Trulia Appoints CMO Ahead of Marketing Campaign

first_img February 21, 2014 476 Views In preparation for the launch of its first-ever national marketing campaign, Trulia announced the appointment of Kira Wampler as chief marketing officer (CMO).Wampler comes to Trulia from Lytro, where she served as VP of product and marketing. There, she adopted a strategic and data-driven go-to-market strategy, launching the company and the light field camera category to critical acclaim.For Trulia, her job will be to lead marketing initiatives for and increase the growth of the company’s award-winning products.“After thorough research and testing, we feel confident that we can extend our brand, drive even higher levels of engagement and deliver a more compelling ROI to our subscribers through a national marketing campaign,” said Pete Flint, CEO and co-founder of Trulia. “With the addition of Kira as Trulia’s first CMO and Steve Hafner of Kayak joining our board, we have the experienced team in place to extend our brand through a national advertising campaign.”“I’m thrilled to join Trulia and excited to create and launch high impact programs to reach and activate Trulia’s uniquely engaged consumer audience,” Wampler added. “We have defined a consumer-driven and authentic approach to our marketing efforts, allowing us to break through in the category.” Share Movers & Shakers Trulia 2014-02-21 Tory Barringercenter_img in Headlines, News, Technology Trulia Appoints CMO Ahead of Marketing Campaignlast_img read more

FLAGSTAFF Ariz — Ryan Williams doesnt look like

first_imgFLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Ryan Williams doesn’t look like a running backwho was lying on the turf at Lambeau Field after suffering aseason-ending knee injury against the Green Bay Packers just 341days ago.When training camp opened in Flagstaff for the Arizona CardinalsWednesday,Williams simply looked like the back the team drafted in the 2ndround of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Virginia Tech.Taking advantage of Beanie Wells being placed on the PUP(Physically Unable to Perform) List, Williams took on a sizableworkload in his first practice of camp — so much so, that itsurprised even himself. What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke The crowd in attendance didn’t seem to mind, as they voiced theirapproval.“It was cool, I loved the support,” he said. “I’m sure a lot of peopleout there were paying attention to my rehab, my recovery and myprogress, so for them to be paying attention to rooting me on todayfelt good.”Despite his impressive first day, Williams knows there will becompetition for carries when Wells returns to practice followingoffseason knee surgery.“Beanie will be back, and he’ll be himself and I’m ready to do a 1-2punch,” Williams said. “That’s my bro, man. For the last two tothree months we’ve been in the rehab facility together and I feel likethis injury has brought us closer together.” – / 35 “I actually practiced more than I thought I would today, for my firstday,” Williams said. “They said I was going to be limited in my playsand everything so I didn’t know that I was going to run routes, Ididn’t know that I would get that many carries, and I really didn’tknow that I was going to get the ball on that screen.”If he was surprised, it didn’t show. The second-year pro lookedvery comfortable on the upper practice field at NAU, even if hebelieves he’s not quite at full strength just yet.“I do, I do,” Williams answered when asked whether he has anylingering effects from the torn patellar tendon in his right knee. “I’lladmit, I’m not 100 percent, but I’m as close to it as I’ve been sinceAugust.“If I were to guess, I’d say I’m about 85 or 90 (percent), sothroughout the rest of this month and August, I’m trying to get thatlast ten to 15 percent back.”Williams had one of the highlight moments of Wednesday’s practicewhen he took a handoff from quarterback John Skelton, side-steppeddefensive lineman David Carter and zig-zagged thoughseveral defenders on what would have been a long gain. Thepractice, after all, was a non-contact walk-through. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Comments   Share   Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Top Stories last_img read more

