The Labour party has refused to say if it will tak

first_imgThe Labour party has refused to say if it will take any action to support a newly-elected disabled MP who has been prevented from taking part in some House of Commons debates because of access barriers.Disability News Service (DNS) reported last week how Labour’s Jared O’Mara had been unable to attend a couple of debates in the Commons chamber because there were no seats free and he cannot stand for longer than five or 10 minutes.O’Mara (pictured, centre), who was elected for the first time in Sheffield Hallam last month, told DNS last week: “There has been a couple of times where I have not been able to get a seat and so I have not been able to attend.“The thing is with the Commons chamber, it is 650 MPs but there’s not 650 seats, so for busy events… there’s not enough seats for everybody. It’s ridiculous in this day and age.”The story caused outrage among many on social media, with Twitter and Facebook users branding it “shocking”, “grotesque”, “ridiculous”, “appalling” and a “disgrace”, while another said the Commons was “not a seat of #democracy unless everybody can sit in it”.Another said: “The thought of a disabled MP with nowhere to sit during a Commons debate takes my breath away.”But one disabled person, who said he previously worked in parliament, was critical of O’Mara.He said on Twitter that the MP could obtain a “prayer card” from a member of Commons staff, which he could use to reserve a seat for the remainder of that day if the chamber was likely to be busy.When asked what steps it was taking to ensure that O’Mara was able to take part in the work of parliament whenever he needed to, a Labour spokesman said in a statement: “Parliamentary authorities should take the concerns of Members of Parliament with disabilities seriously and make every effort to ensure they are able to carry out their jobs effectively.”Asked whether this meant it was taking no action to support O’Mara to address this access issue, the party had failed to reply by noon today (Thursday).The House of Commons refused to comment last week on the issue of seating in the chamber.It said instead that it “aims to provide a positive, inclusive working environment where people are valued for the skills and experience they bring to work, whilst being representative of the society they serve”, which means “making parliament more accessible, diverse and free from discrimination and meeting the requirements of the Equality Act 2010”.last_img read more

The Welsh governments decision to close its indep

first_imgThe Welsh government’s decision to close its independent living grant scheme and pass the funding to local authorities could see cuts to the support packages of hundreds of disabled people, new research suggests.Disabled campaigners say that information released by local authorities in Wales has created “extreme cause for concern” about the transition process, which is seeing funding from the interim Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG) passed to the 22 councils.WILG was set up by the Welsh government – with UK government funding – as a short-term measure to support former recipients of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) when ILF was closed in June 2015.But the Welsh government is now closing WILG and by April next year the 22 councils will be solely responsible for meeting the support needs of all former ILF-recipients in Wales.The Welsh government’s own estimates, released to Disability News Service (DNS) last night (Wednesday), suggest that about 200 former WILG-recipients will see their support packages cut by next April.Members of the Save WILG campaign, led by former ILF-recipient Nathan Lee Davies (pictured), submitted freedom of information requests to all 22 Welsh councils earlier this year, and they say the responses proved they were right to be concerned that the transition process would lead to many former ILF-users seeing their support packages cut.Few of the councils were willing to provide detailed information about how the process of re-assessing the needs of the former ILF-recipients in their areas would affect their support packages.But some of the local authorities admitted that a significant proportion of those currently receiving support through the WILG have already had their support packages cut.In Wrexham, Davies’ home local authority, the council said it had re-assessed less than a third of former ILF-users but had already cut the support of 18 of them, increasing support for just seven, and leaving one package unchanged.Monmouthshire council had cut four of 19 packages, Conwy had reduced two of 12 – although the vast majority had still to be assessed – while Caerphilly had reduced four of 29, Merthyr Tydfil had reduced 15 per cent, and both Carmarthenshire and Rhondda councils had cut 10 per cent of support packages.About a third of the councils – including Pembrokeshire, Gwynedd, Anglesey, Cardiff and Blaenau Gwent – failed to say how many support packages had been cut.But some local authorities did produce more encouraging answers, with Powys council saying the reassessment process had seen it increase the support packages of 59 of 62 former ILF-users.Although Port Talbot council had reviewed less than a third of service-users, half had had their packages increased, and the other half had seen them stay at the same level, while Bridgend decided that all but one former ILF-recipient would continue to receive the same support package.There were also repeated warnings from the local authorities that they could not promise that support packages would not be cut in the future, with Cardiff council warning that “no guarantees as to the future are possible with any funding arrangement”.Asked if it could guarantee that WILF recipients would have their care packages ring-fenced from all future austerity cuts forced onto local authorities, both Merthyr Tydfil and Port Talbot replied with just one word: “No.”Huw Irranca-Davies, the Welsh government’s minister for social care, has previously pledged that no former ILF-users would lose out in the transition process.But a Welsh government spokesman said that its most recent monitoring of the transition had found about 100 of 580 WILG-recipients were having their support “provided in a different manner than previously”*, while 130 were receiving more support.As about 1,300 people are due to go through the transition, this suggests that about 200 former WILG-users will eventually see their packages cut.He insisted that the government was committed to ensuring that all disabled people are “fully supported to live independently in their communities”.And he said that Irranca-Davies had visited both Powys and Wrexham councils this week to “see at first hand the work they have been undertaking” and “will be speaking to other authorities about this over the next few weeks”.The government spokesman said: “He will also be asking authorities to undertake a deep dive of a sample of cases where there have been significant changes in the type of support people are receiving, to establish the reasons for this and ensure they are receiving the appropriate support they require to live independently.“This is in addition to the ongoing monitoring of the programme, and an additional independent evaluation which has been commissioned by the minister.”The spokesman claimed that the “feedback from disabled people” on the transition programme had been “positive”.He said: “Together with our partners in local government and the third sector, we will continue to closely monitor the process and the individual outcomes of the transition from the ILF to the person-centred and co-produced approach to independent living in Wales.”But Miranda Evans, policy and programmes manager for Disability Wales, said her organisation was “extremely concerned that disabled people with high support requirements are having their hours of care reduced when transferring over to direct payments”. She said: “In a number of cases people are losing their ‘socialising’ hours, which is of great concern. “This vital support enables people to play a part in their community, volunteer with a local group and get involved in political life. “Without this necessary support disabled people will become isolated, disengaged and unable to leave their home.”Disability Wales has called for an “urgent review” of the Welsh government’s policy and investigations into the differences between how local authorities are applying it, which she said showed “the further development of a postcode lottery”.She added: “We remain concerned that funding will be absorbed by social services budgets and not be directed to those who need it: disabled people with high support requirements.”Davies said the Welsh government’s comments showed that “they simply refuse to see the evidence that is staring them in the face”.He said: “Yet again the Welsh government seems to think of former ILF recipients as a privileged bunch.“This is not the case at all, as we are disabled people with high care and support needs who were guaranteed a lifetime of adequate support under the old ILF system.“They do not deserve to be made to feel like a hindrance by the Welsh government.”He said the conclusions that can be drawn from the freedom of information responses were “very worrying indeed” and show “a shocking lack of consistency between local authorities, the development of a ‘postcode lottery’, the lack of an adequate complaints procedure for former ILF recipients and an alarming lack of security, or guarantees, for the future”. Davies is determined to persuade the Welsh government to keep the current system, which allows former ILF-recipients some security by receiving funding from three different “pots”: WILG, local authorities and their own personal contributions.He said: “The responses reflect why we started the campaign three years ago and give weight to our belief that the tripartite system of care needs to be maintained.“Disabled people with high care and support needs simply cannot rely on cash-strapped local authorities to provide the levels of care that they need. “One of my biggest concerns is that even the local authorities who have increased a majority of care packages cannot guarantee that these packages will remain at the same levels in future years.“It is a concern that these generous increases may only be put in place for a year, while the local authorities sharpen their axes for further cuts once the campaign is over.” He added: “The Welsh government now need to listen to the voices that have supported our campaign – assembly members, MPs, Disability Labour, Jeremy Corbyn, shadow chancellor John McDonnell, celebrities such as Ken Loach and most importantly their own members who passed a motion calling on them to #SaveWILG at the Welsh Labour conference in April 2018.” *The Welsh government press office was unable to confirm by 1pm today that this means that their support hours have been reduced 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

THE latest edition of the In Touch Podcast is now

first_imgTHE latest edition of the In Touch Podcast is now available to download.We look ahead to today’s game with Hull FC and reflect on the award winners at Saints End of Season Dinner.Nathan Brown, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Adam Swift, Jon Wilkin and Jordan Turner are all featured.To listen click here or search for St Helens RFC on iTunes.Remember if you want a question answering on the Podcast drop us a line @saints1890 on Twitter or email podcast@saintsrlfc.comThe podcast is in association with Citytalk 105.9.last_img read more

SAINTS take on Wigan today – and Hull FC on Monday

first_imgSAINTS take on Wigan today – and Hull FC on Monday – in a packed Easter weekend.All the stats, facts and figures are here:Wigan v Saints:Tommy Makinson has scored tries in the Saints’ last three meetings with Wigan (2-2-1) whilst Wigan’s Joe Burgess has bagged one in each.Last 10 Meetings:St Helens 14, Wigan 6 (SLGF, 11/10/14) (at Old Trafford, Manchester)Wigan 12, St Helens 16 (SLR18, 27/6/14)St Helens 14, Wigan 33 (SLR9, 18/4/14)St Helens 22, Wigan 16 (SLR22, 22/7/13)Wigan 28, St Helens 16 (SLR9, 29/3/13)Wigan 18, St Helens 26 (SLR27, 7/9/12)St Helens 16, Wigan 42 (SLR15, 27/5/12) (at Etihad Stadium, Manchester)Wigan 18, St Helens 4 (CCQF, 12/5/12)St Helens 10, Wigan 28 (SLR10, 6/4/12)St Helens 26, Wigan 18 (SLQSF, 1/10/11)Super League Summary:Wigan won 31 (includes win in 2010 Grand Final & wins in 2001, 2003 and 2004 play-offs)St Helens won 30 (includes wins in 2000 and 2014 Grand Finals & wins in 2000, 2002, 2009 and 2011 play-offs)4 drawsHighs and Lows:Wigan highest score: 65-12 (A, 1997) (also widest margin)St Helens highest score: 57-16 (MM, 2008) (also widest margin)Saints v Hull Super League Summary:St Helens won 25 (includes win in 2006 Grand Final & wins in 2001 and 2006 play-offs)Hull FC won 113 drawsHighs and Lows:St Helens highest score: 74-16 (H, 1999) (also widest margin)Hull FC highest score: 44-6 (H, 2005) (also widest margin)Career Milestones:Jon Wilkin needs three tries to reach a career century of touchdowns. His total of 97 has been scored as follows: 8 for Hull KR (2000-2002), 88 for St Helens (2003-2015) and 1 for England (2004-2005, 2008-2009 & 2011-2012). Wilkin also made 6 non-scoring appearances for Great Britain (2006-2007).Super League Milestones:(Players reaching significant figures in Super League games only, including play-offs)Danny Tickle needs 13 points to draw level with Sean Long in fifth place in the list of all-time leading point-scorers.1 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds, 1997-present) 3,2592 Paul Deacon (Wigan/Bradford/Oldham, 1997-2011) 2,4133 Andy Farrell (Wigan, 1996-2004) 2,3764 Lee Briers (Warrington/St Helens, 1997-2013) 2,2885 Sean Long (Hull FC/St Helens/Wigan, 1996-2011) 2,2006 Danny Tickle (Widnes/Hull FC/Wigan/Halifax, 2000-present) 2,1877 Pat Richards (Wigan, 2006-2013) 2,1108 Danny Brough (Huddersfield/Wakefield/Castleford/Hull FC, 2005-2006 & 2008-present) 1,7339 Iestyn Harris (Bradford/Leeds/Warrington, 1996-2001 & 2004-2008) 1,67410 Michael Dobson (Salford/Hull KR/Wigan/Catalans Dragons, 2006, 2008-2013 & 2015) 1,438Danny Brough needs one goal to draw level with Pat Richards in seventh place in the list of all-time leading goal-kickers (conversions and penalties only, not including field goals).1 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds, 1997-present) 1,4772 Paul Deacon (Wigan/Bradford/Oldham, 1997-2011) 1,0433 Andy Farrell (Wigan, 1996-2004) 1,0264 Danny Tickle (Widnes/Hull FC/Wigan/Halifax, 2000-present) 9075 Lee Briers (Warrington/St Helens, 1997-2013) 8496 Sean Long (Hull FC/St Helens/Wigan, 1996-2011) 8267 Pat Richards (Wigan, 2006-2013) 7598 Danny Brough (Huddersfield/Wakefield/Castleford/Hull FC, 2005-2006 & 2008-present) 7589 Iestyn Harris (Bradford/Leeds/Warrington, 1996-2001 & 2004-2008) 64010 Michael Dobson (Salford/Hull KR/Wigan/Catalans Dragons, 2006, 2008-2013 & 2015) 593Paul Wellens, Leon Pryce, Rob Burrow, Kirk Yeaman and Luke Dorn all have the opportunity to move up the list of all-time leading try-scorers in forthcoming Super League rounds.1 Danny McGuire (Leeds, 2001-present) 2212 = Keith Senior (Leeds/Sheffield, 1996-2011), Paul Wellens (St Helens, 1998-present) 1994 David Hodgson (Hull KR/Huddersfield/Salford/Wigan/Halifax, 1999-2014) 1685 Leon Pryce (Hull FC/Catalans Dragons/St Helens/Bradford, 1998-present) 1676 Ryan Hall (Leeds, 2007-present) 1557 Ade Gardner (Hull KR/St Helens, 2002-2014) 1538 Rob Burrow (Leeds, 2001-present) 1519 Kirk Yeaman (Hull FC, 2001-present) 14910 = Luke Dorn (Castleford/London Broncos/Harlequins/Salford, 2005-present), Pat Richards (Wigan, 2006-2013) 147Paul Wellens – 1 try away from 200 (199 for St Helens, 1998-2015)Consecutive Appearances:Hull FC’s Joe Westerman has the longest run of consecutive appearances amongst Super League players, with 51. Westerman last missed a Hull game on 25 May, 2013 – a 22-16 Magic Weekend win against Hull KR at Manchester’s Etihad Stadium. His streak then started on 31 May, 2013 – an 18-6 home win against Leeds.1 Joe Westerman (Hull FC) 512 Zeb Taia (Catalans Dragons) 413 Morgan Escare (Catalans Dragons) 394 Mose Masoe (St Helens) 375 Rangi Chase (Salford Red Devils) 31First Utility Super League Leading Scorers:Tries:1 Justin Carney (Castleford Tigers) 92 Ken Sio (Hull Kingston Rovers) 83 Tom Lineham (Hull FC) 74 = Albert Kelly (Hull Kingston Rovers), Danny McGuire (Leeds Rhinos), Jordan Turner (St Helens) 67 = Ben Jones-Bishop (Salford Red Devils), Tom Makinson (St Helens), Chris Riley (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats), Anthony Gelling (Wigan Warriors) 5Goals:1 Josh Mantellato (Hull Kingston Rovers) 292 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 233 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 214 = Scott Dureau (Catalans Dragons), Josh Griffin (Salford Red Devils) 206 = Craig Hall (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats), Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 198 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 189 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 1710 Travis Burns (St Helens) 14Goals Percentage:1 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 85.18 (23/27)2 Danny Tickle (Widnes Vikings) 84.61 (11/13)3 Travis Burns (St Helens) 82.35 (14/17)4 Josh Mantellato (Hull Kingston Rovers) 78.37 (29/37)5 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 75.00 (21/28)6 Scott Dureau (Catalans Dragons) 74.07 (20/27)7 Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves) 73.33 (11/15)8 Craig Hall (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 73.07 (19/26)9 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 70.83 (17/24)10 Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 70.37 (19/27)Points:1 Josh Mantellato (Hull Kingston Rovers) 662 Josh Griffin (Salford Red Devils) 563 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 554 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 485 = Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants), Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 477 Craig Hall (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 428 Scott Dureau (Catalans Dragons) 419 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 4010 Justin Carney (Castleford Tigers) 36last_img read more

CFPUA Chairmans Daily Update August 10

first_imgThe first action taken by the Board is an authorization for the Executive Director to execute contracts of up to $500,000 to remove approximately 48 million gallons of treated drinking water stored in the Peedee aquifer. DateRawFinished 7/20/201784.9115 To see the most recent GenX results from the ASR well, click here. CFPUA is currently operating a pilot test, consisting of four columns that contain two different kinds of carbon media, to evaluate the potential for removing GenX and other per-fluorinated compounds from the water. We expect the test to take up to one year to provide the data necessary to evaluate its effectiveness.Related Article: UPDATE: CFPUA contractor did not obtain permit before removing trees CFPUA staff will continuously sample water that has been filtered through the carbon until “breakthrough” status is achieved—the point at which Genx molecules are able to make it through the filter and be detected in the finished water. The agreement will cover a study to be conducted by UNCW faculty, with the goal of identifying and quantifying other compounds found in a study published in November 2016 by North Carolina State University researchers. Yesterday afternoon, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality released the most recent GenX results from their sampling for the period July 24-27. The results show that concentrations of GenX continue to be below the 140 ppt health goal set by NCDHHS. Tests show that the water at the Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) well on Westbrook Avenue is below the GenX health goal of 140 parts per trillion (ppt) set by the NCDHHS, but above the average levels in the water that we are currently supplying our customers. Because the water was treated and stored while Chemours was still discharging GenX into the Cape Fear River, CFPUA has decided it is in the best interest of our customers to withdraw that water from the aquifer. Water and sediment samples will be taken near the CFPUA intake, and an evaluation of the effectiveness of our treatment processes will be conducted. The second action taken by the Board is an authorization for the Executive Director to enter into a Service Agreement of up to $100,000 with the University of North Carolina Wilmington. WILMINGTON, NC (CFPUA News Release) —This afternoon, CFPUA received new results from the raw and finished water at Sweeney Water Treatment Plant taken on August 1. The results show that concentrations of GenX continue to be below the 140 parts per trillion healthy goal set by NCDHHS.See the new data in the table below: – Advertisement – Yesterday morning, the CFPUA Board authorized an additional $83,000 in funds for continued GenX sampling and testing. These new funds will pay for the daily sampling of raw and finished water at Sweeney Water Treatment plant and for the sampling of our on-going pilot test at Sweeney Water Treatment Plant. 7/23/201758.262.1 7/24/201713667.7 7/21/201762.888.8 To view the full news release, click here. 7/22/201753.167.6 7/25/201797.3134 The $500,000 will cover an array of potential costs, including: construction of a temporary connection pipe, materials, temporary easement and environmental testing. In addition to funding for GenX testing, the Board also authorized two new actions related to GenX: 7/26/201752.294 For citizens interested in participating, please find instructions below:Drop off empty containers at one of the participating churches between 9:00 am and 11:00 am Monday, Wednesday and/or Friday beginning Monday, July 31.Containers should be clean, have caps, be marked with the person’s name and number, and be between one and five gallons in size.Containers should not have previously been used for chemicals, such as cleaning fluids or other liquids not suitable for consumption. They should also be non-breakable.Pick up filled containers between 1:00 pm and 3:00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and/or Friday beginning Monday, July 31. CFPUA encourages the public to check our website and social media channels for updates as this continues to unfold. We are committed to transparency, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with you through the duration of this process. To view the full news release, click here. Upon receipt of a permit from DEQ, CFPUA will start withdrawing the water in early September. It will be discharged to the wastewater system, and returned to the river downstream of all drinking water intakes. 7/27/201755.567 The amount of time it takes to reach breakthrough status will give staff an idea of how often the media will need to replaced and the viability of integrating the new media into our current processes.CFPUA will continue to update the public and make the results of these tests available for download on the “Information on GenX” page of our website.To view all GenX results, click here. CFPUA is proud to participate in studies that advance the water industry. Associated findings will help the EPA and NC DEQ regulate contaminants and ensure source waters are protected. We are participating in this study, and will continue to participate in additional studies, as we prioritize safe, clean drinking water for our customers and for the Wilmington region. For CFPUA customers who prefer water from an alternate source, CFPUA is offering free water from a ground source. This water is treated at CFPUA’s nanofiltration plant. On July 13, CFPUA sampled water at this Richardson Nanofiltration Plant—which serves the free water station at Ogden Park—for GenX and it was not detected. This water is supplied by aquifers that have not been affected by Chemours’ discharge of GenX.Residential CFPUA customers may fill their clean personal containers at New Hanover County’s Ogden Park near the tennis courts at 615 Ogden Park Drive. This is available daily from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. CFPUA will continue to offer this service until we confirm a trend line that is at or below the health advisory goal set by NC DHHS.For citizens unable to get to the water station at 615 Ogden Park Drive, CFPUA is partnering with the City of Wilmington and area churches to provide free water from Ogden Park.Churches will transport empty containers to Ogden Park where they will be filled with treated groundwater at no cost. Church volunteers will then bring the filled containers back to the designated churches, where customers can pick them up. Churches will be open for drop off between 9:00 am and 11:00 am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and for pick up between 1:00 pm and 3:00 p.m. on the same days.Three churches in the greater downtown area will be offering drop-off and pick-up services:Warner Temple AME Zion Church, 620 Nixon St., (910) 763-6308St. Phillip AME Church, 815 N. 8th St., (910) 762-3573Ephesus SDA Church, 1002 Castle St., (910) 762-7755 8/1/201734.542.3last_img read more

Whiteville City Schools vote against merger

first_imgWhiteville High School (Photo: Jenna Kurzyna/WWAY) WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — One school district is for and the other is against consolidation.Whiteville City Schools voted against merging with Columbus County Schools at their school board meeting Monday night.  Click here to read the resolution.- Advertisement – According to the resolution board members passed, Whiteville City Schools maintains consistent enrollment, is financially stable, and that a merger of the two systems would demonstrate a significant loss of state funding.Yesterday morning, the Columbus County School Board unanimously approved a resolution to consolidate.The final decision comes down to Columbus County Commissioners.Related Article: Wilmington music teacher gets state award for work-based learninglast_img read more

Wilmington teens American Idol journey ends… for now

first_img The Ashley High School sophomore was featured briefly on last night’s episode of “American Idol.” His clips showed a range of emotions beginning with the thrill of being in Hollywood.“This is gonna be the most amazing week of my life. This is so exciting!” a smiling Ward told the camera. “This is it. This is the dream, and it’s coming true now.”But moments later, after a brief shot of Ward, who a graphic mistakenly said was from “Williamton, NC,” on stage in front of judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, Ward was part of a montage of heartbroken contestants who learned they were going home and would not advance.Related Article: Christina Aguilera, Post Malone headline New Year’s Rockin’ Eve on ABC“I’m a little disappointed right now. This meant so much to me,” Ward said.But through tears, he showed poise and determination.“I’m not gonna give up at all,” he said. “I’m gonna be back next year. I promise.”Ward was likewise positive in a couple of Tweets last night, including a reply to American Idol’s account, which tweeted the show’s support for him and a couple other contestants, and another in which he leaned on his faith.Thank you @AmericanIdol for the experience of a lifetime. I can’t wait for what the future holds and to hopefully come back next year. https://t.co/sG7Sp97K5O— Joshua Ward (@joshuapaulward) March 27, 2018 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Everyone knows it’s tough living with a secret. But Joshua Ward, a Wilmington teen who made the first cut on ABC’s “American Idol,” kept quiet the fact that he not only got a golden ticket and made it to Hollywood Week, but that the week in California ended in disappointment.Ward, 16, was one of 169 contestants picked by judges from thousands of hopefuls at auditions across the country last summer and fall to advance on the reality show.- Advertisement – Joshua Ward auditions for “American Idol” in 2017. (Photo: Joshua Ward) Joshua Ward, fourth from right, listens to the judges during the Hollywood Week episode of “American Idol” that aired on March 26, 2018. (Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless) God has a plan. He will be made much of through this experience… I promise I will be back pic.twitter.com/j86viKSdfO— Joshua Ward (@joshuapaulward) March 27, 2018Ward had been featured in “American Idol” promos over the last couple of months, but wasn’t allowed to say publicly that he’d made it to Hollywood Week until this weekend.In an interview with WWAY before last night’s episode aired, Ward said making the cut was a big accomplishment for someone who grew up watching the show, which is in its first season on ABC after a 14-year run on Fox that ended in 2016.“Obviously I would love to win,” Ward said. “That would be amazing. But I really do want to do this for the rest of my life. This is my dream. This is my passion.”Ward will take his passion to the Azalea Festival Parade in downtown Wilmington on Saturday, April 14. He is scheduled to sing the National Anthem.“American Idol” airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. on WWAY ABC. Joshua Ward hugs another contestant during the Hollywood Week episode of “American Idol” that aired on March 26, 2018. (Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless) 1 of 7 Joshua Ward performs on the Hollywood Week episode of “American Idol” that aired on March 26, 2018. (Photo: ABC)Joshua Ward performs on the Hollywood Week episode of “American Idol” that aired on March 26, 2018. (Photo: ABC) Joshua Ward reacts to learning he was cut from “American Idol.” (Photo: ABC) Joshua Ward, fourth from right, listens to the judges during the Hollywood Week episode of “American Idol” that aired on March 26, 2018. (Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless) Joshua Ward performs on the Hollywood Week of “American Idol” that aired on March 26, 2018. (Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless)last_img read more

Town pumps the brakes on pedal pubs in Carolina Beach

first_imgCAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — After a lengthy discussion about proposed routes for a pedal pub in Carolina Beach, town council ultimately voted against allowing them on the island.Pleasure Island Coastal Cruiser wanted to operate a pedal pub that would have held 16 people.- Advertisement – It would have been stored at Good Hops Brewing.The business wanted waivers that would have allowed them to cross over Dow Road and to use a section of Lake Park Boulevard during the off-season.Some council members raised concerns about “bar-hopping” and that more should be done for residents instead of tourists.last_img read more

Bitty of Bitty Beaus Coffee invited to appear on Sesame Street

first_imgSherrie Westin, President of Global Impact and Philanthropy for Sesame Workshop visited Bitty at Bitty and Beau’s Coffee August 12, 2018. (Photo: Facebook) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Many of us are familiar with Bitty and Beau’s Coffee on New Centre Drive in Wilmington.Now, one of the faces of the coffee shop will soon be seen on another street – one that’s home to a big yellow bird.- Advertisement – Bitty Wright has been invited to appear on Sesame Street!The coffee shop posted a photo of Bitty with Sherrie Westin, president of Global Impact and Philanthropy for Sesame Workshop.Bitty’s parents opened the coffee shop in 2016 to employ people with disabilities.Related Article: New Hanover Co., Wilmington begin curfew Friday nightMom Amy Wright made headlines last year when she was named CNN’s 2017 Hero of the Year.Amy says she will let us know more about Bitty’s “Sesame Street” appearance in the coming weeks.last_img read more

Could 2019 see a route for the new Cape Fear crossing

first_imgCape Fear Memorial Bridge WILMINGTON, NC (StarNews) — The upcoming year should see transportation officials select the preferred route for a new crossing of the Cape Fear River.Mike Kozlosky, executive director of the Wilmington Urban Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), said a schedule of events for 2019 has public hearings on the proposed new crossing scheduled for the spring with a “selection of the preferred alternative” scheduled for the summer.- Advertisement – A new crossing south of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge would be the fourth between New Hanover and Brunswick counties — the other two are the Isabel Holmes bridge and the Interstate 140 bypass. Last year, MPO board members narrowed its preferred alternatives to include three potential crossings of the river, all of them south of the current Memorial Bridge. There are still six routes under consideration for where the new bridge access highway would go once it crosses the river.Officials estimate the next connection between Brunswick and New Hanover counties — including access highways and property acquisition — will cost $1 billion or more to build the bridge, which would have to be 215 feet above the river to accommodate ship traffic heading to the Port of Wilmington.Read more here.last_img read more

Rep David Rouzer talks rebuilding damaged dike in Bladen County

first_img “It originally was an Army Corps of Engineers project. Back in 2001, the Army Corps basically washed their hands of it for a variety of reasons,” said Rep. Rouzer.Responsibility to rebuild the dike now falls into the hands of the local community. The rural area of Kelly has nowhere near the funds to do that.“It’s going to require, I believe, a joint local and state effort in coordination if anything’s going to be done expeditiously,” said Rouzer.Related Article: Local family still struggling since MatthewRouzer says even if the Army Corps of Engineers does get involved, it could take a decade for anything to happen. He says they have more demand, more rules and regulations, and fewer dollars than they did 20 or 30 years ago.“Army corps, they’re a great agency. We deal with them on a consistent basis on many many projects all throughout southeastern North Carolina,” Rouzer said. “But to get them back engaged is going to be a very time consuming long process. It could last up to a decade before there’s any substantial work on the ground.”Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker did discuss the possibility of using inmates to work on the dike, but no official decisions were made. ELIZABETHTOWN, NC (WWAY) — The discussion over the White Oak Dike, which was breached during Hurricane Florence, continued Wednesday afternoon when North Carolina 7th Congressional District Rep. David Rouzer visited Bladen County.When water breached the dike system a few days after the storm in September 2018, hundreds of people in Kelly were impacted by flooding. Some had to be rescued by helicopter.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Darmian close to Napoli move

first_imgNapoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis stated that he is interested in signing Matteo Darmian from Manchester United. The Italian defender moved to the English Premier League from Torino in 2015 and has appeared 85 times for Manchester United. However he was restricted to just 8 league matches during Jose Mourinho’s second season at the helm of the Red Devils and has admitted that he wants more first-team opportunities.PSV Eindhoven’s Santiago Arias was also targeted by last season’s runners up but the Colombian has now signed for Atletico Madrid so as to replace the departing Sime Vrsaljko.WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a7617b59&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=128&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

Silva wants to stay with the Citizens

first_img SharePrint Portuguese midfielder Bernardo Silva has committed his long-term future with Manchester City by signing a three-year contract extension until 2025.The Premier League Champions, who are currently leading this season’s standings, announced the creative midfielder’s contract renewal on Wednesday. The 24-year-old was signed by Pep Guardiola from Monaco in May 2017 and has already won three major trophies with the Citizens.Manchester City’s sporting director Txiki Begiristain stated:“Bernardo is an exceptional talent, so offering him a new deal and ensuring he spends the best years of his career with us was a very easy decision.”Silva has become the 11th player to renew his contact with the club since the beginning of the year.WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a7617b59&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=128&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Microsoft unveils Bing for Schools program

first_imgAdvertisement Microsoft is making a play for the education sector today with Bing for Schools, a voluntary program that tailors the company’s search engine for student.The tweaked Bing experience, suitable for students between kindergarten and the end of high school, removes all advertisements from the search engine due to Microsoft’s belief that schools “are for learning and not selling.”[related-posts] – Advertisement – SafeSearch, Bing’s built-in feature for filtering out adult content, will also be configured to the strictest setting automatically and be amended so that students are unable to change it back manually. A bundle of other enhanced privacy protections will also be present, although Microsoft says these are still to be finalized.There will be a number of short lesson plans that staff can use to teach basic digital literacy skills related to search and the Common Core, a real-world approach to learning standards adopted by the education system in the US.Microsoft has emphasized today that it’s still finalizing what will be available in the first version. The altered search engine is free for schools and districts who want to participate and will be configured to work with all search submissions from within the school’s network on Bing.com.“We see the program as something we can build alongside teachers, parents, and visionaries to create the best possible search experience for our children,” Matt Wallaert, a Bing Behavioral Scientist said.Bing still has a long way to go before it can dethrone Google Search, but this is yet another example of Microsoft thinking laterally to gain some much-needed street cred.Credit: TNWlast_img read more

Matibabu Nominated For Top Prize at the ASME Innovation Showcase Program –

first_imgTeam Matibabu. (Photo Courtesy) Advertisement Team Matibabu, a group of graduates from Makerere University are no strangers when it comes to local innovators in Uganda. The team has participated in a number of hackathons, and other innovation programs locally and internationally.Recently, the team early this year traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada to showcase their innovative solution Matibabu at one of the World’s Biggest showcase events ever; the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 – a global consumer electronics and consumer technology tradeshow that takes place every January. This was a life giving opportunity. Their luck came in for having participated in TechCrunch‘s Hardware Battlefield 2017.The team back in 2015 at the Mozilla Festive East Africa that took place at Victoria University in Kampala – won a funding from the President of Uganda, H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. He promised the team a funding of USD$55,000 (roughly 200 million UGX)Matibabu device. (Photo Courtesy) – Advertisement – Matibabu is a Non-invasive diagnostic kit used to detect Malaria. The device uses a custom-made portable device called a matiscope, which is connected to a smartphone, to do a rapid diagnostic test. The user’s finger is inserted into the matiscope, and the application uses a red light to penetrate the skin and detect the red blood cells.The team NOW participating in the 2017 ISHOW competition that is held in Kenya are calling for your votes as they battle it out with other 9 innovative startups. The competition was open to individuals and organizations taking physical products to market that will have a social impact.Congrats #Kenya finalists! Time to vote for one innovator to earn extra cash. Who will win? https://t.co/eOOEw1dlbG #thisishardware #ISHOW17 pic.twitter.com/BJw2lrIA5q— ASME IShow (@ASMEishow) May 20, 2017Applicants were expected to have an existing prototype (Of which Matibabu does already have) and be interested in receiving financing, technical support and access to industry networks to assist in taking their product to market.30 finalists will pitch to the judges in person (ASME will provide travel grants towards the cost of travel) and will receive product exposure, advice and technical insights. 9 innovators will win a share of USD$500,000 (roughly 1.8 billion UGX) in prizes – including an extensive design and engineering review by a panel of experts.[related-posts]Winners become part of the ISHOW alumni network, a global community of hardware innovators with exclusive access to experts and resources.Editor’s Note: FOLLOW THIS LINK TO VOTE FOR THEM.last_img read more

STARTERS ORDERS Friday

first_img[dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Friday 26 SeptemberRACING2.00 HaydockExcilly 4/6 > 4/72.10 NewmarketLong View 10/1 > 8/13.00 HaydockStake Acclaim 18/1 > 14/13.15 NewmarketOcean Tempest 25/1 > 20/1What’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321last_img

STARTERS ORDERS Wednesday

first_img[dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Wednesday 16 DecemberRACING12.40 NewburyMinella On Line 12/1 > 6/12.25 NewburyO’Faolains Boy 9/2 > 7/22.40 LudlowDrumshambo 14/1 > 9/15.10 KemptomSeverini 5/6 > 8/13FOOTBALLChampionship19:45 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD / Sky Sports 5 / Sky Sports 5 HD5/6 Hull City 7/2 Reading 12/5 DRAW(All prices subject to fluctuation) What’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321last_img read more

STAR SPORTS GREYHOUND DERBY Video Previews

first_imgSTAR SPORTS GREYHOUND DERBY 2019: Our expert panel preview the 2019 Star Sports Greyhound Derby held for the first time at Nottingham Greyhound Track.Our panel, hosted by Julie Collier is:Kevin Hutton Greyhound Derby Winning TrainerMartin Chapman ‘Lofty’ Star Sports Greyhound ExpertIan Fortune Irish Greyhound ExpertTo check out the latest betting for the Star Sports Greyhound Derby visithttps://starsports.bet/event/greyhoundracing/228423/greyhound-derby-2019/ante-postYou can also download the Star Sports App, full details at:https://www.starsportsbet.co.uk/new-the-star-sports-app/STAR SPORTS GREYHOUND DERBY 2019LEADING ENGLISH CONTENDERS<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>LEADING IRISH CONTENDERS<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>IRISH OUTSIDERS<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>ENGLISH OUTSIDERS<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>WHAT TO EXPECT<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>last_img read more

Rice Goes Cerebral During Brain Awareness Week

first_imgAddThis ShareMedia Advisory CONTACTS: Philip Montgomery PHONE: (713)831-4795RICE GOES CEREBRAL DURING BRAIN AWARENESS WEEKRice students and faculty will be leading cerebral hands-on activities forchildren-including studying animal brains and creating crash helmets for eggs-aspart of National Brain Awareness Week at the Children’s Museum from 1 p.m. to 4p.m. Saturday.The event kicks off National Brain Awareness Week, March 17-23, when studentsand faculty from Rice and the University of Texas Health Science Center will beinforming and educating families about the brain, its functions and how to carefor it.Next week, scientists from Rice and the University of Texas will interactlive with students at four schools-two from Houston and two in the Rio GrandeValley-over the two-way interactive video link. The broadcasts will originate inthe OWLink room on the Rice University campus. OWLink allows high schoolstudents in their classrooms to talk to and see professors on the Rice campus.For more information contact Philip Montgomery at (713) 831-4795.###last_img read more

Rice students host panel discussion fundraiser for Japan

first_imgAddThis ShareCONTACT: Jessica StarkPHONE: 713-348-6777EMAIL: stark@rice.eduRice students host panel discussion, fundraiser for JapanApril 13 event aims to educate and encourage donationsOn the heels of a successful benefit concert in which Rice University students raised more than $8,300 for the Japanese Red Cross Society, another group of students is hosting “Makeruna Japan: Rice is With You,” a panel discussion and fundraiser for the ongoing crisis in Japan. The event, which is open to the public, will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. April 13 in Keck Hall, Room 100, on the Rice University campus, 6100 Main St.The discussion will focus on Japan’s earthquakes, tsunami, nuclear reactors andcommunity needs. Panelists will include experimental particle physicist Marjorie Corcoran, a professor of physics and astronomy at Rice; seismologist Fenglin Niu, an associate professor of Earth science at Rice; Takahiko Watabe, acting consul-general of Japan at Houston; and Greg Crowe, president of the Japan-America Society of Houston. Rice President David Leebron will offer welcoming remarks. Tickets are not required for “Makeruna Japan,” but donations will be collected at the door and online at www.rice4japan.org for the Japanese Red Cross Society. Rice students will also sell their artwork during the event, with all proceeds going to the society. “We thought it was important to educate ourselves and others about what is happening in Japan,” said Tiffany Chen, an undergraduate student who organized the event. “That understanding is essential in remembering that these natural disasters will have a long-term effect on the people of Japan and our entire world.” Chen, who has family in Japan, said that she and other students were also motivated to do an educational event to help others understand and calm their fears about how the natural and nuclear disasters in Japan could affect the United States. “We all want to know how this will affect us, but I hope people don’t lose sight of those who are currently suffering in Japan,” Chen said. “It’s far from over for them. There continue to be earthquakes, including the 7.4 magnitude quake that happened earlier today. They need our help.” Initiated by students, the event is a collaborative effort among Rice students, faculty and staff, including the Center for the Study of Languages, the Chao Center for Asian Studies and the Office of International Students and Scholars. It is just one of the relief efforts taking place at Rice University. Rice’s Chao Center for Asian Studies will sponsor a booth to collect donations for the relief efforts at the Japan Festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 9 and 10 at Hermann Park. Last week, students from the Shepherd School of Music hosted a benefit concert to raise money for the Japanese Red Cross Society, and the proceeds from a recent boba tea sale by the Japanese Association of Students also went to the society. Students also collected donations for the relief effort during Rice’s Culture Fair April 1. To interview Chen or the Rice panelists, contact Jessica Stark, assistant director of media relations, at stark@rice.edu or 713-348-6777. last_img read more

Rice sociologist to release results from 31st annual Kinder Houston Area Survey

first_imgAddThis ShareAmy Hodges713-348-6777amy.hodges@rice.eduHOUSTON – (April 18, 2012) – Rice University sociologist Stephen Klineberg will release findings next week from the 2012 Kinder Houston Area Survey, the 31st annual study that covers such topics as Houston’s current economic outlook, quality-of-life considerations and demographic transformations.Klineberg will discuss highlights from the survey during a luncheon hosted by the Greater Houston Partnership and Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research at noon April 24 at the Westin Galleria Ballroom, 5060 West Alabama St. Who: Stephen Klineberg, co-director of Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research and professor of sociology.What: Results of the Kinder Houston Area Survey and the trends seen in the 31 years since the annual survey began. Topics include Houstonians’ views on job opportunities, their fiscal health, the American economy, local traffic, air pollution, the new interest in walkable urbanism, ethnic diversity, illegal immigrants, gay rights and public education, among others.When: Tuesday, April 24, noon luncheon, followed by a 2 p.m. media session.Where: Ballroom (luncheon) and Sage Room (media session), Westin Galleria Houston, 5060 West Alabama St.Members of the news media who want to speak to Klineberg about the 2012 Kinder Houston Area Survey should attend the 2 p.m. April 24 media session and RSVP to Amy Hodges, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at amy.hodges@rice.edu or 713-348-6777.-30-The Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University was launched in 2010 to advance the understanding of the most critical issues facing Houston and other leading urban centers. The institute conducts scientific research, supports educational programming and engages in public outreach to foster the development of more human and sustainable cities. Learn more about the Kinder Institute at www.kinder.rice.edu.last_img read more

