Tag: 爱上海419

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

first_img $60 at Best Buy Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. Tags TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays Sprint $999 See it Boost Mobile Comments $999 Tags Rylo Angela Lang/CNET Sarah Tew/CNET $155 at Google Express Share your voice Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. See at Amazon The Cheapskate $999 Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. null JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) Read the Rylo camera preview Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) See at Turo Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) 0 Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. Best Buy Read Lenovo Smart Clock review An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. Chris Monroe/CNET Sarah Tew/CNET What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. Sarah Tew/CNET Apple iPhone XS Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) See It $520 at HP $59 at eBay Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) $6 at Tidal Ja Rule is free from a class-action lawsuit. Scott Dudelson/Getty Images A federal court on Wednesday dismissed a class-action lawsuit against rapper Ja Rule that alleged he falsely promoted the doomed Fyre Festival. The rapper was a founder of the 2017 event, which promised a luxury experience but turned out to be a disaster. The suit was filed by festival attendees against both Ja Rule (whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins) and Fyre Festival Chief Marketing Officer Grant Margolin. It alleges that the men made false claims on social media about the festival’s amenities, performances and food. But a judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that Ja Rule and Margolin didn’t know the event would be a disaster.”Atkins and Margolin were participants in organizing or promoting a large-scale event,” the judge wrote. “There is no assertion that the Festival when first conceived or introduced to the public was intended not to go forward or that defendants intended not to perform by organizing the advertised amenities and accommodation.”The court also ruled that the complaint didn’t specify when statements promoting the event were made or allege they were false at the time.   “The Court agrees that the subjective qualifiers of ‘FOMO-inducing’ and ‘Coachella x1000’ are too ‘exaggerated, blustering, and boasting’ for a reasonable consumer to rely on,” the judge ruled, discussing Ja Rule’s tweets, which reference “fear of missing out” and the annual Coachella music festival. Fyre Festival creator Billy McFarland was sentenced to six years in prison last year for wire fraud charges. Ja Rule has denied accountability for the festival. Earlier this year, Netflix and Hulu released competing documentaries about the debacle.  Turo $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express Share your voice Turo: Save $30 on any car rental Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X See It Read DJI Osmo Action preview $210 at Best Buy Read the AirPods review See It Sarah Tew/CNET $299 at Amazon Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Culture,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. 7 HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) Read Google Home Hub review Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR $999 Amazonlast_img read more

Harris County Will Also Sue Deer Park Company Trumps National Emergency Stands

first_img Share Tuesday, March 26, 2019Top afternoon stories:Andrew Schneider/Houston Public MediaThe Harris County Commissioners Court voted to sue ITC over the fire at its Deer Park petrochemical facility during the meeting held on March 26, 2019.Harris County Will Also Sue ITC Over Massive FireThe Harris County Commissioners Court voted unanimously on Tuesday to sue Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) for the massive fire and aftermath at its Deer Park petrochemical storage facility.The Harris County Attorney’s Office will hire an in-house auditor to review ITC’s actions during and after the fire.The State of Texas announced last week it is also suing ITC for violations of the Texas Clean Air Act. Additionally, several La Porte residents have also initiated litigation against the company.Brent Weber, an executive with ITC, said during a news conference that the company will prevail using its insurance and “available financial resources.”Weber said the company remains focused on cleaning up the tanks damaged in the fire and repairing the ditches that were breached in the aftermath of the incident. They’re concentrating on cleaning up tanks that contain benzene.Charlie Riedel/APBorder wall separating Nogalas, Mexico (left), and Nogales, Ariz.Trump’s National Emergency Stands As House Fails To Override VetoThe House of Representatives failed to override President Trump’s veto on a congressional resolution blocking his national emergency declaration.That executive proclamation paved the way for the administration to spend billions of dollars to construct a barrier along the Southwest border between the U.S. and Mexico after Congress refused to approve the full amount the White House demanded last year.The vote was 248-181, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed. President Trump argued earlier this month when he used his veto pen for the first time on the measure that crime, illegal drugs and trafficking at the border justified his decision to go around Congress and pay for a border wall.Democrats on Capitol Hill argued there should be bipartisan pushback to the president’s usurping the legislative branch’s authority to approve federal spending.U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. James L. Harper Jr.Airmen conduct search and rescue – Galveston Island, Texas, after Hurricane Ike Sept. 13, 2008.Flood Insurance Rates Changing For Some Galveston ResidentsA decade-long effort to re-map Galveston County will change flood insurance rates for some residents when the maps go into effect in August. FEMA is encouraging residents to check the new maps, or contact a FEMA specialist to determine if they are in a low-to-moderate or high-risk flood zone and what kind of flood insurance to buy.Changes to the maps put some areas, such as the land to the west of Galveston Bay, at increased flood risk. Other areas, like Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula, saw a mix of changes — more risk in some places, less risk in others.Residents looking to floodplain maps ahead of an upcoming storm is a problem officials have continually had to push back against. As the maps are meant purely to set flood insurance rates, they leave out information on types of flooding regularly seen during a disaster.last_img read more