Russias Consumer Rights Protection Society OZPP

first_imgRussia’s Consumer Rights Protection Society (OZPP) has filed a lawsuit against four pay TV operators – Tricolor TV, Akado, NTV+ and VimpelCom – alleging that they violated the rights of consumers by dropping the Dozhd channel from their programming line-ups without warning.The OZPP has filed a suit with the Ostankino district court in Moscow after receiving numerous complaints about the decision of the operators to switch off the channel.According to the OZPP filing, the exclusion of Dozhd violated the rights of consumers by breaking the terms of their subscription agreements with providers, citing Article 4 of the country’s consumer rights protection law.Russian operators moved swiftly to remove Dozhd from their programming line-ups after a political furore surrounding the channel’s posting of a survey asking whether lives could have been saved had the city of Leningrad – now St Petersburg – surrendered to Axis forces during World War II rather than withstanding a costly three-year siege. The channel is seen as one of the few media outlets to give airtime to opposition figures and voices critical of President Vladimir Putin’s regime.last_img read more

It is my contention that the 70year debt supercyc

first_imgIt is my contention that the 70-year debt supercycle has come to an end. To put the current financial situation in perspective, here’s a long-term history of the debt-to-GDP ratio, which reached a record high at the beginning of the current crisis. It was a dramatic change in 2009, unlike anything since the aftermath of the Great Depression. Inflation spiked dramatically in the 1973 and 1979 oil crises. More recently, official government numbers haven’t shown wild inflation. Prices for energy, food and domestic services – like medical care and education – have had big jumps. But thanks to cheap foreign manufacturing, we are able to import goods at attractive prices, so overall inflation doesn’t reflect the extreme money creation by the Fed. Wage growth is nonexistent, largely due to foreign competition and high unemployment from offshoring manufacturing. The forces of inflation can easily overcome a weak economy to destroy a currency: this has happened in countries like Zimbabwe, Argentina or Yugoslavia. Once things get out of hand, it is hard to say whether it is the weak economy that causes the government spending and further deficit destruction of the currency, or the reverse. But that doesn’t matter once people lose confidence in the government and its paper issuance. The chart below shows government numbers for inflation that seem awfully low compared to what most people experience. The erratic behavior of commodities is likely to continue, so I think prices will continue to rise. But even using these conservative government numbers, when we subtract the inflation from the interest rate to show the real return to an investor, we get negative numbers. This, too, is unsustainable. The clear driver of this extreme expansion of government debt that I call a “Bond Bubble” is the Federal Reserve’s flooding of markets with liquidity to drive rates to zero. The chart below shows a projection what will happen to the Fed’s balance sheet as it continues to distort the rate to zero by extending its monthly purchases of $40 billion of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and $45 billion of Treasuries out to 2016: And here is a simplification of the above by just averaging the numbers to a single line in which you can see an imprecise confirmation that, despite wide variability, there is an underlying pattern in world markets. It is my contention that the actions of the Fed, which were started to counter the credit crisis of 2008 with four programs of quantitative easing, have brought us the incredibly low interest rates (aka, the Bond Bubble) we have today. By purchasing so many credit assets, the Fed is driving the price of bonds higher, and thus interest rates much lower, than they would otherwise be. The black line in the chart above is the 10-year Treasury rate – you can see that it drops with each of the big balance sheet expansions. The resulting asset bubbles in stocks and housing are a direct result of the monetary creation by the Fed. The growth in Fed purchases will likely continue so that the low rates of the Bond Bubble don’t collapse. But the effects of the Fed’s economic stimulus decline with each new injection of money. There will come a time when the Fed announces a new program of balance sheet expansion by asset purchases that will cause the interest rate to rise because of fears of inflation from money creation, rather than fall as the Fed desires. At that point, we’ll know the Fed’s power to manipulate the economy has dissipated. Just How Low Can Interest Rates Go? The chart of 10-year Treasuries below shows that the current level of 2% is lower than it has ever been, except for a brief low of 1.5% last fall (blue line). It is the lowest in 240 years. This is happening in spite of government deficits