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Kompany thanks Toure for the wonderful years

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first_imgManchester City captain Vincent Kompany has thanked the departing “legend” Yaya Toure for his service to the clubThe Ivorian midfielder will be leaving the Etihad Stadium in the summer after eight years in Manchester.Since joining from Barcelona in 2010, Toure has since scored 82 goals in his 316 appearances and famously netted the winning goals against Stoke City and Sunderland in the FA and League Cup finals respectively.The 35-year-old was absent from City’s 1-0 win against Southampton in their final league game of the season after captaining the side in their 3-1 against Brighton last week.Kompany, who himself has been at City since 2008, praised Toure for his contributions over the years.norwich city, manchester city, premier leagueReport: City are stunned by Norwich George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Manchester City was stunned by Norwich City in todays Premier League clash.Much has been made in recent days of the potential impact of Aymeric…I’d like to thank Yaya for the wonderful years he has given us. Power, pace, technique, vision, you name it, this guy is the most complete midfielder I have ever seen. Always present in the big moments, he is forever a legend of ours. #ManCity #Legend #CENTURIONS #SharkTeam pic.twitter.com/zHxBcbRI3C— Vincent Kompany (@VincentKompany) May 14, 2018In his eight years at City, Toure won three Premier League titles, two League Cups and the FA Cup.last_img read more

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New Opportunities in Magazine Manufacturing

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first_imgSEE BELOW: From Back-End Support to Revenue Partner (sidebar)Magazine production has changed dramatically in the last few years. Tools and standards that have come to the forefront—ad portals, virtual proofing, online insertion orders, PDFs—which weren’t exactly new, still gained significant ground.Today, publishers and printers know there’s no single solution. Digital asset management and metadata are all being used, but what’s old is new again, with old standbys such as “printing to the numbers” and gray component replacement being resurrected to find cheaper, faster ways to create the final print product.The publisher/printer relationship often boils down to one factor: Price. Financial pressures have grown significantly over the last year and it’s unlikely to change in the near future. But publishers may want to look at the bigger picture and assess whether the cost savings they’re seeing are necessarily worth a corresponding drop in service. Color ManagementColor management continues to be one of the industry’s most vital topics, since improvements in color not only improve the finished product, but can yield production efficiencies and savings through reduced waste.City and regional publisher Niche Media works with its printers to calibrate to the profiles of the presses. “Our make-ready’s are faster, we’re up to color instantly and consistently because of the closed loop color on the presses,” says director of manufacturing Shawn Lowe. “You’ll see more publishers partnering with printers as we all fight to keep clients happy and coming back.” His goal is to reproduce a common ad better than his competitor, while being consistent across all of its publications so that an ad in Gotham is identical in quality to an ad in Michigan Avenue, for example.Gray component replacement (GCR) is a technique for replacing gray tones otherwise made from yellow, cyan and magenta separations instead with black ink. Adopted in 1987 by Newsweek, today Time Inc. sees a broader adoption of GCR ink efficiency software with publishers. “The cost savings are substantial and economic forces should speed adoption,” says Guy Gleysteen, senior vice president of production at Time Inc. “Similarly, virtual proofing has been in the marketplace for several years, but it seems likely that wider adoption in 2009 is inevitable as publishers focus on viable cost reduction technologies. Both are widely deployed at Time Inc.”Tighter press controls will also play a larger role. “What is needed now is the ability of presses, especially Web presses, to have tighter color control,” says Connecticut Cottages & Gardens art and production director Matthew Hageman. “It’s the final piece of the puzzle on the way to printing to the numbers. The front end controls are there, the closed-loop color technology is there. The new generation of presses is getting close, so I think it’s only a matter of time.” One of Quebecor World’s primary technical initiatives in 2008 was assisting with the roll-out of G7 qualification to the Web offset process (the printer claims its Dyersburg, Tennessee plant became the first G7 Qualified Web offset facility in North America). Quebecor World partnered with IDEAlliance to extend G7 Qualification, which began as a sheet-fed process, to Web offset technology.Is Virtual Proofing Taking Off Or Behind The Times? Digital workflows enable printers to combine production services once considered distinctly separate, such as pre-press, printing and distribution. Now they’ve been combined to create a seamless manufacturing process to save time and money without sacrificing quality and service. “It starts with offering a digital and proofless prepress workflow, moves to a lean, but flexible printing and bindery operation, and goes out the door through multi-faceted distribution systems to cover all channels,” says Dan Drake, director of print operations at IPC Print Services. “This allows the publisher to keep advertising open longer because they can submit files later and still get the publication in the hands of the reader faster.”While virtual proofing has existed for years, just 61 percent of publishers used it in 2008 (up from 52 percent in 2007), according to Folio:’s 2008 Manufacturing and Production Trends Survey. “While we have offered it for many years, I believe 2009 will be the year everyone takes a hard look at soft proofing,” says Drake. The systems offer more than just proofing capabilities and more stable PDF formats, he says. “It’s just like the evolution of computer-to-plate, it took some time, but now the process can be trusted.” In  2009, Hearst will continue to implement virtual proofing with its printers, conduct further tests for fully compliant PDF/X-4 files, and “continue to raise the awareness  among the ad community about the importance of including the ISO 12647-7 Digital Control Strip on their supplied proofs for better print predictability,” says William McGuirl, quality assurance director at Hearst Magazines.One production department, which wishes to remain anonymous, tested the concept that when printing with a printer that has calibrated monitors in the press room, provided the front-end calibration matches that of the printer and the front-end set up converts to a profile that matches the paper stock (instead of converting to generic CMYK), the need for proofs is eliminated. “We ditched virtual proofing over the summer. I realized that as long as my monitors were calibrated, and as long as my front end set-up was the same as the premedia set-up at our printer, virtual proofing was unnecessary,” the source says. “The department only uses scatter proofs for the well, which they don’t ultimately send to the printer. They went on press with a number of hard proofs, but didn’t bring them out until the  press was up to color. It was dead on.”Eliminating A Few StepsBlood-Horse Publications has implemented an automatic e-mail notification for when a file is uploaded to an FTP site. “There’s no more watching the site for files. It’s watching for us,” says print operations manager Lisa Coots. Blood-Horse is also using DALiM TWiST, a premedia job processing system, for all of its files. “This allows us to automatically send the files to our printer, Publishers Press, who is also using DALiM,” she says. “As a result, we can view uploaded pages and easily identify pages and forms that aren’t complete.“They can also send a new file as a replacement for a previously sent file, and as a result, “can monitor their system to make sure the new file will get printed,” says Coots. “We‘ve taken advantage of electronic approvals for some print projects. It’s fast, efficient and paperless.”Coots says Blood-Horse is in the process of upgrading the in-house electronic tracking system where “we currently cannot attach digital files to the e-ticket,” which will make the system user-friendly for print and digital, and allow them cross-platforming on some projects. Blood-Horse is investigating an ad system that would allow clients to upload a file, attach it to an insertion order and automatically send it though the DALiM TWiST system. “This will reduce man-hours and make for a more efficient workflow,” she says. Connecticut Cottages & Gardens has seen time-saving benefits from Brown Printing’s Web-based workflow.  “Since we need less time to ship and proof, we’ve been able to extend in-house deadlines. This has given our ad sales team more time to sell,” says Hageman. “It also allows last minute changes that previously would have caused 12 hours worth of chaos to be dealt with in less than half the time at a fraction of the stress.”Ad Portals Draw Small PubsWhile ad portals—which allow advertisers to submit advertising materials electronically and allow the publisher to place the materials into the correct workflow—were once the realm of larger publishers, smaller publishers like Connecticut Cottages and Gardens have begun to use them (although ad portals overall showed little growth over the last year, with 22 percent of publishers using them in 2008 versus 21 percent in 2007).“I think ad portals are going to become big business,” says Hageman. “They save so much time and aggravation. We’ve logged more hours than we can count troubleshooting files for people…I think it can even deter smaller advertisers who can’t afford an agency from advertising at all. The idea that an advertiser can drop a file on a Web site, have it preflighted in seconds, and upon approval be placed into the printer’s workflow, is phenomenal.”  Niche Media’s success with ad portal SendMyAd makes Lowe think that “ad portals will continue to grow and prosper. Anything that will save time, both in allowing for more ad pages, and in delivery speed to the plant, is important.” However, Lowe says that portals can be a double-edged sword. “You have to keep the books open later, but you still have to make your press date and deliver books on time. There’s little margin for mistakes, so the first shot has to be dead on.” Niche Media started experimenting with ad portals more than three years ago, and believes that they will “continue to grow and consolidate,” says Lowe. “Advertisers are also looking for the speed and additional time to get last minute creative to press.” Niche is also starting to convert to InDesign and Acrobat, particularly “after seeing the industry shift to Adobe, to the point where Quark now has a publishing system that is file agnostic and will take ID files,” says Lowe. “The goal is to first reproduce the supplied creative perfectly, since many advertisers are pushing back on poor reproduction.” Postal and Co-MailingPublishers have been adjusting for mailing rates, as Periodicals, Standard or First Class postage will rise by just about 4 percent in May. But as publishers know, that’s not a given. IPC’s Dan Drake says the Intelligent Mail Barcode—the next generation of USPS barcode technology for sorting and tracking letters and flats—could be as big as co-mailing in terms of cutting costs and boosting efficiencies. “The incorporation of the full-service Intelligent Mail Barcode into magazine distribution systems will be huge,” he adds. “It will be mandatory in 2010, but the U.S. Postal Service is expected to raise rates for magazines that do not incorporate it sooner. If you wait until late fall, you could find yourself scrambling.”Traditional WorkflowOvid Bell emphasizes “lean manufacturing” to cut costs, and is pursuing paper deals with vendors that will have an immediate effect for customers. The printer has installed a new perfect binder, which provides a 143 percent increase in production capacity, and is recasting one of its presses as a cover press, including a sheeter for perfect bind covers.  “We’re also working on shorter turn around schedules,” says president John Bell, primarily with monthlies that can maintain production schedules. “In the short-run production arena, there aren’t many.”The industry may see more manufacturing partnerships between publishers in the same market. “Smaller publications may lean on other publishers to help create, print and distribute their magazines and newsletters, due to reduced staff and increased manufacturing costs,” says Coots. “We are all in this together.” Just as publishers are realizing with edit and marketing, there’s only so much that can be cut from the manufacturing process. Lowe says that Niche Media is still  “one of the few publishers who run 50/50 splits. Investments in technology are necessary just to stay in the game today.”SIDEBAR:From Back-End Support to Revenue PartnerPublishers today aren’t just looking to printers for print solutions, but also for revenue generating opportunities. Increasingly, that comes in the form of digital solutions such as digital magazines, but also support (or even full providing) of core disciplines such as content develop and advertising administration.Many publishers are looking to printers to help them connect print and online, with services ranging from digital editions to Web development. “One of the most important trends coming out now are e-books, and yet the newsstand and subscription copies are just as important,” says Shawn Lowe, director of manufacturing at Niche Media. “I think you will see a new co-existence between Web and print where print will drive content on the Web and then the Web will take that content and drive consumers deeper to advertisers. E-books are ready instantly, and will draw attention to the magazines that are coming out soon and drive newsstand sales.”“Content Portability” is one of the new paradigms in a digital age. Intellectual property has its maximum value when it can be repurposed into multiple channels, each of which can generate new revenue streams. That prompted Quebecor World to form The Publishing Services Group in June 2008 by merging the company’s magazine, book and directory businesses. “There is a meaningful opportunity to demonstrate to clients how they can expand their offerings cheaply and efficiently by taking advantage of the Publishing Services Group and certain of its new digital tools including its digital asset management solutions, digital editions, ad and edit portals and electronic communication systems,” says Sean Twomey, executive vice president of The Publishing Services Group. “They create new subscription and direct sales opportunities, as well as advertising upsell possibilities.  They also allow for a more efficient way of versioning editorial and advertising.” In additional to digital editions, Fry Communications offers online video, which can be packaged with digital editions and online directories. “This offers direct contact with the advertiser,” says vice president of sales Steve Grande, who says that the price is “several hundred dollars per unit.” Fry also offers a Web-based infrastructure for creating online yellow pages directory as well as variable data services which helps clients target personalized messages to their audience. “Our role is to move forward to an information distribution company in print, direct mail and online,” says Grande. “More of the requests we’re getting from publishers are related to the work functions the printer can take over and provide as a service and run the gamut from dealing with digital advertising management and providing help desk support for advertisers to dealing with pagination and book makeup. With our direct mail operation, we’re now talking to certain customers about mailing their invoices for them.”last_img read more