Congress passes OPEN Government Data Act to make open data part of

first_img22nd December marked a win for U.S. government in terms of efficiency, accountability, and transparency of open data. Following the Senate vote held on 19th December, Congress passed the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking (FEBP) Act (H.R. 4174, S. 2046). Title II of this package is the Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act, which requires all non-sensitive government data to be made available in open and machine-readable formats by default. The federal government possesses a huge amount of public data which should ideally be used to improve government services and promote private sector innovation. According to Data Coalition, “the open data proposal will mandate that federal agencies publish their information online, using machine-readable data formats”. What does the bill mandate? There are a number of practical things the bill will do, which should have real benefits for both citizens and federal organizations: Makes Federal data more accessible to the public, and requires all agencies to publish an inventory of all their “data assets” Encourages government organizations to use data to make decisions Ensuring better data governance by requiring Chief Data Officers in Federal agencies After some minor corrections made on Saturday, December 22nd, the Senate passed the resolution required to send the bill onwards to the president’s desk. There are two things which were amended in this act before passing it on to the president: The text was amended so that it only applied to CFO Act agencies, not the Federal Reserve or smaller agencies. There was acarve-out “for data that does not concern monetary policy,” which relates to the Federal Reserve, among others. Why is the open data proposal required? For many years, businesses, journalists, academics, civil society groups, and even other government agencies have relied on data that the federal government makes freely available in open formats online. However, while many federal government agencies publish open data, there has never been a law mandating the federal government to do so. The data available in a machine-readable format and catalogued online will help individuals, organizations, and other government offices to use it while preserving privacy and national security concerns. Open data has been an effective platform for innovation in the public sectors supporting significant economic value while increasing transparency, efficiency, and accountability in government operations. It has worked towards powering new tools and services to address some of the country’s most pressing economic and social challenges. Michele Jolin, CEO and co-founder of Results for America, said in a statement. “We commend Speaker Ryan, Senator Murray and their bipartisan colleagues in both chambers for advancing legislation that will help build evidence about the federally-funded practices, policies and programs that deliver the best outcomes. By ensuring that each federal agency has an evaluation officer, an evaluation policy and evidence-building plans, we can maximize the impact of public investments.” U.S Citizens also called this bill a big ‘milestone’ in the history of the country and accepted the news with vigor. You can read the entire backstory on what’s in the bill and how it was passed at E Pluribus Unum. Read Next Equifax data breach could have been “entirely preventable”, says House oversight and government reform committee staff report Consumer protection organizations submit a new data protection framework to the Senate Commerce Committee Furthering the Net Neutrality debate, GOP proposes the 21st Century Internet Actlast_img read more