Baker Institute expert available to comment on Ebola virus outbreak

first_imgAddThis ShareEXPERT ALERTDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduJeff Falk713-348-6775jfalk@rice.eduBaker Institute expert available to comment on Ebola virus outbreakHotez: Risk of Ebola and the Ebola virus gaining a foothold in Texas is extremely low    HOUSTON – (July 31, 2014) – Sierra Leone’s president today declared a state of emergency over the largest outbreak of the Ebola virus in history. To date, Ebola has infected more than 1,200 people in three West African countries and killed close to 700 of them. The outbreak received extra media attention when two Americans became infected and a Liberian-born United States citizen died.PETER HOTEZThe risk of Ebola and the Ebola virus gaining a foothold in Texas is extremely low, according to Dr. Peter Hotez, the fellow in disease and poverty at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. Hotez is available to comment on the outbreak and its implications.“One of the reasons this disease has spread through Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia is that they are still in the postconflict stage with severely depleted health systems and health care infrastructures,” Hotez said. “In contrast, we are fortunate to have first-rate city, county and state health departments, together with a top-flight Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Furthermore, we should be mindful of the fact that severe tropical diseases are not new to Africa. The emergence of Ebola in West Africa is a great tragedy, but at the same time, all of the people who have died so far of Ebola are equivalent to the number of Africans who die every day from illnesses such as malaria or schistosomiasis. We too have our own neglected tropical diseases, such as dengue, Chagas disease and toxocariasis, and this too needs to be an important public health focus.”Hotez is dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, where he is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, head of the Section of Pediatric Tropical Medicine and the Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair of Tropical Pediatrics. Hotez is also president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research, where he leads a partnership to develop new vaccines for hookworm, schistosomiasis and Chagas disease. He co-founded the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases to provide access to essential medicines for millions of people worldwide.For more information or to interview Hotez, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at jfalk@rice.edu or 713-348-6775.-30-Follow the Baker Institute via Twitter @BakerInstitute.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related materials:Hotez biography: http://bakerinstitute.org/experts/peter-j-hotez.Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top 15 university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog.last_img read more

Rices Kinder Institute identifies challenges facing Rice Village

first_imgShareDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduAmy McCaig713-348-6777amym@rice.eduRice’s Kinder Institute identifies challenges facing Rice VillageNew study finds parking, management, infrastructure are most pressing problems HOUSTON – (Sept. 1, 2015) – Although many patrons of Rice Village might say that parking is a persistent problem in the popular shopping area, a new report from Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research finds that Rice Village actually has ample parking, but more can be done to improve the use of available spaces.Rice Village.Parking was just one of the challenges identified in the report, “Rice Village: Parking, Management and the Built Environment.” The study also identified an overall lack of district-level management and an unwelcoming pedestrian infrastructure as issues that prevent Rice Village from becoming a “more successful economic and social hub.”The report is the first product of the Kinder Institute’s Vital Communities initiative, part of the Urban Development, Transportation and Placemaking Program, which is designed to help bring meaningful planning, design, management and infrastructural improvements to metropolitan neighborhoods.“The report highlights the roots of several key issues facing the Rice Village area and presents a set of potential solutions for stakeholders to consider,” said Kyle Shelton, a postdoctoral fellow at the Kinder Institute and author of the report. “Parking is just one small piece of the puzzle. To tackle these issue comprehensively and for the long haul, stakeholders must also think about how to better advocate for the district and maintain its built environment.”The report offers the following observations and suggestions with regard to parking, management and infrastructure.ParkingEven at times of peak demand, Rice Village has at least 1,000 parking spaces that are unused. Shelton said Rice Village’s parking currently includes individually managed private lots and dedicated spaces, little-used private garages that are not available for public parking and employee parking in on-street spaces and in business lots.Shelton said problems include a lack of clarity about which parking spaces are paid and which are free, lack of signage to streamline parking in desired areas and a poor pedestrian environment that discourages people from taking advantage of available parking farther from their destination.“The perceived parking problem lies not in the amount of parking, but rather in the availability of parking that already exists and the management of the parking supply so that it can effectively meet the demand,” he said.Shelton said that the most comprehensive solution to the parking situation would be to permit the city of Houston’s Parking Management Division to operate all public and private parking spaces and lots, price those spaces according to demand and create a parking-benefits district. However, he noted that smaller steps, such as parking meters and contracted employee parking in private lots and garages, could also be undertaken.ManagementShelton said the lack of comprehensive parking management in Rice Village highlights a, deeper problem: the lack of management in the district generally. Cohesive management of the Rice Village area’s upkeep, signage and built environment by a dedicated entity would greatly benefit the area, he said. He laid out several special-district options for Rice Village in the report.“Our research indicates that the combination of a municipal management district and parking benefit district represents a feasible and productive option for the Village,” Shelton said.InfrastructureShelton noted in the report that much of Rice Village’s infrastructure is in disrepair.“The streets and sidewalks in the Village are in need of maintenance, and it’s not the most welcoming pedestrian and biking environment,” Shelton said. “In addition to heavy automobile traffic, there’s a lack of public and communal spaces, well-marked and controlled crosswalks and bike racks and lanes, and there are very few tree-lined streets beyond Morningside Drive.”He suggested that special district or management entity funds could be used to address this issue.“Pedestrian, bicycle and roadway improvements would help make Rice Village a more welcoming and useable space,” he said. “These improvements also can be a part of addressing parking problems by encouraging users to come to Rice Village by other modes of transportation or to park once and visit several destinations.”Shelton noted that other Houston developments — such as Bagby Street and Discovery Green — offer examples of what might be pursued in the Village.The study was conducted in April and consisted of seven hourly counts across a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The count times were selected to represent both high- and low-usage periods. Researchers went out during each of these times and checked the status of every parking space in Rice Village. The count included nearly every private and public lot, garage and on-street parking spot in the district. The only garage left out of the study was the Hanover Building’s residential garage, as it is fully restricted to residents and unlikely to be made available for nonresidential parking.Shelton hopes the study will spark conversation among area stakeholders about what options exist for improving the Rice Village area and how they might go about pursuing these options.“For its part, the Kinder Institute is looking forward to being a part of those conversations,” Shelton said.A full copy of the study is available at http://kinder.rice.edu/dtp.-30-For more information, 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:Kinder Institute for Urban Research: http://kinder.rice.edu/Urban Development, Transportation and Placemaking at Rice’s Kinder Institute: http://kinder.rice.edu/dtp/Photo link: http://news.rice.edu/files/2015/08/img_0504__1200_px_width.jpgPhoto credit: Rice UniversityLocated 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 3,920 undergraduates and 2,567 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6.3-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go here.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 77005 AddThislast_img read more

Tattoo therapy could ease chronic disease

first_imghttp://news.rice.edu/files/2016/09/0922_ANTIOXIDANT-1-WEB-qnb9wm.jpgDark spots in the mitochondria of a T lymphocyte cell are antioxidant nanoparticles created at Rice University and tested at Baylor College of Medicine. The nanoparticles are selectively taken up by T lymphocyte cells, which inhibits their activity and may help control symptoms for patients with autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis. (Credit: Redwan Huq and Debra Townley/Baylor College of Medicine) http://news.rice.edu/files/2016/09/0922_ANTIOXIDANT-3-web-11fov4e.jpgPolyethylene glycol-hydrophilic carbon clusters developed at Rice University were shown to be selectively taken up by T cells, which inhibits their function, in tests at Baylor College of Medicine. The researchers said the nanoparticles could lead to new strategies for controlling autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis. (Credit: Errol Samuel/Rice University)Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,910 undergraduates and 2,809 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for happiest students and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview. http://news.rice.edu/files/2016/09/0922_ANTIOXIDANT-2-WEB-125ikr9.jpgBaylor College of Medicine researchers Redwan Huq, left, and Christine Beeton. (Credit: Baylor College of Medicine/Agapito Sánchez Jr.) AddThis Share34Editor’s note: Links to high-resolution images for download appear at the end of this release. AT RICE UNIVERSITY:David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduAT BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE:Graciela Gutierrez713-798-4710ggutierr@bcm.eduTattoo therapy could ease chronic disease Rice-made nanoparticles tested at Baylor College of Medicine may help control autoimmune diseases HOUSTON – (Sept. 22, 2016) – A temporary tattoo to help control a chronic disease might someday be possible, according to scientists at Baylor College of Medicine who tested antioxidant nanoparticles created at Rice University.A proof-of-principle study led by Baylor scientist Christine Beeton published today by Nature’s online, open-access journal Scientific Reports shows that nanoparticles modified with polyethylene glycol are conveniently choosy as they are taken up by cells in the immune system.That could be a plus for patients with autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, one focus of study at the Beeton lab. “Placed just under the skin, the carbon-based particles form a dark spot that fades over about one week as they are slowly released into the circulation,” Beeton said.T and B lymphocyte cells and macrophages are key components of the immune system. However, in many autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, T cells are the key players. One suspected cause is that T cells lose their ability to distinguish between invaders and healthy tissue and attack both.In tests at Baylor, nanoparticles were internalized by T cells, which inhibited their function, but ignored by macrophages. “The ability to selectively inhibit one type of cell over others in the same environment may help doctors gain more control over autoimmune diseases,” Beeton said.“The majority of current treatments are general, broad-spectrum immunosuppressants,” said Redwan Huq, lead author of the study and a graduate student in the Beeton lab. “They’re going to affect all of these cells, but patients are exposed to side effects (ranging) from infections to increased chances of developing cancer. So we get excited when we see something new that could potentially enable selectivity.” Since the macrophages and other splenic immune cells are unaffected, most of a patient’s existing immune system remains intact, he said.The soluble nanoparticles synthesized by the Rice lab of chemist James Tour have shown no signs of acute toxicity in prior rodent studies, Huq said. They combine polyethylene glycol with hydrophilic carbon clusters, hence their name, PEG-HCCs. The carbon clusters are 35 nanometers long, 3 nanometers wide and an atom thick, and bulk up to about 100 nanometers in globular form with the addition of PEG. They have proven to be efficient scavengers of reactive oxygen species called superoxide molecules, which are expressed by cells the immune system uses to kill invading microorganisms.T cells use superoxide in a signaling step to become activated. PEG-HCCs remove this superoxide from the T cells, preventing their activation without killing the cells.Beeton became aware of PEG-HCCs during a presentation by former Baylor graduate student Taeko Inoue, a co-author of the new study. “As she talked, I was thinking, ‘That has to work in models of multiple sclerosis,’” Beeton said. “I didn’t have a good scientific rationale, but I asked for a small sample of PEG-HCCs to see if they affected immune cells.“We found they affected the T lymphocytes and not the other splenic immune cells, like the macrophages. It was completely unexpected,” she said.The Baylor lab’s tests on animal models showed that small amounts of PEG-HCCs injected under the skin are slowly taken up by T lymphocytes, where they collect and inhibit the cell’s function. They also found the nanoparticles did not remain in T cells and dispersed within days after uptake by the cells.“That’s an issue because you want a drug that’s in the system long enough to be effective, but not so long that, if you have a problem, you can’t remove it,” Beeton said. “PEG-HCCs can be administered for slow release and don’t stay in the system for long. This gives us much better control over the circulating half-life.”“The more we study the abilities of these nanoparticles, the more surprised we are at how useful they could be for medical applications,” Tour said. The Rice lab has published papers with collaborators at Baylor and elsewhere on using functionalized nanoparticles to deliver cancer drugs to tumors and to quench the overproduction of superoxides after traumatic brain injuries.Beeton suggested delivering carbon nanoparticles just under the skin rather than into the bloodstream would keep them in the system longer, making them more available for uptake by T cells. And the one drawback – a temporary but visible spot on the skin that looks like a tattoo – could actually be a perk to some.“We saw it made a black mark when we injected it, and at first we thought that’s going to be a real problem if we ever take it into the clinic,” Beeton said. “But we can work around that. We can inject into an area that’s hidden, or use micropattern needles and shape it.“I can see doing this for a child who wants a tattoo and could never get her parents to go along,” she said. “This will be a good way to convince them.”The research was supported by Baylor College of Medicine, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Institutes of Health, the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, John S. Dunn Gulf Coast Consortium for Chemical Genomics and the U.S. Army-funded Traumatic Brain Injury Consortium.-30-Read the abstract at www.nature.com/articles/srep33808Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNewsRelated materials:James Tour Group: http://www.jmtour.comChristine Beeton Lab: https://www.bcm.edu/research/labs/christine-beetonImages for download:last_img read more

Reports Steve Bannon out of The White House

first_img US Share this article Steve Bannon, the White House chief strategist who helped President Donald Trump win the 2016 election, has reportedly been removed, according to several media reports.The New York Times, ABC News, the Wall Street Journal, and even the Drudge Report on Friday reported that the former Breitbart News executive, with Drudge reporting that the “populist hero may return to Breitbart.”The Times reported that Trump told aides that he has decided to push him out as the chief strategist.Reports say that Bannon had clashed for months with other senior advisers in the West Wing, including members of Trump’s family.White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and White House director of strategic communications Hope Hicks walk along the colonnade ahead of a joint press conference by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington on Feb. 10, 2017. (REUTERS/Jim Bourg) White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and White House director of strategic communications Hope Hicks walk along the colonnade ahead of a joint press conference by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington on Feb. 10, 2017. (REUTERS/Jim Bourg)On Tuesday, at Trump Tower, the president said Bannon is “not a racist,” as some media have accused, and that he considers him “a friend.” “I like him, he’s a good man, he is not a racist, I can tell you that,” Trump said. “He’s a good person and I think the press treats him, frankly, very unfairly.” “We’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon,” Trump said.Related CoverageBannon Calls White Supremacists ‘Clowns,’ Says Economic War with China ‘Is Everything’U.S. President Donald Trump is joined by (L-R) Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, senior advisor Steve Bannon, Communications Director Sean Spicer and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn as he speaks by phone with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. on Jan. 28, 2017. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst) U.S. President Donald Trump is joined by (L-R) Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, senior advisor Steve Bannon, Communications Director Sean Spicer and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn as he speaks by phone with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. on Jan. 28, 2017. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)Trump is still looking into the time and manner of Bannon’s exit and might still change his mind, the Times reported, citing two administration officials.Neither President Trump nor Bannon have yet issued a public comment on the matter. Reports: Steve Bannon out of The White House By Jack Phillips August 18, 2017 Updated: August 19, 2017 Share  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Show Discussion White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon (L) listens with U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy Dina Powell (R) during a bilateral meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and China's President Xi Jinping (Not Pictured) at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida on April 7, 2017. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria) White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon (L) listens with U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy Dina Powell (R) during a bilateral meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and China’s President Xi Jinping (Not Pictured) at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida on April 7, 2017. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria) White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon waits for the arrival of President Donald Trump for a meeting on cyber security in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington on Jan. 31, 2017. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) last_img read more

Time Magazine Names MeToo Silence Breakers as Person of the Year

first_img Show Discussion US News Time Magazine Names #MeToo ‘Silence Breakers’ as Person of the Year By Reuters December 6, 2017 Updated: December 6, 2017 Share WASHINGTON—Time magazine has named the social movement aimed at raising awareness about sexual harassment and assault, epitomized by the #MeToo social media hashtag, as the most influential “person” in 2017, the publication announced on Wednesday.“This is the fastest moving social change we’ve seen in decades and it began with individual acts of courage by hundreds of women—and some men, too—who came forward to tell their own stories,” Time Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal told NBC News, referring to them as “the silence breakers.”The recognition comes amid a wave of public allegations of sexual misconduct that have targeted some of the most prominent men in U.S. politics, media and entertainment, leading to multiple firings and investigations. Ashley Judd, Susan Fowler, Adama Iwu, Taylor Swift, and Isabel Pascual (a pseudonym) are pictured on the Time magazine Person of the Year cover for 2017 in this handout photo obtained by Reuters Dec. 6, 2017. (Time Inc./Handout via Reuters)As more people made their accusations public, other individuals also shared their own stories of assault and harassment, often with posts on social media platforms using the hashtag #MeToo.“I could never had envisioned something that would change the world. I was trying to change my community,” Tarana Burke, who created the hashtag, told NBC. “This is just the start. It’s not just a moment, it’s a movement. Now the work really begins.” U.S. President Donald Trump, who was Time’s person of the year in 2016, was the first runner-up this year, followed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Felsenthal said.Other finalists included U.S. Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation of alleged Russian meddling in the election that Trump won; North Korean President Kim Jong Un; “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins; and football player-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick.Time’s annual distinction recognizes the person, group, thing or idea that it has determined had the greatest influence on events for the year. center_img People participate in a protest march for survivors of sexual assault and their supporters in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California U.S. Nov. 12, 2017. (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Share this articlelast_img read more

US Opens Probe Into Fatal Tesla Crash Fire in California

first_imgA vehicle’s chassis frame and a Tesla Model S 100D car stand in a showroom of U.S. car manufacturer Tesla in Zurich, Switzerland March 28, 2018. (ReutersArnd Wiegmann) Show Discussion US Opens Probe Into Fatal Tesla Crash, Fire in California By Reuters March 28, 2018 Updated: March 28, 2018 Share  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   center_img A fatal crash and vehicle fire of a Tesla Inc Model X near Mountain View, California, last week has prompted a federal field investigation, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said on Tuesday, sparking a big selloff in Tesla stock.Tesla tumbled 8.2 percent, or $25 a share, to close at $279.18, the lowest close in almost a year, after news of the investigation.Late on Tuesday, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Tesla’s credit rating to B3 from B2. Moody’s said the ratings “reflect the significant shortfall in the production rate of the company’s Model 3 electric vehicle.” It also “faces liquidity pressures due to its large negative free cash flow and the pending maturities of convertible bonds.”Tesla shares fell another 2.6 percent in after-hours trading.Tesla has $230 million in convertible bonds maturing in November 2018 and $920 million in March 2019.Moody’s said its negative outlook for Tesla “reflects the likelihood that Tesla will have to undertake a large, near-term capital raise in order to refund maturing obligations and avoid a liquidity shortfall.” Moody’s said Tesla is targeting weekly production of 2,500 Model 3 vehicles by the end of March, and 5,000 per week by the end of June, down from the company’s year-earlier production expectations of 5,000 per week by the end of 2017 and 10,000 by the end of 2018. Tesla plans to provide an update on Model 3 production next week. The company logo is seen in front of a showroom of U.S. car manufacturer Tesla in Zurich, Switzerland March 28, 2018. (Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann)Shares of chipmaker Nvidia Corp, which supplies Uber, Tesla, Volkswagen AG and other automakers, closed down 7.8 percent after it disclosed it suspended self-driving tests across the globe.Questions About AccidentIn last week’s accident, it was unclear if Tesla’s automated control system was driving the car. The accident involved two other cars, the NTSB and police said. Tesla vehicles have a system called Autopilot that handles some driving tasks. The 38-year-old Tesla driver died at a nearby hospital shortly after the crash.Late Tuesday, Tesla said in a blog post it does “not yet know what happened in the moments leading up to the crash,” but added data shows that Tesla owners have driven the same stretch of highway with Autopilot engaged “roughly 85,000 times… and there has never been an accident that we know of.”The company said it is working with authorities to recover the logs from the computer inside the vehicle to try to gain a better understanding of what happened. The company statement did not address if the crashed vehicle was in Autopilot mode.“We have been deeply saddened by this accident, and we have offered our full cooperation to the authorities as we work to establish the facts of the incident,” Tesla said in a statement earlier.Government scrutiny of the Palo Alto, California company is mounting. This is the second NTSB field investigation into a Tesla crash since January.The California Highway Patrol said the electric-powered Tesla Model X crashed into a freeway divider on Friday and then was hit by a Mazda before colliding with an Audi.The Tesla’s lithium batteries caught fire, and emergency officials consulted company engineers before determining how to extinguish the battery fire and move the vehicle safely. NTSB said the issues being examined include the post-crash fire and removing the vehicle from the scene.The Tesla blog post said Tesla battery packs are designed to ensure that a battery spreads slowly in the rare circumstance it catches fire.In January, the NTSB and U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent investigators to California to investigate the crash of a fire truck and a Tesla that apparently was traveling in semi-autonomous mode. The agencies have not disclosed any findings.The NTSB can make safety recommendations but only NHTSA can order automakers to recall unsafe vehicles or fine automakers if they fail to remedy safety defects in a timely fashion. Before the agency can demand a recall, it must open a formal investigation, a step it has not yet taken.Tesla’s Autopilot allows drivers under certain conditions to take their hands off the wheel for extended periods. Still, Tesla requires users to agree to keep their hands on the wheel “at all times” before they can use Autopilot.The NTSB faulted Tesla in a prior fatal Autopilot crash.In September, NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said operational limitations in the Tesla Model S played a major role in a May 2016 crash in Florida that killed a driver using Autopilot. That crash raised questions about the safety of systems that can perform driving tasks for long stretches but cannot completely replace human drivers.Tesla in September 2016 unveiled improvements to Autopilot, adding new limits on hands-off driving. Share this article US News last_img read more

Henry Cavill Done With Superman After Parting Ways With Shazam

first_img Share British actor Henry Cavill is reportedly out of DC’s Superman movies, after a recent deal fell through with Warner Brothers.The negotiations for a cameo spot in the film “Shazam!” possibly fell apart because of a scheduling conflict with Cavill starring in Netflix’s new series “The Witcher,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.However, a source told THR that the impasse came before Cavill’s decision to join Netflix’s series, which means Warner Bros. may have decided to go in a new direction for Superman, THR reported.JAPAN-US-ENTERTAINMENT-FILM-SUPERMAN British actor Henry Cavill waves to his fans during the Japanese premier for his latest movie “Man of Steel” in Tokyo on Aug. 21, 2013. (Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images)The “Shazam!” deal is believed to have been a critical role for Cavill’s potential to appear in other Superman movies in the future.The DC Universe also has a “Supergirl” movie planned, featuring the teen girl superheroine, reported THR. However, the different time frame in the “Supergirl” storyline means Cavill’s character Kal-El would still be a baby. Henry Cavill Done With Superman After Parting Ways With ‘Shazam!’ By Annie Wang September 12, 2018 Updated: September 12, 2018 Entertainment News Share this article Henry Cavill has worn the red cape in three Superman movies, including “Man of Steel” in 2103, “Batman v. Superman” in 2016, and “Justice League” in 2017.Cavill’s “The Witcher” is expected to hit Netflix in 2019.  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Actor Henry Cavill attends the “Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice” New York Premiere at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on March 20, 2016. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images) Show Discussionlast_img read more

Hurricane Florence Death Toll Hits 23 Could Rise

first_img Share this article Hurricane Florence Death Toll Hits 23, Could Rise By Chris Jasurek September 17, 2018 Updated: September 17, 2018 QualityAuto 1080p720p480p360p240pRewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video Share Show Discussion The carnage caused by Hurricane Florence continues to reveal itself as the rain is easing and wreckage is being cleared.As of noon on Sept. 17, 23 deaths related to the hurricane had been reported. That number could well rise as rescue workers and cleanup crews move into more rural areas, according to SFGate.North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said that as of the morning of Sept. 17, 17 people had died as a result of Hurricane Florence in that state.South Carolina officials said they had confirmed six storm-related deaths there as of the afternoon of Sept. 17, SFGate reported.An emergency truck drives through Hurricane Florence’s flood water An emergency truck drives through Hurricane Florence’s flood water in Grifton, North Carolina on Sept. 16, 2018. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)“We mourn the loss of each and every life and our hearts go out to their friends and their family,” Governor Cooper told SFGate. “We hope there’s not another life lost, but we know that raging rivers are still out there.” Some of the deaths were truly tragic.A 3-month-old baby in Gaston County, North Carolina, was crushed to death when a pine tree split outside the family’s mobile home. Half the tree fell across the residence. Both parents were home tending to the child.Another child, this a 1-year-old, was swept away by floodwaters on Sept. 16. The boy’s body was discovered the next day.  Rewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video Trapped by a Falling TreeThe Gill family, Olen, Tammy, and 3-month-old Kade, were inside their mobile home on Moses Court in unincorporated Gaston County around 12:45 p.m. on Sept. 16, when a large pine tree outside the home split down the middle and fell.Kade’s mother, Tammy, was holding him in her arms when the half tree fell right across the middle of their dwelling.“The tree had divided us,” father Olen Gill told the Gaston Gazette.  “I’m in the kitchen and she’s in the living room on the couch.”Neighbor Billy Hawkins heard the tree split.“I brought the dog out and I heard something snap,” said Hawkins. “Then the daddy came out hollering, ’Call 911, Call 911.”Gill and Hawkins went inside the mobile home where Tammy Gill was trapped under the tree, shouting, “Get my kid, get my kid.”Flood waters from Hurricane Florence surround a home Flood waters surround a home as the Little River in Spring Lake, North Carolina overflows its banks because of Hurricane Florence, on Sept. 17, 2018. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)Hawkins and Gill were able to free the infant. Tammy Gill remained pinned beneath the tree until firefighters from Spencer Mountain Volunteer Fire Department arrived and cut the two-foot-diameter trunk into movable sections.EMTs took Kade Gill to the hospital, but his injuries were too severe. “They come in the room and said he had head trauma and we didn’t even know,” Tammy Gill told the Gazette.“They had been doing CPR for the last 30 minutes and they just wanted permission to stop. I said no at first, but after another 30 minutes, he wouldn’t come back.”Kade Gill became the 17th death related to Hurricane Florence since it hit the North Carolina coast on Sept. 14.Tammy Gill was treated at CaroMont Regional Medical Center and released.Child Lost in the FloodKaiden Lee-Welch, 1, lost his life after his mother decided to ignore barricades blocking a flooded road.According to the Charlotte Observer, the boy’s mother was heading east on N.C. 298 through Union County, North Carolina on the evening of Sept. 16, when she came upon barricades blocking the roadway.The woman drove around the barricades and into the flood. The rushing waters swept her car off the road.center_img A road is washed out by the rains from Hurricane Florence A road is washed out by the rains from Hurricane Florence as it passed through Fayetteville, North Carolina, Sept. 16, 2018. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)From NTD.tv US News “Her vehicle left the roadway and came to rest amongst a group of trees,” officials from the Union County Sheriff’s Office told the Observer.“She managed to free herself and Kaiden, who was in a car seat, but lost her grip on him in the rushing water.”Searchers spent several hours looking for the body that night, but suspended the search around midnight. The body was recovered around 10 a.m. on Sept. 17, the Observer reported.  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   last_img read more

FBI Officials Say Body Believed to Be of Maddox Ritch Found in

first_img Share Carrie Ritch, Maddox’s mother, gave a statement about the missing child. “Maddox is my whole world and my reason for living,” Carrie Ritch said, WRAL reported. “His smile is so contagious, and his laughter is so precious.”Gastonia Police Chief Robert Helton told AP that officials have searched thousands of acres, drained the lake and conducted hundreds of interviews. Helton says investigators still want to speak to a jogger, a person who was pulling a kayak out of the lake, and anyone in a group photographing three children in Dr. Seuss costumes.Ritch said he knows that he’s a potential target for investigators in his son’s disappearance. @FTVLive In NC, search for Maddox Ritch steps up. WBTV briefly breaks into Kavanaugh coverage reminding viewers to download their app for Maddox coverage. Meanwhile WSOC reports body found, is now wall-to-wall Maddox, bumps ABC Kavanaugh hearings to WAXN. pic.twitter.com/vNV9gLdBVy— Diamond Joe (@ItsDiamondJoe) September 27, 2018 Officials have made a public statement that the body found in Gastonia, North Carolina, is likely that of missing autistic boy Maddox Ritch.“We have found what we believe is Maddox,” FBI official Jason Kaplan said in a live press conference at 4 p.m. “The investigation is not over,” he said, holding back tears, while adding that “we will not take anything for granted.”Kaplan said that the body was found in the middle of a creek tangled in sticks and logs, partially underwater in a heavily wooded area. Officials said the creek, located about one mile from where the boy reportedly went missing in Rankin Lake Park, is between two and three feet deep. A Fox46 reporter said it was Long Creek.“We still want to hear from the people in the park that day,” Kaplan said.“This is not the end that we hoped for,” said Gastonia Chief Robert Helton as he also held back tears.The FBI will now try to determine whether the death was an accident or if a crime was carried out. The boy reportedly ran after a jogger after his father and girlfriend took the boy to a park, and his father said he went missing after that.The disappearance of the child, who cannot speak, triggered a massive search by local, state, and federal investigators. They also recorded messages from his parents and played them in the woods in the hopes he could hear the voices and come back, ABC News reported.The FBI Charlotte office said the boy’s body was discovered off Marietta Street and Old Dallas Highway. “With heavy hearts we announce a body believed to be 6-year-old Maddox Ritch was found at approximately 1 p.m. off of Marietta Street/Old Dallas Highway in Gastonia. Maddox’s parents have been notified of the discovery. The investigation is ongoing,” it said earlier in the day.Maddox Ritch Maddox Ritch went missing in a park North Carolina on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018. (FBI handout)His mother said that Maddox is autistic and cannot speak, which complicated the search and rescue efforts.Police told WSOC that the identification of the body will be done by the medical examiner’s office. His cause of death is not yet known.Father Speaks Out“I started worrying once I could not see him anyone,” father Ian Ritch told WRAL. “It’s torture. I just want my little boy back home. I want to give him a big hug as soon as I see him,” Ritch said. “He looked back at me and laughed like he normally does … he slowed down a little then he paced himself back up,” he said.“He likes running,” Ian Ritch said, The Associated Press reported. “I couldn’t catch up with him. I feel guilt for letting him get so far ahead of me before I started running after him.” US News @FTVLive In NC, search for Maddox Ritch steps up. WBTV briefly breaks into Kavanaugh coverage reminding viewers to download their app for Maddox coverage. Meanwhile WSOC reports body found, is now wall-to-wall Maddox, bumps ABC Kavanaugh hearings to WAXN. pic.twitter.com/vNV9gLdBVy— Diamond Joe (@ItsDiamondJoe) September 27, 2018  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Share this article QualityAuto 1080p720p480p360p240pRewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video FBI Officials Say Body Believed to Be of Maddox Ritch Found in Creek By Jack Phillips September 27, 2018 Updated: September 27, 2018 Show Discussionlast_img read more

JOHNSON CITY Tenn—The nations eyes turned to Te

first_img JOHNSON CITY, Tenn.—The nation’s eyes turned to Tennessee on Oct. 1 as President Donald Trump continued a string of pre-midterm rallies, this time advocating for Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn who is aiming for a Senate seat.The rally at the Freedom Hall Civic Center amassed over 92,000 ticket requests, the highest number for a rally so far. It comes after the administration ordered the FBI to conduct a supplementary investigation into the sexual assault claims against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.Earlier in the day, Trump lauded a new NAFTA replacement deal with Canada and Mexico, touting it as a win for all three countries. He previously called the NAFTA agreement one of the worst trade deals for the United States.Blackburn will face off against Democrat former Gov. Phil Bredesen in what is seen as a tight race. In 2016, Trump won the state by 26 percentage points, garnering 1,522,925 votes in total.“Phil was a major financial supporter of president Barack Obama and crooked Hillary Clinton. If Phil is elected Chuck Schumer will be majority leader,” Trump said. GOP Senate candidate Rep. Marsha Blackburn at a Make America Great Again rally in Johnson City, Tenn., on Oct. 1, 2018. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times) “Number one, Marsha will be a great senator. Phil will never vote for us.”According to RealClearPolitics average of recent polls, Blackburn and Bredesen were tied at 46.6 percentage points.Trump again criticized the policies of the Democrat party and urged supporters to come out and vote to stop the “destruction and chaos.”“A Democrat-controlled senate will always be raising your taxes, opening your borders… They are going to flood your streets with criminal aliens.”“They want to replace freedom with socialism. The Democrats want to turn America into Venezuela—we are not going to make it happen,” he told the crowd.At one point during the hour-long rally, the president pointed to what appeared to be a commotion in the crowd, asking, “Friend or foe?”Seconds later after eyeing the spot he added, “We only have friends in Tennessee,” to raucous cheers. The Tennessee rally marks the first of four such campaign events planned for this week.The president also endorsed a number of other Republican candidates running in The Volunteer State, including gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee and Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), who is running for re-election.Trump returned to the subject of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).“Phil is only running because Chuck Schumer begged him to run,” Trump said. “If you want to stop Chuck Schumer from becoming majority leader… then you must vote against Bredesen,” Trump said.“We cannot allow ourselves to be pushed around,” he added. President Donald Trump at a Make America Great Again rally in Johnson City, Tenn., on Oct. 1, 2018. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)Blackburn first began her elected service career in 1998 as a Tennessee State Senator before being boosted to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 to represent the state’s 7th Congressional District. According to her biography her career as a state senator was marked by her commitment to “fiscal common sense and government accountability.” Before joining politics, she was a small businesswoman.Her opponent, Phil Bredesen, is a former governor, mayor, and CEO. As governor he worked on land and water conservation initiatives and education reforms. Prior to public service, Bredesen worked in the healthcare industry, according to his biography.Trump said the upcoming general election is paramount for the country’s safety and its prosperity, as he repeatedly touted his impact on the economy and urged his supporters to vote.“We’ve created over 4 million new jobs and lifted almost 4 million Americans off of food stamps. We’ve added nearly over 600,000 new manufacturing jobs” Trump said. He also touted lowering health insurance premiums by 26 percent in Tennessee. Follow Bowen on Twitter: @BowenXiao3 Show Discussion Trump Continues String of Rallies, Endorses GOP Candidates in Tennessee By Bowen Xiao October 2, 2018 Updated: October 2, 2018 QualityAuto 1080p720p480p360p240pRewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video Trump Presidency center_img Share Share this article  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   last_img read more

Hurricane Michael Slams Into Florida Panhandle Wit

first_img Hurricane Michael Slams Into Florida Panhandle With 155 Mph Winds and Deadly Surge By Jack Phillips October 10, 2018 Updated: October 10, 2018 New construction just collapsed in front of me in Panama City Beach from #hurricanemichael!!! It is going bad fast! pic.twitter.com/CG5R8jcUuf— Marc Weinberg (@MarcWeinbergWX) October 10, 2018 Show Discussion Share  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   US News center_img Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle with 155 mph winds, near a Category 5, on the afternoon of Oct. 10, and officials said it is likely the most powerful storm to hit the area in recorded history.According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, the storm made landfall before 2 p.m. ET.hurricane michael hits florida Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle with 155 mph winds, near a Category 5, on the afternoon of Oct. 10, and officials said it is likely the most powerful storm to hit the area in recorded history. (NOAA)“Michael is upon us, it is time to seek refuge. Once you are sheltered, STAY PUT,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted. “Do not try to leave until the storm has passed. Multiple state and federal resources are staged and ready to respond as soon as it is safe.”“Radar data indicate that the eye of Michael is moving inland over portions of Bay and Calhoun counties in the Florida Panhandle. Everyone in these areas is reminded not to venture out into the relative calm of the eye, as hazardous winds will increase very quickly as the eye passes!” the NHC said in a warning at 2 p.m.Storm surge is also inundating some areas along the Panhandle. “Dangerous storm surge continues along the coast of the Florida Panhandle. A National Ocean Service water level station at Apalachicola recently reported over 7.7 feet of inundation above ground level,” the Hurricane Center said. AccuWeather forecasters said the storm will likely hit Georgia has a Category 1 storm.“It is very dangerous to stand, walk, park or linger under tall trees in a situation like this. Large limbs may break, or entire trees may topple over. Many trees are waterlogged due to the excessive rainfall from this past summer. The soil in many areas is saturated. Trees are top heavy as a result,” AccuWeather’s Marshall Moss said.Forecasters say that 4 to 8 inches of rain is expected along the path of the storm, and 12 inches could fall in some parts of the Panhandle.‘Major Infrastructure Damage’Authorities warned of coming disruptions for those in Michael’s path.The region should brace for “major infrastructure damage,” specifically to electricity distribution, wastewater treatment systems and transportation networks, Jeff Byard, associate administrator for FEMA, told reporters on a conference call with Reuters.About 2,500 National Guard troops were deployed to assist with evacuations and storm preparations, and more than 4,000 others were on standby.Some 17,000 utility restoration workers were also on call.The hurricane center’s Graham said Michael represented a “textbook case” of a hurricane system growing stronger as it drew near shore, in contrast to Hurricane Florence, which struck North Carolina last month after weakening in a slow, halting approach.He said the storm would still have hurricane-force winds as it pushed through Florida into Georgia and tropical storm-force winds when it reaches the Carolinas, which are still reeling from post-Florence flooding. Up to a foot of rainfall was forecast for some areas.Locals React“My God it’s scary. I didn’t expect all this,” said Bill Manning, 63, a grocery clerk who left his camper van in Panama City, Florida, to move into a hotel where the power was already out, Reuters reported. “Panama City, I don’t know if there will be much left.”People in coastal parts of 20 Florida counties had been told to leave their homes but by Wednesday morning were told it was too late to flee. Much of the affected area is rural and known for small tourist cities, beaches and wildlife reserves, as well as the state capital, Tallahassee.Even before Michael made full landfall, it was whipping trees with its winds and had caused flooding in the town of Apalachicola, where more than five feet of water was reported, and in Port St. Joe.“It feels like you don’t know when the next tree is going to fall on top of you because its blowing so ferociously,” Port St. Joe Mayor Bo Patterson told Reuters. “You just don’t know when the next one is going down. It’s very, very scary. We have trees being uprooted, heavy, heavy rain.”“This happened so quickly, we weren’t exactly prepared,” he said.Michael grew from a tropical storm to a Category 4 hurricane in about 40 hours.Reuters contributed to this report QualityAuto 360p240pRewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video Share this articlelast_img read more

A 2in1 pillow that lets you sleep on your bed or at

first_imgNo pillow has looked at the act of sleeping or napping as holistically as the Dullo. This nifty two-sided, custom-shaped pillow comes with a great deal of attention paid to all sorts of sleep, whether it’s on your back, your side, on a sofa, or even your workspace (that’s if your boss allows it). The Dullo is a perfect juxtaposition between a device with medical benefits, as well as a device that’s just great to use and own, because not only does the Dullo help you sleep healthier, it’ll make you look forward to sleeping!Dullo comes with two separate pillow designs fastened to each other to form one single multi-purpose cushioned headrest. Analyzing different sleep patterns, either side of the Dullo is designed for a different sleep posture. A concave side gives your neck the perfect support to keep it and your spine in the correct posture when you sleep on your back, while a more uniform side with ridges allows you to sleep easily on your side. Depending on which posture you sleep in the most, the Dullo can easily be flipped to give you a comfortable night’s sleep. It even comes with a trapezoid design, allowing you to rotate the pillow to suit your comfort needs based on your ergonomics, your mattress type, or even your mood.The Dullo comprises two individual halves that can be separated too. Splitting the Dullo in two gives you two thinner pillows that you can use either independently or hinged together to recline on a sofa or futon. Separating the Dullo in two also lets you adjust its height, giving you an additional bit of control over your comfort. The split-pillow design also gives Dullo an added use-case. You can slip your hands between two pillows and use the Dullo to sleep at your desk! Providing the perfect set-up for a power nap at the workplace, the Dullo’s split design cushions your head as well as your hands, allowing you to sleep while sitting at a table.Dullo’s approach to perfect sleep extends to its construction too, with a breathable fabric exterior that keeps your head, neck, and arms cool and dry, and a short-thread microfiber stuffing on the inside that give the pillow the perfect combination of softness and shape-memory. The microfibers come with a coating of silicon too, making them moisture-repellent, and giving the Dullo the ability to be easily machine-washed every now and then, because hygiene also plays a major role in a healthy night’s sleep!Designer: DulloClick Here to Buy Now: $69 $99 (40% off). Hurry, for a limited time only!With the built-in grooves and head-cradling hole in its ergonomic design, Dullo Pillow will ensure that you get a good night’s sleep.Designed to gently cradle and support both your head and neck. The center crater helps to evenly distribute the weight throughout your head during any sleeping position throughout the night so that you can get a good night’s rest.Dullo Pillow is snug against the body so that there is less burden on the head and neck to support the rest of the body as you sleep.Dullo Pillow delivers the best sleeping posture known to help people who suffer from insomnia, anxiety, stress and back/neck pain while sleeping.5 Main Differences Between Dullo & Other Pillows1. Distribute Your Head WeightOther pillows allow for too much movement throughout the night which ends up interfering with the quality of sleep. The center crater in Dullo Pillow gently supports your head from all angles so that you can maintain a comfortable position all throughout the night.2. Neck Support TubeDullo Pillow contains two support tubes that work to prevent the microfiber filling from shifting too much while simultaneously providing cushioned support for the neck. The tubes have been designed to perfectly mold to your neck so that it maintains its natural C-curve shape so that you can sleep deeply throughout the night.3. Designed for All Neck LengthsDullo Pillow has been designed to provide maximum comfort and quality sleep for different neck lengths. Dullo Pillow adjusts your body position so that the spine aligns horizontally with the head and neck.4. Microfiber FillingSilicone-coated microfibers are elastic and resilient, so pillows with this filling are not easily deformed. Dullo Pillow’s coated fiber filler absorbs micro shocks from your neck and shoulders and allows you to sleep comfortably. Unlike ordinary cotton, Dullo Pillow’s coated fiber filler is highly water-resistant and breathable which allows for humidity/temperature control for a good night’s sleep.5. Air VentilationThrough the crown side hole and gap between the two detachable sides, airflow goes through both sides and circulates around the head so that you can stay as cool as possible while you’re sleeping with Dullo pillow.Click Here to Buy Now: $69 $99 (40% off). Hurry, for a limited time only!SharePinShareFlipSharePocket1.3K Shareslast_img read more