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The new iPod Touch is worth buying just for iOS

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first_img Mentioned Above Apple iPod Touch 2015 (16GB – blue) 23 Photos • Apple Arcade Later this year Apple will launch Apple Arcade, a subscription-based games service where you pay a monthly fee to play iOS games made by some of the world’s top game developers. The most exciting for me include Annapurna Interactive, makers of Donut County, and Mistwalker, headed by Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi.Apple expects to have 100 exclusive and nonexclusive games lined up for the service at launch, with more coming later. You’ll sign up for the service and then download any Apple Arcade game you wish at no additional cost. apple-introduces-apple-arcade-apple-tv-ipad-pro-iphone-xs-macbook-pro-03252019Apple Arcade, on Mac, iPad and iPhone. Apple The best thing about this service for owners of the iPod Touch, which has no cellular connection, only Wi-Fi, is that every game will be playable offline. That means you can play your games to your heart’s content even if you’re on the train or in the back seat of a carpool vehicle. A subscription will cost the same for individuals or a family of six and will be compatible across iPad, iPhone and Apple TV. iOS 13 I haven’t been this excited about an iOS update since iOS 7. That’s when Apple implemented the “flat” look of app icons. With iOS 13 it’s dark mode that has me the most giddy. Honestly, what grabbed my attention was simply the fact that dark mode will be a purposefully designed feature — not just an inverting of the colors — that just looks cool in screenshots. redesigned-reminders-app-ios-13Dark mode is coming. Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET Also, iOS 13 will also bring a newly designed camera interface and editing options, as well as Sign In with Apple. Sign In lets users log in to apps and sites on their iPod Touch using their AppleID instead of their email address, which Apple says will prevent them from being tracked online and relentlessly targeted with ads. AR gets more real The iPod Touch will work with AR apps in the App Store. That includes the iOS app Measure, which lets you virtually measure things in the real world by giving you a really flexible digital ruler. With Pokemon Go or the upcoming and highly anticipated Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, AR is kind of becoming a thing. And though I wasn’t excited about it initially, the more useful apps I find, like Measure, the more I’m becoming a believer. measure-app-ios-12Practical AR is the best AR. Jason Cipriani/CNET To be sure, you’ll need a more powerful device to take advantage of some of the high-end AR apps, but for simple measuring, and for finding Pokemon, the new iPod Touch can handle it. Bonus: It has a headphone jack Yep, you can use Bluetooth headphones, or plug your wired ‘phones into that 3.5mm jack on the bottom edge, just like we used to do back in the day. That either appeals to you or not, so I’ll say no more about it. Do it! Or don’t. I mean, the Touch isn’t for everyone. But it’s cheap enough and offers enough current features, as well as some smart strategic future-proofing, to be worth your money if you decide to take the plunge.  Apple See It See it $219 Apple iPod Touch 2015 0 Tags Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? Review • Apple iPod Touch review: 2015 specs packed into a tiny 2012 body $132 Aug 31 • Verizon vs AT&T vs T-Mobile vs Sprint: Choose the best 5G carrier The new iPod Touch looks just like the old one and it’s kind of nice Aug 31 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it Walmart reading • The $200 iPod Touch now has some legit competition The new iPod Touch is a great gateway into the upcoming iOS 13. Sarah Tew/CNET Apple released a new iPod Touch for 2019 a couple months back. It costs $200 and has a small, low-resolution screen. If you already own an iPhone past the iPhone 5, there’s no reason to even consider buying the iPod Touch. Probably the same deal if you own a recent iPad. If, however, you’ve never owned an iOS device or have in the past and want back in, at $200 the iPod Touch is now the cheapest iOS entry point. But it’s not your only $200 option. Nintendo this week announced a new scaled down version of its Nintendo Switch, called the Switch Lite. The $200 gaming system is smaller than the original Switch and can’t connect to a TV. So how does the Switch Lite compare to the iPod Touch? In his review of the iPod Touch 2019, my colleague Patrick Holland very clearly lays out why, despite its appeal to certain consumers, most will want to skip the iPod Touch. And while I can totally understand and agree with many of his points, ultimately I see it differently. I’ve been a stubborn supporter of iOS, and more specifically the Apple App Store, for nearly 11 years, since I bought the iPhone 3G in 2008. There are two simple reasons for that: I like the interface and its evolution, and the game and app selection in the App Store has never disappointed me. That’s really it. I have an iPhone XS Max and absolutely have no need for the iPod Touch, but I’m excited for those of you who do. And here are three reasons I think the iPod Touch is a near steal at $200. CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Share your voice Mobile See All null iOS 12 Applelast_img read more

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Indian student in the US shot dead in gas station robbery

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first_img(Representational image)CCO Public domainA 30-year-old Indian student was shot dead in Alabama, United States, on July 24. The victim, identified as Neil Kumar, was working part-time at a gas station convenience store on Highway 10. Visuals from three CCTV cameras in the store show the assailant, dressed in black and face covered, pointing the gun at Neil.One of the videos shows the assailant lurking in the parking lot for a while around 5:55 AM, five minutes before the store opened. In another CCTV footage that shows the entrance of the shop from the inside, the assailant is seen entering the store, pointing his gun at Kumar and robbing the store. The time stamp on the videos revealed that the assailant was in the store for less than a minute. Although the videos do not show any struggle, Kumar was killed almost immediately. Reports state that the arrested suspect has a criminal background. The murder shocked Brundidge with the sheriff telling the media, “It’s been many, many, many years since Brundidge had a robbery/homicide.”Kumar was based in Kerala’s Thrissur. He had gone to the US to pursue his Master’s in Computer Science at the University of Troy in Brundidge, reported The News minute. He had been studying in the US for a year.His parents Purushothaman Kumar and Seema and his sisters Neema and Natasha flew to Alabama for Neil’s funeral.last_img read more

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Political situation to change soon Moudud

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first_imgBNP senior leader Moudud Ahmed. Prothom Alo File PhotoClaiming there is no ‘existence’ of any government in the country, BNP senior leader Moudud Ahmed on Friday hoped that the political situation will be changed very soon.”No one is arrested for attacking the US ambassador though we all know who carried out it. Around Tk 800 crore was plundered from the Bangladesh Bank, its gold has turned silver and bronze and over 100,000 tonnes of coal have got disappeared, but no one is arrested,” he said.Speaking at a discussion, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leader further said, “Observing the overall situation, it seems that there’s no government in the country…I would like to say the country’s political situation will be changed very soon. Now, it’s the last time for a change.”Nagorik Odhikar Andolon Forum, a pro-BNP platform, arranged the programme at the National Press Club.Moudud, a BNP standing committee member, criticised chief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda for what he said playing a subservient role. “Out of freak of conscience, he (CEC) made a true remark that it is not possible to give assurance that there’ll be no anomaly in the next general election. I’ve seen in newspaper that four other commissioners disagreed with him. So, he has now no right to stay in his post,” the BNP leader said.He demanded that the CEC step down immediately.Moudud alleged that the government has deceived the students through the Road Transport Bill approved in the cabinet. “The bill approved in the cabinet is totally a political bluff. The government has politically deceived the students,” he observed.He said the students sought a provision of capital punishment for killing in road accidents, but their demand was not met.The BNP leader said only the punishment is increased to five years from three years. “The death sentence will be given if the intentional killing is proved. However, it’s not possible to prove it.”last_img read more

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Baltimores Living Classroom Uses Hands On Education to Empower

