Marvel’s Avengers is a game Crystal Dynamics plans to unravel over multiple years, but what are the aspects that will keep players engaged? One such aspect is customization. You’ll play as the well-known characters from Marvel Comics, but you can also customize them to your liking. The gameplay of this was shown and should be released sometime in the near future. Ahead of the May 15, 2020, release date for the game, there will be a beta test as well.If you were hoping for a release date for Iron Man VR, you’re out of luck. The development team spoke about the excitement of creating the suit for virtual reality and how Iron Man is perfect for VR, but that’s about it. The game is playable at SDCC, so, hopefully, players won’t have to wait terribly long to step into the Iron Man suit.Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is the game we know the most about, so it makes sense that it was the first to be shown and had the least to reveal. The game comes out tonight on the Nintendo Switch, after all. Nevertheless, there were a couple of surprises. One is that Loki, the adopted brother of Thor, is an unlockable character in the game. Cyclops and Colossus, two popular X-Men, will be added to the game via a free update on August 30. Lastly, it was revealed that the first paid DLC pack for the game will be a Marvel Knights collection that includes Moon Knight, Punisher, Morbius, and Blade. Editors’ Recommendations Marvel Games panel at San Diego Comic Con 2019 will be jam-packed with surprises Everything we know about Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order E3 2019: All the games we expected to see, and some we didn’t Marvel’s Avengers is a multiplayer action game that unravels over multiple years The best E3 2019 trailerslast_img read more

First Edition June 18 2013

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. First Edition: June 18, 2013 Today’s headlines include reports about a new publicity push in support of the health law. Kaiser Health News: Insuring Your Health: Finding Answers About Health CoverageIn her latest Kaiser Health News consumer column, Michelle Andrews writes: “About half of Americans say they don’t know how the Affordable Care Act will affect them. Four in 10 think it has been repealed or overturned, or they are unsure where it stands. So chances are good that when the major provisions kick in next year, including online health insurance marketplaces and new standards for health plan costs and coverage, people are going to have questions. Lots of questions. When they do, the biggest one of all may be where to turn for answers” (Andrews, 6/18). Read the column.Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Facebook Raises The Status Of Organ Donation, Study Shows; Feds Seek Broad Payment Options For ExchangesNow on Kaiser Health News’ blog, Ankita Rao reports on a study tracking how Facebook raised the status of organ donation: “In May 2012, Facebook introduced an option that lets users add ‘Organ Donor” to their profiles. … It also provided users a quick link to sign up for the national registry of organ, eye and tissue donors through Donate Life. … The results, as chronicled in a report released on Tuesday, were immediate. On the first day alone, more than 57,000 people added the label to their profiles, and 13,054 people registered to be donors online. A year later, 30,818 people had registered to be donors, about five times more than pre-Facebook rates” (Rao, 6/18).Also on Capsules, Sarah Varney reports on feds’ ideas about payment options for Obamacare customers: “Federal health officials have proposed that all health plans selling insurance on the new online marketplaces must allow for easy payment options for households without bank accounts or credit cards. The government’s decision to mandate a menu of payment options including cashier’s checks, money orders and re-loadable pre-paid debit cards comes amid increasing pressure from consumer advocates and business groups that are concerned low-income working families would be required to purchase health coverage under the Affordable Care Act but would have no way to pay their monthly bill (Varney, 6/18). Check out what else is on the blog.The Associated Press/Washington Post: Report: Slowdown In US Health Care Costs May Turn Into A Trend, Not A PauseThere’s good news for most companies that provide health benefits for their employees: America’s slowdown in medical costs may be turning into a trend, rather than a mere pause. A report Tuesday from accounting and consulting giant PwC projects lower overall growth in medical costs for next year, even as the economy gains strength and millions of uninsured people receive coverage under President Barack Obama’s health care law (6/17).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Outside Group Backing Obama Airing Health Care Reform Ads This SummerAn outside group supporting President Barack Obama’s agenda plans to air a series of ads this summer promoting Obama’s health care overhaul. Organizing for Action intends to spend at least $1 million this summer on ads to draw attention to the implementation of the health care law, including its quality of care and coverage of uninsured Americans (6/17).Politico: Launching The Obamacare CampaignPresident Barack Obama brought a campaigner’s mindset to the White House — but the roll-out of Obamacare marks the first time he’s adapted his campaign’s groundbreaking grassroots tactics to the task of turning policy into reality. A trio of Obama’s most experienced campaign operatives — one in the West Wing, two others in outside groups closely allied with Obama — are overseeing an effort to ensure that the Affordable Care Act, the president’s biggest legacy project, doesn’t turn into the failure the GOP predicts it will be (Thrush and Nather, 6/18).The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: ‘Obamacare’ Backers Ready Publicity PushSupporters of the health-care law are set this week to reveal long-awaited details of their campaign to persuade millions of Americans to sign up for coverage. … The first ad highlights provisions in the law that are currently in place such as preventive visits without out-of-pocket costs for seniors, tax credits for small businesses and rebates for consumers,  telling viewers that “the truth is, Americans are already seeing the benefits.” The ad finishes by promising: “Better coverage and lower costs, that’s what Obamacare means for them” (Radnofsky, 6/17).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Outside Group Backing Obama Airing Health Care Reform Ads This SummerAn outside group supporting President Barack Obama’s agenda plans to air a series of ads this summer promoting Obama’s health care overhaul. Organizing for Action intends to spend at least $1 million this summer on ads to draw attention to the implementation of the health care law, including its quality of care and coverage of uninsured Americans (6/17).Politico: OFA To Launch Obamacare CampaignOrganizing for Action is launching a seven-figure ad buy championing President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, as POLITICO’s Playbook reported on Monday. “The truth is, Americans are already seeing the benefits” of Obamacare, says a spot posted on YouTube, citing benefits including rebates from health insurance companies and tax credits for small businesses (Glueck, 6/17).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Va. Panel Established To Certify Medicaid Reforms And Approve Expansion Meets For First TimeHow do you expand Medicaid under the federal health overhaul law without provoking the wrath of conservatives dead set against it under any circumstances? A Virginia panel attempting that high-wire act took its first good look at the daunting challenge of modernizing the federal-state program, making it more like a commercial service, simplifying it and cutting billions of dollars in the process Monday and learned from a noisy contingent of protesters that there’s no way to please both sides (6/17).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Arizona Gov. Brewer Signs Medicaid Expansion Law After Bruising Fight With GOP ConservativesArizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a law expanding the state’s Medicaid program following her victory over conservatives in her own party opposed to embracing a key part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul (6/17).The New York Times: G.O.P. Pushes New Abortion Limits To Appease Vocal BaseAfter Republicans lost the presidential election and seats in both the House and the Senate last year, many in the party offered a stern admonishment: If we want to broaden our appeal, steer clear of divisive social and cultural issues. Yet after the high-profile murder trial of an abortion doctor in Philadelphia this spring, many Republicans in Washington and in state capitals across the country seem eager to reopen the emotional fight over a woman’s right to end a pregnancy. Their efforts will move to the forefront on Tuesday when House Republicans plan to bring to the floor a measure that would prohibit the procedure after 22 weeks of pregnancy — the most restrictive abortion bill to come to a vote in either chamber in a decade (Peters, 6/17).The New York Times: Supreme Court Lets Regulators Sue Over Generic Drug DealsPharmaceutical companies that pay rivals to keep less-expensive generic versions of best-selling drugs off the market can expect greater federal scrutiny after a Supreme Court ruling on Monday. In a 5-to-3 vote, the justices effectively said that the Federal Trade Commission can sue pharmaceutical companies for potential antitrust violations, a decision that is likely to increase the number of generic drugs in the marketplace and benefit consumers (Wyatt, 6/17).The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: Don Berwick Formally Enters Mass. Governor RaceDon Berwick, who has served as administrator of U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs, formally announced his plans to run for governor of Massachusetts Monday. … A Harvard pediatrician and health policy expert, Mr. Berwick was temporarily appointed by President Barack Obama during congressional recess in 2010. He was never confirmed by the Senate, hindered by comments he made praising the British government-run health care system and some health spending cuts that proved overly controversial, and he left the position in late 2011. Mr. Berwick was administrator in the first stages of health-care reform, which has significantly impacted Medicare and Medicaid. He has been a firm supporter of federal coordination of patient care and of moving away from “fee for service” payment structures (Ballhaus, 6/17).The Washington Post: Former Obama Administration Official Berwick Announces Run For GovernorFormer Obama administration official Donald Berwick will run for governor of Massachusetts in 2014, he announced Monday. “As a doctor, an educator, an innovator and someone who has dedicated his professional career to making things work better and to helping people – I am ready to lead,” said Berwick, the former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (Sullivan, 6/17).USA Today: Obama’s Ex-Medicare Chief Running For Mass. GovernorIt’s too early to tell, however, if Berwick’s role in advocating for the health care law known as Obamacare will help or hurt him in predominantly blue Massachusetts. The Bay State has its own health care law that mandates insurance coverage — which Obama said during his 2012 campaign was a model for Obamacare (Camia, 6/17).Politico: Don Berwick Announces Run For Massachusetts GovernorBerwick, who has spent his career practicing medicine and running a leading health care improvement organization, has never held or even sought elected office. But he told POLITICO earlier this year that his time in Washington had made him want to stay in the public arena and try to enact policy ideas statewide. Massachusetts, the first state in the nation to expand health coverage, is now trying to address its high health costs (Kenen, 6/17).Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page.last_img read more