Rep LaSata and Sen Proos welcome Blossomtime court to state Capitol

first_img Categories: Featured news,LaSata News,LaSata Photos,News,Photos PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Kim LaSata and State Senator John Proos welcome the Blossomtime Queen’s court to the state Capitol.  The annual Blossomtime Festival Grand Floral Parade is Saturday, May 5 at 1 p.m. The parade begins in St. Joseph on Main St. and continues through the city, across the Bicentennial Bridge, and into Benton Harbor.  St. Joseph and Benton Harbor have hosted the Parade since its inception in 1923. 25Apr Rep. LaSata and Sen. Proos welcome Blossomtime court to state Capitollast_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 — •  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

Fresh concerns have been raised about recruitment

first_imgFresh concerns have been raised about recruitment at one of the outsourcing companies delivering assessments for the government’s new disability benefit, after it sent out a “very urgent” request for 90 more staff.Only two months ago, Disability News Service (DNS) reported how delivery of the personal independence payment (PIP) appeared to have been plunged back into crisis after Capita reception staff were sent scripts telling them how to explain to benefit claimants why their appointments had been cancelled.Because of a shortage of assessors, Capita was forced to recruit 90 more healthcare professionals, just five months after making an estimated 80 of its 400 assessors redundant.Those redundancies followed a huge recruitment drive last summer to cope with PIP delays and backlogs, tempting many staff from stable jobs in the NHS with a promise of better conditions and long-term work.The company said in June that its latest recruitment push was part of a regular review of its “resourcing plans”, and that it was “looking at the number of assessors required to support the introduction of the changes that are expected later this year”.Last month, government figures secured by DNS showed that claimants in areas managed by Atos were six times more likely to wait longer than 20 weeks for a PIP decision than in those parts of the country managed by Capita.Despite those figures, Capita has now launched yet another recruitment drive to find healthcare staff who can assess claimants’ eligibility for PIP, which is replacing working-age disability living allowance (DLA).The new recruitment drive will add to concerns about the number of nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals being tempted away from the NHS to work for Capita, as well as Atos and Maximus, the other outsourcing companies assessing disability benefit claimants.In an email seen by DNS, a Capita recruitment executive says the company is looking for nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and paramedics “who can join us ASAP” in “VERY urgent roles”.When asked why Capita needed to recruit another 90 assessors in “very urgent roles” so soon after the last recruitment drive, a Capita spokesman said: “We continually review our service to ensure we have the right level of people in place to meet the requirements of the Department for Work and Pensions and claimants.“The department’s recent official statistics reflect the good continued progress Capita is making to improve claimant waiting times.“The current recruitment programme reflects our focus on preparing for the full roll out of PIP later this year.”This full rollout of PIP actually began last month, with the Department for Work and Pensions beginning to invite claimants who currently have a long-term or indefinite award to be reassessed for PIP – including those living in two postcode areas managed by Capita – a process which is expected to last about two years.DNS first began reporting on delays and backlogs in the PIP system in late 2013. In January, one disabled woman described how she had been forced to wait more than 14 months to be assessed.By the end of March 2015, according to figures published in May, nearly 23,000 disabled people had been waiting longer than 20 weeks for their new PIP claims to be decided. Of those 23,000, more than 3,000 had been waiting longer than a year.last_img read more

