Tag: 上海楼凤

first_imgJP: A genuine editorial justification is that I’m interested in exploring new and different ways to tell stories, and different and innovative ways to do design. We want to offer a more interactive user experience. It’s not just a corporate [mandate]. I’m absolutely sincere that the principle justification for digital-first for Technology Review is a thinking, a mode of being, that promotes innovation and excellence. This will allow us to write smarter and more link-y journalism; to design more beautiful and interactive experiences.Though it is certainly true that print is healthy and not going away, it is by no means a growing business. It is becoming more and more expensive to acquire print readers. At the same time that’s happening, print advertising has been in free fall for the last 15 years. When I was the editor of Red Herring, in the first six months of 2000, we had more than $100 million in print advertising. We did two editions a month with 400 to 500 pages, and 40 percent of these pages was advertising. It is a great month at Technology Review when we have 30 pages of print advertising. When print audiences are not growing and it is becoming increasingly expensive to acquire new readers; when there is declining and stagnant print advertising; we’ve seen our online audiences increase 75 percent year-over-year.For me as a businessman, as I’m the publisher as well as the editor-in-chief, I must follow where the audiences and advertisers are going, and for us, they’re going to electronic media. We feel that some of the unhappiness of traditional publishers is richly deserved. They haven’t provided good service to their marketing partners and their media partners’ ad agencies. FOLIO: How are you defining “good service?” JP: National Journal; Ars Technica has an interesting membership service for Ars Technica Prime; the membership model at GigaOm. We looked outside traditional media business to the new media properties like Amazon, Google and even Facebook to begin to explore what membership and community might look like. We were transparently sincere when we said, ‘we don’t know, tell us what you want.’ We’ll add up all the stuff and try to price it at the level the market can bear. We want to be less like a traditional media company as we think about the membership model, and more like a software or Web company, maybe even like Apple.FOLIO: Describe the models you’ve worked through before getting to this digital-first plan. JP: We have very deliberately worked through a series of experimental models. We tried having an ‘all or nothing’ paywall. As many people discovered, it was the least effective of all possible options. We experimented with a porous paywall, which didn’t work for us because we don’t publish as much as NYT, WSJ or FT. They work well when you’re publishing so much. You have enough readers who are reading this waterfall of editorial that you create sufficient friction. We don’t publish that much, only three to seven stories a day. It’s not enough to create that needed friction. Then we’ve experimented with what has become a default, a paid print magazine and an entirely free site. While it works best, we don’t think that’s the long-term home of Tech Review. We suspect it will be some combination of a free website; one that’s readable on tablets as well as desktop and laptop computers, a print magazine for both national and international for as long as people want it and a membership model that does some innovative things.FOLIO: What is your revenue model now?JP: We are a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, fully owned corporation of MIT, which doesn’t mean we’re not in business. We are a commercial enterprise. MIT gives me zero venture capital. Everything I want to do has to be funded by cashflow. MIT provides some revenue for an alumni magazine, that is appreciated, but it by no means pays our bills. They also subsidize us in a variety of other ways—our research material is free, we have access to MIT libraries. We receive about a third of our revenue from subscribers/consumers, which includes the newsstand. We receive a third from advertising—two-thirds of that is digital. Within that final third is a mixture of the MIT contribution and what is now our largest and fastest growing line of business, which is a foreign licensing line of business; and things like list rental. JP: You know that old joke which publishers like to chortle about, when marketers say, “I know I’m wasting half my ad dollars, I just don’t know which half?” That must be really infuriating if you’re in the advertising business. Online, we know exactly which advertising dollars are effective, and a strong impulse for going digital first is to provide more unique and more interactive opportunities for our strongest advertising partners and their agencies. There are some intriguing opportunities to which we don’t have all the answers for yet, about constructing a truly digital homologue to the old subscription business around membership and community. FOLIO: What models out there are appealing to you? Technology Review editor-in-chief Jason Pontin recently provided a one-two punch of blog posts detailing a pair of significant digital pivots for the brand. Both have caused a stir among the media crowd for their frank assessment of TR‘s progress in the digital space. The first announced the brand’s plan to ditch the app model after being “deluded” by its initial appeal. The second laid the groundwork for an exploration of a membership model after a series of paid and hybrid digital strategies failed to pan out. Here, Pontin explains what he and the team behind Technology Review have planned next.FOLIO: It’s obvious that the print isn’t going away for Technology Review. You’ve made it clear that it remains important to you.Jason Pontin [JP]: I love print, and we have a very robust international publishing business where print is by and large healthier than in the United States. We have editions in Germany, in China, in India, in Italy—we hope to expand soon to the Middle East, perhaps Russia. To serve our domestic audience and to surprise and delight our international readers, print will always be part of what we do, so long as I’m editor-in-chief and publisher.FOLIO: So then what is driving the digital-first decision? FOLIO: How do you see these portions shifting as you go digital-first?JP: I suspect we’ll remain a three-legged stool, though I’d like to see the width of the legs increase. I’d like to do more foreign publisher business. As our audiences grow, particularly online, I think we’ll see digital advertising swell. I don’t anticipate we’ll significantly increase print circulation, the membership model in some form will swell our consumer revenue.last_img read more

WASHINGTON TO WILMINGTON The Latest News From Moulton Markey  Warren

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below is the latest news from the offices of Congressman Seth Moulton, Senator Ed Markey, and Senator Elizabeth Warren.Congressman Seth MoultonRecent Press Releases and Statements from Congressman Moulton’s Office:Statement on Trump’s Decision To Withdraw From The Iran Nuclear DealSenator Ed MarkeyRecent Press Releases and Statements from Senator Markey’s Office:Senator Markey Urges FTC To Require Additional Privacy Safeguards At FacebookSenator Markey Statement On President Trump’s Decision To Withdraw From Iran Nuclear DealSenate Democrats Take Final Step Necessary To Force A Vote To Reinstate Net NeutralitySenator Elizabeth WarrenRecent Press Releases and Statements from Senator Warren’s Office:Warren and Perdue Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Improve Military Sexual Assault Treatment Warren Statement On President Trump Withdrawing From The Iran DealWarren, Daines, Shea-Porter Kelly Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Streamline National Guard Promotion ProcessLike Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWASHINGTON TO WILMINGTON: The Latest News From Moulton, Markey & WarrenIn “Government”WASHINGTON TO WILMINGTON: The Latest From Moulton, Markey & WarrenIn “Government”WASHINGTON TO WILMINGTON: The Latest News From Moulton, Markey & WarrenIn “Government”last_img read more

first_img More From Roadshow 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous Fiat Chrysler Dodge 4 Photos Feb 8 • Ram’s Multifunction Tailgate can open like French doors Roadshow bids farewell to its long-term 2017 Chrysler… Now playing: Watch this: Chicago Auto Show 2019 Share your voice Feb 8 • Ram’s Multifunction Tailgate adds a 60-40 split Minivans Feb 9 • 2019 Ram 2500 HD gets accessorized with Mopar goodies 2019 Chrysler Pacifica, Dodge Caravan special editions are minivan marvels reading • 2019 Chrysler Pacifica, Dodge Caravan special editions honor minivans in Chicagocenter_img See All Tags 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better Fiat Chrysler Automobiles sold more than 270,000 minivans in 2018 giving it a 55 percent market share in the segment. Fitting as FCA originally gave birth to the class back in 1984. Since then it’s rolled out thoughtful innovations such as Stow ‘n Go seating and brought the first hybrid model to market with the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. To mark 35 years of the minivan, the company will debut the imaginatively named 35th Anniversary Edition models of the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Grand Caravan at the Chicago Auto Show. 3:49 For the regular Pacifica with the 287-horsepower Pentastar V6 and nine-speed automatic transmission, the anniversary package will be offered on Touring L, Touring L Plus and Limited versions. The Pacifica Hybrid, which boasts up to 32 miles of all-electric driving range and 520 miles of total range from its plug-in hybrid drivetrain, will be available as the 35th Anniversary Edition on Touring L and Limited trim levels. Anniversary Pacificas will differ from regular models on the outside with a 35th Anniversary badge and liquid chrome Chrysler wing badges and gloss black trim on the front fascia and rear liftgate. Inside, a black interior will be dressed with Cranberry Wine accent stitching on the Nappa leather seats, steering wheel and door panels. The 35th Anniversary logo will also be embroidered into the front floor mats.Enlarge ImageCelebrate 35 years of the minivan with special badges and black trim. FCA Customers will also be able to give their 35th Anniversary Edition Pacificas a more sinister appearance with an optional S Appearance package that adds a black grille, headlight accents, rear valance molding, badges and wheels to the exterior.As for the Dodge Grand Caravan that soldiers on into 2019 still based on previous generation underpinnings that debuted in 2008, it will also receive some 35th Anniversary Edition love. Available on SE and SXT trims, the anniversary changes encompass 17-inch silver aluminum wheels, bright grille and 35th Anniversary fender badges. Like the Pacifica, it’ll get Cranberry Wine stitching on the seats, steering wheel, door trim and the anniversary logo embroidered into the front floor mats on the black interior. The Dodge also receives a piano black console and gauge cluster accents. 2019-dodge-grand-caravan-35th-anniversary-1Enlarge ImageDon’t forget about the Dodge Grand Caravan, which rocks 17-inch silver aluminum wheels in anniversary edition trim. FCA The 2019 Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Grand Caravan 35th Anniversary Edition will go on sale this summer. Pricing isn’t available yet, but a drastic price increase of the regular models likely isn’t in the cards. For reference, the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L begins at $37,790, including $1,495 for destination, while the full-zoot Limited starts at $45,940. A 2019 Grand Caravan SE stickers at $28,145, including $1,495 destination and Grand Caravan SXT with standard navigation punches in at $33,645. 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value Comments • Chicago Auto Show 2019 Chrysler Feb 8 • 2019 Chicago Auto Show recap: Big debuts from Mazda, Toyota, Subaru and more 2last_img read more