Delay Of Employer Mandate Astonishing Decision No Bearing On Much Of Health

first_imgDelay Of Employer Mandate: ‘Astonishing Decision;’ ‘No Bearing’ On Much Of Health Law Commentators both for and against the health overhaul offered assessments of the administration’s move, and the politics that surround it.The New York Times: Obama’s Insurance Delay Won’t Affect Many On Tuesday, the White House announced that it would delay for another year one provision of the 2010 health care reform act. Larger employers will now have until 2015 before they will have to provide insurance or face penalties. The administration’s explanation is that it is listening to businesses’ concerns about getting their coverage ready in time, and trying to be flexible. But what people are really concerned about is whether this will make a difference in health care coverage and the progress of reform. The short answer is no (Ezekiel J. Emanuel, 7/3). Politico: The Obamacare Mess Washington is riven by conflict and deep-seated division. It is rare indeed that both sides can agree on anything consequential. Therefore it is incredibly heartening that there is now bipartisan agreement that the implementation of Obamacare is a mess. Republicans have long maintained this of the Affordable Care Act. But now the Obama administration has lent its implicit assent with its astonishing decision to delay by a year the law’s employer mandate (Rich Lowry, 7/3). The New York Times: Letting Employers Off the Hook, For Now The Obama administration made a reasonable decision this week to give employers another year before they will be required to make available affordable insurance to their workers or pay a fine. Republicans are portraying the decision as evidence that the whole health care reform is headed for a train wreck, but it actually affects only a narrow slice of companies and workers. It should have no bearing on whether the core provisions of the Affordable Care Act — notably the opening of health care exchanges and subsidized coverage for people on modest incomes — take effect on Jan. 1, 2014, as scheduled (7/3). The Wall Street Journal: Employer Mandate? Never Mind These columns fought the Affordable Care Act from start to passage, and we’d now like to apologize to our readers. It turns out we weren’t nearly critical enough. The law’s implementation is turning into a fiasco for the ages, and this week’s version is the lawless White House decision to delay the law’s insurance mandate for businesses, though not for individuals (7/3). The Wall Street Journal: ObamaCare’s ‘Liar’ Subsidies On the heels of last week’s one-year suspension of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate to offer insurance to workers, the Administration is now waiving a new batch of its own ObamaCare prescriptions. These disclosures arrived inside a 606-page catch-all final rule that the Health and Human Services Department published on July 5—a classic Friday news dump, with extra credit for the holiday weekend. HHS now says it will no longer attempt to verify individual eligibility for insurance subsidies and instead will rely on self-reporting, with minimal efforts to verify if the information consumers provide is accurate (7/7). The Washington Post: The Real Hurdles In Obamacare Whatever the reason, reports of the impending death of Obamacare have been greatly exaggerated. Indeed, reports that postponing the mandate demonstrate that the law is too unwieldy to work have been greatly exaggerated. Put another way, if you are a fan of the Affordable Care Act and worry about its implementation, or an enemy salivating at the prospect of its implosion, you should focus on other potential problem areas (Ruth Marcus, 7/4). USA Today: ObamaCare Delay Hints At Deeper Troubles This might just be what the White House says it is – a smart and needed pause to allow officials and businesses to refine complicated rules that govern how the mandate will work. And in at least one way it might be smart politics for Democrats. It buys temporary peace with businesses that deeply dislike the mandate and have threatened to slash workers or reduce them to part-time status to avoid the insurance requirement. The disruptive change will now kick in after next year’s congressional elections. In another way, though, the delay is an indicator of deeper troubles that lie just ahead (7/3). Philly.com: Obamacare’s Latest Delay May Not Mean MuchA key part of Obamacare will be delayed until 2015, putting it a year behind schedule. That is the provision penalizing large employers that don’t offer health coverage to their workers. (Click here to read the administration’s announcement.) The law’s drafters included that provision to keep our current employer-based insurance system intact. They feared that companies might drop health benefits once health reform takes effect because the law enables their workers to find alternative coverage in the new insurance exchanges. They also wanted to encourage firms that offer no or limited policies, like some large retailers, to accept responsibility for their employees’ health care (Robert Field, 7/8).CNN: Obamacare Penalty Delay No Big DealFew laws can drive political discourse and posturing like the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. The individual mandate was one of its most contentious aspects. Today, though, it’s another mandate — the employer penalty — that is garnering headlines. The Obama administration announced it would delay the implementation of the employer penalty for a year, until 2015. This move is sure to please businesses that employ a large number of lower-wage employees who don’t receive comprehensive health insurance. But it’s also been met with other cries of dismay (Aaron Carroll, 7/7). CNN: Obamacare Delay: Business Wins, The Rest Of Us LoseAs a rehabilitation physician, I’ve supported many of the ideas behind the Affordable Care Act since before Barack Obama’s presidency began. During the hot summer of town hall debates surrounding the legislation in 2009, I wrote an essay called “Standing up for Obama’s health plan,” and I have continued highlighting the fundamental advances that all of us, most especially disabled Americans, stand to share under the ACA. But when the Obama administration decided last week to pull out a major pillar of the ACA, they lost my faith in their political wisdom (Ford Vox, 7/7). Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Delay Of Employer Mandate Need Not Delay ObamacareIn the face of enormous opposition from business groups, the president blinked last week: Barack Obama’s administration delayed for a year a key provision of his signature health care effort — the rule requiring larger employers to provide coverage or pay a penalty. It was the right thing to do. Neither the government nor businesses appeared to be ready for implementation, so there is little harm in providing more time to get this right. Republicans see the decision as evidence that Obamacare is unworkable, but there isn’t much to their partisan claims. The insurance exchanges where those without affordable insurance can buy policies are expected to open on time on Jan. 1; enrollment is expected to begin Oct. 1. The administration should make sure those deadlines are met (7/6).The Hill: Hillary And HealthcareAs the chaos continues surrounding implementation of the new healthcare law, the 2014 election campaign begins and jockeying for the 2016 presidential campaign is underway, the two most intriguing political questions surrounding the healthcare law are these: First, how will Democrats running for the House and Senate in 2014 discuss healthcare during the campaign? (Brent Budowsky, 7/5). 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

GOP Lawmakers Request For Info About Navigators May Slow Process

first_imgMeanwhile, in regard to a separate issue, West Virginia’s attorney general is criticizing the Department of Health and Human Services for not responding to questions about navigator privacy concerns. Kaiser Health News: Navigators Say GOP Lawmakers’ Information Requests Are ‘Shocking’Organizations that received the latest round of health law navigator grants say last week’s letter from House Republicans could have a chilling effect on efforts to hire and train outreach workers to sign up Americans for health insurance by Oct. 1, the opening day for new online insurance marketplaces (Gold, 9/5).The Associated Press: W. Va. Attorney General Criticizes Lack Of Health Care AnswersAttorney General Patrick Morrisey is criticizing federal health care officials for refusing to respond to questions over a plan to hire workers to help walk people through their health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act. Morrisey and a dozen other state attorneys general sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last month pointing out privacy concerns with the plan to hire navigators to help roll out the health care reforms (9/4).Other health exchange headlines include updates from Oregon, Iowa, New York, California and Connecticut —  The Lund Report: Cover Oregon Takes Outreach Strategy OnlineAs Cover Oregon prepares to launch the state health insurance marketplace this fall, it’s held nine community events — all of which have been packed — and plans to hold two more before it begins enrolling people in October. In addition to in-person events and a much-discussed advertising campaign, Cover Oregon is also trying to reach Oregonians online to educate them about the insurance options available in the coming months (McCurdy, 9/4).Des Moines Register: Insurance Exchange Pricing DelayedIowa’s insurance commissioner is delaying release of pricing information for policies to be sold on the state’s new health insurance exchange, because he wants to wait for a firm commitment that a national carrier will participate. Commissioner Nick Gerhart had planned to release prices next week for policies to be offered on the new system, which is a key part of Obamacare (Leys, 9/4).Reuters: Hipsters, Paul Bunyan Make Feel-Good Pitch In Obamacare AdsNew commercials to promote Obamacare’s state health exchanges strive for an upbeat, and at times humorous, tone to sell healthcare reform to a skeptical and largely unaware audience. Guitar-strumming hipsters encourage Oregonians to “get the best care” and sign up for health insurance. Minnesota’s Obamacare ads beckon with the help of Paul Bunyan and his Babe the Blue Ox. For New York State, an eye-catching skyline of Manhattan is seen as voice overs emphasize that “everyone deserves affordable health insurance” (Beasley, 9/4).California Healthline: The Exchanges Won’t Be ‘Ready’ In Time. And It (Probably) Won’t MatterWhile other states waffled, Golden State officials quickly embraced key Obamacare provisions like expanding Medicaid and creating insurance pools for individuals with pre-existing conditions. At the same time, lawmakers crafted legislation intended to conform California’s health insurance plans to new standards under the Affordable Care Act. … And a more essential issue might be getting lost, amid the growing number of questions over which state exchanges will be open for business on Oct. 1. “Lots of people are asking about readiness,” said Caroline Pearson, who leads Avalere Health’s efforts to track health reform implementation. “But no one is asking about whether it matters” (Diamond, 9/4).CT Mirror Spanish-Language TV Series Will Promote Health Insurance To LatinosAccess Health CT, the state’s new health insurance marketplace, is launching a Spanish-language “edutainment” television series intended to reach uninsured Latinos. Latinos make up 14 percent of the state’s population, but a quarter of the people without health insurance in the state, making them a key target for those trying to enroll people in coverage as part of federal health reform (Becker, 09/04). Meanwhile, under-the-hood difficulties continue to emerge regarding the online insurance marketplaces –Reuters: Technical Snafus Confuse Charges For Obamacare PlansTechnical glitches still plague the display of new healthcare plans to be offered to millions of uninsured Americans starting in 26 days, including how medical charges and deductibles are listed, industry officials say. Health insurers planning to sell policies to people who are currently uninsured, under President Barack Obama’s health care reform, say they expect the problems will be remedied by October 1, when consumers will be able to buy health insurance from state exchanges (Begley, 9/5). GOP Lawmakers’ Request For Info About Navigators May Slow Process 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

