Encroachment Effort at MacDill AFB Leaves State Officials Frustrated

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The state of Florida this week agreed to purchase the residential development rights on a 25-acre parcel adjacent to MacDill Air Force Base in South Tampa even though the landowner will retain the right to build a hotel or motel on the parcel’s north end.The $1.3 million purchase will prevent residential development in MacDill’s clear zone and accident potential zone, but the state was only able to reach agreement to purchase the development rights for a hotel or motel on 11 acres in the airfield’s clear zone, reported the Tampa Bay Times.Still, it’s the best deal the state could get, said Bruce Grant, executive director of the Florida Defense Support Task Force.“It is not optimum and it doesn’t take care of the entire problem, but it does take care of part of the problem,” Grant said.A hotel or motel built on the parcel’s north end would be in the accident potential zone, making it incompatible with MacDill’s mission, Col. Patrick Miller, commander of the 6th Mission Support Group, told Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) and the Florida Cabinet before their Tuesday vote.State officials expressed frustration over the inability to fully protect the installation from development. “I have reticence that we were unable to negotiate away a future hotel at the end of a runway,” said Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.Separately, the Cabinet voted to spend $1.5 million to buy more than 600 acres near Whiting Field in Panama City, according to the story.last_img read more

Xminis Xtlas Plus earphones Great tripledriver sound low price

first_img 0 Preview • X-mini’s Evolve Bluetooth headphone doubles as a wireless speaker (hands-on) Headphones X-mini Evolve Share your voice 45 Photoscenter_img Best wireless Bluetooth headphones for iPhone XS, XS Max and XR Post a comment Tags The X-mini Xtlas Plus earphones offer great sound without costing too much. Aloysius Low/CNET X-mini is best known for its capsule speakers, but the Singaporean company took a new approach last year with new wireless and wired earphones. I’ve previously tried out the Evolve speaker headphones and liked them, but I wasn’t too sure how the company would fare outside of its comfort zone. Tuning a pair of tiny earphones is a lot different from engineering small speakers for loud sound, after all. But it appears the company’s bet for its Xtlas Plus line paid off. Weighing just 0.6 ounces (17 grams), the Xtlas Plus uses a triple-driver setup with two balanced armature drivers alongside a dynamic one. Pairing a dynamic driver with the armature driver gives it more oomph in the bass department — in theory, at least. And the Xtlas Plus sort of succeeds on that front. Braided cables help you avoid tangles. Aloysius Low/CNET X-mini’s sound tends to focus on the clarity of the trebles, and its earphones pretty much stick to the same formula. The company’s speakers usually try not to overdo the bass, and the Xtlas Plus is the same. There are times where you just want a strong bass, especially for electronic tracks, and the Xtlas Plus feels a tad too tame there. That said, put on tracks with strong vocals and the earphones really shine. The sound is clear and crisp, and you can hear plenty of detail. If you like listening to classical tracks, you’ll love how much clarity the Xtlas Plus delivers for each individual instrument. It’s also Hi-Res Audio certified.At S$130 in Singapore (about $95, £75 or AU$135 converted), the X-mini Xtlas Plus earphones are pretty good value for what they offer. There’s also a carrying pouch bundled and three pairs of ear tips for the right fit. last_img read more

Jet fuel price hike likely to deal a blow to passengers air

first_imgCitiesAs of June 1, 2016/KlAs of May 1, 2016/Kl Rates of ATF price differ across cities in India due to different local sales tax or value added tax (VAT).[1 lakh = 100,000 | 1 crore = 10 million | 100 crore = 1 billion] Jet fuel price has been raised by 9 percent with effect from Wednesday, for the fourth straight month, posing a double whammy to passengers and air carriers.While passengers could be hit by an increase in airfares, carriers are likely to see an erosion in their profit margins as jet fuel price accounts for about 35 percent of operating costs.Shares of SpiceJet were trading with a marginal gain of 0.60 percent while the Jet Airway stock was down 1.72 percent at around 1 p.m. on the BSE. Interglobe Aviation, which owns budget carrier IndiGo, was the biggest loser, down 2.88 percent.Jet fuel (aviation turbine fuel or ATF) price was increased by 9.2 percent on the last day of May.The revised ATF price is the fourth straight monthly increase in rates in line with global prices, which will be effective from June 1, 2016 for the four Indian cities: (according to Indian Oil):CitiesCitiesAs of June 1, 2016/KlAs of June 1, 2016/KlAs of May 1, 2016/KlAs of May 1, 2016/KlCitiesDelhiAs of June 1, 2016/KlRs. 46,729.48As of May 1, 2016/KlRs. 42, 784.01CitiesMumbaiAs of June 1, 2016/KlRs. 45, 700. 55As of May 1, 2016/KlRs. 41, 756.16CitiesChennaiAs of June 1, 2016/KlRs. 49, 404. 73As of May 1, 2016/KlRs. 45, 346.82CitiesKolkataAs of June 1, 2016/KlRs. 51, 492.43As of May 1, 2016/KlRs. 47, 561.18 DelhiRs. 46,729.48Rs. 42, 784.01 KolkataRs. 51, 492.43Rs. 47, 561.18 ChennaiRs. 49, 404. 73Rs. 45, 346.82 MumbaiRs. 45, 700. 55Rs. 41, 756.16last_img read more

Kaladze elected Tbilisi mayor

first_imgKaladze played for AC Milan between 2001 and 2010, helping the team to twice win the Champions League. AFPGeorgia announced Sunday that former AC Milan football star Kakha Kaladze had been elected mayor of its capital Tbilisi.The country’s election administration said on its website that Kaladze won 51 percent of the vote in Saturday’s municipal election.The 39-year-old played for AC Milan between 2001 and 2010, helping the team to twice win the Champions League. He previously played for Dynamo Kiev and Dinamo Tbilisi and also captained Georgia’s national side.He quit football in 2012 while playing for Genoa in order to devote himself to politics and campaign alongside billionaire tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili to challenge then-president Mikheil Saakashvili.He became energy minister in October 2012 after Ivanishvili’s coalition scored a shock parliamentary election victory over Saakashvili’s party.In July this year, he resigned to run as mayor of the capital, a city of 1.2 million.In a personal tragedy, his brother was kidnapped in 2001 by abductors who demanded a ransom and took him to a gorge that was a notorious hideout for Chechen separatist rebels. His body was identified five years later.last_img read more

One Of Houstons Traffic Hotspots Is Getting A Big Makeover

first_img– / 14Construction will begin in February on a $259 million project to redesign the congested interchange where I-69/US 59 meets the 610 West Loop. Texas Department of Transportation currently ranks it as one of the state’s biggest traffic choke points.Dignitaries were on hand Monday for a groundbreaking ceremony on the Southwest Freeway HOV lane. Mayor Sylvester Turner was there along with Congressman John Culberson and members of the Texas Transportation Commission.As for what the project entails, one-lane connector ramps will be upgraded to two lanes. TxDOT District Engineer Quincy Allen said the big thing they hope to eliminate is sudden lane changes.“Somebody has to stop and weave, or needs to weave, usually their first reaction is to take their foot off the accelerator and slow down,” said Allen. “When we rebuild these ramps we’re going to improve the operational efficiency of them. How much time you have to make a decision when you change lanes.”Other improvements include shoulders for the 610 West Loop bridge. Also detention ponds will be added to help keep water off the mainlanes. TxDOT said vertical clearances will also be increased.The work is scheduled to take between five and six years but TxDOT hopes to finish sooner. Allen said lanes of traffic will be kept open through the construction zone while that work is underway. He added crews will work on a seven-day-a-week schedule, and if they have to close the mainlanes at any point they’ll do it at night or during the weekend.  Listen X .@TxDOT District Engineer Quincy Allen: US 59/610 most clogged interchange in Texas @HPMNews887 #hounews pic.twitter.com/7rodYz1hX3— Gail Delaughter (@Gail_HPM) November 20, 2017 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share 00:00 /00:59 Mayor @SylvesterTurner speaks at groundbreaking for US 59/610 interchange, says project includes stormwater detention, crucial for hurricane evac @HPMNews887 pic.twitter.com/F7bnCr5gNy— Gail Delaughter (@Gail_HPM) November 20, 2017 Pack your patience! US 59/610 @TxDOT project estimated to take six years @HPMNews887 pic.twitter.com/b2dbS0l6KB— Gail Delaughter (@Gail_HPM) November 20, 2017 Getting ready for the @TxDOTHoustonPIO groundbreaking for new US 59/610 interchange @HPMNews887 #hounews pic.twitter.com/XGL7DvmBcT— Gail Delaughter (@Gail_HPM) November 20, 2017last_img read more