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first_imgThe Living Classrooms Foundation has a been a gem in Baltimore for over 30 years. What started as one program in Baltimore has expanded to dozens of programs across the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area including Living Classrooms’ Target Investment Zone (TIZ). The TIZ is a comprehensive community initiative to eliminate the cycle of poverty across neighborhoods in East Baltimore. The TIZ accomplishes this through multi-generational educational, workforce development, and health and wellness programs across East Baltimore, including The Crossroads School, the POWER House, and the UA House.Living Classrooms at Frederick Douglass-Isaac Meyers Maritime Park (Photo credit: Michael Vergason)TIZ is home to 35,000 people, 18 schools, and approximately 2,500 public housing units, including Perkins Homes and Pleasant View Gardens. These neighborhoods struggle with high poverty and unemployment, high crime and chronic health problems.The programs and services are implemented according to the needs of the community using Living Classrooms Stat, which measures, monitors and evaluates these needs. A lot of this would not be possible without generous donations from several corporations throughout Maryland, including the financial giant Legg Mason. Legg Mason has recently pledged $1 million to help finance the programs and services offered at the POWER House for the next four years.Legg Mason has been a financial partner of Living Classrooms for decades.The POWER House is a hub for Perkins Homes—Baltimore’s largest public housing community—and serves the residents with educational, job training and other services.The POWER House is an acronym for Providing Opportunities to Work, Expand, and Rise.“As Legg Mason extends its commitment to investing in Baltimore, it was natural to build on that success,” said Joseph Sullivan, Chairman and CEO of Legg Mason. “Our mission, ‘Investing to Improve Lives’ means we are dedicated to improving the lives of the multiple constituencies with whom we interact: clients, financial stakeholders, employees and communities.   That’s a high standard and one to which we are proud to be accountable.  We cannot succeed without the leadership and commitment of partners like Living Classrooms.  Through true partnership with multiple committed stakeholders, we can build a foundation for the young people of this neighborhood to succeed and contribute to the success of this vibrant city.” James Piper Bond, president and CEO of Living Classrooms Foundation, thanked the company for its commitment. “We are very grateful to Legg Mason for providing generous support of our mission to disrupt the cycle of poverty in East Baltimore by becoming the Champion of the POWER House Community Center and investing significant funding and volunteer engagement,” said Bond. “Partnerships like these, incorporating the investments of the public and private sectors, empower the success of the children and families in Perkins Homes, the Target Investment Zone, and beyond.”The POWER House offers exemplary educational resources with a focus on higher academic achievement, graduation rates, and readiness for post-secondary school. This community hub also provides adults with GED testing services, financial literacy, English as a Second Language, and job training skills. Another community hub within the TIZ is the UA House, a $5 million facility funded by Cupid Foundation, a private foundation of Kevin Plank, founder and CEO of Under Armour.The UA House boasts a field house, a yoga and dance studio, recording studio as well as a neighborhood kitchen—providing meals for those in need.The site is also a Maryland State Department of Education 21st Century Community Learning Center. Also in the TIZ is the Crossroads Schools, which finally received a permanent home this school year. The Crossroads School is a top-rated middle school now located in Harbor East. The new building was made possible through a generous $800,000 donation from the Edward St. John Foundation. After 12 years of operating out of temporary trailers, the new school has 12 classrooms serving 162 students who have benefitted from increased technology such as smart boards. “We are proud to support the great work of the Living Classrooms’ Crossroads School,” said Edward St. John, chairman and founder of St. John Properties.  “I firmly believe that education has the power to transform lives and strengthen communities.  It provides the foundation for success.  Through this new middle school, the students will now have the advanced learning and teaching space that they deserve.”In its 13 years of operation, Crossroads has maintained its status of being one of the top performing middle schools in the city and state. In 2002, when Crossroads first opened its doors, it welcomed some of East Baltimore’s most disadvantaged students, many failing below in reading and math. Now deemed as a Strand I school, Crossroads students outperformed every district on the PARCC tests in 2015 and has the highest scores in Baltimore City for eighth grade math. One hundred percent of its graduates are accepted either into public or private college preparatory schools. “I would not be the student or person I am had I not attended The Crossroads School,” said Najee Rollins, Crossroads alumnus and recent Denison University graduate.  “Coming from a rough neighborhood in Baltimore City, I appreciate the attention I received from Crossroads’ teachers who nurtured me as a student and prepared me for the rigor I have faced academically since then.”Living Classrooms Foundation’s mission is to strengthen communities and inspire young people to achieve their potential through hands-on education and job-training, using urban, natural, and maritime resources as “living classrooms.”last_img read more

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W3C looks to improve speech recognition technology for web transactions

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first_imgW3C, the standards-setting body for the Internet (World Wide Web Consortium), has completed a draft for the important VoiceXML 3.0 – technology enabling voice identification verification. While normally associated with voice commands, it has the potential to greatly speed and improve the accuracy and positive proof of online transactions. Name that voice: Mathematica catches impersonations Explore further Some larger net businesses are even using it to confirm orders and verify identity. Many, however, have become increasingly worried about the reliability and security of these transactions with fraud and identity theft on the rise. Error rates have been around 1 to 2% – unacceptable for ironclad business transactions.W3C does not actually make software but produces standards. They now have a working draft, said James Larson, co-chair of the W3C VBWG – Voice Browser Working Group. The standard also addressed the issue of extending its Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) functionality to certain languages including Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and Korean. SSML is important because it allows software makers to control speech from pitch to volume to pronunciation. This insures the software will hear the right tones and pitches so critical in languages were a tiny change in pronunciation can affect the whole meaning of a word.SSML is also used to tag areas of speech with different regional pronunciations. It is based on JSpeech Grammar Format (JSGF).A technical description and how to use SSML version 1 on a web page can be found here: www.xml.com/pub/a/2004/10/20/ssml.htmlMicrosoft Agent website is another source for would be speech interface developers.www.microsoft.com/MSAGENT/downloads/user.aspOpera browsers can be programmed for speech recognition with some XHTML (Extended Hypertext Markup Language) extensions. my.opera.com/community/dev/voice/Working with web-based speech applications can be frustrating. While the speech recognition software works well, poor quality microphones and PC speakers combined with slower Internet connections can put a damper on effectiveness. These issues will be difficult to address due to being largely beyond the control of the developer. New speech compression algorithms and simple responses like yes or no make the job much easier.Trained systems – ones that are accustomed to the user’s voice – have been much more successful, but users typically do not have the patience to complete the training and the time factor makes it impractical. Expect to find the first complex VoiceXML 3.0 technology mostly in telephone-connected and cell-phone activated systems – ones that have more controllable voice quality.Hopefully, with the new W3C standards, companies can dedicate more to useful speech recognition and less to reinventing the wheel. Standards usually lead to software tool kits for programmers and these often end up in popular packages like Microsoft’s Frontpage and Adobe’s Macromedia Dreamweaver.Amateur and professional web designers alike may soon find a compelling reason to upgrade to voice enabled web design suites.Maybe one day you can toss that pesky keyboard and mouse and talk to your machine instead – a promise made since the late 1980s and not yet satisfactorily realized.by Philip Dunn, Copyright 2005 PhysOrg.comcenter_img Citation: W3C looks to improve speech recognition technology for web transactions (2005, December 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2005-12-w3c-speech-recognition-technology-web.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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QA With Whisper CEO Michael Heyward We Are Your Stranger on a