Unifying Oregons Three Ronald McDonald Houses

first_img Google+ Unifying Oregon’s Three Ronald McDonald Houses 0 on October 18, 2016 LinkedIn Twitter Facebook On October 1 the Central Oregon Chapter of Ronald McDonald House Charities joined forces with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and Southwest Washington to become a unified, statewide organization. With three beautiful Ronald McDonald Houses in Bend, East Portland, and SW Portland – the 32-year-old non-profit can now offer a “home away from home” to as many as 56 seriously ill children and their families every night.By joining forces across the state, the hope is to strengthen awareness of programs in order to reach and support more seriously ill children and families than ever before. In Bend, the beautiful 6-room lodge style Ronald McDonald House will continue to benefit from hundreds of local volunteers and supporters while gaining access to new statewide partners and programs to deepen services and support for every family that comes to stay while their child is hospitalized at St. Charles Medical Center.The newly unified organization continues to be governed by a statewide Board of Trustees, which now includes St. Charles Medical Center’s Sara Mosher, MidOregon Credit Union’s Dena Driskill, Bend McDonald’s Owner/Operator Mick Bittler and former Central Oregon Chapter Board Chair John Francis.Following the unification, Cascade Relays CEO, Scott Douglass and former guest family member Becky Joye have recently launched Ronald McDonald House Charities’ Bend Leadership Board to guide local fundraising, awareness and program development efforts to direct support to Central Oregon’s hospitalized children and families.“We are thrilled to be in the position to raise funds and awareness for our local Ronald McDonald House! When my son was born prematurely and faced serious medical complications, the Ronald McDonald House was there for my family – keeping us close while my son gained strength and got healthy,” said Becky Joye.“As a new dad and local business leader, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to expand awareness and support of our nearly 20 year-old Bend Ronald McDonald House and engage more community partners, volunteers and donors than ever before to ensure that families whose children are hospitalized locally, get the housing and support that they need while their children heal,” noted Scott Douglass.To learn more about the newly unified Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and Southwest Washington or to get involved at any of Oregon’s three beautiful Ronald McDonald Houses, please visit the brand new website at RMHCOregon.org. For media inquiries, please contact Jessica Miller, CEO 971-230-6701 or jessica.miller@rmhcoregon.org or Scott Douglass, Co-Founder Bend Leadership Board, 541-350-4635 or scott@cascaderelays.com.Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and Southwest Washington® provides a “home away from home” for families with seriously ill children, and supports initiatives to improve pediatric health.  For more than three decades, our dedicated staff and volunteers have offered comfort and support, a well-stocked kitchen and a warm bed to more than 34,000 families. To accomplish this, we rely on the generosity of donors, community partners and the hundreds of volunteers who selflessly give to our organization every year.  For more information, visit www.rmhcoregon.org.center_img Pinterest E-Headlines Share. By CBN Tumblr Emaillast_img read more

Oregon Equal Pay Day Analysis Shows Terrible Toll Gender Wage Gap Takes

first_img Share. LinkedIn Google+ Tumblr Facebook If the Gap Were Closed, Oregon Women Could Afford Food for More Than One More Year, Six More Months of Mortgage Payments, Nearly 10 More Months of Rent or 12+ Additional Months of Child Care AnnuallyAn analysis released for Equal Pay Day today reveals the size of the gender wage gap and its detrimental effects on the spending power of Oregon women. Women employed full time, year-round in Oregon are paid just 81 cents for every dollar paid to men, amounting to a yearly gap of $9,227. That means Oregon women lose a combined total of nearly $8 billion every year – money that could strengthen the state economy and is especially significant for the more than 160,000 Oregon households headed by women, 30 percent of which are in poverty.The new analysis was conducted by the National Partnership for Women & Families using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The full set of findings for Oregon, which has the 31st largest cents-on-the-dollar gap in the nation, is available here. The National Partnership also analyzed the wage gap for Latinas in the state, as well as in the Portland metropolitan area and in Oregon’s congressional districts. All of these findings and similar findings for all 50 states and the District of Columbia can be found at NationalPartnership.org/Gap.“Equal Pay Day is a painful reminder that women in this country have had to work more than three months into this year just to catch up with what men were paid last year,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership. “This analysis shows just how damaging that lost income can be for women and their families, as well as the economy and the businesses that depend on women’s purchasing power. Entire communities, states and our country suffer because lawmakers have not done nearly enough to end wage discrimination or to advance the fair and family friendly workplace policies that would help erase the wage gap.”According to the analysis, if the gap between women’s and men’s wages in Oregon were eliminated, a woman in the state who holds a full-time, year-round job would have enough money for more than one more year of food, six more months of mortgage and utilities payments, nearly 10 more months of rent, more than 12 additional months of child care, one additional year of tuition and fees at a four-year public university, or nearly the full cost of tuition and fees for a two-year community college.Nationally, women who hold full-time, year-round jobs in the United States are paid 80 cents for every dollar paid to men. Black women are paid 63 cents and Latinas just 54 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. White, non-Hispanic women are paid 75 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. Asian women are paid 85 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men, although some ethnic subgroups of Asian women fare much worse. And mothers with full-time, year-round jobs are paid 70 cents for every dollar paid to fathers.Oregon is not the only state with a wage gap. In fact, every state and 94 percent of the country’s congressional districts have one. The National Partnership finds that the largest cents-on-the-dollar differences in the country are in Wyoming, Louisiana, West Virginia, Utah and North Dakota. The smallest cents-on-the-dollar differences are in New York, Delaware and Florida. A ranking of all 50 states and the District of Columbia can be found here.“Numerous studies show that the wage gap persists regardless of occupation, industry, education level or perceived personal choices,” Ness continued. “That is why we need a set of public policies that ensure women have access to good and decent-paying jobs, the support they need to stay and advance in their careers, and fair and nondiscriminatory treatment wherever they work and whatever jobs they hold. That means fair pay and practices, family friendly workplace standards, full funding for federal agencies that investigate and enforce fair pay, and comprehensive reproductive health care.”Tomorrow, members of Congress are expected to reintroduce the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help break harmful patterns of pay discrimination and establish stronger workplace protections for women. National Partnership experts say the bill would help close the wage gap, along with policies like the Healthy Families Act, which would guarantee paid sick days; the Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, which would create a comprehensive paid family and medical leave program; and measures that would increase the minimum wage and strengthen pregnant worker protections.The National Partnership’s analysis of the wage gap was released in advance of Equal Pay Day, which is April 4 this year. Equal Pay Day marks how far into the new year women must work in order to catch up with what men were paid in the year before. The findings for all states are available in map form at NationalPartnership.org/Gap, in addition to analyses of the wage gap at the national level, in the 20 states with the largest numbers of Black women and Latinas who work full time, in more than 20 major metropolitan areas, and in all 435 congressional districts.The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org. on April 4, 2017 Twittercenter_img By CBN Oregon Equal Pay Day Analysis Shows Terrible Toll Gender Wage Gap Takes on Oregon’s Women & Families 1 E-Headlines Pinterest Emaillast_img read more

Public Comment Period Ends Next Week on Central Cascades Wilderness Strategies Project

first_img Share. The Willamette and Deschutes National Forests want to remind people that the public comment period on the draft environmental analysis for the Central Cascades Wilderness Strategies Project will end next week.The 30-day comment period on the draft analysis of the project will end at midnight on Monday, May 21. The project is analyzing a range of recreation management approaches for the Mt Jefferson, Mt Washington, Three Sisters, Diamond Peak and Waldo Lake Wilderness areas. Four public open houses and a Wilderness Pub have been held in Sisters, Bend, Eugene and Salem to discuss the project in addition to numerous stakeholder group presentations.The Central Cascades Wilderness Management Strategies Project is responding to extreme growth in visitor use and its resulting impacts to the wilderness landscapes. Five alternative strategies have been analyzed, which range from lesser to broader changes in management. The Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) on the Project can be found at this link: https://data.ecosystem-management.org/nepaweb/nepa_project_exp.php?project=50578  When people get to the webpage they need to scroll to the bottom and click on the Analysis tab to get the most recent information.Comments may be submitted electronically to comments-pacificnorthwest-deschutes@fs.fed.us. Please put “Central Cascades Wilderness Project” in the subject line of your e-mail. Comments must be submitted as part of the actual e-mail message, or as an attachment in Microsoft Word, rich text format (rtf), or portable document format (PDF) only. If using an electronic message, a scanned signature is one way to provide verification. E-mails submitted to e-mail addresses other than the one listed above, in other formats than those listed, or containing viruses, will be rejected.Comments may also be submitted in writing by mail or in person. Written comments should be sent or delivered to John Allen, Forest Supervisor, Deschutes National Forest, 63095 Deschutes Market Road, Bend, OR 97701. Hand-delivered and oral comments may be delivered to the same address during normal business hours: 8am-4:30pm Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.For more information about the project the public can contact Beth Peer, Deschutes National Forest (Bend) at 541-383-5554 or Matt Peterson, Willamette National Forest (Eugene) at 541-225-6421.USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. LinkedIn Pinterest Google+ Tumblr Public Comment Period Ends Next Week on Central Cascades Wilderness Strategies Project Emailcenter_img 0 E-Headlines By CBN Twitter on May 16, 2018 Facebooklast_img read more

COLORFULL Fun RunWalk Celebrating Longest Day of the Year

first_img LinkedIn 0 on June 20, 2018 By CBN Color explosion to remember, honor and fight Alzheimer’s diseaseWorldwide, an estimated 47 million people live with Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases, and it is the nation’s sixth leading cause of death. More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, including 65,000 individuals in Oregon, and this national number is estimated to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. For individuals with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, every day is The Longest Day.Held annually on the summer solstice, The Longest Day symbolizes the challenging journey of those living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. Join Touchmark at Mount Bachelor Village in raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research at The Longest Day Fun Run/Walk on the summer solstice — the longest day of the year — Wednesday, June 21. The ½-mile run/walk will take place on the beautiful Touchmark campus, located along the Deschutes River. The 5K run/walk loop starts and finishes at Touchmark and passes through Farewell Bend Park.“We are so excited to host this second annual COLOR{FULL} fun run/walk that highlights the daily challenges of Alzheimer’s and honors those living with dementia,” says Anne Wilson, Touchmark Life Enrichment/Wellness Director. “Today, nearly every family is touched in some way by Alzheimer’s, and this event is a way for people to come together and honor their friends and loved ones and fight Alzheimer’s disease.”The Color Explosion will occur at the end of the run/walk and will allow attendees to make a commitment through color to fulfill their promise to remember, honor, care and fight Alzheimer’s disease. The colors and what they represent are:Blue: I have Alzheimer’s.Yellow: I am supporting or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s.Purple: I have lost someone to Alzheimer’s.Orange: I support the cause and a vision of a world without Alzheimer’s.On The Longest Day, participants will do what they love — biking, hiking, playing bridge and more — to honor a caregiver, someone living with Alzheimer’s or someone lost to this devastating disease. Together, people will raise funds and awareness to advance Alzheimer’s Association care, support and research programs.Event DetailsWhen: Thursday, June 21 at 3:30pm (Color Explosion at 4:45pm).Location: Touchmark at Mount Bachelor Village, Terrace Lodge Parking Lot, 19800 SW Touchmark Way, Bend.How to register: Registration can be completed at Touchmark (19800 SW Touchmark Way).Cost: $30 before June 21 • $35 day of event (includes T-shirt, barbecue dinner and entertainment).Entertainment: High Street Combo with members from PRECIOUS BYRD begins playing at 5:30pm at the River Lodge Twitter E-Headlines COLOR{FULL} Fun Run/Walk: Celebrating Longest Day of the Year center_img Google+ Share. Pinterest Facebook Tumblr Emaillast_img read more

3 Basic Accounting Principles You Should Know In Business

first_img Pinterest 0 LinkedIn Facebook Google+ Twitter 3 Basic Accounting Principles You Should Know In Business E-Headlinescenter_img Share. By CBN on April 3, 2019 Tumblr Email If you run your own business or have a decision-making role in any organization, it pays to have an understanding of a few fundamental concepts that underline the practice of balancing the books. This applies even if you think your job has little to do with finance itself because ultimately everything in the commercial sector comes down to the issue of money.Of course, you do not need to become a certified public accountant to improve your comprehension of this topic, even if it may be useful to take a look at the courses available and consider if a CPA qualification is right for you. With that in mind, here are some basic accounting principles to get you started and hopefully ignite your interest to fuel further investigation.Image Source: PixabayGetting To Know Cash FlowCash is the lifeblood of any business, as without it you will not be able to operate successfully, fund new innovations, pay employees and stimulate growth over time.One mistake that newcomers to the world of business make is equating sales with cash flow, but there is a significant disconnect here. Your sales may be through the roof, but unless you’ve actually managed to take payment for the goods and services that you have provided to customers, you could face a cash flow crisis.Managing your cash flow means making sure that payments are collected on schedule, while also managing things like your product inventory and making sure that any bills your organization has to foot are also dealt with in a way that never leaves you struggling to make ends meet.It’s also vital to have an understanding of your burn-rate, particularly if you’re a startup and you have a specific amount of funds at hand. Here’s a simple burn rate calculationExpenses ExplainedTo get a handle on your cash flow, you need to know where your business expenses lie. This is complicated by the fact that some costs will be fixed, while others will vary from month to month.Expenses which are set in stone and easy to predict over time are those relating to things like the cost of renting the premises you occupy, the utilities payments needed to keep the lights on and the salaries drawn by employees.There are a number of examples of variable expenses that you will need to factor in when managing your business, including the number of sales you make and any commission that is payable for these transactions, as well as the number of items in your inventory and the costs of storing and replacing these resources.In general, it is better to keep your fixed expenses to a minimum, since while they are predictable, you will be in a better position to secure growth if you have more variable expenses available to manipulate to your advantage.A Balanced ApproachThere are many reasons to stay abreast of accounting issues and get to know your obligations as a business owner, not least because it can help you avoid IRS penalties for improper conduct and general negligence.As a result, it is worth familiarizing yourself with the tenets of double-entry accounting. This is a practice that underpins most business book-balancing and basically means that for every debited transaction your business makes, an equal and opposite credited transaction will also be recorded to offset this.Pursuing this type of financial equilibrium has been commonplace for centuries and is just as relevant as a tool today as it was when it was first invented. Consulting with a certified accountant or receiving training yourself will help you master this and many other principles.last_img read more

This NYC Startup Brings Pampering Straight To Home

first_img Filed Under: #NYCTech, AlleyTalk, Interviews, Wellness Sometimes, in order to feel your best, you need to look your best, and Glamsquad helps you do exactly that. This beauty services brand brings hair, makeup, and nail services straight to your home.  Glamsquad caters to the busy, on-the-go urbanite who wants to look his or her best.  The company leverages technology both in matching clients to its professionals as well as for its provider selection process, which ensures that the experience is consistent across different providers and that the providers are representative of the company’s culture.AlleyWatch sat down with CEO Amy Shecter about the ultimate beauty service company built for the go-getter and its future plans.Tell us about the product or services that Glamsquad offers.Glamsquad is a beauty services company delivering hair, makeup and nail services, in NYC, LA, Miami, DC, Boston and San Francisco/Bay Area. Glamsquad’s mission is to connect like-minded beauty enthusiasts through personalized in-home beauty experiences between our clients and our beauty professionals. Our talented and trusted beauty professionals are hand-selected and rigorously vetted to guarantee consistent, high-quality results. Using our intelligent, data-driven technology, we expertly match our professionals and clients to ensure an elevated and customized experience with every appointment. Glamsquad believes that human touch and helping people look their best is at the heart of what makes people feel special.How is Glamsquad different?Glamsquad’s biggest differentiator is our highly selective application process for our Beauty Professionals.  We accept a small percentage of those that apply as we look for talent, personality and only those that represent the ethos of our culture and brand.  Our team of independent hair stylists, makeup artists, and nail technicians are meticulously selected and curated through a rigorous onboarding process which includes both talent/skill analysis and character assessment.What market does Glamsquad target and how big is it?Glamsquad targets more densely populated urban markets with an appetite for on-demand services and a passionate beauty community.What inspired the start of Glamsquad?  Glamsquad launched in New York City in January 2014, offering on-the-go blowouts (and hair styling) to women around the city seeking the convenience of an affordable, yet luxurious, in-home beauty service to help them look and feel their best. In April 2014, Glamsquad launched makeup services in NYC, followed by new market launches in LA that October and Miami that December. Since then, we’ve continued to expand our service offerings and markets to meet the high demand.You have come into a few organizations as CEO after the company has already launched. What do you do first to ensure that you have a lay of the land and then what’s next?  The first thing I do when I join an organization at any point in the maturation of the company is to immerse myself in the brand, the people and the culture.  I believe it’s important to understand what working and what’s not working before making any decisions about what path to create.  Within a few months, in collaboration with the leadership team, we create a project plan to align against the priorities we will achieve and then communicate those initiatives throughout the organization.  Having a clear vision and a path to execute against makes the whole company operate successfully. What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?  Our milestones are opening new markets, increasing our footprint in existing markets, launching in-home selling and developing our partnership with CVS.What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?  One of the greatest pieces of advice I never got but learned on the job is that you don’t necessarily have to have all of the skills to do a new job well.  As a strong leader, it is essential to utilize the strength of the team around you to succeed.  By leveraging the team, you know so much more than any one individual working alone.One of the greatest pieces of advice I never got but learned on the job is that you don’t necessarily have to have all of the skills to do a new job well.  As a strong leader, it is essential to utilize the strength of the team around you to succeed.  By leveraging the team, you know so much more than any one individual working alone.If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?  I would love to have lunch with Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM.  She is an inspiration for female executives (especially in the tech community) and is successfully leading a path for change and innovation at one of the largest tech and consulting companies in the world.Why did the company launch in New York?  The original founding team launched in NYC first because it is where they are from and it is such a strong on-demand and beauty city!What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?  My top two favorites are Gramercy Tavern and Nobu.PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST This NYC Startup Brings Pampering Straight To HomeOctober 15, 2018 by AlleyWatch 252SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedinlast_img read more

CEO Spotlight How to Deal With Performance Numbers That Suck

first_img Filed Under: Advice, Management, Resources, Strategic Tagged With: Capital, CEO, Leadership, Performance, Recruiting, success, Venture Reprinted by permission.Image credit: CC by Gloria BellPREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST As a CEO, you are responsible for driving the highest possible performance results. This task is of course much easier said than done. Teams miss their KPIs, MBOs and performance metrics for any number of reasons. And sometimes despite the strength of your leadership, you know your own expertise in making it better is limited.So how do you get performance back on track fast? Skillful leaders are able to achieve results through their team the same way a good coach builds team performance by leveraging individual talents and filling the gaps. Sometimes CEOs and coaches feel torn about what to do when it comes to making tough calls on talent. Here are your options:1. Train: You can send someone to get the training they need to improve individual and team performance. It is a good idea to develop the skills in your team, but this option takes a significant investment in time. In the months that it takes for this person to learn new skills, he or she might have the theoretical or academic understanding of how to solve a problem — but the person will still lack the years it takes to develop mastery. If your business is in high growth mode, any individual’s capacity to learn — no matter how strong a team member he or she might be — will likely be outpaced by the needs of your company.2. Outsource: You could outsource a problem area to a consulting firm. This might be a good plan for skills that are not strategic to your vision and goals. Keep in mind that this option is expensive and you are not guaranteed quality. If you need to increase performance in an area that is strategic to your mission and vision, then you need to build the capacity internally.3. Recruit: That leaves a CEO with the best option for developing capacity in a high-growth company. Recruit and hire a world champion to fill the gap your team is missing. And remember that hiring must be done with mastery. Dabbling in recruiting and making the wrong hire will only add to problems you are already facing. Nothing: The last option is to do nothing. CEOs do this all the time by choosing not to hire an expert. Sometimes it is worse and they take on yet another set of responsibilities for themselves to prove their personal significance. This is the most painful option that often causes the kind of skull-crushing brain damage that creates suffering for everyone involved.Theodore Roosevelt once said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”Make the right executive decision and remember that the best utilization of venture capital is to acquire the right human capital.center_img CEO Spotlight: How to Deal With Performance Numbers That SuckNovember 3, 2016 by Dave Carvajal 315SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedinlast_img read more

When Startups Partner With Enterprises

first_imgTell me if you have seen this scenario. You are in a small, scrappy startup that is grinding each and every day to eke out growth. Then a big enterprise company that likes what your startup is doing comes across and suggests you should work together.You’ve hit the jackpot! Here is a real company with a big sales force and healthy marketing budget that is eager to help you. They have the resources to fuel your growth and finally allow you to be seen as a credible company with massive upside potential.Then reality hits. The partner wants concessions. The margins on the pitch deck mysteriously shrink. The legal wrangling is long and complicated. Your champion changes jobs. When a deal is finally inked, the enthusiasm that started the discussion ebbs as the roll-out is slower than expected.There is an elaborate game that is played. You go through all the same hoops to negotiate a deal as you would with a straight up sale. You navigate the organization to create visibility for your solution. You attend tons of meeting, do lots of internal selling, host plenty of dog-and-pony shows, and create all sorts of presentations, documents, and processes to convince folks of the value of your product.A year later, sales are anemic at best, while expenses are through the roof to support your “partner”. The heavy lifting promised by the partner gets shifted to you. And the deals your partner is working on are completely inappropriate for your solution, causing massive customer support issues. It slowly dawns you that the partnership could be the death of your company. The problem is that you were never their priority.Despite the risks, there are situations when partnering can be beneficial. Certain business models rely upon partnerships such as API and tool vendors. Startups targeting highly regulated industries are prime candidates for partners. Take the insurance or beverage industries, where markets are built around independent distribution networks. Partnering can also be sensible when your startup has no inherent barriers to entry, or can be easily copied, so quickly building a wide market presence is essential.How then, should you evaluate entering into a partnership with entities that are much bigger than your startup? Here are ten thoughts to consider that will help you understand the risks and benefits before getting in too deep:Values – You need to consider if your partner is an organization that you want your startup associated with long term. This is important because it is a reflection of the values you espouse as a company, which impacts everything from hiring, to sales, to leadership. Remember, you are guilty by association if you get hooked up with a company whose reputation is compromised.Synergy – Partnering should advance your vision and business objectives, and vice versa. I have seen some bizarre linkups that I only assume were done on “seems like a good idea” terms. I am all for experimentation, but such arrangements never pan out to the degree that it compensates for the effort put in. Make sure all parties have the same objectives going in and clearly understand the “why” behind joining forces.Motivation – Is it obvious why a big company wants to partner up with you? Some corporate business development middle manager may be excited, but is that enthusiasm shared elsewhere? What strategic initiative or corporate incentives are driving their desire for dialogue? You have no idea what they may even mean by “partnership”, which could range from links to each other’s websites to a potential buyout.Ease of Business – If it is exceedingly difficult to get a partnership deal signed, imagine what it will be like closing deals together. You need to know how their bureaucracy works:who has signing authority?; where are the roadblocks?; what deals are problematic?; how many signatures are required for approval?; do deals need credit, contracts and legal review?; what terms are problematic?; is executive sponsorship required?; do they have fast track approvals? There are lots of questions, but if you do not know the answers, you will certainly be taken for a ride. Therefore, reach out to other partners to provide color on the challenges they faced in creating and executing a partnership.Transparency – Having 100% transparency is a stretch, but you should have a sense of whether the people you are working with are trustworthy. You need a partner that is open with their motivations and helps to navigate the bureaucratic maze. You gauge trust by how open they are in discussions, how responsive they are to issues, how forthright or evasive they are in answering questions, how timely they are in meeting milestones, and whether surprises arise on a regular basis. If you are seeing red flags, do not get lulled into thinking it will get better, because it never does.Fairness – You are in a vulnerable position when partnering with a larger company because they yield much of the power. However, there is no reason to unilaterally accept terms and conditions that are onerous or potentially destructive to your business. Push back on exclusivity arrangements and terms that impact your business outside of the scope of the partnership such as, the right to sell your startup, or ownership of IP. Even if the deal involves an equity stake, make sure any rights that are provided are time-boxed so that it does not impact your freedom to determine the future of your company.Relationship – For the partnership to work, the relationship between people needs to work. Because employees are transient in big companies, you need to build those relationships by going deep and broad. The success of managing the partnership depends on building a coalition of people across partner company. Therefore, avoid gatekeepers that prevent you from establishing relationships with key contacts. Gatekeepers create a single point of failure in the partnership and obscure the political dynamics behind the scenes needed to keep the partnership alive.Scope – Sometimes, a partner will want freebies, meaning they want something extra that is outside the scope of the partnership. You may think it worthwhile to maintain a good relationship because it is hard to account for every single issue that might come up when you first ink the deal. However, freebies add up. Make sure you have a defined process for managing these issues and do not be afraid to bring up the fact that each request has a cost. Good partners understand and allow for amendments to the contract over time as the partnership evolves.Success – You cannot measure success without first establishing goals and measuring toward those goals. And, if you cannot measure success, you cannot incentivize further success. This is something that should be hammered out early on when discussing a partnership, as it also establishes the value that your startup brings to the company. Therefore, have firm tiers of success criteria and time frames in place to ensure you are fairly compensated for the value of the partnership and have the option to dissolve the agreement if results are not achieved.Mitigation – Startups have few resources to push back against a much better capitalized corporation when problems The best defense is to never put yourself in a situation where the life and death of your business is contingent on the relationship with a single partner. This is especially critical if you are building on someone else’s platform, which can change direction and terms on a whim. Make sure you have a plan B in place to give yourself a fighting chance should the partnership dissolve.If there is one point to take away from these points however, it is the need to ask the tough questions, even when it may be uncomfortable. Getting clarity and precision is exactly what is needed, as a single mistake or assumption can undercut your negotiating position, creating problems downstream.Partnerships can be an enormous opportunity to drive growth, but be wary when the balance of power is not in your favor. Partnering with companies similar in size may be a more fruitful strategy as you are more integral to your partner’s success. However, if the opportunity presents itself to partner with a large, well-known corporation, take the opportunity to fully evaluate the partnership potential to your startup’s success using the above considerations to help frame your decision making process.Reprinted by permission.PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST Filed Under: Enterprise When Startups Partner With EnterprisesJune 7, 2017 by Mark Birch 180SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedinlast_img read more

The 11 NYC Startups That Hit the Stage at ERA Demo Day

first_imgA solidifying force in the NYC Tech scene, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator (ERA) is graduating its 14th cohort of 11 startups that each received $100K in investment and mentorship from a pool of 400+ experts for the four month program.The midtown-based accelerator, led by Murat Aktihanoglu and Jonathan Axelrod, showcases startups that cover a range of functions from fintech analytics to corporate wellness. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE 11 STARTUPS FROM ERA’S WINTER 2018 CLASS PREVIOUS POST1 / 12NEXT PAGE The 11 NYC Startups That Hit the Stage at ERA Demo DayApril 26, 2018 by Reza Chowdhury 398SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin Filed Under: #NYCTech, Accelerators, AlleyTalk, Demo Days, ER Accelerator, Funding, Startups Tagged With: Bryan Lee, Butler Hospitality, Cedric Kovacs-Johnson, Choosy, Chris Choi, David Stasie, Flume Health, Greg Laptevsky, Halston Prox, HealNow, Heather Waibel, Jason Christiansen, Jessie Zeng, Joshua Smith, Myro, Orcadex, Panos Skliamis, Sara Nadel, Sharon Qian, ShopTheCreative, Spin Analytics, Spryfit, StellarEmploy, Tim Gjonbalic, Victor Choi, Vineeth Bhuvanagiri, Welnyslast_img read more

4 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing Your Target Market

first_img Filed Under: Advice, Management, Resources, Strategic 4 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing Your Target MarketJune 7, 2018 by Marc Gruber and Dr. Sharon Tal 324SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin Choosing which market to focus on is one of the most critical decisions for startups. It influences their chances to create value and to generate revenues, and even more importantly, it influences the DNA of their newly established venture and has a long-term imprinting effect.Yet, as founders often stress, this choice is certainly not an easy one. Interviews we have conducted with hundreds of founders show this time and time again: “We asked ourselves do we want to play in this market or that one…this will create totally different firms, in their mindset, in their definition, in marketing and positioning… very difficult questions…it is a fascinating process, but very complicated with lots of stomach aches and no clear answer.”The main reason for this challenge is fogginess. Until we invent a crystal ball that will tell us the future, uncertainty rules the game. It is simply difficult to know which target market will be more attractive in the long-term. Especially when it comes to innovations, there are always unknown elements that turn this into a high risk- low data decision.Yet, there are a few traps that startups often fall into when choosing their target market. Whether you are setting your initial strategy, searching for a pivoting alternative, or seeking to grow your business, make sure to avoid these four, common mistakes. They may bear fatal consequences on your new venture, or at a minimum, prolong your entrepreneurial success.Don’t Be Blind to Alternative MarketsMany times, founders don’t take the necessary time to research different target markets for their innovation, and they simply jump into the first envisioned opportunity. Founders tend to fall in love with their initial idea, and as a result, miss out on other potentially promising opportunities. Although it may seem distracting, it is actually very important to “look before you leap”- make sure that you are not aiming for an inferior market. In fact, a Management Science study showed that the mere identification of alternative markets, in itself, increases the chances of start-ups success. Therefore, you should take a step back and deliberately search for other types of customers who may need your innovation before you set your strategic focus.Limit Your IntuitionIntuition plays an important role in decision making. However, behavioral economists stress that synchronizing our emotional and rational systems is key to making successful choices. When it comes to setting a target market, entrepreneurs often base their decision on a very limited set of considerations: they simply count on their intuition or follow an interested customer. An informed choice, however, must take into account other key parameters. You should strive to verify and validate the value creation potential of your opportunity and the challenges in capturing this value. Be systematic and search for clear evidence. After all, insufficient research or poor evaluation can lead to big disappointments down the road.Don’t Focus too NarrowlyChoosing an inferior target market is certainly daunting, but common mistakes relate not only to betting on the wrong market but also to the scope of your market choice. It turns out that the “laser sharp” focus approach – which is so common in entrepreneurship – actually comes at the expense of flexibility. Many entrepreneurs concentrate their resources on pursuing a single narrow path: they develop their product, define their branding, and build their networks to target a very specific set of customers. While resource scarcity makes this strategy logic, locking the venture into a narrow development path means losing the ability to adapt or pivot over time. To overcome this mistake, keep a few other market opportunities open as your backup or growth options. Make sure not to lock yourself out of other market opportunities even as you progress with your primary target market.Just ChooseLastly, some founders find it difficult to be decisive about this critical decision, and they choose not to choose. Waiting until uncertainty fades away and postponing your decision for too long makes you juggle with too many balls in the air, and this is especially dangerous for startups. Spreading yourself too thin means losing the race – it’s as simple as that. Choosing your target market and letting go of other potentially interesting alternatives is certainly difficult but absolutely necessary. So, make sure you are clear on the markets that you are targeting and on the ones that you are saying “no” to. Despite the anxiety that may accompany this process, at some point you just need to choose.All in all, setting your strategic focus is a complicated process. While doing so, keep in mind that you actually need to consider two questions: what is the most attractive market opportunity that we should focus on, and how can we focus and stay flexible at the same time. Good luck!PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POSTlast_img read more

Dont Be Afraid of Hiring Former CEOs as Employees

first_imgDon’t Be Afraid of Hiring Former CEOs as EmployeesJune 12, 2018 by George Deeb 284SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin The common mistake that most entrepreneurs make when setting up their management team is filling it with people that they feel are easier to control or won’t make them look stupid.  That typically means an older, former CEO would never get a reasonable look as a direct report into the CEO of most early-stage companies.  But, is that fear justified?Why Most Entrepreneurs Typically Avoid Hiring Former CEOsFirst, their inferiority complex kicks in.  I don’t want a former CEO to come in and identify all my shortfallings, or tell me how to do my job.  Second, they think there must be something wrong with the candidate.  Why would a former CEO be interested in this non-CEO position?  Third, they think the former CEO likes to manage others, and won’t get his or her hands dirty rolling up their sleeves with the execution work that is required.  Or, lastly, they simply conclude that an older person simply doesn’t have the energy to put in the work required at an early-stage startup.Why That Is The Wrong PerspectiveMy immediate reaction:  that is rubbish.  Yes, there may be some candidates that could validate the above hypotheticals.  But, in recruiting, there is never a “one size fits all” perspective, as everyone is truly different, and should be assessed on an individual basis.  Have confidence in yourself, to keep your new hire in check.  Maybe the CEO just prefers the marketing tasks and has no problem focusing on one department.  Maybe that candidate likes getting early-stage businesses off the ground and has no problem putting in the long hours required.  Don’t forget, there is only room for one CEO in a company at a time, so when CEOs are looking to make a move, they may have no choice but looking at other executive positions if the right CEO positions are not open.Why Past CEOs Can Be Great HiresFirst of all, only a CEO truly understands all the different areas of the business, and how they work together.  So, for example, hiring a CTO that used to wear the CEO hat, not only understands the needs of the technology department, they also know how those needs impact financial budgets, recruiting, product marketing, etc.  So, instead of having an executive that has lived in a vacuum of one department their entire career, it can often be better to find someone that has a broader vantage point when making decisions.Secondly, former CEOs are not threats to you, they can be material assets for you.  Your business is bound to go through uncharted waters in your growth curve.  Who better to help you navigate those waters than someone that has been there and done that before.  So, instead of taking time to assess various routes (with potentially wasted investment dollars), now you can confidently move much faster and waste less “experimenting dollars” in the process.Thirdly, with lots of CEOs being a jack-of-all-trades, they are great utility players to put out fires as needed in other areas of the business, for which they were not originally hired.  Maybe your COO just quit, and he or she can fill in on that role until a new person is hired.  Or, maybe your head of HR is struggling with creating the right culture or dealing with lots of employee turnover, and this person can help share how they solved those same problems in their last company.  Former CEOs often have lots of tools in their toolbox, to help you fix whatever needs fixing.Why You Shouldn’t Be Intimidated By Former CEOsWhose problem is it if you are worried about being intimidated by hiring a former CEO?  Yours!!  Hiring a former CEO doesn’t mean you are losing control.  You are still the boss!  Be confident in yourself and your decision making, just as before.  Only now, you have someone with experience in the office that can help you toss around new ideas . . . not hurt or impede your efforts.  They aren’t here to make you look stupid or take your job, they are here to help you.  And, if it doesn’t work out, you can always make a change down the road.  Remember, always hire people smarter and more experienced than you are.  If you are the smartest person in the room, you have a problem!!Concluding ThoughtsTo be clear, I am not saying there isn’t any justified merit to the entrepreneurs’ concerns raised above.  Those concerns are often very real for several candidates you will meet.  But, that doesn’t mean those concerns should prevent you from interviewing other candidates, who can impress upon you that those concerns are nothing to worry about.  And, more importantly, can impress upon you that you are hiring somebody with the proven skillsets who can help you take your business to the next level, having done exactly that, in a prior company.  So, don’t be afraid of hiring someone smarter or more experienced than yourself . . . that is the holy grail of hiring when you can find them.Reprinted by permission.PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST Filed Under: Advice, Management, Resources, Strategiclast_img read more

4 Ways to Attract Prospects Who Arent Necessarily on the Job Market

first_imgFinding and retaining the best employees is one of the greatest challenges business leaders and human resources professionals face. Even with 73 million young adults seeking work, businesses around the globe report a shortage of skilled workers.Attracting outstanding applicants is about more than building cool company culture and offering competitive benefits. It’s about projecting an image that appeals to the 75 percent of all global candidates who are passive job seekers.My company has more than 100 full-time employees working remotely on multiple projects all over the world. Allowing our team this geographical freedom means competing with every company on the planet. If we didn’t retain top talent, we would’ve gone out of business years ago.Starting the ConversationPeople completely fulfilled by their jobs likely aren’t seeking new employment, passively or actively. Many top performers, however, are merely content and would be open to pursuing new opportunities. These passive candidates pose less of a turnover risk but are difficult to attract. They’re choosy and usually more expensive, but they deliver on promises and stick around longer than their flightier counterparts.Candidates we call “passive” for having turned down an initial offer provide a chance to gather feedback on the impression we’re making so we can better package our company moving forward and make “yes” easier for others to say. Talking through their needs also makes it possible to arrive at another offer that works for them.Opening a dialogue with the best prospects begins with establishing a strong narrative that presents your company as a world-changing organization in an environment conducive to meaningful achievement. The best of the best want more than better pay and benefits, which they can find anywhere. Most passive prospects are motivated by factors like superior work-life balance, more stimulating challenges and room for advancement.Enticing Passive CandidatesHere are four strategies for attracting the best candidates without having to sift through countless applications.Create a referral program. When it comes to top talent, relationships are key. Acknowledging and rewarding employees for referral hires helps us attract candidates who otherwise might not have considered new roles. The better your current team, the better prospects they will bring in. Our company understands that nothing beats working with other talented people, and we award cash bonuses for successful referrals. Zappos Insider, a talent pipeline site, is dedicated to encouraging potential employees to apply to the company in general rather than to a specific job. This opens up lines of engagement and helps Zappos stay on passive candidates’ radars.Be a serendipitous resource.Many of our recent candidates found us after stumbling across an open-source framework we recently released. We love working with developers who contribute to open-source environments, so creating one of our own allowed us to demonstrate how we share their values. From that point, the conversation about working together happens naturally. Another great way to attract passive candidates is by hosting special events like hackathons or other industry-related workshops, training sessions, contests, conferences and even virtual networking events.Take on challenging projects.Our best candidates frequently tell us, “I like the company and people I work with, but I’m bored.” Spreading the news about our company by highlighting the most challenging work we do for our clients helps us appeal to highly skilled passive candidates who are waiting for something more interesting to materialize. On your recruiting page, use video to showcase ambitious projects your team has tackled to tempt passive seekers who aren’t fulfilled by their current level and scope of work.Market on relevant platforms.We get involved in conversations on Stack Overflow, GitHub Jobs and Glassdoor because the audiences we want to attract are on these sites. We also have a company LinkedIn page and encourage our employees to highlight their achievements on their own pages to show passive seekers what they’re missing. A survey conducted by LinkedIn found that 75 percent of its members with full-time jobs are not actively seeking new opportunities, but 45 percent of them would be open to speaking with a recruiter if approached.Using these tactics, we don’t have to wait until a job is posted to find great candidates. Potential employees reach out to us, knowing that working for our company is an opportunity to collaborate with inspiring people who share their passions. Building an enthusiastic team in this way lets us take on bigger challenges and pushes our company to new heights.BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST Filed Under: Advice, Management, Resources, Strategic 4 Ways to Attract Prospects Who Aren’t Necessarily on the Job MarketMarch 7, 2019 by Kuty Shalev 380SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedinlast_img read more