US army to be powered by waste

first_img Citation: US army to be powered by waste (2009, October 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-10-army-powered.html British Town Demonstrates World’s First Garbage Truck Powered by Garbage The PyTEC system includes a pyrolysis tube capable of continuously consuming up to 100 kg (220 lb) of garbage an hour. Mixed waste is heated to high temperature in the pyrolisis tube, a process that releases combustible gases, which are then stored and later burned to generate electricity. The system produces five times more energy than is used to power the system.The pyrolisis process differs from other systems that generate energy by heating waste in that the heating takes place in the absence of oxygen. Aerobic systems generally need waste to be of only one type, whereas the pyrolisis system works with untreated mixed wastes. The thermal systems also need waste to be diced before being fed to the incinerator, and have problems with some components of waste, such as tin and glass. The PyTEC system does not require finely diced waste, and can handle the difficult waste sources with ease.The end products of the PyTEC system are energy and a glassy waste product that is only 5% of the volume of the original garbage. The system has been in use for a year on a British ship, the HMS Ocean. According to Qinetiq spokesperson Pat McGlead, the system has been “containerized” for the US army to make it easier to deploy. Up to ten systems will eventually be deployed, many of them in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they are expected to dramatically reduce the army’s use of fossil fuels, and take care of waste disposal at the same time. Until now the “forward operating bases” in Afghanistan and Iraq have had no formal arrangements for disposing of their waste.The PyTEC system may also find application outside the military, since many people in both commercial and private premises are seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprint and produce energy from renewable sources. Turning waste into energy has many attractions for a wide range of people.A side benefit of the PyTEC waste disposal system in conflict areas may also be a saving of lives, since there will be less need for garbage trucks to be on the roads, where they risk land mines, and other forms of attack. The systems are expected to be delivered by mid 2010, and the period of testing and evaluation is expected to last until early 2012.© 2009 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — Defense company Qinetiq has been awarded a contract to supply the US army with a system that generates electricity from garbage. 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. Explore further Qinetiq’s PyTEC system undergoing trials.last_img read more

first_img This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. January 28, 2019 Open most new smartphones today and you’ll find a mix of paper, card, and plastic packaging. There’s really no need for any plastic to be used outside of the product itself, and Samsung is committed to removing all of it starting this year.Samsung’s commitment goes well beyond its phones, though. The South Korean company produces a huge range of handheld and wearable devices through to large home appliances. All of them typically have some plastic as part of the packaging and Samsung plans to ditch the lot.Packaging is still required, though, so Samsung will fill that need using recycled and bioplastics. Recycled plastics ensure the plastic we’ve already produced remains useful rather than ending up polluting our oceans and water supply. Bioplastics are derived from biomass such as food waste, woodchips, corn starch, or agricultural by-products. They are by no means perfect, but require less energy to produce and biodegrade much more quickly.To begin with, Samsung is switching out the plastic used to hold phones, tablets, and wearables with pulp molds. The bags they are wrapped in will use eco-friendly materials, and chargers are being redesigned. The glossy plastic finish typically seen today on charging plugs will be replaced with a matte finish which removes the needs for plastic protection films.Home appliances will be shipped in new eco-friendly plastic bags, and Samsung is now committed to only using paper and fiber materials from trusted sources including the Forest Stewardship Council, Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Scheme, and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. This will be in place by 2020.The end goal is to be using 500,000 tons of recycled plastics by 2030 and to have collected 7.5 million tons of discarded products by then, too. By doing this, not only is Samsung cutting down the impact of its packaging on the world, but it is setting the bar for other manufacturers who will hopefully put similar initiatives into action if they aren’t doing so already. 2 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

Swift 5 for Xcode 102 is here

first_imgApple announced Swift 5 for Xcode 10.2 yesterday. The latest Swift 5 update in Xcode 10.2 explores new features and changes to App thinning, Swift Language, Swift Standard Library, Swift Package Manager, and Swift Compiler. Swift is a popular general-purpose, compiled programming language developed by Apple Inc. for iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, and beyond. Writing Swift code is interactive and its syntax is concise yet expressive. Swift code is safe and comprises all modern features. What’s new in Swift 5 for Xcode 10.2? In Xcode 10.2, the Swift command-line tools now require the Swift libraries in macOS. These libraries are included by default in Swift, starting with macOS Mojave 10.14.4. App Thinning Swift apps now no longer include dynamically linked libraries for the Swift standard library as well as the Swift SDK overlays in build variants for devices that run iOS 12.2, watchOS 5.2, and tvOS 12.2. This results in Swift apps getting smaller once they’re shipped in the App Store or thinned in an app archive for development distribution. Swift Language String literals in Swift 5 can be expressed with the help of enhanced delimiters. A string literal consisting of one or more number signs (#) before the opening quote considers backslashes and double-quote characters as literal. Also, Key paths can now support the identity keypath (\.self) i.e. a WritableKeyPath that refers to its entire input value. Swift Standard Library The standard library in Swift now consists of the Result enumeration with Result.success(_:) and Result.failure(_:) cases. Due to the addition of Standard Library, the Error protocol now conforms to itself and makes working with errors easier. The SIMD types and basic operators have now been defined in the standard library. Set and Dictionary also make use of a different hash seed now for each newly created instance. The DictionaryLiteral type has been renamed as KeyValuePairs in Swift 5. The String structure’s native encoding has been switched from UTF-16 to UTF-8. This improves the relative performance of String.UTF8View as compared to String.UTF16View. Swift Package Manager Targets can now declare the commonly used, target-specific build settings while using the Swift 5 Package.swift tools-version. A new dependency mirroring feature in Swift 5 enables the top-level packages to override dependency URLs. Package manager operations have become significantly faster for larger packages. Swift Compiler Size taken up by Swift metadata can be reduced now as the Convenience initializers defined in Swift only allocates an object ahead of time in case its calling a designated initializer defined in Objective-C. C types consisting of alignment greater than 16 bytes are no longer available in Swift. Swift 3 mode has been deprecated. Supported values for the -swift-version flag has become 4, 4.2, and 5.Default arguments can now be printed in SourceKit-generated interfaces for Swift modules. For more information, check out the official Swift 5 for Xcode 10.2 release notes. Read Next Swift 5 for Xcode 10.2 beta is here with stable ABI Exclusivity enforcement is now complete in Swift 5 ABI stability may finally come in Swift 5.0last_img read more

Now Resorts Spas expands in the Caribbean with 3rd resort in DR

first_img Monday, November 7, 2016 Now Resorts & Spas expands in the Caribbean with 3rd resort in DR Posted by Share Tags: Breathless Resorts & Spascenter_img PHILADELPHIA – AMResorts’ newest resort, Now Onyx Punta Cana, is officially open, welcoming families and leisure guests to the pristine beaches of Uvero Alto in the Dominican Republic.After celebrating its grand opening on Nov. 2, the resort becomes the brand’s third property in the DR featuring its Unlimited-Luxury concept, gourmet dining and premium spirits, 24-hour room and concierge service, daily refreshed minibar and a variety of day and night entertainment options.“The Dominican Republic continues to stand out in Caribbean travel, and the island is expected to welcome six million visitors by the end of this year*,” said Jan LaPointe, Senior Director of AMRewards and Sales & Marketing, Canada. “The strength of the Dominican Republic tourism market presented an ideal scenario to not only expand our footprint in the region, but also increase our family-friendly offering in an idyllic destination where guests can relax, be entertained and enjoy a memorable vacation.”More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upGuests can enjoy five swimming pools, including an infinity pool, children’s pool and saltwater pool, while younger guests can take advantage of the Explorer’s Club for Kids and the Core Zone Teens Club. Additionally, for those looking to enjoy time alone without the kids, the resort’s Preferred Club and French restaurant Mercure offer relaxing adults-only spaces.Beyond the nine restaurants and 10 bars at Now Onyx Punta Cana, guests can enjoy the offerings at nearby Dreams and Now Resorts & Spas with the exclusive Sip, Savour & See program. Additionally, guests over the age of 18 can experience even more with access to facilities at neighbouring Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa including a casino, the After Dark nightclub, the Spa by Pevonia and a fitness center, all included with Unlimited-Luxury.For all new reservations, up to two kids stay free when travelling in the same room as two paying adults. Travel now through Dec. 22, 2016 and from Aug. 19, 2017 through Dec. 22, 2017 to take advantage of this offer.More news:  Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaFor more information go to nowresorts.com. Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