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first_img Entrepreneur: How much sharing on Whisper do you think is real and how much is fake? Heyward: It’s all real. There’s no social capital being exchanged on Whisper, so you don’t have followers. There’s no links. There’s no persistent identity, so you’re not gaining anything. So, generally there’s very little to be gained by not not telling the truth. Sometimes people post things as they wish they were. For example, there was a post very early on and the user was a girl who was talking about how she thought girls in wheelchairs are really attractive. I was like, “This is some creep. We have to him off of here.” Then I was looking at other users’ posts and actually that was just a girl in a wheelchair who was trying to make herself feel like the object of affection. When an 18-year-old girl who is paralyzed and will never walk posts something like that, it is the truth and it’s a projection of her truth.Related: Tinder Co-Founder Sean Rad on the Hot Dating App’s Viral SuccessEntrepreneur: Before launching Whisper, did you consult with legal counsel about potential legal pitfalls? What if a user admits to something illegal or says they’re going to do something dangerous? Are you compelled to report shares of that nature to authorities? Heyward: We obviously comply with all legal requests and we have a whole team of people that exclusively focus on community safety. Some instances we proactively report to law enforcement, like anything involving a minor or any form of child abuse. We always proactively report that and it goes to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, as well as local law enforcement.[Writer’s note: If a Whisper sharer posts suicidal thoughts or seems otherwise at-risk, the app’s nonprofit mental health awareness initiative Your Voice steps in to help.]  Entrepreneur: What’s next for Whisper? Are there any new features or partnerships or other news you’d like to share?Heyward: What’s next for us is what’s always next, which is providing a great, awesome experience for our users. There are always new things coming, though nothing specific to talk about right now, but there’s always new stuff. We’re just trying to make the world suck less.Entrepreneur: Do you personally use Whisper on a regular basis, outside of a professional capacity, with your work hat off, so to speak?Heyward: Every day. Yes, all day, every day.Entrepreneur: What advice do you have for entrepreneurs who are just starting out in the tech industry, who are entering the crowded app market and hoping to standout?  Heyward: Stay focused on your goals and what you’re trying to do, right then in that moment, always…. literally incredibly laser-focused. You’ll have so many ideas, but what makes a good entrepreneur is someone who knows how to say no to most of their ideas and just focus on the ones that are going to have the highest impact.Related: The 25 Best Cities for Tech StartupsToo many people spend too much time thinking about their ideas and plans and not actually enough time doing. Instead of writing up all these plans …. business plans and PowerPoint presentations and lists, just focus on what your actual goal is and just do it. May 2, 2014 Heyward on hiring and copycats 13 min read Entrepreneur: You also said at the recent TechCrunch Los Angeles Meetup that “Nobody moves to L.A. to start a tech company.” Why did you choose L.A. over Silicon Valley?Heyward: It wasn’t a conscious choice. It was more of a natural evolution. I live in L.A. I’m from L.A. Great companies are built everywhere, though. There are great companies literally coming out of everywhere — Colorado, Ohio, Iowa, Idaho, Florida, Texas. Yes, tech companies are forming in L.A., but I think that generally people don’t relocate to L.A. with the intent of starting a tech company.Entrepreneur: Whisper now has 30-plus employees, including talent from some heavy hitter tech companies, like Google, Hulu, Gawker and AOL. What’s your talent recruitment strategy?  Heyward: If you have a good product that people enjoy and that people like, you’re going to be able to get good talent to want to work there. Ultimately you’re going to get people that want to be there, which is the most important thing in identifying the caliber of that talent. We place a really big emphasis on recruiting. Also, a lot of the people who work here are people that sought us out. I’d much rather have someone who has less raw intelligence, but has more determination and passion. That beats the rocket scientist every single time.Related: 10 Questions to Ask When Recruiting New Employees OnlineEntrepreneur: What do you think of Xiaosheng, a Chinese copycat of your app, and other Whisper knockoff apps? Do you see them as a compliment or are they just annoying?Heyward: Imitation is the highest form of flattery. Frankly I’d be more concerned if there were no copycats because that would mean that we weren’t doing something right.Entrepreneur: What’s the secret viral sauce to Whisper? Why is it so popular?Heyward: I think it’s because it’s solving an innately human need and desire. The idea of confessionals has been around for thousands of years. It’s not some new utility that’s just been invented. It feels good to connect with other people and with Whisper we’re facilitating these really amazing interactions in a way that’s very simple and lightweight.Entrepreneur: Do you think Whisper users will ever hit a wall and get burned out or maybe even age out of the app as they get older? How will you keep them coming back?Heyward: I think this is a product that a large part of the world’s population is going to use. Anonymity’s going to be a really big deal. It’s here to stay and I think we’re really well positioned to own anonymity. A lot of this anonymity movement is a reaction to a lot of oversharing and being so interconnected.Related: The Year Ahead: 5 Social Media Trends Every Entrepreneur Needs to KnowEntrepreneur: Do you think identity-based social media has peaked, that people are burned out on having everyone know everything about them on the internet, which never forgets?This idea of constantly knowing what’s going on with other people’s lives, but not actually really getting the full picture, just getting a highlight reel, is something that’s created an environment where people probably feel that other people’s lives are a lot better than they actually are. That could be creating a lack of empathy in the world or making people feel more disconnected or making people feel more isolated, and that’s creating a movement where people desire interacting with anonymity.Entrepreneur: Whisper is free. Without ads, how are you generating revenue? You’ve said that ads are “definitely” coming soon. How soon?Heyward: We continue to test different things. We don’t have any monetization tests going on this minute, as in this week, but we test things regularly. We’ve tested things in the past around user-generated payments. We’ve tested things with ads, native units. So far every time we’ve done a test the results have exceeded our expectations by at least 100 times.Related: 9 Online Ad Campaign Stats You Must TrackAs far as actual dollars generated as well as the value to the consumer as well as value to any prospective third party. These are things that have been reported on, like stuff we’ve done with Hulu and Universal Pictures. We’re always testing, but it’s not focused. There are no specific concrete plans to roll out ads in the future, though. Whisper is like bathroom graffiti without the germs. Secrets and rumors spilled on the anonymous confessional app are all degrees of dirty, hilarious, hostile, heart wrenching, and they might be true. Or not.Whether you lie or tell the truth on Whisper doesn’t matter anyway, according to Michael Heyward, the app’s 26-year-old co-founder and CEO. The whole point, he says, is to get whatever you want off your chest without the fear of being identified, tagged, checked-in or @-mentioned.Whisper was built to be the opposite of identity-driven social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. That means no names, no profiles, no followers, no embarrassing online trail for lovers or bosses to trip over.Related: 5 Sizzling Silicon Beach Startups to WatchIt’s a brilliantly simple formula — one that reels in 3.5 million page views per month and has most users coming back for a Whisper fix up to 10 times a day, including Heyward himself.     The West Los Angeles native launched the free Android and iOS app in 2012 with his childhood friend and former TigerText colleague Brad Brooks. Whisper has since raised $54 million in venture capital with no clear source of revenue as yet.We picked Heyward’s brain this week about what’s driving Whisper’s viral success, how the Venice, Calif.-based startup handles seriously scary confessions, what he thinks of copycat apps and a lot more.Note: Answers have been edited for clarity and length.Entrepreneur: What inspired you and Brooks to develop Whisper? What’s the story behind it? Heyward: I was working for Brad at TigerText [an instant messaging app designed for coworkers]. While I was there, Whisper evolved out of a series of conversations and discussions and ideas and we ended up realizing that that product didn’t fit inside of the TigerText organization, so we spun it out as a separate company and as a separate product. The idea was to return to a Web 1.0 interaction.Whisper isn’t actually about concealing identity. It’s about a complete absence of identity. There are no names. If you think back to the first AOL-style internet interactions, you would read an article or a piece of content and that was it. It would just be read, right? It wouldn’t publish into your Facebook stream or be listened to on Spotify and all of your friends would know.Related: Total Reversal: Mark Zuckerberg Embraces Web Anonymity in Facebook F8 KeynoteThey wouldn’t know that you read this article, or liked that or listened to this or watched that. There was no social layer because it wasn’t yet the default. The initial idea with Whisper was to a return to that time.  Entrepreneur: At the April 10 TechCrunch Los Angeles Meetup you mentioned feeling “pressure” when composing a tweet. You’ve also said that sharing on Whisper offers relief, that it releases pressure and can even be cathartic. Why are people attracted to sharing anonymously? Heyward: Anytime you have a much larger set of eyeballs on you, you’re going to feel pressure. Imagine that you’re in a room with all of your Facebook friends and Twitter followers in it. You’re going to feel stress and pressure as to what to say, and essentially that’s what you’re dealing with every time you compose a status update or a tweet. And you’re more intimate and direct in your one-on-one communication on SMS [text messaging].The concept around Whisper is removing the concept of identity altogether, so you’re not as guarded. Whisper’s like a stranger on a train. You’ll tell strangers things because you don’t know them and it’s not really going to impact anything, like your future job search, where I told my girlfriend I was going to dinner, or that I told my mom I can’t have plans with her.Entrepreneur: What are some of your favorite Whisper shares so far? Can you share some stories of confessions or admissions that really struck a chord with you?Heyward: Yeah, I think the amazing thing about Whisper is that it touches on the entire range of human emotion. There are things that are really funny, like this one share that says, “I’m scared that my headphones are gonna fall out at the gym and everyone’s going to hear that I’m listening to One Direction and I’m a guy.” That’s something that everyone can relate to — not necessarily the One Direction part of it — but this idea of being embarrassed by our choices.Sometimes it’s the shares where people ask really interesting questions, like “If you had access to a time machine for a day, what would you do with it?” Some people will come back and say, “Save my grandmother from the Holocaust” and others might say, “Not lose my virginity to that so-and-so” or “Never marry my wife” or “I wish I waited 10 years to have kids so I could have had more time to myself.”Related: 3 Emerging Social Networks to Keep an Eye OnI also see really serious interesting things on Whisper from soldiers all the time, like reports coming out of Afghanistan with people there saying, “This is my fifth tour to Afghanistan and sometimes I hope I don’t make it back.” We’re constantly able to flip the narrative on its head of you think something is one way, but, in reality, sometimes it’s very different.We just did a really interesting piece with Buzzfeed looking at what PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] is really like for soldiers. There were zero combat-related deaths for the month of March [2014] in Afghanistan, and that was the first month since we’ve been there that there were zero. But there were 660 suicides of U.S. war vets in that same month. That’s about 22 suicides per day. It makes you stop and think, “Where’s the real war?”That’s the power of Whisper, that we’re able to flip the narrative on its head. There’s not a single military base in the entire world that you could go to that doesn’t have Whisperers [Whisper users] on them, from Ft. Hood to very remote places in Africa.center_img This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Heyward on handling scary posts Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

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Sarah Jessica Parker admits Sex and the City failed to represent LGBTI

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first_imgGAYSTARNEWS- The star of the HBO series has said, if it was made today, it would be a ‘different show’.Many have questioned why the the 90s/00s series have engaged in negative stereotypes about gay, bi and trans people.Gay characters are often confined to ‘best friend’ archetypes, trans people are called slurs, and the show is responsible for one of the most biphobic scenes in TV history.Parker admitted her character, Carrie Bradshaw, was very much a product of her time.Speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything Festival, she said: ‘There were no women of color… and there was no substantial conversation about the LGBTQ community.’ Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall in Sex and the City 2 | Photo: Sex and the City 2 eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) She said change will take time and Carrie would want to be.a part of that change.SJP: Sex and the City would be a ‘different show’ And, in regards to Time’s Up and the Me Too movement, she said Carrie would be a part of sexual politics.‘I think Carrie Bradshaw is very much a product of her generation and I think her conversations about sexual politics and intimacy spoke to the years,’ she said.‘As always, those years prior to being a young adult inform your worldview. I think that she would have a lot to say about this, and I would be curious to read [her] column if she could sit back and look at it.She concluded: ‘You know, this city has changed – that was 20 years ago this June – this city has changed an enormous amount politically and economically and socially and I think it would be a different show, honestly.’Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us .center_img Sarah Jessica Parker has admitted that Sex and the City should have done a better job of representing the LGBTI community. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Jason Lewis sides with Sarah Jessica Parker after Kim Cattrall slamAndy Cohen weighs in on Kim Cattrall’s feud with Sarah Jessica ParkerCynthia Nixon expands on wanting marijuana legalized in New York StateRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/sarah-jessica-parker-admits-sex-and-the-city-failed-to-represent-lgbti-people/last_img read more

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By Marin Katusa Chief Energy Investment Strategis