expanding at a trillion dollars per year as far as the eye can see. We are at the bottom of a 32-year bull market in bonds (drop in rate). To get a view of how extreme today’s rate is, I added the red line, which is 100 divided by the interest rate. It shows a rise as rates fall and makes the bubble of low rates more obvious – which is currently higher than ever. The chart below, which shows the interest rates of 187 countries, has some underlying patterns. At first blush it just looks like spaghetti, but if you step back, you can see that rates were rising into 1980. Then many fell until the recent crisis, after which new deviations appear. In Europe, rates went both ways: up for the PIIGS and down for the safe havens like Germany. The highest the debt-to-GDP ratio had previously been for the United States was 301% at the bottom of the depression in 1933 when GDP collapsed and debt was high. The level became unsustainable in 2009, despite low interest rates. Weak borrowers were signing up to finance houses that they thought would increase in price forever. The point of the chart is that this downturn is different from all the recessions since World War II. Total market debt includes debt of the federal government, state governments, households, business, financial institutions, and to foreigners. The components of the above total debt are shown below, so you can see which ones are stabilizing and which may be approaching unsustainable levels. Looking forward, the most important problem is that the federal government has inserted itself into the economy with huge deficits to try to combat the slowing of the private sector. As you can see, private-sector borrowing has not increased, even as federal government deficits have ballooned to unprecedented levels. In essence, we are building our recovery on government debt. Debt and Interest Rates Suggest Higher Rates Are Possible The chart below shows the comparison of Greece’s growing debt (in blue) and the resulting rise in interest rate. You can see that as Greece’s debt to GDP rose above 100%, the interest rate rose toward 20%. Lenders lost confidence in the ability of the Greek government to actually pay back its debt. During the credit crisis, junk bonds were the worst performers as investors feared they would lose their money in default. Rates rose on BBB corporate debt as well. At the same time, government debt became the safe haven, and as people moved to the safe haven, they drove the price of Treasuries up and their interest rate down. The premium has gone out of the lower-rated markets, with rates even lower than before this crisis started. It’s not that risk has disappeared: I think it is more likely that the flood of excess money is chasing any kind of return it can find, and that is driving rates to record-low levels. The above six charts confirm that rates of all kinds are at 50-year record lows. In contrast, the stronger countries have been able to accommodate their government debt increase and still maintain moderate interest rates. The United States is shown in the following chart. Central banks have aided the government in managing to keep rates low despite big deficits, by buying the debt. Balance sheets of the world’s central banks are growing rapidly to support government deficits while forcing rates to low levels. It is a bubble. A Look at Interest Rates Worldwide I’ve written extensively in previous articles about central bank expansion, but it’s worth reminding ourselves that excessive money creation is not just a US phenomenon but a worldwide experiment. Once this feeds back on itself as ordinary people recognize the destruction of the fiat currency systems, we can expect inflation on a worldwide basis. The similar decline in interest rates in Germany and Japan is the result of their central bank interventions to support their economies by driving rates lower. Between now and that day of reckoning, you can rest assured the purchasing power of your money will continue to erode. This, of course, means that to make a profit, you have outpace inflation. One of the best approaches you can take is to follow the lead of contrarian investing legend Doug Casey and invest in emerging trends… When you buy Treasury bonds, you are putting your fate in the hands of the government, expecting it to give back your purchasing power and a reasonable amount of interest to you, in return for the use of your money. Should you trust these authorities with your money? I believe we are headed for a serious loss of confidence in the value of the dollar, which will be accompanied by a burst of the Bond Bubble. This Ponzi scheme is getting ready to explode. The point is that these extremely low rates are unprecedented, even when looking back to the last Great Depression. They could spring back a long way. The low rates induced by the Fed are transmitted to many other market rates, as shown in the following charts. These charts need little comment, except that all of them confirm the simultaneous movement to many-decade lows.last_img read more