B2B Customer Segmentation Approaches Census Composition Analysis

first_imgB2B Customer Segmentation Approaches: Census Composition Analysis Last week, I shared 6 one-off B2B customer segmentation exercises that early development stage B2B companies can use to quickly identify potential segmentation characteristics and use as a tool to inform target segment decisions:Compare the composition of your customers industry or size against the US census composition statistics for your selected target geography. Compare the composition of your lost customers by employment size against the US census composition statistics for your selected target geography.Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) / Customer or Annual Revenue Per Deal by Selected Firmographic CharacteristicMonthly Recurring Costs (MRC) / Customer or Cost of Service Per Month by Firmographic CharacteristicA Closed Opportunity Win-Loss Analysis by Target Firmographic Characteristic(s)Tenure of Customer by Firmographic CharacteristicThis week, I will explain how to use census data to set up and execute the two census composition comparison exercises.Census Composition Analysis: OverviewThe purpose of a census composition analysis is to identify positive and negative trends in the composition of customer, opportunity, lost deal, or lost customer groups relative to the census in a given geography.  Most of the time a census composition analysis is used to identify firmographic (industry, industry groups, size, etc.) trends, but often seeing these trends will help highlight other potential segmentation characteristics. You can run a census comparison analysis really quickly. The only time-intensive aspect of this analysis is categorizing a sample of your customers, opportunities, lost deals or lost customers by size, NAICS-industry, and geography. This only takes a minute or so per company and will often be the input to several other analyses that you will be doing, so it is a limited time investment. However, you will first want to evaluate whether or not one of these one-off B2B customer segmentation analysis approaches make sense for you and your company. Below are a couple of factors to consider:The analysis will be most informative for companies who have used an industry agnostic go-to-market strategy or limited targeting.This approach will yield the most value to companies who sell products or provide services to a wide-range of customer types.A Step-by-Step Guide to Set Up and Execute a Census Composition AnalysisIdentify the relevant geography. This is where your company has predominantly focused its sales and/or marketing efforts.Download the census data for the target geography (City, County, MSA, Group of MSAs, State, Region or US) and relevant NAICS industry groupings and/or size groupings. This data can be pulled from the following locations:2010 Census U.S. Business Statistics by NAICS Industries, Size Ranges, and States2009 Census U.S. Business Statistics by MSA, NAICS Industries and Size RangesThe key here is to identify the appropriate level of NAICS industry detail. The NAICS major industry groups (2-digit codes) are very broad and quick to identify. Each additional digit you add to the NACIS codes increases the level of specificity of the industry or sub-industry being tracked. The most specific NAICS codes have 6-digits and are almost always too detailed for this one-off type of analysis. I recommend using 3-digit codes as a starter as they are easy to identify and still offer a lot of information. Keep in mind that each additional layer of the NAICS code detail that you include will increase the time commitment to identify NAICS industries within your sample of data.Calculate the census industry and/or size composition statistics to make sure the subset you pulled is detailed enough for your needs. To do this, you will need to subset the census data to the relevant NAICS industry level (i.e. 2-digit, 3-digit, etc.) and/or company size range. Next, you will want to calculate the relevant proportion of US establishments that are made up by each industry and/or size range.Identify the relevant subset of customers, opportunities, lost deals, or lost customers that you will analyze in this analysis. This will be dependent upon your company’s previous go-to-market strategies. If your company has already led a targeted effort into selected segments that are correlated with size and/or industry, then you will want to look at a subset that was not part of a targeted campaign like inbound lead opportunities or inbound lead generated deals.Categorize the sample of customers, opportunities, lost deals, or lost customers by size, NAICS-industry, and/or geography. To categorize by NAICS industry codes, you can read the LinkedIn profile for each company and then search for the keywords in the NAICS industry identifier tool. Choose the selected code level that best fits. This will be more time consuming for more detailed NAICS industry code searches. Calculate your subset of customer, opportunity, lost deal, or lost customer industry and/or size composition statistics.  Calculate the percentage differences in actual versus expected sector or company size compositions for your subset of customers, opportunities, lost deals, or lost customers. Percentage difference is calculated as actual sector composition percentage divided by census sector composition percentage.Now you will want to chart the composition statistics side by side and overlay a line chart of the percentage difference. You will want to bucket the irrelevant NAICS industries into an “Other” bucket so you can focus the chart on the most relevant NAICS industries.Look over the chart and try to identify patterns of industries and/or company size ranges where the subset of customers, opportunities, lost deals, or lost customers are different from the census composition statistics. These patterns will often tell a story about the types of prospects your company does well with and those that it does not. They can also help you identify common no-industry or size factors that link each of these groups.Further analyze the subsets of NAICS industries or company size ranges of interest.Below is an example of what the output should look like using 2-digit NAICS major industry codes. Prior to kicking-off a census composition analysis, I recommend thinking about the potential benefits of this analysis relative to the time commitment and evaluating alternative analysis approaches. Younger companies are always resource constrained, so it is important to wisely invest your time. Next week, I will explain why and how to set-up and execute customer revenue and cost analyses for the purpose of B2B customer segmentation.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

The Mooch Trump Will Legalize Cannabis After the Midterms

first_imgPolitics Editor in Chief of Green Entrepreneur Entrepreneur Staff Next Article The Mooch: ‘Trump Will Legalize Cannabis After the Midterms’ Add to Queue The former White House Communications Director makes a bold prediction. But is it fake news? Jonathan Small November 5, 2018 Green Entrepreneur provides how-to guides, ideas and expert insights for entrepreneurs looking to start and grow a cannabis business. 2 min read –shares Get 1 Year of Green Entrepreneur for $19.99 To hear Anthony Scaramucci tell it, President Trump is an advocate of the federal legalization of marijuana and he’s just playing politics right now. In an interview first noted by website Marijuana Moment, Charles Peralo, founder of  Succeed.com, asks the former White House Communications Director whose tenure lasted a total of 5 days  if he thought Trump would make a change on his stance on marijuana. “I do. I think he’s going to legalize marijuana,” said Scaramucci, who calls himself “The Mooch.” I think he’s waiting for after the midterms. I think he’s on the side of legalization. I think the attorney general probably wasn’t.”Probably? Attorney General Jeff Session has made no secret of his disdain for weed. This is the same guy who made the decision to rescind the protections granted the marijuana industry by the Cole Memo.Related: Jeff Sessions’ War on Marijuana Is a Bit of a Yawner and Could Backfire On HimBut back to Trump for a minute. While he has said ( sort of) that he supports the bipartisan STATES bill, which “ensures that each state has the right to determine for itself the best approach to marijuana within its borders.” His endorsements have so far been vague and non-committal, saying he would “probably” support it. Related: Trump Says He’ll “Probably” Back New Marijuana BillIt’s unclear if The Mooch has inside information, or if he’s just making a prediction based on his gut, but he’s not the only Trump supporter making these claims.  Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) told an interviewer last month about cannabis legalization: “I would expect after the election we will sit down and we’ll start hammering out something that is specific and real.”Watch the video of The Mooch’s bold prediction. which begins at 28:00 minutes.   Subscribe Nowlast_img read more

Whos the Next PewDiePie

first_imgYouTube YouTubers with an authentic voice are using the platform to turn 15 minutes of fame into cross-promotional multimillion-dollar brands. Who’s the Next PewDiePie? Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Eric Samson May 25, 2017 Image credit: John Lamparski | Getty Images Founder of Group8A 7 min read Guest Writer Register Now » Next Article While it seems unnecessary to introduce someone whose YouTube channel has more than 53 million subscribers, many people still are unaware of PewDiePie. This likely is due to the fact that PewDiePie — or Pewds, as his fans lovingly refer to him — appeals mainly to a younger demographic: kids and pre-teens. PewDiePie’s childish sense of humor, proclivity for foul language and frequent girlish screams aren’t exactly geared to woo the hearts of minds of those with more mature sensibilities. Nevertheless, PewDiePie has built a massive audience for his YouTube channel. He plays video games and offers commentary, gives us glimpses of his general lifestyle as he chats with his girlfriend and appears in other short-form comedy videos. Pewds’ real name is Felix Kjellberg. He’s of Swedish origin but speaks English in all of his videos. He derived his moniker from the sound laser weapons make in video games (“pew”), death (“die”) and a cutesy suffix (“pie”) added just for giggles. The college dropout began creating videos for YouTube in 2010 while working at a hot-dog stand.Related: How to Start a YouTube ChannelWhile PewDiePie’s channel had little initial success, things took off once he began uploading videos of himself reacting to scary video games while playing them. If you’re older than 18, you might ask yourself, “Wait a second — this guy built a following of 53 million subscribers by talking over clips of himself playing video games?” In short, yes. That’s exactly what he did. “OK, then,” you think. “His commentary must be comedic gold, full of insightful observations and clever witticisms.” Nope. His sense of humor is objectively juvenile and even offensive at times. So how did a hot-dog-slinging potty mouth make $15 million in 2016?It’s simple: He’s 100 percent authentic. Whether you find Pewds’ humor hilarious or lewd, you can’t deny he’s always himself. That resonates with his viewers, many of whom feel that watching one of his videos is like hanging out with a close friend.PewDiePie’s fans (he calls them “bros”) are notoriously devoted. He’s drawn huge crowds at speaking events, and the hysteria directed toward him is somewhat reminiscent of Beatlemania.Given the amount of money Pewds has raked in, it’s no wonder other entertainers hope to cash in big with a YouTube channel success. But if authenticity trumps traditional notions of talent, how does one determine an audience’s taste before investing time and money? Authenticity alone can’t be the only relevant factor. If that were the case, every sad tween with a video diary would be a millionaire. Related: These are the 18 Most Popular YouTube Stars in the World — and Some Are Making MillionsWhile I don’t have a quick and easy recipe for how to make a multimillion-dollar YouTube channel, I can tell you that entering a popular niche in its early days will help. For example, when PewDiePie first started publishing his video-game commentary videos, watching others play video games was not a “thing.” Now consider the following passage from Rolling Stone:”Over 30 percent of internet users in the U.S. watch other internet users play video games online. Twitch, a video game streaming platform acquired by Amazon for $970 million last August, is referred to as the ‘gamer’s ESPN,’ but it draws a much larger audience than the sports network. With 100 million unique viewers per month, watching on average over an hour-and-a-half of gameplay per day, it frequently ranks as the fourth-highest trafficked site in the U.S., behind Netflix, Google and Apple.”PewDiePie’s YouTube success has given him the opportunity to branch out into other media as well. In 2015, he published “This Book Loves You,” a book consisting of illustrations and parody quotes. The book sold 112,000 copies as of January 2017. His success also earned him a partnership with Disney, which recently was terminated due to anti-Semitic content.Even with that controversy, PewDiePie’s audience size and annual revenue justify his continued reign as the King of YouTube. But no reign lasts forever. One day, another YouTuber will surpass Pewds and take the crown. Here are a few of the video creators nipping at his heels.Ray William JohnsonRay William Johnson is an actor, comedian, director, producer and rapper whose YouTube channel currently has 10.4 million followers. He’s produced videos on the platform for seven years and has a devoted base of enthusiastic fans.The majority of his videos are comedic clips that feature juvenile humor and lots of jump cuts. His channel has hosted numerous web series — most notably, “Equals Three” and “Booze Lightyear.”Johnson has transitioned from YouTube to Hollywood, founding the production company Mom & Pop Empire. The Group co-produced the film “Manson Family Vacation” with indie juggernauts The Duplass Brothers. As of 2016, Johnson’s net worth was pegged at $5 million.Related: Here’s How You Can Actually Make Money With YouTubeSmosh Comedy DuoThe Duo has earned 22.5 million subscribers and the No. 7 slot on YouTube. The pair — Ian Andrew Hecox and Daniel Anthony Padilla — launched the channel in 2005.Since then, they’ve pursued many different routes. Their three other channels (El Smosh, Shut Up! Cartoons and Smosh Games) feature Spanish-dubbed videos, animation and video-gaming content.Hecox and Padilla also are behind “Food Battle: The Game.” They released “Smosh: The Movie” in 2015, debuted the “Part-Timers” web series in 2016 and voiced animated characters in “The Angry Birds Movie.”As of 2016, the duo had an estimated net worth of $11.8 million.Colleen BallingerColleen Ballinger is a comedian and YouTuber whose channel, PsychoSoprano, claims 4.8 million subscribers. Her book, “Self-Help,” is a No. 1 New York Times best-seller.In addition to producing YouTube videos, Ballinger performs live comedy routines. She often takes on the persona of her most famous character, Miranda Sings. Sings satirizes hack YouTube singers whom she judges to be talentless, narcissistic and overly confident. Sings also often lambastes her critics and reads hate mail. She coined the phrase “Haters Back Off!” and made it the title of her 2016 Netflix series, which was renewed for a second season set to air this year.As of 2016, Ballinger’s net worth was $2 million.Related: Proving the Haters Wrong: Don’t Let Anybody Tell You ‘No’Matthew SantoroMatthew Santoro hit it big on YouTube with his “50 AMAZING Facts to Blow Your Mind!” videos and various Top 10 videos such as “10 MYTHICAL CREATURES That Actually EXISTED!” and “10 CONSPIRACY THEORIES Theories That Turned Out to be TRUE!” The Canadian YouTuber has accrued more than 5.7 million subscribers and produced numerous videos with greater than 7 million views. He also hosts Quest Nutrition’s “Food for Thought” web series. He published “MIND=BLOWN” in 2016. That same year, his network was estimated at $2.4 million.  –shares Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Add to Queuelast_img read more

3 Takeaways from Conor McGregors Loss to Floyd Mayweather

first_img Roy Raanani Image credit: JOHN GURZINSKI | Getty Images Next Article Register Now » –shares On Saturday night, Conor McGregor lost to Floyd Mayweather but shocked the world by going 10 rounds with “The Best Ever” before the referee ended the fight.If all you saw was McGregor’s post-fight press conference to the mainstream media you would have seen someone who made no excuses, kept up his confident exterior and tried too hard to flaunt the money he made. He also promoted his new brand of whisky. Backstage, McGregor made time for Ariel Helwani, a mixed martial arts reporter that he’s remained loyal to, and we could see the “real” Conor. I love this Conor — honest, direct, critical.Here are three powerful lessons about how McGregor acted in the face of defeat.Related: Entrepreneurs Should Watch the Mayweather-McGregor Fight, But Not Just to See Who Wins1. Don’t be afraid to own your weaknesses.In an interview later that night, McGregor says point blank that the fight turned when fatigue set in and that he doesn’t know why that is. How many of us are so open about weaknesses we recognize and are actively working on?“Fatigue got me. I don’t know what it is. It’s certainly not from working hard enough. I ******* work hard. I work hard Ariel. I worked hard. I work my *** off. I think it’s just a mental thing I need to figure out.”As a venture-backed CEO at Chorus.ai, I lean on my board members and mentors for advice. I’m always forthcoming about the things I need to work on: Celebrating wins more often, being willing to get imperfect things out the door, and a lot more.Related: 5 Lessons About Building Wealth, From Basketball Titan LeBron JamesRelated Video: Tony Robbins: Money Lessons from Boxer ‘Money’ Mayweather2. Make no excuses. Give your competitors credit where due. Continue to learn.McGregor opens the post-fight press conference complementing the things Mayweather did well. He spent very little time focused on what he did well despite being one of the top martial artists in the world.“I didn’t anticipate that. Three game changes during the fight. That’s what a true champion [Mayweather] does…much respect…I was wasting valuable energy…I became flustered a bit…He’s very composed. He picks his shots very well.”“What’s next for me is…continue to study. Continue to learn. I’m a student of martial arts and fighting as a whole. I’ve studied everyone in the game, including Floyd and it was an honor to share the ring with him.”At Chorus.ai, I started by dismissing the competition because I knew our technology and product couldn’t be beat. But competition is necessary and I’ve changed my tune. It makes us all work harder for our customers and there’s a lot we can learn from the things they do well. I regularly talk to our competitors and even feel a certain bond as we’re all creating this new category of software together. In fact, research we published for sales team showed the having competitors in deals increased win rates by a full 10 percent versus being in a deal alone.Related: Leadership Lessons From Sports Legends3. Don’t be afraid to take risks to get to where you want to go.McGregor publicly put himself out there on the biggest stage possible, in a sport where he has no professional experience. Many of us have opportunities to take a chance — lead an important meeting, present at a big conference. How many of us act on that opportunity?By taking this risk, McGregor made over $100M, introduced himself, his skills and his character in defeat to millions of boxing fans, and co-promoted what is expected to be the highest grossing fight in history. Five years ago he was collecting welfare checks. I may not like McGregor’s showman personality, but I have a tremendous respect for how he approaches his life and career. 3 Takeaways from Conor McGregor’s Loss to Floyd Mayweather Lessons Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Guest Writer Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business 4 min read Add to Queue August 29, 2017 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Five years ago McGregor was collecting welfare, now he has earned $100 million and global respect. Entrepreneur; Co-founder & CEO @ Chorus.ailast_img read more

Elon Musk Confirms He Was at an Alleged Silicon Valley Sex Party

first_img Register Now » Elon Musk Confirms He Was at an Alleged Silicon Valley ‘Sex Party’ Until 1 a.m. — But He Says He Thought it Was a Costume Party and Left Early Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business His representative said he spent his time there talking about ‘technology and building companies.’ Next Article This story originally appeared on Business Insider January 12, 2018 Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Image credit: Reuters | Danny Moloshok 4 min read Rob Price Elon Musk attended a now notorious event at a Silicon Valley investor’s home that has been described as a “sex party,” but a representative told Business Insider that Musk said there was no lurid behavior while he was there.In an extract from her forthcoming book Brotopia about the culture of the tech industry, journalist Emily Chang detailed a June 2017 party at a venture capitalist’s house that allegedly saw drug-taking and open sexual behavior.Axios subsequently identified it as the home of former DFJ investor Steve Jurvetson, while another blog post written by entrepreneur Paul Biggar said that, while they didn’t see any explicit sexual behavior, they did see Elon Musk in attendance.In a statement to Business Insider, a representative for the Tesla and SpaceX founder confirmed he was there, but that he believed it was a “corporate” costume-themed party and spent his time there talking about technology and business before leaving at 1 a.m.They said: “Elon was at the party for a couple hours and left around 1 a.m. after talking with several DFJ-funded entrepreneurs about technology and building companies. His impression was that it was a corporate party with a costume theme, not a ‘sex party’, and there was no indication that it would become one after he left.”Steve JurvetsonImage credit: Getty/Steve Jennings’As the evening wore on, several people lay down and started stroking each other.’Biggar, who left the party at 12.30 a.m., also wrote that he didn’t see any sex. “I don’t want this to be anti-climactic, but I didn’t see any sex or drugs,” he wrote. I went home at 12:30 a.m., and I guess sex parties don’t really kick off until the boring f—ers go home. I didn’t exactly know it was a sex party, and I got bored at some point and went home.”He also wrote that the party was organised by DFJ as the official afterparty for their annual summit. A DFJ representative did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s requests for comment.In November, Steve Jurvetson left DFJ, the fund he helped found, after allegations of sexual harassment were made against him.In her account, relayed to her by an anonymous “Jane Doe” at the party, Chang wrote:”Doe found herself on the floor with two couples, including a male entrepreneur and his wife. The living room had been blanketed in plush white faux fur and pillows, where, as the evening wore on, several people lay down and started stroking one another, Doe said, in what became a sizable cuddle puddle. One venture capitalist, dressed up as a bunny (it’s unclear how this fit into the edge-of-the-earth theme), offered Jane Doe some powder in a plastic bag. It was Molly.’ They said it will just make you feel relaxed and you’re going to like being touched,’ Doe recounted to me.”Critics have since raised questions about the appropriateness of the alleged event and the risk of exploitation. “Give women access by funding them, by mentoring them, by introducing them, by supporting and advising them. Do not create an ecosystem where women are systemically denied access to funding and power, and then exploit that lack of power to coerce women into having sex with you,” Biggar wrote.”Not that sex is bad, nor that sex parties are bad. Using power to deny access to women, then providing access so long as they have sex with you; that’s abuse, and that’s f—ed up.”An unnamed female entrepreneur told Chang: “If you do participate in these sex parties, don’t ever think about starting a company or having someone invest in you. Those doors get shut. But if you don’t participate, you’re shut out. You’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” Add to Queue –shares Elon Musklast_img read more

Facebook Stop Censoring Hemp

first_img Hemp is legal in America but banned from Facebook. Free Green Entrepreneur App May 30, 2019 hemp Keep up with the latest trends and news in the cannabis industry with our free articles and videos, plus subscribe to the digital edition of Green Entrepreneur magazine. Next Article Download Our iOS App Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Contributor Colleen Keahey Lanier Add to Queue 4 min read Facebook: Stop Censoring Hemp One day in late April, Larry Serbin logged into Facebook to find that the advertisement he had carefully built for his hemp fiber products company, Hemp Traders, had been denied. The advertising account associated with his business page of over 9,000 followers, had also vanished into thin air with little to no explanation from Facebook administrators. Serbin eventually discovered that his ad account had been booted for violating Facebook’s advertising policies, citing the promotion of illegal, prescription, or recreational drugs in his ad titled, “Saving the Forests – Saving the Planet.”Hemp Traders, the largest supplier of hemp fiber products in the world, is one of the thousands of hemp companies operating legally to see their Facebook accounts shut down or advertising requests denied in the last year. Additionally, Facebook appears to be making it more difficult for users to discover hemp related pages from CBD companies, to hemp food retailers and trade groups. The leading social media platform, with its 2.38 billion monthly users, represents a massive market for small businesses.Related: How Companies Are Trying to Bring Marijuana Ads OnlineLast December, President Trump signed the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, i.e. farm bill, which included the Hemp Farming Act, redefining hemp as an agricultural commodity and explicitly removing it from the purview of the Controlled Substances Act and the jurisdiction of the Drug Enforcement Administration, much to the delight of thousands of hemp farmers and entrepreneurs nationwide. Although the cash crop is now federally legal, hemp entrepreneurs still face unique challenges in today’s market. They currently don’t have access to Facebook or Instagram advertising, which accounts for nearly 57 percent of the U.S. digital ad market, according to eMarketer.While Facebook may be totally within their rights to pull the plug on any content on their platform, the seemingly random account suspensions and advertising denials have created an uneven and unfair playing field for entrepreneurs wishing to find success in the hemp industry, denying legal, hemp-related companies — most of which do not sell marijuana products at all — access to one of the most important marketing platforms in the world. With little to no explanation or assistance from Facebook administrators, many hemp companies are left at a standstill with their digital marketing efforts.Related: Google Bans Buying Weed Using Play Store AppsWith the passage of the farm bill, it seemed there would be a new dawn for the hemp industries absolving them the confusion over whether hemp was indeed a controlled substance. Not all of Cannabis is considered a drug, and Facebook’s new AI technology is already obsolete if it continues to recognize images of Cannabis as a controlled substance generally. For new entrepreneurs looking to break into the growing hemp industry, being denied access to the social media platform’s advertising capabilities represents a massive roadblock.The Hemp Industries Association (HIA), in association with Hoban Law Group, Bluebird Botanicals, and Bish Enterprises, is launching a nationwide campaign aimed at addressing Facebook’s current advertising policy that prohibits the marketing and promotion of industrial hemp. The goal is to change Facebook’s current policy by applying pressure starting in the most public way possible, a call to action in none other than Times Square. The HIA’s advertisement in the heart of Manhattan addresses the Association’s most pressing concern; Facebook: stop censoring hemp. Hemp advertisements are allowed in Times Square, so why not on Facebook? Hemp is legal.In addition, the HIA is coordinating a massive grassroots social media campaign among its more than 1,500 members in support of the much-needed policy change. The Association is asking all hemp supporters – advocates, farmers, processors, manufacturers, retailers and consumers – to join the movement and help turn Facebook green. The HIA is using a specially created Instagram account (and populating the hashtag #hempislegal) to feature examples of the platform’s discrimination toward hemp companies, highlighting the importance of addressing this outdated and misguided policy. The HIA also urges hemp supporters to visit the campaign’s official communication portal, HempIsLegal.org, to sign a petition of support.Related: Study Finds Cannabis Dispensaries Don’t Cause High Crime or Low Property ValuesThe lack of clarity surrounding Facebook’s policy towards federally legalized hemp is perhaps the most common and frustrating complaint around the hemp industry. Hemp supporters see this as a critical moment for legal hemp companies to demand that technology giants like Facebook, take them seriously both as a legal business and as a multi-billion dollar market. Executive Director of Hemp Industries Association –shares Image credit: Hemp Industry Associationlast_img read more

Yahoos Marissa Mayer Is Expecting Identical Twin Girls

first_imgMarissa Mayer Laura Entis Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. September 1, 2015 Marissa Mayer, CEO, Yahoo 2 min read Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand –shares Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer Is Expecting Identical Twin Girlscenter_img Next Article Marissa Mayer, chief executive of Yahoo, is expecting twins.”I’m pregnant! In fact, I’m expecting identical twin girls, likely arriving in December,” she announced on her personal Tumblr this morning, adding that she plans on working “throughout” her pregnancy:Since my pregnancy has been healthy and uncomplicated and since this is a unique time in Yahoo’s transformation, I plan to approach the pregnancy and delivery as I did with my son three years ago, taking limited time away and working throughout.Mayer had her son in 2012, a mere three months after she took the reins at Yahoo. Her nearly nonexistent time away from work, coupled with the rumored nursery she installed on-site, brought Yahoo’s parental leave policy to the forefront. Approximately a year after Mayer gave birth, the company extended its coverage, nearly doubling maternity paid leave for mothers to 16 weeks and adding eight weeks of paid leave for fathers.Related: How Will Netflix’s New Unlimited Parental Leave Policy Work, Exactly?In contrast to Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, who has been vocal about the difficulties facing women juggling work and family obligations, Mayer has been largely quiet on the work-life balance front. Still, in her largely peppy post, the Yahoo CEO alluded to the fact that her already full plate is about to get more crowded:Moving forward, there will be a lot to do for both my family and for Yahoo; both will require hard work and thoughtful prioritization. However, I’m extremely energized by and dedicated to both my family and Yahoo and will do all that is necessary and more to help both thrive.Mayer’s announcement adds to a growing trend of high-profile tech figures communicating personal news directly (on their companies’ platforms, of course). Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently took to the social network to announce that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are expecting their first child, while Sandberg wrote a heartfelt, emotional Facebook post following the death of her husband, David Goldberg.  Related: Mysterious Marissa Mayer: 5 Things You Might Not Know About the Yahoo CEO Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Add to Queue Image credit: Noah Berger | Reuters Guest Writer Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

Verizon Strips Down Its Logo in Lukewarm Reboot

first_img First Google. Now Verizon. The multibillion-dollar telecommunications giant debuted a new stripped-down version of its logo this week. The leaner, cleaner updated look marks the company’s first visual refresh in 15 years.   If you think the new emblem is neither clever nor flashy, and we’re betting you do, you’re right. It’s plain and simple by design, even bordering on boring. More importantly, it’s scalable.”There definitely is some inherent flexibility with it,” Verizon spokesperson Kim Ancin told AdWeek yesterday. “It’s not as difficult to reproduce, so that makes it an affordable option for us. It’s cleaner and neater and kind of the direction that we’re going. It’s about being simple.”Related: What Will AOL’s Tim Armstrong Bring to Verizon?The no-frills new logo, drafted by the global design house Pentagram, retains Verizon’s signature high-contrast black and stop sign red color scheme, though it’s smaller and shows off only one slight splash of crimson. The big, bold red check mark that once appeared above the lowercase logotype is history, and, along with it, the oversized red “z” in Verizon. Instead, a thin red check mark appears to the right of the letter “n,” like an exponent symbol in math.    It’s as a nod to the past and a hint at the future. That’s how Verizon frames the change, at least.“At its most basic level, the new logo is a visual statement that honors our history and reflects an identity that stands for simplicity, honesty and joy in a category rife with confusion, disclaimers and frustration,” a Verizon statement heralding the mod reads. “It’s a cleaner, more human design and the checkmark, the universal symbol for getting things done, uniquely expresses the reliability of Verizon.”.@VerizonNews’s new checkmark logo CHECKS all the boxes. Send me more using #NewVerizonLogo http://t.co/0ZqWcZm4zF pic.twitter.com/ORnVwiBjH9— John Legere (@JohnLegere) September 2, 2015As expected, there’s no shortage of criticism of the notably bland refresh on Twitter, including a predictably hot-headed burn from the spark plug CEO of one of Verizon’s fiercest competitors. T-Mobile’s John Legere did not disappoint. He wasted no time in tweeting out the refreshed logo, trailed by a fittingly check-marked list of the ways he claims Verizon “screws over” customers. Uh, maybe he should check himself before he wrecks himself.Related: T-Mobile’s Latest Attack on Verizon Is a Masterful Marketing Maneuver Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Next Article Kim Lachance Shandrow Image credit: Verizon –shares Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand September 3, 2015center_img Verizon Strips Down Its Logo in Lukewarm Reboot 3 min read Verizon Former West Coast Editor Add to Queue Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

Kellogg updates packaging aims and seals Pringles recycling deal

first_imgKellogg updates packaging aims and seals Pringles recycling dealPosted By: Contributoron: October 26, 2018In: Business, Environment, Food, Industries, Packaging, Snacks, Social Responsibility, Social responsibilityPrintEmailKellogg’s will aim to use 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by the end of 2025, as part of new sustainability targets.The goals build on the company’s current sustainable packaging commitment to continue to ensure 100% of all timber-based packaging is either recycled or certified as sustainably sourced.Consumers in the UK will also now be able to recycle their Pringles’ cans thanks to a new deal struck between the Kellogg’s-owned crisp brand and recycling company TerraCycle. From December 2018, empty Pringles cans can be sent to TerraCycle using freepost labels. The cans are then recycled and the resulting pellets used to create new products such as benches and fence posts. Pringles packets are not currently recyclable.Kellogg’s CEO Steve CahillaneKellogg said it has also been working with its suppliers to identify packaging designs that minimise waste while ensuring the quality and safety of its foods. In Europe, the company has launched a project to move its cereal pouches to a recycle-ready material by late 2019, which will remove an estimated 480 tonnes of non-recyclable packaging from its supply chain each year.Kellogg’s CEO Steve Cahillane said: “Nurturing our planet is a foundational value of Kellogg. It’s imperative we are part of a solution that ensures a healthy and sustainable planet for all people around the world.”Lou Massari, Kellogg’s senior director of global packaging, added: “We cannot accomplish this ambitious goal alone, and we will collaborate with new and existing external partners, our customers and other innovators to identify packaging solutions that protect and enhance our foods while delivering on the quality and great taste that consumers expect from us.”In its most recent quarterly results, Kellogg’s recorded a 5.8% increase in its revenue as it benefitted from the acquisition of Rxbar maker Chicago Bar Company.Share with your network: Tags: Kellogg’ssustainabilityUKlast_img read more

Florida bridge collapse four dead after new walkway falls on busy road

first_img Facebook Florida US universities Topics Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Pinterest This article is more than 1 year old Share on Facebook Facebook Share on WhatsApp View of the main span of the FIU-Sweetwater University City Bridge which collapsed five days after been installed. Photograph: Miami Herald/TNS/Sipa USA/Rex/Shutterstock CCTV footage shows moment Florida bridge collapses – video Since you’re here… Twitter Richard Luscombe in Miami and agencies news … 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. Pinterest Vehicles are seen trapped under the collapsed pedestrian bridge. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images Share on Twittercenter_img Florida bridge collapse: four dead after new walkway falls on busy road Four people have been killed after a newly installed pedestrian bridge collapsed on Thursday at Florida International University in the Miami area, crushing at least five vehicles.The 950-ton span fell directly on to a busy roadway at the university’s main Miami-area campus. Video shows vehicles underneath the bridge were hit.At a news briefing Thursday evening, the Miami-Dade County fire chief said four had been found deceased at the scene by first responders. Nine victims were removed “early on” and taken to hospitals, Dave Downey added, but did not elaborate on their conditions. Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, also spoke to reporters, saying: “Everybody is working hard to make sure we rescue anyone who can be rescued.” The governor added that an investigation would get to the bottom of “why this happened and what happened” and that anyone found responsible would be held accountable. Dr Mark McKenney, the chief surgeon at Kendall regional medical centre’s trauma unit, said his hospital received 10 patients, two of whom he said remained in “an extremely critical condition” on Thursday evening, one with significant head and chest injuries and one in a coma.Munilla Construction Management, which installed the bridge, said in a statement that the bridge suffered a “catastrophic collapse, causing injuries and loss of life”.There were unconfirmed reports that workers were conducting a stress test on the bridge when it collapsed, and the Miami-Dade police chief, Juan Perez, said construction workers were believed to have been on top of the structure at the time.The bridge connects the university with the city of Sweetwater and was installed on Saturday in six hours over the eight-lane highway, according to a story that was posted on the university’s website. It was 174ft (53 meters) long and weighed 950 tons. Twitter Another witness, Jonathan Munoz, a student, said he and a professor ran over after the collapse and saw “a scene of chaos”.“I heard people were screaming. I thought it was a car accident,” Munoz told CNN. “This intersection is very busy. There have been fatalities from students being struck; that’s why they built the bridge. “There were doctors from the medical school on campus who came over in their white coats, figuring out who they could immediately get to. There were police and construction workers. It was a chaotic scene. No one knew exactly what to do.”According to the Miami Herald, construction crews had spent several months erecting support towers on either side of the roadway, and cranes lifted the walkway into place on Saturday morning.The $14.2m project was funded by the US Department of Transportation. Play Video Shares700700 Share via Email Support The Guardian This article is more than 1 year old Florida Fri 16 Mar 2018 07.16 EDT Share via Email Share on Facebook The bridge was intended to provide a walkway over Southwest Eighth Street, one of the busiest roads in south Florida. An 18-year-old FIU student from San Diego was killed while trying to cross the street near campus last August, according to local media reports.The White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, said Donald Trump was aware of the collapse. “Our brave first responders are working feverishly to save lives,” she said at a news briefing.The National Transportation Safety Board said on Twitter that it was sending a team to investigate the bridge collapse.One witness on Thursday, speaking on CNN, said she heard “a loud bang” behind her just after she and her boyfriend had driven under the bridge and made a right turn into the FIU campus.“We thought maybe someone had hit us. We looked back and the bridge had completely collapsed,” Isabella Carrasco said.“We got out of the car. We saw police helping people, there was a construction worker injured at the side of the road. The cars were completely crushed, a lot of debris everywhere. One woman luckily made it out alive – it crushed the back of her car. She rolled forward and was able to get out.”A statement from FIU addressed to “members of the university community”, while the rescue operation was still under way, said: “We are shocked and saddened about the tragic events unfolding at the FIU-Sweetwater pedestrian bridge.” First published on Thu 15 Mar 2018 14.42 EDT Share on Messenger Pedestrian bridge linked to Florida International University collapses, crushing vehicles, as state’s governor vows investigation 1:55 @richlusc Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Ireland bars Christian fundamentalist pastor from entering country

first_imgMon 13 May 2019 09.43 EDT Share on Twitter Europe Ireland bars Christian fundamentalist pastor from entering country Ireland Share via Email Religion Share on Messenger Share via Email This article is more than 2 months old news Share on Twitter Shares552552 Topics Immigration law used for first time to deny entry to anti-gay preacher Steven Anderson … 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. Support The Guardian An anti-gay US Christian fundamentalist pastor who has been accused of Holocaust denial has become the first person to be barred from entering Ireland under a 20-year-old immigration law.Steven Anderson was due to travel to Dublin on 26 May to preach in the city, but the Irish justice minister, Charlie Flanagan, took the unusual step to ban him from coming into the country.More than 14,000 people signed an online petition set up by the Christian gay rights campaign group Changing Attitude Ireland calling on the Irish government to block Anderson’s trip to the country. The organisation claimed that in the past he had “advocated exterminating LGBT+ people”.Confirming the barring order under the 1999 Immigration Act, Flanagan said: “I have signed the exclusion order under my executive powers in the interest of public policy.”It is the first time the Irish government has used the legislation to bar anyone from the country.The US preacher has said he prays at night for Barack Obama to die. He also posted praise online for the gunman who murdered 49 people at an LGBT nightclub in Florida in 2016. In the same year Anderson was deported from Botswana after saying in an interview with a local radio station that gay people should be killed.It is understood Anderson, 38, was scheduled to give a sermon to 150 followers at a secret location in the Irish capital on the fallout from the legalisation of abortion in Ireland last year.Jewish organisations in the US have also accused Anderson of promoting Holocaust denial.The Anti-Defamation League said a video Anderson posted from his base in Arizona in 2015 showed him arguing that millions of Jews were not gassed and burned in ovens but rather died of hunger and disease in Nazi concentration camps. The video, titled Marching to Zion, also repeats the antisemitic trope that Jews lied about the Holocaust in order to create the state of Israel. Anderson set up his Faithful Word Baptist Church on Christmas Day 2005. It is not affiliated to any mainstream Christian churches across the world although Anderson claims his lectures have been translated into 115 languages.The gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell welcomed the Irish government’s decision. “His glorification of mass murder crosses a red line. It is more than mere hate. Ireland is right to ban him.” Share on LinkedIn Last modified on Mon 13 May 2019 15.35 EDT LGBT rights Share on WhatsApp Since you’re here… Ireland Share on Facebook Henry McDonald Share on Facebook Share on Pinterest This article is more than 2 months old Steven Anderson, left, after being issued with a deportation order by authorities in Botswana in 2016.Photograph: AFP/Getty Images Reuse this contentlast_img read more