CM to keep watchful eye on price of essential goods

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will hold a meeting of the task force to ensure that prices of essential commodities do not go up in the state.The meeting is scheduled to be held on June 6 at Nabanna, the state Secretariat and all the concerned ministers and officials have been asked to be present.It may be mentioned that the Chief Minister has already expressed her concern apprehending a hike in prices of essential goods after the arbitrary increase in the fuel prices. She had earlier tweeted: “We are very concerned about the rising prices of petrol and diesel. This will certainly affect prices all around. Common people, farmers and many will suffer.” Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe Chief Minister had also attacked the Centre for its “indifferent” attitude towards the issue and urged all anti-BJP political parties to go for a statewide agitation. There were also protest rallies across the state against the abnormal hike in prices of petrol and diesel.The state government had always taken steps to check the rampant increase in the prices of essential goods in the past and there is also a task force that maintains a strict vigil to oversee that the commoners are not harassed. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedNow, the state government is going to hold the meeting in which all the aspects in this connection will be discussed in detail.A few days ago there was a hike in potato prices. It was sold at around Rs 20 per kg at various markets in the city. The state Agriculture Marketing department took necessary and immediate measures after identifying that the price of the potato had shot up just for a particular section of middlemen.With the increase in the prices of petrol and diesel, the cost of transportation of goods has also gone up. It is leaving an effect on prices of vegetables, rice and other essential commodities.In such a situation, the state government is chalking out a plan to take necessary steps to give respite to the common people as much as possible. There would also be discussions in the meeting to ensure that prices of essential goods do not go up ahead of the forthcoming festivals in the state.last_img read more

Outpouring of grief and prayers flood social media

first_imgHashtags like #Pray4Nepal, #NepalEarthquake, #CandleLightVigil, #Dharahara and #earthquake trended through the day with millions of tweets and posts appearing on social media. PM Narendra Modi’s tweet promising help to Nepal was retweeted more than 2,100 times and ‘favourited’ by around 2,200 users.“Spoke to PM Sushil Koirala, who is in transit in Bangkok on his way to Kathmandu. Assured all support & assistance during this tough time,” Modi had tweeted. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also took to the microblogging website, where she tweeted, “My prayers with the people of #Nepal and across India after the massive #earthquake. Hope everyone is safe. Stay calm.” Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdulla, too, sent out a message. “Heart wrenching imagines coming out of Nepal. #NepalEarthquake #PrayForNepal Can’t help but remember 2005 in Kashmir. Terrible memories,” posted Omar.  Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan tweeted the picture of a damaged temple in Nepal and wrote, “O! God .. this is Nepal earthquake ..!!! I shot a song here for ‘Mahaan’ with Zeenat Aman .. pray all well.” Shahrukh Khan wrote, “May Allah look after all… Prayers with all in Nepal.”  The first pictures of the destruction that were shared on Instagram went viral across online platforms.A person with the username ‘harbrapper’ posted a picture of a devastated house in Kathmandu and wrote, “Terrible site, brick and stones lying everywhere.” That post drew comments from people in countries like China, Japan and the US, who said they were praying for the “ill-fated” victims.last_img read more

Plan to Get the Most Out of CES

first_img 5 min read Entrepreneur is on the ground at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Check back for highlights from the event as well as insights from thought leaders and innovators. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has become one of the most anticipated events of the year, drawing technology enthusiasts from around the globe. It’s also become one of the most derided. As the conference has grown, it has become unwieldy, to put it mildly. All of the sessions and crowds overwhelm professionals, leaving them unsure how to best use it as a networking opportunity or as an avenue to learn more about whatever field they’re in. Some executives have even opted to skip the event altogether in favor of smaller, less formal events where they can enjoy more one-on-one interaction.Instead of staying at home, though, savvy professionals redirect their approach to CES. With a little planning and effort, you can make lasting connections at this year’s event, just like you can at other, more manageably-sized events. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of CES as it takes over Sin City.Set appointmentsWell in advance of the conference, spend time researching who else is going to be there. This includes reviewing the full schedule and paying close attention to the scheduled presenters. Watch your social media feeds for existing connections discussing the event. Experts recommend using CES as an opportunity to impress contacts you’ve been trying to keep happy or to win over for a while. People sometimes forget, but Las Vegas actually offers some of the best restaurants in the world, so wine and dine your contacts. It’s important to set these appointments and make reservations before you arrive, since many top establishments are fully booked during the days of the conference.Related: 5 Steps to Secure New Business at CES and Other Big EventsPlan your sessionsWith so many sessions and exhibits, it can be tempting to spend the entire conference taking in information. To ensure you get to see all of these things without sacrificing the goal of making or nurturing connections, plan the sessions and exhibits you want to see in advance and carve out a schedule that optimizes your networking time. This site lists most of the parties that will be happening in conjunction with CES. Be sure to mix these events into your time at CES and even when you’re attending sessions, focus on the connections you can make in addition to the information you can learn.Related: CES Has Become an Innovator’s Pre-Crowdfunding Launch PadBe boldCES isn’t the time to be shy. Force yourself to interact with others, introducing yourself at every opportunity. Even the person seated next to you on the plane on the way to the event could be a valuable potential contact. Practice your introduction ahead of time and make sure it properly conveys your message. You likely want to sell your business rather than yourself, so you should have your elevator pitch perfected before you leave.Related: A Tech Entrepreneur’s Insider Tips for Exhibiting at CESListenOne of the biggest mistakes you can make at any networking event is spending all of your time talking and no time at all listening. If nobody’s listening, everyone’s networking efforts are wasted. When you let people talk, you learn more about potential business partners who can help you. Also, consider that people are naturally drawn to those who show genuine interest in who they are and what they do. Instead of focusing on your sales pitch, come up with some questions to ask that will get the other person talking. The pressure will then be taken off of you to talk. Once you get to know the person a little and you both feel more comfortable, you can bring up your business. They may even bring it up for you!Related: Why Many Tech Execs Are Skipping the Consumer Electronics ShowFollow UpAll of those connections you make will be useless if you don’t translate them into a post-CES relationship. In the days after you return home, send a quick email to follow up on your introduction. If you recall specifics of your conversation with a particular contact, mention those in the email, as well. Follow each contact on social media and make a note to follow up again in a few weeks if you don’t get a response. You may not form lasting connections with everyone you meet, but by following up, you’ll likely at least add a few new people to your professional network.Oh CES. Just the thought of you brings up images of long taxi lines, incredibly crowded showroom floors, and nights with too many parties for any one person to actually attend. It may have gotten too big for its own good, but it does indeed bring prime opportunities for networking with professionals across many industries. Before arriving in Vegas though, it’s important to plan what you’ll do to ensure you get the most out of your attendance. Otherwise, you may find you’ve spent several days learning about tech products with not much benefit to your own business’s growth. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Enroll Now for Free This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. January 3, 2017 Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Nowlast_img read more