first_imgSo through the night rode Paul Revere; And so through the night went his cry of alarm To every Middlesex village and farm,— A cry of defiance, and not of fear, A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door, And a word that shall echo for evermore! For, borne on the night-wind of the Past, Through all our history, to the last, In the hour of darkness and peril and need, The people will waken and listen to hear The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed, And the midnight message of Paul Revere.–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow How would history be different if, when Paul Revere rode through every Middlesex village and farm yelling, “The British are coming, the British are coming!” if all of his friends and neighbors called him an alarmist, a warmonger, or a guy just trying to hawk sales for his ammunition company? What if they all said, “Go back to bed. He’s just another guy trying to peddle his product.” In my book Retirement Reboot, I shouted an equally serious warning: “Inflation is coming! Inflation is coming!” I’ve been trying to warn my friends and neighbors to take precautions and defend themselves. But I’ve been frustrated, feeling like I’m doing a poor job. Why don’t they seem to see the danger that I see so clearly? When the first issue of Miller’s Money Forever hit the web, I was at my summer home in Illinois. While I’m in the Midwest, I have a regular Tuesday breakfast with the ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out) club, and my new project was quickly distributed among my friends. Less than two weeks later, an email hit my inbox that was originally from a neighbor across the street. I had never spoken to this neighbor before, but I would casually wave “hello” when he drove by in his new Mercedes. The message was a copy of an email my neighbor had sent to my ROMEO friends, but not to me. Apparently he had shown my material to his money manager, and he proceeded to blister me with harsh remarks. He thought I was just another fearmonger, trying to sell fear to hawk our product. Of course it bothered me, and my first inclination was to defend my motives. To his credit, within a week of distributing that email, I got a very kind, sincere apology from him. He said that his email was inappropriate, and he certainly would not want anyone doing something like that to him. I never did get the whole story. I suspect that some of my ROMEO friends who know me well might have spoken with him. To this day he and I have exchanged a couple of emails, but we have never spoken. He does have a good reputation in the neighborhood. My real concern today, however, is not a spat with my neighbor. Rather, it’s the very personal effect his scathing email had on me. God forbid anyone call me a fearmonger! I found myself writing a bit more timidly, toning down my language and tempering my opinions. Instead of using words like “hyperinflation” – a problem I am damn concerned about – I wrote “inflation or possibly even high inflation.” I wonder what would have happened if Paul Revere had said: “Sorry to wake you. You know the British are a tad peeved about us throwing their tea in the pond. We see some ship movement in the harbor; not sure what it is. I just wanted to share this with you. Oh yeah, I also wanted to mention, we cast musket balls down at the shop.” I will confess: for the last several months, I’ve been tiptoeing around a huge issue facing seniors and savers. I have skirted the issue, only focusing on part of the problem.Why Ask Why? The Federal Reserve recently announced that it is going to continue to clamp down on interest rates until at least 2015. I have been warning folks of the effects this will have on retirement plans for some time. The most recent data from the US Census Bureau indicate that a person with a total net worth of $856,000 (including their home) is in the top 7% of the population. If you estimate that home is worth $356,000, the person would have a portfolio to invest of $500,000. In 2007, before the government decided to clamp down on interest rates, you could invest that money in 6% CDs and earn $30,000 in interest. For decades almost all financial planning tools used 6% as a retirement benchmark. Now, the best rate for a 5-year CD is 1.2% interest. The same CDs would earn $6,000 in interest. The interest does not even cover the government-reported 2% inflation. Add that $6,000 to your Social Security check and that is what you have to live on… if you’re in the top 7% in net worth. I shudder to think about the other 93%. For an investor to earn that same $30,000 today, he would have to have $2,500,000 in CDs; that would likely put him in the top 1% of the population. While I want to stick to the facts, I was beating around the bush when it came to the inflation figure. In the vernacular of my grandchildren, “Grandpa’s copping out!” At the risk of being called a fearmonger, I want to share some additional data with you – data everyone needs to see and understand. If you think I’m a fearmonger, I’m sorry. Take a look and decide for yourself.That Lurking Feeling For the last year or so, I’ve had a very uncomfortable feeling. The stock market has rebounded from the 2008 crash, the government is reassuring us that inflation is under control, and my brokerage account is doing fine. Where is this feeling coming from? Let me start by explaining how government policy has affected the value of your personal retirement savings. Since 2002, the S&P 500 Index – a basket of stocks that Wall Street folks use as a proxy to tell you how most people’s mutual funds are doing – is up a hefty 60% after recovering from 2008 losses. It’s not a pretty picture, but 60% gains over a decade aren’t awful. And most folks have recovered their losses, right? Then how come things just don’t feel that good? You all know what I’m talking about: despite the headlines about record highs for stocks, your savings probably feel much more paltry now than they did 10 years ago. I know mine do. That’s because inflation is running rampant. Surely you’ve read that inflation is only 2%. But anyone who fills up their tank with gas, buys a loaf of bread, or tries to finish their Christmas shopping knows that is complete baloney. You know it the same way you know that 8% unemployment is not even close to the real level. The simple, inconvenient truth that everyone knows is this: the government manipulates the statistics it publishes for its own interests. But the cost of this manipulation is affecting us all, right now. Thankfully, a really brilliant statistician named John Williams has made it his personal crusade to keep all of us informed. At Shadow Government Statistics, Williams digs into the raw data published by banks, universities, and government agencies and applies time-tested formulas that the government once used to report all this data to track the real rate of inflation, unemployment, and other key economic indicators. I’ve been a Shadow Government Statistics subscriber for quite some time, and each new report I read confirms the conflict between the government-reported data and the truth. Williams is constantly warning that hyperinflation is on the horizon, and he gives some doggone good reasons why. At the risk of being called a fearmonger, this data should be a wake-up call to everyone. If Williams is right and hyperinflation becomes a reality, there will be so much panicked selling throughout the world that nearly everyone with even a modest portfolio will take a terrible hit before they have time to react. Our stocks, in real dollars – or “purchasing power parity” (PPP), to dip into economist-speak – are actually worth 40% less than they were 10 years ago. If you adjust the value of the S&P 500 using your ability to buy real goods like food, then the picture is a lot less pretty. That blue line up there: that’s the value of your portfolio over the past ten years if you’ve been following Wall Street’s prescription. According to the government’s official inflation statistics, it’s the red line, which shows the increases in the S&P 500 adjusted by the government-published inflation figures. Oh, and the green line? That is the real value of your portfolio when you adjust for a more realistic rate of inflation. It’s no wonder that so many folks feel uncomfortable. The government estimates for inflation are a joke. It’s easy to overlook that when you don’t see the impact on your monthly statements – that’s what the government is banking on. But in reality, it’s costing you a chance at achieving your retirement dreams. In a paper on wealth trends published earlier this year, New York University professor Edward N. Wolff wrote: ” Between 2007 and 2010, median wealth plunged by a staggering 47 percent! Indeed, median wealth was actually lower in 2010 than in 1969 (in real terms).” When the first TARP bill was passed to bail out the banks, polls showed that 90% of Americans opposed it, but the government did it anyway. Everyone knew it was wrong, but it still happened. Now we have QE programs ad infinitum. We were told that these bailouts would solve our problems, but things continue to get worse. So if all this quantitative easing is making us poorer, why does the government lie about it? It does so because it is in its own best interest; the federal government has much to lose if the population learns the truth. Think back to the Tea Party Taxpayer March on Washington, DC, when a few hundred thousand people from all over the country marched on Washington. Some participants used “T.E.A.” to stand for “Taxed Enough Already!” It was a peaceful tax revolt, but both political parties and the media set out to destroy the message and credibility. “The Tea Party” now has the distinction of being the most negative phrase in US politics. God forbid that anyone revolt against taxes. I can just hear the politicians chuckling to themselves: “The last time the bloody people had a tax revolt they fired the king, threw out the entire government, and had the silly notion to govern themselves. When are they going to learn they are better off with government controlling every aspect of their lives? If we lie to them, it is for their own good.” The government doesn’t manipulate these numbers to suppress the value of your stocks. Wealthy politicians (the average net worth of a congressman is $7.3 million) suffer just as much when that happens, which is why they rush to prop up the market every chance they get. Despite popular belief, they don’t do it just to paint a rosier picture in order to help their chances of reelection. Sure, that’s part of it, but it’s not the biggest part. Mostly, they do it to continue fueling their spending binges… at the expense of your retirement. That spending, of course, has no other purpose than to get politicians reelected and to keep their massive corporate donors happy. The surest vote is the one you buy. Most politicians don’t think about things far enough ahead to be concerned about their constituents’ retirement goals and plans.The Disastrous, Long-Reaching Consequences When the value of the dollar goes down faster than the government-published inflation rate, it’s not just the value of stocks that go down. The value of your Social Security and Medicare benefits drop, too. Remember, our Social Security check is supposed to be indexed to inflation. I recently read that preliminary figures predict a 1-2% annual benefit increase in 2013, the lowest since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975. If you receive Social Security, you also know that what the government giveth, it may also taketh away. It’s no surprise that the bureaucrats in charge didn’t announce next year’s increase in deduction amounts for Medicare and drug coverage taken out of your Social Security check before the election. The most recent news I read on the subject is pretty clear:“How much will Medicare Part B premiums be in 2013? “Most people will pay $104.90 per month for Medicare Part B premiums, which is a $5 monthly increase from 2012’s premiums. But high earners will pay more, as they have since 2007.” Now in the lowest bracket, that’s only a $5/month increase. Those folks were paying $99.90 in 2012. That’s about a 5% increase, more than double the so-called inflation rate that sets the increase in benefits. Savers who have managed to build up a nest egg will note that their increase is much more significant. I asked our research team to build a graph to show the effects of inflation on our Social Security check. It’s a little scary. Officially, theoretically, your Social Security checks keep up with inflation. I got my first Social Security check in 2002. To keep the math simple, imagine it was $1,000. Today, that check would be $1,270, due to the automatic cost of living adjustment (blue line). The red line represents the “official” cost of living inflation numbers as reported by the government. The $1,270, according to the government’s “official” statistics, will buy the same amount of goods that $1,000 did in 2002. The green line uses the Shadow Government Statistics inflation numbers and factors in the government increases. Even with the government’s automatic cost of living adjustments, my $1,000 check would only buy $477 worth of goods today. Ouch!John Mauldin recently interviewed David Krone, chief of staff for the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Rob Lehman, chief of staff for Senator Rob Portman. As they discussed current interest rates, Lehman remarked: “A 1% increase in the rate of interest adds $130 billion to the deficit.” Krone added that he “saw no problem with interest rates going lower; perhaps we should even charge people for holding their money for them.” The result of QE, QEII, QEIII, TARP, TALF, and all the other alphabet-soup policy changes of the last few years has already reduced the real value of your retirement savings by 40%. And it has already reduced your real Social Security benefits by about 52.3%. What does that mean for retirees? Well, investment income from safe, interest-bearing investments is going to stay in the tank for at least the next decade. In the meantime, the cost of living is skyrocketing as the government keeps the printing press on high. Despite government promises, our Social Security checks are not going to keep up with true inflation, and our nest eggs are at risk. This is the investment challenge retirees are facing. I don’t need to use the word “hyperinflation” to make my point – just some historical data from the last decade. I suspect that Paul Revere might have had a few folks pretty upset when he woke them up in the middle of the night. Today, as a relatively free American, I’d like to thank him.Turn on the Night-light There you have it! I have expressed my concerns, and they are based on real facts. Question my motives if you want, but know that I didn’t ask for this job. I took it on as a personal challenge to help others in my peer group: retirees, seniors, and savers just trying to survive. What would Paul Revere have said about his motives? He likely would have said that he simply wanted his friends to wake up! The danger is imminent, and we need to take precautions to defend ourselves. Only this time, it is not the British: it is our own federal government. If you agree with me, take the necessary precautions. If you have already done so, good for you! Stay diligent. If you don’t agree with me, please roll over and go back to sleep.On the Lighter Side As this is our last issue before Christmas, I want to share a couple of quick thoughts. First, thank you to all of our readers. This has been one of the most exciting years of my life. Our subscriber growth and feedback has been terrific, and I want everyone to know just how much I appreciate it. Today’s article is from my heart. We are in this together, and I want to help all seniors and savers survive and thrive. And finally… Every Tuesday we have a conference call with the core players on our team: Alex, Ann, David, Lee, Vedran, and me. They asked me to convey on behalf of the entire team, our wish that everyone enjoy a wonderful holiday season in whatever manner you and your family choose to celebrate. It is “Merry Christmas” in the Miller household. We will be feeding 17, with the first grandson arriving on the 20th and the entire family departing the 28th. Grandma Jo has the freezer stocked with cookies and fudge; she can’t buy a turkey until the last minute because there is no room left for one. There is nothing better than being a grandpa surrounded by loving family. Until next week…last_img read more