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first_imgBy Marin Katusa, Chief Energy Investment StrategistIn its later days, the Soviet Union was desperate for strong leadership. Instead the country found itself with a succession of weak leaders who kept dying on the job.Leonid Brezhnev helmed the country for 18 years until his death in 1982. Yuri Andropov took over after Brezhnev’s passing but suffered renal failure within a few months. He continued to govern from the hospital for another year before dying just 15 months after taking office.The next leader of the USSR did not even last that long. Konstantin Chernenko was 72 years old and in poor health when sworn in as First Secretary in early 1984. In March 1985, after only 13 months in office, Chernenko died, the third Soviet leader to die in less than three years.When Ronald Reagan was informed of Chernenko’s passing, the US president supposedly said, “How am I supposed to get any place with the Russians if they keep dying on me?”This may be just what the next US president has to say about Saudi Arabia.The resemblances are uncanny. The USSR in its later years was a socially repressed and ethnically divided society in a resource-rich but economically poor country, led by an autocratic ensemble of old men who kept dying and yet had no clear plans for succession, set smack in the middle of a global battle for power.You only have to change a few words for the description to suit today’s Saudi Arabia.Saudi is not poor, but it is facing major economic challenges as dramatic increases in social spending and domestic fuel consumption eat through the kingdom’s all-important oil revenues.Saudi may not be fighting the Cold War, but it is smack in the middle of the Middle East, an ever-tumultuous region currently rocking and roiling more than usual as the Arab Spring challenges longstanding autocratic assumptions, while war-torn Syria and defiant Iran tip the delicate Sunni-Shia religious balance in the world’s most important oil region.While the House of Saud might present itself as a stable, strong, and cohesive royal family, in truth the king and his successors are growing old and incapacitated in a throne room full of competing contenders. Meanwhile, the only other organized social group in the country – the Islamists – are waiting just outside the door.You want a surefire way to send oil to $300 a barrel, to see Saudi troops attack Tehran, or to strangle US oil imports? Try a failed succession battle in the House of Saud that ends up destroying the whole family and ushering in an Islamist age in Saudi Arabia.There is little that could rock the oil world more. And it is all too likely.A Shaky House of SaudThe king of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah Aziz bin Saud, is almost 90 years old. In Saudi Arabia’s royal system, the throne passes not from father to son but from brother to brother. The problem with the system is that none of King Abdullah’s brothers are exactly young and full of vigor.Crown Prince Salman, next in line to the throne, is already 76. He got the Crown Prince nod after two of his elder brothers died. The remaining brothers now average 80 years of age.A king who ascends the throne in his seventh or eighth decade is unlikely to have the energy or even the time to enact significant reforms. And reforms are needed. I’m not pushing democracy – Saudis don’t generally want democracy. What I’m talking about are the endemic problems that are battering the world’s biggest oil producer: high unemployment, a corrupt bureaucracy, a crippled economy, a weak education system, and a society full of frustrated youth.While the country crumbles, the three pillars that have long supported the royal family are also weakening. Massive oil revenues, which have long been used to buy public support, are being squeezed by sharply increased domestic demand. The Wahhabi Islamic establishment that supported the House of Saud is increasingly fractious and is losing credibility. And the royal family itself is struggling to maintain its rock-solid façade after losing two crown princes to old age in just a few years.The country’s foreign relations are little better. The Middle East is in turmoil, and Saudi Arabia’s longstanding alliance with the United States is in distress.Alongside these tangible problems is a multitude of intangible challenges that are revolutionizing the country. The regime used to control the population by controlling access to information, but of course that age is now almost over. The Internet has connected young Saudis with the rest of the world, and that worldview is prompting them to question some of the rules of their society.Even the religious establishment in Saudi Arabia is seeing its power eroded. Young Saudis are increasingly independent, using the Koran to guide their decisions without following specific decrees from a particular religious leader.The fact is, Saudi society today bears little resemblance to the passive masses of just a decade ago, and a decade from now the difference will be even bigger.Trying to lead his country through these modern challenges is a 90-year-old king, backed by a 76-year-old crown prince and their octogenarian brothers.Not surprisingly, it’s not working very well.New Battles, Old TacticsWhen the Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt sparked protests in Saudi Arabia, the protesters were not demanding democracy or trying to oust the royal family. No, the young Saudis who filled those streets had more basic demands.At the top of the list is jobs – 60% of Saudi’s citizens are under the age of 20, and the unemployment rate for young adults is nearly 40%. These young people want to be given the opportunity to better themselves and their country, but instead they cannot find work and live instead on government handouts.Adding fuel to the fire, those handouts have been shrinking. Saudi Arabia’s population has skyrocketed in the last half century. In 1972 the country had 6 million inhabitants; by 1992 that number had climbed to 17 million; and today there are 28 million Saudi Arabians. Oil incomes have climbed too, but not nearly apace. As such the government has been struggling to keep the population appeased with fewer dollars per head every year.The population keeps growing, and each person in the kingdom keeps using more oil. The result: shrinking oil revenues have to go further. It’s not a recipe for success, but when you’re 89 years old, you go with what has worked in the past.And that is precisely what happened in the wake of the Arab Spring: King Abdullah drowned the protestors in money – a $130-billion social-spending package that built new housing, increased payrolls, and boosted unemployment payouts. Saudi Arabia’s entire annual budget is just $180 billion, so the king almost doubled spending to appease the protestors.This tactic cannot work forever. Even in Saudi Arabia there is only so much oil money. The Saudi royals already need an oil price of at least $80 a barrel to support all their social programs, and with domestic oil consumption rocketing upward, that baseline price will keep climbing.But the unrest continues.The Summer of Saudi DiscontentAfter King Abdullah offered billions of dollars in social spending, many protestors went home… except in the country’s oil-rich eastern provinces, where the protests never stopped.For the last 18 months Saudis in the eastern Qatif region have been demonstrating regularly, demanding the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression, and an end to ethnic and religious discrimination. When Saudi security forces turned on the demonstrators last November, killing five, the protests took on a distinctly anti-Saud tone.In June, King Abdullah ordered the country’s security forces to go on a state of high alert due to what he called a “turbulent situation” in the eastern region.The unspoken side to the situation is that the turbulence is distinctly religious.Most Saudis are Sunni Muslims, and Sunni Islam is the only allowed religion in the country. However, 15% of the country’s inhabitants are Shia, and they have faced direct and indirect persecution for decades.Guess where the Shia live? In those turbulent, oil-rich eastern provinces.That is one aspect of Saudi discontent. But there are more.For example, last week Saudi security forces raided al-Qaida cells in Jeddah and Riyadh. Evidence recovered during the raids supports the suspicion that a new branch in the Arabian Peninsula is gathering momentum for a wave of attacks. The royal family is at the top of their list of targets. Toppling the House of Saud would be a major victory for al Qaida, simply because of the instability that would ensue.All told, between external threats, internal divisions, and domestic struggles, the Saudi royal family looks very unstable indeed. So what would happen if the House of Saud crumbled?Remember, religion is the only social structure in Saudi Arabia. There are no political parties, unions, or social organizations, aside from a few charities run by members of the royal family. Were the House of Saud to fail, the only candidates ready to step up would be the Islamists.The shift to Islamist rule in Egypt has made the world pretty nervous. Longstanding allegiances are in limbo, and long-term relationships are changing.Imagine if it happened in Saudi Arabia.Islamist leadership in Saudi would not be the moderate, democratic version we’re seeing in Egypt. The Islamists in Saudi Arabia are Wahhabi Muslims, who practice the strictest and most conservative version of the religion. I can see these imams making several moves.First, a Saudi Arabia led by Wahhabi Islamists would not stay at peace with the Shia Islamic Republic of Iran. Both branches of Islam believe the other has strayed so far from the path that its followers are infidels. Odds of open war between Saudi Arabia and Iran would shoot sky-high the moment Islamists took power in Saudi Arabia.Even worse, a Wahhabi Islamist Saudi Arabia might well turn its strongest weapon against the infidels of the West – by turning off the oil taps. It would be the 1973 oil crisis all over again, but in an even more oil-dependent world.The price of oil shot up 300% in six months during the oil crisis. Today, that would mean an oil price of $300 per barrel.It would also mean the end of the era of friendly US-Saudi relations… and the demise of the petrodollar. That is a story in itself – one of great significance to anyone who owns US dollars. I have discussed previously how a US-Saudi deal to only use dollars to trade oil created a deep pool of support for the US’s currency – and what will happen if the petrodollar dies. The short version is that as the global oil trade moves away from US dollars into yuan, yen, rubles, and pesos, the world would have yet another reason to devalue the dollar.Expensive oil, open Sunni-Shia war in the Middle East, the loss of one of the world’s biggest oil producers as a stalwart ally, and an inevitable increase in religious politics across the Arabian Peninsula – such are the likely outcomes if the House of Saud comes tumbling down.It is not inevitable. There are 7,000 princes in the Saud royal family, the result of multiple wives and lots of progeny. In that mix there is undoubtedly a prince with the right mix of progressive thought and religious reverence to lead Saudi Arabia through its succession and into the future.But whenever a throne room is that crowded, it is very easy for a brawl to break out, depriving that perfect prince of his chance and giving the Islamists their opening.Either way, oil investors with the right picks in their portfolio will prosper, and the Casey Research energy team will be available to guide you along the way.Investment markets are getting more interesting by the day right now, and nowhere is this more true than in the energy sector. I’ll be speaking on that topic at the upcoming New Orleans Investing Conference, held October 24-27. Doug Casey and Louis James, our metals and mining investment strategist, will also be presenting. Check it out at the link above – we hope to see you there. Additional Links and ReadsMarin Katusa Discusses Opportunities in the Coal Sector (BNN)Coal prices have slid significantly over the last year, and our chief energy Investment strategist believes that spells opportunity in the long run. In this Business News Network interview, Marin explains that the cure for low coal prices is more low prices. He also reveals when investors should start picking up their favorite stocks in anticipation of a rebound.Rail Gains Steam As a Crude Oil Mover (Globe and Mail)Canada’s oil patch is quietly sending large new volumes of oil on rail cars, as it fights to overcome opposition to plans for new pipelines to the US Gulf Coast and Canada’s west coast. Some 80,000 barrels of Canadian oil are being moved by rail every day, up dramatically from just 5,000 barrels a day last year, and volumes are expected to rise to 200,000 barrels per day next year.Fracking Banned by Quebec Government (Vancouver Sun)The new government of the province of Quebec has a very clear position on fracking: it wants it banned. New Natural Resources Minister Martine Ouellet said she doesn’t believe the method can ever be done safely, and says her government will push for a complete moratorium on exploration and exploitation of shale gas.“Smart” Money Targeting Low-Priced Coal Assets (Globe and Mail)Sliding iron ore and coal prices have touched off a spate of asset sales, boosting deal activity in what has been a lean year in the mining sector. Cashed-up Japanese, Korean, and Chinese buyers have their eyes peeled for bargains. The coal sector is one of their top targets, especially as many analysts believe the depressed sector may have reached its bottom.India Finally Makes a Move on Canadian Energy Assets (Financial Post)India’s national oil companies have been eyeing Canada’s oil sands for at least a decade. Now it seems they are finally making a move: unconfirmed reports suggest that three of India’s largest oil companies have jointly bid for the northern Alberta assets controlled by ConocoPhillips’ Canadian division, valued at $5 billion. It’s a reminder that China is not the only populous and energy-hungry nation looking to secure resources to fuel its future.last_img read more