Heres Looking at You Kid By Doug Hornig Senior

first_imgHere’s Looking at You, KidBy Doug Hornig, Senior EditorLovers of liberty have seemingly had a good bit to celebrate over the past two weeks.First, there was an unprecedented outpouring of negative public sentiment about the Congressional bills SOPA (House) and PIPA (Senate); they are legislation that would have thrown a large governmental monkey wrench into the relatively smooth-running cogs of the Internet. Millions of Americans signed online petitions against the bills (I did) after seeing websites’ various protests. Google shrouded its search page in black; Wikipedia, and Reddit went dark entirely (although Wikipedia could be accessed if one read the information available via clicking the sole link on its protest page); Facebook and Twitter urged users to contact their representatives; and many other core Internet businesses also raised their voices in opposition.Such was the outpouring of dissent that even Washington, D.C. had to listen. The bills, which a week earlier had seem assured of swift passage, suddenly turned to poison. Supporters, forced to concede that the public really was pissed off this time, fled. Leadership in both houses tabled the legislation, pending further review and revision.But before we get too self-congratulatory, however, it’s wise to note that this victory dish is probably best enjoyed with a serving of caution. As Casey Extraordinary Technology editor Alex Daley summed up the situation for us here at Casey Research: “Be sure this will come back again, likely post-election, and snuck through as part of a bigger package. It arrests power from the judiciary, and the legislature likes nothing more than to thumb its nose at those ridiculous judges and all their due process this and Constitution that. It will eventually pass, just not like this.” We can’t now go to sleep on this one.Second, on Monday the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that police may not attach a GPS tracking device to a suspect’s car without a search warrant. This is a landmark decision, to be sure, but one that was carefully circumscribed by the justices. The placing of the device constituted a physical intrusion on the suspect, they wrote, and thus was impermissible. Left unruled upon was the larger question of tracking someone’s movements when there was no physical violation, as would be the case when, say, police access signals from a GPS-enabled smartphone. Though it wasn’t directly addressed, the concurring opinions strongly suggest that the justices might be more sharply divided on that issue.A lapse of vigilance in these matters would be a mistake.Since both of them are tech-related, and also since it’s January, this is probably a good time to review how individual freedom fared over the past year vis à vis the technology of surveillance in general.But before I do, I need to make a couple of things clear.Where We StandAt Casey Extraordinary Technology, we are not technophobes. We don’t think that it would be a good thing to retreat to the woods and live out our days spearing game and cooking it over fires. Quite the contrary. We’re technophiles who appreciate what tech has done to improve human living conditions, and we believe that it holds the key to the solution of many, if not all, of our present problems. We like to err on the side of hope.In addition, we understand that society has a powerful interest in maintaining a certain level of order. It’s intolerable that personal disputes should be settled by gun battles in the streets or that serious infringements on the rights of others – whether it be physical crimes such as robbery, rape, or murder, or non-physical ones like fraud – should be ignored. The most ardent libertarian would generally agree that a government ought to have the authority to prevent or punish the aggression of one individual upon another and to enforce contracts freely entered into. Thus tradeoffs with our basic right to do as we see fit must be made if man’s worst impulses are to be deterred.That said, the tricky part is deciding where to draw the line between reasonable and overzealous laws and enforcements. Surveillance technology is at the center of this debate. It’s good and getting ever better. Even the most law-abiding of citizens have been subjected to steadily increasing levels of governmental – as well as private sector – watchfulness over their daily lives. That has occurred with no indication that the public is yet prepared to say, “Enough. This is where we draw that line in the sand.”The past year was no exception. I won’t go into developments I’ve already written about, such as the growth of the TSA’s VIPR operations, last summer’s lemonade-stand busts, the ghastly E-Verify proposal , and the Fed’s Social Listening Program. But the sad truth is that there are plenty more from which to choose. Space considerations permit a close examination of only a few, but a liberty-oriented legal foundation provides a quick overview of the year.It‘s a Bird, It‘s a Plane, It‘s…… a drone.Remote-controlled drone aircraft, like the famed Predator, have become a staple of the nightly news. We see them launching missiles against terrorists, conducting spy missions over Pakistan, patrolling the borders looking for drug smugglers and alien infiltrators. Now we’re going to have to get used to seeing them in the skies over, well, all of us.Yes, those same Predator drones are being used increasingly by local law enforcement in the US.That was unknown to most Americans before late last year, when the great North Dakota cattle-rustling incident hit the press. It seems that back in June, six neighbors’ cows had the misfortune to wander onto a 3,000-acre farm in eastern North Dakota owned by the Brossart family, whose members allegedly belong to the Sovereign Citizen Movement, an anti-government group that the FBI considers extremist and violent.When the sheriff attempted to reclaim the cows, the family refused to give them up, ordering him off its property at gunpoint. A 16-hour standoff ensued, with the sheriff requesting the usual reinforcements: state highway patrol, a regional SWAT team, a bomb squad, and deputy sheriffs from three other counties. But he also called nearby Grand Forks Air Force Base and asked for help from a $154 million MQ-9 Predator B drone, normally used to secure the Canadian border for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).Long story short, the drone silently surveilled the farm from two miles up, relaying information from its sophisticated sensors as to what the Brossarts were doing. When the surveillance showed that the family members had put their weapons down (yes, it can see that well at that distance), the authorities moved in, neutralizing the Brossarts and making the first known, drone-assisted arrests of US citizens.Law enforcement was pleased, perhaps rightly so. No blood was spilled. Another Ruby Ridge was avoided. The cows – street value $6,000, but now rather a bit more costly – were recovered.But that was just the beginning. Local North Dakota police say they have used the Grand Forks Predators to fly at least two dozen surveillance flights since June. The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration have also used Predators for domestic investigations, officials admit. And Michael Kostelnik, a retired Air Force general who heads the office that supervises the drones, says that Predators are flown “in many areas around the country, not only for federal operators, but also for state and local law enforcement and emergency responders in times of crisis.” [emphasis mine]Who knew?Apparently not Congress, for one. Spokespersons for Customs, which owns the drones, claim there is legal authorization for this usage because it was clearly indicated in the purchase request for the Predators that one purpose was “interior law enforcement support.” But those four words sailed right by Congresswoman Jane Harman – Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee at the time the drone purchases were approved – who insists that “no one ever discussed using Predators to help local police.” So this expanded civilian use of military surveillance hardware came about with no new law, no public discussion, not even a written regulation… just a few words buried in a budget request that no one in charge of approving it noticed.There will be mission creep here, as there always is. Expect drones to gather data on any large political demonstration, for example – only, to be fully accurate, you won’t be noticing them above you. They fly too high and are too silent for that.Internet SurveillanceIn addition to SOPA/PIPA, there is PCIP. SOPA/PIPA were about shutting down Internet sites that the federal government deems offensive. PCIP is about gathering information.As is so often the case with “well-meaning” legislation, the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 (H.R. 1981, or PCIP) is allegedly aimed at something about which all agree. Nobody argues against shielding kids from pornographers.Not that the problem addressed isn’t real. The Internet has proven to be a fertile stalking ground for sexual predators. As a society, we have already agreed to a certain level of cyber-entrapment, allowing police to run online sting operations against those who are actively targeting kids. If that catches some innocent people in the net, so be it. The public majority is willing to accept such collateral damage so long as the real bad guys are found and put away.And yes, H.R. 1981 also contains some non-controversial provisions. Stricter punishment for interstate commerce transactions that promote child porn? Sure. Bolstering laws to protect child witnesses? No problem.But, as always, the details are alive with devils. PCIP is also about pre-crimes – i.e., it entails gathering evidence before any crime is committed… perhaps even before said crime is contemplated. The goal is that, in the event of an arrest, supporting online records can quickly and easily be subpoenaed.In order to accomplish that, everyone must be considered a potential criminal. Everyone.What PCIP will mandate is that Internet providers keep detailed records about each one of us, including: name, address, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, all Internet activity for the previous 12 months (something sure to be extended after the first successful busts), and any IP addresses assigned to you – without a search warrant, court order, or even the slightest suspicion of criminal activity.In other words, the government is proposing to expand the ranks of de facto private-sector cops, the same way that banks are now forced to report any “suspicious financial activity.” The legislation would enlist – nay, require – ISPs to compile detailed dossiers on every citizen, and to have them readily accessible for whatever “crime-fighting” or other purposes authorities want them. This thereby saves federal government officials the trouble and expense of doing it themselves. It’s breathtaking. You almost have to admire the elegance of their solution to the universal ‘Net surveillance problem that’s vexed them for some time.No wonder the Electronic Frontier Foundation has scornfully tabbed this the “Data Retention Bill,” warning that the stored data “could become available to civil litigants in private lawsuits – whether it’s the RIAA trying to identify downloaders, a company trying to uncover and retaliate against an anonymous critic, or a divorce lawyer looking for dirty laundry.” And in a grotesque illustration of the law of unintended consequences, the EFF adds: “These databases would also be a new and valuable target for black hat hackers, be they criminals trying to steal identities or foreign governments trying to unmask anonymous dissidents.”H.R. 1981 sailed through the House Judiciary Committee in late July of last year but is yet to be voted on (although it was slated for “expedited consideration” in mid-December). Will it provoke the kind of public outcry directed against SOPA? Don’t count on it. What politician in his or her right mind would dare oppose legislation that “protects kids from pornographers?”Reverse SurveillanceMeaning: when we turn the cameras on the government.In a sense, we are all now street journalists. Most famously, the name “Rodney King” would mean nothing to anyone today but for a bystander with a cell phone camera. As these devices have become all but ubiquitous, we ordinary citizens now have an unprecedented ability to