first_img Skyharbour Resources Ltd. (TSX.V: SYH) owns a 100% interest in approximately 400,000 acres of land between seven uranium properties in the uranium rich Athabasca Basin region in northern Saskatchewan. Six of the properties consisting of approximately 388,000 acres of prospective ground are strategically located near the Alpha Minerals (TSX.V: AMW) and Fission Energy (TSX.V: FIS) Patterson Lake South (PLS) uranium discovery area. The properties were acquired for their proximity to the PLS discovery and interpreted favourable geology for the occurrence of PLS style uranium mineralization. Skyharbour’s land position is now one of the largest in the Patterson Lake area. The Athabasca Basin hosts the world’s largest and richest high-grade uranium deposits accounting for approximately 20% of global primary uranium supply. There are still areas in the region that are highly prospective and underexplored as illustrated by the new 49.5 metres of 6.26% U3O8 discovery at the Patterson Lake South property. Please visit our website for more information. The dollar index closed at 82.47 on Friday…and gapped down a bit at the Sunday night open in New York…and then kept heading lower from there.  The low tick [82.05] came minutes after 8:00 a.m. in New York…and the subsequent 25 basis point rally ended at noon…and that gain had all but disappeared by the close.  The index finished the Monday session at 82.14…down 33 basis points from Friday’s close. Here’s the New York Spot Silver [Bid] chart on its own, so you can observe the New York action…the only price action that really matters…more closely. (Click on image to enlarge) The CME’s Daily Delivery Report, not surprisingly, showed that there were no more deliveries scheduled for the month of April…but they did report the First Notice Day numbers for delivery into the May silver contract very late last night EDT…and they were quite amazing. In gold, there were 1,288 contracts posted for delivery on May 1st, with all but six of them being issued by JPMorgan Chase…1,116 out of its client account…and the other 166 out of its in-house [proprietary] trading account.  The only two long/stoppers of note were Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia with 973 contracts…and Barclays with 287. In silver, of the 1,506 contracts posted for delivery tomorrow, the only short/issuer worth mentioning was JPMorgan Chase with 1,484 contracts out of its in-house [proprietary] trading account.  The biggest long/stopper was JPMorgan in its client account, with 573 contracts.  The next three long/stoppers in order of size were Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia, Credit Suisse and Merrill…with 233, 208 and 153 contracts respectively.  There were a couple of dozen long/stoppers in all…and yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is definitely worth a minute of your time.  The link is here.  Even though the gold price has rebounded smartly off its low of a week ago Tuesday morning Hong Kong time, the metal itself still continues to depart GLD for parts unknown.  On Monday an authorized participant withdrew 77,367 troy ounces.  This should not be the case at all…as gold should be flowing into GLD.  Over at SLV, they reported their third deposit by an authorized participant in as many days. This time it was 482,931 troy ounces. The U.S. Mint had another sales report yesterday.  They sold 1,000 ounces of gold eagles…and 1,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes.  I expected more…much more.  After three days of no silver eagles sales, they finally reported selling 743,500 of them.  I will be very interested to see if they have a sales report today that shoves April silver eagles sales over the four million mark.  With one day short of a third of the 2013 calendar year under our collective belts, silver eagles sales sit at 18,198,500.  That’s a lot! Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Friday, they reported receiving 598,743 troy ounces of silver…and shipped 686,718 troy ounces of the stuff out the door.  The link to that activity is here. In gold on Friday, the Comex-approved depositories reported receiving 49,194 troy ounces of the stuff…and shipped 66,885 troy ounces out the door.  All the activity was at Scotia Mocatta…and the link to that is here. I thought that Monday might be a little quieter at the store, but it certainly didn’t turn out that way, as we had another huge sales day…almost all of it in silver.  Since the engineered price decline of two weeks ago…and except for a couple of stand-out days…silver has outsold gold about 200 to 1…minimum. There have been no changes in delivery…but because of a personal relationship, our store has been able to order a bit of stock from one our wholesalers…but nothing like we’d like to order if given half a chance. I read Ted Butler’s weekend commentary with great interest…and have permission to reprint the last two paragraphs from it.  Here they are… I am taken aback by the growing pervasiveness, more on the Internet, but also in the mainstream media of stories about silver having to do with the COMEX, short positions, manipulation, the COTs and how JPMorgan is the big silver short. Please try to understand how other-worldly this all is to me. I’m not trying to pat myself on the back in having introduced all these things (and others); I’m trying to convey that the ascension of these issues to the forefront seems to me to automatically increase the likelihood that the end of the silver manipulation is drawing near. After all, at some point, the whole scam must unravel once we pass the critical mass of public awareness. It is this growing awareness of the real issues in silver that has me both thunderstruck and more encouraged than ever before about silver’s investment prospects. We have a wildly bullish COT structure in silver and gold combined with what could be a nuclear fire emerging in silver physical demand. I don’t recall such a similar bullish price set up. JPMorgan is still a manipulative force to reckon with, but the growing spotlight on this crooked bank and the crooked exchange on which the price of silver is set, is bright…and this doesn’t bode well for the crooks. – Silver analyst Ted Butler…27 April 2013 Here’s your “cute quota” for the day… The gold stocks gapped up about 3 percent at the open…and then got sold off into that early London p.m. gold fix which I had mentioned a few paragraphs back.  The high for the gold stocks came at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time…and then slid in fits and starts into the close.  The HUI finished the day up 1.62%. All four of them would have broken out to the upside if given the opportunity to do so. It was a pretty unexciting Monday in the gold market.  Prices chopped higher, with the high tick of the day coming moments before the 8:20 a.m. Comex open…and from there it got sold down to its New York low at the London p.m. gold fix.  From there it chopped higher into the 5:15 p.m. electronic close.  Gold’s high tick came in late electronic trading…and was recorded by Kitco as $1,477.80 spot.  The low at the p.m. fix was $1,462.50 spot. Gold close yesterday at $1,476.50 spot…up $13.60 on the day.  Gross volume was not overly heavy at around 144,000 contracts. Both platinum and palladium did pretty well for themselves…but it was obvious, at least to me, that there was a willing seller there to keep things under control less their respective prices rose to fast. The platinum chart for both Monday and Friday appear too similar to be a coincidence, but maybe it’s just me [once again] looking for black bears in dark rooms that aren’t there. Here are the charts for both…and you can decide for yourself. Sponsor Advertisement It was more or less the same story in silver, except for the fact that there was a surprise rally late in the electronic trading session, which got capped before it could get too far above the $24.60 spot mark…and from there it traded sideways into the close.  Silver’s high tick was $24.71 spot in electronic trading…its New York low was at what appeared to be an early London p.m. gold fix…and that was recorded as $24.01 spot. Silver closed at $24.59 spot…up 55 cents the ounce from Friday’s close.  Net volume was pretty chunky at 44,000 contracts…with more than half of that coming in the new front month, which is July. The silver stocks didn’t do quite as well as the gold stocks…and I’m sure part of that reason had to do with the fact that the big price surge in silver came after the close of the equity markets in New York.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 0.74%. Since it’s Tuesday, I have a quite a few more stories than normal…and I hope you can find the time to read the ones that interest you the most. There are no market anymore…only interventions. – Chris Powell, GATA It was a very uneventful Monday in the precious metals…and they were kept quietly under control during the New York session.  All four of them would have broken out to the upside if given the opportunity to do so, which they weren’t.  With today being the last trading day of April, I’m not expecting big fireworks as far as the price is concerned, but you just never know. Today, at the close of Comex trading, is also the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report. I don’t have much to add to what I’ve already said in the first section of today’s column…and the stories in today’s column should keep you off the streets for a while. I note that both gold and silver came under some selling pressure during the Far East trading session on their Tuesday…with the biggest percentage move down coming in silver, of course.  Lows were set in all four precious metals shortly after 2:00 p.m. Hong Kong time…but rallied back sharply about an hour into the London trading day.  Ted Butler says that most trading activity these days is of the high-frequency variety…and there’s no real liquidity in these markets, so ‘day boyz’ can do pretty much what they want with prices. Both gold and silver are still below their Monday closing prices as I hit the ‘send’ button on today’s column at 5:10 a.m. Eastern time…and platinum and palladium prices are unchanged.  Volumes are quite a bit higher than ‘normal’…and virtually all of silver’s volume is in the new front month, which is July.  The dollar index isn’t doing much. Just a quick reminder that TODAY at 2 p.m. EDT, Casey Research be premiering our Internationalizing Your Assets video event, with Doug Casey, Peter Schiff, Mike Maloney, and other experts on expatriating your wealth. If you have any interest at all on how to protect what’s rightfully yours from increasingly belligerent and overreaching governments, I urge you to register now for this free event, and learn for yourself how this fast-moving field is changing and why now may be one of the last chances you have to get started. Enjoy what’s left of your day…and I’ll see you here tomorrow.last_img read more

first_img — •  Springleaf Holdings (LEAF) is one of the biggest players in subprime lending… And its business is booming. Springleaf has a $6.7 billion portfolio of mostly subprime loans. It charges subprime borrowers an incredible 27% interest rate, on average. Springleaf’s earnings rose 14% during the second quarter. And its stock price is up 40% in the last year. Fortress Investment Group (FIG), one of the largest hedge and private equity firms in the world, owns a majority stake in Springleaf. Strict regulations have mostly stopped banks from making subprime loans. But those rules don’t apply to hedge funds. The Wall Street Journal explains how hedge funds are getting into the subprime business. Tighter regulations have pushed many banks out of subprime mortgages and sharply limited their interest in other types of subprime loans… The retreat has opened the door to non-banks like Fortress, which are flush with cash to invest and say they have learned the lessons of the financial crisis. We’re skeptical… and we wouldn’t be surprised to see a Springleaf blowup come to a market near you soon. •  If you trust that big financial institutions really have learned their lesson… Then you don’t need to do anything. And if you believe lending hundreds of billions of dollars to unqualified borrowers won’t cause another financial crisis… You don’t need to worry that your stocks and bonds will lose value. •  But… you might know your history. And it says not to trust big financial institutions… In 2008, we learned that the financial system is rigged to reward financial institutions for taking crazy risks. If a big financial institution takes a big risk and it pays off, it keeps the profit. If it takes a big risk and blows up the financial system, the government will bail it out…like it did in 2008. Big financial institutions have zero interest in keeping our financial system safe and stable. Their incentives are to take big risks. At some point, big risks like the growing number of subprime auto and credit card loans will cause another major financial crisis. We wrote Going Global 2015 to show Casey Research readers how to protect themselves. Going Global 2015 is a 233-page hardcover book that explains easy steps you can take to make sure the next financial crisis doesn’t wipe out your investments and savings. And right now, we’re practically giving this important book away for free. For just a small processing fee of $4.95…we’ll mail Going Global 2015 to your front door. Click here to claim your copy of Going Global 2015. Chart of the Day We mentioned earlier that Springleaf Holdings is one of the largest subprime lenders in America. It charges customers an average interest rate of nearly 27%. Today’s chart compares that rate with other common interest rates. As you can see, Springleaf’s average rate is more than six times higher than the average mortgage rate. And it’s nearly double the average interest rate on a credit card. These super-high rate loans are extremely expensive for the borrower…making them hard to pay back. Someone who borrows $1,500 at Springleaf’s 27% average rate for four years would end up paying $1,000 in interest. Recommended Links – A Rare Glimpse Inside the Portfolios of America’s Rich and Famous (You Won’t See This ANYWHERE Else) One of the most powerful and connected men in America just produced a stunning new piece of work. We think you’ll be shocked when you see what he’s uncovered. We’ve posted a short summary of his research – including instructions on how subscribers can claim a copy – right here.center_img One of the biggest causes of the financial crisis is back. Subprime lending is surging. Subprime loans are made to people with bad credit. They’re riskier than traditional loans. Lenders charge higher interest rates on subprime loans to compensate for the higher risk. Subprime lending exploded in the early-to-mid-2000s and fueled the housing bubble. When people couldn’t pay back these expensive loans, the housing market crashed. It sparked the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression…and almost took down the whole US financial system. •  The subprime mortgage market is almost dead… Subprime loans account for just 0.25% of the mortgage market today…down from 26% in 2006. Banks have mostly gotten out of the subprime mortgage businesses. New regulations make it difficult for banks to make subprime loans. •  …But subprime lending is making a comeback. Lenders aren’t giving people subprime loans to buy houses much anymore. Instead, they’re giving subprime loans to people to buy cars… and to buy stuff on their credit cards. The Wall Street Journal reports that subprime auto and credit card lending has surged to its highest level since before the financial crisis. …[M]ore than one-third of all auto, credit card and personal loans from the start of January to the end of April went to subprime borrowers, according to the latest available data from credit-reporting firm Equifax Inc. That is the highest percentage since 2007. Lenders made 53.7 million auto, credit card and personal loans in the first four months of 2015, up 46% from 2010. Subprime auto loans are growing fastest, according to The New York Times: Over all, auto loans to subprime borrowers — typically people with credit scores at or below 640 — have more than doubled since the financial crisis, with one in four new auto loans going to subprime borrowers. In the second quarter of 2014, for example, total auto loan originations hovered at the highest level since before the financial crisis… Lenders made about $189 billion in new subprime consumer loans during the first eleven months of 2014. To put that into context, the subprime mortgage market was about $1.3 trillion before the financial crisis. Subprime auto and credit card loans aren’t huge yet…but they’re not tiny either. And as we’ve explained, they are growing fast. It’s another disaster in the making. Grab International Speculator While It’s 50% OFF The world’s most explosive mining and energy stocks at our lowest rate ever. Click here to claim your discount before it’s gone. Regards, Justin Spittler Delray Beach, Florida August 12, 2015last_img read more