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Click here to download or listen on your mobile de

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first_img Click here to download or listen on your mobile device Uranium’s rise looks like as close to a sure thing as the stock market ever gets… but that does not mean that every company will profit. As Marin explained in the interview, the permitting process is grueling, requiring expertise and tenacity. Investors need to know how best to deploy their resources. That’s why Casey Research brought together some of today’s experts in the field of uranium and nuclear power to discuss the issues. The resulting webinar is titled The Myth of American Energy Independence: Is Nuclear the Ultimate Contrarian Investment?, and its premier will be Tuesday, May 21 at 2 p.m. EDT. Listen to experts including Spencer Abraham, Barbara Thomas Judge, and Rick Rule discuss what’s going on and how to take advantage of the forming trends to position yourself for life-changing gains. Learn more and sign up now. Why are countries with energy reserves building nuclear power plants and planning more of them? Can the nations that turned away from nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster stay away from it? In this brief but highly informative interview with Investors Daily (his interview is the third segment on May 15), Casey Research Chief Energy Investment Strategist Marin Katusa makes a strong case for an exceptionally powerful bull market shaping up in the uranium sector.last_img read more

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Editors note Today were sharing another fantas

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first_imgEditor’s note: Today, we’re sharing another fantastic crisis investing opportunity… Yesterday, we told you about the huge profit potential right now in Zimbabwe. In today’s essay, Crisis Investing editor Nick Giambruno and Casey Research founder Doug Casey talk about their latest trip to the war-torn country of Ukraine—and share the incredible bargains they found… (And make sure to read through to the end for details on our special Crisis Investing deal that ends tonight.) Nick Giambruno: So Doug, why don’t you give a little background on our recent trip to Poland and the Ukraine? Doug Casey: Well, my first trip to Eastern Europe was in the late ‘60s, during the Soviet era. But I’ve spent relatively little time in Eastern Europe, and this was my first time to Poland and Ukraine. I’m favorably impressed with both countries—the societies, the opportunities, and with the way things look. That’s contrary to what most people think, especially regarding Ukraine; they think of it as a warzone. But the secession in the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces doesn’t affect the rest of the country. Nick Giambruno: It’s my first time to the Ukraine, too, and it’s definitely a lot different than what you would see in the media. Actually, this kind of perception gap is just the kind of thing we look for when seeking out good value around the world. Doug Casey: Yes. The previous democratically elected president there was overthrown in a coup orchestrated by the U.S. government. He was terminally, even comically, corrupt; which is absolutely typical for ex-Soviet countries. The new guy is equally corrupt, but at least he’s a U.S. puppet. There don’t seem to be any foreign tourists in Kiev at all; that’s a good sign. We’re looking at real estate and stock prices, and they appear to present tremendous opportunities. Of course most people would say, “Well, there’s no way I’m going to live in the Ukraine. That must be a horrible place.” But the fact is that Kiev as a city dates from the 500s. It’s an ancient city. It’s a beautiful city. It’s a delightful place to be, totally undiscovered, and very, very cheap. Nick Giambruno: In terms of lifestyle, and at least in the summer months, Eastern Europe is not a bad place to be if you want to have a high-quality life without breaking the bank. I’d rate it as far better than spending your time and money in, say, Paris or London. Doug Casey: Oh, absolutely. If you walk down the street in Warsaw or Kiev, you’re going to see that everybody’s a Pole or a Ukrainian; neither place—but especially not Ukraine—gets many tourists. You walk down the street in London or Paris, I question whether you’ll even see a Brit or a Frenchman. In London, the plurality seems to be immigrants from the subcontinent. In Paris, it’s immigrants from France’s defunct African empire. In both countries, the colonizers are now themselves being colonized. Eastern Europe, however, for all the bad PR it gets, is generally crime-free. So popular perceptions and what you read about in the mass media are totally inaccurate, in my opinion. Nick Giambruno: Well our Polish colleague would say, “Yeah, so what? We steal a few cars. But, you Germans killed my grandfather.” A sad, but kind of funny joke, and it usually silences any complaints about the stolen cars. Doug Casey: That’s right. Germans suffer from a huge national guilt complex. You need only reference WW2 in the most oblique way to make them curl up in a ball and hide under the table. We actually came to Poland because you, Nick, put together the highlights of my three financial books into a new book that covers economic and investing principles in a timeless, as opposed to topical, manner. We got along very well with the Polish publisher, Jan Fijor. I met him at La Estancia de Cafayate, incidentally. In Poland—like everywhere else in the world—the publishing and media business is very much controlled by statists and collectivists. So I go out of my way to support the rare individualist or libertarian. My upcoming novel, Speculator, which is going to be released in a couple of weeks, is also going to be published in Poland. So perhaps I’ll eventually relate to Poland the way Jerry Lewis used to relate to France. Nick Giambruno: One thing that was particularly surprising was how large, and how knowledgeable, the free market libertarian community in Poland was. These guys were philosophically and intellectually sound. Was that surprising to you, too? Doug Casey: Yes. It was hard to believe that when we gave speeches to the audience that Jan put together, there were over 700 people in attendance. These weren’t just people rounded up from the highways and the byways, these were real libertarians. I would say that a third of the audience were anarcho-capitalists. And this couldn’t have happened in any other place in Europe. I don’t think there’s another place in Europe where you could get even 50 libertarians in the same room. But perhaps Poland has an excellent tradition of freedom because it’s a borderland. They speak a Slavic language, but use Latin script. And the prevailing religious tradition is Catholicism, not a variety of Eastern orthodoxy. Nick Giambruno: It might have to do with their history of dealing with aggressors. In particular the Russians and Germans. We heard another funny anecdote from Poland. If the Germans and the Russians attack you at the same time, as a Polish patriot, who do you fight first? And the answer is, well, you have to fight the Germans first because it’s your duty, and then you fight the Russians…for pleasure. So business before pleasure. Doug Casey: Poland, like Ukraine, lies mostly on a flat, open plain that has made them something of a highway for invading armies. But I think that era in history is over, for a number of reasons—notwithstanding the best efforts of NATO and the U.S. to provoke the Russians. I could live very happily, and very inexpensively, in a luxury apartment, in either Warsaw or Kiev. Nick Giambruno: That brings up another point, how cheap these places are. Temporarily cheap I should say, at least for people who hold U.S. dollars. I thought Poland in particular was favorable. The ratio of the cost of living to the quality of life was heavily skewed in your favor. Poland almost reminds me of being the Argentina or Colombia of Europe, meaning it’s an excellent place to live on the very cheap. It’s an excellent place for “lifestyle arbitrage.” Did you get that same impression, too? Doug Casey: I absolutely did. Both cities are very civilized, lots of people speak good English. And there’s reason to think both these countries will improve significantly. Nick Giambruno: For example, from the middle of Warsaw to the airport we took an Uber taxi and it only cost $5. Doug Casey: It’s as cheap as it was in Argentina during the good old days, during the crisis. We went out to one of the best restaurants in Kiev. There were six of us. We spared no expense, far more food than any of us could eat. Excellent food, and far more wine and vodka than we should have drunk. The total bill, for drinks, dinner, dessert, including the tip, was $130 for six people for a veritable feast. I don’t know what it would be in New York, probably five times or even ten times that much at a similar restaurant. I wonder if The Russian Tea Room near Carnegie Hall is still open… Editor’s note: This is your last chance to take advantage of our special offer for Nick’s popular Crisis Investing newsletter. Until tonight only, you can save 60% off the regular price when you join Crisis Investing. And as part of our trial membership, you’ll have three months to test out Nick’s research risk-free and decide if it’s right for you. It’s the perfect time to take advantage of the lucrative crisis opportunities shaping up in today’s market. But again, you must act now…this offer closes at midnight—click here to get started. Alert: Your Special Access Disappears Tonight Until midnight, you have a shot to join what may be the boldest venture in Casey Research history. In short, it’s a way to get ahead of the major financial shock Doug Casey sees unfolding…and potentially make $1,000s month after month in 2016 – right from your home computer. Click here for full details. Nick Giambruno and Doug Casey in Kiev’s Maidan, the scene of a recent and bloody revolution. Nick Giambruno: When people think of these Eastern European cities on the Russian periphery they probably imagine columns of soulless, Soviet-style buildings. But that’s not what we found here. Doug Casey: No, not in Kiev. Although, in truth, I’m long past the stage where I visit old churches and government buildings almost anywhere. Of course, Warsaw was a little bit different because the Germans and then the Russians totally flattened the place during the Second World War. But Kiev is very much an old town with lots of culture. The Germans like to joke that Eastern Europe should advertise itself by saying, “Come to Eastern Europe. Your car is waiting for you,” because most of the cars stolen in Germany are exported to the east. Another joke about Eastern Europe is that the main import is stolen cars and the main export is prostitutes. Well, every country has its share of politically incorrect jokes. Regrettably, you hear less of them these days. Psychologically aberrated opinion leaders are trying to turn the whole planet into a dour and humorless “safe space,” where all the delicate little flowers are sheltered from even the slightest microaggression. —center_img – Recommended Links Jim Rickards: “My #1 Way to Profit From Britain’s Exit…” Britain’s exit from the European Union has already sent the markets into a tailspin. The British pound hit a 31-year low… Meanwhile, some investors are already reporting losses in the billions. You don’t want to be caught flat-footed as this situation escalates… Go here now to see the latest update to Jim’s Currency Wars thesis.last_img read more

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Science Just Gave Us Another Reason Not to Use Emoji at Work