ATU220 – Indias First Assistive Technology Center Samuel Matthew iPhone 6s Rumors

first_imgPodcast: Play in new window | DownloadYour weekly dose of information that keeps you up to date on the latest developments in the field of technology designed to assist people with disabilities and special needs.Show Notes:India’s First Assistive Technology National Center with Dr Samuel Mathew | http://www.nish.ac.in/Framingham State University – News and Events – News – FSU Launches New Graduate Certificate in Assistive Technology http://buff.ly/1Na8lKHTelecommunications Relay Services (TRS) http://buff.ly/1DJRvjSiPhone 6S: Rumors & Specs Roundup http://buff.ly/1L5HEXYA Brailler on a Flat Screen | Mechanical Engineering http://buff.ly/1EmY1roOn the Hill with Audrey – Audrey Busch www.ATAPorg.org——————————Listen 24/7 at www.AssistiveTechnologyRadio.comIf you have an AT question, leave us a voice mail at: 317-721-7124 or email tech@eastersealscrossroads.orgCheck out our web site: https://www.eastersealstech.comFollow us on Twitter: @INDATAprojectLike us on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/INDATA——-transcript follows ——SAMUEL MATHEW: Hello, my name is Samuel Mathew, Executive Director of National Institute of Speech and Hearing in India, and this is the Assistive Technology Update.WADE WINGLER: Hi, this is Wade Wingler with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads in Indiana with your Assistive Technology Update, a weekly dose of information that keeps you up-to-date on the latest developments in the field of technology designed to assist people with disabilities and special needs.Welcome to episode number 220 of Assistive Technology Update. It’s scheduled to be released on August 14 of 2015.I’m excited today to have Dr. Samuel Mathew who is founding India’s first national assistive technology center. There is a new grad certificate from Framingham University in assistive technology; rumors about the iPhone 6; and a little quick demo that I do on how to type braille on your iPhone.We also have a segment from Audrey Busch who tells us what’s happening in Washington DC related to assistive technology.We hope you’ll check out our show notes over at www.eastersealstech.com, shoot us a note on Twitter @INDATA Project, or call our listener line at 317-721-7124.***Did you know that you can help other people find our show and learn about assistive technology? Head on over to iTunes, write a review, click some stars. We appreciate it. Thank you.***As somebody who teaches assistive technology at the University level, I’m always excited to see when programs are doing more of that. The Framingham State University just outside of Boston is launching a new graduate advocate in assistive technology. It starts with a course on introduction to assistive technology, which is also part of their masters degree program in educational technology and special education, and includes a variety of coursework that includes a visit to the local assistive technology demonstration center and an investment that the university has made IN having assistive technology to demonstrate in the classroom. They are targeting this certificate towards working professionals in K-12 or higher education as well as folks who are working in the area of disability services or the veterans office. I’m going to pop a link in the show notes over to Framingham.edu and their press release and you can learn more about this new graduates to get in as technology. Check our show notes.***Many of us have experienced a situation where you get a new cell phone or you move to a new carrier and you want to move your number with you. It’s called porting your phone number. Apparently, and I didn’t know about this, that this is an issue among the deaf community. When you move from one video relay service provider to another, you also have the option to port your 10 digit phone number from one provider to another, but apparently the Disability Rights Office in the Federal Communications Commission has received some complaints and inquiries from people about this whole issue of porting their 10 digit number from service to service.So to help with that, the FCC has created a video that is in ASL and also caption and voiced for those of us who aren’t ASL native speakers. It talks about this whole situation and how you might be able to work around those challenges. I’m going to pop a link in the show notes over to the FCC’s website and you can check out this video and learn about the ins and outs of porting your 10 digit number from one VRS provider to another.***I don’t spend a lot of time churning the Apple rumor mill, but every once in a while something catches my eye. On OS X Daily recently I found an article that talks about the rumors and specs Roundup for the iPhone 6S. It looks like new iPhones may be coming out in the first part of September. The rumor date is September 9, and there will probably be some sort of an event. People are expecting a number of hardware changes in the new iPhones. They are going to call it the 6S. They are expecting it to have almost doubled the ram, so about 2 GB of RAM, a faster A9 processor than before, better LTE connection so it’ll make your battery last a little bit longer and make your Internet run a little bit faster. One of the big changes they’re talking about is a force touch display where the screen actually knows where your finger is and provides haptic feedback to make you feel like it’s pushing down or vibrating or whatever to create a new level of experience with that touch interface. Also talking about a better camera, 12 megapixels this time. No expected changes in terms of the size or shape very much. We will get a new version of iOS, iOS 9 is supposed to come out around the same time. And one of the speculative things as they are talking about a new color of iPhone. I never cared a lot work on my phone is, but now they are saying that you might, in addition to gold and silver and the others, you might have a rose gold color that people are prognosticating about. Anyway, some fun stuff, predictive stuff, rumor stuff about the iPhone 6S that may be coming out here soon. I’ll pop a link in the show notes and you can join me in my speculation over there at OS X Daily. Check our show notes.***I get a lot of good news from RESNA. They have a listserv that I belong to and it’s all about computer access and those sorts of things. Recently I was forwarded an excerpt of an article that was written by Adrian Lou and was part of Stanford’s Mechanical Engineering Journal. It’s interesting because the title is, “A Brailler on a flatscreen.” It’s talking about people who are going to use an iPhone or an Android or tablet or whatever kind of advice as a braille input device. They talk about the age-old issue of, on the flatscreen device, how do you know where the six braille keys would be? In recent years, there have been some development to create an app that would basically let you put your fingers, wherever works for you, figure out that’s what you meant, and then that becomes your braille keyboard. Based on this article, I followed a link over to the App Store, and I downloaded an app called iBrailler Notes. I’ve got it installed here on my iPhone. It’s going to allow me to start a new note here.APP: New note button. You can calibrate your keyboard.WADE WINGLER: And I’m going to put my index and middle finger on both right and left hand on the screen.APP: Calibrated, ready position.WADE WINGLER: And it calibrated it so that now — I’m sighted, so I see visually six dots here on the screen and they are positioned right where I laid my fingers. Now I can type.APP: A, B, C, D, E, F.WADE WINGLER: I’m a horrible braille typist. But it’s very quickly calibrated and ready to go so that I can start typing away right into this iBrailler Note app. Now, I’m using the free version of the app, but I think you can upgrade for $20 and get all the features. It’ll handle Grade 1, Grade 2 braille. It’ll also let you share out to email, Dropbox, and other kinds of services so that once you’ve captured note in braille, then you can do with the stuff with it. Anyway, I’m always fascinated with how braille is going to be fully implemented on tablets and smartphones and those kinds of things, and it’s a pretty interesting way to use your phone to generate text if you’re a braille user. Anyway, I’ll pop a link in the show notes over to both the Stanford article and also a link to the app in the app store so that you can check it out. Works on iOS but isn’t quite ready for Android. Check our show notes.***It’s time for on the Hill with Audrey. Audrey Busch is the Director of Policy and Advocacy for the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs. In her update, she lets us know how the power of politics is impacting people with abilities and their use of assistive technology. Learn more about Audrey and her work at ATAPorg.org.AUDREY BUSCH: This is Audrey Bush, Policy Director for the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs, coming to you with your monthly Washington update. One of the reasons the heat in Washington rose in July was due to Congress’ rapidfire pace. Among many items that Congress worked on, those of importance to the disability community include S.1177, the Every Child Achieves Act, which is the Senate’s reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act. This bill passed the Senate in bipartisan fashion.Additionally, the House passed the Steve Gleason Act which removes speech generating devices from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services capped rental rules for several years, thereby allowing patients to purchase their own devices. The Steve Gleason Act had actually already passed the Senate, so the bill was then passed to the President’s desk and signed into law the right before Congress headed out of town, and it was a great way for Congress to enter into the annual month-long August recess with a bang.One item to note is that there was language in the Senate’s reauthorization of the no Child left behind act which paves the way for students with disabilities to use their own assistive technology when taking mandatory assessments. This was a huge feat and one that many of us in the disability community are excited about moving forward.Given July does mark the last month that Congress is in session before they break for August, and return in September, it is clear that the fiscal year 2016 budget will not be completed by the end of this fiscal year September 30, 2015. Therefore, it’s clear that continuing resolution known as a CR, which provides stopgap funding between the end of the current fiscal year and the time in which a new budget for the next fiscal year is determined. This means ultimately level funding for the federal government until Congress does set these new final budget numbers. Therefore, while this is a short update this month, what we do look forward to Congress completing when they return to Washington is December is to really buckle down and focus on how they are going to fund the federal government in fiscal year 2016. While there will likely be a CR in place for a few weeks to a few months while they do figure out the final funding numbers for fiscal year 2016, it is clear neither party does not want any of these discussions to result in a shutdown of the federal government, given there is a presidential election looming in the near future. In the meantime, enjoy the quiet of August and what remains left of those summer days.***WADE WINGLER: I’m in Indiana, and it is kind of early in the morning in Indiana, and I am speaking via the Internet to a gentleman in India, and it’s evening for him. His name is Dr. Samuel Mathew, and he is the Executive Director of the National Institute of Speech and Hearing in the Kerala area of India.Dr. Mathew, are you there?SAMUEL MATHEW: Yes, I am here, listening to you.WADE WINGLER: Good, excellent. Sam, as we were doing our little intro conversation before we hit the record button, it was interesting because I got up early this morning and I’m very excited to talk about India’s first assistive technology center, and within a few minutes of our conversation, we realize that you and I have actually met face-to-face because you spent some time here in the state of Indiana in the US. Is that right?SAMUEL MATHEW: Yes. I was living in West Lafayette for some years, and before that in South Bend. I did my MS and PhD from Purdue University in West Lafayette.WADE WINGLER: So we were joking around, I had assumed that you and I would never have met before, but we probably, based on the time that you and I were working in Indiana at the same time, we probably works together and met and just didn’t either realize that. Very, very small world.SAMUEL MATHEW: Yes.WADE WINGLER: That’s great. Sam, the reason I reached out to you was I saw some headlines recently about India’s first assistive technology center. I was fascinated by that, so thought I would try to get was somebody to try to talk about it, and you were gracious enough to take some time out of your early evening. I thought I might start by asking you. Tell me a little bit about how you got into the field of assistive technology and what is your current role. And they will talk about the centers your next.SAMUEL MATHEW: To tell about my background, I have actually an engineering degree, and while I was in the US was when I changed over to special education in the field of disabilities. When I came back to India, I actually took charge as the executive director of this institute because of my background, because the industry background and all that. Assistive technology is going to be an integral part of what we do because NISH is being transformed into the first national university for rehabilitation sciences and disability studies. The federal government in India is going to fund that.NISH itself has been in operation since 1997. They were focused on speech and hearing and disabilities related to that, but now we got into the limelight with bigger funding. Now we are going to have two focuses. One is higher education for people with disabilities, which means that we will have students which have speech problems, hearing issues, also those who have cerebral palsy, high functioning students and the autism spectrum disorder, similarly challenge students. So assistive technology is one which will help us help them to go through higher education smoothly.WADE WINGLER: It sounds like you got a whole lot going on there. I’m going to ask some questions about the center, but tell me a little bit about your role as the executive director. Are you teaching? Are you administering only? What does a day in the life look like for you in your current role?SAMUEL MATHEW: Right now, my days are more administrative and some policy involvement in the state government, because the government itself has different agencies, and I sit on boards and committees which shapes the disability policy for the states. I do that, but my primary responsibility is two institutes which I look after. One is NISH where this initiative is going on. And then there is a regional institute for physical medicine and rehabilitation where rehabilitation services for children with multiple disabilities. It is in another town in the same state. I really would like to teach, but really don’t get time to teach regularly. I do take classes sometimes for students.WADE WINGLER: I understand. Sam, you have me at a disadvantage in that you know my geography very well because you lived here, but I haven’t been to India yet. Tell me a little bit about the location of the center.SAMUEL MATHEW: The center will be on the campus of NISH, which is in the city of Trivandrum, or we call it in the local language Thiruvananthapuram, which is the southernmost part of India. Kerala state itself is the southernmost-western state in India, so we are towards the tip, about 15 miles from the southernmost tip of India itself.WADE WINGLER: Excellent. I know that the center is in process. When will it be available? And then once it is available, whom will be available to?SAMUEL MATHEW: How we got into this center is that we know that there is a need, and we wanted to do it, but a bank, called a federal bank — it’s not the federal bank in the United States, but a bank called the federal bank is funding it out of their corporate social responsibility funds, CSR funding, so they have funded about 20 million Indian rupees as the initial grant for the project, assistive technology center, and have promised to come up with more as we go along.WADE WINGLER: When the center is open, what kind of things will be found there? What kind of technology, what kind of services, what kind of things would you find when you visit the center?SAMUEL MATHEW: Our goal is, because we are going to have students with the disabilities attending higher education on campus, our goal is, as the students come in, to assist them, and then provide them the appropriate assistive technology. So it could be software running on a tablet. It could be magnifiers. Some of them could be speech generating devices. It could be a notetaker. Things like that which are appropriate which would help them in the classroom, and give it to them so they are academically competent. And then also understand that we don’t have any government system of support, so we’re going to really give assistance other ways, scholarships, free assistive devices for them, to go through the course.WADE WINGLER: It sounds to me a little bit like what I would know as a United States university’s DSS office or Students with Disabilities Office or Adaptive Educational Office. Is it kind of the same model there?SAMUEL MATHEW: Yes. In fact, I sort of shaped that from what I have seen in Purdue and other places, so it’s basically meant for the students. But we also have a bigger mandate because, as an institution that serves a lot of people around the state and the country, we want to be a place where others can come and try out, even the general public. So we will be acquiring assistive technology which is available around the world, and then will be showcasing it for people to come and try it out, like a trial center or lending center also. So it’s a little bit of a high ambition, but that is something that we try to do. Also, further, we would like to do some research, collaborative research, especially with the Institute of technology or university technology departments, where developing assistive technology which is appropriate for our population, especially when it comes to speech generating devices and things like that, or AAC devices. Language is important. We hope to be involved in some research and development also.WADE WINGLER: It sounds like you’ve got a lot of great ideas and a great vision for the future of the program. Sam, because you spent time in the States and time in India, how has assistive technology been accomplished in India prior to this new project, and how does that compare to how assistive technology is done here in the US?SAMUEL MATHEW: I would say that it is not really very well developed for the common man. In fact, that is where our mandate is, to really bring it to the common man and help him, empower him so he can progress. Historically, not much. In our own classroom, we have deaf students who are attending degree programs. We have a program where only deaf students are admitted. A couple of years back, we introduced tablets where they could browse the Internet or the teacher could use it in the classroom, but it has become universal. This year onwards, we want to do that, especially in the deaf students’ classroom. My answer is historically, not much, but going forward we really would like to bring it to the common man where he can be empowered.WADE WINGLER: As we have this conversation, the kind of illustrates for me the fact that just a few weeks ago as we record this, here in the States we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. I suppose it goes without saying, but I’m going to say it: there’s nothing in India that mandates accommodations for people with disabilities at that level, right?SAMUEL MATHEW: There is actually a law which was passed in ’95. It’s called the Persons With Disabilities Law, or PWD Act. But that is being updated this year as the Rights for People with Disabilities Act. But in between, there has not been additions to that law itself. We are making progress, but we got into the game quite a bit later than the United States did.WADE WINGLER: Sam, what do you see as the greatest challenge right now and making the center a reality? What are the challenges? What kinds of hills are you climbing these days?SAMUEL MATHEW: One thing is about the right personnel with the right background. I do have some background, but since I do have to oversee a lot of things, I need some really sharp people I would be able to recruit and make them passionate about this whole things and really take it forward with me. That’s one thing, people with assistive technology certification and that sort of working background.Funding is not a big deal because we do have the government backing and this bank has come on, so I don’t see that as a challenge. But then getting into the common man, making it affordable for them with the type of population we have, with poverty and disability as a higher population, so people without greater funding, how can we really get it out to them so they can afford it, is another challenge I see?WADE WINGLER: Some of the things in my next question you’ve addressed a little bit, but I want to flesh it out a little bit. If you were to describe a smashing success with the center here, a few years out, what does it look like for students with disabilities or the common man that you mentioned a few times? What does it look like when this program has been very successful?SAMUEL MATHEW: When the program is in full swing, our students all should have their appropriate assistive technology with them after an appropriate assessment. To see them succeed through that will be a great accomplishment which I’m looking forward to. Since this is going to be a university for disability studies and rehabilitation sciences, we expect a large population of people with disabilities coming through our doors. If we are able to make them successful, being productive, being integrated into mainstream society as successful graduates, great, that is what I look for. And also, being from across the country. Our universities in India don’t have the disability service department like you have in the United States. A lot of them will look up to us, and if we can be the model who can provide them the guidance and advice and the model to duplicate, that will be a success. That’s what we’re looking at.WADE WINGLER: And I think that’s a great vision. We’re just about out of time for the interview today. Dr. Mathew, if people wanted to learn more about your program, learn more about the university, learn more about the center, what kind of contact information would you like to provide?SAMUEL MATHEW: One would be our website, which is NISH.ac.in is our website. If people want to write an email at nishinfo@nish.ac.in. I’ll be happy to answer questions, have people visit us, get involved with us. I welcome such initiatives from people.WADE WINGLER: Excellent. Dr. Samuel Mathew is the executive director at the national Institute of speech and hearing and the Kerala area of India and is in the process of building India’s first national assistive technology Center. Sam, thank you so much for being with us.SAMUEL MATHEW: Thank you very much. I appreciate the opportunity to talk to you. Have a great day.WADE WINGLER: Do you have a question about assistive technology? Do you have a suggestion for someone we should interview on Assistive Technology Update? Call our listener line at 317-721-7124. Looking for show notes from today’s show? Head on over to EasterSealstech.com. Shoot us a note on Twitter @INDATAProject, or check us out on Facebook. That was your Assistance Technology Update. I’m Wade Wingler with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads in Indiana.Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedATU182 – Roger Voice, KNFB Reader, RESNA’s new Singapore Conference, Legislative Update From Audrey Busch, Drive About Number Neighborhood AppNovember 21, 2014In “Assistive Technology Update”ATU228 – iOS 9 and Its Impact on People with Disabilities | Luis Perez | Free AT Webinars, Insulin and Blood Sugar Monitoring on Your Smart Phone, Robots and AutismOctober 9, 2015In “Assistive Technology Update”ATU171 – Assistive Technology: USA vs AUS (Wendy Stevens from Lifetec in Australia), Free Assistive Technology Webinars, Web a11y Survey Results, AFB’s Family Connect, Mobile Accessibility ChecklistSeptember 5, 2014In “Assistive Technology Update”last_img read more

Scientists Create Airplane That Can Land Itself on Any Runway

first_imgScientists Create Airplane That Can Land Itself on Any Runway You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet By Ryan Whitwam on July 9, 2019 at 7:18 am This is Where ‘Thor 4’ Will Take Place in the Marvel Timeline ‘Doctor Strange 2’ Release Date, Villain and Cast Tagged In scienceaiairplanesflightaircraftcomputer vision Post a Comment 10 Comments Proof Henry Cavill Isn’t a Very Good Dude at All 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. The Real Reason Captain Marvel Was Barely in ‘Endgame’ Cars are getting reasonably good at driving themselves, but what about airplanes? Autopilot has existed for years, but a team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed the most autonomous airplane yet. The automated landing system called C2Land uses computer vision to identify the runway and guide the plane down for a safe landing. Commercial planes currently have a system called the Instrument Landing System (ILS), which can be useful when pilots can’t make visual contact with a runway. It relies on radio signals on the ground and on-board receivers to determine the plane’s position, but C2Land doesn’t need that infrastructure. Not all runways and airports will have costly hardware installed, but C2Land doesn’t need anything on the ground other than a runway. That could make it practical for use at smaller and more remote airports where expensive ILS hardware is impractical. C2Land uses GPS for flight control along with a computer vision system. The cameras operate in both visible and infrared, allowing the system to function even in low-visibility conditions. The computer finds the outline of the runway and determines where the plane needs to end up. Combined with current airspeed and altitude, the system can calculate a virtual glide path for a perfect landing. The team explained the system in a series of three papers, but nothing drives home the point like a real-world test. They equipped a Diamond DA42 propeller aircraft with the C2Land system and stuck a test pilot behind the controls. Pilot Thomas Wimmer took the plane up and pointed in the general vicinity of the airstrip, but from there it was all up to the computer. You can see the entire landing, along with the computer’s image recognition, in the video above. Wimmer doesn’t have to take control of the aircraft at all during landing. This isn’t technically the first autonomous landing ever — Boeing accomplished that with a prototype commuter aircraft. However, that was a VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle. The TUM system works with the aircraft in service today. Vision-assisted navigation systems like C2Land could become standard in the future, but this one is still just an experiment. Still, the researchers must be confident to put a human aboard the plane and turn the controls over to an algorithm.Now read:The BlackFly Is a Flying Car That Doesn’t Require a Pilot’s LicenseBoeing’s Own Engineers May Have Been Unaware of 737 Max ProblemsNASA, MIT Design Hollow Morphing Airplane Wing 10 Comments Jason Momoa’s Marriage Just Keeps Getting Weirder and Weirder The Answer To Who Played Old Man Cap in ‘Endgame’ Huge Scandals That Rocked The History Channel Actors Who Could Barely Stomach Kissing Each Other on Screenlast_img read more

Valve Introduces Machine Learning Algorithm to Recommend New Steam Games

first_img 8 Comments By Joel Hruska on July 12, 2019 at 9:47 am Lilly From ‘Princess Diaries’ Is 36 Now and Gorgeous You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet Actors Who Could Barely Stomach Kissing Each Other on Screen This Is Where ‘The Man With the Golden Voice’ Ended Up We Finally Understand Why ‘Criminal Minds’ Got Canceled Finding games on Steam has always been difficult, but the flood of titles being published on the platform has made discoverability a massive problem for creators and gamers alike. Valve is attempting to improve the situation with a new game recommendation system that relies on AI, rather than user-curated metadata. The AI isn’t given any information about a game at all, rather than its release date, and it isn’t impacted by review scores or tags. Instead, it learns about games solely based on what players do.Valve writes:Underlying this new recommender is a neural-network model that is trained to recommend games based on a user’s playtime history, along with other salient data. We train the model based on data from many millions of Steam users and many billions of play sessions, giving us robust results that capture the nuances of different play patterns and covers our catalog. The model is parameterized so that we can restrict output to games released within a specified time-window, and can be adjusted to prefer games a higher or lower underlying popularity. These parameters are exposed to the user, allowing you to select whether to see only recent releases in the results, or go all the way back to include games released a decade ago. Similarly, you can choose whether to see mainstream hits, or deep cuts from the catalog. Regardless of the settings of the sliders, the results will always be personalized and relevant to the individual user.Valve’s ability to create recommendation engines, search tools, and discoverability enhancements that treat players and creators fairly has taken some hits over the past year. During the recent “Grand Prix” summer sale, Valve created a confusing competition around the event. As a result, gamers began removing indie titles from their wish lists en masse in an attempt to game the system and receive expensive AAA titles for free, out of a mistaken belief that deleting low-cost titles increased their chances of receiving expensive free games. Creators panicked. Having a game on your wish list means receiving updates when it goes on sale, and those notifications apparently have a major impact on how many copies a game sells overall. Developers are exceedingly unhappy with how the Steam sale played out this year, and many saw no uptick at all in either wish list pickups or overall sales.The new game recommendation system Valve is unveiling today isn’t a direct response to the Grand Prix debacle, but it’s an example of how the company is attempting to improve its own recommendation algorithms in ways that will be fair to game creators and help players find titles they want to experience. To date, Valve’s changes to its recommendation system have been controversial; an algorithm bug last year drove far more traffic to already-established titles at the expense of smaller titles. After the Grand Prix problems, some developers have lost faith that Valve is particularly interested in solving the situation.“Before October 2018 (and for a few months after that while I gave Steam the benefit of the doubt), I told anyone who asked me that Steam was 100% worth it for indie developers,” developer Yitz told Kotaku via Twitter DM:Now, that trust is gone, and it’s not because I’ve changed or become more cynical… This Steam sale was a disaster, but I’m far more concerned about the overall trend we’ve seen in the Steam algorithm since October last year: pushing unpopular (including ‘mostly negative’ reviewed) triple-A games over titles that Steam has more than enough data to know would be a better match for the consumer.I decided to take the Steam recommendation algorithm out for a spin, to see what kind of titles it would recommend for me, personally. In my specific case, I’m prepared for the algorithm to be a little less accurate — some of the games I’ve spent the most time “playing,” historically, are titles I’ve used for benchmarking, and it’s possible that will throw off the algorithm. I also have a very bad habit of leaving games alt-tabbed while running in the background, which can also drastically inflate my own playtimes.I have not spent 73.5 actual days of my life playing Fallout 4.That’s the default view when you login. Your top games are listed along the left, while recommended titles are on the right. Here’s the top game listing when you play with the “Niche” versus “Popular” slider. My “Popular” games list is on the left below, while the full “Niche” recommendations are on the right.Regarding its recommendation algorithm, Valve writes:One direction is to gather every single piece of information about a game, and then make guesses about what games are similar, and then recommend those “similar” games. But that allows for all sorts of weird distortions— just because you play a lot of Beat Saber, doesn’t mean we should only ever recommend you VR rhythm games. This model takes a different approach. It disregards most of the usual data about a game, like genre or price point. Instead, it looks at what games you play and what games other people play, then makes informed suggestions based on the decisions of other people playing games on Steam. The idea is that if players with broadly similar play habits to you also tend to play another game you haven’t tried yet, then that game is likely to be a good recommendation for you.The “niche” versus “popular” slider seems as though it could use some fine-tuning. Somehow, Metro 2033 Redux is the most popular title recommended for me under both options. But it’s odd that this game should be recommended to me in the first place, given that I own (but have never bothered to beat) Metro 2033. The same is true of Metro Last Light Redux. It makes sense to recommend Metro 2033 Redux to me if the only thing you’re examining is either hours played (I used it for benchmarking) or “number of games owned in the Metro series.” Examining the number of unlocked achievements in these titles would show that I barely played either.The other shortcoming I see in this data isn’t exactly Valve or Steam’s fault. I own Far Cry 3 on uPlay and Witcher 3 on GoG. I played games like Dishonored, Borderlands 2, and Wolfenstein: The Old Blood using a friend’s Steam account. The quality of the recommendations is a bit mixed — I loved Dishonored and found Borderlands 2 relatively amusing, but was not a huge fan of Far Cry 3 and have never actually played very much of The Witcher 3. The “niche” titles are games I haven’t played or heard of, so it seems to be fulfilling its goals in that regard, though that also makes it more difficult to interpret if I’d like them.The goal is for this tool to be a better recommendation engine for games that isn’t susceptible to being gamed or manipulated, or that requires developers to worry about optimizing for underlying and unknown algorithms. The idea is for the AI model to watch what players are playing and recommend these games to people who play similar games to those people. We’ll have to wait for data on how it works, but discoverability has been a major problem for every kind of online store. Solving it, or even improving it, would be a major achievement for any storefront.Now Read:Gamers Hate the Epic Store, but They Hated Steam, TooSteam Prepares to Roll Out Revamped Library PageValve Lays Off 13 Employees, May Have Slashed VR Division Batman Stories Only True Fans Know About 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. Ginny From ‘Harry Potter’ Is 28 and Unrecognizably Gorgeous The Hate for ‘Captain Marvel’ May Never Stop Tarantino Has Written Multiple Episodes of Rick Dalton TV Series Valve Introduces Machine Learning Algorithm to Recommend New Steam Games Tagged In gamingaimachine learningsteamvalvedeep learningGOGuPlaydiscoverabilitymetro 2033Steam Summer Salegame recommendationsGrand Prixrecommendation engineSteam games Post a Comment 8 Commentslast_img read more

Apollo 11 at 50 NASA Is Streaming the Landing

first_imgApollo 11 at 50: NASA Is Streaming the Landing By Joel Hruska on July 20, 2019 at 6:27 am 12 Comments Movies That Are Hard To Believe Actually Exist Buzz Aldrin descends onto the moon’s surface. Credit: Neil Armstrong/NASAUpdate (7/20/2019): Today’s the big day. NASA TV will live-stream the original moon landing and then, six hours later, the moon walk. Broadcast times on the YouTube channel linked below are 4 PM EST (for the Moon landing) and 10 PM EST (for the moon walk).Original story below:Fifty years ago yesterday, the Apollo 11 mission took off for the Moon. You can see CBS’s coverage now on YouTube, showcasing not just what happened, but how it happened. It’s the same way you, your parents, or your grandparents saw the event.I am admittedly not much for watching video. I use YouTube almost exclusively for listening to music when I use it at all. But there’s something fascinating about seeing the real-time broadcast, complete with commercials and with breaking news coverage of then-current events happening in… well, not “real-time” obviously, but what real-time looked like 50 years ago. The original launch occurred at 9:32 AM on July 16, 1969, with the later lunar touchdown on July 20. Armstrong actually stepped out on the lunar surface six hours later.Watching the full live stream is fascinating for another reason — it highlights the degree to which both the takeoff and landing were extended, live affairs, carried out over hours with extensive footage. The idea that the moon landing was some kind of hoax carried out by Stanley Kubrick or through some other form of visual effects wizardry has been debunked more times (and from more angles) than I can think of. But one of the better treatments of the topic is by S. G. Collins of Postwar Media.Collins details in the video above why the special effects technology of the 1960s literally wasn’t capable of this kind of feat. Both launches and landings were live broadcasts that went on for hours and were seen by millions of people worldwide. Today, those kinds of issues would be no object for special effects wizards to solve. Fifty years ago, it was an entirely different matter.I hadn’t planned on watching any of the moon landing details this weekend, but after watching some of the Apollo 11 launch broadcast I may change that plan. Seeing the moon landing lift-off sent chills up my spine, grainy video and bad color reproduction be damned. Seeing the Saturn V in action is a joy, blurry video and all.It is unfortunate that the triumph of Apollo 11 and the following Apollo missions remain the last time we have sent humans to another world beyond our own. I do not know if I’ll be around when the 100th anniversary of Apollo rolls around, but I hope that by the time we hit the 75th — and I do hope to be around for that one — we’ll be able to say that we eventually exceeded the achievements of my grandfather’s generation. “We came in peace for all mankind” is too good of a slogan to leave it isolated and alone on the lunar surface. There are further worlds, farther worlds, to explore. Hopefully, one day, we’ll reach them.Now Read:NASA’s Restored Mission Control Shows the Glory Days of the Apollo EraApollo Guidance Computer Restored, Used to Mine BitcoinHow Space Exploration Has Evolved Over the Years Huge Scandals That Rocked The History Channel You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet ‘Dark Phoenix’ Director Reveals Who Is to Blame for Massive Flop Proof Henry Cavill Isn’t a Very Good Dude at All The Untold Truth of Jane Foster The Real Reason Captain Marvel Was Barely in ‘Endgame’ Reality TV Scandals We Never Saw Coming We Finally Understand Why ‘Criminal Minds’ Got Canceled 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. Tagged In sciencespacenasaapollomercuryApollo 11CBSBuzz Aldrinmoon landingGeminiGene KranzNeil Armstrong50th Anniversaryspace programWalter Cronkite Post a Comment 12 Commentslast_img read more

SoftServe Joins SAP PartnerEdge Open Ecosystem

first_img Marketing Technology NewsNewsSAPSoftServeTodd Lenox Previous ArticleQualtrics Ranked Top 10 Most Innovative Company in 2019 GRIT ReportNext ArticleOpenAP Partners with dataxu to Power Digital Audience Creation in Next Phase of its Marketplace Rollout SoftServe Joins SAP PartnerEdge Open Ecosystem PRNewswireJuly 12, 2019, 2:50 pmJuly 12, 2019 Partner specialization enables SoftServe to deliver innovation as an SAP service providerSoftServe, a leading digital authority and consulting company, is now a Partner in the SAP PartnerEdge Open Ecosystem. Through this partner specialization, SoftServe will provide strategic business consulting to customers through the design, development, implementation, and integration of SAP solutions.Marketing Technology News: Cloud Computing Magazine Names Vonage a 2019 Product of the Year Award Winner“This partnership is an exciting chapter for SoftServe, as it enables us to bring our world-class innovation and unparalleled cloud expertise to new and existing SAP customers,” said Todd Lenox, VP, global alliances and partnerships at SoftServe. “In joining SAP’s PartnerEdge Open Ecosystem, we can provide our clients with specialized solutions that address an evolving set of business needs—now with an augmented offering of SAP solutions—to ensure they are well equipped for the digital economy.”Marketing Technology News: The Shift to Cloud Computing: A New Era for Rights Management in Media and Entertainment BusinessesThe SAP PartnerEdge Open Ecosystem gives members an opportunity to provide consulting and implementation services using SAP’s award-winning program and benefits. It provides access to an arsenal of tools and resources that help market solutions and services, build pipelines, and gain competitive advantage. In addition, proven implementation methodologies and tactics that provide content and guidance for project teams are made readily available.SoftServe continues to work closely with SAP to drive further advancement within the SAP partner ecosystem.Marketing Technology News: NewVoiceMedia Wins 2018 Cloud Computing Product of the Year Awardlast_img read more

PM Modi Betrayed People of Uttar Pradesh Who Helped Him Win Says

first_img BSPBSP chiefLok Sabha elections 2019Mayawati First Published: April 21, 2019, 2:52 PM IST | Edited by: Sana Fazili Lucknow: The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief and former chief minister of the state Mayawati accused Prime Minister of cheating the people of Uttar Pradesh by making false promises. She said that the people of UP who helped PM Modi win are ready to remove him.”Narendra Modi is moving about saying that the 22 crore people of UP made him the prime minister but the people are asking him as to why he betrayed them,” Mayawati said in a release issued by the party here. She said the BJP, and Narendra Modi in particular, should realise the common people of UP can also remove him from the post and preparation for the same has begun.The BSP chief alleged Modi had got his caste included in the Backward Class category for political and electoral gains.She said the BSP-SP-RLD combine chose to hear the ‘mann ki baat’ of 22 crore people in the state to enter into an alliance, which has brought happiness to people across the country.The BJP’s frustration and fear of losing power are very evident and can be seen by all countrymen, she added. last_img read more

RD Burmans 80th Birth Anniversary 10 Evergreen Songs by Pancham Da

first_imgRahul Dev Burman, popularly known as Pancham Da, was born on June 27, 1939. Regarded as one of the most influential composers of the Indian film industry, RD Burman has composed musical scores for 331 films. The great music maestro was married to popular singer Asha Bhosle and was the only son of the composer Sachin Dev Burman. Pancham da gifted some of the best music scores to Bollywood in films like Chhote Nawab, Baharon Ke Sapne, Pyar Ka Mausam, Yaadon Ki Baaraat, Padosan, Jewel Thief and Aradhana, among many others.While there is a lot to describe about Pancham Da in words, nothing describes him best as compared to his music. Here are 10 evergreen tracks by the music director on his 80th birth anniversary that made him a legend forever. Rim Jhim Gire Sawan R D Burman collaborated with Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar for this song from the movie Manzil (1979). Penned down by Yogesh, the song had Amitabh Bachchan and Moushumi Chatterjee dancing in the rain.Aane Wala Pal Jane Wala HaiR D Burman’s partnership with Kishore Kumar created magic. Sung by Kishore da, Aane Wala Pal Jane Wala Hai from the 1979 movie Golmaal was written by Gulzar. The song was picturised on Amol Palekar.Aaja Piya Tohe Pyaar DoonWritten by Majrooh Sultanpuri, the song was a part of the 1967 movie Baharon Ke Sapne. Sung by Lata Mangeshkar, this song was filmed on Asha Parekh and Rajesh Khanna.Humein Tumse Pyaar KitnaR D Burman created magic with this song in 1981 movie Kudrat, starring Rajesh Khanna and Hema Malini. Sung by Kishore Kumar, the song was written by Majrooh Sultanpuri.Chura Liya Hai Tumne Jo Dil KoThe 1973 movie Yaadon Ki Baarat is known for the song Chura Liya Hai Tumne Jo Dil ko, sung by Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhosle. The song was written by Majrooh Sultanpuri, and had Zeenat Aman and Vijay Arora in the frame.Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga The 1998 movie 1942: A Love Story’s hit song Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh was composed by Pancham Da. The song was penned down by Javed Akhtar and sung as Kumar Sanu. With Manisha Koirala and Anil Kapoor as the lead cast, the song won R D Burman his last Filmfare Award for Best Music Director.Kya Hua Tera WadaFrom the 1977 movie Hum Kisise Kum Naheen, the song Kya Hua Tera Wada was widely acclaimed. The song was written by Majrooh Sultanpuri, sung by Mohd Rafi and picturised on Tariq Khan and Kajal Kiran.Kuch Toh Log Kahenge The 1972 released Amar Prem is known for its song Kuch Toh Log Kahenge, which had Rajesh Khanna singing to Sharmila Tagore. The song was composed by Pancham Da, sung by Kishore Kumar and written by Anand Bakshi.Yeh Dosti Hum Nahi Todenge The friendship anthem was composed by R D Burman for the 1975 movie Sholay. Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey gave his voice to the song, written by Anand Bakshi. The song had Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan in the frame.Pyaar Deewana Hota Hai Composed twice, in Hindi and in Bengali, the song was filmed in the 1970 movie Kati Patang. Lyricist Anand Bakshi wrote the Hindi lyrics for the song, which was sung by Kishore Kumar. The song had Rajesh Khanna singing the song for Asha Parekh.Follow @News18Movies for more Aaja Piya Tohe Pyaar DoonAnand BakshiAsha Bhonslebollywood songs First Published: June 27, 2019, 3:36 PM ISTlast_img read more

School Principal in Delhi Allegedly Rapes Teacher and Threatens to Make Video

first_img delhiDelhi rapejasola areaprincipal First Published: July 5, 2019, 10:38 PM IST New Delhi: A school principal was arrested in southeast Delhi’s Jasola area for allegedly raping a teacher, police said on Friday. A case was registered in this regard after the woman approached the Sarita Vihar Police Station, alleging she was raped by the school principal, they said. In her complaint, the woman alleged that she was first assaulted by the principal in June 2017 when he called her to take extra classes after school hours, police said.Later, he took her to his office room and offered her soft drinks laced with sedatives. He raped the woman and made a video of the act, a senior police officer said. The principal also allegedly threatened the woman of making the video viral if she disclosed the matter to anyone, he said. The accused was arrested from his residence on Thursday in connection with the incident, police said. last_img read more

National Testing Agency Releases NTA NET June 2019 Final Answer Key at

first_img Step 2: Click on the link that reads NET Final Answer Key 2019, NTA NET 2019 Final Answer Key.Step 3: Click on the subject for which you took the NTA NET June 2019 exam.Step 4: The NTA NET Final Answer Key 2019 in PDF format can be viewed and downloaded for further use.The exam convener National Testing Agency (NTA) conducted the UGC NET June 2019 examination between June 20 and June 26 in CBT mode. The NET 2019 Result is scheduled to be released by July 15. As the NET Final Answer Key for June session of this year is declared, here are the steps to download it:Step 1: Visit the exam convener National Testing Agency website at ntanet.nic.in. NTA NET Final Answer Key 2019| The NTA NET Final Answer Key 2019 has been released on its official website. The exam convener National Testing Agency (NTA) has published the NTA NET 2019 Final Answer Key for the NET exam conducted in the month of June on its official website ntanet.nic.in. The complete PDF of NET June Final Answer Key 2019 can be downloaded via this direct link.From the NTA NET 2019 Final Answer Key, candidates can tally their recorded answers and get an estimate of their scores. Earlier, the preliminary NET Answer Key 2019, which was open to objection, was released on July 1. Further, objection in the NET Preliminary 2019 Answer Key was accepted till July 3 and the fee for each challenged question was Rs 1000.Steps to download NTA NET Final Answer Key 2019center_img National Eligibility TestNational Eligibility Test ExamNational Testing AgencyNET exam First Published: July 11, 2019, 9:03 PM ISTlast_img read more

Human Rights Body Issues Notice to Delhi Govt After Ceiling Fan in

first_img Dekhi schoolDelhi govthuman rights commissionNHRC First Published: July 11, 2019, 9:53 PM IST New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday issued a notice to the Delhi government in connection with an injury suffered by a 14-year-old student when a ceiling fan fell on his head in a classroom in an east Delhi school.According to media reports, the uncle of the injured student has alleged that no teacher or the principal of the school accompanied the boy to the hospital after the incident on Wednesday. The commission said that the media reports on the case raise serious issue of violation of human rights.The NHRC has issued a notice to the chief secretary of Delhi calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks.It has also directed the chief secretary to ensure that the best treatment is provided to the injured student and authorities concerned are sensitised to conduct a survey at all the government schools to identify and rectify such unsafe fixtures and fittings immediately so that such incidents do not recur in future.”The incident is shocking, giving true picture of the state infrastructure and maintenance of the government-run schools in Delhi. It is also disheartening, as reported in the media, that no teacher from the school accompanied the victim student who was seriously injured,” the NHRC said.The commission said even though, first aid was provided to the student in the school, it would have been appropriate to depute any of the teachers or regular staff of the institution to ensure proper medical care to the student and to provide moral support to his family members. last_img read more

MLAs Who Joined BJP Have Dug Their Own Graves Says Goa Mahila

first_imgPanaji: Goa Mahila Congress chief Pratima Coutinho on Friday said the Congress MLAs who switched over to the ruling BJP had “dug their own graves”.Ten Congress legislators in the coastal state, led by leader of opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar, joined the BJP on Wednesday night, leaving the opposition party with just five MLAs in the 40 member Assembly. “People are watching you (breakaway MLAs). You have dug your own graves. We (Congress) are here to stay. As an opposition we are not going to shy away. We have stood tall even in the past,” Coutinho said.She alleged that the 10 MLAs had broken away for personal ambitions and not for the sake of development of the state.”If they have left for the sake of development, it means they are admitting that BJP was acting partial and not letting Congress MLAs to do their job,” she said.”I challenge them to contest the election on BJP tickets and win in their constituencies,” she said. BJP GoaChandrakant KavlekarGoa CongressGoa Mahila Congress First Published: July 12, 2019, 7:14 PM ISTlast_img read more

Its not time travel but scientists can turn back clock on a

first_img Editors’ Recommendations When Cher sang about wanting to turn back time, she could have packed in the career as a pop star and taken up quantum computing research if she had really meant those words. That’s one possible takeaway from a newly published piece of research from the journal Scientific Reports. In the report, physicists reveal how they were able to wind the clock on a quantum computer a fraction of a second backward in time. Well, kind of.Researchers from the United States, Russia, and Switzerland sent a quantum bit (called a qubit) from a more complicated state to an earlier, simpler one. The work was achieved using an IBM quantum computer.“Here, we show that, while in nature the complex conjugation needed for time reversal is exponentially improbable, one can design a quantum algorithm that includes complex conjugation and thus reverses a given quantum state,” the researchers write in their paper’s abstract. “Using this algorithm on an IBM quantum computer enables us to experimentally demonstrate a backward time dynamics for an electron scattered on a two-level impurity.”As MIT Technology Review magazine points out, this isn’t really reversing the course of time. It’s more like hitting rewind on a video and watching events play backward — only with the added cool factor that this was achieved using a quantum system. That doesn’t mean that it’s not potentially interesting research, though.“On the fundamental level, we unraveled the quantum mechanical origin of the irreversibility of time,” Valerii Vinokour, a researcher at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, told Digital Trends. “The second law of thermodynamics tells us that a thermodynamic system cannot evolve backwards from the state with high entropy to the state with low entropy. Our novelty is in that we revealed that even the simplest pure quantum mechanical state evolves with the increasing complexity, so that even the simplest pure quantum state cannot reverse spontaneously its evolution.”In addition to some highfalutin questions about cosmology and the universe, the work may also have more immediately applicable implications by helping eliminate noise and errors from programs written for quantum computers.Sadly, one thing it apparently won’t do is take us closer to building an actual working time machine for transporting humans on Back to the Future-style jaunts. “Not really, no contribution to the time travel concept,” Vinokour said. “Time travel is a different and unrelated beast on which I would refrain from comments.”Then again, isn’t that what someone would say if they had built a time machine? (Disclaimer: They really haven’t built one.) Master and Dynamic MW65 review A.I. cameras of the future could help prevent fake photos — at a cost When is the golden hour, and what is it? The 15 best tech jobs boast top salaries, high satisfaction, lots of openings The best PS1 games of all time: From Symphony of the Night to Final Fantasy 7last_img read more