Platinum and palladiums tiny rallies in early Far

first_img Platinum and palladium’s tiny rallies in early Far East trading on their Monday morning also went the way of the Dodo bird once Zurich opened.  Platinum was closed unchanged—and palladium was closed down a buck.  Here are the charts. The silver price wasn’t allowed to get far—and its tiny gain vanished in London trading—and it was closed down on the day.  The highs and lows aren’t worth the effort to look up. Silver finished the Monday session at $17.30 spot, down 2 cents from Friday.  Volume, net of roll-overs out of March, was only 7,600 contracts, the lowest net number I can recall. As Ted Butler said in a quote I used from his February 7 commentary in this column last week— “Let me make it easy for those who refuse to acknowledge the silver manipulation. Simply explain why 8 traders, mostly domestic and foreign banks, would hold short the equivalent of 40% of the world’s annual production—and a third of all the silver bullion that exists—at prices below the average primary cost of production and nearly 70% below the price levels of four years ago.” “How could such a concentrated short position be explained in legitimate terms and what would be its purpose? What effect would such a large short position have on the price of any commodity—and how do you see it being resolved if it wasn’t permanent?” “I don’t expect any serious answers to such questions, as it appears to be easier to malign the questioner as a conspiracy theorist instead, but I know these questions have never been addressed in a straightforward manner by anyone who denies the silver manipulation.” Today, at the close of COMEX trading, is the cut-off for Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report.  As far as what should be expected as the Tuesday trading session unfolds in New York, I haven’t a clue.  However, I’m not overly happy to see the current price action, but it comes as no surprise to me, nor should it you. See you tomorrow. Could easily end up being a war in the precious metal market as well With the U.S. markets closed for President’s Day on Monday, there wasn’t much activity in the precious metal market anywhere on Planet Earth—and the only reason for my column today is the plethora of stories that I’ve been accumulating all weekend. The gold price rallied in fits and starts right from the open of trading at 6:00 p.m. EST on Sunday evening—and the rally ended, as it usually does, shortly before London opened on their Monday morning.  From there the price chopped lower, with trading ending minutes after 5:00 p.m. GMT in London. The low and high ticks were reported as $1,227.00 and $1,236.70 in the April contract. The gold price closed at $1,230.80 spot, up $2.90 from Friday’s close.  Net volume was basically nonexistent at 35,000 contracts. With the U.S. shut tight for the holiday, there were no reports from the CME Group, GLD, the U.S. Mint or the COMEX-approved depositories.  And as of 8:29 p.m. EST yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV. I have a very decent number of stories—and some of the ones I do have certainly fall into the absolute must read category.  I know that if I don’t post them today, I’ll be buried in stories in tomorrow’s column. Sales of Silver Eagles from the U.S. Mint are still very strong relative to sales of Gold Eagles or Buffaloes, but may be abating a bit. Sales of Silver Eagles on a daily basis have dropped below 110,000 coins on a calendar day basis this month, suggesting the Mint has caught up with pent up demand and no longer has to ration coins. It’s too soon to know if we are entering a period of softer relative demand for Silver Eagles, but it has been months since the Mint has not been forced to sell at maximum production/blank supply capacity. More pronounced is the sharp drop off this month in gold coin sales compared to January. While sales of coins from the U.S. Mint are followed and reported on widely, such sales don’t appear to have any obvious impact on price. For instance, the last four years have seen absolutely phenomenal sales of Silver Eagles by any objective measure, by far the most in history, and yet those same four years were the worst in history for silver pricewise. I would contend that the only rational explanation lies in the manipulation premise, but whatever the reason, the disconnect between record sales of Silver Eagles and rotten price performance is plain to see. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 14 February 2015 Because of the U.S. holiday, there’s not much to talk about regarding Monday’s price “action” in any of the precious metals.  