Consumers Losing Their Health Policies Could Become Potent Political Force

first_imgSeveral news stories examine how this group is adept at generating attention, especially among its elected representatives.The San Francisco Chronicle: Why So Many Face Shifts In Medical Insurance Despite President Obama’s oft-stated promise that you can keep your insurance if you like it, most people with individual policies will have to get a new one in 2014 because their existing one does not comply with the myriad requirements of the Affordable Care Act and therefore must be terminated. Companies that discontinue a policy must offer customers a new one that complies. One exception: If a person had a policy before the act was signed in March 2010, and that plan has not changed, that person is considered grandfathered and can keep the existing policy as long as the company offers it. In California, no existing policies comply with the act, according to Janice Rocco, the state’s insurance commissioner (Pender, 11/2). The Wall Street Journal: Outspoken Group Bears Brunt Of Canceled Health-Insurance PoliciesSomebody has to pay more to enable America’s uninsured to take part in the Obama administration’s health-insurance marketplace—somebody like Dave Hamilton, for example. Unfortunately for the Obama administration, Mr. Hamilton and others in his situation tend to be politically savvy and very vocal. … He is one of the 10 million or so who buy insurance on the individual market, don’t qualify for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act and recently received notice that their current plans don’t comply with the law’s standards and will be canceled. Mr. Hamilton, 42, said he expected to pay more. But his rates are expected to rise by far more than the 20% he had calculated (Williamson, 11/1).The Washington Post: For Consumers Whose Health Premiums Will Go Up Under New Law, Sticker Shock Leads To AngerAmericans who face higher insurance costs under President Obama’s health-care law are angrily complaining about “sticker shock,” threatening to become a new political force opposing the law even as the White House struggles to convince other consumers that they will benefit from it. The growing backlash involves people whose plans are being discontinued because the policies don’t meet the law’s more-stringent standards. They’re finding that many alternative policies come with higher premiums and deductibles (Cha and Sun, 11/3).Politico: Obamacare Losers Could Pack Political PunchMeet the new Soccer Mom: Obamacare losers. Millions of married, older, white, college-educated, GOP-leaning Americans have quickly seen their political profile rise after their health insurance companies sent them cancellation letters with the launch of the giant new health care law. It’s not a huge segment of the population — estimates show between 10 million to 19 million people bought health insurance from what Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius dubbed the “Wild West” individual marketplace. But the ones who are making the most anti-Obamacare noise are part of this group (Samuelsohn and Millman, 11/1).The Associated Press: Sticker Shock Often Follows Insurance CancellationThe Griffins are among millions of people nationwide who buy individual insurance policies and are receiving notices that those policies are being discontinued because they don’t meet the higher benefit requirements of the new law. They can buy different policies directly from insurers for 2014 or sign up for plans on state insurance exchanges. While lower-income people could see lower costs because of government subsidies, many in the middle class may get rude awakenings when they access the websites and realize they’ll have to pay significantly more. Those not eligible for subsidies generally receive more comprehensive coverage than they had under their soon-to-be-canceled policies, but they’ll have to pay a lot more (Kennedy, 11/2).The Wall Street Journal: Aides Debated Obama Health-Care Coverage PromiseAs President Barack Obama pushed for a new federal health law in 2009, he made a simple pledge: If you like your insurance plan, you can keep your plan. But behind the scenes, White House officials discussed whether that was a promise they could keep. … At one point, aides discussed whether Mr. Obama might use more in-depth discussions, such as media interviews, to explain the nuances of the succinct line in his stump speeches, a former aide said. Officials worried, though, that delving into details such as the small number of people who might lose insurance could be confusing and would clutter the president’s message (Nelson, Nicholas and Lee, 11/2).Kaiser Health News: In Alabama, Lack Of Competition May Be Behind Insurance Premium CostsThe letters landed in early October, cancelling health plans for thousands of BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama members and offering to enroll them in new coverage at often substantially higher cost. “I thought my plan might go up like $30. I didn’t know it was going to [nearly] double” to $478 a month, said Merry Hardy, who is self-employed and lives in Alexander City, in the middle of the state. “I’m thinking, please God, let Obamacare fail” (Hancock, 11/4).The Associated Press: Health Law Leads To Cancellation Of N.D. PoliciesAbout 42,500 North Dakota residents, or roughly 6 percent of the state, were covered by individual plans at the end of 2013, according to state insurance records. In North Dakota, the health care changes will wipe out virtually all the 2,500 individual plans carried by Medica and Sanford Health. Blue Cross Blue Shield North Dakota, the state’s largest insurer, covered more than 32,000 through individual plans last year, and would not disclose how many of its customers’ current plans will be discontinued (11/3).The Associated Press/The Wall Street Journal: NY Expects 100,000 To Change InsuranceNew York health officials say that about 100,000 individuals will have to change their health insurance under the federal health care overhaul. According to the state Health Department, those changes are required where current insurance plans don’t comply with the terms of the Affordable Care Act (11/2).The Sacramento Bee: In California, Hundreds Of Thousands To Pay More For Health InsuranceHundreds of thousands of Californians who purchase their own health insurance are bracing to pay more for their plans, as the cost of the federal health care overhaul lands harder on middle-class customers. Notices began arriving in recent weeks informing consumers that their plans are being phased out and replaced with policies that comply with requirements of the health care law. Many are being told to expect double-digit percentage increases in monthly costs, in part to help balance the cost of covering the underprivileged and those with pre-existing medical conditions who may not have had coverage (Cadelago, 11/4). The Associated Press: Health Care Plans Ending For 26K New MexicansNearly 26,000 New Mexicans are having health plans terminated at the end of the year because the insurance policies fail to provide expanded benefits and other coverage mandated by a federal health care law, according to insurance industry officials. State Insurance Superintendent John Franchini estimates most of those individual policyholders will pay an average of 35 percent more for new coverage, but will have plans with more health care benefits (Massey, 11/2). Consumers Losing Their Health Policies Could Become Potent Political Force 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 Kan Eyes Health Law OptOut Calif Voters Could Set Malpractice

first_imgA selection of health policy stories from Kansas, California, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Florida, Maryland and Georgia.The Associated Press: Measure Aims To Let Kansas Opt Out Of Health Care Law RequirementsKansas Republicans who loathe the federal health care overhaul have embraced a national movement aimed at helping states opt out of its requirements, but backers conceded Tuesday that the effort depends on a power shift in Congress. Secretary of State Kris Kobach and two GOP legislators urged the House Federal and State Affairs Committee to pass a bill bringing Kansas into a compact among states to assert control over health care policy within their borders (Hanna, 2/18).Kansas Health Institute: Health Compact Bill Resurfaces In Kansas House CommitteeSecretary of State Kris Kobach today urged members of a Kansas House panel to approve a measure petitioning Congress to continue federal funding for Medicaid, Medicare and other government health care programs in Kansas while letting state officials write the rules for how the money is spent and the programs are administered. Even supporters said Congress would be unlikely to grant such a request, at least so long as Democrats hold a majority in the U.S. Senate (Ranney, 2/18).Los Angeles Times: Voters May Decide Medical Malpractice CapA protracted political battle over California’s medical malpractice law may be coming to a new front: the voting booth. For decades, trial lawyers and consumer groups have railed against limits on certain damages in malpractice cases, arguing that such restrictions deny victims fair compensation for grisly medical mistakes (Mason, 2/18).The Washington Post: Shortage Of Va. Psychiatric Beds Worsened By Lack Of Community Services, Report FindsVirginia hasn’t done a good job of managing a program designed to help the mentally ill return to their communities, making it harder to free up much-needed beds for psychiatric emergencies, according to a report released last week by the Office of the State Inspector General. Ensuring the availability of emergency psychiatric beds has become a top priority this year in Richmond, as lawmakers respond to the death in November of Austin “Gus” Deeds (Shin, 2/18).Los Angeles Times: City Attorney: Assisted-Care Facilities Abused, Punished ResidentsL.A. City Atty. Mike Feuer has filed a lawsuit against two assisted-care facilities for allegedly abusing their disabled patients in “deplorable, overcrowded and substandard living conditions.” At the behest of Feuer’s office, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on Friday also appointed a receiver to immediately begin relocating those being cared for at the two facilities with the assistance of state and county officials (Winton, 2/18).The New York Times: A Crusader On What Ails ArtistsThese are among the dozens of stories Ms. Sokolow, 26, has collected over the past two years, showing how the lives of Pittsburgh artists are intertwined with their struggles over the costs of medical coverage. Her online video series, “Healthy Artists,” has chronicled the experiences of more than 40 painters, poets and musicians — talented, ambitious and often with a painful story of medical debt — and drawn the attention of national media figures like Michael Moore (Sisario, 2/18).The Associated Press: Unusual Iowa Abortion Rule Consequences Befuddle Iowa LawmakersWhile many states passed sweeping abortion laws last year, the Iowa General Assembly endorsed just one — a perplexing measure befitting one of the few legislatures under divided control. The GOP-led House and the Democratic-controlled Senate, in a compromise, put Gov. Terry Branstad in charge of signing off on any payments for publicly funded abortions (2/18).Health News Florida: Nurses’ Bill Passes House Committee Despite Doctors’ ProtestThe House Select Committee on Workforce Innovation approved a massive bill that would expand the authority of nurse practitioners and open a door for them to practice independently.  The vote, with only two dissents, followed testimony against the bill by a number of physician organizations (Gentry, 2/18).The Baltimore Sun: More Maryland Children Getting Dental CareThe number of children in Maryland with untreated tooth decay dropped 41 percent from 2001 to 2011, according to a new state report. The assessment of children in kindergarten and third grade  was conducted by the University of Maryland School of Dentistry on behalf of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Office of Oral Health (Walker, 2/18).Georgia Health News: Critics Of State Health Plan Take Message To Capitol Jennifer Ludlum, a Gwinnett County educator, wore a sign around her neck Tuesday with a number on it: $3,455.09. That amount, she said, represents her out-of-pocket medical costs so far in 2014, for a visit to her neurologist, an MRI –- she has multiple sclerosis –- and surgery for her daughter. … Ludlum was among the roughly 100 people who rallied on the steps of the state Capitol on Tuesday to protest the changes implemented this year to the State Health Benefit Plan. Those changes have sparked a groundswell of criticism from thousands of Georgians about a lack of choice of insurance plans and higher health care costs (Miller, 2/18). State Highlights: Kan. Eyes Health Law Opt-Out; Calif. Voters Could Set Malpractice Cap 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

California Agency Issues Report Cards On Insurers Medical Groups

first_imgCalifornia Agency Issues ‘Report Cards’ On Insurers, Medical Groups This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The California Office of the Patient Advocate Wednesday released the report cards, which are based on 2013 claims data and patient surveys, a month ahead of Covered California’s 2015 open enrollment period. Los Angeles Times: Kaiser Leads HMOs In Providing Recommended Care In StateKaiser Permanente was the only HMO to earn a top four-star rating for providing recommended care, according to California’s latest report card on insurers and medical groups. The scores issued Wednesday focus on California’s 10 largest HMOs, the six biggest preferred-provider organization plans and more than 200 physician groups covering 16 million consumers. Anthem Blue Cross, the state’s largest for-profit insurer, and Cigna Corp. led the way among PPO plans with three-star ratings. The data is drawn from claims data and patient surveys in 2013 (Terhune, 10/15).Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Calif. ‘Report Cards’ Are Out In Time For Open EnrollmentThe California Office of the Patient Advocate Wednesday released “report cards” that rate major health plans on selected clinical care services, including cancer treatment, mental health, chronic disease management and patient satisfaction. The assessments, which also include data on selected medical groups, are available online in multiple languages. The state timed the release of this year’s report cards to coincide with the second round of open enrollment in Covered California, the state’s online health exchange, which kicks off Nov. 15. Several plans included in the report cards are offered on the exchange (Hernandez , 10/16).Meanwhile, in other news – The California Health Report: State Refuses To Identify Hospitals It Says Have Harmed PatientsCalifornia has been withholding money from 66 hospitals it holds culpable for medical errors, but state officials refuse to describe the mistakes or publicly identify the hospitals, all of which have allegedly harmed patients. California Department of Health Care Services spokesman Norman Williams said the agency is withholding disciplinary records to protect patients’ private medical information, but patient advocates are criticizing the lack of transparency (Richard, 10/15).last_img read more

Confusion Fuels Consumers Medical Debt

first_img The Associated Press: 42.9M Americans Have Unpaid Medical Bills Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office forecasts that deficits will start rising again as retiring baby boomers use Medicare and Social Security – After this year, the CBO is forecasting that deficits will resume rising for the rest of the decade as baby boomers retire and Social Security and Medicare costs rise. The CBO and other budget experts have warned that the current trajectory for the deficit is unsustainable and eventually could lead to a fiscal crisis. (12/10) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Nearly 20 percent of U.S. consumers — 42.9 million people — have unpaid medical debts, according to a new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The findings suggest that many Americans are being trapped by debt because they are confused by the notices they get from hospitals and insurance companies about the cost of treatment. As a result, millions of Americans may be surprised to find they are stuck with lower credit scores, making it harder for them to borrow to buy a home or an automobile. (Boak, 12/10) Confusion Fuels Consumers’ Medical Debt An estimated 42.9 million people have unpaid medical debts, in some cases because they misunderstand notices from hospitals and insurance companies, finds the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.center_img And the federal government reports that it recouped an estimated $5 billion in misspent health care dollars – The Hill: Feds Recover $5B In Health Care Waste The Associated Press: November Budget Deficit Drops To $56.8 Billion The federal government has recovered nearly $5 billion in misspent healthcare dollars over the last fiscal year, about 15 percent less than the same period last year. Investigations within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) led to roughly 1,000 criminal charges and 500 civil charges, according to a report Wednesday. The department also barred more than 4,000 people from federal healthcare programs. (Ferris, 12/10) last_img read more