record crimes in progress, regardless of what side of the law the perpetrators are on.Or do we?While police understandably have welcomed citizen recordings that help them with their cases, they are again understandably not so sanguine when they themselves are the potential lawbreakers. And they’re hitting back. People filming unfolding events are routinely ordered away from the scene by the police, even if they happen to be standing on their own private property – and threatened with arrest if they don’t put the camera away.Considering the First Amendment to the Constitution, that’s been a bluff… at least until recently.Now authorities are asserting their right to charge video- or audiographers of police events with crimes ranging from obstruction of justice to eavesdropping to illegal wiretapping.So far, to their credit, the courts have been mostly unsympathetic. In August, a jury acquitted a Chicago woman who used her cell phone to secretly record a conversation with police investigators about a sexual harassment complaint she was filing against the department. Also in August, the US Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled in favor of the defendant in a case involving a complaint filed by a Boston man who filmed the scene of an October 2007 arrest on his cell phone, only to be arrested himself and charged with a violation of Massachusetts wiretapping laws.In Illinois in September, a judge threw out five eavesdropping indictments – which carried maximum penalties of 15 years in prison on each count – against a man who had recorded conversations with local police officers who he claimed were harassing him on his own property. In a stinging rebuke to the prosecution, the judge wrote, “A statute intended to prevent unwarranted intrusions into a citizen’s privacy cannot be used as a shield for public officials who cannot assert a comparable right of privacy in their public duties. Such action impedes the free flow of information concerning public officials and violates the First Amendment right to gather such information.”So far, so good. Still, these kinds of busts are on the rise nationwide. Even if they’re all laughed out of court, the mere threat of arrest (and the potential concomitant bodily harm) is often enough to make most people think twice about the wisdom of challenging a police order.And, truthfully, would you trust the current Supreme Court – a majority of which has consistently supported government rights over that of citizens – to rule correctly on this?Target: Casey Research!One of the most ominous developments for us personally crawled out from under its rock in November. Again without any public debate, DHS unleashed its National Operations Center’s Media Monitoring Initiative. Yep, it’s exactly what it sounds like: The NOC’s Office of Operations Coordination and Planning is going to collect information from news anchors, journalists, reporters, or anyone who may use “traditional and/or social media in real time to keep their audience situationally aware and informed.”Thus Washington, D.C. unilaterally grants itself the right to monitor what you say. Doesn’t matter if you’re the New York Times, Brian Williams, a basement blogger, an online whistleblower, or known government critics like ourselves. They’re gonna take note of your utterances and file them away for future use.Journalists are not the only targets, by the way. Also included among those subject to this surveillance are government officials (domestic or not) who make public statements; private-sector employees who do the same; and “persons known to have been involved in major crimes of Homeland Security interest,” however large that umbrella might be.At Casey Research, we’re not about to engage in self-censorship just because some bureaucrat somewhere has nothing better to do than watch what we’re saying. They’re welcome to it, and we’ll save them the trouble of archiving it; most of it’s preserved on our website, anyway.The larger speculation is: what’s the endgame here?Data Storage CapacityBack in 1997, I wrote an article entitled Here‘s Looking at You, which examined the ways in which big government was encroaching upon our private lives. The piece was published in February 1998 in a very popular national men’s magazine. (In my defense, I hasten to add that these glossy periodicals were among the very few public outlets, before Casey Research was born, for journalists who wrote about such “fringe” topics.)As I was writing this piece you are now reading, I couldn’t help but take a look back fourteen years. It seems almost like a prehistoric era… before 9/11, the PATRIOT Act, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, drones, “free-speech zones” at political conventions, wall-penetrating radar, iPhones, and wholesale government monitoring of email and phone conversations, among a zillion other things. Heck, even the Internet was still more or less a novelty: I found that I had cautioned readers to be mindful of an insidious newfangled thing called “cookies.”The tech of today is light-years more advanced. But even back then, I was concerned. And I predicted where I saw the trend heading. Naturally enough, not all of my predictions came to pass – I was certain for instance that by now we’d have a national ID card – but unfortunately, most of them did.The reason I bring this up here is not to tout myself as particularly prescient. It’s to note something of actual importance. In 1998, I could still maintain that our saving grace was that data-storage capabilities were way insufficient for the total surveillance of hundreds of millions of Americans and probably would be for a long time to come.How wrong I was.It is already technologically feasible for governments to record nearly everything that is said or done within their borders – every phone conversation, electronic message, social media interaction, the movements of nearly every person and vehicle, and video from every street corner.Before long, it’ll also be financially feasible to archive it, according to a sobering report published last December by the Brookings Center for Technology Innovation.The report concludes that: “Plummeting digital storage costs will soon make it possible for authoritarian regimes to not only monitor known dissidents, but to also store the complete set of digital data associated with everyone within their borders. These enormous databases of captured information will create what amounts to a surveillance time machine, enabling state security services to retroactively eavesdrop on people in the months and years before they were designated as surveillance targets. This will fundamentally change the dynamics of dissent, insurgency and revolution.”Emphasis mine. Consider the implications.The key, according to the Brookings report: “Over the past three decades, [data] storage costs have declined by a factor of 10 approximately every 4 years, reducing the per-gigabyte cost from approximately $85,000 (in 2011 dollars) in mid-1984 to about five cents today.” Using GPS, mobile phone and WiFi inputs, “identifying the location of each of one million people to [a 15-foot] accuracy at 5-minute intervals, 24 hours a day for a full year could easily be stored in 1,000 gigabytes, which would cost slightly over $50 at today’s prices.” Fourteen cents a day to archive the collective movements of any selected million of us.Phone calls? “The audio for all of the telephone calls made by a single person over the course of one year could be stored using roughly 3.3 gigabytes. On a per capita basis, the cost to store all phone calls will fall from about 17 cents per person per year today to under 2 cents in 2015.”Video storage takes far more space, of course, and there are also major logistical problems involved in managing such a huge amount of data. But the point is made. Technological innovation will provide the tools. And as soon as government can do something, they invariably will do it.InvestingThese few examples, winnowed from hundreds of others I could cite, testify to a mushrooming new industry in the US, what some have called the cyber-industrial complex.It’s big business. How big we don’t know, because much of it is shrouded in either government or corporate secrecy. The Washington Post‘s Dana Priest, twice a Pulitzer winner and one of the few true investigative journalists in America still working inside the mainstream media, published some groundbreaking work on the subject in the summer of 2010. If you haven’t read it already, you should. The website is dynamic, with regular updates posted on the subject and reader input invited.Several other recent probes also have opened the shadowy surveillance world to a little more light. You can check out some of the latest techniques and which companies are implementing them at The Surveillance Catalog published by the Wall Street Journal and The State of Surveillance: The Data,published by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.Perhaps in your browsing you’ll find some publicly traded companies that will attract your investment interest. For our part, at Casey Extraordinary Technology we prefer to seek out companies that are engaged in changing our world for the better rather than the worse. Those are the ones you’ll find in our portfolio.In the end, we must acknowledge that technological advancement, especially at the rate we’re experiencing it in the present era, is bound to spawn evil applications along with the good. But we’re optimists here. We believe humanity is in a long-term uptrend, with technology setting torches on the path to a better life.But that all depends on keeping people free. That’s why we will continue to expose – and oppose – government efforts to stifle innovation, creativity, and personal liberty. I’m not holding my breath but perhaps eventually Washington, D.C. will get the point, and follow our lead.Bits & BytesPolice Frisking from a Distance (Technology Review)In keeping with the surveillance and Big Brother theme of today’s issue, heres a story about how the NYPD is developing a device with the Department of Defense that could essentially frisk people from up to 75 feet away. The device measures terahertz waves (the radiation that fills the slot in the electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves and infrared), which are naturally emitted by people and objects and pass through nonconducting materials like clothes, so scanners sensitive to them can reveal guns and other hidden objects. Obviously, the announcement by the NYPD that it is developing such a scanner – and plans to mount them on cars to capture images of basically everything within a certain range – has sparked privacy concerns since its general use would seem to be a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment.Apple Astonishes Again (Apple)Apple announced financial results for its fiscal 2012 first quarter yesterday, and the numbers shattered what could have been considered lofty expectations. The stock is currently up 6.3% from Tuesday’s close. Record quarterly revenue of $46.33 billion smashed the Street’s expected $39.14 billion by more than 18%. Meanwhile, net income rang in at $13.06 billion, which translated into earnings of $13.87 per diluted share, or nearly 37% above the consensus estimate EPS of $10.16. Apple’s run over these past few years has been nothing short of remarkable. This is a company that now has a market capitalization over $415 billion, and it just posted quarterly revenue growth of 64% sequentially and 73% year over year. That kind of stuff just doesn’t happen. Eventually, growth will slow; it has to. But that doesn’t mean that 2012 won’t turn out to be a great year for the consumer electronics juggernaut given its recent gains in smartphone market share, an announcement about the iPad 3 coming soon, the iPhone 5 perhaps arriving by summer, and an iOS-based TV launch maybe at the end of the year.Hacking the Hackers (Technology Review)An innovative security software company called Mykonos is taking a new approach to protecting PCs and websites. Instead of acting like a locked door to shut hackers out, Mykonos Software instead invites hackers in through a fake entrance and plays tricks on them until they give up. The idea is to take a lot of the automated tools hackers often use out of the game and waste the assailant’s time, thereby changing the economics of attacking websites, according to company CEO David Koretz. “We have the ability to hack the hacker,” says Koretz.last_img read more