first_img Guest Writer iPhone Designer Jony Ive to Leave Apple to Start His Own Firm Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Michael Kan Apple Apple chief design officer Jony Ive (L) and Apple CEO Tim Cook. Image credit: VCG | Getty Images Add to Queue Register Now » Next Article center_img Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business June 28, 2019 ‘While I will not be an [Apple] employee, I will still be very involved.’ This story originally appeared on PCMag Jony Ive, the major designer behind the iPhone, is leaving Apple later this year to start his own company.Ive’s new firm will also focus on design and count Apple as among its primary clients. “Apple will continue to benefit from Jony’s talents by working directly with him on exclusive projects,” company CEO Tim Cook said in the announcement.Ive has been at the company since 1992 and he currently serves as Apple’s chief design officer. “While I will not be an [Apple] employee, I will still be very involved — I hope for many, many years to come,” Ive told The Financial Times in an interview. “This just seems like a natural and gentle time to make this change.”For almost three decades, Ive has been Apple’s main hardware designer on the major products, including the iPod, the iPad and MacBooks, in addition to the iPhone, which have all become known for using aluminum and glass casing. Following former Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ death in 2011, he also began managing the design to the software on Apple products.Apple isn’t naming a successor to Ive. Instead, the company’s two design leaders in charge of industrial and software design will report to Apple’s chief operating officer, Jeff Williams. “Williams has led the development of Apple Watch since its inception and will spend more of his time working with the design team in their studio,” the company said.As for Ive, his new company will be called LoveFrom and be based out of California. Expect it to launch next year. What his new firm will exactly work on wasn’t made clear in Ive’s interview with The Financial Times. But he plans to continue designing wearable technology and healthcare-related products, in addition to a variety of unspecified projects. Reporter 2 min read –shareslast_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_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

Source:https://www.ubc.ca/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 18 2018Respectful, inclusive practices in primary care clinics can significantly improve the health of low-income, marginalized people who may have previously experienced trauma or discrimination, a new study from the University of British Columbia and Western University has found.”As health-care providers, we need to make everyone feel safe and comfortable when they walk into a clinic, and this is even more critical when the client is struggling with chronic health challenges or has experienced racism or prejudice, which may have stopped them from accessing health care in the past,” said the study’s lead researcher, Annette Browne, a professor of nursing at UBC.These practices and policies–which can be as simple as greeting patients warmly and being genuinely concerned about what’s important in their life–were the focus of a study on the impact of what the researchers call equity-oriented health care.”Equity-oriented care means paying particular attention to those at greatest risk of poor health, and that typically means people who have been or remain the most marginalized in our society,” said Browne.”In practical terms, this means care that promotes harm reduction and respects their cultures and any experiences of trauma or violence. It’s avoiding using judgmental language or making immediate assumptions about people. It means being interested in what else is going on and telling them they don’t need to limit their visit to one problem alone.”For the study, researchers worked with four primary care clinics–two located in B.C. and two in Ontario–that serve large numbers of low-income groups, including Indigenous communities and people with complex health conditions.They developed information and educational modules on providing equity-oriented care for the clinic staff. Each clinic then tailored the recommended practices and policies to fit their specific clinic and community needs. Afterwards, the team interviewed 395 individuals who had received care at the clinics.Related StoriesStudy: Stress experienced by premature infants can carry on throughout their adult lifeGender biases are extremely common among health care professionalsStudy estimates health care costs of uncontrolled asthma in the U.S. over next 20 years”We found that participants felt comfortable about the care they received, and this in turn gave them more confidence in their ability to prevent and manage health problems,” said Marilyn Ford-Gilboe, a professor in Western’s Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, who co-led the study. “As these things happened, clients started reporting less pain, fewer depression and trauma symptoms, and improved quality of life.”The study, described recently in the Milbank Quarterly, is the first to show that providing equity-oriented health care predicts improvements in client health over time, said study co-author Colleen Varcoe, a professor of nursing at UBC.”It’s important to spread these types of health-care policies and practices more widely,” said Varcoe, adding that primary care clinics are often people’s first experience of the health-care system, and in many cases their only experience of it. “We should provide care that is mindful of their complex needs and histories of abuse, discrimination or trauma.”Researchers acknowledged that such a culture shift will require serious commitment from everyone involved. These kinds of changes in organizational culture can be disruptive and require extra planning by staff and leaders, but one way to start is by empowering clinic staff, suggested study co-lead Nadine Wathen.”Clinic staff can be encouraged to take the initiative, even for things as basic as offering water or coffee in the waiting area,” said Wathen, a professor in the faculty of information and media studies and the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing at Western. “By creating a culture that allows all staff members to advocate for the poorest and most marginalized individuals, we can start building a stronger health care system that ensures better health for all Canadians.” read more