Like I said, this column is mainly about the number of stories I had for you—and as you’ve already noted, there were quite a few, with a lot of time consuming ones as well. I was amazed to see the CEO of Rosneft mention the rigging of the gold market in his comments in the Financial Times article on Monday.  But as I’ve said on countless occasions, the Russian government has known all about the precious metal price management scheme—and GATA—for over a decade when they mentioned it and us at an LBMA meeting in Moscow a long time ago. And as I’ve also said they, along with China, could play the gold card any time they wish if it suits them—and if push really becomes shove, it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if they did.  Jim Rickard’s “Currency Wars” could easily end up being a war in the precious metal market as well, as gold is still money—and Greenspan reminded all and sundry of that fact in New Orleans last October, which is certainly something that hasn’t been forgotten by the financial powers-that-be everywhere on Planet Earth. And as I type this paragraph, the London open is about twenty-five minutes away.  All four precious metals rallied weakly once trading began at 6 p.m. in New York on Monday evening, but all got sold down a bit as trading in the Far East moved along on their Tuesday—and all are down from Monday’s close, for what that’s worth considering the volumes involved. At the moment, gold’s net volume is only 17,000 contracts—and silver’s net volume is only 4,000 contracts, so nothing much should be read into the current price action, either down or up.  The dollar index is currently down 10 basis points. And I fire this off to Stowe, Vermont at 4:50 a.m. EST—it looks like “da boyz” and their HFT algorithms are back at it, especially in silver.  But, having said that, gold’s net volume is only up to 27,500 contracts—and silver’s net volume is a surprising 8,700 contracts—and that’s with Monday’s volume stripped out as well.  With that kind of price pressure, particularly in silver, I was expecting more—a  lot more.  The dollar index is now down 22 basis points. Here’s the Kitco silver chart as I hit the ‘send’ button.  All of silver’s paper gains after the noon silver fix in London on Friday, vanished in two hours in the thinly-traded overseas market on Monday—and silver is back at its 50-day moving average once again.  I just love those free markets, don’t you?center_img The dollar index closed in New York late on Friday afternoon at 94.16—and after bouncing off the 93.91 level a couple of times in the last hour or so before the London open, the index began to crawl slowly higher—and about 5:10 p.m. GMT–11:10 a.m. EST—the index really began to sail to the upside—and hit its 94.53 high tick around 1:25 p.m. EST, shortly after the precious metals were through trading for the day.  From there the index gave up a bit of those gains, closing at 94.43—which was up 27 basis points from Friday’s close. Drilling Intersects 102 Meters of 1.97 gpt Gold at Columbus Gold’s Paul Isnard Gold Project; Drilling Confirms Depth Extension of Gold Mineralization Columbus Gold Corporation (CGT: TSX-V) (“Columbus Gold”) is pleased to announce results of the initial five (5) core drill holes at its Paul Isnard gold project in French Guiana. The holes confirm depth extension of gold mineralization below shallow holes drilled on the 43-101 compliant 1.9 million ounce Montagne d’Or inferred gold deposit at Paul Isnard in the 1990’s and support the current program of resource expansion through offsetting open-ended gold mineralization indicated by the earlier holes. Robert Giustra, CEO of Columbus Gold, commented: “These drill results validate Columbus Gold’s approach to adding ounces with a lower-risk drilling program designed to infill and to extend the mineralized zones to 200 m vertical depth from surface; a depth amenable to open pit mining.” Fourteen (14) holes have been completed (assays pending) by Columbus Gold in the current program and drilling is progressing at the rate of about 3,000 meters per month with one drill-rig on a 24 hour basis. Columbus Gold plans to accelerate the current program by engaging a second drill-rig as soon as one can be obtained. Please visit our website for more information about the project. As I said in my Saturday column, I’d have some more petrified forest photos today—and here they are.  The first one is cropped a bit, but the other three are straight out of the camera untouched.  The 225 million year old bark on the logs in photos 2 and 4 are solid rock, but it looks like you could peel it off with your bare hands, which you can’t of course.  The colours are intense because the sun is low in the sky as it’s winter for one thing—and getting very close to sunset as well.  Don’t forget the “click to enlarge” feature. Time Magazine cover—April 14, 1986last_img read more