Linux is now beating Windows on Microsofts own turf and Azure is

first_imgA Linux kernel developer working with Microsoft has let slip that Linux-based operating systems have a larger presence on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform than Windows-based ones. The revelation appeared on an Openwall open-source security list in an application for Microsoft developers to join the list, and was apparently part of an evidently credible argument that Microsoft plays an active-enough role in Linux development to merit including the company in security groups.The overwhelming prevalence of Linux on Microsoft’s cloud platform may come as a surprise when viewed in isolation, but it makes complete sense from a business perspective. To start with, it’s simply cheaper to run Linux on Azure, as Microsoft’s own price calculator illustrates as clear as day. In this respect, Microsoft basically forced its own hand in terms of monetizing OS licensing into a consistent revenue stream, since Windows 10 Home is essentially free (if you don’t count the “Windows tax“) and Windows 10 Pro works out to a one-and-done revenue opportunity with many enterprise customers.The fact that Linux conforms closely (enough) to the Unix structure and philosophy also makes Linux instances easier to manage. Because Unix is so prolific, basically any system administrator will instantly be at home in the Linux file system, and the saved time and headaches translate pretty quickly into saved dollars and cents, not to mention fewer complications posed by downtime.Linux’s dominance also fits perfectly in the context of its gradual, deliberate integration into Microsoft’s long-term development and innovation vision. When Microsoft first proclaimed its love for Linux in 2014, many industry professionals, especially in the open-source sphere, were skeptical, but from that point on, Linux has been rolling steadily ahead at Microsoft. Initially, Microsoft’s embrace of Linux manifested as the Windows Subsystem for Linux, a curiosity mostly aimed at developers.Last year, though, the company announced Azure Sphere, a cloud-connected platform for internet of things (IoT) devices which includes Azure Sphere OS, an in-house headless Linux-based operating system. This was a masterstroke for Microsoft — even a stripped-down Windows OS is far too bloated to run on practically any IoT device, but most IoT manufacturers could benefit from a secure, off-the-shelf IoT solution to replace their own ill-conceived attempts. Azure Sphere was designed specifically to fill this void.Taken together, it’s easy to see how the numerous Linux options Microsoft offers on Azure alone — to say nothing of the deeper integration Linux is getting on the Windows 10 desktop — outflanks the comparatively more limited options and higher cost associated with running Windows on Azure. At the rate at which the company finds new and inventive applications for Linux, this trend looks set to continue, and Microsoft seems just fine with that.Updated on July 15, 2019: Revised with additional information from Microsoft regarding Azure Sphere. Editors’ Recommendations Who is Microsoft’s new Edge browser for? Probably not you or me Windows 10 is getting a Linux kernel, starting with Insider builds this summer Everything announced at Microsoft Build 2019, from Edge to Azure Rivals Sony and Microsoft team up for cloud-based gaming solutions Office 365 has been banned from German schools due to privacy concernslast_img read more

Huawei Mate 10 Lite leaked with 189 screen four cameras

first_imgNormally, Huawei’s flagship launches don’t get as much coverage as, say, Samsung or Apple, even after it kicked up its marketing in the US starting with the Huawei P9. But thanks to a rather bold boast, all eyes will be on the Chinese OEM when it launches the Huawei Mate 10 in less than a month. But that phone won’t be alone in October. It will reportedly be joined by a Mate 10 Pro and a Mate 10 Lite. While we know little about the “Pro” model, this recent leak about the Huawei Mate 10 Lite seems to hint that this poorly named smartphone might even steal the Mate 10’s spotlight. The Mate 10 Lite might only be “lite” in terms of the processor. That would be a Kirin 659, versus the Mate 10’s Kirin 970. The 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage are definitely nothing to sneeze at. And the fact that it will have a 5.9-inch 1080×2160 18:9 “FullView” screen, with an 83% screen-to-body ratio, definitely puts it at the top.It will also reportedly have a quad-camera setup. But before you let your jaw drop, better read the fine print first. It doesn’t mean having four cameras on the back, the way we interpret “dual cameras”. It just means that there are two cameras on the back, 16 and 2 megapixels, and two on the front, 13 and 2 megapixels. Huawei has been rather good on the quality of its dual cameras, which started the whole trend, but not exactly exceptional. We’ll have to see if that technology will do wonders for selfies as well.Although the Mate 10 Lite probably wins in terms of novelty, the real star will still be the Mate 10 (or the Mate 10 Pro) because of the Kirin 970 processor. This chip, which contains a built-in “Neural Processing Unit”, it being touted by Huawei to do magic for photos and, perhaps, even face recognition. Whether that actually works on paper is something we’ll get to see on October 16.VIA: VentureBeatlast_img read more

Nokia 9 renders hint at curved edge screen

first_imgSpecs wise, the Nokia 9 sounds rather plain and might even be, in at least one way, sub par to the Nokia 8. It will run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, which hints that it could be released this year or very early 2018 at the latest. There will, however, only be 4 GB of RAM, unlike the Nokia 8’s 6 GB. Internal storage is set to 64 or 128 GB.What will set the Nokia 9 apart from the brood is its design. It has curves all around the edges, especially at the sides. The back and front seem to meet together in one curved whole, not unlike Sony’s “Loop” design. But unlike Sony’s, the Nokia 9’s display seems to also curve at the edges, more like the Galaxy S8. That screen will supposedly be a 5.5-inch QHD one. There is nothing yet that suggests it will follow the same bezel-less route as the Galaxy S8, though that is being expected. The Nokia 8 isn’t even out in some major markets (like the US) yet, and there is now word, and a few pretty 3D renders, of a Nokia 9 going around. It seems that the Nokia 8 isn’t yet Nokia and HMD’s premium race horse, at least not as far as looks go. Though it might be the Nokia 8’s equal in terms of specs, based on these images done by OnLeaks for CompareRaja, the Nokia 9 will jump on the bezel-less and curved edge display train that Samsung is currently driving. The renders also show a vertically arranged dual camera, but has nothing to spark one’s interest yet. Despite boasting of Carl Zeiss lenses, Nokia’s camera on the Nokia 8 was hardly anything to write home about.No word yet on when Nokia and HMD will announce the Nokia 9, especially since it doesn’t seem to follow the conventional smartphone release cadence. Given the hardware, however, it should probably happen before something like a Snapdragon 836 or 840 is announced.last_img read more

Uber Health helps patients get to their appointments on time

first_imgPublic transportation is notorious for not running on schedule and that’s a problem when it comes to doctor visits. Most health clinics run on a strict schedule; being more than a few minutes late is all it takes to get your appointment cancelled. Here to help people get to those appointments on time is Uber, which has announced the launch of a new transportation service called Uber Health. As the name suggests, Uber Health is all about getting customers to their medical appointments. Uber Health is working in partnership with various healthcare organizations to offer patients rides both to and from their homes. The transportation company is launching this alongside its new Uber Health API, which opens the door for integrations with existing products.Healthcare clinics will be able to schedule rides for their patients, including ones from their home to the clinic and then from the clinic back to their home. Staff and caregivers can set up these rides on behalf of the patient or patients themselves can arrange them. These rides can be scheduled up to 30 days ahead of time to ensure there’s a driver available when the time comes.Uber explains that a single dashboard can be used to schedule multiple rides at the same time. Uber Health riders don’t need a smartphone to get their ride details; for now, that information is sent to the patient via a text message, but in the future Uber will also support sending info via calls to mobile and landline numbers as an alternative.Clinics are given access to a management dashboard for viewing things like scheduling reports, reports on requested rides, billing statements, and more. Uber says it has worked with Clearwater Compliance to assess its Uber Health platform to help ensure it meets HIPAA standards. More than 100 healthcare organizations in the US have started using Uber Health under a beta, among them being hospitals, therapy centers, senior facilities, and more.SOURCE: Uberlast_img read more

Foldable iPhone could upend smartphones in 2020

first_imgThat design language is expected to spread to the rest of the 2018 iPhone range, meanwhile. According to reports, Apple plans a trio of handsets for release this year, including a larger version of the iPhone X that’s being referred to, albeit unofficially, as the iPhone X Plus. A third model would be targeted at entry-level buyers.Now, though, analysts are predicting a new iPhone design that will make the iPhone X look positively pedestrian in comparison. Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts claim Apple is busy working on a folding smartphone, CNBC reports, collaborating with supply chain partners on the components and engineering such a device would demand. According to the note to investors, the foldable iPhone could also work as a tablet.“We expect the iPhones this fall to be largely unchanged for the OLED versions although size changes have proved to be a catalyst in the past,” Wamsi Mohan, an analyst at the firm, suggested. “Our checks also suggest that Apple is working with suppliers on a foldable phone (that potentially could double up as a tablet) for launch in 2020.”AdChoices广告It’s not a new rumor, mind. Apple is one of a number of tech-makers which hold patents for various implementations of how a folding smartphone might work, for instance. Last October, an Apple patent for an OLED or MicroLED smartphone that could be closed up like a clamshell was unearthed, indeed. Before that, in July 2017, reports suggested that LG Display had secured a contract to supply flexible OLED panels to Apple. Later whispers said that those screens would, indeed, be used for a flexible OLED device. Since then, of course, we’ve also heard that Apple is working on its own MicroLED screens. The display technology has long stymied mass production because of the complexity of its LED arrays, but Apple is believed to have facilities both in Asia and California working on methods to commercialize its manufacture. Like OLED, MicroLED panels could be made to be flexible. Unlike the organic-based screen technology, though, MicroLED would not suffer the same lifespan issue, nor its tendency for screen burn-in over time. Whether Apple can get all those pieces to line up in time for a 2020 device is unclear. Experts suggest that MicroLED alone is still several years out from being close to production-ready at the sort of scale Apple’s market share might demand. In the meantime, rivals like LG and Samsung are both believed to be working on folding Android phones that they expect to release in the next couple of years. Apple is working on a foldable iPhone that it could launch as soon as 2020, analysts have predicted, the biggest form-factor change the best-selling smartphone has ever seen. The Cupertino company has already marked the iPhone’s tenth anniversary with 2017’s iPhone X, adopting OLED screen technology, a controversial screen “notch,” and ditching the familiar home button in the process. Story TimelineiPhone X Plus leak tips dual-SIM and gold optionsA 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus could fix Apple’s iPad headacheFuture iPhones may ditch the notchlast_img read more

Google and Samsung expand team up to tackle RCS messaging on Android

first_imgStory TimelineGoogle turns on RCS messaging for some T-Mobile usersGoogle’s List of carriers that support RCS messaging expandsT-Mobile begins RCS Universal messaging support with Galaxy S7, S7 Edge For the past couple of years, Google has been making a push for widespread adoption of Rich Communication Services, or RCS. Today, Google got one step closer to its goal, announcing an expanded partnership with Samsung that focuses on growing RCS adoption. The end goal, naturally, is to make RCS more prevalent on Android, and teaming up with the biggest Android manufacturer seems like a good way to do that. For the uninitiated, RCS can probably best be described as an evolution of SMS. RCS supports many features that traditional SMS doesn’t, such as typing indicators and read receipts. RCS can also be used for chat over WiFi or “rich group chats,” as Samsung describes them, which means that it shares a lot of features with dedicated messaging services like WhatsApp or Messenger.Google and Samsung have already been working together to achieve RCS compatibility between their respective messaging apps, but with this expanded partnership, the two are doubling down on that interoperability. The two companies announced today that Android Messages and Samsung Messages will “work seamlessly together,” moving forward and that Google will help Samsung bring RCS functionality to its existing phones.Existing phones that will get RCS functionality include the Galaxy S8, S8+, S8 Active, S9, S9+, Note 8, Note 9, and some devices in the A and J series. Those phones will need to be running Android 9.0 or later, and they’ll need to be on carriers that support RCS. Future Samsung phones will offer native RCS messaging, again assuming that they’re on carriers that support the service.The end game here is to make RCS the standard across the entire Android ecosystem, Samsung and Google say. This expanded partnership should certainly help move us toward that goal, but there’s definitely still a long way to go.last_img read more

Samsung Feb 20 event confirmed Galaxy S10 and foldable phone

first_imgSamsung will hold a big launch event on February 20, the company has confirmed today, with its Unpacked 2019 expected to debut both the Galaxy S10 and its oft-rumored foldable phone. The announcement was made Thursday morning, with Samsung confirming that it would be holding the event in San Francisco as well as streaming it online. Story TimelineGalaxy S10 renders show Samsung’s upcoming flagship in stunning detailA 5G Galaxy S10 could hurt – not help – SamsungGalaxy S10 Lite will be called Galaxy S10 E, sources say “On February 20, Samsung Electronics will unveil new devices that promise to usher in new Galaxy experiences based on 10 years of innovations,” the company teased. Notably, the launch date comes a week ahead of Mobile World Congress 2019. Samsung has, for the past few years, opted to hold its Galaxy S-series Unpacked event during the same week as the cellularly-focused show in Barcelona, Spain, albeit at a different venue. This time around, though, it seems it’s unwilling to share any of the spotlight.Instead the launch will be held in San Francisco, at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. It’ll kick off at 11am PT in the morning. Exactly what’s on the agenda, Samsung is only teasing, though it’s hardly difficult to guess. It’ll be the tenth anniversary of the Galaxy S-series, after all, comes after that “10 years of innovations,” and we’re expecting the Galaxy S10 to take center stage. A report earlier today pegged three versions of the Samsung Galaxy S10 as being ready for reveal. However, that would leave the rumored Galaxy S10+ 5G Edition – the version of the Galaxy S10 with a larger display and 5G connectivity – for later. It’s unclear if Samsung will want to wait until 5G networks have broader availability later in 2019 for that, or if it is saving the news for a second, sooner event. Just as interesting, there’s also chatter that Samsung’s foldable smartphone, widely known as the Galaxy Fold, will also be shown off at the February 20 event. A fully functional device is expected to be previewed, after Samsung showed a disguised prototype late in 2018 at its annual developer conference. There, Samsung focused on the technology behind its Infinity Flex foldable display, as well as how Android would adapt to changing screen sizes. For February 20, the expectation is that the smartphone itself will be in the spotlight. Whether that will come with a release date is unclear, with previous reports suggesting Samsung had planned a release sometime in the first half of this year. Unlike the Galaxy S10, which is its flagship play for the mainstream, the folding smartphone will be a more niche model intended to demonstrate Samsung’s cutting-edge innovation.last_img read more

Pixel 4 renders surface and the reactions are amusing

first_imgSome indeed do call Google out for that, but the most immediate reaction seems to fall along the lines of “good luck with Google producing something as beautiful as this.” There seems to be a widespread feeling of discontent among Pixel owners over Google’s aesthetics, even while they mostly praise its software. Interestingly, very few are fixated on the hole-in punch the way most were before the Galaxy S10 actually launched.There were, however, also concerns about Google’s potential adoption of new technologies at the expense of focusing on the basics. The Pixel phones remain the only premium flagships to have only 4 GB of RAM. And while the renders hint that the Pixel 4 XL will finally make the jump to dual cameras, front and back, there are some doubts as to whether that’s actually necessary yet. Forget the Pixel 3a and 3a Lite. OK, maybe don’t forget them if you’re still looking for a budget Pixel phone. Google’s unusual mid-range phones are still nowhere to be seen but that’s not stopping some from speculating about the next premium models. Some sketches of the alleged Pixel 4 recently came out and some claim them to be the real deal. Unsurprisingly, someone made beautiful 3D renders out of those and Netizens’ reactions are probably not what you’d expect. Then again, these are simply renders of a designer based on unofficial information. XDA’s recent trolling reminds us to always take pre-release information with a grain of salt, and some Pixel fans might actually take a whole cupful. #Pixel4 and #Pixel4XL – Part1(based on current rumors) pic.twitter.com/NuYSGBxQ2v— Phone Designer (@PhoneDesigner) March 15, 2019 Let’s get it out of the way, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL look terribly close to Samsung’s Galaxy 10 phones, at least on the front and partly on the back. There’s the notorious punch-hole cutout for single and dual front cameras and the lack of a rear fingerprint scanner suggest an in-display one. Considering the similarities, you’d expect long-time Pixel fans to foam at the mouth over Google ripping off Samsung. Well, yes and no.last_img read more

Bosch and Daimler to use NVIDIA Drive Pegasus AI for autonomous autos

first_imgThe agreement between Bosch, Daimler, and NVIDIA will see NVIDIA supply AI platform components needed. The Drive Pegasus platform will be provided under the contract that includes processors and software allowing the processing of vehicle-driving algorithms generated by Bosch and Daimler using machine learning methods. The ECU network will reach a computing capacity that can support hundreds of trillions of operations per second. The firms note that this is akin to the performance delivered by at least six synchronized and highly advanced desktop computer workstations. NVIDIA will also participate in the development of the platform with the other companies.This powerful AI system will be leveraged to handle all the information that is gathered by the different systems in the car including radar, video, lidar, and ultrasonic sensors. The video sensor alone in that scenario gathers 100 gigabytes of data in a single kilometer according to Daimler. The system is able to asses that information and plan the vehicle path in fractions of a second. Daimler says that this speed is on par with how long it takes the sensation of touch to reach the human brain.That length of time is said to be between 20 and 500 milliseconds. The ECU network will be integrated into the battery cell cooling circuit inside the car. Mercedes is planning on EVs for autonomous urban driving vehicles and those vehicles will have a cooling system onboard. Bosch and Daimler have been working together since August of 2017 on autonomous vehicles for city streets.SOURCE: Daimler Bosch and Daimler have been working together to roll out future autonomous cars and have announced that they will source a new AI platform in that effort. Both companies will source the Drive Pegasus platform AI processors and software from NVIDIA. The tech will be used to help autonomous and automated vehicle navigate the complex environment of congested city streets.last_img read more

Intel 10nm chips finally ready to ship next month 7nm in two

first_imgIt may have long thrown in the mobile and IoT towels and just recently yielded its 5G stake, but Intel arguably remains the most important CPU maker in the computing market. Just ask the OEMs, including Apple, whose products and sales were impacted by Intel supply shortages. That’s why the market is now probably both excited yet also cautious after Intel revealed its roadmap for the next three years, including the long-delayed shipment of 10nm CPUs. Intel admitted that it bit off more than it could chew when it laid out its plans for 10nm chips to overthrow the then-current 14nm back in 2013. It is only now, six years later, that it’s finally able to make good on that promise. For better or worse, however, Intel may have learned a lot from the 14nm process’ extended period.It will start shipping its 10nm Ice Lake platform in June, with OEMs shipping products in time for the holidays this year and server products in 2020. These 10nm chips promise 2x graphics speed, 2x video transcode speed, and up to 3 times faster AI performance compared to the long-reigning 14nm. Its experience with the 14nm, 14+nm, and 14++nm processes helped Intel develop a model for inter and intra node optimizations. In other words, customers won’t have to wait long for the next stage of improvements.The biggest leap, however, will be the 7nm process which Intel expects will be ready by 2021. It envisions a 20% bump in performance per watt and a complementing 4 times reduction in design complexity. Perhaps more curious, Intel’s stated lead 7nm product will be a general-purpose GPU (GPGPU) based on its Xe-architecture. That, however, will follow Intel’s first discrete GPU which it plans to launch next year.This is definitely an ambitious and aggressive roadmap, especially for a company that has been bitten by making ambitious and aggressive promises. That said, Intel can’t but help show a strong face as it continues to face competition not just from long-time rival AMD but from ARM-based chip makers as well.last_img read more

DJI Osmo Action camera A twinscreen attack on GoPro

first_imgIt’s a clever addition. One of the trickier parts of using an action camera has always been trying to frame the shot. While the cameras themselves can be fairly easy to position into unusual locations – like on a helmet, up in the corner of a windshield, or on bike handlebars – actually checking whether you’re properly in the frame yourself can demand either contortions or booting up the mobile app and connecting the camera to your phone. The Osmo Action does, of course, have a regular display on the back, too. That’s a 2.25-inch touchscreen, with a water- and fingerprint-repelling coating. Screen brightness is 750 nits, extra high so as to ensure the displays remain visible even in direct sunlight. AdChoices广告The camera itself uses a 1/2.3-inch sensor, good for 4K video at up to 60fps at 100 Mbps, or 12-megapixel photos. It’s paired with a three-glass aspherical lens and given two layers of anti-fingerprint coating and an anti-reflective coating. Unsurprisingly there’s no room for a mechanical gimbal inside, but DJI has used its Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) system, RockSteady. Notably, that will work even when recording at the maximum resolution and frame rate. HDR video at 4K/30fps is supported, too, with DJI promising three stops of dynamic range more. A Slo-mo mode offers 8x slow motion in 1080p/240fps, or 4x slow motion at 1080p/120fps. There’s also a time-lapse mode, and the ability to set custom exposure settings. The latter allows for up to 120 second frames. DJI has revealed its first action camera, the DJI Osmo Action, wading further into GoPro territory and threatening to upstage its rival with dual color screens and more. The new camera combines dustproofing, shock proofing, and waterproofing with both a rear touchscreen and a front display for easier framing of shots. The removable battery is good for up to 93 minutes of 4K/30fps recording with RockSteady turned on. Without the EIS, and in 1080p/30fps mode, you’re looking at 135 minutes, DJI says. There are dual microphones – which not only record audio in videos but allow for voice control – and a built-in speaker. As you’d expect, there’s support for the DJI Mimo app to connect the Osmo Action to a phone via WiFi or Bluetooth. That allows for live racing, story templates, quick edits, and other features. DJI has a host of accessories, too. The Camera Frame Kit mount is included with the camera, as are curved and flat adhesive mounts, but there’s also a waterproof case, a 3.5mm microphone adapter, extension rod, floating handle for use in water, and multiple filters. A charging hub can recharge up to three batteries in under 130 minutes. The biggest threat to GoPro may well be the price. The DJI Osmo Action lands at $349 and is shipping now. In contrast, the GoPro Hero 7 Black is $400.center_img At first glance, DJI hasn’t strayed too far from what we’re familiar with from an action camera. The Osmo Action is a compact block with an offset lens on one side; it’s pushed across to accommodate a 1.4-inch color LCD, which shows a live view from the camera. last_img read more

Tesla Model 3 headlights get some good safety news

first_imgThe Insurance Institute for Highway Safety began adding headlamp ratings to its scores for vehicles sold in the US back in 2016. Its motivation was just how prevalent nighttime crashes are: around half of all fatal incidents in the US occur in the dark, the IIHS says, and more than a quarter on unlit roads. “Headlights have an obvious role to play in preventing nighttime crashes, but not all headlights perform their job equally,” the Institute points out. “Differences in bulb type, headlight technology and even something as basic as how the lights are aimed all affect the amount of useful light supplied.”The goal is to encourage manufacturers to not only fit better, brighter, and more precise bulbs – like LED or HID – versus cheaper options, but also to tune them properly. The testing also rewards feature like auto high-beams and headlamps that can turn to direct light around corners. As of the IIHS’ 2018 ratings, the outcome of the headlight testing impacts whether a car qualifies for the Top Safety Pick+ award, the highest level of the organization’s tests.That left the Model 3 out in the cold without the highest possible rating, given the IIHS only deemed the Tesla’s light an average. The automaker has updated things, however, and used a new LED reflector type. Now, with retesting complete, it gets some good news. Model 3 cars built prior to July 2018 still get the average rating for their headlights. However Model 3 cars built after June 2018 now get a good rating. The IIHS says that, with the new lights, the Model 3 now has good visibility on both sides of the road on straightaways: previously, left side illumination was good, but right side illumination was deemed inadequate. The low beams now longer exceed the IIHS’ glare limits, unlike before. It’s not a clean sweep, mind. The Institute says that there’s still some room for improvement, at least when the road gets twisty. “On curves, visibility was good on the sharp right curve, fair on the gradual right and sharp left curves, and inadequate on the gradual left curve,” it concludes.It’s unclear whether Tesla will offer upgrade options for owners of earlier Model 3 cars who want the new lighting system. Similarly unclear at this point is how the change in test results will affect the IIHS’ overall rating, which the organization is yet to announce. A simple headlamp change has earned the Tesla Model 3 an all-important tick on its safety ratings, nudging the electric car further up the roster of recommended vehicles. The automaker’s most affordable model had previously been granted a mere “acceptable” rating for its lights, as the IIHS attempts to coax car companies into adopting better bulbs across the board. Story TimelineTesla Model 3 mid-range is new cheapest versionTesla rolls out Track Mode to the Model 3, along with expensive key fobTesla Model 3 hack puts YouTube and Ubuntu on the dashlast_img read more

State Roundup Insurer Earnings Drop In Mass

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. A selection of health policy stories from Massachusetts, California, Kansas and Minnesota.Stateline: States Crack Down On Mental Health PrescriptionsMedicaid is the largest funder of mental health services in the United States. In 2008, in all 50 states, Medicaid spent a total of $4.5 billion on behavioral health drugs, about a fifth of the $22.5 billion spent by the program on all pharmaceuticals combined. Roughly a third of the participants in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program experience a mental health episode annually, according to a 2010 report by the Mental Health Services Administration. The billions spent on mental health drugs have made them a target for cost containment strategies. All but a handful of state Medicaid programs have imposed some limits on beneficiaries’ access to the drugs (Vaida, 8/14).Politico Pro: Massachusetts To Vote On Assisted SuicideMassachusetts in November will vote on whether to become the third state to legalize physician-assisted suicide. Oregon and Washington voters have approved similar laws. A court has allowed the practice in Montana, although there has not been a ballot initiative or legislation. Massachusetts’s “Death with Dignity” initiative, like Oregon’s and Washington’s, would allow a physician to prescribe life-ending drugs to a terminally ill patient. The patient has to be able to express his wishes, and take the drugs himself. The physician cannot administer the lethal dose. A poll in May by the Western New England University Polling Institute found that 60 percent of registered Bay State voters support “allowing people who are dying to legally obtain medication that they could use to end their lives” (Cheney, 8/16).The Boston Globe: Health Insurer’s Earnings Plunge For 2d QuarterMassachusetts health insurers, ­under sustained pressure from small business customers and the Patrick administration to hold down premium increases, Wednesday posted sharply lower earnings for the second quarter compared with the same period a year ago. Net income in the three months ending June 30 plunged 49.9 percent at the state’s largest health insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. The drop was even steeper for the state’s other major health plans — 56.3 percent at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, 93.6 percent at Tufts Health Plan, and 68.4 percent at Fallon Community Health Plan (Weisman, 8/16).HealthyCal: Report: Coachella Valley Residents Lack InsuranceA new study by the Health Access Resource Center (HARC) shows that 28.6 percent of residents 18-64 are uninsured. That’s compared to 21.3 percent nationwide, according to the 2011 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). That same survey showed that 1 in 5 Californians under age 65 lack health insurance and 9.2 percent of children in the Golden State are uninsured. The data show that the problem is getting worse (Potter, 8/16). Kansas Health Institute News: Work Starts On Defining Kansas ‘Essential Benefits’The Kansas Insurance Department has scheduled a public hearing to collect input on what basic benefits should be included in the health insurance plans that will be available through the state’s new online insurance exchange after Jan. 1, 2014. “A number of our stakeholders have a great deal of interest in what the basic plan might look like, what the benefits would be and what the costs might be,” said Linda Sheppard, director of the department’s division of accident and health insurance (Ranney, 8/15).Minnesota Public Radio: Some State Workers’ Families Caught In Middle Of Insurance AuditMcDonnel-Forney, whose husband has worked for the Department of Vehicle Services since 2007, is eligible for health care coverage. But she only found out she’d been dropped when she went to the pharmacy earlier this month. “We did not find out until I went to fill a prescription after the first of August and was told I had no insurance and would have to play the full price,” she told me today. “We still didn’t receive notice until about a week after the first of the month.” How did she end up in this situation? (Collins, 8/15).California Healthline: What Paul Ryan’s Reforms Would Mean For CaliforniaThe Golden State’s deficit is nearing $16 billion. Lawmakers are counting on new taxes that may never come. The state’s obligations are enormous, even as public-sector cuts mean that social services are being stretched thin. It’s a microcosm of the budget wrangling happening on a national level. But the fiscal debate in liberal-leaning California looks tame next to the arguments in Washington, D.C., where Republicans have pushed for austerity measures that would dramatically cut social programs favored by Democrats. … There’s little indication that either of Ryan’s cost-cutting proposals would be successful in practice. Shifting more health costs to consumers may slow their health care utilization, as demonstrated by a well-known RAND study, but there’s no evidence that it would ultimately slow costs, as patients may put off routine care that could later manifest as expensive emergency conditions (Diamond, 8/15).California Healthline: Amendments Could Move Basic Health Program To Floor VoteToday a bill to create a state Basic Health Program comes before the Assembly Committee on Appropriations, with the intention of getting sprung out of committee and to the legislative floor for a vote. SB 703 by Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) is currently “on suspense” — a kind of legislative limbo for bills with significant potential fiscal impact on California. All bills with a financial impact of $150,000 a year or more have to be put on the suspense file. The appropriations committee can then evaluate all of those bigger-ticket items collectively, so that the committee can better regulate how much spending it approves. Hernandez has been proposing amendments that would lessen the potential financial impact of SB 703, and today the committee will decide whether or not to remove the bill from suspense (Gorn, 8/15). State Roundup: Insurer Earnings Drop In Mass.last_img read more

Viewpoints Voters Want Medicare Protected In Grand Bargain Increases In Taxes Cant

first_imgRoll Call: Clay: Adult Moment Needed On Fiscal Cliff As the ranking member on the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology, let me simply state the hard truth. To avoid the fiscal cliff and to get our budget deficit and the national debt under control, we need to do three things simultaneously: cut spending, increase revenue and have the courage to put everything on the table in a responsible, bipartisan manner. … The Simpson-Bowles commission laid out a road map containing some common-sense parameters to guide us toward a realistic compromise that can actually become law (Rep. William Lacy Clay, 11/13). The Wall Street Journal: Obama’s Left Flank This week’s pressing question is which Barack Obama will show up for his Friday fiscal-cliff talks with Congressional leaders. The president who has hinted he’s open to a bipartisan deal? Or the President who on Tuesday threw open the White House to his no-compromise-ever brigades? … The deficit last fiscal year was $1.1 trillion, and that’s before ObamaCare kicks in and the baby boom cohort keeps retiring. Everyone talks about Republicans and taxes as an obstacle to bipartisanship, but the liberal delusion that entitlements can be financed by taxes alone is something Mr. Obama needs to address (11/13). The Washington Post: Grand Bargain Is The Wrong Solution In the election eve poll done by the Democracy Corps for the Campaign for America’s Future (disclosure: I serve on the board of the Campaign’s sister institution, the Institute for America’s Future), voters were asked what would be unacceptable in a large deal to reduce deficits. Seventy-nine percent found cuts to Medicare benefits unacceptable;  … Republicans are arguing yet again for cutting Social Security and Medicare in exchange for lowering tax rates on the wealthy … Voters just rejected Mitt Romney when he tried to peddle a version of this junk arithmetic (Katrina vanden Heuvel, 11/13). The New York Post: Beware: ObamaCare’s Now Reality President Obama’s re-election and Democratic gains in the US Senate end any possibility of repealing the Obama health law. It will roll out as written, imposing major changes soon on you and your family. If you are uninsured because you can’t afford it, help may be on the way. But if you are one of the 250 million Americans with coverage, there are big problems ahead (Betsy McCaughey, 11/12). The Philadelphia Inquirer: Election 2012 And Women’s Health [E]ven as they celebrate their victories, Democratic Party stalwarts and lovers of the 21st century everywhere can agree that one of the biggest winners in this year’s election was public health. From Obama’s victory ensuring the life of the Affordable Care Act to the rejection of candidates around the country who attacked women’s health, public health was front and center (Michael Yudell, 11/13). The New York Times: Women Make History, For Now On Election Day, American women really did make their mark. Their ascendance can be laid at least in part at the door of right-wing Republicans who mounted what feminists — but not just them — saw as a “war on women,” with their opposition to unfettered abortion rights, required insurance coverage for contraceptives and aid to women’s health organizations like Planned Parenthood (Luisita Lopez Torregrosa, 11/13). Los Angeles Times: Democratic Party’s ‘New Majority’ Far From A Sure Thing But the most perceptive of these commentators realize that the demographic changes that helped Obama to victory are not cemented in favor of any one party. … [Alan Draper, a professor of government at St. Lawrence University] believes Democrats need to lock in their electoral majority by delivering on a few key promises: implementing Obamacare, thus bringing health insurance to millions and the promise of their future votes (James Rainey, 11/13). The Wall Street Journal: A Compounding Fracture At The FDA The recent deadly outbreak of meningitis caused by spinal injections of a contaminated steroid has cast a spotlight on the practice of pharmacy compounding—when pharmacists mix or adapt medicines to make a specific prescribed treatment. The House and Senate are holding oversight hearings this week on the tragedy that has sickened at least 438 people and is believed to have killed more than 30. … The FDA will likely say that it doesn’t have enough authority to regulate the pharmacies that compound drugs. But the FDA does have enough authority (Scott Gottlieb and Sheldon Bradshaw, 11/13).San Jose Mercury News: Invest In Kids Like We Do In Seniors And The Military Budgets reflect choices. … We talk a good game, but at the federal and state level, we have systematically chosen to invest in support for seniors, the military, “too big to fail” institutions, prisons — but we have consistently chosen not to protect and support children. … Our level of chronic health problems, such as obesity or asthma, has doubled since 1991, with more than a quarter of our kids now facing these health challenges. That means increased health care costs and lower productivity later in life. In a nutshell, our next generation is sicker, out of shape, in debt, lacking proper education and less socially mobile than those in the recent past (Tom Steyer and Jim Steyer, 11/14). Houston Chronicle: Uninsured Kids Aren’t Only An Urban Problem Children’s Medical Center released a report Monday showing that five booming counties in North Texas are home to twice the national average for children without health insurance. … We say shocking because some of those counties, such as Collin and Denton, are associated with prosperity and stability. But, as the accompanying chart shows, 16 percent or more of their kids lacked health insurance in 2010. … Private-sector responses … will spread health care to more suburban children. But they alone won’t answer the problem. Legislators also should revisit the rates the state pays doctors for treating Medicaid and CHIP patients (11/13). Houston Chronicle: It’s Not Too Late To Avoid America’s Looming Diabetes Crisis Simply put, America’s diabetes epidemic is a community problem that demands a community-based solution. It’s not too late to stop the crisis and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans. Expanding proven diabetes prevention programs in our communities will promote prevention, provide access to quality care and services, control costs, encourage healthier lifestyles choices and loosen the grip that diabetes has on our citizens, our health care system and our future (Dr. Deneen Vojta, 11/13). The New York Times: Saving A Program That Saves Lives [In 2010] the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria began a pilot program in which it provided a “co-payment” to the manufacturers of A.C.T.’s, thereby allowing commercial wholesalers and private or government health services to purchase the drugs at a fraction of the already low negotiated price. … Strikingly, it has worked. … Still, it may not end well … The Global Fund is to meet on Wednesday, with American representatives in attendance, to consider what comes next. The recommendations on the table are to cut back, not expand, the subsidy program (Kenneth J. Arrow, 11/13). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Viewpoints: Voters Want Medicare Protected In ‘Grand Bargain;’ Increases In Taxes Can’t Cover The ‘Fiscal Cliff’; Kids’ Health Needs More Attentionlast_img read more

The Lucrative Practice Of Flipping Drugs Buy The Rights Hike The Price

first_img In other pharmaceutical news — This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Dealmakers have always flipped companies. Lately, they’ve been flipping something else: aging pharmaceuticals. Take Actimmune, developed by Genentech Inc. decades ago. By 2012, sales were fizzling. Then rights to the immune-disorder treatment were acquired by a company backed by private equity. The price climbed, 434 percent in two years, and Actimmune was a hot property. Horizon Pharma Plc snapped it up. Or consider the old Novartis AG cold-sore cream Denavir, notching a 372 percent gain as it changed hands twice with private equity help. Or Dutoprol, 1,057 percent more expensive after a flip. Or Miacalcin, 3,259 percent higher. (Langreth, 11/2) The Wall Street Journal: Valeant, In Push For Cash, Looks To Sell Stomach-Drug Business Pfizer Inc. ended its bid to return to the multibillion-dollar cholesterol market that long fueled the company, halting development of a once-promising drug candidate amid safety concerns and mounting pricing pressures confronting the industry. (Rockoff and Hufford, 11/1) Reuters: Senator Grassley Asks Defense Department To Explain EpiPen Spending The Wall Street Journal: Pfizer Cuts Outlook, Ends Development Of Cholesterol Drug center_img For more news on high drug costs, check out our weekly feature, Prescription Drug Watch, which includes coverage and perspectives of the issue. The Lucrative Practice Of Flipping Drugs: Buy The Rights, Hike The Price, Then Resell Pharmaceutical companies seize on drugs with little competition, boost the price and then put it back up for sale. “They’re taking advantage of a dysfunctional market,” says Stephen Schondelmeyer, a professor of pharmaceutical economics. U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley asked the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs on Tuesday to explain spending trends for the EpiPen emergency allergy treatment. The request followed a recent report by Reuters detailing how EpiPen price hikes by manufacturer Mylan NV had added millions to U.S. Department of Defense spending since 2008 as the agency covered more prescriptions for the lifesaving allergy shot at near retail prices. (Beasley, 11/1) Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. is in advanced talks to sell a big stomach-drug business to Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. for about $10 billion, a move seen easing pressure on Valeant over its hefty debt load. The companies could reach a deal for Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd., which Valeant bought just a year-and-a-half ago for roughly $11 billion, in the coming weeks, people familiar with the matter said. (Benoit and Rockoff, 11/2) Bloomberg: Investors Are Hooked On Flipping Pharmaceuticals  last_img read more

CMS To Give Medicare Advantage Plans A Pay Boost Along With More

first_img Modern Healthcare: CMS Finalizes Medicare Advantage Pay Raise, Ups Encounter Data Use CMS To Give Medicare Advantage Plans A Pay Boost Along With More Flexibility “These changes to the model better reflect costs and improve the financing for the care of beneficiaries with multiple conditions,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. The U.S. government on Monday said it would increase by 2.53 percent on average 2020 payments to the health insurers that manage Medicare Advantage insurance plans for seniors and the disabled, a reflection of a new estimate on medical cost growth. The rate, which affects how much insurers charge for monthly healthcare premiums, plan benefits and, ultimately, how much they profit, represents an increase over the 1.59 percent increase proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in February. (Humer, 4/1) Reuters: U.S. Government Boosts 2020 Medicare Payments To Insurers By 2.53 Percent center_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. Medicare Advantage plans are getting a pay raise and more flexibility to tailor benefits for chronically ill patients next year, the CMS said Monday. But Advantage plans’ payments will also be based on a higher percentage of patient “encounter data,” a change that health insurers have fought hard to avoid. The CMS on Monday finalized a rule giving Medicare Advantage plans a 2.53% pay raise in 2020. The agency had initially floated giving plans a 1.59% pay bump for next year. The final rate is less than the 3.4% raise Advantage plans received for 2019, which was one of the biggest pay raises plans have received in years. (Livingston, 4/1) last_img read more

VDL Delivered First Citea Electric Bus In Switzerland

Am Wochenende an der Messe «beWEGt18» in Kägiswil, ab Montag, 10. September, auf der @PostAuto-Linie zwischen Sarnen und Alpnach: Das neue Elektropostauto ist bald im Einsatz für unsere Fahrgäste. https://t.co/4q6O8iwCBR pic.twitter.com/3GbL6IqIWp— PostAuto (@PostAuto) September 7, 2018 Watch Proterra Electric Bus Conquer Utah’s Steepest Roads Electric buses apparently are a perfect fit for the mountainous roads of Switzerland.VDL Bus & Coach already put on the roads more than 200 electric buses (mostly in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Sweden and Norway) and recently delivered its first in Switzerland.The VDL Citea SLF-120 Electric was ordered by PostBus Switzerland. The bus is equipped with a 180 kWh battery and after an overnight charge is able to operate an entire day thanks to 15-minute recharges at 150 kW at the end of line 342 between Sarnen Bahnhof and Alpnach Dorf Bahnhof.See Also San Francisco’s Bus Fleet Will Be All Electric By 2035 Source: Electric Vehicle News The first bus is part of a pilot project to gain experience, but as there are a lot of mountainous roads in Switzerland, we believe that mass electrification is just a matter of time as the EV acceleration and regenerative braking works in favor of the EV.“VDL will not only be bus supplier for this order but system supplier as well. The Citea SLF-120 Electric, equipped with a 180 kWh battery pack, is slow-charged both during the night at the depot in Sarnen and during the day at the Alpnach Dorf Bahnhof train station by means of plugs (150 kW). Alpnach Dorf Bahnhof Station is the last stop on the route, where the bus stops for an average of 15 minutes to be charged. This allows the bus to be in service throughout the day.”Alex de Jong, business manager public transport for VDL Bus & Coach bv said:“With numerous E-Mobility projects in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Sweden and Norway and more than 200 electric buses on the road, VDL is an experienced partner for the implementation of efficient, emission-free public transport. We are delighted to have had this opportunity to put our experience to good use for the implementation of electric buses in Switzerland.” Chicago Transit Orders 20 Proterra Electric Buses Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on September 15, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News read more