first_imgThere is a lot of interest in providing more options for long-acting contraceptives. Our goal is for women to be able to self-administer long-acting contraceptives with the microneedle patch that would be applied to the skin for five seconds just once a month.”Mark Prausnitz, co-author By Sally Robertson, B.Sc.Jan 14 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new skin patch that uses microneedle technology to deliver a long-acting contraceptive hormone and can be self-administered.Image Point Fr | ShutterstockOnce the patch has been applied for several seconds, microscopic needles break away and stay beneath the skin surface, where the contraceptive is slowly released by biodegradable polymers.While current long-acting contraceptives do provide a high level of effectiveness, they are available in formats such as patches that must be worn continuously, drugs that require hypodermic injection by a healthcare professional or intrauterine devices that require implantation.Short-acting contraceptives are also available, but require ongoing user compliance, which can mean effectiveness is often reduced.If the microneedle skin patch technology receives approval, it could become the first long-acting contraceptive that can be self-administered, without requiring supervision by a healthcare professional.As reported in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering, an experimental microneedle contraceptive skin patch provided an effective level of contraceptive for over a month in an animal model, after just one single application that took several seconds.It is hoped that the patch will be used by women in developing nations where access to healthcare resources is limited, but may also offer an alternative form of contraception to women in developed nations. Prausnitz and team would like to develop a patch that could be applied on a six-monthly basis: “There is a lot of interest in minimizing the number of healthcare interventions that are needed,” he explains. “Therefore, a contraceptive patch lasting more than one month is desirable, particularly in countries where women have limited access to healthcare.”Although the cost of producing the patches on a large scale has not yet been determined, Prausnitz is hopeful that they will be cost-effective enough for application in developing countries.SourceLong-acting contraceptive designed to be self-administered via microneedle patch.last_img read more

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 13 2019Stimulating the brain with implanted electrodes is a successful, but very drastic measure. Researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology, Kempenhaeghe, Philips and Gent University will therefore be working on a method to stimulate the brain using electrodes that are placed on the head rather than inside it. Their goal is to customize treatment for patients with severe epilepsy. Incidentally, they will also settle the scientific discussion about the efficacy of non-invasive electrical neurostimulation.Epilepsy affects approximately 120,000 people in the Netherlands, about thirty percent of whom do not respond to medication and remain prone to seizures. For this group, electrical brain stimulation can be a solution. DBS (deep brain stimulation), with electrodes deep in the brain, has already proven to be effective. The electrodes must be positioned accurately so that they stimulate exactly the right brain area. This accuracy issue is still a bottleneck for non-invasive neurostimulation, because it is not yet sufficiently known where exactly the stimulation needs to be targeted and it is even more difficult to reach the right place in the brain from the outside.Related StoriesResearchers report how a popular antidepressant drug could rewire the brainStudy offers clues about how to prevent brain inflammation in Alzheimer’sResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionPersonalizedThe researchers expect a new Philips medical instrument to provide the solution for focal seizures; seizures in a specific part of the brain. This is a system with 256 electrodes that not only measures brain activity (EEG), but can also apply very targeted current. Project leader and technical research leader Rob Mestrom of Eindhoven University of Technology: “This instrument therefore offers us the unique opportunity to see more accurately than before where exactly in the brain an epileptic seizure takes place. We can then stimulate precisely that point and measure the effect directly. This gives a personalized approach, because it is tailored to the readings of the individual patient.”The basic idea of the project, called PerStim, is simple, says Paul Boon, clinical research leader and professor at UGent and TU Eindhoven. “When we have located the source of the seizure, we target an electrical stimulus at that spot that is exactly the opposite of the measured activity. As a result, the seizure should be ‘extinguished’. We will investigate this with both direct and alternating currents.”Clinical testingThe first step in the research project is the development of a personalized calculation model to accurately reconstruct the epileptic focus. The researchers will then determine the stimulation parameters to achieve the desired focus of the stimulation. Then they will look at how they can best measure the effect of stimulation. The results will gradually be applied in clinical trials. Two PhD students and a postdoc will be appointed for the project. The research, with a budget of 1.9 million euros, is part of EindhovenMedTech Innovation Center (e/MTIC), a broad research collaboration between TU/e, Kempenhaeghe and Philips, among others. Source:https://www.tue.nl/en/news/news-overview/11-02-2019-epilepsie-heel-gericht-bestrijden-met-elektrodes-op-het-hoofd/last_img read more