• Im talking about platinum… Platinum is a precio

first_img• I’m talking about platinum…Platinum is a precious metal, like gold and silver.Many people own platinum coins as a store of wealth. Platinum also finds its way into a lot of jewelry.But platinum is more than just a precious metal. It also has important industrial applications. Its primary industrial use is in catalytic converters – a specialized vehicle part that reduces harmful emissions. But it’s also used in surgical tools, lab rotary utensils, spark plugs, and even the circuits in your cell phone.That said, this essay isn’t about platinum demand. It’s a supply story…And to get the full picture of the supply story, we need to look at what’s happening right now in South Africa.• That’s because South Africa produces 73% of the world’s platinum… To put this into perspective, Saudi Arabia accounts for about 12% of global oil production. So South Africa is about six times as important to the platinum market as Saudi Arabia is to the oil market.South Africa is also home to 91% of the world’s platinum reserves.When the supply of a commodity is this concentrated, it doesn’t take much to trigger a major disruption.And that can happen sooner rather than later… Brand-New: Start with $100 and Retire Rich?Over the past decade, Tim Sykes’ stock trading teachings have helped his students with their retirement goals. And in rare cases, some have even become millionaires… WITHOUT starting with much at all. That’s why Tim is now offering this full book AND a year of access to his wisdom… for only $20. Yes only $20… because Tim knows that every $100 you keep could turn into $500 or even $1,000 down the road… If you read this book and take the right steps. Tonight: Landmark Investment EventTonight at 8 pm ET, we’re hosting a free investment summit. A former money manager, famous for predicting the renter trend, legal marijuana wave, blockchain boom, and Bitcoin bubble will go on record with his next prediction: The Greatest Day in Stock Market History. For the first time, we’ll have the man himself in studio to share the full story behind this watershed moment. Recommended Link Click here now to see this dirt cheap offer Register for free here • You see, right now South Africa appears to be headed for a full-blown crisis…I say this because the country looks like it’s about to embark on a massive property confiscation scheme. Crisis Investing chief analyst Nick Giambruno, who’s been following the situation closely, explains:South African President Cyril Ramaphosa plans to change the constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation. This is when the government steals land from an owner and gives it to someone else, in this case, based on race.In his recent issue, Nick showed how Zimbabwe did the same thing in 2000. It introduced a mass confiscation of private property… a “land reform program,” supposedly to correct past injustices. It confiscated farms from white owners and gave them to government supporters.And that ultimately destroyed the country’s economy. And it now looks like South Africa is headed down the same dark path.• Of course, politicians throw out crazy ideas like this all the time… And many of those never get put into law or policy. But there’s a good chance South Africa follows through with this.After all, Ramaphosa’s party controls about 63% of the Congressional seats in South Africa’s National Assembly.According to Nick, it’s no longer a question of if South Africa expropriates land from its white citizens… but rather, when: Bottom line: A solid majority of South Africans support the expropriation of land without compensation in some form or another. It’s only a matter of time before it happens. Land confiscation and the ensuing economic collapse are already baked into the cake.This is clearly bad news for the people of South Africa.But it’s also a huge opportunity for speculators. That’s because turmoil in South Africa could set the stage for a monster platinum rally. More from Nick…The impending chaos there all but guarantees an enormous supply disruption for platinum… Simply put, the stage is set for a supply shock – and price spike – of historical proportions.• This is the last thing South Africa’s mining industry can afford… Nick explains:Aside from the supply threat posed by South Africa following Zimbabwe’s lead, the country’s mines are already in terrible shape. And they’re getting worse…First, half of South Africa’s mines are unprofitable. And others may become unprofitable because of operating cost overruns or rising labor costs. This means some of them could shut down, even without an all-out crisis in the country.Second, labor is the biggest contributor to high costs. And South Africa’s mining unions are exceptionally strong. So cutting costs is hardly an option.