New Formula E Team HWA Announces Paffett As First Driver

Agag Reveals How Close Formula E Came To Collapse The squad, which will officially be called HWA RACELAB, will be run by HWA AG CEO and Mercedes DTM boss Ulrich Fritz as team principal.More Formula E News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 12, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News “I am really excited about driving for HWA in the fifth season of Formula E,” said Paffett, who drove for Venturi at the inaugural FE rookie test in Marrakech in January.“This is basically the first time for 15 years that I will have switched series and cars.“It will be a major challenge – for me, and for the team. Most of them – like me – are moving over from the DTM.“As such, we have a lot to learn. It will certainly not be easy at first, but we are ready and are all looking forward to it.“Formula E is a very promising series with great prospects. It is great to be a part of it.“I watched the race in Marrakech at the start of the year and was impressed by the atmosphere. It was totally different to the DTM and anything else I’ve seen before.“We must adapt to this new format and adjust our approach to the race weekends accordingly. The standard of the drivers and teams is definitely very high.”The team, which is a precursor for the Mercedes FE entry in 2019/20, will be based at a dedicated workshop designed at HWA’s Affalterbach headquarters to house its race assembly area and simulator.“We are looking forward to the new challenges that come with Formula E,” said Fritz.“Over the past weeks and months, we have worked very hard to lay a solid foundation, upon which to enter this fiercely-competitive series.“In doing so, we have benefitted greatly from the experience gained in cooperation with the Venturi team, whom we supported last season as technical partner.“We are now well positioned with our own team to compete under our own flag. We are approaching this challenge with a healthy mixture of confidence and respect.“The season ahead will be a learning year for HWA RACELAB, but I am confident that we will very quickly establish ourselves and be competitive in the series.”HWA’s second driver “is yet to be confirmed”, according to a team statement, although Fritz recently told Motorsport.com that the team expects to have its permanent line-up in place for the official FE pre-season test at Valencia, which gets underway next week.Chiocchetti highlighted Paffett’s importance to HWA, adding: “It is incredibly valuable to have such an experienced man as Gary at the wheel.“His feedback is an important indicator for the further development of the cars.” Source: Electric Vehicle News Gary Paffett has been announced as the first driver to join HWA’s new Formula E entry ahead of the 2018/19 championship. Agag Pushing Back Against Formula E 4WD Idea Lucas di Grassi’s former engineer at Abt Audi, Franco Chiocchetti, has been given the head of Formula E operations role.HWA has also released the livery it will run on its cars, which will be fitted with Venturi-supplied VFE-05 powertrains. Techeetah Reveals DS-Powered Gen2 Formula E Car Source: Motorsport.com read more

See Rimac Ready Automobili CTwo For Wind Tunnel Testing

first_img See The Rimac C_Two Up Close In New Video Source: Electric Vehicle News A lot of thought went into every aspect of this all-electric hypercarWhen Rimac Automobili revealed the newest addition to their family, the Rimac C_Two, the automotive world was taken by storm. Everyone who looked at the specifications for this upcoming all-electric hypercar couldn’t stop to be amazed. And now, with months passing by, the Croatian carmaker is slowly revealing the process that went into making one of the world’s most powerful and prestigious vehicles.More about Rimac Automobili Pininfarina Previews Rimac-Supplied Powertrain For PF0 Hypercar 4 photoscenter_img California Edition Rimac C_Two Debuts In Los Angeles Released earlier today, Rimac teased a set of images that will precede what the company calls “a sneak peek into the Rimac C_Two wind tunnel test.” Naturally, the whole process of wind tunnel testing is a bit more intricate than what we usually imagine. Rimac built a full-scale model of their vehicle, allowing them to put various parts of their hypercar through some intricate testing procedures. Items like functional active aero components, realistic suspension, and brakes, fans, all the way to the realistic pressure drop across the radiator cores and the rotating wheels were used to test the relevant parts quickly and compare to the CFD results.The Rimac C_Two comes with some rather impressive technical specifications and performance figures. The vehicle utilizes a powertrain that delivers 1,888 horsepower (1,408 kilowatts) and 1,696 pound-feet (2,300 Newton-meters) of torque. In turn, the Rimac will hit 60 mph (96 kph) – hate you Tesla, do 0-62mph like everybody else – from a standstill in 1.85 seconds. Thee vehicle accelerates all the way to a top speed of 256 mph (412 kph) – not too shabby for a car that weighs a hefty 1,950 kilograms (4,300 pounds).With the 120-kWh battery fully charged, Rimac’s newest electric beast will cover 404 miles (650 kilometers) between charges – based on the outgoing NEDC test cycle. Factor in level 4 autonomous driving capabilities, fast-charging to 80 percent in half an hour, and extensive use of carbon fiber, and you get one of the most technologically advanced cars ever made that will hopefully live up to the hype. And to make matters even more compelling, nearly all 150 cars planned for production have already been sold. Despite the C_Two’s eye-watering starting price of about $2.1 million.Hopefully, next week, we’ll get to be amazed by what Rimac Automobili did while putting their newest hypercar through its paces at the Fiat Chrysler America’s wind tunnel test facility. Meanwhile, grab a few moments and check out the teasers from the media gallery below. Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 23, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Check Out This Anti ICEing Tesla Supercharger Device In Taiwan Video

first_imgWhile this surely sucks, it’s going to happen just as much as drivers pull into handicap spots cause they’re lazy or occupy pickup-only (not for pickup trucks but those picking up groceries or goods) lanes at grocery stores or restaurants.But, what if an ICE car could simply not occupy such parking spots without damaging their cars? This latest technology shows a way to curtail such issues. In the case that EVs are able to have a sensor that will lower an obstruction that ICE cars can’t get past, this is a huge step forward.Reportedly, Tesla is already testing such a technology. However, it has yet to be seen in the U.S., but rather is in place at some Supercharger stations in China, as we already stated. Now, Tesla owners in Taiwan are seeing it in action, too.Tesla Taiwan testing out new supercharger ground locks solution to fix ICE issues. A camera identifies the Tesla via plate number as the car backs up and unlocks accordingly. @elonmusk @tesla pic.twitter.com/tFU1twMBdg— Tesla Owners Taiwan (@TeslaOwnersTwn) February 14, 2019 Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 15, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Below is a look and some analysis of the current circumstances. This is clearly not a situation of drivers misunderstanding the use of the spots, but clearly purposeful “ICE-ing” of EV charging spaces as a form of protest against Tesla and/or EVs in general. Not to mention the reality that these pickup truck drivers have showed up as a team and are not unwilling to cuss at Tesla owners and pick fights:.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Tesla Blocks Gas Car Access To Superchargers With Trick Devicecenter_img How can Tesla and other companies with public charge points help EV drivers? Here’s how!We’ve heard a ton lately about ICE car drivers occupying EV charging spots (and more specifically Tesla Superchargers). This may be by mistake or due to laziness or flat-out on purpose. Nonetheless, this is not a new phenomenon and will continue to be an issue. It’s one thing if an ICE car driver pulls into a close spot at the mall, which is also one of the few EV charging spaces available at the place of business.Related Tesla Supercharger Content: Tesla Now Operates Over 12,000 Superchargers At 1,400 Stations Tesla Supercharger Gets Vandalized: Imageslast_img read more

10 Reasons Why You Should Buy An Electric Car

first_img Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 31, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Longest Range Electric Cars For Your Money: Model 3 For The Win Electric Cars With The Best Resale Value For 2019 Here’s why you should buy an electric car this year.With several new models debuting for the 2019 model year offering extended operating ranges and affordable sticker prices, there has never been a better time to own an electric-powered vehicle. While they still account for a razor-thin percentage of all new-vehicle sales in the U.S., there’s still a compelling case to be made for consumers to consider a full-electric model as their next mode of transportation.More EV Basics Here’s 10 reasons you should consider making the switch to an EV during 2019:1. THE SELECTION HAS NEVER BEEN GREATER.A record number of electric cars and crossovers – 17 in all – are being offered in the U.S. for the 2019 model year, with sticker prices that start at a budget-minded $23,900 for the tiny Smart EQ ForTwo. A majority of them are priced in the $30,000 range, which is about the average cost of a new car. New models this year include the Audi e-tron and Jaguar i-Pace at the higher end of the pricing spectrum, and the more affordable Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro Electric and the longer-range Nissan Leaf Plus. In addition, Tesla finally released the $35,000 entry-level version of its popular Model 3.What’s more, a fleet of new EVs is expected to reach the market for 2020, with someres arriving by year’s end. These include a redesigned version of the Kia Soul EV, a new Mini Electric, and premium electrified rides from Aston Martin, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Volvo’s Polestar brand. While availability of a few current models is still limited to California and perhaps one or more other states that share its strict vehicle emissions standards, more EVs are now being offered in all 50 states.2. THE LATEST MODELS VIRTUALLY ELIMINATE RANGE ANXIETY.While it was once a big deal for an EV to break the 100-mile barrier on a charge, eight EVs for the 2019 model year are able to run for more than 200 miles with a full battery. The Teslas lead the pack with its Models 3, S, and X topping out at near or above 300 miles per charging session. The more-affordable Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia Niro Electric offer capacities of 258 and 239 miles, respectively, while the Chevrolet Bolt EV is at 238 miles and the coming Nissan Leaf Plus is estimated to run for 226 miles on a full charge.3. THIS COULD BE YOUR LAST CHANCE TO GRAB A TAX BREAK FOR BUYING AN EV.The federal government is still offering qualifying electric car buyers a sizeable one-time tax credit that effectively reduces the cost of a new model by $7,500. But you may have to act fast to take advantage of it. For its part, the White House wants to have the tax credit repealed, and bills were introduced in Congress last year that would either extend the federal tax credits for all automakers for a set number of years or eliminate them altogether.Even if the tax credit remains on the books, it’s scheduled to phase out in two stages during the calendar year after an automaker sells its 200,000th battery-dependent vehicle, including EVs and plug-in hybrids. Tesla was the first manufacturer to hit that mark last year, which means its federal tax break dropped to $3,750 on January 1, will fall to $1,875 on July 1, and will expire altogether on December 31. General Motors also reached 200,000 EV sales last year, and its EV credits are set to phase out beginning on April 1. Fortunately a number of states still offer their own incentives to EV buyers.4. EV RESALE VALUES ARE RISING.Traditionally, electric cars have suffered below-average resale values. This is due in part to the aforementioned $7,500 federal tax credit effectively cutting their transaction prices and older models having shorter operating ranges than newer ones. But that’s changing. Models like the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the Tesla Model 3, S and X, Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron that can run for 200 or more miles at a time are expected to maintain much stronger three-year resale values. At the top of the list, Kelley Blue Book predicts the Tesla Model 3 will hold onto an impressive 64.3% of its value after 36 months.5. ELECTRICITY IS STILL CHEAPER THAN GASOLINE.Even with gas prices remaining relatively affordable, it’s still cheaper to keep an electric car running. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency says the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, which is rated at the electric equivalent of 136 mpg in combined city/highway driving, will cost an owner $500 a year to run for 15,000 miles, based on average power rates. The EPA estimates an Ioniq Electric owner will spend $4,250 less in fuel costs over a five-year period than will someone driving an average vehicle the same distance.And by not having to make weekly trips to the gas station, an EV owner can further save cash by avoiding impulse purchases for things like drinks, snacks, and lottery tickets.6. PUBLIC CHARGING STATIONS ARE BECOMING MORE COMMON.According to the latest Department of Energy estimates, there are nearly 21,000 public EV charging stations up and running across the U.S. While that figure has doubled over the last couple of years, they’re still relatively rare compared to gas stations. Still, depending on where you live you’ll find them in public parking garages at airports, office buildings and hospitals and in many retailers’ and shopping mall parking lots.Most prevalent are 240-volt Level 2 chargers that can fully restore an EV battery in around four hours, depending on the model. A rarer, but quicker alternative is to use a Level 3 DC Fast Charger that can replenish a vehicle’s battery to 80% capacity in as little as 30 minutes..7. MAINTENANCE COSTS ARE LOWER THAN WITH A CONVENTIONALLY POWERED VEHICLE.Owning an electric car means never having to take the vehicle in for oil changes and tune-ups, and there are far fewer moving parts that would eventually fail and need replacing. EVs use a simple one-speed transmission and eschew wear-and-tear items like spark plugs, valves, muffler/tailpipe, distributor, starter, clutch, drive belts, hoses, and a catalytic converter. Regular service visits are typically limited to rotating the tires and checking brake pads and other components.8. EVS CREATE ZERO TAILPIPE EMISSIONS.Unlike an internal combustion engine, an electric motor avoids spewing smog-forming pollutants and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. However, as critics are quick to point out, an EV’s overall effect on the environment depends on the local source of electricity. Their net effect tends to be lowest in California, New York, and the Pacific Northwest, where renewable energy resources are prevalent, and less so in central U.S. states like Colorado, Kansas and Missouri where fossil-fueled electric plants are most common. Still, a recent study conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists concluded that EVs are generally responsible for less pollution than conventional vehicles in all 50 states.9. YOU CAN GO SOLAR AND GENERATE YOUR OWN POWER.Arguably the greenest way to go when it comes to keeping an EV charged is to generate the electricity at home via solar panels mounted on the garage roof. Unfortunately this can cost upwards of $7,000 per installation. And that doesn’t include having a storage battery installed to capture power during daylight hours for overnight charging, which could double the cost. It’s more cost-effective if you take the financial plunge and convert both your house and garage to solar power. While this could set you back $20,000 or more, a federal tax credit will cover 30% of the cost, and some states offer additional incentives to go solar. Unfortunately, the federal credit is scheduled to drop to 26 percent in 2020, 22 percent in 2021, and will be discontinued altogether in 2022.10. USED EVS ARE CHEAP.Though resale values are on the rise for some of the latest longer-range models, used versions of many EVs remain bargain priced. A quick search of the Cars for Sale section of MYEV.com produced no fewer than 65 listings going for $10,000 or less. We spotted a 2011 Nissan Leaf with 57,670 miles on the odometer and a 73-mile range for just $5,500, while a 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV with 42,186 miles on the clock and a 62-mile range was listed at $5,900.While those distances on a charge have since been far eclipsed, at those prices a used EV would make a great second or third car in a family’s fleet for emissions- and gasoline-free around town use or for teen drivers (an instance in which a limited range can keep them close to home). An older EV could provide an affordable way to get to and from a commuter rail station for those living in the distant suburbs and working in the city.Not only is MYEV.com a great online marketplace for those shopping for a used electric car, with comprehensive information and multiple images for each model, it’s also a top destination for sellers, with 100% free listings. Source: Electric Vehicle News Choosing A Home Electric Car Charger: Here’s Some Advicelast_img read more

NEVSEvergrande Acquire InWheel Motor Developer Protean Electric

first_imgNEVS/Evergrande expands its EV competencies to in-wheel electric motors through acquisition of Protean ElectricSource: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img

Turkey

first_imgI am thankful for your readership and hope FCPA Professor elevates your FCPA knowledge and skills.The following FCPA enforcement actions have involved, in whole or in part, alleged business conduct in Turkey.May your turkey be golden brown.Smith & Wesson (2014)In July 2014, Smith & Wesson agreed to resolve an SEC administrative order finding violations of the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions, books and records provisions and internal controls provisions. The SEC’s findings included business conduct in Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey, Nepal and Bangladesh.As to Turkey, the SEC’s order states: “Similarly, Smith &Wesson made improper payments in 2009 to its third party agent in Turkey, who indicated that part of the payments would be provided to Turkish officials in an attempt to secure two deals in Turkey for sale of handcuffs to Turkish police and firearms to the Turkish military. Neither of these interactions resulted in the shipment of products, as Smith & Wesson was unsuccessful bidding for the first deal, while the latter deal was ultimately canceled.”Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Smith & Wesson agreed to pay approximately $2.0 million. (See here).Tyco International (2012)In September 2012, Tyco International agreed to resolve a wide-ranging DOJ/SEC enforcement action regarding alleged conduct in the following countries: China, India, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Iran, Saudia Arabia, Libya, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Mauritania, Congo, Niger, Madagascar, and Turkey.As to Turkey, the enforcement action stated as follows.  The products of a division of an indirect subsidiary of Tyco “were sold through a sales representative to government entities in Turkey.  The sales representatives sold the SigInt equipment in Turkey at an approximately twelve to forty percent mark-up over the price at which he purchased the equipment from M/A-Com and also received a commission on one of the sales.  The sales representative transferred part of his commission and part of his mark-up to a government official in Turkey to obtain orders.  In connection with these improper transactions, M/A-Com earned approximately $71,770 in gross proft.” The SEC’s complaint cites an internal e-mail which stated:  “hell, everyone knows you have to bribe somebody to do business in Turkey.”Total fines and penalties in the enforcement action were approximately $26.8 million (approximately $13.7 million in the DOJ enforcement action and approximately $13.1 million in the SEC enforcement action). (See here).Daimler AG (2010)In March 2010, Damiler AG agreed to settle a wide-ranging FCPA enforcement action alleging that “between 1998 and January 2008, Daimler made hundreds of improper payments worth tens of milions of dollars to foreign officials in at least 22 countries – including China, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Latvia, Nigeria, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and others – to assist in securing contracts with government customers for the purchase of Daimler vehicles valued at hundreds of milions of dollars.”As to Turkey, the criminal information (here) charges that Daimler’s Corporate Audit Department “discovered three binders located in a safe at MB Turk’s [a Daimler subsidiary in Turkey] offices in Istabul” that, along with other evidence, demonstrated that “MB Turk made approximately €6.05 million in payments to third parties in connection with vehicle export transactions that involved the sale of vehicles to non-Turkish government customers in North Korea, Latvia, Bulgaria, Libya, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and other countries in deals with revenues of approximately €95 million.” According to the information, at least €3.88 million of the €6.05 million comprised of “improper payments and gifts […] paid to foreign government officials or to third parties with the understanding that the payments and gifts would be passed on, in whole or in part, to foreign government officials to assist in securing the sale of Daimler vehicles to government customers.”Daimler agreed to pay $185 million in combined DOJ and SEC fines and penalties (see here).York International Corp. (2007)In October 2007, York International Corporation (York), a global provider of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration products and services, agreed to pay approximately $22 million in combined fines and penalties to settle DOJ and SEC enforcement actions principally relating to improper payments made by various subsidiaries to the Iraqi government under the United Nations Oil-for-Food Program. The enforcement action also involved certain other improper payments made in connection with government projects in Bahrain, Egypt, India, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. (see here).Delta & Pine Land Co. (2007)In July 2007, the SEC announced a settled FCPA enforcement action against Delta & Pine Land Company, a Mississippi-based cottonseed company, and its subsidiary, Turk Deltapine, Inc. According to the SEC, between 2001 – 2006, Turk Deltapine made payments of approximately $43,000 to officials of the Turkish Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs in order to obtain various governmental reports and certifications that were necessary for Turk Deltapine to obtain, retain and operate its business in Turkey. Per the complaint, the improper payments were discovered by Delta & Pine, but instead of halting the payments, the payments continued via a third party supplier and pursuant to an inflated invoice scheme. Based on the above conduct, Delta & Pine and Turk Deltapine jointly agreed to pay a $300,000 civil penalty and engage an independent compliance consultant. (see here and here).Micrus Corp. (2005)In March 2005, Micrus Corporation, a privately-held California medical device manufacturer, agreed to a two year non-prosecution agreement with the DOJ to resolve its FCPA liability in connection with over $100,000 in payments (disguised in the company’s books and records as stock options, honorariums and commissions) to physicians employed at publicly owned and operated hospitals in France, Turkey, Spain, and Germany.(see here) and here).last_img read more

SEC Finally Announces Its FCPA Enforcement Action Against Legg Mason

first_img Learn More & Register Prior posts here and here highlighted the DOJ’s June FCPA enforcement action against Legg Mason regarding business conduct in Libya. It was noted in the prior post that FCPA enforcement actions against issuers that involve a DOJ and SEC component are almost always announced on the same day. Yet for some reason, back in June the i’s were not dotted or the t’s crossed at the SEC and the DOJ’s June enforcement action clearly had a placeholder for the forthcoming SEC prong.That happened earlier today as the SEC finally announced its enforcement action.The SEC’s administrative order is based on the same core conduct alleged in the DOJ’s June enforcement action and is not repeated in this post other to highlight the introduction of the SEC’s administrative order which states:“This matter concerns violations of the internal controls provision of the FCPA by Legg Mason, Inc. Between 2004 and 2010, Legg Mason, through Permal Group Ltd., one of its former asset management subsidiaries (“Permal”), partnered with Société Générale S.A., a global financial services company based in Paris, France (“Société Générale”) to solicit business from state-owned financial institutions in Libya (“Libyan Financial Institutions”). In connection with this effort, bribes were paid through a Libyan middle-man (the “Libyan Intermediary”) to obtain investments from Libyan Financial Institutions.From approximately 2005 to 2008, Société Générale paid the Libyan Intermediary approximately $26.25 million for supposed “introductory” services. Nevertheless, by at least 2006, two Permal employees were aware that the intermediary was paying bribes to Libyan government officials in order to secure investments. These two now former Permal employees agreed to continue to use the Libyan Intermediary notwithstanding that knowledge.Société Générale sold the Libyan Financial Institutions seven structured notes, or debt securities, linked to funds managed in whole, or in part, by Permal. The total value of these notes was approximately $950 million. For each of the seven transactions, Société Générale, on behalf of itself and Permal, paid to an entity incorporated under the laws of Panama and controlled by the Libyan Intermediary (the “Panamanian Company”) a commission of between one and a half and three percent of the nominal amount of the investments made by the Libyan Financial Institutions. Permal earned net revenues of approximately $31.6 million from these transactions.Legg Mason lacked appropriate internal accounting controls with respect to the use of introducing brokers and other intermediaries in emerging markets, including Libya. Accordingly, Legg Mason violated the internal controls provision of the [FCPA].”Under the heading “Legg Mason Lacked Adequate Internal Accounting Controls,” the order finds:“Legg Mason failed in a timely manner to devise and maintain an adequate system of internal accounting controls with respect to the Company’s widespread use of introducing brokers and other intermediaries in emerging markets, including Libya. The controls in place during the relevant period were minimal and deficient.The internal accounting controls were not reasonably sufficient with respect to the Company’s use of, and payments to, intermediaries. Legg Mason did not timely institute appropriate risk-based due diligence and compliance requirements pertaining to the retention and oversight of such agents and business partners.Legg Mason did not take adequate steps to identify or mitigate the risks of bribery and corruption in making use of middlemen such as the Libyan Intermediary.”Legg Mason agreed to pay $34.5 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest. Thus, the overall Legg Mason FCPA enforcement action is approximately $67.1 million (DOJ – $32.6 million / SEC $34.5 million).Under the heading “Cooperation and Remedial Action,” the order states:“In determining to accept the Offer, the Commission considered the significant cooperation Legg Mason provided to the Commission staff throughout the investigation. Legg Mason’s cooperation included summarizing the findings of its internal investigation, making foreign-based employees available to the Commission staff including providing for their travel to the United States for interviews, and providing timely factual summaries of witness interviews and other information developed in the course of its internal investigation. Legg Mason’s cooperation assisted the Commission in collecting information that might not have been otherwise available to the staff. The Commission also considered the remedial efforts undertaken by Respondent. Legg Mason’s remedial action included replacing the employees involved in the violation, increasing the number of professionals focused on the company’s compliance efforts including establishing a new anti-corruption officer position, and enhancing its internal accounting controls to prevent and detect the type of misconduct described herein.”Under the heading “Non-Imposition of a Civil Penalty,” the order states:“Legg Mason acknowledges that the Commission is not imposing a civil penalty based upon the imposition of a $32,625,000 criminal fine as part of Legg Mason’s resolution with the United States Department of Justice on June 4, 2018.”In the SEC’s release, Charles Cain (Chief of the SEC’s FCPA Unit) stated:“Companies must take adequate steps to identify and mitigate the risks of bribery and corruption present in their global business. Those risks are particularly acute when, as here, agents and middlemen are used as part of a company’s efforts to obtain business with government clients.”The following additional issues are worthy of highlighting.The Legg Mason enforcement action represents yet another no-charged bribery disgorgement action.  As highlighted in this previous post (and numerous prior posts thereafter), so-called no-charged bribery disgorgement is troubling. Among others, Paul Berger (here) (a former Associate Director of the SEC Division of Enforcement) has stated that “settlements invoking disgorgement but charging no primary anti-bribery violations push the law’s boundaries, as disgorgement is predicated on the common-sense notion that an actual, jurisdictionally-cognizable bribe was paid to procure the revenue identified by the SEC in its complaint.” Berger noted that such “no-charged bribery disgorgement settlements appear designed to inflict punishment rather than achieve the goals of equity.”Moreover, the conduct at issue in the Legg Mason enforcement action took place between 2004 and 2010 and beyond any conceivable statute of limitations period. Thus, the disgorgement amount conflicts with the Supreme Court’s unanimous holding in Kokesh. But then again, statue of limitations do not matter when issuers roll over and play dead when faced with FCPA scrutiny by agreeing to toll or waive statute of limitation defenses.On the day of the enforcement action, Legg Mason’s stock stock closed up 1.1%. FCPA Institute – Boston (Oct. 3-4) A unique two-day learning experience ideal for a diverse group of professionals seeking to elevate their FCPA knowledge and practical skills through active learning. Learn more, spend less. CLE credit is available.last_img read more

If The Government Can Do That Why Cant It Do This

first_img Learn More & Register FCPA Institute – Boston (Oct. 3-4) A unique two-day learning experience ideal for a diverse group of professionals seeking to elevate their FCPA knowledge and practical skills through active learning. Learn more, spend less. CLE credit is available. A foreign official in Country A. A state-owned enterprise in Country B. A third-party agent in Country C.Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions are full of vague references to problematic actors. However, other business organizations, including those doing business in the same country or same industry, are generally left clueless as to the identity of the problematic actors.Perhaps FCPA compliance and risk mitigation could be enhanced if the government specifically identified problematic actors so that other business organizations could react accordingly.Recently, the SEC announced an update to “its list of unregistered entities that use misleading information to solicit primarily non-U.S. investors, adding 11 soliciting entities, four impersonators of genuine firms, and nine bogus regulators.” As stated in the release:“The SEC’s list of soliciting entities that have been the subject of investor complaints, known as the Public Alert: Unregistered Soliciting Entities (PAUSE) list, enables investors to better inform themselves and avoid being a victim of fraud. The latest additions are firms that SEC staff found were providing inaccurate information about their affiliation, location, or registration. […}In addition to alerting investors to firms falsely claiming to be registered, the PAUSE list flags those impersonating registered securities firms and bogus “regulators” who falsely claim to be government agencies or affiliates.  Inclusion on the PAUSE list does not mean the SEC has found violations of U.S. federal securities laws or made a judgment about the merits of any securities being offered.”In the release Jennifer Diamantis (Chief of the SEC’s Office of Market Intelligence) stated: “By making this information readily available through the PAUSE list, investors are better able to evaluate solicitations to buy and sell securities and avoid being a victim of fraud.”If the government can do that, why can’t the government publish an FCPA-like PAUSE list?After all, the SEC has long maintained that one of the reasons its enforces the FCPA is for investor protection. For instance, in the FCPA Guidance the government states: “The FCPA was designed to prevent corrupt practices, protect investors, and provide a fair playing field for those honest companies trying to win business based on quality and price rather than bribes.” (See also here “Bribery and corruption undermine and distort the marketplace and ultimately harm investors. Combatting corruption therefore remains an important government mission, including at the SEC’s Enforcement Division.”).Similar to the PAUSE list, inclusion on an FCPA-like PAUSE list would not mean that the SEC has found such entities actually engaged in any improper conduct, only that it has information warranting a public warning about engaging with such entities.As highlighted in this prior post, in previous eras of FCPA enforcement the government routinely identified with specificity the problematic actors.last_img read more

Virtual followup visits for hypertension care just as effective as inperson office

first_img Source:https://www.massgeneral.org/about/pressrelease.aspx?id=2255 May 24 2018Virtual follow-up visits for patients with hypertension appeared to be just as effective as in-person office visits in helping maintain blood pressure control. In a study conducted among patients at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), investigators found no significant difference in outcomes – including the need for specialty visits or inpatient hospitalization – between patients checking in with their primary care physicians via a secure website to report aspects of their hypertension care and those who did so via in-person office visits. The report has been published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.”Our central finding was that you can use online, non-simultaneous communication to manage a chronic medical condition without office visits that can be inconvenient for patients and add to demands placed on busy primary care practices,” says study co-author Ronald Dixon, MD, of the MGH Division of General Internal Medicine . “It also supports scaling this concept to other chronic diseases with the addition of devices allowing collection of needed patient information.”The study authors note that one in three U.S. adults have hypertension, and only half successfully control the condition. Hypertension is believed to account for 39 million office visits annually in this country, but whether traditional visits best serve the needs of patients and clinicians has not been determined. The growing pressures on primary care offices are well known, with patients often needing to wait months for non-urgent appointments. So any measures that could reduce the time and resources needed to provide primary care services without compromising the quality of care or increasing the need for specialty care could help relieve that pressure.Select MGH primary care practices began offering virtual visits for common chronic conditions in December 2012. The current study compares data and outcomes for patients from MGH primary care practices who had at least one virtual follow-up visit for hypertension from December 2012 to February 2016 with those of a group of similar patients treated for hypertension at BWH primary care practices during the same time period. The MGH study group included 893 patients participating in virtual visits to follow up an initial in-office clinical visit, while the BWH group included 893 patients with similar demographic factors, chronic conditions and cardiovascular risk factors. Blood pressure readings during the six months prior to the initial office visit at the beginning of study participation were similar for both groups.The virtual visits platform allowed patients to enter up to five blood pressure readings taken since their last visit – either in-office or virtual – report on whether they were taking medications as directed, describe any side effects and ask questions. Primary care clinicians reviewed what patients had entered to answer questions, make needed adjustments to treatment, and to recommend repeat virtual visits, follow-up phone calls or in-office visits. Whether or not to offer virtual visits was determined by the clinician on a case-by-case basis, and patients could choose whether or not to participate in the virtual visit program.Related StoriesNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerMathematical model helps quantify metastatic cell behaviorDanbury Hospital launches ‘Healing Hugs’ for its most vulnerable patientsDuring the six months after participants’ initial clinical office visit, patients in both groups showed similar improvements in blood pressure control and other outcomes. But those in the virtual care group had an average of 0.8 fewer follow-up office visits, a decrease that was even greater among patients whose blood pressure control had been poor upon entry into the study. There were no significant differences between the two groups in specialist visits, emergency department visits or hospital admissions for any reason.David Michael Levine, MD, of the BWH Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care, lead and corresponding author of the report, says, “The use of virtual visits to reduce in-person office utilization without negative effects on blood pressure control or the need for other services could significantly expand access for patients of busy primary care practices. Many groups, especially insurance companies, have been skeptical of virtual care because they believe it may increase the use of health care services, but our findings show that a virtual visit can substitute for, rather than add to, an in-person visit, decreasing overall health care utilization.”At the MGH, virtual visit availability has been expanded to all primary care and several specialty care practices, where it now is used to follow up on the care of around 65 chronic conditions, ranging from rheumatologic conditions like gout to psychiatric illnesses like depression. It will soon be extended to practices at other Partners HealthCare facilities, beginning at BWH.Dixon notes, “A paper that a colleague and I published in 2014 reported that conducting and documenting a virtual visit requires about one-fifth of the time a clinician needs for an in-person, office visit. And of course not needing to travel to and from the primary care office is definitely of benefit to patients. The challenge now is finding a way to fairly compensate clinicians for the time and effort devoted to virtual visits.”last_img read more

New cellbased technologies could help improve understanding of musclewasting disease

first_imgJun 6 2018Researchers from Queen Mary University of London have developed new cell-based technologies which could help improve understanding of the muscle-wasting disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and test potential drugs for the disease.DMD is a genetic disorder causing muscle degeneration and weakness, caused by an absence of the protein dystrophin. DMD usually affects only boys, with around 100 being born with the condition in the UK each year. There are about 2,500 males known to be living with the condition in the UK at any one time.There are currently no effective treatments for the disease, and patients often succumb to cardiomyopathy, a weakness of the heart muscle which can be fatal. Significant advances have been made in treating DMD in animal models, but there has not yet been success in translating this into medicines for DMD patients.The new approach, led by Dr Yung-Yao Lin from Queen Mary’s Blizard Institute and supported by Professor Andy Tinker from Queen Mary’s William Harvey Research Institute, uses the latest advances in gene editing and stem cell technology to develop a model of human cells with DMD which mimic what happens in a patient’s muscles.The team will be using ‘induced pluripotent stem cells’ – adult cells which have been reprogrammed to an embryonic state, so that they can grow to become any type of cell in the body – in this case, skeletal and cardiac muscle cells.A challenge with comparing diseased and healthy cells in research, however, is that each donor’s muscle cells have a different genetic make-up. This makes it incredibly difficult to accurately demonstrate functional differences between DMD patient and healthy human donor muscle cells.To overcome this, the researchers have made use of a gene editing tool known as CRISPR. CRISPR is in use by medical researchers all over the world, but normally it is only used to delete sections of DNA – a relatively simple process.Here, the team are using CRISPR to instead carry out precise editing of the genetic code within DMD patients’ stem cells to ‘fix’ the code and create a healthy muscle cell which has the same genetic make-up as the original patient’s cell.Related StoriesCommon cold virus strain could be a breakthrough in bladder cancer treatmentLow estrogen causes muscle loss in women after menopause’Text neck’ may be causing bone spurs in young peopleDr Yung-Yao Lin from Queen Mary’s Blizard Institute said: “Dystrophin is the largest gene in humans, comprising 2.4 million base-pairs and 79 separate protein-coding regions. This makes it one of the most difficult genes to correct, but we’ve managed to do it.”We can now use DMD patient skin cells which are stored in the biobank, and turn them into stem cells to generate an unlimited supply of skeletal and cardiac muscle cells in culture dishes. Our genetically-corrected stem cells will also help us establish a cell-based platform to test future drug candidates.”Mark Silverman from the board of trustees of Action Duchenne, a charity supporting muscular dystrophy research, said: “As both a parent and member of the research committee at Action Duchenne, it is very encouraging to see the breakthrough CRISPR editing tool being used in this way.”There remains a large, unmet need for treatments in Duchenne and families affected by this devastating condition want to see more rapid testing of potential treatments. This exciting news coincides with the release of our latest research strategy, which builds on Action Duchenne’s experience in identifying innovative state-of-the art research.”Professor Francesco Muntoni from the MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases said: “We established a rare diseases biological samples biobank to facilitate research on pathogenesis and translational research for children and adults affected by neuromuscular disorders. I am pleased to see this invaluable resource has played a key role in addressing unresolved questions of pathogenesis of Duchenne muscular dystrophy and is being used to develop novel therapeutic strategies.”The research project to further develop these cell-based technologies for DMD stemmed from the Rare Disease Consortium Initiative, a five year agreement between Pfizer and the Global Medical Excellence Cluster, of which Queen Mary is one of several university partners. The Rare Disease Consortium Initiative provides resources and a framework for the research and development of new and innovative medicines for rare diseases. Source:https://www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/2018/smd/new-lab-technology-could-reveal-treatments-for-muscle-wasting-disease.htmllast_img read more

Single fifteenminute bout of exercise increases brain connectivity and efficiency

first_imgJul 9 2018Exercise increases brain connectivity and efficiencyIf you want to learn to walk a tightrope, it’s a good idea to go for a short run after each practice session. That’s because a recent study in NeuroImage demonstrates that exercise performed immediately after practicing a new motor skill improves its long-term retention. More specifically, the research shows, for the first time, that as little as a single fifteen-minute bout of cardiovascular exercise increases brain connectivity and efficiency. It’s a discovery that could, in principle, accelerate recovery of motor skills in patients who have suffered a stroke or who face mobility problems following an injury.In his earlier work, Marc Roig, the senior author on the study, had already demonstrated that exercise helps consolidate muscle or motor memory. What he and the McGill-based research team sought to discover this time was why exactly this was the case. What was going on in the brain, as the mind and the muscles interacted? What was it that helped the body retain motor skills?A muscular video gameTo find out, the research team asked study participants to perform two different tasks. The first, known as a “pinch task” is a bit like a muscular video game. It consists of gripping an object akin to a gamers’ joystick (and known as a dynamometer) and using varying degrees of force to move a cursor up and down to connect red rectangles on a computer screen as quickly as possible (see image on the right). The task was chosen because it involved participants in motor learning as they sought to modulate the force with which they gripped the dynamometer to move the cursor around the screen. This was then followed by fifteen minutes of exercise or rest.Participants were then asked to repeat an abridged version of this task, known as a handgrip task, at intervals of 30, 60, 90 minutes, after exercise or rest, while the researchers assessed their level of brain activity. This task involved participants in simply repeatedly gripping the dynamometer, for a few seconds, with a similar degree of force to that which was used to reach some of the target rectangles in the “pinch task”. The final step in the study involved participants in both groups repeating the “pinch task” eight and then twenty-four hours after initially performing it, allowing the researchers to capture and compare brain activity and connectivity as the motor memories were consolidated.Related StoriesNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsMore efficient brain activityThe researchers discovered that those who had exercised were consistently able to repeat the “pinch task” connecting different areas of the brain more efficiently and with less brain activity than those who hadn’t exercised. More importantly, the reduction of brain activity in the exercise group was correlated with a better retention of the motor skill twenty-four hours after motor practice. This suggests that even a short bout of intense exercise can create an optimal brain state during the consolidation of motor memory which improves the retention of motor skills.When they looked more specifically at what was going on, the researchers discovered that, after exercise, there was less brain activity, most likely because the neural connections both between and within the brain hemispheres had become more efficient.”Because the neural activation in the brains of those who had exercised was much lower,” explains Fabien Dal Maso, the first author on the paper, “the neural resources could then be put to other tasks. Exercise may help free up part of your brain to do other things.”The importance of sleepWhat the researchers found especially intriguing was that when they tested participants at the 8 hour mark, there was little difference between groups in skill retention. In fact both groups were less able to retain the skills they had newly acquired, than they were at the twenty-four mark when the difference between the two groups was once more apparent.”What this suggests to us, and this is where we are going next with our research, is that sleep can interact with exercise to optimize the consolidation of motor memories,” says Marc Roig, the senior author on the paper. “It is very exciting to be working in this area right now because there is still so much to be learnt and the research opens doors to health interventions that can potentially make a big difference to people’s lives.” Source:https://www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/channels/news/15-minutes-exercise-creates-optimal-brain-state-mastering-new-motor-skills-287952last_img read more

UNLV signs agreement with Desert Radiology to boost business and research opportunities

first_img Source:https://www.unlv.edu/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 6 2018The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), recently executed its first master research service agreement with local medical imaging organization Desert Radiology. The agreement, which is renewable for up to four years, will provide cost-effective imaging analysis services to subjects participating in UNLV research and help generate new business for Desert Radiology. Related StoriesAntioxidant precursor molecule could improve dopamine levels in Parkinson’s patientsResearchers develop novel imaging test to predict immunotherapy response in kidney cancerAI tool can aid in the diagnosis of brain aneurysms”We’re pleased to work together with UNLV to provide quality diagnostics,” said Matthew Grimes, chief operating officer of Desert Radiology. “This new partnership reinforces Desert Radiology’s ongoing commitment and support of the Southern Nevada community.”The partnership is currently supporting studies in the UNLV Schools of Allied Health Sciences and Medicine that require radiological imaging the campus isn’t equipped to provide. One early-stage project will examine the effectiveness of a particular physical therapy regimen in children by analyzing imaging data. Desert Radiology’s imaging services are anticipated to support additional studies in other UNLV colleges and schools as well.”This new agreement furthers our efforts to build new relationships and expand UNLV’s impact in the community,” said Zach Miles, UNLV associate vice president for economic development. “We’re excited by the promise this partnership holds with respect to fueling new research, funding, and faculty recruitment opportunities.”last_img read more

Intel to end sponsorship of Science Talent Search

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The Intel Science Talent Search, one of the nation’s most prestigious competitions for science-savvy high school students in the United States, is losing its title sponsor, The New York Times (NYT) reports. Intel has announced that it will no longer sponsor the program, and the nonprofit that runs the competition, the Society for Science & the Public in Washington, D.C., is looking for a new sponsor to pick up the $6 million annual tab starting in 2017. The program, meant to “inspire innovators of tomorrow,” targets science, math, engineering, and technology students in their last year of high school. It has drawn in thousands of hopeful applicants since it began in 1942. Many of the winners (who receive prize money ranging from $35,000 to $150,000) have excelled as university professors, award winning scientists, and even Nobel laureates. Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) It’s unlikely that Intel cut the competition for financial reasons, because it cost only a fraction of a percent of the company’s total revenue last year, NYT reports. Organizers are looking for a new sponsor willing to commit to at least 5 years of sponsorship.last_img read more