Obama To Visit Phoenix VA Hospital Where Scandal Began

first_img Doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in Tomah, Wisconsin, engaged in unsafe clinical practices while the hospital leadership created a culture of fear that compromised care and harmed the staff, according to a preliminary report released today. (Glantz, 3/10) The president’s visit comes two months after he was criticized by Congress and veterans groups for not talking with Arizona veterans during a visit to the state, where he previewed his housing policies. Some members of Congress slammed Obama because he drove right past the hospital without stopping during that visit. The scandal over the medical center’s delays in providing care for veterans, some of them struggling with cancer, suicidal thoughts and other issues, sparked an investigation. It led to revelations that the problem was not limited to the Phoenix facility and that similar lapses were seen at scores of VA facilities. (Thibodeaux and Nakamura, 3/10) The Washington Post: Obama To Visit VA Hospital In Phoenix, The Heart Of Last Summer’s Scandal The Associated Press: Obama To Visit Phoenix VA Hospital That Sparked Scandal Veterans who need to see a doctor often have to travel long distances – 40 miles or more – to get to a Department of Veterans Affairs facility. So last year, after scandals involving long wait times for vets, Congress tried to make getting care easier. The Veterans Choice Act gives veterans the option of using a doctor outside the VA system if VA facilities are more than 40 miles away, or there’s more than a 30-day wait for an appointment. (Walsh, 3/11) And from Wisconsin – President Barack Obama will visit the Arizona veterans’ hospital that prompted an overhaul of veterans’ health care and led to the resignation of the VA secretary, his first visit since reports of mismanagement surfaced nearly a year ago. (3/10) Arizona Republic: VA Crisis Slowly Changing Health-Care System For Veterans Obama To Visit Phoenix VA Hospital Where Scandal Began In related news, NPR examines how the Veterans Choice Act is working and the Arizona Republic takes a look at how the VA system’s culture may be changing. NPR: Veterans Choice Act Fails To Ease Travel Burdens For Vets In Need Of Care The Center for Investigative Reporting: Wisconsin VA’s Opiate Overprescription Harmed Patients, Report Finds This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The Department of Veterans Affairs’ crisis in health care came to a head in April 2014 at a meeting of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., told his panel, “It appears as though there could be as many as 40 veterans whose deaths could be related to delays in care” within the Phoenix VA Health Care System. The Arizona Republic reported the news the next day, along with allegations by a key whistle-blower. The Republic had been investigating the matter since late 2013. (3/10) last_img read more

Californias Health Plan Tax Moves Closer To Gaining Legislatures OK

first_img WABE: Ga. Rep. Proposes Tax Credit For Rural Hospital Donations A California legislative panel on Monday advanced a compromise plan to restructure taxes on health plans and increase funding for developmental disability services — the first legislative action in a months-long effort to prevent a massive hole in the state health care budget. The move came after influential groups on the right said they would not oppose the tax proposal, giving Republicans political cover to help Democrats reach the supermajority required to pass the legislation. (Cooper, 2/22) The Associated Press: Utah Lawmakers Advance Broad Medical Marijuana Bill California lawmakers are poised to act on legislation that would expand a tax on health care plans while spending hundreds of millions of dollars on services for the developmentally disabled. No formal agreement has been announced, with a vote expected Thursday. (Miller, 2/22) The Associated Press: Idaho Committee Unanimously Backs Rape Kit Legislation The Associated Press: Georgia Bill Inspired By Jimmy Carter’s Cancer Treatment California’s Health Plan Tax Moves Closer To Gaining Legislature’s OK The legislation would expand a tax on health care plans while spending hundreds of millions of dollars on services for the developmentally disabled. In other state legislative news, Georgia lawmakers advance bills to support the state’s struggling rural hospitals and to prevent companies’ health plans from limiting cancer drug coverage. News outlets also report on developments from Wyoming, Utah, Idaho and Missouri. The Missouri House has passed legislation restricting public access to some government data on farms and ranches. Lawmakers voted 104-49 Monday to exempt state agency data on animal health and the environmental impact of farms from open records laws. The bill now heads to the Senate. Bill sponsor Rep. Jay Houghton said some farmers are reluctant to participate in a government disease tracking program because proprietary information could become public. He said limiting the access to that data would encourage more producers to take part in the program, which would make the food system safer. (2/22) Georgia lawmakers have approved a bill inspired by former President Jimmy Carter’s cancer treatment. The bill prevents insurance companies from limiting coverage of drugs for stage 4 cancer patients. (2/22) The Associated Press: California Legislature To Advance Health Plan Tax center_img The Associated Press: Missouri House Votes To Limit Public Access To Farm Data The Wyoming Senate has approved a bill that would reform how the state handles people involuntarily hospitalized due to mental health issues. (Beck, 2/23) Utah state senators gave preliminary approval Monday to a medical marijuana proposal that would legalize edible, vapor and topical pot products. Lawmakers voted 15-13 to advance the bill, saying it could help those with certain debilitating conditions who have not found relief through other medications. (Golden and Price, 2/22) The Sacramento Bee: California Health Plan Tax Moves Closer To Approval A state representative from metro Atlanta is proposing a measure to help fund the state’s struggling rural hospitals. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Geoff Duncan, R-Cumming, would allow corporations and people to claim a state tax credit when donating to rural health care nonprofits. (Yu, 2/22) Wyoming Public Media: Senate Approves Title 25 Bill Idaho lawmakers are supporting a bill that would create a statewide system of collecting and tracking the physical evidence in sexual assault investigations. The measure ensures that medical clinics will use rape kits to collect forensic evidence after a suspected sexual assault and will have that evidence sent for DNA testing unless the victim requests otherwise. (2/22) 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 Fla Appeals Court Rejects Malpractice Damage Caps Ills Rush Hospital

first_img Health News Florida: Appeals Court: Malpractice Damage Caps Unconstitutional  The Baltimore Sun: At Local Forum, Health Care Experts Highlight Need For Targeted, Digital Care  Rush University Medical Center wanted to run its hospital more efficiently. So it’s taking a cue from NASA. The Chicago hospital is working with GE Healthcare Partners, an advisory firm within GE Healthcare, to build a “command center” that will use predictive analytics and big data to manage how patients come in, move around and leave the hospital. (Graham, 10/28) The Washington Post: Parents Slam New D.C. Schools Health Plan That Could Reduce Nurse Coverage Starting next spring, Gwinnett Tech’s Alpharetta campus will offer a Patient Care Assistant Certificate program, school officials announced earlier this week. The program would last for one semester and provide students an avenue for hands-on healthcare experience through clinical training and in field labs like the Roswell Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, according to the school. Patient care assistants typically work in hospitals or nursing homes to give technical care to the sick and injured. (Cooper, 10/27) According to a new report, more children than ever before have health insurance. Florida joins 40 other states that insured more children between 2013 and 2015. The reports says that the positive trend in children’s health insurance coverage started with the expansion of Medicaid to more children, and the creation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program – known as CHIP. (Miller, 10/27) The D.C. Department of Health plans to change the way nurses are assigned to city schools, using a stricter formula to decide which schools get part-time nurses and which get full-time nurses as part of a push for more holistic child health care that focuses on preventive and community-based care. (Stein, 10/27) Cleveland Plain Dealer: 19 Ohio Hospitals Sign On To Screen For Earliest Signs Of Child Abuse In Infants Howard County’s local health initiatives must adapt as the national health care model shifts to more digital-friendly care and more patients struggle with chronic illnesses, according to local and state health care leaders and professionals. Nationwide, hospitals are grappling to meet the growing number of patients with chronic illnesses and embrace a health care model that brings care as quickly to patients as possible, said Rick Pollack, president of the American Hospital Association. (Waseem, 10/27) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. A third University of Wisconsin-Madison student has been hospitalized with meningococcal disease, the university reported Thursday. The student’s case of the disease comes about three weeks after two UW-Madison students were hospitalized with a rare, potentially deadly form of the disease. Those students are expected to make a full recovery, according to the university. (Angst, 10/27) Chicago Tribune: Rush Hospital Is Enlisting GE To Build A NASA-Style Mission Control  center_img State Highlights: Fla. Appeals Court Rejects Malpractice Damage Caps; Ill.’s Rush Hospital To Get Space-Age Command Center Outlets report on health news from Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Ohio, District of Columbia, California, Tennessee, Georgia and Wisconsin. The Associated Press: Jury Awards More Than $70M To Woman In Baby Powder Lawsuit Investor confidence in Community Health Systems plummeted Thursday as losses in the third quarter previewed by the [hospital chain] after the close of markets Wednesday caused its stock to fall nearly 50%. CHS’ stock closed the day at $5.05 per share, down $4.98 per share or 49.65%.In a preview of third-quarter results to be announced next week, Franklin, Tenn.-based CHS on Wednesday reported a loss from continuing operations before income taxes of $83 million compared with income from continuing operations of $121 million in the third quarter of 2015. (Barkholz, 10/27) Doctors and nurses at 19 Ohio hospitals, including four in Northeast Ohio, will soon receive training on how to screen for signs of child abuse in the state’s most vulnerable residents — infants six months and younger. About one in 10 child abuse victims in Ohio have a record of an early injury that should have raised red flags and triggered followup care, but less than a third of children receive this care. Those are the findings of a coalition from Ohio’s six major children’s hospitals who have been studying how to cut down on repeat child abuse with the support of a $1 million grant from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. (Zeltner, 10/27) Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: 3rd UW-Madison Student Hospitalized With Meningitis Atlanta Journal Constitution: Gwinnett Tech Offers New Healthcare Certificate Program Modern Healthcare: CHS Stock Plummets Nearly 50% On Q3 Losses Health News Florida: Report: More Children Insured, But Florida Still Lagging Nationally A St. Louis jury on Thursday awarded a California woman more than $70 million in her lawsuit alleging that years of using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder caused her cancer, the latest case raising concerns about the health ramifications of extended talcum powder use. The jury ruling ended the trial that began Sept. 26 in the case brought by Deborah Giannecchini of Modesto, California. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012. The suit accused Johnson & Johnson of “negligent conduct” in making and marketing its baby powder. (10/27) As the Florida Supreme Court considers the issue in another case, an appeals court Wednesday ruled that limits on “non-economic” damages in medical-malpractice lawsuits are unconstitutional. The ruling by a panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal in a Charlotte County case cited a 2015 decision by another appeals court in a Broward County case. The Supreme Court in June heard arguments in the Broward County case but has not ruled.Non-economic damages, which are awarded for issues such as pain and suffering, have long been controversial. (10/27) last_img read more