• Nick isn’t the only “crisis investor” closely watching this situation, either… Casey Research founder Doug Casey had this to say in the latest issue of Crisis Investing:Nobody wants to invest in a place where property rights are ceasing to exist. Nobody is going to put any significant capital in there, and they’re not generating any domestic capital.I just don’t see how the mining industry can continue there. It’s a far cry from the 1960s when these mines were making enough money to pay, on average, 10% dividends with gold at only $35 an ounce.In short, South Africa’s mining industry faces serious problems. And those problems could soon lead to a massive global supply disruption.All else being equal, that’s a recipe for higher platinum prices.With all of this in mind, consider speculating on platinum if you haven’t yet. You can easily do this by buying the Aberdeen Standard Physical Platinum Shares ETF (PPLT). This fund is designed to track the price of platinum. As with any speculation, don’t bet more money than you can afford to lose.Regards,Justin Spittler Lima, Peru January 24, 2019P.S. I also encourage you to check out Nick’s advisory, Crisis Investing. As you’ll see, platinum isn’t the only metal poised to soar because of turmoil in South Africa. Another key metal could also soar in the months ahead.Nick has found the perfect vehicle to bet on both of these moves… and it’s a screaming buy right now. In fact, it’s trading at around a 7% discount to its fair value. But Nick doesn’t expect it to stay this cheap for much longer – so be sure to act soon. For more details on how to receive Crisis Investing, click here.Reader MailbagOne reader has a response to some previous subscriber feedback on Doug Casey’s interview on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez…Doug, I am surprised at the infatuation some of your readers have for authoritarian regimes, as reflected in the Reader Mailbag responses to Doug’s interview on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Terry, for instance, writes, “China is a total socialist/totalitarian regime that has lifted over 800 million out of poverty while still creating 1.34 million millionaires.” A “total socialist/totalitarian regime?” Really? In fact, while there is sadly a massive state apparatus in China, it was the post-Mao encouragement of marketplace activity, private property, and the opportunity of obtaining personal wealth that has dramatically lifted the standards of living for millions of Chinese – not its “socialist/totalitarian” aspects.Then there is Ian, who scorns “anarcho-capitalism” for its alleged inability to provide “water and sewage” systems, preferring, it appears, the wonders of communist Cuba, from which thousands risked death at sea in makeshift rafts rather than continue life in Cuba’s communist paradise. As to the water/sewage topic, I refer Ian to Water Capitalism, by Walter Block and Peter Nelson, wherein the argument for a free market in water and associated services is skillfully defended.– Danielcenter_img By Justin Spittler, editor, Casey Daily DispatchWhen chaos hits, most investors panic.They sell without thinking. But the best investors understand that crises can be huge opportunities.You see, investors often “panic sell” during a crisis. They dump high-quality assets out of fear.This allows savvy investors to scoop up world-class companies at deep discounts.• But that’s not the only kind of opportunity that arises out of crises… Crises can also disrupt global supply chains. They can knock the balance between supply and demand out of whack. And that can lead to huge price spikes.This is especially true of commodities. I say this because natural resources are the building blocks of civilization. The modern world simply wouldn’t exist without them.The world doesn’t stop using copper, iron ore, or lumber when there’s turmoil. And more often than not, people end up paying steep premiums.These disruptions in the commodity space can trigger explosive rallies.As I’ll show you today, one key metal in particular appears to be on the verge of a major supply disruption. — — Recommended Link Important Message From E.B. Tucker on Tonight’s Summit Hello, E.B. Tucker here, editor of Strategic Investor.Regular readers know I believe we’re about to witness a watershed moment in the market. In short, thanks to a recent Trump Supreme Court ruling, over $4 billion could flood a very specific corner of the stock market in one day – February 4, 2019.I want to make sure you know all the details to take advantage of this lucrative opportunity. That’s why I invite you to attend tonight’s big event at 8 p.m. ET – The Greatest Day in Stock Market History Investment Summit.I’ll give you a sneak peek at my top three recommendations – each of which could soar 1,000%, beginning immediately. Further, I’m going to explain why this opportunity is unprecedented and could be 40 times bigger than the legal marijuana industry in a matter of years.We’re getting underway here in a few hours. If you’d like to join us, you can sign up for free right here.last_img read more