Female birds get drabber when their males fool around

first_imgBirds display an astonishing diversity of plumage colors. Males are more colorful than females in some species (top row, left to right: Baltimore oriole, red-legged honeycreeper, and variable seedeater). But females look the same as males in other species Bill Holsten Bill Holsten In some species, males and females look very similar. One example is the golden-hooded tanager in this picture. Female birds get drabber when their males fool around Birds display an astonishing diversity of plumage colors. Males are more colorful than females in some species (top row, left to right: Baltimore oriole, red-legged honeycreeper, and variable seedeater). But females look the same as males in other species Bill Holsten The shining honeycreeper is a small, tropical bird found in Central America. In a new study, scientists compared the colors of almost 6000 species of birds. One conclusion: Birds that live in the tropics tend to be particularly colorful. Bill Holsten The shining honeycreeper is a small, tropical bird found in Central America. In a new study, scientists compared the colors of almost 6000 species of birds. One conclusion: Birds that live in the tropics tend to be particularly colorful. By Kai KupferschmidtNov. 4, 2015 , 1:00 PM Email ‹› Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Kempenaers and his colleagues tried a new approach: scanning pictures. The scientists focused on passerine birds, a group that makes up more than half of all known bird species and that is sometimes known as perching birds for their arrangement of toes—three pointing forward, one back. The researchers scanned illustrations in the Handbook of the Birds of the World, the only book covering every known living bird species, and then used a computer program to quantify how colorful each bird’s plumage is.The tricky part was getting just one number that they could compare across species. For each bird, the scientists looked at six different patches of feathers (nape, crown, forehead, throat, upper breast, lower breast) and then identified the 1% of birds that were closest in color in the same patch. The more males, the higher the score for that patch. The researchers then calculated the average of the six patch scores for each bird. In essence, the scientists measured how “malelike” a bird appeared. But because male birds, in general, tend to be more colorful, that measure also works as a measure of how colorful a bird’s plumage is.Analysis of the data yielded several trends: Larger birds are more likely to be colorful, possibly because they are less likely to be eaten by predators and can afford to be conspicuous. Tropical birds also tend to be more colorful, an observation already made by Charles Darwin. “We can’t say with any certainty what’s driving it. But we can say with certainty it is a very strong and real trend,“ says James Dale, an ecologist at Massey Unviersity. Albany, in New Zealand, and one of the authors of the paper published online today in Nature.The authors noticed one more trend: In species where males mate with more than one female (called polygyny), male birds tend to be more colorful than in monogamous species. This was already known and it is seen as the result of strong competition between males for females. But the authors found that polygyny had an even stronger effect on females: It made them drabber. In monogamous species, males also get to choose females, so there is some sexual selection pressure on them to appear more beautiful. But males in many polygynous species basically take whatever they can get, Kempenaers says. “In these species, sexual selection is acting only on the men. For females there is just natural selection and that favors an inconspicuous plumage.”Tim Caro, an expert on coloration in animals at the University of California, Davis, says the paper is interesting because it looks at female ornamentation as well as male. “Usually most attention is focused on ornamented males,” he wrote in an email.Yet Prum, who has studied the evolution of avian plumage coloration, says that the generalizations arrived at in the study are meaningless, because evolution acts on individual lineages in different ways. For instance, he points out that the biggest passerine bird, the lyrebird from Australia, is large and polygynous, yet both males and females are also drab.Prum also argues that studying avian plumage color off prints is “scandalous,” because there are some aspects of bird coloration that birds can see, but humans cannot. These can only be captured by using a method called spectrometry on live birds or museum specimens, he says.The authors did measure more than 500 bird specimens in museums to test their technique. “The results were very similar whether we used handbook plates or museum skin data,” Dale says. Some information on color will not be picked up by the technique, he acknowledges. “But we compensate for that by having a very large sample size so that the results we get are still very biologically relevant.” Bill Holsten Bird species in which one male can mate with many females tend to have more colorful males. But the promiscuity has an even stronger effect on females, making them drabber. That’s one of the more surprising conclusions in a new study of more than half of all living species of birds, which also reveals that a bird’s size and breeding location has a strong influence on the extravagance of its plumage.“This paper is one of the most ambitious comparative studies ever conducted,“ says Geoffrey Hill, an ornithologist at Auburn University in Alabama, who was not involved with the work. But Richard Prum, an ornithologist at Yale University, says the paper is flawed because the team relied on pictures of birds in a book rather than observing them in the wild. “You couldn’t study animal pheromones with scratch-and-sniff recreations.”Most scientists believe that bright colors signal good health or a great immune system. But why are some bird species more colorful than others? That’s been tough to resolve because it is hard to quantify how colorful a plumage is, says Bart Kempenaers, an ornithologist at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen, Germany. “How do you compare bright red with bright blue or yellow? That is the problem we had to solve.” In many bird species, the males are more colorful than the females, as in these house finches. The male is on the left, and the female on the right. Bill Holsten last_img read more

Scientists imbue robots with curiosity

first_img Email In a twist on artificial intelligence (AI), computer scientists have programmed machines to be curious—to explore their surroundings on their own and learn for the sake of learning. The new approach could allow robots to learn even faster than they can now. Someday they might even surpass human scientists in forming hypotheses and pushing the frontiers of what’s known.“Developing curiosity is a problem that’s core to intelligence,” says George Konidaris, a computer scientist who runs the Intelligent Robot Lab at Brown University and was not involved in the research. “It’s going to be most useful when you’re not sure what your robot is going to have to do in the future.”Over the years, scientists have worked on algorithms for curiosity, but copying human inquisitiveness has been tricky. For example, most methods aren’t capable of assessing artificial agents’ gaps in knowledge to predict what will be interesting before they see it. (Humans can sometimes judge how interesting a book will be by its cover.) Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) BB-8 certainly looks curious in this photo. By Matthew HutsonMay. 31, 2017 , 5:45 PM Scientists imbue robots with curiositycenter_img jpgfactory/iStockphoto Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Todd Hester, a computer scientist currently at Google DeepMind in London hoped to do better. “I was looking for ways to make computers learn more intelligently, and explore as a human would,” he says. “Don’t explore everything, and don’t explore randomly, but try to do something a little smarter.”So Hester and Peter Stone, a computer scientist at the University of Texas in Austin, developed a new algorithm, Targeted Exploration with Variance-And-Novelty-Intrinsic-Rewards (TEXPLORE-VENIR), that relies on a technique called reinforcement learning. In reinforcement learning, a program tries something, and if the move brings it closer to some ultimate goal, such as the end of a maze, it receives a small reward and is more likely to try the maneuver again in the future. DeepMind has used reinforcement learning to allow programs to master Atari games and the board game Go through random experimentation. But TEXPLORE-VENIR, like other curiosity algorithms, also sets an internal goal for which the program rewards itself for comprehending something new, even if the knowledge doesn’t get it closer to the ultimate goal.As TEXPLORE-VENIR learns and builds a model of the world, it rewards itself for discovering information that’s unlike what’s seen before—for example, finding distant spots on a map or, in culinary application, exotic recipes. It also rewards itself for reducing uncertainty—for becoming familiar with those places and recipes. “They’re fundamentally different types of learning and exploration,” Konidaris says. “Balancing them is really important. And I like that this paper did both of those.”Hester and Stone tested their method in two scenarios. The first was a virtual maze consisting of a circuit of four rooms connected by locked doors. The bot—just a computer program—had to find a key, pick it up, and use it to unlock a door. Each time it passed through a door it earned 10 points, and it had 3000 steps to achieve a high score. If the researchers first let the bot explore for 1000 steps guided only by TEXPLORE-VENIR it earned about 55 door points on average during the 3000-step test phase. If the bot used other curiosity algorithms for such exploration, its score during the test phase ranged from zero to 35—except for when it used one called R-Max, which also earned the bot about 55 points. In a different setup, in which the bot had to simultaneously explore and pass through doors, TEXPLORE-VENIR earned about 70 points, R-Max earned about 35, and the others earned fewer than five, the researchers report in the June issue of Artificial Intelligence.The researchers then tried their algorithm with a physical robot, a humanoid toy called the Nao. In three separate tasks, the half-meter-tall machine earned points for hitting a cymbal, for holding pink tape on its hand in front of its eyes, or for pressing a button on its foot. For each task it had 200 steps to earn points, but first had 400 steps to explore, either randomly or using TEXPLORE-VENIR. Averaged over 13 trials with each of the two methods, Nao was better at finding the pink tape on its hand after exploring with TEXPLORE-VENIR than after exploring randomly. It pressed the button on seven of 13 trials after using TEXPLORE-VENIR but not at all after exploring randomly. And Nao hit the cymbal in one of five trials after using TEXPLORE-VENIR, but never after exploring randomly. Through semistructured experimentation with its own body and environment, TEXPLORE-VENIR was well-prepared for the assigned tasks, just as babies “babble” with their limbs before they learn to crawl.But curiosity can kill the bot, or at least its productivity. If the intrinsic reward for learning is too great, it may ignore the extrinsic reward, says Andrew Barto, computer scientist at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst who co-wrote the standard textbook on reinforcement learning and is an unpaid adviser to a company Stone is starting. In fact, R-Max earned fewer points when exploration was simultaneously added to door-unlocking because it was distracted by its own curiosity, a kind of AI ADD. On the other hand, extrinsic rewards can interfere with learning, Barto says. “If you give grades or stars, a student may work for those rather than for his or her own satisfaction.” So an outstanding challenge in training robots is to find the right balance of internal and external rewards.Intelligently inquisitive bots and robots could show flexible behavior when doing chores at home, designing efficient manufacturing processes, or pursuing cures for diseases. Hester says a next step would be to use deep neural networks, algorithms modeled on the brain’s architecture, to better identify novel areas to explore, which would incidentally advance his own quest: “Can we make an agent learn like a child would?”last_img read more

True altruism seen in chimpanzees giving clues to evolution of human cooperation

first_img Whether it’s giving to charity or helping a stranger with directions, we often assist others even when there’s no benefit to us or our family members. Signs of such true altruism have been spotted in some animals, but have been difficult to pin down in our closest evolutionary relatives. Now, in a pair of studies, researchers show that chimpanzees will give up a treat in order to help out an unrelated chimp, and that chimps in the wild go out on risky patrols in order to protect even nonkin at home. The work may give clues to how such cooperation—the foundation of human civilization—evolved in humans.“Both studies provide powerful evidence for forms of cooperation in our closest relatives that have been difficult to demonstrate in other animals besides humans,” says Brian Hare, an evolutionary anthropologist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, who was not involved with the research.In the first study, psychologists Martin Schmelz and Sebastian Grüneisen at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, trained six chimps at the Leipzig Zoo to play a sharing game. Each chimp was paired with a partner who was given a choice of four ropes to pull, each with a different outcome: give just herself a banana pellet; give just the subject a pellet; give both of them pellets; or forgo her turn and let her partner make the decision instead. True altruism seen in chimpanzees, giving clues to evolution of human cooperation Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Michael PriceJun. 19, 2017 , 3:00 PM curioustiger/iStockphoto Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country A pair of studies suggests the evolutionary roots of humanlike cooperation can be seen in chimpanzees, albeit in rudimentary forms. Email Unbeknownst to these partner chimpanzees, the chimp that always started the game—a female named Tai—was trained to always choose the last option, giving up her turn. From the partner’s point of view, this was a risky choice, Grüneisen says, as Tai risked losing out entirely on the banana pellets. Over dozens of trials, after Tai gave up her turn, the six partners pulled the rope that rewarded both themselves and Tai with a treat 75% of the time, indicating they valued her risking her own treats to help them.But the researchers also wanted to see whether the subjects were willing to give up some of their own reward to repay Tai for her perceived kindness. “That kind of reciprocity is often claimed to be a landmark of human cooperation, and we wanted to see how far we could push it with the chimps,” Grüneisen says.The team repeated the experiment, except this time when Tai passed the turn to the subjects, the subjects had the option of either giving themselves four banana pellets and Tai none, or giving both themselves and Tai only three banana pellets. The subjects chose the sacrifice option 44% of the time, compared with 17% of the time when the experimenters, not Tai, made the initial decision. This suggests that the chimps frequently felt compelled to reward Tai for her perceived unselfishness, even at their own expense, the researchers report today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).“We were very surprised to get that finding,” Grüneisen says. “This psychological dimension to chimps’ decision-making, taking into account how much a partner risked to help them, is novel.”The second study, also published today in PNAS, looked at what motivates male chimps to risk life and limb on patrol missions. Male chimps in the wild often team up and silently stalk the group’s boundaries single-file, sniffing for intruders. These can be costly excursions: About a third of the time, they meet chimps from a rival group, and occasionally the encounters turn bloody. So patrolling chimps risk injury or even death.According to classic behavioral theories, chimps should put themselves in such peril only if they have offspring or close maternal relatives in the group. Yet, after analyzing behavior and relationship data from 3750 male chimps in Ngogo, Uganda, collected over the past 20 years, researchers learned that although that was true for most chimps, more than a quarter of the patrollers had no close relations in the group. What’s more, males who didn’t join these all-male patrols didn’t appear to face any repercussions, says the study’s lead author, anthropologist Kevin Langergraber from Arizona State University in Tempe. So, it was a bit surprising that so many chimps risked it.He and his colleagues suggest that a theory known as group augmentation best explains these findings. This theory posits that by patrolling to protect the group’s food supply and expand its territory, the entire group becomes more attractive to females and improves each individual male’s chances of reproducing.Anne Pusey, another evolutionary anthropologist at Duke who is unaffiliated with the studies, agrees it’s a reasonable hypothesis. Protecting and expanding the group’s territory, she says, would “secure or increase the space and food supply for resident females, as well as future immigrant females, with whom [the males] will eventually mate and have a chance of siring offspring.” More and healthier females means each individual male has a greater chance at producing offspring.Langergraber adds that such behavior might serve as an evolutionary basis for human cooperation within huge, diverse communities. “One of the most unusual things about human cooperation is its large scale,” he says. “Hundreds or thousands of unrelated individuals can work together to build a canal, or send a human to the moon. Perhaps the mechanisms that allow collective action among chimpanzees served as building blocks for the subsequent evolution of even more sophisticated cooperation later in human evolution.”last_img read more

Scientific wellness study—and a famed biologists spinoff company—divide researchers

first_img In the pilot project, reported this week in Nature Biotechnology, monthly coaching sessions aimed to help the participants understand the data and create plans to address any concerns. For instance, 95 people had low vitamin D levels, 81 had high mercury levels, and 52 were considered prediabetic. Of all the participants’ measured traits, those three improved most significantly across the study, as individuals were coached to change diets, take vitamin supplements, exercise, or consult their doctors for medical advice.The study also gave participants a Fitbit to track activity and sleep patterns. But only 64% of participants used their devices for 40 days or more, mirroring the dropoff seen in many studies. “This is the best possible cohort of early adopters, and even they couldn’t comply,” Butte says. He adds that’s a potentially foreboding indication of difficulties that lie ahead for the U.S. Precision Medicine Initiative, a National Institutes of Health study that will try to similarly track and analyze 1 million people. CEO and co-founder of Arivale, Clayton Lewis (left), and Co-Founder Leroy Hood, are sold on “scientific wellness” as a new medical frontier. Arivale When you see a study like this, it is thrilling. But when you link it to companies offering this as a service, that is where we start getting into trouble. Jonathan Berg, University of North Carolina School of Medicine By Ryan CrossJul. 19, 2017 , 12:30 PM Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe ‘Scientific wellness’ study—and a famed biologist’s spinoff company—divide researchers Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Leroy Hood knows a thing or two about disruptive technologies. One of biology’s living legends, the now 78-year-old scientist played an influential role in the development of the first automated DNA sequencer. He pioneered systems biology, the study of interactions of molecular networks, and still leads an institute devoted to it in Seattle, Washington. His latest vision is “scientific wellness,” which aims to improve health and prevent disease by combining personalized behavior coaching with DNA and blood testing, activity tracking, and other measures.Hood unveiled the concept 3 years ago, but a pilot study attempting to back it up has only now appeared. He and colleagues have compiled what Hood calls “personal, dense, dynamic data clouds” for 108 people after tracking them for 9 months. Included in the data clouds are their full genome sequences; blood, saliva, urine, and stool samples taken every 3 months that measured levels of 643 metabolites and 262 proteins; and physical activity and sleep monitoring. The massive data set may have helped people avoid diabetes and other health issues, the researchers suggest. Indeed, Hood intends to move forward with his previously proposed 100K Wellness Project, for which he hopes to recruit 100,000 people for by 2020. The study also spurred Hood to co-found a company called Arivale, which now offers similar services coupled to monthly coaching, with a first-year membership price of $3499.Yet not all researchers see the pilot study as a rousing success, or justification for people to spend such sums. They are taking the collection of personal physiological information “to new heights, or depths, depending on how you look at it,” says Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in San Diego, California. Atul Butte, a computational biologist and director of the Institute of Computational Health Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, notes a “lack of sparkling findings” in the study. “All of these tests cost a lot of money, and it’s not exactly clear what we are getting out of them yet,” he says.  Hood and colleagues identify a single participant that most obviously benefitted significantly from the study. The tests revealed that then 65-year-old Tayloe Washburn, who reported impaired mobility during his family’s hiking trips, had high blood levels of the iron-containing protein ferritin and a genetic risk for developing hemochromatosis, where high iron levels can damage cartilage in joints. Washburn was referred to his physician who linked his cartilage damage to the disease.Though Hood’s study deserves credit for taking “oodles of data” across multiple time points, the results are “a little soft” to conclude such tracking actually helps many people, because there is no control group to compare to, Topol says. He pointed out similar concerns with the battery of medical tests, including genome sequencing and a full-body MRI scan, done on presumably healthy people recently described in a study posted online from J. Craig Venter’s Health Nucleus company.Among the 108 participants in Hood’s study was Clayton Lewis, a friend of Hood’s who works at the venture capital firm Maveron. While monitored, Lewis was training for a triatholon. Although he expected “to be the healthiest person in this study,” the data indicated he was prediabetic, which his personal study coach linked to his metabolism genes and his training diet—low in carbs and high in fats and proteins. He also had the highest blood mercury level in the study, due to his decades-old dental filling. Lewis, who is now 58, resolved both issues by incorporating complex carbohydrates into every meal and getting his filling replaced. He went on to place 10th in his age group in the race. Seeing how the study participants loved “that the data was all about them,” Lewis joined with study leaders Nathan Price and Leroy Hood to launch Arivale, with Lewis as CEO.Now 2 years old, Seattle-based Arivale has already enrolled 2500 individuals for tracking and analysis similar to the pilot study, with 96% of these participants opting in to let their data be used in research, which Hood’s Institute for Systems Biology can pay to access through a licensing agreement. Arivale charges $3499 for the first year, which gets participants’ genomes sequenced; 30-minute monthly coaching sessions; plus blood, saliva, and microbiome (a tally of microbes in stool samples) tests—read every 6 months, instead of every 3 as in the pilot study—plus a Fitbit. Jennifer Lovejoy, Arivale’s chief translational science officer, describes the company as “a bridge to the medical community” that specializes in analyzing the data so that the personal coaches—all registered dieticians, certified nutritionists, or registered nurses—can create lifestyle and wellness recommendations. “Our coaches do not diagnose or treat. We are not providing medical care,” she says. As such, the company has not asked the Food and Drug Administration to review or regulate its offerings.The company’s formation has concerned some original fans of the 100K Wellness Project. “When you see a study like this, it is thrilling. But when you link it to companies offering this as a service, that is where we start getting into trouble,” says Jonathan Berg, a physician scientist that studies cancer and genetics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill. “We don’t have any idea at all how this information should be used clinically,” he says, adding that scientists should be just as ready to reject their hypotheses as prove them.Such comments don’t deter Hood from his latest disruptive vision. “I think scientific wellness is here to stay,” he says. “And I think it is going to be a key part in the tipping point that is utterly going to transform the practice of health care and take it from a focus of disease to a focus of wellness.” Hood contends that the project’s value will increase with time as more data from a scaled-up study will uncover new signposts for forecasting disease.But Butte says more data alone is not enough. “We need the informatics people to come up with better ways to analyze it,” he says. Whether or not you are convinced such digital data sets will improve health and wellness, though, there’s no denying, Topol says, that “this whole deep dive into human information is really blossoming.”last_img read more

NIH may bar peer reviewers accused of sexual harassment

first_img Email The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, reminded the research community this week that the agency can—and sometimes does—bar scientists accused of sexual harassment from serving as peer reviewers. The bar is lower than the standard to remove an investigator from a grant, say NIH officials, because of their concern about “the integrity of the process.”Noni Byrnes, the newly appointed director of NIH’s Center for Scientific Review (CSR), explained in a 25 March blog post that allegations of sexual harassment could bias a reviewer’s score for a research proposal even if they are ultimately found to be innocent. For example, a male reviewer accused of harassing female postdocs could give better scores to proposals from female postdocs to avoid appearing biased, even if the science didn’t deserve that score. The allegations could come not only from institutions conducting an investigation, but also from victims or “observers.”NIH “can exercise our discretion to exclude” such individuals from its pool of 18,000 reviewers, Byrnes explained. Such a step “is not meant to be punitive, or to imply guilt on the part of the accused,” Byrnes writes. “It is intended simply to protect the integrity of our scientific review process.” Noni Byrnes leads the National Institutes of Health’s Center for Scientific Review in Bethesda, Maryland. By Jocelyn KaiserMar. 27, 2019 , 4:50 PM The policy is not new, Byrnes told ScienceInsider. NIH has routinely declined to use some potential reviewers for reasons that range from a conflict of interest to the simple fact that a person is chronically late turning in reviews.Byrnes writes that her blog post comes at a time when the agency is receiving a rising number of sexual harassment complaints. And that increased volume has meant the issue is more likely to be on the minds of reviewers, she says.“Especially if some [allegation] got out in the press, everyone around the table knows, the applicant pool knows, the person is listed on our roster,” Byrnes explains. “To me, that compromises the strength and rigor of our process. Why not defer it until everything gets resolved?” And, she adds, “If we find out there’s no issue and they’re innocent, we will invite them back and that person is back in and one of the 18,000.”An allegation could come to one of CSR’s scientific review officers or through a recently announced NIH email address for reporting sexual harassment involving NIH-funded research that triggers NIH to contact the accused’s institution about the allegations. CSR would confer with NIH’s Office of Extramural Research before deciding to bar a reviewer, she adds. But the decision can happen “quickly, especially if it’s somebody who’s scheduled to serve.”Byrnes declined to give a number of peer reviewers who have been removed because of sexual harassment allegations or findings. But she noted that NIH Director Francis Collins recently said that 14 principal investigators have been barred from serving as peer reviewers because of sexual harassment concerns raised in 2018.NIH’s policy for researchers involved in sexual harassment specifies that a principal investigator can lose a grant only after being put on leave or removed by their institution for any reason. The argument is different for peer review, says Byrnes, because “the integrity of the process is a prime driver.” And unlike losing grant funding, “Not attending a [study section] meeting in October is not going to kill [an investigator’s] lab.”The move drew praise on Twitter from many scientists, who interpreted it as a new policy. They gave credit to #MeTooSTEM activist BethAnn McLaughlin, who mentions a ban on peer-review service on her list of four actions that she thinks Collins should take against sexual harassers. “I kind of agree with her,” Byrnes says. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! 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Brenda Clark returns to Sheriffs Office in a temporary position

first_imgBrenda Clark returns to Sheriff’s Office in a temporary position By Toni Gibbons A professional services contract between Navajo County and former Navajo County Sheriff’s Deputy Brenda Clark was approved at the Navajo County Board of Supervisors on Dec. 12. Deputy County Attorney Brandt ClarkSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad December 21, 2017last_img

Karnataka assembly speaker Received only one Cong MLA resignation

first_img Karnataka assembly speaker, Karnataka congress mla resign, Karnataka two congress mla resign, india news The Speaker, who has expressed disappointment over the MLAs not meeting him personally, as mandated by rules, has denied receiving Jharkiholi’s resignation.Despite two MLAs from the Congress claiming to have submitted resignations on July 1, Karnataka Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar has clarified that he has received only one resignation letter through the correct process. Advertising Related News 0 Comment(s) In Karnataka, Congress-JD(S) coalition on brink as 13 MLAs resign In Mumbai hotel, Karnataka Congress rebels MLAs firm: Won’t take back resignations Karnataka Congress to form panchayat-level committees after humiliating Lok Sabha defeat Two Congress MLAs — Anand Singh from Vijayanagar in Ballari and Ramesh Jharkiholi from Gokak in Belagavi — sent in their resignations on July 1.While Singh handed his resignation to Governor Vajubhai Vala and sent a copy to the Speaker, Jharkiholi reportedly faxed his resignation letter to the Speaker’s office. The Speaker, who has expressed disappointment over the MLAs not meeting him personally, as mandated by rules, has denied receiving Jharkiholi’s resignation.“There is only one resignation letter given to me physically by a member himself,” the Speaker said on Wednesday.“The Speaker himself has said he has not received the resignation of Jharkiholi,” Former CM Siddaramaiah said. “Only Anand Singh has given his letter. He may withdraw it too. We are talking to him,” he said. By Express News Service |Bengaluru | Published: July 4, 2019 4:12:13 amlast_img read more

US has deep concerns about UN officials trip to China

first_imgChinese officials describe the camps as vocational training centers and say they are necessary to curb religious extremism. Sullivan told Guterres that “Beijing continues to paint its repressive campaign against Uighurs and other Muslims as legitimate counterterrorism efforts when it is not,” and that Voronkov’s trip puts the U.N.’s reputation and credibility at risk.Geng has previously said the U.S. accusations are “fabricated lies” and that the United States should not interfere in China’s internal affairs. Human Rights Watch criticized the United Nations for sending a counterterrorism official instead of a human rights expert, saying it risks deflecting attention from what it called “a massive government rights violation against the Turkic Muslim population.”Chen Xu, China’s new ambassador in Geneva, told reporters Thursday that China had invited U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to visit the camps in Xinjiang “to see for herself.”UN spokeswoman Marta Hurtado confirmed Bachelet had met Chen and that her office is continuing to negotiate “full access” for any trip to China. Geng said China would welcome a visit but added, “we will never allow people with political purposes to interfere in China’s internal affairs and damage China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity with their visit to Xinjiang.” Related News Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, in a phone call Friday with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, called the visit “highly inappropriate in view of the unprecedented repression campaign underway in Xinjiang against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Muslims.”The Chinese foreign ministry confirmed that Vladimir Ivanovich Voronkov, the undersecretary-general of the UN counterterrorism office, is in China at the country’s invitation, but didn’t provide any details. “More specific information will be released in time,” ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily briefing.China has faced international criticism over internment camps in Xinjiang that hold an estimated 1 million members of the Uighur and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups. Post Comment(s) Unbowed, Trump intensifies attacks on four Democratic congresswomen US House rejects Saudi weapons sales; Trump to veto Advertising Hold the applause until Hafiz Saeed is convicted: US committee to Donald Trump By AP |Beijing | Published: June 15, 2019 9:24:24 am Advertising Under fire, Trump pivots and says he would 'absolutely' report foreign help President Donald Trump during a working lunch with governors on workforce freedom and mobility in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)The US government expressed deep concerns to the U.N. about a reported trip by the U.N. counterterrorism chief to the restive Xinjiang region in China’s far west.last_img read more

Southeast Asian leaders open ASEAN summit in Bangkok

first_img Advertising Related News Advertising Best Of Express However, it is unlikely that there will be any criticism of Myanmar at the summit over the Rohingya, said Prapat Thepchatree, a political science professor at Thailand’s Thammasat University said.“This issue has been a very sensitive one for ASEAN,” he said. Host country Thailand deployed about 10,000 security forces around Bangkok for the summit, mindful of a decade ago when Thailand last hosted an ASEAN summit and dozens of protesters loyal to military-ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra forced their way into the meeting venue.But on Saturday morning, only a small group of people had planned to stage a protest to call Prayuth’s election the product of a rigged system. The group, called Citizens Wanting Elections, was stopped by police before it could reach a meeting point near the summit venue. The group later released a statement welcoming visiting leaders but criticising Prayuth.“The individual who serves as President of ASEAN, who welcomes everyone today, did not come from a clean and fair election,” the letter said. “It is encouraging to see that the ASEAN-China talks on the COC have continued,” said Marty Natalegawa, former foreign minister of Indonesia. “However, there is a real risk that developments on the ground – or more precisely at sea – are far outpacing the COC’s progress thereby possibly rendering it irrelevant.”Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted China’s proposal to jointly investigate allegations that a Chinese fishing vessel abandoned 22 Filipinos after it sank their boat in the South China Sea, his spokesman said on Saturday.Rights groups have also called on ASEAN leaders to rethink support for plans to repatriate Rohingya Muslims who have fled member state Myanmar, where activists say returnees could face discrimination and persecution.ASEAN, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN summit, ASEAN Thailand summit, ASEAN-China, ASEAN leaders, World news, Indian Express news Host country Thailand deployed about 10,000 security forces around Bangkok for the summit (AP)More than 700,000 Rohingya crossed into Bangladesh in 2017, according to U.N. agencies, after a crackdown by Myanmar’s military sparked by Rohingya insurgent attacks on the security forces. Three years, no takers for India’s $1-billion credit line for ASEAN digital links Formed more than half a century ago, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has historically struggled with challenges facing the region because it works only by consensus and is reluctant to become involved in any matter regarded as internal to a member state.Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was making his debut as a civilian leader representing current chair Thailand, after a general election in March that opposition parties say was designed to ensure his victory five years after the former army chief seized power in a 2014 coup. Officials are expected to discuss a Code of Conduct (COC) for negotiations over the South China Sea, one of the world’s busiest waterways and a potential flashpoint, as it is claimed by several ASEAN members as well as China.However, it was unlikely much progress would be made, though member nations might discuss the June 9 collision of a Philippine boat and a Chinese fishing vessel. After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan center_img Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach Ocean’s eleven Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield By Reuters |Bangkok | Published: June 22, 2019 2:22:53 pm India rolls out the red carpet for ASEAN ASEAN, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN summit, ASEAN Thailand summit, ASEAN-China, ASEAN leaders, World news, Indian Express news Foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) pose for a group photo during the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, June 22, 2019. (AP)Southeast Asian leaders opened a two-day summit in Bangkok on Saturday, though it was unclear what progress their 10-country group could make on disputes in the South China Sea and the plight of ethnic Rohingya fleeing Myanmar. Post Comment(s)last_img read more

A Taliban attack on children causes outrage everywhere but at peace talks

first_imgEven by the standards of Afghanistan’s long war, the Taliban attack near a school that wounded dozens of schoolchildren Monday stood out as unusually brutal, and expressions of outrage came thick and fast from governments around the world.But from Doha, the Qatari capital where U.S. negotiators were meeting with Taliban officials in a seventh round of talks, now in their fourth day, there was publicly only silence on the assault.Several of the earlier rounds of talks, which began in earnest this year, also coincided with attacks in Afghanistan, where more than 32,000 civilians have been killed in the last decade of the war, now in its 18th year. Most of those deaths have been blamed on the insurgents, a result of indiscriminate bombings and suicide attacks. Related News The Taliban promise to protect women. Here’s why women don’t believe them More Explained China acknowledges hosting Taliban’s chief peace negotiator for talks Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence A Taliban attack on children causes outrage, everywhere but at peace talks Damage at the Uzair High School near the site of a Taliban car bomb in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 2, 2019. (Fatima Faizi/The New York Times)Written by Fatima Faizi and Rod Nordland 1 Comment(s) Advertising Ahamadullah Darwish, 25, an English teacher at the school, described the scene after an initial explosion. “After a few minutes I thought to myself that I am the teacher, I must take over and control the children and get them out of the classroom,” he said. “Many students were injured and covered in blood.”The blast was from a Taliban car bomb, which destroyed much of the school’s outer wall — a tactic that drew condemnation from rights workers, who said the insurgents should not have used such an indiscriminate weapon so close to civilians.The head teacher of the school, Aziza Sayar Amiri, 55, said students recalled the attackers telling the children to stay out of the way. The students included five of her grandchildren, one of whom was injured.“The attacker told them, ‘You are good human beings, you have nothing to do with this, get out of here. You are here to study, we won’t do anything to you,” she said.Symptoms of psychological distress appeared immediately after Monday’s attack. Sayed Adel, 11, bleeding from his ears, was led home by his 12-year-old brother, who was also at the school.“Sayed Adel was so shocked and the entire night he could not sleep and didn’t allow us to sleep either,” said his grandmother and the head teacher, Amiri. “He kept telling us that he doesn’t want to go to school anymore. He was saying that something is eating him from inside.”A fifth-grade religion teacher at the bombed school, Safiullah, 24, woke up in a hospital bed after the explosion. (Like many Afghans, he uses only one name). “I am really worried about my students,” he said “They are just 10 and 12, they have no idea about war and peace. It is a dirty game by the Americans and the Taliban.”The Taliban said the attack was aimed at the military facility. In an unusual admission, however, the insurgents acknowledged there were civilian casualties.“According to some reports, some civilians have been slightly wounded,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said. “But civilians were not the target.”Ghani’s government has so far been excluded from the peace talks, although the Americans have insisted that once a deal is made, the next step would be talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.The Afghan government used the attack on the school as evidence of Taliban bad faith. “This shows they are not committed to peace,” Seddiqi said. Advertising In earlier rounds this year, U.S. negotiators had brought up the violence at the negotiating table, according to officials with knowledge of the talks, speaking on condition of anonymity because of diplomatic sensitivities. But now they have stopped doing so, the officials said, in a possible sign of just how keen negotiators have become to seal a deal that would set a timeline for a U.S. troop withdrawal in exchange for a Taliban promise not to let terrorists operate from Afghanistan.At most, there have been condemnations on the margins of the earlier sessions. That happened again after Monday’s attack, which was apparently aimed at a government facility in Kabul, the Afghan capital, but badly damaged a nearby school, museum and television station.In addition to wounding 51 children and killing one, the militants also took the lives of another 39 people, most of them civilians, according to Afghan authorities. In all, 116 people were hospitalized with serious injuries, 26 of them children and six women, according to Wahidullah Mayar, the spokesman for the ministry of public health in Kabul.The State Department condemned the attack Tuesday, calling it “particularly barbarous” and demanding the Taliban cease attacks on civilians. But in Doha, U.S. envoys gave no public statement about the assault. Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Best Of Express By New York Times | Published: July 3, 2019 8:11:08 am Taking stock of monsoon rain During previous negotiating sessions, U.S. efforts to complain about Taliban violence sometimes turned into shouting matches, according to the officials. The Americans would challenge the Taliban about killing civilians, and the Taliban would accuse the Americans of doing the same by bombing villages and homes. As the Taliban mounted an offensive this spring, the Americans and the Afghan government increased attacks as well, leaving both sides blaming one another for the surge in violence.Sediq Seddiqi, the spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani, predicted that Monday’s attack would have repercussions in Doha, saying, “Not only the United States but the entire world is condemning it, obviously it will have its repercussions on the results of the ongoing talks.”A Taliban attack on children causes outrage, everywhere but at peace talks Students visit the Organization for Mine Clearance and Afghan Rehabilitation museum in Kabul (Jim Huylebroek/The New York Times)There was no outward sign of that, however. The officials with knowledge of the talks said that the issue did not come up at the Doha peace talks themselves, although American negotiators raised the violence with senior Taliban officials informally on the sidelines of the talks Monday.The Taliban said it did not deliberately target the Uzair High School, whose 300 students, in first- through 12-grade, used the lower floors of an 11-story building near a Ministry of Defense facility. Many witnesses of the attack said the insurgents entered the school so they could reach the tower’s rooftop, which they used as a firing position. Darwish, the English teacher, said he is having trouble sleeping. “Yesterday all the students were screaming, ‘Mom, please come and save me,’ and I was hearing that again and again,” Darwish said. Advertising US hails talks with Taliban, denies troop withdrawal window After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan last_img read more

Search for missing Italian teenager leads to empty tombs

first_img Advertising Post Comment(s) By New York Times |Rome | Published: July 12, 2019 3:58:18 pm But any hope that the tombs would provide answers to the family were quickly dashed when the Vatican issued a statement hours after the operation began.“There were no human remains nor funerary urns,” Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said in the statement.Princess Sophie’s tomb led to a large underground space that was “completely empty,” the statement said, while the tomb of Princess Carlotta “had no human remains.”The Vatican added that the cemetery had undergone work during the first part of the 19th century and again in the 1960s and 1970s and that it would examine the documentation regarding these interventions.On Thursday, Sgro said the family was trying to understand why they had been sent on yet another fruitless search.“We expected everything today but not to find two empty tombs,” she said on the Italian affiliate of Sky News. “We want to know why we were sent there and why there was nothing.”After the tombs were found empty, Orlandi, Emanuela’s brother and the leader of the family’s decadeslong efforts, told the Italian affiliate of Sky News, “Part of me was relieved that Emanuela was not there.”He added in a separate interview Thursday that his family had become used to “illusions and disillusions” and that they had known that the exhumation could have been a further waste of time. “Still,” he said, “I was surprised that there was nothing at all.”Missing Italian Teenager , Emanuela Orlandi, Emanuela Orlandi disappearance, Vatican Tombs, Vatican city, World news, Indian express news,  Orlandi said he had called on the Vatican to investigate after receiving several tips from people working in the Vatican, although none of them were there at the time of his sister’s disappearance. (Reuters)Orlandi said he had called on the Vatican to investigate after receiving several tips from people working in the Vatican, although none of them were there at the time of his sister’s disappearance.He said that he had been “positively surprised” by the Vatican’s assistance. “For the first time in 36 years, the Vatican has concretely done something important” in the case, he said.Opening the tomb “signals a change of position,” he said, noting that when he met Pope Francis in 2013, the pope told him that his sister was “in heaven” and left it at that.Orlandi said the Vatican’s overture had been important because after decades of denying any links with the case, there was “an admission that there is a possibility of internal responsibility.” After Cardinal Pell’s conviction for child abuse, Vatican insists on his right to defend Related News Thirty-six years ago, the teenage daughter of a Vatican City employee vanished off a Rome street on her way home, beginning one of Italy’s most enduring mysteries: Over the years, reports have variously linked her fate to the Sicilian Mafia, the KGB and the plot to assassinate Pope John Paul II.On Thursday, the latest trail led her family and a Vatican-appointed forensic scientist to two tombs inside the Vatican walls, the burial places of princesses well over a century dead.The team only found another mystery: The tombs were empty. Even the bodies of the dead princesses were missing. Advertising More Explained Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan It was yet another strange turn for a family that has suffered false leads, red herrings and intense media attention since the girl, Emanuela Orlandi, disappeared at age 15 on June 22, 1983. Their quest to discover her fate has taken them down many tortuous paths, following up on tips, anonymous letters and reports of sightings.Like other well-scrutinized cold cases around the world, Emanuela’s disappearance has inspired many conspiracy theories. She has been linked to the CIA, to Bulgarian agents, to a Roman crime gang and to a U.S. archbishop involved in a major Italian banking scandal.But clues in the case have been scanty, despite investigators’ efforts. This was not the first exhumation in search of her remains.The path to the tombs began in late 2017, when Emanuela’s brother, Pietro Orlandi, was approached by the first of several people working inside the Vatican who suggested that Emanuela might be buried in the Teutonic Cemetery, which for centuries was a final resting place for people of Germanic origin. Advertising But he said the missing princesses posed a new dilemma for the Vatican. “Now, even the heirs don’t know where they’ve gone,” he said. “I think this is a problem for the Vatican that will have to be justified.” Ex-Vatican treasurer George Pell’s child sex offence conviction should stand: Prosecutor Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence Missing Italian Teenager , Emanuela Orlandi, Emanuela Orlandi disappearance, Vatican Tombs, Vatican city, World news, Indian express news,  People open tombs in a cemetery on the Vatican’s grounds to test the DNA of bones to help solve the 36-year-old disappearance of  Emanuela Orlandi (Reuters)Written by: Elisabetta Povoledo Taking stock of monsoon rain Best Of Express His sources told him to seek the place where an angel was pointing in the cemetery, which is between St. Peter’s Basilica and the Paul VI Audience Hall.Missing Italian Teenager , Emanuela Orlandi, Emanuela Orlandi disappearance, Vatican Tombs, Vatican city, World news, Indian express news,  A tomb in a cemetery on the Vatican’s grounds is seen as it is opened to test the DNA of bones to solve the 36-year-old disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi (Reuters)That led Orlandi to the tomb of Princess Sophie of Hohenlohe, who died in 1836. Giovanni Arcudi, a professor of forensic medicine at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, began the exhumation of the tomb Thursday.Arcudi was authorized by the Vatican’s chief prosecutor to analyze the contents of the tomb — as well as the adjacent tomb of Princess Carlotta Federica of Mecklenburg, who died in 1840 — and take samples for DNA testing. The theory was that Emanuela’s body was inside one of the tombs.Through the family’s lawyer, Laura Sgro, in February, Orlandi formally asked the Vatican to open the tomb of Princess Sophie. The family received approval last month to have open both tombs opened. Pope visits Romania 20 years after John Paul’s historic trip last_img read more