Disabled people should prepare themselves for more

first_imgDisabled people should prepare themselves for more cuts and further attacks on their rights over the next five years disabled campaigners have warned in the wake of this week’s Queen’s speech.The speech, which laid out plans for what the prime minister called a “one nation government”, confirmed his party’s pledge to introduce further sweeping cuts to benefits spending.It also suggested that plans to scrap the Human Rights Act (HRA) would be postponed, but not abandoned.Among the bills referred to by the Queen, who delivers the speech every year on behalf of the prime minister at the state opening of parliament, was a full employment and welfare benefits bill.This will freeze most working-age benefits in 2016-17 and 2017-18 across England, Scotland and Wales (including all but the support group top-up element of employment and support allowance (ESA)), although claimants of personal independence payment (PIP) and disability living allowance (DLA) will be exempted.The bill will also lower the cap on total benefits for non-working families to £23,000 a year, although households which include someone claiming PIP or DLA will be protected.David Cameron, the prime minister, said the social security reforms would “incentivise work”, so that people were “always better off after a day at the office or factory than they would have been sitting at home”.He said the cuts were “true social justice”, turning “the welfare system into a lifeline, not a way of life”, and “not handing people benefit cheque after benefit cheque with no end in sight”.But Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) said there was “nothing in the Queen’s speech for disabled people”.Anita Bellows, a DPAC spokeswoman, said: “Although the government has tried for the past five years to increase the number of disabled people into work, through various schemes or punitive cuts, caps and sanctions, the reality is the employment gap between disabled and non-disabled people has not narrowed.“The government is now using a freeze to cut further benefits which support disabled people who cannot work, like ESA, and a benefit cap which is likely to push into crisis households who are now just managing to make ends meet.”She added: “A government which financially punishes the poorest is not a ‘one nation government’.”Bill Scott, director of policy for Inclusion Scotland, said: “Even though most of the cuts are not to ‘disability’ benefits, the cuts to child benefit, jobseeker’s allowance, tax credits, etc, will impact disproportionately on disabled people because they are more reliant on benefits for some or all of their income and of course twice as many disabled people claim ESA as claim DLA – and ESA is not being protected from the cuts.”Scott pointed out that the cuts announced through the Queen’s speech would only “save” about £1 billion a year, while the Conservatives pledged in their general election manifesto to cut £12 billion from the social security bill.He said there was presumably another £11 billion in cuts still to be announced, probably in George Osborne’s budget on 8 July.Scott said: “I fear that for disabled people the worst is yet to come.”Disability Rights UK said that the government’s promise of two million new jobs was “a bold promise”, while the Conservative election manifesto aim to halve the disability employment gap – and therefore create one million more jobs for disabled people – was “a worthy aspiration”.But it said the government’s proposed measures “seem drawn from the view that people are on welfare because of the level of benefits, when it is more often the lack of adequate or effective employment support”, and appear to offer “a crock of gold but no rainbow to get them there”.Disability Rights UK called on the government to introduce a national work experience programme for young disabled people, toughen legislation so people do not lose their jobs so easily “simply because they have acquired a disability”, improve the Access to Work scheme, and allow disabled jobseekers a personal budget so they can commission their own back-to-work support.It added: “On benefits, the government still hasn’t explained where £12 billion of cuts will fall and so we await the budget for the necessary detail.“In advance of that, we call on the government to recognise that disabled people will only be able to reach our full potential as equal citizens if our support needs are met and we can achieve independent living.”Kaliya Franklin, co-development lead for People First England (PFE), said her organisation was “relieved” that the government had not yet suggested introducing means-testing or taxing DLA and PIP.But she said: “However, we are concerned that the further freeze in working-age benefits will particularly impact those disabled people in poorly-paid, part-time work, and for many make the difference between just about surviving and no longer being able to afford the essentials of daily living.“Should inflation rise as predicted over the next few years then this restriction will have a rapid and disproportionate effect on the poorest in society, many of whom are the ‘hard-working strivers’ so apparently beloved by politicians.”John McArdle, co-founder of Black Triangle, said there was no mention in the Queen’s speech of where most of the planned £12 billion in cuts to social security spending would fall.He said: “A lot of disabled people are going to be feeling very apprehensive about the future.”He also said it was “disappointing” to see Labour’s interim leader, Harriet Harman, supporting reductions in the benefit cap, in her response to the Queen’s speech.McArdle said: “The Child Poverty Action Group has said this will plunge more children into poverty. Many of them will be from disabled families.“If we have any hope in Scotland, that is the hope that significant further welfare powers will be devolved.“We look to the SNP contingent in parliament to fight against the cuts tooth-and-nail on a moral basis affecting everybody throughout the UK, as Labour seems to have abandoned any pretence of providing a proper opposition to welfare reform.”There was significant media interest in the reference in the Queen’s speech to a new British bill of rights, particularly the failure to announce that a bill would be put forward this session.The government said only that it would “bring forward proposals”, with reports suggesting that justice secretary Michael Gove would consult on those plans before publishing any new legislation.When asked about the government’s proposals, a Ministry of Justice spokesman said only that ministers would be “discussing their plans on this and making announcements in due course”.When asked whether this meant there would be a consultation on the government’s proposals, and no bill in the current session of parliament, he refused to comment further.Elsewhere in the Queen’s speech, there were concerns about the possible impact of a new enterprise bill, which promises to extend the government’s “ambitious target for cutting red tape to cover the activities of more regulators”, and ensure that regulators “design and deliver services and policies to best suit the needs of business”.Sir Bert Massie, the former chair of the Disability Rights Commission, warned that although deregulation can sound good it “can result in lower standards that exclude disabled people”, for example with standards for accessible homes.There was some support for parts of a new policing and criminal justice bill, which will reform laws on detaining people under the Mental Health Act, banning the use of police cells as “places of safety” for those under 18, and reducing their use for adults.Franklin welcomed the plan to ban the use of police cells for under-18s, but said PFE would like to see it extended to include adults with learning difficulties or autism.She also stressed the importance of human rights legislation to disabled people.She said PFE had lobbied the former attorney general Dominic Grieve on this issue at last year’s Conservative party conference.She said: “As disabled people, we are particularly mindful that the HRA is a vital protection from abuse of state powers.“There are still approximately 3,000 adults with learning disabilities and/or autism being held in the care of the state at huge expense to the taxpayer and frequently experiencing the kind of ‘treatment’ most lay people would describe as torture.”Peter Beresford, co-chair of the national service-user network Shaping Our Lives and professor of social policy at Brunel University, said: “To make sense of the Queen’s speech for disabled people and other social care service-users, we have to keep this government’s concerns in the front of our mind.“They are committed to regressive redistribution, and reduced public services, and financial and social support to citizens.“There is an overall direction of travel here, whether we are talking about the loss of already inadequate social housing through ‘right to buy’ or the increased availability of free child care to all, including people on high incomes, for all the talk of targeting welfare.“They are committed to a further term after this and want to redirect resources to those who will vote for them, thinking mistakenly mostly that it will serve their interests.“Disabled people, mental health service-users, many older people and people with learning difficulties aren’t the constituency they need or care about. So things will get far worse in my view than many people even now expect.”last_img read more

Damning new evidence suggests that senior figures

first_imgDamning new evidence suggests that senior figures in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) covered up a coroner’s warning about the grave dangers posed by a new disability assessment.Disability News Service (DNS) has seen a series of letters that suggest the department was given all the information it needed to carry out an urgent review of the safety of aspects of the work capability assessment (WCA) in 2010.But that review – ordered by coroner Tom Osborne through a process known as a Rule 43 letter – appears never to have been carried out.Osborne wrote to the department on 30 March 2010 – originally addressing his concerns to Labour work and pensions secretary Yvette Cooper – just a few days before the start of the general election campaign.His letter followed an inquest he had carried out into the death of 41-year-old Stephen Carre (pictured), from Eaton Bray, Bedfordshire, who had taken his own life in January 2010*.On 4 May, Osborne received an initial response from the DWP’s most senior civil servant, its permanent secretary, Sir Leigh Lewis.When DNS first revealed the existence of the Rule 43 letter last month, DWP claimed in a statement that it had responded to the coroner on 4 May 2010.But DNS has now seen the 4 May letter, and it merely outlines departmental procedures on the WCA, provides brief details from Stephen Carre’s assessment, and asks the coroner for medical information about the case.Sir Leigh promises that this further information will allow him to “complete our investigation and review our existing procedures, as you have asked, to determine the need for any changes to our current medical evidence gathering process”.Three further letters written by the coroner show that he provided the information requested by Sir Leigh, but never received a response from DWP to his Rule 43 report.On 12 May 2010, Osborne advised Sir Leigh that DWP did not need to investigate the circumstances surrounding Stephen Carre’s death, as that had already taken place at the inquest.He said DWP needed instead to look at the “use of medical evidence when determining entitlement of benefit of those patients who are suffering from a psychiatric illness”, but he still offered to send Sir Leigh a transcript of the inquest evidence.On 3 August, Osborne sent him the inquest transcript, apparently in response to a request from the department.Two months later, on 6 October 2010, Osborne wrote to Peter Carre, Stephen’s father, to tell him that he had yet to receive a “substantive response” to his Rule 43 letter, and promising to contact him if he did.Peter Carre did not hear from the coroner again until after he was contacted by DNS last month, more than five years after Osborne’s last letter.Carre told DNS that he believed the lives of other people with mental health conditions like his son could have been saved if DWP had acted on the coroner’s Rule 43 letter in 2010.He said Osborne told him in 2010 that DWP should have replied to the Rule 43 letter, but there was nothing he could do if they failed to do so.Carre said: “It was an opportunity to do something, and it was missed. They should be held accountable for their action, or lack of it.“That would be the one thing I would say: that the people who were there and are still there should still be accountable for their lack of action.”The letters are important because at the time they were being exchanged, the newly-appointed Conservative work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, and his employment minister Chris Grayling, were finalising plans to roll out the WCA the following year to hundreds of thousands of existing claimants of incapacity benefit (IB), many of them with mental health conditions.And in the summer of 2010, Grayling appointed Professor Malcolm Harrington to carry out an independent review of the “fairness and effectiveness” of the WCA, and later told him that he wanted to go ahead with plans to roll out the assessment, despite Harrington suggesting that this should be delayed by a year.Harrington has told DNS that he believes he was never shown the coroner’s Rule 43 letter.More than three years later, another coroner wrote an almost identical letter warning of similar concerns about the safety of the WCA, this time after the death of a north London man, Michael O’Sullivan, who also took his own life after being found fit for work after a WCA.Last month, new research concluded that the programme to reassess people claiming IB using the WCA could have caused 590 suicides in just three years.And last week, a former government adviser told DNS how ministers and civil servants were “ruthless” and “reckless” in forcing through their new “fitness for work” test and refusing to abandon it even after they were told of the harm it was causing.Even before the emergence of the latest letters, disabled activists had called for Duncan Smith and Grayling to face a criminal investigation over the alleged cover-up.This week, more than five weeks after the existence of the Rule 43 letter was first brought to DWP’s attention, a spokeswoman for the department said in response to a series of questions from DNS that “because this issue happened more than five years ago we simply don’t have access to the information you’re seeking”.  She added: “Therefore, I think the best route for your line of inquiry is an FOI [request under the Freedom of Information Act]. And we’ll be happy to provide a formal statement once that FOI process is complete.”*Osborne ruled that the trigger for Stephen Carre’s suicide had been DWP’s rejection of his appeal against being found “fit for work”, and he called in his Rule 43 letter for a review of the policy not to seek medical evidence from a GP or psychiatrist if the claimant has a mental health condition. Neither the Atos assessor who assessed Carre, nor the DWP decision-maker who subsequently decided that he was fit for work and therefore ineligible for the new employment and support allowance, had sought information from his GP, his community psychiatric nurse or his psychiatrist.last_img read more