While nuclear power continues to be vilified polit

first_imgWhile nuclear power continues to be vilified politically, its economic realities remain unchanged. With many nations already dependent upon nuclear energy for a significant portion of their base load energy requirements and others building and planning new nuclear power plants, those economic realities point to a blossoming boom in uranium. Casey Research Chief Energy Investment Strategist Marin Katusa explains it all in this interview with Uranium Investing News. While the news looks very rosy for investing in the uranium sector, not every company is well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that are developing now. To make the most of them, energy investors need to focus on only the best of the best players in this sector; and they need to understand the international dynamics involved. To help accomplish this, Casey Research has brought together some of the best minds in the uranium sector and natural-resource investing today, including policy makers of some of the most important countries. They include: Lady Barbara Thomas Judge, Spencer Abraham, and Rick Rule. The resulting webinar, titled The Myth of American Energy Independence: Is Nuclear the Ultimate Contrarian Investment? premiers Tuesday, May 21 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time. It is a must-see presentation. Learn more and sign up for the webinar now.last_img read more

In This Issue   234000 of 288000 jobs added

first_imgIn This Issue. *  234,000 of 288,000 jobs added by BLS… *  Factory Orders drop in March. *  RBA to meet tonight. *  Chuck channels his inner Stevie Wonder. And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. Making It All Up, As We Go Along. Good Day! . And a Marvelous Monday to you! It’s the 5th of May, which to some translates to: Cinco de Mayo. A day that, here in the U.S. we observe only to have a day to share a drink with friends, but in Mexico, they celebrate their independence. Quite a few years ago, I told a story about how the 5th of May reminded me of a time in Cancun when I grabbed a street performers microphone and began singing to the crowd. Some dear reader, didn’t take too kindly to me carrying on about the 5th of May and send me an email calling me a MAK.  I’ll let you figure it out. OK. Well, the Big News on Friday, was the fabtabulous, sensational, super-duper, with a cherry on top, Jobs report for April. According to the BLS, (Bureau of Labor Statistics) 288,000 jobs were created in April. I pause for a minute to point out a key word here. “created”. For a majority of the 288,000 jobs reported created in April, were “created” from the minds of the BLS. 234,000 of those 288,000 jobs were added to the surveys by the BLS using their Birth / Death model.  It was as if: We’re Making it all up as we go along. In addition, right after this 288,000 number printed, Mike Harrell, shouted across the desk: “more than 800,000 were dropped from the roster of people looking for jobs, and if the 800,000 were added back the Unemployment Rate would have been 6.8%…  OK. I had to do some quick math here. A couple of years ago, I told you that 10,000 Baby Boomers were going to retire every day for the next 18 years. So, knowing that, if there were 30 days in April, that takes care of 300,000 people dropping off the list (10,000 x 30), But what about the other 500,000? Hello? Yes, am I on the air? Good, Hey. I’m a long time listener, first time caller, and I have a question for the financial wizard. Here goes. Well. OK. Here you go.  What would you say if I told you  that of the 288,000 net jobs created in April according to the BLS, 234,000 of them were added  by the BLS using their Birth / Death model to the survey numbers?  And I do have a follow up question. What do you think of the news that over 800,000 people dropped off the unemployment roll?  Thank you, I’ll hang up now so I can listen to your answer. The Impressions are singing, It’s alright, have a good time, and it’s alright, yes, it’s alright. And that’s what I’m going to do. I could get all lathered up and rant and rave about this traveling snake oil sales convention, called the Jobs Jamboree. But I won’t. It’s alright, have a good time.  So, what went on after the report printed? Gold immediately shot down in price, along with the euro and other currencies, for the initial knee-jerk reaction to the labor print was that, “This is the report that’s going to get the Fed to arch its back and raise interest rates”.  But then calmer heads took over, and soon the markets were of the realization that the Fed is not going to fall for the old, ” show em the right and hit them with the left”, and that the what the Fed is looking for is Wage Inflation.. And from the reports on Friday. The Avg. Hourly Earnings fell to 1.9% from 2.1%… There’s no wage inflation folks. not yet anyway.   Oh, and Factory Orders for March fell from 1.5% in Feb to 1.1% in March. That’s not a good report, folks, but it got put on the back burner with the Jobs data. So, soon, after this realization,  things got turned around on Friday, and Gold headed toward $1,300, and the euro regained its lost mojo. This morning, there has been a void in activity, as Japan and the U.K., two top money centers for the overnight markets, are on holiday, so the activity in the currencies and Gold was pushed to the European continent. And so far. today, we have Gold up another $13, and the Chinese renminbi looking at another night of appreciation. There’s a report out this morning that Portugal is ready to exit their rescue. That should be a good thing for the euro, which was dragged through the mud by the peripheral countries, or Club Med, as I used to call them, when they had all their problems.  The likes of Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus, have all improved their balance sheets, but still have tons of work to do, but one by one, they have been paying back their loans, and re-entering the bond markets.  The European Central Bank (ECB) will meet this Thursday, and I think that for the first time in what seems to be a month of Sundays, the ECB won’t be hearing the calls for additional stimulus. That should take all the drama out of the ECB meeting, and thus allow the euro to move freely about the country. Speaking of Central Bank meetings. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will meet tonight (tomorrow for them), and while there were some wild calls going on last week for a rate hike at this meeting, those have all calmed down, and now we should see the RBA remain steady Eddie at this meeting. That thought has taken some of the shine off the Aussie dollar (A$) overnight.  Later this week, Australia will report on their labor picture, and then the tallies will begin again on the pros & cons regarding a rate hike at the next meeting. I’m of the opinion that rates will remain on hold for some time in Australia (remember I was the ONE that said the RBA would not cut rates again, when everyone else said they would!), and I think we just might hear the RBA say that this evening. As I said above, Gold finally caught some wind in its sails on Friday, and when I searched for what caused the abrupt turnaround in the shiny metal, all I could find were stories about how the tensions in Ukraine were the reason. And I said out loud on the desk, “Really? These guys just found out that there was a problem in Ukraine?”  I know, I know, I had been questioning why Gold was soaring with the tensions rising in Ukraine, and now that it is, I’m mocking the guys responsible. Hey! That’s how I roll!  Seriously, though, did they really just find this out? Hey, did you hear that Deutsche Bank has sent letters to their U.S. customers of its operations in Belgium and asked them to close their accounts and transfer their funds by June 10th?  The new FACTA law has prompted this move. So expect to hear others follow Deutsche Bank here. Well, what do we have here? Why yes! It’s a Treasury bond rally! Yields have dropped again folks. which, tells me that more air is being pumped into the Treasury Bubble. I hope you got a chance to read my Sunday Pfennig yesterday or today. I go through the interest rate trends, and how this “ultra-low interest rate trend” has just about run its course. The trends through the years have not run any longer than 8 years, and we’re heading to that number next year. And one more thing to think about here that I didn’t mention, (I probably did, but got cut by the editor) and that is, with the Fed ending their bond buying program this year, who’s going to be the gatekeeper responsible for keeping Treasury yields low?  Well, a quick look across the landscape of Currencies is not pretty this morning. But it’s also not ugly. It’s just kind of so-so. The euro is up by a couple shekels. And as I said above the Chinese renminbi / yuan is stronger overnight. Most of the currencies are flat to down, so like I just said, it’s not ugly, just so-so, today. I think the aftermath of the Jobs Data last week is weighing heavily on the currencies’ ability to break out and rally. That won’t last too much longer, as in a couple of days, the Jobs Jamboree will be in the rear view mirror. Canada will print their labor numbers for April today. They usually print them the same day as the Jobs data from the U.S. is printed, but seeing that they get no movement from the report, and no press from it either, they print today!  Recall that March had a huge increase in jobs for Canada, at 43,000.  It would go a long toward some Canadian dollar / loonie strength if the April report can follow March’s number with a positive gain in jobs.  I had to stop and sing along with Stevie Wonder’s song: My Cherie Amour. What a great song!  