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first_img Next Article Science Just Gave Us Another Reason Not to Use Emoji at Work Nina Zipkin Image credit: Shutterstock.com A new study finds that including smiley faces in messages could unfavorably tip the scales if you’re trying to make a good first impression. Entrepreneur Staff Register Now » Add to Queue Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Businesscenter_img Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture. So much of our communication at work is text-based, but sometimes nuance can get lost. It’s tempting to drop in an emoji to make sure that a response doesn’t seem too harsh, but there’s a reason to hold off on that smiley face.A new study from Ben Gurion University and Amsterdam University found that using smiley emojis in your email correspondence could give off a bad impression. The researchers polled 549 people from 29 countries and had them read work emails from a stranger. They were then asked to rate the competence level and overall warmth of the sender of the email. A photo of the person who sent the email was also included.Related: How Big Brands Did World Emoji DayWhen an image of a smiling person was included, the participants perceived the sender of the email to be more competent and friendly. But when the correspondence included smiley emoji, the person was viewed as less competent, especially when the message related to formal work mattersThe researchers found that when the study participants responded to the emails they were given on formal work matters, if the message they were sent included a smiley emoji, their answers had less content and were less detailed.Related: Check Out the New Emoji Headed to Apple DevicesAdditionally, the participants were more likely to assume that the emails that had the emoji were written by women, although that perception on the whole didn’t influence how they perceived the sender’s competence or friendliness.So if you are trying to make a good first impression, maybe leave the emoji out of your correspondence, at least while you’re building rapport.“People tend to assume that a smiley is a virtual smile, but the findings of this study show that in the case of the workplace, at least as far as initial ‘encounters’ are concerned, this is incorrect,” the researchers wrote. “For now, at least, a smiley can only replace a smile when you already know the other person. In initial interactions, it is better to avoid using smileys, regardless of age or gender.” 2 min read August 14, 2017 Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. –shares Communication Strategieslast_img read more

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Lessons From Martin Luther King Jrs Legacy as Told by Google Doodle

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Sorry Goldfish Peoples Attention Spans Arent Shrinking Theyre Evolving

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first_img We’re ignoring a lot of the torrent of information coming at us constantly, but we can focus just fine on what is important. Next Article –shares Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Image credit: Christopher Stevenson | Getty Images Vice President of Marketing, Prezi Guest Writer Add to Queue Sorry, Goldfish: People’s Attention Spans Aren’t Shrinking, They’re Evolving Nadjya Ghausi October 19, 2018 8 min read Focus Register Now » For a few years now, a statistic has been floating around about people’s average attention spans being shorter than that of a goldfish — eight seconds vs. nine seconds, respectively. While there is some debate about whether goldfish really do have such short attention spans, the point is that many people believe that their attention spans are shrinking. But they’re not. They’re evolving.It’s certainly logical to believe our attention spans are in decline. With so much content coming at us constantly across multiple channels and devices, it’s hard to focus on any one thing for any length of time. Here’s something perplexing, though: While many of us struggle to pay attention during a one-hour business meeting, we have no trouble binge-watching a series on Netflix for six hours at a stretch. Why is that?Turns out that the firehose of content we face each day is forcing us to become more selective about what we devote our attention to — and new research from Prezi backs this up.Related: Combating the Millennial Attention Span to Keep Your Team EngagedSigns of improvement — and even expansion Prezi teamed up with strategic consulting firm Kelton Research to conduct a study to gauge the effectiveness of content and presentations and to better understand how they resonate with business professionals across demographics, including millennials, Generation X and baby boomers. The findings suggest that our ability to maintain our focus on content is actually improving over time as we become more selective about the content we choose to devote our attention to.The research, presented in detail in Prezi’s 2018 State of Attention Report, found that well over half — 59 percent — of business professionals feel they can give a piece of content their undivided attention more so today than they could just one year ago. Also, nearly half (49 percent) of respondents said they are more selective about the content they consume now compared to one year ago.The State of Attention study also found evidence that attention spans are not only intact across generations, but also expanding in younger generations. That’s important information for businesses: Many organizations struggle to communicate effectively with, and develop engaging content for, all groups in their multigenerational workforce — but that’s especially true with millennials. And millennials, according to Pew Research Center, are the largest generation in the workforce as of 2017.Related: The Myth of the 8-Second Attention SpanThe keys to engagement: great stories and highly compelling visualsCatering to this choosier, modern-day attention span is difficult, but not impossible. But what defines “winning” content that commands a person’s undivided attention today? Based on findings in the State of Attention report, it’s content that features a compelling narrative combined with stimulating visuals and dialogue.More than half (55 percent) of all business professionals surveyed for the study said a great story captures their focus and keeps them engaged with the content. One-third (33 percent) of respondents report that visual stimulation is critical to maintaining their attention.The high expectations today’s professionals have for the content they consume apply to sales and other business presentations, too. Nine in 10 respondents to the State of Attention study said either a strong narrative or the story behind the presentation is critical to maintaining audience engagement. And, more than three-quarters (79 percent) of professionals surveyed find the use of animated visuals in presentations effective at keeping audiences focused.However, other data from the study suggests that many presenters are falling short with their storytelling: Four in five business professionals — across demographics — said they shifted their focus away from the speaker in the most recent presentation they watched. More than half of the respondents attributed their disengagement to instances where a story either lacked substance or did not challenge them mentally.These findings underscore why it’s so important for businesses to undergo a storytelling evolution. This process involves two important shifts: First, to embrace conversational presenting. This approach allows the presenter to create a dialogue with their audience, and with the right technology, to move through a presentation seamlessly and get to the content that interests them most. The second is visual storytelling — incorporating compelling visual elements like infographics to bring data to life in presentations so that people won’t ignore it (or the presenter).Related: Why Short-Form Video Needs to Be Part of Your Content StrategyThe distracted workforce: A major risk for the bottom lineConversational presenting and visual storytelling are the foundational elements for a fast-emerging concept in business communication called conversational storytelling. It’s a nonlinear, highly visual and narrative-based approach to presenting information. It’s the next frontier of communication, actually, and businesses need to prepare for it now. But as they do, they shouldn’t be thinking only of how to improve sales and other external-facing presentations. Content for their workforce needs to become more engaging, too.A distracted workforce can have a negative impact on a business’s bottom line. If employees aren’t fully engaged by content that is critical to doing their jobs well, their overall productivity and performance will suffer. That, in turn, could undermine business innovation and profitability. And the State of Attention study shows that today’s workers are definitely distracted: Ninety-five percent of all business professionals surveyed say they multitask during meetings.Many people consider being a multitasker a badge of honor — and many businesses specifically seek multitaskers when hiring. But there are clear downsides to trying to split your attention across too many things at once. On-the-job mistakes are a big one. In fact, one in five business professionals admits that multitasking in meetings has caused them to make an error in their work. One in three multitaskers reports that they lose track of or have trouble retaining the information that is discussed in a meeting.Multitasking millennials seem to struggle the most with distraction, compared to business professionals from other generational groups in the workforce. The State of Attention study found that more millennial professionals have had to watch, read or listen to something again due to dividing their focus between two pieces of content. Also, they have difficulty retaining the material they consumed when they attempted to split their attention across multiple pieces of content. And 90 percent of millennials surveyed said that, during the most recent presentation or sales pitch that they saw live, they shifted their focus away from the speaker.Millennials can help drive the business storytelling evolutionThe study’s findings on millennials’ “distracted state” at work are especially important for businesses to be aware of, and to take action on. As noted earlier, millennials are already the largest generation present in the workforce — they are your new leadership, your customers, your partners.That said, millennials are uniquely positioned to help their organizations evolve their approach to storytelling because they are easily distracted. Millennials already inherently understand how storytelling and presenting in business need to evolve. Visual storytelling is a driving force in their lives, and has been since they entered the world. Many millennials don’t even remember a time without the internet, and are downright conditioned to use visually intensive social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat as their go-to communication tools.So, it’s no surprise that millennials’ tolerance level for boring, static content is more pronounced than older generations’ in the workforce. More than one-third of millennial business professionals surveyed for the study say they only engage with content that they feel has a great story or theme. Finally, millennials, more than any other age demographic say animated visuals are effective at keeping them engaged.Businesses should look to millennials to help them create content that reflects the way people, both by choice and necessity, consume information today. Millennials, especially those in leadership roles, should also recognize that they have a unique opportunity to help their organizations move in the right direction with their storytelling. They can help spark and push this critical evolution forward — and they should step up to do both.By using more effective storytelling to create an engaged workforce, and reduce the risk of fostering a distracted one, businesses can also solve another important business problem: bridging communication gaps with all the different generations in their workforce. Research for the State of Attention study shows that Gen Xers and baby boomers also face attention and retention issues due to being overwhelmed by content — or underwhelmed by a live presentation. So, the reality is that all business professionals, regardless of their generation, can benefit from viewing content that is more compelling.As for that goldfish stat? Flush it. Our undivided attention can be captured for long periods of time, provided that content creators and presenters use the right bait: relevant, engaging content that features great stories and highly compelling visuals. And the sooner businesses start creating content that’s suited to the way today’s audiences prefer to consume it, the better their chances will be of growing alongside these shifts in behavior. Their long-term survival truly hinges on their ability to evolve their content in tandem with people’s evolving attention spans.last_img read more

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Why California Cant Be Home to the Hyperloop