first_img 10 min read This story originally appeared on Business Insider Steve Kovach June 5, 2017 Image credit: Samantha Lee/Business Insider iPad sales have been declining since 2013. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. –shares The iPad Was Supposed to Revolutionize News, Books and Computers. So What Happened? Add to Queue A few months after Steve Jobs introduced the iPad to the world, a device he called “magical and revolutionary” onstage, there was a team visiting Apple headquarters working to find ways to live up to that description. When the tablet came out in 2010, some people weren’t sure what to use it for. Apple had to demonstrate how you could lean back on a couch and read or watch a show, in a way that didn’t make sense on a laptop or a phone.This team was scrambling to create something brand new for the iPad ahead of a splashy launch in New York. But the team didn’t work for Apple; they worked for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., and under the close watch of Jobs and Apple’s iPad team, they were trying to create the first newspaper designed specifically for a tablet.The app would be called The Daily, and it looked like a tabloid come to life, with animated graphics and videos.”There were regular visits to Cupertino where we showed them new prototypes,” Jon Dobrowolski, who worked on The Daily as the head of product, said in an interview with Business Insider. “They would help us work through complex problems. We were doing things that hadn’t pushed the iPad that far.”It was clear Apple wanted The Daily to be a success as much as News Corp did. Jobs provided feedback on early versions of the app. There was a sense within News Corp. that Jobs would’ve been even more involved with the project if his health hadn’t started to seriously decline around the same time The Daily was gearing up to launch, Dobrowolski said.It would’ve been the ultimate proof that the iPad had a purpose, even if that purpose was a bit muddy at launch. As the iPod changed music industry and the iPhone changed telecommunications, the iPad would change news and publishing.In February 2011, a little more than a year after the original iPad launched, Murdoch, gathered a scrum of media and tech reporters at the Guggenheim in New York to unveil what he believed would be a transformative way to get news.Rupert Murdoch introduced The Daily in New York in 2010.Image credit: News Corp.For 99 cents a week or $39.99 a year, subscribers to The Daily would get an interactive reimagining of a daily news publication, full of interactive charts, video and other electronic goodies along with high-quality journalism from a newsroom packed with editors and reporters with impressive résumés.Apple’s iTunes boss at the time, Eddy Cue, was onstage as well, promoting the App Store’s new subscription model and giving his blessing to The Daily. He called the iPad a new category of device and boasted about the growing ecosystem of apps for it.”The iPad demands we rethink our craft,” Murdoch said from the stage.The Daily shut down less than two years later.It was the first sign that the promise of the iPad — that it would upend industries like book publishing, education, the news media and even video entertainment — would not come to pass. iPad sales have been in free fall since 2013. Ebook sales are plummeting by double-digit percentages as print books show a surprising renewed growth. Digital publishers have found more success on Facebook and other digital platforms, not tying their futures to one gadget. And despite a push to reinvent textbook publishing, Apple failed to make a dent in an industry controlled by big publishers.”The role of the iPad was probably vaguer than any product Apple launched,” said Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research. “It wasn’t well defined.”And Apple is still trying to figure it out.This week, Apple will host its annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), where it shows off new versions of the software that powers its products. There are also rumblings that we might get a look at a new iPad Pro model with a 10.5-inch screen and shrunken-down bezels aimed at transforming the iPad from a media-consumption device to one that could replace your laptop.But even Apple’s biggest fans have had doubts the iPad can be the new kind of computer the company wants it to be, and the onus is on Apple this week to put the tools in place to make it happen or risk failing to deliver on yet another promise.iPad sales have been declining since 2013.Publishing revolution?Even the support from Apple couldn’t save The Daily, and it’s a useful lesson in why some of the early hopes for the iPad never panned out.From the beginning, the app was plagued with bugs and crashes, which Dobrowolski blamed on the fact that the iPad was still essentially running software and chips designed for a phone.The production process wasn’t as easy as News Corp. thought it’d be. When The Daily launched, News Corp. executives claimed they’d save on overhead costs and production time because they didn’t have to print and deliver a physical newspaper. Each issue would magically show up on subscribers’ iPads instead.ScreenshotThe reality: It took a lot more work to produce each edition of The Daily than originally thought.Dobrowolski said the team would often work from 10 a.m. until 4 a.m. the next day, trying to get each issue out on time, wrestling with graphics and layout for both vertical and horizontal positions formats.It turned out that iPad publishing was a tricky process, and, in the end, the subscribers simply weren’t there, forcing The Daily to announce it was shutting down in December 2012, not even two years after its debut.No one tried anything on that scale again. The Daily was the most ambitious, but it wasn’t alone. Condé Nast and other major magazine publishers made efforts to transfer their portfolio of magazines to the iPad. But all those additional videos, graphics and animations could take up to a few gigabytes of memory with each issue, which turned out to be a bad experience since iPads had a measly 16 gigs to start with. Others were just PDF versions of the print magazine. Hardly revolutionary.After The Daily’s failure, Apple tried in 2012 to take on the lucrative textbook industry with another high-profile event in New York, the heart of the publishing industry. The company debuted iBooks 2, a new ebooks app that featured digital, interactive textbooks from a few major publishers. But Apple fell largely silent about its ambitions to “reinvent the textbook” after the event, and there’s scant evidence that publishers have embraced iBooks over print.”Apple hasn’t disrupted the textbook market at all,” Dawson said. “Textbooks are a very high-margin business for publishers, and there’s little incentive for them to sell on the iPad. Without having them on board it’s really hard to disrupt a market like that.”A new kind of computerApple now pitches the iPad as a device that can replace your laptop.Image credit: Tech Insider/Steve KovachBy the following year, the iPad saw its first sales decline, and it hasn’t recovered since. There were many factors to blame. Some said it was because people realized you don’t need to upgrade your iPad every year or two like you do with the iPhone. Others said Apple’s introduction of the big-screen iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus ate into iPad sales.So now we’re in the middle of another promise: The iPad as a laptop replacement. In 2015, Apple introduced the iPad Pro, adding more power, a larger screen and new capabilities thanks to a snap-on keyboard cover and $99 stylus called the Apple Pencil. CEO Tim Cook claimed in an interview before the Pro’s launch that the iPad Pro could do enough to replace a laptop.It was a remarkable pivot and the first time Apple explicitly claimed it had made a new kind of computer. Jobs and other Apple executives had always talked about the long-term prospects of the iPad as a new kind of PC, but the iPad Pro was the first model in the product’s five years that was being marketed that way.But critics, including some of Apple’s biggest defenders, aren’t totally buying it. Pro-Apple writer John Gruber wrote a long critique about the keyboard cover. “Trying to use the iPad Pro as a laptop with the Smart Keyboard exposes the seams of an OS that was clearly designed for touchscreen use first,” he wrote.Recode’s Walt Mossberg put it more bluntly, saying “because Apple hasn’t made a great keyboard, the iPad Pro isn’t a complete replacement for a great laptop like the MacBook Air.”It’s not just the hardware. While some apps like Microsoft Office have made it to the iPad, it’s still missing other essential productivity apps that could truly make it a laptop replacement. Much of the iPad app ecosystem is still populated with jumbo-sized iPhone apps, not the reimagined apps needed to take advantage of more screen space and extra power. The iPad’s split-screen feature helps a little, but it’s not enough.The benefits would be enormous — a device as powerful and capable as a laptop but packed in an ultrathin, portable package. No one has cracked that yet.”The big challenge is how to evolve iOS on an iPad in a way that feels natural in that setting,” Dawson said. “Apple has a tricky balancing act.”So now the pressure is on Apple to figure out where the iPad fits in. The iPad is far from a flop — any of Apple’s rivals would kill to have a product that sells around 10 million units per quarter — but it still hasn’t found a distinct purpose within Apple’s hardware ecosystem.While the iPad made a great consumption device, it failed to disrupt the media and publishing industries that Apple and its early partners first imagined. And in the nearly two years since the iPad Pro’s debut, it’s unclear how successful Apple can be with its next major promise: turning the iPad into a dream device that replaces your laptop altogether.As WWDC approaches, some are already speculating what Apple could do to take the iPad to the next level. (Scott Stein of CNET has a good piece on that very topic, where he suggests revamping the home screen, improving the Safari browser and more. It’s worth a read.) And if we do see new hardware, it’ll have to address the qualms critics have had with the keyboard.The iPad has proved itself to be magical and successful. The next step is to prove it can be revolutionary. Apple Next Article Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now »last_img read more

first_img Next Article The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Rob LeFebvre 2 min read Meet the Uber Visa card. Add to Queue Image credit: Uber –shares October 26, 2017center_img Writer Uber’s New Credit Card Could Be a Tough Sell 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Uber isn’t exactly known for protecting the privacy of its drivers or riders. Tim Cook reportedly had to threaten to remove the Uber app from iPhones after he discovered the app was “fingerprinting” iPhones with a permanent ID. The ride sharing company had to stop gathering location data from passengers, even after a ride ended, and it settled with the FTC over abuse of customer data. Now Uber is offering a new credit card, available Nov. 2, which might seem a bit counter-intuitive.The Uber Visa has no annual fee, and users earn $100 after they spend $500 in the first 90 days of owning the card. You’ll get rewards for using the card, and they’ll accrue even faster for buying food in a restaurant, booking a trip, taking an Uber (obviously) or shopping online. You’ll be able to redeem the rewards for Uber credits on rides and UberEats delivery, as well as cash back or gift cards. It will even grant you an annual $50 “subscription credit” you can use towards Netflix, Spotify or Amazon Prime. Uber also says that cardholders can get coverage for theft or damage of their mobile devices, and invites to secret shows and dining experiences. All subject to “terms,” of course. Still, given the company’s track record, it might be a tough sell to ask customers to sign up.Update: Uber clarified to Engadget that it would not get any information on individual spending, as that will stay with the issuing bank, Barclays. The only thing Uber will know is the amount of spending that occurs on their cards in aggregate. The company says it will have access to how many Uber credits that rider has earned through the percent back on an individual level. This post has been edited in light of those details. Uber This story originally appeared on Engadget Apply Now »last_img read more