first_img Source:https://www.utsouthwestern.edu/newsroom/articles/year-2019/two-hit-model.html Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 12 2019Nearly half of current hospital admissions for heart failure are caused by a type of disease with no treatment options. Cardiology researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center are changing that reality with a fresh approach, recently published in Nature.”There are two types of heart failure. One is called HFrEF, for which we have a number of therapies, including medications, devices, and transplants. The other – HFpEF – has zero options,” explained UT Southwestern Chief of the Division of Cardiology and Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Biology Dr. Joseph Hill.”HFpEF is the single greatest unmet need in cardiology. Finding a new way to examine it represents a significant advance, as it provides a model necessary to develop and test therapies that could save lives worldwide,” said Dr. Hill, who holds the James T. Willerson, M.D. Distinguished Chair in Cardiovascular Diseases and the Frank M. Ryburn, Jr. Chair in Heart Research.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 5.7 million people have heart failure in the U.S.Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is a lethal disorder for which there are no effective clinical therapies. The heart muscle becomes too stiff to pump blood efficiently. Most HFpEF patients are obese, have diabetes, and have metabolic syndrome.Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) functions differently. In HFrEF, also known as systolic HF, the heart muscle is not able to contract adequately and, therefore, expels less oxygen-rich blood into the body. Previous heart failure models of HFpEF focused on raising the levels of an enzyme called NO, or nitric oxide synthase.However, in HFpEF, there is actually too much of the NO enzyme. A strike on this target – with a medical inhibitor, for example – would solve the problem. According to Dr. Hill, there are already FDA-approved drugs that inhibit this NO-synthesize enzyme, which could facilitate developing new treatments rapidly.The two-hit modelRelated StoriesTeam approach to care increases likelihood of surviving refractory cardiogenic shockCancer incidence among children and young adults with congenital heart diseaseLiver fat biomarker levels linked with metabolic health benefits of exercise, study findsDr. Hill’s team looked at current, ineffective models of HFpEF and concluded that none of them correctly mirrors the realities they see clinically in human patients. They found that combining a high-fat diet with a drug that raises blood pressure gave them a “two-hit” model, like a one-two punch to the disease.Next, the team examined results of their model at the cellular level and compared them with human cells. They found that they had replicated the human condition, thereby providing scientists an accurate biological picture that can greatly advance the development of new treatments.”A recognized research gap in the HFpEF field is the lack of relevant experimental models that adequately represent the progression of this complex disorder. This study is an example of how advances in HFpEF models can lead to a better understanding of the disease pathophysiology and new ideas for therapeutic strategies,” said Dr. Bishow Adhikari, a program officer for the study and a scientist with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, which helped fund the study.Millions of people worldwide have both obesity and diabetes. The research team believed that these two conditions would lead to HFpEF – a hypothesis they confirmed by duplicating the disease conditions and examining changes at the molecular level.”Heart failure is one of only two forms of cardiovascular disease that is increasing. It’s exploding around the world,” Dr. Hill said. “We dance around the edges of it, treating patients’ diabetes, blood pressure, and other conditions. With this model, we’ll be able to get to the underlying cause so we can get to the root of the problem.”The UT Southwestern researchers are currently taking steps toward moving into human clinical trials based on findings in their preclinical two-hit model. With time, they expect that all heart failure patients will have treatment options.last_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