Legal Prescriptions Getting Caught In Dragnet As FDA Tries To Catch Opioids

first_img Politico: Birth Control And Beer Kegs: How Trump’s Tariffs Will Hit Middle America CQ HealthBeat: Bipartisan Generic Drug Bill Moves Through Senate Committee Addyi, the brand name for flibanserin, hit the market in 2015 and the buzz was instant. Inevitably, the media dubbed it “female Viagra.” But Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., which had just bought Sprout for $1 billion, almost immediately faced a distribution scandal having nothing to do with Addyi, and the drug was dragged down with the rest of the company. It’s languished ever since. In a typical month, about 600 prescriptions are filled, compared with almost 800,000 for erectile dysfunction drugs Cialis, Viagra, and Viagra’s generic equivalent. (Koons, 6/14) Legal Prescriptions Getting Caught In Dragnet As FDA Tries To Catch Opioids Flooding In Through International Mail Americans who have been buying cheaper prescribed medications internationally for conditions like Crohn’s disease are now paying a price. In other pharmaceutical news: generic drug legislation, trade tariffs, and a pill for women’s libido. With little fanfare and minimal debate, a key Senate committee voted Thursday to advance legislation that aims to spur the development of new generic drugs and in turn, lower drug prices. A bipartisan majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee overwhelmingly passed the legislation, known as the CREATES Act, by a 16-5 vote. The legislation seeks to give generic companies a way to sue brand- name drug makers when they inappropriately deny access to samples of their products, which generic makers need to develop their competing drugs. (Mershon, 6/14) Tarbell: Trump Administration Seizing Cheaper Medications From Canada And Other Countries The measure, championed by Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., is projected to save federal health programs $3.8 billion over 10 years, according to an informal estimate from the Congressional Budget Office. The bill enjoys widespread support from patient groups and political organizations on both sides of the aisle. But the bill is opposed by industry heavyweight trade groups like the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, or BIO, which ultimately succeeded in blocking the measure from being included in a budget deal earlier this year. (Clason, 6/14) center_img Stat: Bill To Encourage Generic-Drug Development Passes A Key Hurdle  The U.S. government has stepped up seizures of drugs ordered by Americans from international sources through the mail—including cheaper, legal medications from legitimate pharmacies, Tarbell has found. The interdiction is linked to new efforts by Food and Drug Administration and other parts of the federal government to block prohibited opiate deliveries. But the dragnet is catching increasing numbers of orders by individual Americans seeking medicines that are less costly or only available internationally—a practice that has not been the target of federal enforcement—until now. (McAuliff, 6/14) Bloomberg: The Women’s Libido Pill Is Back, And So Is The Controversy  Birth control pills, lawnmowers and flat-panel televisions are among a long list of goods that could get more expensive after President Donald Trump slaps 25 percent tariffs on a list of Chinese imports. The final list of items facing penalties is due out Friday, and a wide range of U.S. consumer favorites is likely to be on it, despite a scramble by many affected businesses to get their items removed – or to get competitors’ products on. (Palmer, 6/13) 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

New iOS 13 iPhone software will detect cats and dogs in photos

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. 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. 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. Apple’s new software will allow your iPhone to detect whether a cat or a dog is in the viewfinder of your camera — handy for those with furry friends.VNAnimalDetector is a new software trick that that can label dogs or cats in pictures on your iPhone. CNBC describes it as a developer tool that uses machine learning to draw rectangles around parts of the image where animals are found to be present. It’s one part of Vision Framework, an overarching software tool for developers to use to enhance their apps. Fortunately the iOS Photos app on your iPhone can already recognise cats and dogs in your picture library.Related: Best iPhonesThis is just one of the new features that will be available in iOS 13, Apple’s latest mobile operating system. It’s packed with many more highly-anticipated features than just VNAnimalDetector. First off there’s Dark Mode, an option that changes the interface to a black and grey theme, making it a little easier on your eyes than the bright white standard interface.Apple have also promised faster overall performance, including 30% faster Face ID unlock and apps opening twice as quickly. From what we’ve heard so far, one of our favourite updates is likely to be Sign in with Apple, which gives users far greater control over the information they share with third party companies.Despite the interesting software tweaks, the still-unannounced iPhone 11 will no doubt be the star of the show for Apple in 2019. We have already come across a few tip-offs about the upcoming handset, and from we’ve seen there’s a lot to be excited about. Firstly, all rumours so far point towards a rear triple camera, the first to be seen on an Apple device, which will ideally enhance the versatility of the snapper. A new A13 processor with an even better performance than that achieved by the A12 Bionic present on the iPhone XS is also expected. Fortunately we won’t have to wait for much longer to see the finished product — it’s expected for release in late September.last_img read more

Apple just updated the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air for backtoschool season

first_img 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. Apple has just refreshed some of the laptops at the lower end of its MacBook range. The MacBook Air has acquired a True Tone display, while the cheapest MacBook Pro variant now comes with a Touch Bar as standard.For MacBook Pro fans who were opposed to the Touch Bar, Apple is basically saying “tough luck”. The base MacBook Pro will now come with the Touch Bar and Touch ID.  Related: Amazon Prime Day Laptop DealsThe laptop is also getting new Intel processors. The entry-level MacBook Pro will now come with a 1.4GHz quad-core 8th Gen Core i5 processor rather than the previous 2.3GHz dual-core 7th Gen Core i5.Beyond the processor change and the addition of the Touch Bar, everything else remains the same – from the less than substantial number of ports to the much-maligned butterfly keyboard.Last week it was reported Apple has come up with a replacement for the troubled butterfly keyboard, but it isn’t expected to feature on any MacBooks until late 2019/2020.The MacBook Air gets just one update – a True Tone retina display. True Tone automatically adjusts colour temperature to create what should be the best viewing experience for the user. The only other change for the MacBook Air isn’t hardware-related. The Air has been reduced in price by £100 ($100) – students can get another £100 off too.Away from the MacBook Pro and Air, this back-to-school refresh from Apple has also seen the discontinuation of the 12-inch MacBook. The MacBook hasn’t been refreshed in two years and Apple clearly thinks that now’s the right time to let it go.Related: Best laptopsThere’s been a whole lot of speculation about upcoming MacBooks ahead of this most recent update – including a recent report that pointed to these very changes. But that’s not all. A recently discovered listing on the Eurasian Economic Commission database indicated that seven new MacBooks could be on the way. Many expect one to be a new 16-inch MacBook Pro model. 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. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend. We use industry standard tests to evaluate products in order to assess them properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. Trusted Reviews may get a commission if you buy through our links. Tell us what you think.last_img read more

BritBox heres what youll have to pay for BBC and ITVs new

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. Email and Editor and tell us what you think. 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. 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. BBC and ITV have revealed more information about BritBox, a UK focused streaming service produced as a collaboration between the two broadcasting giants. The most important thing is the price, so we’ll get to that first. A HD subscription will set you back just £5.99 a month. It’ll be releasing at some stage between October and the end of the year.Subscribers will have access to shows like Love Island, Gavin & Stacey, Broadchurch, Benidorm and other items from the back catalogue. BritBox will also get original programs specifically for the service, the first of which is planned to launch next year.Related: Best iPhone 2019Your £5.99 a month will cover viewing on multiple screens and devices, and programs will move across to BritBox after they have finished their run on free catch-up services BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub.BritBox’s unique selling point is the huge back catalogue that will be uploaded to the site from the get go. British comedies, dramas and documentaries going back through the decades. They have something its competitors don’t: inherent britishness, and years of classics that should ensure UK residents check in just to watch some old favourites, while international fans will likely want to see older TV shows that haven’t appeared online in any way shape or form before now.ITV and BBC’s super heroic team-up could see the British broadcasting rivals coming together with the goal of securing a beachhead against the streaming giants Netflix, Amazon and NowTV, especially with the launch of Disney+ and AppleTV+ coming in the near future.ITV will own 90 percent of the service at launch, while the BBC will own 10 percent, although this stake could rise to 25 percent. BBC is currently looking for permission from OFCOM to keep things on BBC iPlayer for an entire year.last_img read more