first_imgNimble Delivers Contact Unification, Automated Data Enrichment for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Partners and Customers PRNewswireMay 8, 2019, 2:08 pmMay 8, 2019 Nimble Delivers Contact Unification, Automated Data Enrichment for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Partners and CustomersNimble — the Simple, Smart CRM for Office 365 — announced two-way contact data synchronization and automated data enrichment for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Office 365, and other business data sources. A fast-growing network of CSPs worldwide are reselling Nimble as both a simple CRM for Business Central and an onramp to more sophisticated systems.Nimble Anncs Team Relationship Management, Contact Unification & Data Enrichment for Office 365 & #Dynamics365 Business Central #MSPartner“It’s hard to truly understand your customers, partners, and suppliers when your CRM is broken, and critical relationship data and conversations are siloed in Business Central, Office 365, and other front- and back-office systems across the organization,” said Nimble CEO Jon Ferrara. “Microsoft users love using Nimble because our automated, instantaneous insights enable workgroups to become smarter about managing relationships across front- and back-end systems wherever they’re working.”Marketing Technology News: Madison Logic Unveils New Data Cloud to Accelerate ABM for B2B Organizations GloballyA company-wide relationship management platform for Business Central customersNimble and PieSync provide a complete view of every business relationship within the company, gathering contact data from Business Central, Office 365, and any number of siloed data sources into a single system. AI and automation build, enrich, update, and sync customer records, freeing users from spending endless amounts of time manually keying in or migrating data. Ease of use and universal accessibility help drive an average 80% Nimble user adoption rate, according to verified user reviews on G2 Crowd.“Nimble powered business data, combined with Dynamics Business Central business management capabilities, is a huge step forward for smart businesses that want to use their data as a competitive advantage,” said Eamon Moore, CEO and co-founder of Hikari Data Solutions.A recent winner of Microsoft’s CSP Partner of the Year Award, Eamon describes three primary use cases for Business Central customers using Nimble and its embedded PieSync integration:Unlocking company and relationship data, as well as standard and custom fields from Business Central, allows sales and business development teams to follow up on key information or potential opportunities uncovered by the finance group and other back-office staff members.Providing in-app access to a unified database of relationship data gathered from multiple systems, including Office 365 and more than 170 SaaS business apps. Access to unified knowledge saves time and eliminates the errors commonly associated with maintaining “multiple versions of the truth.”Enriched, 360-degree views of every Business Central relationship helps team members cultivate strategic, loyal relationships with key stakeholders within their day-to-day workflows.Marketing Technology News: Vodafone Idea and IBM in Five Year, Multi-Million-Dollar Engagement to Advance the Future of Telco with Hybrid Cloud, and AI“This 2-way synchronization not only saves time, but it also enriches the contacts’ profiles with the information both tools gather,” said Mattias Putman, Founder & CTO of PieSync. “We built a solution that enables users to visualize certain financial details of their customers within Nimble. At the same time, the social insights gathered by the CRM are automatically available in Business Central.”Nimble can either serve as a customer’s simple CRM for Office 365, an integrated front/back-office solution, or a company-wide clearinghouse of relationship data across multiple cloud-based applications.“Some of our clients that aren’t ready for Dynamics 365 for Sales use Nimble as a simple-but-powerful contact relationship manager,” said David Gersten, practice manager, Dynamic Consulting, LLC. “Having easy visibility to company and contact information, without having to duplicate entries manually between applications, will improve sales and vendor relationships for SMB customers using both of these offerings.”“While Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales is ideally suited for businesses that want an enterprise-class business management solution, we recommend Nimble for small teams that want an end-to-end solution with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central for its back office, said Rosalyn Arntzen, President and CEO of Amaxra. “As customer needs evolve, Nimble integrates with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales, enabling employees to access complete records for every contact, within appropriate workflows and everywhere they engage customers online.”Marketing Technology News: itelligence Receives 2019 SAP Pinnacle Award: SAP Global Platinum Reseller of the Year Business CentralcrmJon FerraraMarketing TechnologyMicrosoft Dynamics 365NewsNimble Previous ArticleGartner Says Marketers Must Focus on Helping Customers in Order to Remain Competitive TodayNext ArticleConsumers Report Small Businesses Excel at Customer Experience, New 8×8 Research Findslast_img read more

first_imgFive9 to Provide Extraordinary Customer Experiences Using Microsoft Teams Business WireJuly 16, 2019, 3:08 pmJuly 16, 2019 Five9, Inc., a leading provider of the intelligent cloud contact center, announces that Microsoft has selected Five9 as a strategic contact center partner to deeply integrate the Five9 Intelligent Cloud Contact Center platform with Microsoft Teams.@Five9 to Provide Extraordinary Customer Experiences using @Microsoft Teams“We are very pleased to partner closely with Microsoft Teams to deliver a superior end-to-end solution to our customers,” said Dan Burkland, Five9 President. “With the addition of Teams, we can now deliver a fully integrated solution encompassing Teams, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and Five9, which enables the digital enterprise to deliver unparalleled customer experience.”The new Five9 and Teams integration improves the customer experience by taking the collaboration capabilities of the Teams platform and integrating it with the Five9 Intelligent Cloud Contact Center solution. This gives contact center agents access to all the resources of their Teams’ community, providing quicker resolutions to issues.Marketing Technology News: Brave Expands Advertising Platform to Mobile Devices and Launches Brave Ads Certified Vendor Program“The seamless integration between Five9 and Microsoft Teams arms the agents with the ability to gain access to experts across the organization to deliver a superior experience,” said Jonathan Rosenberg, Five9 CTO and Head of Artificial Intelligence.Marketing Technology News: M-Commerce Not Living up to Consumer Expectations, New Research FindsThe initial integration between Five9 and Teams will provide agents access to subject matter experts that are using Teams. Through a consolidated directory, Five9 agents can see the presence of Teams users, grouped by expertise, in their Agent Desktop application. The agent then can simply click to call the expert. Agents can conference the expert in with the customer or transfer the customer call completely to the expert. The ability to identify Teams contacts by department or area of expertise makes it easy for agents to consult with the right expert. All calls between Five9 contact center agents and Teams experts are routed over a private SIP Trunk, thus avoiding any toll charges.Marketing Technology News: Accelerators Launched for Rapid Execution and Faster Time to Market Cloud Contact Center platformcustomer experiencesFive9Marketing Technology NewsMicrosoftNews Previous ArticleInte Q Receives a Top Rating for Measuring Emotional Loyalty by Leading Research FirmNext ArticleBaidu and Snap Inc. Renew Sales Partnership to Reach Outbound Chinese Advertiserslast_img read more

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 15 2018If patient engagement is the new ‘blockbuster drug,’ why are we not seeing spectacular effects? A team of researchers from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and the Berkeley School of Public Health at UC Berkeley recently conducted a study designed to help answer that question and to better understand how patient engagement and activation (PAE) practices –like goal-setting, motivational interviewing, and shared decision making–are being integrated into clinical practice. What they found was a great deal of positive sentiment about PAE among the healthcare professionals surveyed, but much less understanding and implementation of patient engagement and activation tools and approaches.”Patient engagement has featured prominently in recent healthcare research and policy, probably most notably in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) legislation. Yet, there hasn’t been much research to date on how patient engagement approaches are being integrated into new care delivery and payment models,” says lead author and Dartmouth Institute Assistant Professor Manish K. Mishra, MD, MPH.To address this gap, the research team assessed levels of patient engagement and activation at 71 primary care sites at two ACOs–the DaVita Healthcare Partners in Los Angeles and Advocate Healthcare in Chicago. They conducted 103 interviews with 68 healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, medical assistants, as well as, diabetic nurse educators, social workers, and site administrators. The researchers said they concentrated on particular aspects of PAE, such as, shared decision making, goal-setting, and motivational interviewing, due to The Dartmouth Institute’s extensive work in these areas. They chose to focus onACOs because of their reputation for undertaking patient engagement activities. The interviews designed to measure understanding of PAE and barriers to implementation were conducted in May of 2015 and May of 2016.In a report of their findings recently published in BMJ Open, the researchers say four dominant themes emerged during their analysis of the interviews: participants recognized and were well aware of PAE terminology; participants had positive appraisals of these PAE approaches; participants had limited understanding of specific PAE techniques including goal-setting, motivational interviewing, and shared decision making; participants reported or acknowledged partial implementation of PAE approaches.Related StoriesAXT enhances cellular research product portfolio with solutions from StemBioSysSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairWhile most interview participants expressed positive opinions about PAE and most (but not all) were comfortable answering questions about PAE concepts and skills, many had limited understanding of them–describing them in ways that didn’t align with accepted definitions. Some clinicians, for example, described “goal-setting” as the assigning (without collaboration) of clinical targets to their patients, such as, losing a certain amount of weight within a time period. Many participants also often failed to understand the difference between general patient education materials (patient information) and patient-facing tools designed to help patients understand trade-offs when comparing treatment options.Participants readily acknowledged that implementation of PAE was limited. However, they cited factors such as low levels of administrative support and lack of time as the primary barriers, as opposed to lack of understanding or training in PAE techniques. Researchers also described finding somewhat of a Dunning-Kruger effect, with health professionals and ACO leadership confident they are using PAE approaches, when, in reality, the in-depth, semi-structured interviews often revealed low levels of understanding and implementation.”When PAE is misinterpreted as pressing patients to meet incentivized targets, which we found evidence of in our analysis, that sets the stage for conflict, frustration, and professional burnout. And, just as importantly, these types of incentivized targets can lead patients to become disengaged,” Mishra says, adding that if healthcare organizations really want to achieve patient-centered care, they need to “move beyond a superficial understating of PAE.” Source:https://tdi.dartmouth.edu/news-events/patient-engagement-new-blockbuster-drug-not-quite-yetlast_img read more

first_imgBritain’s first 5G phone network went live on Thursday, but customers won’t be able to buy a Huawei 5G phone Explore further British mobile phone operator EE on Thursday became the first in the country to launch a high-speed 5G service, but without smartphones from controversial Chinese technology giant Huawei. Panasonic joins firms stepping away from Huawei after US ban EE, which is a division of British telecoms giant BT, has launched 5G in six major cities comprising Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London and Manchester—and more hubs will follow.”From today, the UK will be able to discover 5G for the first time thanks to EE,” it announced in a statement, after an official launch featuring a performance from chart-topping grime act Stormzy on a boat on London’s River Thames. Next-generation 5G mobile networks offer almost instantaneous data transfer that will become the nervous system of Europe’s economy in strategic sectors like energy, transport, banking and health care.EE had announced last week that it would make its 5G network available to the public—but would not sell Huawei’s first 5G phone, the Mate 20 X 5G.However, the Chinese company still provides 5G network infrastructure equipment to EE.”We are very pleased to be one of the partners supporting EE with a new era of faster and more reliable mobile connectivity over 5G in the UK,” a Huawei spokesperson told AFP on Thursday.Rival British mobile phone giant Vodafone will launch its own 5G services on July 3 in seven UK cities—but it has also paused the sale of the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G smartphone.Vodafone does not use Huawei in its core UK network but uses a mixture of Ericsson and Huawei technology in its radio access network or masts, according to a company spokesman. He added that there are “multiple” layers of security between the masts and the core network.Huawei faces pushback in some Western markets over fears that Beijing could spy on communications and gain access to critical infrastructure if allowed to develop foreign 5G networks.The Chinese company flatly denies what it describes as “unsubstantiated claims” about being a security threat.US internet titan Google has meanwhile started to cut ties between its Android operating system and Huawei, a move that affects hundreds of millions of smartphone users, after the US government announced what amounts to a ban on selling or transferring technology to the company.Earlier this week, Huawei asked a US court to throw out US legislation that bars federal agencies from buying its products.The US moves against Huawei come as the Washington and Beijing are embroiled in a wider trade war.center_img 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. © 2019 AFP Citation: Telecoms giant EE launches Britain’s first 5G services (2019, May 30) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-telecoms-giant-ee-britain-5g.htmllast_img read more