And look now it’s Dusty Springfield singing Son of a Preacher Man.  Now that’s a good two-song combo this morning! Ok, I’m back now. HA! The U.S. Data Cupboard is pretty bare today, with only the Markit and U.S. reports on the service sector here in the U.S.  As I said a few years ago. “We’ve become a country centered on Service, and our Service stinks!”  Tomorrow, the Trade Deficit print, but other than that there’s not a lot to see in the Data Cupboard this week. You know, I got a kick out of all the pundits and so-called “experts” that came out pounding the big bass drum that “all’s well and the U.S. economy is growing just fine”  I guess they didn’t see that drop in the Factory Orders data that I talked about above.  You know, as I’ve said before, “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt”  I bet some naysayers would say to me, ” you should heed your own advice”!  HA! For What It’s Worth. Well, with all the jumping and shouting about the Jobs Jamboree last week, I thought this article that dear reader Bob G. sent me, played nicely with others here. It was written by Michael Snyder. “Did you know that there are nearly 102 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now? And 20 percent of all families in the United States do not have a single member that is employed. So how in the world can the government claim that the unemployment rate has “dropped” to “6.3 percent”? Well, it all comes down to how you define who is “unemployed”. For example, last month the government moved another 988,000 Americans into the “not in the labor force” category. According to the government, at this moment there are 9.75 million Americans that are “unemployed” and there are 92.02 million Americans that are “not in the labor force” for a grand total of 101.77 million working age Americans that do not have a job. Back in April 2000, only 5.48 million Americans were unemployed and only 69.27 million Americans were “not in the labor force” for a grand total of 74.75 million Americans without a job. That means that the number of working age Americans without a job has risen by 27 million since the year 2000. Any way that you want to slice that, it is bad news. Well, what about as a percentage of the population? Has the percentage of working age Americans that have a job been increasing or decreasing? As you can see from the chart posted below, the percentage of working age Americans with a job has been in a long-term downward trend. As the year 2000 began, we were sitting at 64.6 percent. By the time the great financial crisis of 2008 struck, we were hovering around 63 percent. During the last recession, we fell dramatically to under 59 percent and we have stayed there ever since…” Chuck again. Only the BLS and all the trumpet blowers that are employed by the Gov’t can make this labor stuff sound good, folks. To recap. I got in trouble on Friday, when I didn’t have a “recap”. So, here we go!  The U.S. labor picture got muddled quite a bit on Friday, but initially, all was seashells and balloons, as the BLS reported 288,000 jobs gained in April. The problem was that 234,000 of those jobs added don’t really exist. And the wages in the U.S. dropped once again, so there’s no wage inflation, and there’s your reason why Treasuries rallied, and Gold jumped back to $1,300! That and the realization that there is tension in Ukraine. The RBA meets tonight and the ECB on Thursday, but neither will have any drama surrounding the meeting, and that should be good for each respective currency. Currencies today 5/5/14. American Style: A$ .9260, kiwi .8665, C$ .9105, euro 1.3875, sterling 1.6865, Swiss $1.1395, . European Style: rand 10.5170, krone 5.9595, SEK 6.5470, forint 221.80, zloty 3.0330, koruna 19.7710, RUB 35.82, yen 101.95, sing 1.2495, HKD 7.7525, INR 60.21, China 6.1560, pesos 13.03, BRL 2.2200, Dollar Index 79.50, Oil $100.31, 10-year 2.58%, Silver $19.63, Platinum $1,446.63, Palladium $814.50, and Gold. $1,311.71 That’s it for today. Whew! Warm weather finally! Yesterday was absolutely beautiful here in St. Louis, it was warm, with blue, sun drenched, umbrella sky, the Big Green Egg smoking some apple wood pork steaks, and the grandkids all playing in the pool. The only thing that could have been better was if the Cardinals had been playing their usual Sunday day game, and not one of those smartless Sunday night games for television! The Lindbergh High School Water Polo team took 4th place in the tournament last week, and have one more regular season game before the playoffs begin. It will be “Senior Night” tomorrow night, as the season begins to wind down for Alex. It’s Senior Awards night for academic stuff tonight, so I’ll have to tape the return of Jack Bauer! That’s right! Jack is back! The great series 24, returns tonight! YAHOO! I’ve been lost searching for a new series to watch since 24 ended a few years ago. I should be getting my results from the scans last week, today. fingers crossed. And with that, I hope you have a Marvelous Monday!  (Jack’s Back!) Chuck Butler President EverBank World Marketslast_img read more

Happy World Backup Day And What the Heck Is World Backup Day

first_img Happy World Backup Day! And What the Heck Is World Backup Day? –shares 4 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag If you work in technology, you may have heard about World Backup Day. Founded in 2011, World Backup Day was designed by Ismail Jadun, a digital strategy and research consultant, to boost awareness for businesses and individuals that may not recognize the importance of regular data backups. The goal, according to the World Backup Day website, is to use March 31 as the date each year to reach those who have never backed up their data, and even people who might not have ever even heard about data backup.”World Backup Day started out when someone on Reddit lost their hard drive and wished someone had reminded them to back up,” said Jadun. “I thought it was a wonderful idea … it’s wonderful to see people and schools around the world promoting the importance of backing up our data.”One of those companies promoting World Backup Day is Datacastle, an analytics and endpoint protection services company. President and CEO Ron Faith said his company endorses the new occasion because he often finds that small businesses don’t truly understand the threats from ransomware, data loss and data breaches. “It is important for small businesses to be honest with themselves that they don’t know what data is on all their company laptops, tablets and smartphones,” he said.What you need to know about data lossDon’t think of data loss as something that only happens to massive companies or to individual employees who drop phones in swimming pools. Jadun and Faith want you to know that any company or individual can fall victim to data loss and theft. Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks are incredibly simple ways that hackers target companies, without having a massive army of coders on their side. An excellent example of a BEC attack is a fraudulent email sent from someone pretending to be the company’s CEO to the company’s human resources (HR) manager. Without realizing that he or she is being scammed, an HR manager willingly sends personal employee data to the scammers. Since 2013, more than 7,000 of these attacks have occurred, totaling losses exceeding $740 million according to FBI data.Not protecting your company’s data can be a costly decision. The average global cost per stolen confidential record in 2016 rose from $154 to $158. Last year, there were 38 percent more attacks on companies than there were in the previous year, and most attacks stay dormant within a company’s system for over 140 days before the company even realizes they’ve been infiltrated. Attacks are happening more often, they’re more sophisticated and they’re becoming more and more expensive for businesses. Or, as Faith said, the cost to the company’s reputation “is far greater from an embarrassing data loss or data breach incident than the cost of most [backup and protection] solutions.”How to stay safeFaith advised businesses to create a simple, company-wide, data protection policy that will automatically back up the endpoint data to the cloud. He said the solution “should be friction-free for the employees and not really require the employees to do anything.” If your company doesn’t have the resources to dedicate to a corporate-wide backup, Faith said companies should start with the executives’ laptops. “It is a smaller group with the most sensitive data. This enables the executives to lead by example on protecting endpoint data,” he said.Jadun said it is crucial for companies to audit the data they produce. This includes customer data, product data, HR data and sales data, among many other examples. By doing this, companies can fully understand the stakes of any data loss incident. Once you’ve audited your data, he advised companies to determine the potential ways data could be lost and then create a data protection plan to protect those assets.”Depending on how much downtime your organization can handle, you can then set about looking at various data protection and backup solutions. Your business should strongly consider creating local backups as well as backups in an offsite location. Then, go about setting up protocols to both automatically back up and test those restore regularly.” Add to Queue Next Article If you haven’t secured your data yet, then take the World Backup Day pledge today. Technologycenter_img Juan Martinez Senior Editor, Business Image credit: World Backup Day 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Apply Now » The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. March 31, 2017last_img read more