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first_imgTechnology Editor-at-Large Why California Can’t Be Home to the Hyperloop 4 min read Add to Queue Guest Writer –shares 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Next Article Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Apply Now » In theory, Elon Musk’s Hyperloop may be able to get people from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes.In reality, the layover the project will take in Sacramento could delay that trip for decades.The Hyperloop, the so-called “fifth way” of transportation unveiled by famed entrepreneur Musk on Monday, is an exciting idea, one that is filled with possibilities. Using air-cushioned aluminum tubes, he hopes to create a pod system for just $10 billion. The pods, powered by solar energy, would travel at upwards of 700 mph and make the trip in 30 minutes. On paper, Musk at least says it is workable from a scientific perspective.But physics may be the least of Musk’s problems. His home state is a bigger issue.California is widely considered to be a brutal regulatory environment. A survey of business leaders polled by Chief Executive magazine ranked California the worst place to do business. Why? For all the reasons that bode poorly for the Hyperloop. The state received half a star out of five for regulatory environment.Related: Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Vision: High-Speed Pods in Steel TubesTo get a system like the Hyperloop built, Musk and his partners (he made the plan open source because he says he doesn’t have the time to concentrate on it, given his duties at automaker Tesla Motors and SpaceX) would face issues of getting the raised system off the ground. For one thing, you need to get the land, either by buying it or getting the state to seize it through eminent domain. Both are expensive and uncertain propositions.Ideally, this would be a completely private project, but, when it comes to transportation, there really is no such thing. In theory, the whole system would be regulated by the state’s California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates the rails now. Just because this isn’t a railroad doesn’t mean the state wouldn’t assert its authority.California has a skilled and creative workforce, and it is known for its innovation and free thinking. But, when it comes to large projects, there is a tendency for unions to get involved, which raises the cost. In fact, there are federal labor laws that cover railroad workers. Again, this may technically be a rail project, but the unions will no doubt claim it as one.Oh, and speaking of the feds, there is the issue of the federal permits that would need to be issued. Even under a fast-tracked, shovel-ready project like California’s bullet train, a plan hatched in 1996 won’t see its first shovel hit dirt until at least 2014. It will be decades before that is completed.Truth is, assuming the science works, Musk should try Hyperloop somewhere else. An Austin to Dallas trip is shorter, at just under 200 miles vs. the 380 miles between L.A. And San Francisco. And Texas is widely considered by business leaders to have the easiest regulatory environment. In the Chief Executive survey, it received four out of five stars for both regulatory environment and quality of workforce. Austin is a hotbed of startup activity (and its well-known weirdness, which would put creative energy behind the project).Oh, and it has abundant sunshine, a key factor for a solar project.None of this is to knock California. It is, after all, where this idea was born, along with PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX. But none of those companies faced the brick wall that intrastate transportation construction and management faces in that state. Folks might have to put their spurs on to get this particular idea off the ground.Related: Inside the ‘Insane’ Life of Elon Musk The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. August 12, 2013 Ray Hennesseylast_img read more

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Twitter Testing New Feature Where Users Can Add Images to Photos

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first_imgTwitter Twitter Testing New Feature Where Users Can Add Images to Photos Reuters This story originally appeared on Reuters March 23, 2016 Twitter Inc. is testing a new feature called “Stickers” to add images to photos before tweeting them, tech news site Re/code reported on Tuesday.The feature will also let Twitter users see how others around the world have edited the photo and will also suggest photos that could be edited and posted, to take part in trending conversations and breaking news, Re/code said, citing the company. However, it is unclear where Twitter would get these photos or how it would determine which ones to recommend, the report said.As part of the testing program with the users, Twitter is also suggesting names like “Stamptags,” “Taptags” and “Stickits,” Re/code said, citing a note sent to one test user.Twitter could not immediately be reached for comment.(Reporting by Rishika Sadam in Bengaluru; Editing by Bill Rigby) Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals –sharescenter_img Next Article Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now » Image credit: Reuters | Kai Pfaffenbach Add to Queue 1 min readlast_img read more

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The CoFounders of SoulCycle Have Resigned

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first_img The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. April 8, 2016 Next Article –shares The Co-Founders of SoulCycle Have Resigned Image credit: Alli Harvey — Getty Images 1 min read SoulCycle founders Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice have resigned as co-chief creative officers to “pursue new projects,” according to a three-sentence statement provided to Fortune by the company. The two will continue to serve on the board.Cutler and Rice started the company with one spinning studio in 2006 on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Today its nearly 60 locations across the country have developed a cult following. Health club Equinox first bought a majority stake in 2011, and now owns 97 percent of SoulCycle.SoulCycle, which has been preparing for an IPO since last summer, saw its revenue hit $112 million in 2014, up from $36.2 million in 2012, according to its IPO filing. Income increased to $26.5 million from $7.8 million over the same period.The New York Times reported in August that Rice and Cutler had largely cashed out: When Equinox increased its stake in SoulCycle last spring, the co-founders each received a payout of about $90 million.Melanie Whelan, formerly SoulCycle’s operations chief, became CEO in June. Before joining Soul Cycle, Whelan was VP of business development at Equinox.center_img Beth Kowitt SoulCycle Add to Queue 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Apply Now » This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazinelast_img read more

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FDA approves new antiviral flu treatment

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first_img Source:https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm624226.htm Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 24 2018Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Xofluza (baloxavir marboxil) for the treatment of acute uncomplicated influenza (flu) in patients 12 years of age and older who have been symptomatic for no more than 48 hours.”This is the first new antiviral flu treatment with a novel mechanism of action approved by the FDA in nearly 20 years. With thousands of people getting the flu every year, and many people becoming seriously ill, having safe and effective treatment alternatives is critical. This novel drug provides an important, additional treatment option,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “While there are several FDA-approved antiviral drugs to treat flu, they’re not a substitute for yearly vaccination. Flu season is already well underway, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October, as seasonal flu vaccine is one of the most effective and safest ways to protect yourself, your family and your community from the flu and serious flu-related complications, which can result in hospitalizations. Yearly vaccination is the primary means of preventing and controlling flu outbreaks.”Related StoriesNaturally occurring human antibody reveals hidden weakness in influenza virusNIAID announces two awards for the study of influenza immunity in kidsStudy shows how elderberry fruit can help fight against influenzaFlu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. When patients with the flu are treated within 48 hours of becoming sick, antiviral drugs can reduce symptoms and duration of the illness.”When treatment is started within 48 hours of becoming sick with flu symptoms, antiviral drugs can lessen symptoms and shorten the time patients feel sick,” said Debra Birnkrant, M.D., director of the Division of Antiviral Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Having more treatment options that work in different ways to attack the virus is important because flu viruses can become resistant to antiviral drugs.”The safety and efficacy of Xofluza, an antiviral drug taken as a single oral dose, was demonstrated in two randomized controlled clinical trials of 1,832 patients where participants were assigned to receive either Xofluza, a placebo, or another antiviral flu treatment within 48 hours of experiencing flu symptoms. In both trials, patients treated with Xofluza had a shorter time to alleviation of symptoms compared with patients who took the placebo. In the second trial, there was no difference in the time to alleviation of symptoms between subjects who received Xofluza and those who received the other flu treatment.The most common adverse reactions in patients taking Xofluza included diarrhea and bronchitis.Xofluza was granted Priority Review under which the FDA’s goal is to take action on an application within an expedited time frame where the agency determines that the drug, if approved, would significantly improve the safety or effectiveness of treating, diagnosing or preventing a serious condition.The FDA granted approval of Xofluza to Shionogi & Co., Ltd.last_img read more

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New technology based on moths and magnets could help treat genetic diseases

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first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 14 2018A new technology that relies on a moth-infecting virus and nanomagnets could be used to edit defective genes that give rise to diseases like sickle cell, muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis.Rice University bioengineer Gang Bao has combined magnetic nanoparticles with a viral container drawn from a particular species of moth to deliver CRISPR/Cas9 payloads that modify genes in a specific tissue or organ with spatial control.Because magnetic fields are simple to manipulate and, unlike light, pass easily through tissue, Bao and his colleagues want to use them to control the expression of viral payloads in target tissues by activating the virus that is otherwise inactivated in blood.The research appears in Nature Biomedical Engineering. In nature, CRISPR/Cas9 bolsters microbes’ immune systems by recording the DNA of invaders. That gives microbes the ability to recognize and attack returning invaders, but scientists have been racing to adapt CRISPR/Cas9 to repair mutations that cause genetic diseases and to manipulate DNA in laboratory experiments.CRISPR/Cas9 has the potential to halt hereditary disease – if scientists can get the genome-editing machinery to the right cells inside the body. But roadblocks remain, especially in delivering the gene-editing payloads with high efficiency.Bao said it will be necessary to edit cells in the body to treat many diseases. “But efficiently delivering genome-editing machinery into target tissue in the body with spatial control remains a major challenge,” Bao said. “Even if you inject the viral vector locally, it can leak to other tissues and organs, and that could be dangerous.”The delivery vehicle developed by Bao’s group is based on a virus that infects Autographa californica, aka the alfalfa looper, a moth native to North America. The cylindrical baculovirus vector (BV), the payload-carrying part of the virus, is considered large at up to 60 nanometers in diameter and 200-300 nanometers in length. That’s big enough to transport more than 38,000 base pairs of DNA, which is enough to supply multiple gene-editing units to a target cell, Bao said.Related StoriesHealthy lifestyle lowers dementia risk despite genetic predispositionResearchers discover gene linked to healthy aging in wormsHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsHe said the inspiration to combine BV and magnetic nanoparticles came from discussions with Rice postdoctoral researcher and co-lead author Haibao Zhu, who learned about the virus during a postdoctoral stint in Singapore but knew nothing about magnetic nanoparticles until he joined the Bao lab. The Rice team had previous experience using iron oxide nanoparticles and an applied magnetic field to open blood vessel walls just enough to let large-molecule drugs pass through.”We really didn’t know if this would work for gene editing or not, but we thought, ‘worth a shot,'” Bao said.The researchers use the magnetic nanoparticles to activate BV and deliver gene-editing payloads only where they’re needed. To do this, they take advantage of an immune-system protein called C3 that normally inactivates baculoviruses.”If we combine BV with magnetic nanoparticles, we can overcome this deactivation by applying the magnetic field,” Bao said. “The beauty is that when we deliver it, gene editing occurs only at the tissue, or the part of the tissue, where we apply the magnetic field.”Application of the magnetic field allows BV transduction, the payload-delivery process that introduces gene-editing cargo into the target cell. The payload is also DNA, which encodes both a reporter gene and the CRISPR/Cas9 system.In tests, the BV was loaded with green fluorescent proteins or firefly luciferase. Cells with the protein glowed brightly under a microscope, and experiments showed the magnets were highly effective at targeted delivery of BV cargoes in both cell cultures and lab animals.Bao noted his and other labs are working on the delivery of CRISPR/Cas9 with adeno-associated viruses (AAV), but he said BV’s capacity for therapeutic cargo is roughly eight times larger. “However, it is necessary to make BV transduction into target cells more efficient,” he said. Source:http://news.rice.edu/2018/11/12/how-moths-and-magnets-could-save-lives-2/last_img read more

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