Candid Chevy Bolt EV 470Mile Road Trip Story Is Sure To Entertain

Motor Trend Gives Positive Long-Term Verdict On Chevrolet Bolt EV A Little Secret GM Isn’t Telling Us About Improving The Bolt EV Battery Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 7, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Blissful Anniversary Bolt EV Road Trip? Or Fast Lane Back to the Bachelor Life?This past weekend I embarked on a spontaneous 470-mile round trip drive to go to an Ed Sheeran concert in Pittsburgh to celebrate 11 years of marriage to my wife. I initially had suggested a trip to Florida in November as a delayed anniversary gift, but the wife said: “Hey, there’s a concert in Pittsburgh today…let’s just go to that!” As I did not want to disappoint the wife, we were soon on the road in our Bolt EV! I was hoping this anniversary trip would not lead to a divorce filing!*This article originally appeared on bro05’s blog.Check Out These Stories: The Chevy Bolt EV Is Just A Normal Everyday Car And That’s Pretty Cool Source: Electric Vehicle News The distance from Woodstock, MD to Pittsburgh, PA was 230 miles one way, and it included a 177 mile stretch of highway that has exactly *0* CCS fast-charging stations (or any charging stations the Bolt could use, for that matter). There were a handful of fast charging options around the Pittsburgh area (including in a parking garage near the concert venue at PNC Park) that I could use to charge, though I had no clue if those stations would actually be available. Eh, don’t sweat the details, right?Not exactly the most road trip friendly setup.While the drive to Pittsburgh was around 230 miles, theoretically within the Bolt’s official 238-mile range, there was a significant elevation gain during the drive from near sea level to 2,500 feet. To make matters worse, this elevation gain was smack dab in the middle of the route, so it needed to be traversed regardless of the direction of travel.Not wanting to roll the dice that I could make it to Pittsburgh on a single charge, after leaving home with a100% charge good for 240 miles according to the Bolt’s range meter, I decided to “top off” my Bolt at a fast charging station in Hagerstown, MD 60 miles away for 15 minute pit stop to ensure I had enough battery to make it to Pittsburgh.Evgo station in Hagerstown, MD.After putting in about 5 kWh of charge into the battery, the GOM told me I had 205 miles of estimated range to cover 177 miles. I figured that was enough of a buffer. Aware of the elevation gain and being the first time I had ever driven this route, I decided to take it easy, driving 60 mph where the speed limit was 70, as there was plenty of time to get to the concert venue.Despite the conservative speeds, I watched my range buffer slowly shrink as the elevation slowly gained. At one point during the drive, my range buffer had been reduced to 4 miles, and if I turned on the HVAC, the estimated miles remaining actually dipped below the ‘miles to destination’ Google Maps in my center display reported (the Bolt subtracts range if you turn on the HVAC to account for energy usage). Knowing that eventually, I would soon start the descent down towards Pittsburgh, I drove on without too much worry.Finally, the elevation stopped climbing and the rate which I was losing estimated miles slowed down too. The nearly non-existent range buffer I had when I had reached the summit of the drive ended up growing to nearly 40 miles by the time we entered Pittsburgh. After finding the parking garage with the only CCS fast charging stations within 20 miles and plugging in (both stariost open. Woohoo!) I observed my Bolt had 13% charge and 38 miles of range remaining. The parking garage was nestled right between Heinz Field and PNC Park, which were pretty cool to finally see in person.The Gold 1 parking garage has 2 fast charging stations25 kW fast charging? Better than nothing.I’ll skip details of the actual concert itself, but the wife had a good time, so that’s all that really matters I guess. While the concert lasted over 3 hours, I realized that the charging station (what I found out later was a measly 25 kW CCS station) had a 1-hour auto shutoff, and there was no way to reinitiate a charging session remotely. Attempts to contact garage staff also failed.Pittsburgh skyline at night.Reflecting back on the charging station setup, I determined that it was one of the dumber charging arrangements I’ve seen. Ignoring the fact they were 25 kW “fast charging” stations, most people parking in that garage were likely attending sporting events or concerts, usually 3+ hour affairs that don’t allow you to return to the facility once you leave, so after 1 hour, you were for all intents and purposes, done charging till you returned to your car. I found that I had gained 77 miles of range in 1 hour (33% SOC added to the battery), which after doing the math, I realized a 7.2 kW L2 charging station would have added more miles (90-100 miles in 4 hours). Someone really dropped the ball with this station by having a 60-minute hard shutoff.After we finally escaped Pittsburgh after being stuck in horrific traffic for what seemed like forever, we headed towards an EVgo station about 20 miles east of Pittsburgh which was on the route home. It was a single EVgo station located in a strip mall that was next to an Applebee’s in Monroesville, PA. I was able to plug in and rest for about 30 minutrs while my Bolt charged up. The next charging station was over 170 miles away in Hagerstown, MD, and I knew a significant elevation gain was ahead, so I made sure to give myself at least a 25-mile buffer. Turns out that was barely enough.During the lonely drive to Hagerstown, I slowly watched the elevation climb in my TorquePro app while my range meter dropped faster than the miles I was covering. To make matters worse, it was very humid and chilly outside, which was the perfect recipe for my windshield fogging up, requiring me to turn on the defroster from time to time. Each time I turned on the defroster, precious electrons were zapped from my battery. About halfway into my 177-mile leg, the Bolt’s GOM spits out a number that was 8 miles less than the miles I still needed to drive. I knew that soon I would start a descent down from my current 2,500 elevation, but seeing a range number less than the miles-to-go number is always unnerving.Fortunately, I was soon back several miles to the good and made it to the fast charger at the Hagerstown Premium Outlets with my Bolt’s GOM merely blinking “LOW”.As I pulled up to the lone CCS charging station, I saw that a Leaf was plugged in! And he was plugged into the combo CCS/CHAdeMO station, and not the standalone CHAdeMO station just a few feet away! (Great ettiquette guy). The nightmare scenario! Who the heck was charging at an Outlet mall at 4 AM in the morning on a Sunday??? Besides me, that is. By some stroke of good luck, the Leaf was not actively charging despite being plugged in (and the owner was nowhere to be found), so I quickly plugged my Bolt in and swiped my EVgo card to activate the charge session. As home was only 58 miles away (this EVgo station was a 125 amp variety, not one of those fake “50 kW” 100 amp stations), so a 20-25 minute charge was all I needed to make it home. After 24 minutes of charging and a seemingly plentiful 78 miles of range, I unplugged and drove like a bat out of hell towards home (and then a slightly slower bat out of hell once I realized I was driving too fast to make it home without stopping to charge again). Made it home with plenty of range to spare!Living on the edge!Total trip stats.So aside from telling a tale of a not completely stress-free trip to Pittsburgh and back in my Bolt in a single day, what is the point of this story? It’s to show how while the CCS fast-charging network has improved immensely compared to a couple of years ago (this trip would not have been possible 2 years ago), and it is possible to travel long distances in a 200+ mile BEV like the Bolt (it’s not Tesla or bust for EV road trips), the infrastructure still isn’t quite there yet for worry-free travel. The Electrify America initiative is definitely a big step in the right direction, and with charging networks like Chargepoint and EVgo continuing to deploy their own fast-charging stations (with GM being rumored to be working on their own ultra-fast charging network), the CCS charging infrastructure will only continue to improve. For those of us willing to be adventurous and take a little risk, there is no need to wait to embark on those road trips. Just need to have a little bit of a clue and some patience.P.S. also found out being worried about running out of range is great for keeping you awake during a graveyard shift drive!Source: bro05’s blog read more

VW Unveils New 360kWh Mobile Charging Station

first_imgVolkswagen Mobile Charging Station To charge where there is no powerVolkswagen presents at the turn of the year its new Mobile Charging Station, which is basically a fast charger with 360 kWh energy storage system.Development of such stations was announced earlier this year by the way of 80th anniversary of Wolfsburg, which will get the 12 first, starting in the first half of 2019. Series production and deployment in other cities is planned from 2020 by the Volkswagen Group Components (an independent business unit within the Volkswagen Group) with the goal of developing a closed life-cycle for the battery.The 360 kWh lithium-ion battery ESS is based on the Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB), which means it will share battery modules with Volkswagen I.D. and other MEB models. That will enable it to use new batteries at a lower cost or, on the other hand, use used batteries from old EVs (second life battery project).Volkswagen I.D. Volkswagen I.D. Hatch Rendered To Life Thomas Schmall, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group Components, says:“The mobile charging stations are a decisive step toward an efficient network of charging points. They can be set up anywhere as required – with or without connection to the power supply. This flexibility enables a completely new approach for the rapid expansion of the charging infrastructure. Cities can, for example, find out the most suitable places for a permanent charging point before making major investments in developing the network. In addition, it will be possible to set up a large number of charging stations temporarily – exactly when and where they are needed.”Mark Möller, Head of Technical Development at Volkswagen Group Components said:“Our mobile charging stations offer a further crucial advantage. It is only when an electric car is charged with sustainably generated power that it can claim CO2-neutral mobility. Our charging station is the first to offer the possibility of temporarily storing sustainably generated power.” Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 27, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Volkswagen I.D. Hatchback First Drive By Fully Charged: Video The Mobile Charging Station is a simple and flexible solution, which can be set up quickly and independent of the power supply wherever it is needed. The idea is to have the ability for temporary charging stations not only at large-scale events, but also other applications.According to the German manufacturer, a fully charged station could be used 15 times, which translates to some 24 kWh on average and an average session time of 17 minutes. Then the charger needs to be replaced or recharged (if there is any connection of up to 30 kW.Power output is up to 100 kW when one vehicle uses CCS Combo DC plug, but the power will be split between a total of four outputs – two DC and two AC.“If the energy content of the integrated battery set is less than 20 percent, the depleted charging station is simply exchanged for a charged one. If, however, it is permanently attached to the power supply with up to 30 kW via alternating current, the battery pack perpetually recharges itself. In case the charging process is based on renewable power supply, the charging station furthermore allows the temporary storage of sustainably generated power, such as solar or wind energy – and therefore CO2-neutral mobility.”“The mobile charging stations can be set up at defined points, for example, spread out across a city. The flexible locations can be easily found via the Internet or apps. Each charging station enables DC quick charging with up to 100 kW. In addition to electric cars, e-bikes can also be charged. Up to four vehicles can be charged simultaneously: two with DC and two with AC connections. The total battery storage capacity of up to 360 kWh is sufficient for up to 15 e-vehicles. There is also the possibility of connecting to the power supply directly, allowing the station to be charged with up to 30 kW via alternating current by means of a permanent standard grid connection. This enables charging points for electric vehicles to be set up quickly and simply, without any structural changes or major financial outlay. The battery pack in the charging station can be recharged around the clock thanks to the direct power connection. This time-independent recharging, and therefore buffering of power, also considerably reduces the strain on the power supply at peak periods.” Source: Electric Vehicle News Volkswagen I.D. Prototype Tested In South Africa: Videoslast_img read more

The Reality About Chinese Electric Cars Could Surprise You

first_imgNinety-percent of EV companies will fail in the next few years. And it’s a good thing.China is the world’s biggest market for electric cars. As the Chinese government continues to push for more EVS, its influence on the global vehicle market can’t be overstated. And yet, we as Americans have very little understanding of how the Chinese EV market works.More about EVs in China To help fill in the big missing gaps, I spoke last week with Feng An, executive director of the Innovation Center for Energy and Transportation. The think tank, based in Los Angeles and Beijing, was founded by An more than a dozen years ago. Prior to forming ICET, he worked as a physicist for Argonne National Lab. An earned a Ph.D. in applied physics from the University of Michigan in 1992. Here are a few of the insights he shared.Today’s Chinese EV Market Is Nearly All Chinese-Built Micro-CarsChina sold about 1.25 million electric vehicles last year. There’s a lottery system to significantly restrict sales of internal-combustion vehicles in China, but EVs can be readily purchased by Chinese buyers.Don’t expect to see a lot of LEAFs, BMW i3s, and Teslas buzzing around the streets of major Chinese cities. An explained that the vast majority of the Chinese EV sales are low-quality, low-speed EVs produced by small, unknown, indigenous Chinese automakers in second- or third-tier cities. “Most of them are micro-EVs,” he said.Moreover, between one-third to two-thirds of the cost of those subcompact EVs are covered by the government. So, where about 80 percent of overall vehicles sales in China are internal-combustion vehicles from multinational automakers like Ford and Volkswagen, about 80 percent of EV sales are for micro-cars made in China.But things are about to change. For China to meet its upcoming EV goals, foreign brands will need to start selling EVs in the country. An said the target in actual sales numbers (not the oft-quoted system of credits) is about five percent by 2020. “China has to open the door to the multinationals,” said An.There’s Huge Overcapacity, But That’s OkayAn said that there are currently approximately 400 EV start-ups operating in China. The majority of those companies are small shops, assemblers, and firms making commercial electric vehicles. But because it’s incredibly easy for EV start-ups to get major government support, there’s a mad rush to try to compete against the big domestics and the foreign automakers about to enter the Chinese market.The gold rush is on. “Every city hopes to create jobs. There are 40 new EV makers in the last year or so, and each one can get a billion dollars,” said An. “That’s even if the companies and the funders don’t believe they will be successful in the long run.” He explained that most of the start-ups want to quickly flip the companies to a new investor – before China’s economy slows down.An believes that the result is a huge overcapacity of EV manufacturing. “Ninety percent of those companies will go bankrupt in the next five years or so, if not sooner,” he told me.So when you hear about Chinese Internet entrepreneurs and venture capitalists starting EV companies, realize that the money really comes from the Chinese government. “If you trace the venture money, it all comes from the government side,” said An. He explained that many regional governments raise money by selling land. The proceeds are invested in emerging technologies like EVs, but there is almost no concern for getting a return on investment.The 400 or so current EV companies will get winnowed down to perhaps a dozen in the next few years, according to An.For China, the investment is like a massive government-sponsored jobs and training program. (It’s not unlike Nevada granting more than a billion dollars in tax credits to Tesla to build the Gigafactory. The goal is to stimulate local employment in new technology.)“From a pure economic sense, it seems like a waste of money,” he said. “But you have to invest that money somewhere. So you train a new generation of engineers.” An said that many Chinese EV companies might die, but their engineers will move on.“I think it’s good for EVs,” he said. Just like previous oversized Chinese investments in solar panels and wind turbines, the market for electric vehicles and EV batteries will benefit. “I know that a lot of money got wasted, but it created scale. A lot of companies will go bust, but the Chinese government is doing this for the benefit of the entire civilization and human society,” he said. “It will bring down the cost of EVs and batteries.”In the Long Run, Chinese EVs Will Become a CommodityThe cost will eventually come down so far that EVs could become cheap commodities like solar panels are today. “If you look at the future, 10 or 20 years, making an EV will offer a very low margin. Nobody will make money by making EVs. You’ll make money by providing mobility services.” He’s referring to services like ride-hailing, car-sharing, and delivery.The combined trends of readily available capital and the shift to mobility services helps explain a Chinese EV company like Nio, which contracts out manufacturing, places more importance on the user experience than the car itself. Nio is focused almost exclusively on the Chinese market.Don’t Fear Chinese EVs Invading the US. It’s the Other Way Around.Feng An believes that safety and quality concerns will keep Chinese EVs from entering global markets. “Chinese don’t make the same quality of batteries like Japanese and Korean, but they are so much cheaper,” he said. Quality will come much later. First comes a rapid ramp-up of scale, as well as big reductions in cost.None of this threatens the American or European car markets. Instead, Chinese domestic automakers should be worried about competition from the likes of BMW, Ford, and GM.“If you are a consumer in Beijing or Shanghai, and you have the choice to buy a car made by Beijing Automobile Works or JAC Motors compared to Ford, Volkswagen or Tesla, which one are you going to buy?” An said that well before Chinese automakers can consider selling cars in the United States, they have to become competitive in China. “They first have to survive in their home turf,” he said. Source: Electric Vehicle News CATL Delivered China’s Largest 100 MWh Battery Energy Storage Mercedes-Benz Discusses Chinese Production Of EQC Tesla Model 3 In China: Lower-Priced Option, Test Drives Available Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 11, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Saft Tianneng To Produce 55 GWh Of LiIon Batteries In China