Elon Musk Found Out That 90 Million Isnt Too Much to Pay

first_img Apply Now » 3 min read Nina Zipkin While the payload of SpaceX’s inaugural test flight of the Falcon Heavy Rocket — Elon Musk’s red Tesla roadster carrying a dummy outfitted in a spacesuit — was initially headed for Mars’s orbit, the rocket’s third burn was so effective that the vehicle kept going to the asteroid belt in between the red planet and Jupiter.Third burn successful. Exceeded Mars orbit and kept going to the Asteroid Belt. pic.twitter.com/bKhRN73WHF— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 7, 2018It seems that even though the trajectory is not what was planned, the vehicle, which was outfitted with a special message for anyone who might come across it — “Made on Earth by humans” — the payload could end up paying off back on its home planet.Sandy Rubinstein, the CEO of DXagency, tells Entrepreneur that the idea to have a Tesla vehicle be the payload was a brilliant one. “The amount of web traffic [and] consumer excitement from the images of the vehicle ascending and the amount of earned media he garnered from news outlets all over the world will absolutely exceed the costs of the endeavor,” Rubinstein says. “The stock is up today and the forecast is tremendously positive. This stunt will continue to pay dividends to Tesla for years to come.”Deb Gabor, the CEO of SOL Marketing, says that while it is tough to calculate, the financial value of the stunt would likely be less than the $90 million Musk spent. But the move was incredibly valuable nonetheless from a brand awareness perspective.Related: Elon Musk and SpaceX Just Made History With Successful Falcon Heavy Launch”With this event, Musk harnessed an opportunity to express his two flagship brands’ beliefs and values through the clever narrative of ‘the car that went to space,’ capturing his audience’s imagination and indelibly imprinting on their hearts,” Gabor says. “Brand strategies like this highlight the magic of Tesla’s ‘no-marketing’ marketing strategy that’s propelled them to brand leadership without investing significant dollars in advertising.”While the reach for the stars was an inventive one from the perspective of trying to engender some goodwill, the company is still struggling. The question remains of how safe Tesla car factories are for employees and how effectively and fairly the company handles the aftermath of on-the-job injuries.And while Tesla’s stock was up by 3 percent on Wednesday morning ahead of the release of its 2017 fourth quarter earnings, the company is still dogged by not meeting its production goals for the Model 3, making only half the number of cars that it was expected to manufacture in December. The SpaceX launch of the Tesla payload was a success, but the car company still has struggles to work through. 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List –shares Entrepreneur Staff Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture. February 7, 2018 Elon Musk The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Next Article Elon Musk Found Out That $90 Million Isn’t Too Much to Pay for Priceless Publicity Add to Queuelast_img read more

BigCommerce and Ordergroove Partner to Deliver Subscription Experiences for Enterprise Brands and

first_imgIntegrated Platform Offers Enterprise Merchants Ability to Drive Recurring RetailBigCommerce, the leading SaaS ecommerce platform for fast-growing and established brands, announced a partnership with Ordergroove, the leader in relationship commerce, to give enterprise-level merchants a better way to establish deeper relationships with customers. Through this partnership, enterprise merchants on the BigCommerce platform will be able to better accommodate and anticipate their customers’ repurchasing experience, resulting in a more effective way to secure ongoing customer relationships.“Through this partnership with BigCommerce, enterprise merchants will now have access to the turnkey and market-tested enterprise scalability of both organizations to enhance their brands.”Using Ordergroove’s Relationship Commerce Cloud platform tightly integrated with BigCommerce, merchants can offer a wide range of recurring revenue programs, including subscriptions, SMS reordering, memberships, and committed programs. Furthermore, Ordergroove’s Anticipate AI engine, coupled with deep data insights and consumer expertise, delivers the ability to match incentives and the timing of offers to individual consumer needs. With these capabilities and more, BigCommerce customers can earn more lifetime value (LTV) from the customers they have worked hard to acquire and have access to the engine that has helped a majority of Ordergroove customers achieve a greater than 60% incremental revenue boost1.Marketing Technology News: SRAX Receives $1 Million Investment to Launch BIGtoken Asia, Increasing Access to Over 1 Billion Internet Users to Own and Earn from their Data“Fortune 2000 brands trust Ordergroove to transform their shopping experiences from transactional to recurring, and as such, we’re committed to helping retailers bring these programs to market in a way that complements their existing investments in commerce technology,” said Greg Alvo, CEO at Ordergroove. “Through this partnership with BigCommerce, enterprise merchants will now have access to the turnkey and market-tested enterprise scalability of both organizations to enhance their brands.”Marketing Technology News: Malicious and Disruptive Ads Account for 1 in Every 100 Impressions According to New Confiant Research“Online subscriptions have become a primary strategy used by brands to cement long-term customer relationships and differentiate their direct-to-consumer shopping experience. By integrating Ordergroove, we equip BigCommerce merchants with the market-leading enterprise solution for product-based subscriptions,” said Brent Bellm, CEO at BigCommerce.Marketing Technology News: Kneron Debuts Edge AI Chip, Bringing AI to Devices Everywhere BigCommerce and Ordergroove Partner to Deliver Subscription Experiences for Enterprise Brands and Retailers PRNewswireMay 23, 2019, 3:56 pmMay 23, 2019 BigCommerceBrent BellmCommerce Cloud platformMarketing TechnologyNewsOrdergrooveSaaS ecommerce platform Previous ArticleRingCentral Ranked #1 in UCaaS, Third Year in a RowNext ArticleVyStar Credit Union Improves Member Experience, Reduces Fraud with Verint Identity Authentication Solutionlast_img read more