first_imgOmer Tanovic, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, joined the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS) because he loves studying theory and turning research questions into solvable math problems. But Omer says that his engineering background—before coming to MIT he received undergraduate and master’s degrees in electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina—has taught him never to lose sight of the intended applications of his work, or the practical parameters for implementation. 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. The Maximization of Vaccinations “Every cell tower has to have some kind of PAPR reduction algorithm in place in order to operate. But the algorithms they use are developed with little or no guaranties on improving system performance,” Omer says. “A common conception is that optimal algorithms, which would certainly improve system performance, are either too expensive to implement—in terms of power or computational capacity—or cannot be implemented at all.”Omer, who is supervised by LIDS Professor Alexandre Megretski, designed an algorithm that can decrease the PAPR of a modern communication signal, which would allow the power amplifier to operate closer to its maximum efficiency, thus reducing the amount of energy lost in the process. To create this system he first considered it as an optimization problem, the conditions of which meant that any solution would not be implementable, as it would require infinite latency, meaning an infinite delay before transmitting the signal. However, Omer showed that the underlying optimal system, even though of infinite latency, has a desirable fading-memory property, and so he could create an approximation with finite latency—an acceptable lag time. From this, he developed a way to best approximate the optimal system. The approximation, which is implementable, allows tradeoffs between precision and latency, so that real-time realizations of the algorithm can improve power efficiency without adding too much transmission delay or too much distortion to the signal. Omer applied this system using standardized test signals for 4G communication and found that, on average, he could get around 50 percent reduction in the peak-to-average power ratio while satisfying standard measures of quality of digital communication signals.Omer’s algorithm, along with improving power efficiency, is also computationally efficient. “This is important in order to ensure that the algorithm is not just theoretically implementable, but also practically implementable,” Omer says, once again stressing that abstract mathematical solutions are only valuable if they cohere to real-world parameters. Microchip real estate in communications is a limited commodity, so the algorithm cannot take up much space, and its mathematical operations have to be executed quickly, as latency is a critical factor in wireless communications. Omer believes that the algorithm could be adapted to solve other engineering problems with similar frameworks, including envelope tracking and model predictive control.While he has been working on this project, Omer has made a home for himself at MIT. Two of his three sons were born here in Cambridge—in fact, the youngest was born on campus, in the stairwell of Omer and his wife’s graduate housing building. “The neighbors slept right through it,” Omer says with a laugh.Omer quickly became an active member of the LIDS community when he arrived at MIT. Most notably, he was part of the LIDS student conference and student social committees, where, in addition to helping run the annual LIDS Student Conference, a signature lab event now in its 25th year, he also helped to organize monthly lunches, gatherings, and gaming competitions, including a semester-long challenge dubbed the OLIDSpics (an homage to the Olympic Games). He says that being on the committees was a great way to engage with and contribute to the LIDS community, a group for which he is grateful.”At MIT, and especially at LIDS, you can learn something new from everyone you speak to. I’ve been in many places, and this is the only place where I’ve experienced a community like that,” Omer says.As Omer’s time at LIDS draws to an end, he is still debating what to do next. On one hand, his love of solving real-world problems is drawing him toward industry. He spent four summers during his Ph.D. interning at companies including the Mitsubishi Electric Research Lab. He enjoyed the fast pace of industry, being able to see his solutions implemented relatively quickly.On the other hand, Omer is not sure he could ever leave academia for long; he loves research and is also truly passionate about teaching. Omer, who grew up in Bosnia-Herzegovina, began teaching in his first year of high school, at a math camp for younger children. He has been teaching in one form or another ever since.At MIT, Omer has taught both undergraduate- and graduate-level courses, including as an instructor-G, an appointment only given to advanced students who have demonstrated teaching expertise. He has won two teaching awards, the MIT School of Engineering Graduate Student Extraordinary Teaching and Mentoring Award in 2018 and the MIT EECS Carlton E. Tucker Teaching Award in 2017.The magnitude of Omer’s love for teaching is clear when he speaks about working with students: “That moment when you explain something to a student and you see them really understand the concept is priceless. No matter how much energy you have to spend to make that happen, it’s worth it,” Omer says. Provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Omer Tanovic says that his engineering background has taught him never to lose sight of the intended applications of his work, or the practical parameters for implementation. Credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technologycenter_img Explore further This story is republished courtesy of MIT News (web.mit.edu/newsoffice/), a popular site that covers news about MIT research, innovation and teaching. “I love thinking about things on the abstract math level, but it’s also important to me that the work we are doing will help to solve real-world problems,” Omer says. “Instead of building circuits, I am creating algorithms that will help make better circuits.”One real-world problem that captured Omer’s attention during his Ph.D. is power efficiency in wireless operations. The success of wireless communications has led to massive infrastructure expansion in the United States and around the world. This has included many new cell towers and base stations. As these networks and the volume of information they handle grow, they consume an increasingly hefty amount of power, some of which goes to powering the system as it’s supposed to, but much of which is lost as heat due to energy inefficiency. This is a problem both for companies such as mobile network operators, which have to pay large utility bills to cover their operational costs, and for society at large, as the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions rise.These concerns are what motivate Omer in his research. Most of the projects that he has worked on at MIT seek to design signal processing systems, optimized to different measures, that will increase power efficiency while ensuring that the output signal (what you hear when talking to someone on the phone, for instance) is true to the original input (what was said by the person on the other end of the call).His latest project seeks to address the power efficiency problem by decreasing the peak-to-average power ratio (PAPR) of wireless communication signals. In the broadest sense, PAPR is an indirect indicator of how much power is required to send and receive a clear signal across a network. The lower this ratio is, the more energy-efficient the transmission. Namely, much of the power consumed in cellular networks is dedicated to power amplifiers, which collect low-power electronic input and convert it to a higher-power output, such as picking up a weak radio signal generated inside a cell phone and amplifying it so that, when emitted by an antenna it is strong enough to reach a cell tower. This ensures that the signal is robust enough to maintain adequate signal-to-noise ratio over the communication link. Power amplifiers are at their most efficient when operating near their saturation level, at maximum output power. However, because cellular network technology has evolved in a way that accommodates a huge volume and variety of information across the network—resulting in far less uniform signals than in the past—modern communication standards require signals with big peak-to-average power ratios. This means that a radio frequency transmitter must be designed such that the underlying power amplifier can handle peaks much higher than the average power being transmitted, and therefore, most of the time, the power amplifier is working inefficiently—far from its saturation level. Citation: Making wireless communication more energy efficient (2019, July 4) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-wireless-energy-efficient.htmllast_img read more

first_imgFRANKFURT (Reuters) – SAP (SAPG.DE) told investors not to expect a major improvement in margins before next year as the German business software group reported a 21% decline in second-quarter operating profit on Thursday, sending its shares sharply lower. FILE PHOTO: The logo of German software group SAP is pictured at its headquarters in Walldorf, Germany, May 12, 2016. REUTERS/Ralph OrlowskiEurope’s most valuable tech firm reiterated its forward guidance and CEO Bill McDermott expressed his “absolute commitment” to meeting a strategic goal of expanding margins by 5 percentage points through 2023. Shares fell 10% at the open as revenue and operating profit came in below expectations, weighed down by one-off costs and weakness in Asian markets. That hurt broader sentiment after weak results overnight from streaming service Netflix (NFLX.O). Knut Woller at brokerage Baader Helvea said growth momentum had cooled after a strong start to the year. But, in a flash note, he said he still saw SAP on track to meet its yearly targets – as long as economic conditions don’t deteriorate further. Investors, including U.S. activist fund Elliott, had driven SAP’s shares to all-time highs after management launched an efficiency drive in April, and are keen to see evidence that it is starting to pay off. They also anticipate major share buybacks, to be announced at a capital markets day in November, with JPMorgan seeing potential to return between 11 billion and 20 billion euros (10-18 billion pounds) to shareholders over four years. LICENCE REVENUE SLOWS The spring quarter was, however, marked by a 5% decline in licence revenue, the result of trade tensions that took their toll on Asian markets in particular. Until now, software companies have suffered less from the escalating trade dispute between the United States and China than companies in the semiconductor and auto industries that have issued a slew of profit warnings. Software licences and support, SAP’s legacy business, still account for more than half of its revenue and the bulk of its profit. But because most revenue on new deals is recognised up front, it is more volatile than the company’s smaller, but faster-growing cloud business. In the cloud, a 4-point expansion in gross margins and a fourth consecutive quarter of 40% growth, showed that SAP’s operational performance was on track, McDermott said in an interview: “We’re very happy with the direction this is moving.” That trend is being supported by SAP’s growing partnerships with ‘hyperscale’ cloud computing giants Amazon (AMZN.O), Microsoft (MSFT.O) and Google (GOOGL.O). Such remotely hosted services are subscription based, making them easier to forecast than “lumpier” software licences. That, in turn, helped SAP lift its share of predictable revenue by 3 percentage points to 69% in the quarter. It targets a 71% share next year and 75% in 2023, part of a drive to make the business, based in the Rhineland town of Walldorf, a safer long-term bet for investors. McDermott, 57, said he was not unduly concerned by the dip in licence fees. Experience showed that clients in wait-and-see mode often come back with bigger orders later as they reconfigure supply chains in response to changing conditions. “As people see the need to reorient supply chains, or think differently about the regulatory environment, they tend to broaden the spectrum of what they buy from us,” he said, adding that such deals “tend to get bigger”. ONE-OFFS WEIGH Operating profit of 827 million euros(745.05 million pounds) was hit by charges from a restructuring that will see more than 4,000 staff leave SAP, the $8 billion acquisition of customer sentiment tracking firm Qualtrics and cash-settled staff bonuses. Year-on-year comparisons would become more favourable in the second half of the year, CFO Luka Mucic said, adding that he expected a “very meaningful step upwards” in profitability from next year. SAP competes in areas such as finance and logistics, known as Enterprise Resource Management, with Oracle (ORCL.N), which recently reported stronger-than-expected earnings. It competes with Salesforce (CRM.N) in Customer Relationship Management. After adjusting for one-offs, SAP’s operating profit at constant currencies rose 8% in the second quarter – in line with revenue growth but below Eikon Refinitiv estimates. Adjusted operating margins were flat at 27.3 percent. SAP reiterated its guidance for adjusted operating profit to grow by between 9.5% and 12.5% this year. Reporting by Douglas Busvine; editing by Michelle Martin and Jason NeelyOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.last_img read more