first_imgSaft will try to compete in China with the big boysFrench battery manufacturer Saft, after being acquired by Total (one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world) in 2016, expands its lithium-ion battery activity in China.Saft decided to set up a joint venture (40% for Saft) with Tianneng Energy Technology (TET), Chinese lead-acid battery manufacturer founded in 1986, which is part of the Chinese privately-owned Tianneng Group.The plan is to prepare manufacturing capacity of up to 5.5 GWh per year at the “Changxing Gigafactory”. The batteries would be envisioned for electric vehicles and energy storage systems. According to the press release, a fair part of the production capacity is already installed.News from China Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 11, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News 5.5 GWh doesn’t sound much these days, but if it’s a starting point let’s give it a try.One of the interesting things about Saft is that so far it wasn’t able to build gigafactory-type of plant in France, despite the French and European Union governments would happily see European lithium-ion battery manufacturers.“Manufacturing will be based at the Changxing Gigafactory, with a potential capacity of 5.5 gigawatt hours (GWh), among which several GWh are already in operation. Saft will have a 40% shareholding in the new JV, while the Tianneng Group will hold the remaining shares.”“The JV will primarily focus on the development, manufacturing and sales of advanced Li-ion cells, modules and packs for China and worldwide markets. E-bikes and Electric Vehicles (EV), as well as Energy Storage Solutions (ESS) will be the target markets.”“The partners also plan to expand the Changxing facility to ramp up its production capacity to meet future growing demand, mainly driven by e-mobility sales and the development of renewables.”Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total said:“This is a first strategic move driven by Total, following the acquisition of Saft in 2016, to grow Saft’s activity in China, the world’s largest renewables market, as well as in the ESS segment as an essential component to the large scale development of intermittent renewable energies. The JV will allow Saft to join forces with a Chinese partner, a world leading lead acid battery manufacturer, willing to develop its lithium-ion activities. It will also give Saft access to China’s booming battery market as well as highly-competitive mass production capacity to accelerate its growth.”Tianneng Chairman Mr. Tianren Zhang said:“This partnership enables us to benefit from Saft’s 30 years of experience and strong technical leadership in Li-ion cells. Saft’s outstanding reputation for high quality products will be crucial in providing the JV with the market credibility vital to expand our business.”Ghislain Lescuyer, Saft CEO said:“We are delighted to start building a long-term partnership with Tianneng with a shared industrial vision. This JV will allow us to make a step change and significantly increase our footprint in the Chinese Li-ion market that will represent over 40% of the global demand by 2025 and to develop our worldwide activities.” Source: Electric Vehicle News Volkswagen Group Secures Lithium Battery Supplies In China Daimler Forms Global Joint Venture With Geely To Develop Smart Tesla Gigafactory 3 Rises Up Out Of The Ground: Videolast_img read more

Crunch time for Crouch and co

first_imgShare on Facebook First published on Fri 25 Apr 2008 21.18 EDT Andy Hunter Share on Pinterest Crunch time for Crouch and co Rafael Benítez has told Liverpool’s fringe players they are fighting for their Anfield futures and a possible Champions League final place when they attempt to guarantee fourth place at Birmingham City today.The Liverpool manager will take no risks before next Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg at Chelsea and, with only one point required from three games to secure fourth place in the Premier League, is expected to rest the likes of Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard at St Andrew’s.John Arne Riise may be given an immediate opportunity to recover from his calamitous own-goal at Anfield on Tuesday as Benítez looks to the Norwegian to cover for the three-week absence of the injured Fabio Aurelio. The game will also provide Riise, and the likes of Peter Crouch and Jermaine Pennant, with an opportunity to convince the Spanish manager they have a long-term future at Liverpool.Benítez said: “There are some players who know they need to show quality and they need to show character if they want to stay at a top club like Liverpool. That means the last few games are a challenge for them and they need to take what opportunities come their way. So whoever plays against Birmingham or Manchester City they have to play well. They may even have a chance to play in the final.”The Liverpool manager has courted criticism from managers of relegation-haunted clubs by resting key players before Champions League fixtures but, having drawn at Arsenal and beaten Fulham with makeshift teams recently, the improved strength of his squad has been made apparent.Liverpool’s power struggle between the club’s American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett will be one focus of a new inquiry into football by MPs. The all-party parliamentary football group is to launch an inquiry into English football and its governance and the Liverpool crisis is one of the areas it will target. The MPs plan to produce a report in the autumn. Share via Email Topics Share on WhatsApp Liverpool Fri 25 Apr 2008 21.18 EDTcenter_img Share via Email Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Liverpool Share on Messenger Shares00 Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Texas Legal Market Expands and Fragments as Rich Firms get Richer

first_img Username Texas lawyers who representing businesses generated a record amount of revenues in 2014. A new survey by The Texas Lawbook shows that business lawyers saw their workload increase significantly for the first time in years.The biggest revenue jumps were recorded by elite and specialty law firms, while upper middle market legal shops face stagnation and uncertainty. Legal experts say that the Texas legal market is increasingly becoming a world of the “haves” and the “have nots.”Nearly 80 percent of Texas law firm leaders said they believe 2015 financials will be as good, or even better than . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Password Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.center_img Lost your password? Remember melast_img read more

Its National Teen Driver Safety WeekMoses Lake K9 Officer Gets Bullet and

first_imgThis week is National Teen Driver Safety Week and AAA Washington’s Jennifer Cook says that teen-involved crashes are one of the leading causes of death for teens.“It’s really important to make sure that parents really are aware of what they can do to prevent these tragedies.”Cook says other teen passengers is one of the biggest distractions and can increase the likelihood for an accident by at least 50 percent. She advises getting involved in your teen’s driving life by making sure they are ready for other passengers, teaching them to drive in all weather conditions and only letting them drive by themselves when they’ve shown they are ready.“We have state laws that say teens should have this many hours behind the wheel before driving by themselves, but really it’s up to the parent. Decide how your teen is doing behind the wheel or how are their judgement skills or how’s their reaction time. If they’re not ready at that point, you make that call.”You can also model good behavior in your driving so they know how to act.last_img read more

Human behavior and corporate culture may have impact on hygiene food safety

first_imgJun 7 2018Leadership and efficient communication in food companies have a large impact on hygiene and food safety, as proven by research at Ghent University. Many food processing companies have implemented a food safety management system to comply with the severe measures to deliver hygienic and safe food. Nevertheless, consumers can be exposed to unsafe food, with food poisoning as a result.Research at Ghent University shows that human behavior and corporate culture may have an impact on these problems.Certificate is no guaranteeResearchers Elien De Boeck, Prof. Liesbeth Jacxsens (faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University) and Prof. Peter Vlerick (faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Ghent University) took a closer look at food companies and their management systems.”Food safety is often looked at from a purely technological approach”, De Boeck explains. “Many companies choose to obtain a food safety certificate merely because their customers demand it; not because they are intrinsically motivated to improve their company’s hygiene and food safety. As such, certificates risk to become merely a checklist with requirements and lose their original goal: to safeguard and improve hygiene and food safety.””A certificate is no guarantee for safe food”, the researcher continues. “Some companies with certificates still encounter food safety problems.”Human behavior and corporate cultureTheir study shows that in many cases, food safety problems are caused by the behavior of individual employees, who are, in turn, influenced by the corporate culture with respect to food safety and hygiene.Related StoriesAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerDe Boeck: “As a company, you make choices: for instance, how do we manage food safety? Is it our priority to produce safe and hygienic food, or to increase production? This organizational culture reflects on all aspects in production and processing, and on the behavior of employees. If you give employees sufficient time to do their job well, they will get the signal that quality and food safety are more important than quantity. Furthermore, stress and burn-out are clearly linked to a weak food safety culture.”Leadership and communicationA strong leading management and efficient communication seemed crucial to realize a better food safety culture.”Every food processing company should have strong leaders on crucial positions in the company”, De Boeck advises. “These persons have a positive influence on the behavior of individual employees.”Also good communication is important, to make employees aware of the importance of food safety and hygiene, for example by organizing frequent food safety and hygiene training.Positive food safety cultureIn certification of companies, food safety culture will become more important in the future.”Food companies need to aim for a good food safety culture, in which every employee is aware of the importance of safe and hygienic food”, the researcher concludes.Source: https://www.ugent.be/enlast_img read more