Free phone app helps lowincome obese patients to lose weight

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 22 2018With the help of a free phone app, low-income obese patients with signs of cardiovascular risk lost a clinically meaningful amount of weight, finds new research from Duke University.The study is among the first to report successful weight loss within a low-income population — a group that suffers from skyrocketing rates of obesity but has proven hard to treat, said lead author Gary Bennett.”Obesity continues to wreak havoc on the health of our country and we’ve had the most difficulty treating low-income Americans, those who are most affected by the condition,” said Bennett, the Bishop-MacDermott Family Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University.”This study shows we can help patients who are most at risk by embedding treatment in primary care settings and keeping patients engaged using a simple app.”In the study, patients in a primary care clinic used a free app called Track to monitor behavior changes. The app wasn’t used in isolation: Doctors were well-versed in the app and dietitians also followed up with coaching calls. Patients who used the app and received coaching calls fared much better than a control group that received routine care.Among Track program participants, 43 percent lost more than 5 percent of their body weight over the course of a year. Their waist sizes decreased, as did their blood pressure. And an even larger number of participants — 56 percent — lost at least 3 percent of their body weight over 12 months, which doctors consider a healthy amount of weight loss. The results are among the best obesity treatment outcomes seen in a medically vulnerable population, Bennett said.Related StoriesHarnessing target of the brain chemical serotonin to combat obesityMetabolic enzyme tied to obesity and fatty liver diseaseResearchers find link between maternal obesity and childhood cancer in offspringAt a time when obesity remains epidemic, the research also offers encouraging evidence of a treatment approach that can work in a primary care setting. That’s important, as primary care settings are where most patients receive health care. Yet primary care settings rarely offer effective weight-loss treatment, and very few studies have measured delivery of a weight loss app in such setting.The results appear online Oct. 22 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.Most weight-loss research to date has focused on otherwise healthy people who just want to lose weight. Yet obesity very often exists side by side with other health problems. For that reason, the researchers focused on obese people who were sick: In addition to obesity, study participants suffered from either hypertension, high cholesterol or diabetes.”Most of what we know about obesity treatment is based on people who are reasonably healthy and highly motivated to lose weight,” Bennett said. “We’ve shown an ability to promote clinically meaningful weight loss among patients who need help the most, those with low motivation who already have the health risks associated with obesity.”The study took place in a mostly rural area. To Bennett, the successful results suggest that digital obesity treatments can help close the gap between obesity care in urban and rural settings.”Digital treatments allow us to reach into the most remote settings to deliver high-quality care,” Bennett said. “Expanding broadband services to all Americans should be a public health priority.”Source: https://www.duke.edu/last_img read more

Investors could pump 1 bn into Uber selfdriving cars report

first_img Citation: Investors could pump $1 bn into Uber self-driving cars: report (2019, March 14) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-investors-bn-uber-self-driving-cars.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2019 AFP A group of investors including SoftBank Group is in talks to invest $1 billion or more into Uber’s self-driving car unit, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. An Uber self-driving car drives down San Francisco’s 5th Street in March, 2017center_img Word of a potential infusion of cash valuing the Uber autonomous vehicle division at from $5 billion to $10 billion comes as the ride-hailing startup steers toward a hotly-anticipated stock market debut.Under terms being discussed, SoftBank’s Vision Fund and other investors, including a car maker, would take a minority stake in Uber’s self-driving vehicle unit, according to the Journal.Led by Japan’s Masayoshi Son, the Vision Fund is heavily invested by Saudi Arabia.The Journal described the “late-stage” talks as fluid, with the possibility a deal might not be reached.Uber has been in a race with Google-owned Waymo and a host of other companies, including major automakers, to develop self-driving vehicles.Waymo said this month that it would sell a key innovation to companies that don’t compete with its autonomous cars.The California-based unit of Google parent Alphabet will offer its lidar sensors, which measure distance with pulses of laser light, to companies in robotics, security, agricultural technology and other sectors.The move could offer a new revenue stream for Waymo as it invests in bringing “robo taxis” to market, broadening the availability of the 3D lidar sensors it has been developing since 2011.Uber is aiming beyond car rides to becoming the “Amazon of transportation” in a future where people share, instead of own, vehicles.If all goes to plan, commuters could ride an e-scooter to a transit station, take a train, then grab an e-bike, share a ride or take an e-scooter at the arriving station to complete a journey—all using an Uber app on a smartphone.Uber’s platform moves cargo as well as people, with a “Freight” service that connects truckers with shippers in a way similar to how drivers connect with people seeking rides.Uber is also seeing growing success with an “Eats” service that lets drivers make money delivering meals ordered from restaurants. Explore further Waymo to sell its self-driving tech to outside firmslast_img read more

Boeing acknowledges flaw in 737 MAX simulator software

first_img © 2019 AFP “Boeing has made corrections to the 737 MAX simulator software and has provided additional information to device operators to ensure that the simulator experience is representative across different flight conditions,” it said in a statement.The company did not indicate when it first became aware of the problem, and whether it informed regulators.Boeing’s statement about the flight simulator marked a first acknowledgement of shortcoming since the two accidents led to the grounding of the top-selling 737 MAX plane. The plane’s MCAS anti-stall software has been blamed in large part for the Ethiopian Airlines tragedy.According to Boeing, the flight simulator software was incapable of reproducing certain flight conditions similar to those at the time of the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March or the Lion Air crash in October.The company said the latest “changes will improve the simulation of force loads on the manual trim wheel,” a rarely used manual wheel to control the plane’s angle. “Boeing is working closely with the device manufacturers and regulators on these changes and improvements, and to ensure that customer training is not disrupted,” it added.Southwest Airlines, a major 737 MAX customer with 34 of the aircraft in its fleet, told AFP it expected to receive the first simulator “late this year.”American Airlines, which has 24 of the aircraft, said it had ordered a 737 MAX simulator that will be delivered and put into operation in December.”As a result of the continuing investigation into both aircraft accidents, we are looking at the potential for additional training opportunities in coordination with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and Allied Pilots Association,” it added.Certification processThe planes have been grounded around the world, awaiting approval from US and international regulators before they can return to service.Only Air Canada has a MAX simulator, industry sources told AFP.Currently, there is only one flight simulator specific to the 737 MAX in the United States, and it is owned by Boeing, according to FAA documentation. US airlines train their pilots flying the MAX on a simulator built for the 737 NG, the version preceding the 737 MAX in the 737 aircraft family.Southwest said that is because during the certification process for the MAX, Boeing stressed that there were only minor differences with the NG and simple computer and online training could accommodate for the differences.The FAA, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and Canadian regulators had approved those recommendations, Boeing stresses.However, the 737 NG lacks an MCAS, specially designed for the MAX in order to correct an aerodynamic anomaly due to its heavier motors and to prevent the plane from stalling.Pilot training will likely be at the heart of the meeting of international regulators in Fort Worth, Texas on Thursday when the FAA will try convince its counterparts of the robustness of its certification process for the modified 737 MAX.The American regulator has maintained that training pilots on a simulator is not essential, a position with which pilots and its Canadian counterpart disagree.Boeing said Thursday that it completed its software update on the 737 MAX.The proposed fix, which addresses a problem with a flight handling system thought to be a factor in both crashes, must now win approval from US and international regulators before the planes can return to service.US airlines have targeted August as the date they expect to resume flying on the 737 MAX. 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. Boeing did not indicate when it first became aware of the problem Boeing acknowledged Saturday it had to correct flaws in its 737 MAX flight simulator software used to train pilots, after two deadly crashes involving the aircraft that killed 346 people.center_img Citation: Boeing acknowledges flaw in 737 MAX simulator software (2019, May 20) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-boeing-acknowledges-flaw-max-simulator.html Explore further Ethiopian Airlines says pilots got appropriate traininglast_img read more

Givaudan firsthalf margins squeezed by raw materials acquisitions

first_imgZURICH (Reuters) – Givaudan (GIVN.S) beat first-half sales expectations on Thursday but margins at the Swiss fragrance and flavour maker shrank, knocking its shares. The maker of flavours for foods and drinks and fragrances for toothpaste and perfumes has benefited as big consumer goods companies try to innovate faster and use more natural ingredients. But raw material costs, and lower margins from recently acquired Naturex, cut its gross margins to 41.2% from 44.2% a year earlier. Givaudan shares were down 3.3% at 0850 GMT as analysts pointed to little evidence that expected pricing gains had kicked in to offset rising input costs, and a dearth of cash. “It looks as if 2019 could become the second year in a row with declining underlying margins and the third with free cash flow as a percentage of sales levels at the low end of the target range,” Baader Helvea analyst Andreas von Arx wrote in a note. “Hence investors might start to question the qualities of the, in our view attractive, long-term model.” The firm, which competes with Germany’s Symrise (SY1G.DE) and U.S.-based IFF (IFF.N), said it was on track to deliver on its 2020 guidance after net profit rose 2.3%. “Our strong performance for the first half of 2019 confirms the resilience of our business and our ability to consistently deliver industry leading financial performance,” Chief Executive Gilles Andrier said in a statement. Net profit rose to 380 million Swiss francs (£309 million) from 371 million francs a year earlier. Like-for-like sales rose 6.3% to 3.094 billion francs. The group aims to outpace the market with 4-5% sales growth and a free cash flow of 12-17% of sales, both measured as an average over a five-year strategy cycle. Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi and Silke Koltrowitz; editing by Michelle Martin and Jason NeelyOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.last_img read more