Alloptical ultrasound system holds potential to revolutionize imageguided interventions

first_img Source:https://www.osa.org/en-us/about_osa/newsroom/news_releases/2018/versatile_ultrasound_system_could_transform_how_do/ Jul 2 2018While ultrasound is one of the most common medical imaging tools, conventional electronic ultrasound devices tend to be bulky and cannot be used at the same time as some other imaging technologies. A new ultrasound system that uses optical, instead of electronic components, could improve performance while giving doctors significantly more flexibility in how they use ultrasound to diagnose and treat medical problems.In The Optical Society (OSA) journal Biomedical Optics Express, researchers demonstrate for the first time the use of an all-optical ultrasound imager for video-rate, real-time 2D imaging of biological tissue. The achievement is an important step toward making all-optical ultrasound practical for routine clinical use.Because they require no electronic components in the imaging probe, all-optical ultrasound systems could be safely used at the same time as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners. This would give doctors a more comprehensive picture of the tissues around an area of interest, such as a tumor or blood vessel.”All-optical ultrasound imaging probes have the potential to revolutionize image-guided interventions,” said Erwin J. Alles, University College London, United Kingdom. “A lack of electronics and the resulting MRI compatibility will allow for true multimodality image guidance, with probes that are potentially just a fraction of the cost of conventional electronic counterparts.”Lightbeam scanning mirrors built into the device increase image quality and make it possible to acquire images in different modes. In a clinical setting, this would allow doctors to rapidly toggle between modes on a single instrument to suit the task at hand. Acquiring different types of images using conventional ultrasound systems typically requires separate specialized probes.”The flexibility offered by the scanning mirrors will allow for seamless switching between 2D and 3D imaging, as well as a dynamically adjustable trade-off between image resolution and penetration depth, without the need to swap imaging probe,” said Alles. “Especially in a minimally invasive interventional setting, swapping imaging probes is highly disruptive, extends procedure times and introduces risks to the patient.”Eliminating electronicsConventional ultrasound imagers use arrays of electronic transducers to transmit high-frequency sound waves into tissue and receive the reflections. A computer then constructs images of the tissue.By contrast, all-optical ultrasound imagers use light to both transmit and receive ultrasound waves. Pulsed laser light is used to generate ultrasound waves, and scanning mirrors control where the waves are transmitted into the tissue. A fiber optic sensor receives the reflected waves.Related StoriesUT Dallas adds MILabs Hybrid OI/CT system to its innovative medical imaging solutionsPassive cavitation imaging can estimate a drug’s dose and location in the brainDyson-Hudson receives grant to study effectiveness of new treatment for shoulder painThe electronic components of conventional ultrasound devices make them difficult to miniaturize for internal use, so most existing ultrasound devices are large, handheld probes that are placed against the skin. While some high-resolution minimally invasive ultrasound probes have been developed, they are too expensive for routine clinical use. Optical components are easily miniaturized and tiny all-optical ultrasound probes would likely be significantly less expensive to manufacture than compact electronic ultrasound systems, researchers say.Speeding up image processingTo generate images, an all-optical ultrasound system must acquire data from multiple optical source locations, combine them together and then create a visualization that reconstructs the area being imaged.Researchers have previously demonstrated using all-optical ultrasound to generate high-quality 2D and 3D images, but acquiring the images took hours, making these devices too slow to be used in a clinical setting. The new demonstration is the first to acquire and display images with all-optical ultrasound at video rates.”Through the combination of a new imaging paradigm, new optical ultrasound generating materials, optimized ultrasound source geometries and a highly sensitive fiber-optic ultrasound detector, we achieved image frame rates that were up to three orders of magnitude faster than the current state-of-the-art,” said Alles.A medical multitoolOptical ultrasound systems are inherently more versatile than their electronic counterparts because they can produce sound at a much larger bandwidth. Alles and colleagues demonstrated how the light source can be manipulated to generate either low frequency ultrasound, which results in greater penetration into the tissue, or high frequency ultrasound, which offers higher resolution images at a shallower depth.The team tested their prototype system by imaging a deceased zebrafish, as well as a pig artery that they manipulated to emulate the dynamics of pulsing blood. The demonstration showed imaging capabilities comparable to an electronic high-frequency ultrasound system, with a sustained frame rate of 15 Hertz, a dynamic range of 30 decibels, a penetration depth of 6 millimeters and a resolution of 75 by 100 micrometers.To adapt the technology for clinical use, the researchers are working to develop a long, flexible imaging probe for free-hand operation, as well as miniaturized versions for endoscopic applications.last_img read more

Newly discovered mechanism may be useful target to stop flu virus from

first_imgJul 24 2018There’s a hitch in the swing of a protein that delivers the flu virus. Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine researchers believe this mechanism may be a useful target to stop the virus from infecting cells.In a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Rice-Baylor team led by biophysicist José Onuchic and biochemists Jianpeng Ma and Qinghua Wang delves further into a glycoprotein complex it began to define in a 2014 paper.That protein, hemagglutinin, sits on the surface of flu viruses and helps them attach to and transport through the protective membranes of target cells.The paper begins to define the mechanism that allows the protein to unfold and refold in a snap, changing its form to expose a peptide that attaches the virus to a cell and begins infection. The researchers believe therapeutic drugs can use this mechanism to shut the virus down.”This protein starts in a folded state and goes through a global transformation, refolding in a completely different state,” said Onuchic, co-director of Rice’s Center for Theoretical Biological Physics (CTBP). “But there’s a small part in the center that evolution has conserved.”That single conserved amino acid residue is the hitch that makes the protein pause in the process of refolding. It allows a fusion peptide buried inside to bind to the target cell and begin infecting it. Without the pause, the refolding would be too quick for binding to take place.Lead author and Rice postdoctoral researcher Xingcheng Lin modeled that part of the protein, the B-loop of the HA2 domain. HA2 sits beneath another domain, a cap known as HA1 that mutates to escape past defenses. Lin explained that HA1 is a common target for flu medications because the exposed cap domain is more accessible than the protected HA2 domain.The problem is that HA1 mutates constantly to resist drugs, he said. That influences how effective flu vaccines are every year. Lin and Onuchic said HA2 presents a better target for drugs because the mechanism is highly conserved by evolution.”If a drug targets HA2, the domain cannot escape by making mutations because the mutations themselves would make it nonfunctional,” Lin said. “That kind of drug could become a universal vaccine.”HA2 is a trimeric structure that, when triggered by acidic conditions in the environment near a target cell, transforms itself from a random loop to a coiled coil. Even with the pause, it unfolds and refolds in a fraction of a second, far too fast for microscopes to see. But a computer simulation of the process can be slowed down.That happens to be a specialty of the CTBP, which uses programs that analyze the energy landscape of proteins to predict how they will fold. Onuchic and his colleagues are pioneers in the theory that folding proteins follow an orderly, “funneled” process that depends on the intrinsic energy of every atom in the chain, each of which constantly seeks its lowest energy state. If all the atomic “beads” can be identified, it’s possible to simulate the complex folding process.Related StoriesComputer-generated flu vaccine enters clinical trials in the USWomen’s greater immune response to flu vaccine declines with ageAntibiotics can wipe out early flu resistance, study findsThe Rice researchers often use coarse-grained models of proteins, a subset of atoms that represent the whole, to predict how they will fold. The new study was much more ambitious and set out to predict the complex unfolding and refolding by using not only every atom in the chain but also every atom in its liquid environment, Onuchic said.Lin modeled 40 microseconds (millionths of a second) of the HA2 domain transition that represents the entire process, which takes 1.4 milliseconds (thousandths of a second) to complete. Even that shortened process took two years of computer time to deliver results, he said.”The simulated domain is about 3,000 atoms, but when the environment, including water, is accounted for, the total simulation incorporates around 100,000 atoms,” Onuchic said. “It’s still an enormous simulation that required state-of-the-art techniques.”Previous theories based on crystallographic images of the before-and-after proteins put forth the idea of a spring-loaded domain that appeared to attach to the target cell after the cap’s removal. Onuchic said the complete model of HA2 supports a different mechanism.”We figured out there’s a bunch of energy that makes the final state of HA2 much more stable than the initial state,” he said. “But with the spring-loaded mechanism, most of the energy would already be wasted by the time it forms the coiled coil and binds the cell and viral membranes. It wouldn’t leave any energy to pull the membranes together.”That’s why we decided to do a full calculation of the system – all the atoms of the protein and all the water,” Onuchic said. “It was a gigantic effort.”The conserved hydrophilic (water-attracting) residue, known as Thr59, is of particular interest to the researchers not only for the way it disrupts folding and allows the virus to attack, but also because it has a twin.”In the full evolutionary tree, these viruses fall into two groups, and the difference appears to be this residue,” Onuchic said. “They split 1,500 years ago and somehow, after this separation, they’re fully conserved. They haven’t been able to change that residue no matter what, and we believe that makes this residue important.”The current research focused on the group that incorporates Thr59 and causes the H3N2 strain responsible for the Hong Kong flu, Lin said. The other residue, Met59, appears in the H1N1 strain that caused the Spanish flu.”We still have a long way to go to understand the entire protein,” he said. “Here, we only studied one domain of one protein, and there are several others that are very important to its function.””But what Xingcheng has already done is a computational tour de force,” Onuchic added. “He showed how this particular residue breaks the helical symmetry of the domain and makes it unstable enough to give the peptide time to grab the membranes.”Source: http://news.rice.edu/2018/07/24/researchers-find-new-way-to-target-flu-virus-2/last_img read more

A gut microbe that stops food allergies

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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img A class of bacteria commonly found in the guts of people—and rodents—appears to keep mice safe from food allergies, a study suggests. The same bacteria are among those reduced by antibiotic use in early childhood. The research fits neatly into an emerging paradigm that helps explain a recent alarming increase in food allergies and other conditions, such as obesity and autoimmune disease, and hints at strategies to reverse the trend.Food allergies have increased about 50% in children since 1997. There are various theories explaining why. One is that the 21st century lifestyle, which includes a diet very different from our ancestors’, lots of antibiotic use, and even a rise in cesarean section deliveries, has profoundly changed the makeup of microbes in the gut of many people in developed countries. For example, the average child in the United States has taken three courses of antibiotics by the time he or she is 2 years old, says Martin Blaser, an infectious disease specialist and microbiologist at New York University in New York City. (See here for more on the reach of microbiome research these days.)Cathryn Nagler, an immunologist at the University of Chicago in Illinois, has spent years probing links between the immune system, intestinal bacteria, and the onset of allergies. Back in 2004, she and her colleagues reported that wiping out gut bacteria in mice led to food allergies. Since then, Nagler has continued trying to understand which bacteria offer allergy protection and how they accomplish that. In one of the latest efforts, Nagler’s team first confirmed that mice given antibiotics early in life were far more susceptible to peanut sensitization, a model of human peanut allergy. Then, they introduced a solution containing Clostridia, a common class of bacteria that’s naturally found in the mammalian gut, into the rodents’ mouths and stomachs. The animals’ food allergen sensitization disappeared, the team reports online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. When the scientists instead introduced another common kind of healthy bacteria, called Bacteroides, into similarly allergy-prone mice, they didn’t see the same effect. Studying the rodents more carefully, the researchers determined that Clostridia were having a surprising effect on the mouse gut: Acting through certain immune cells, the bacteria helped keep peanut proteins that can cause allergic reactions out of the bloodstream. “The bacteria are maintaining the integrity of the [intestinal] barrier,” Nagler says.The research “opens up new territory,” Blaser says. It “extends the frontier of how the microbiome is involved” in immune responses and the roles played by specific bacteria. (Blaser’s group reported earlier this month in Cell that giving mice penicillin soon after birth changed their gut microbiome and made them much more likely to be obese as adults.) Nagler and her university have filed for a patent application on the new findings. The ultimate goal is to “interrupt [the allergy] process by manipulating the microbiota,” she says—a probiotic consisting of Clostridia could be a new allergy therapy, for example. Nagler knows of none on the market yet, and they would need testing in people before becoming a treatment of choice.last_img read more