Theres no Xbox or PlayStation for most of the kid

first_imgThere’s no Xbox or PlayStation for most of the kids in the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh. But there are kites.In the late afternoon, a steady wind over the hills of the Hakimpara refugee camp. Young boys race to a ridge at the top of the settlement to fly homemade kites. Some of the “kites” are little more than a plastic bag flapping on a string. But some are more sophisticated with long tails and frilly tassels. “This is a new kite and I’m very happy with it,” says 7-year-old Mohammed Arfat as he reels out string to a silvery kite 30 or 40 feet above him.Arfat adds that any day he’s not able to fly a kite, he feels upset.I ask Arfat where he got his fancy new kite. He tells me that there’s “this guy” who makes them and gives them away.The “guy” turns out to be a 10-year-old named Fayes Khamal.”It’s easy to make kites but I need to find the materials,” says Khamal. “And it takes a bit of time.”Khamal uses bits of castoff bamboo and opaque plastic sheeting to fashion his kites — leftovers from the shelters people build and bits of trash he finds. In the simple shelter Khamal shares with his parents, he splits bamboo into thin strips with a machete and uses the bamboo as a frame for the kite. Then he stretches the plastic sheeting over it, tying it with string to the bamboo. After he’s made the diamond-shaped body of the kite, he cuts a plastic grocery bag into strips and teases the ends into frilly tassels. Khamal attaches these to the kite to make the tail and what he calls “arms” — strips of plastic that dangle from each side of the kite and flap wildly when it’s flying in the air”If it didn’t have arms and a tail the kite won’t fly well,” he says. “It would spin around in the sky. It needs these extra pieces.”He says once he has the materials he needs, it only takes him about 20 to 30 minutes to build a kite. Khamal makes four or five a week and gives them away to younger kids. His mother, Yemma Kulsom, sews clothes to earn extra cash. Khamal often borrows her thread and needles for his kite projects.Kulsom says her son taught himself how to make kites back in Myanmar about three years ago. She says they’ve gotten more and more sophisticated as he’s gotten older. They were forced to flee, she says, after an attack by the military on Rohingya rebels.”When we heard that soldiers were coming toward our village, everyone hid in the forest,” she says. “When we emerged the soldiers had burned down our houses. That’s when we decided to come here to Bangladesh.”Kulsom says her dream for her son is that he gets a good education. He attends a school that meets for two hours most afternoons.In the mornings, he goes with his father to the edge of the camp to collect firewood. She says Khamal is a good student and she thinks maybe he could be a teacher when he grows up. Khamal says he’d prefer to be a shopkeeper.For now, however, he’s the “kite guy.”Once he finishes making his latest kite he takes it out for a test flight.The camp is dry. Powdery beige dust covers just about everything. Khamal starts to run up a path that cuts between the shelters. His kite rises up behind him. It flits through the air like a fish fighting its way upstream. The opaque plastic shimmers in the sky. Its tail darts from side to side. Khamal beams up at his homemade kite. For a moment it’s the brightest object in the camp. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit read more

Activists have paid tribute to Debbie Jolly a cen

first_imgActivists have paid tribute to Debbie Jolly, a central figure in the disabled people’s anti-cuts movement, a passionate advocate of the social model, and a researcher-activist who “brilliantly” exploited links between research and activism, who died last week.One friend and former colleague described her as “a force for good and an exceptional champion of all disabled people”.Her death has left many members of the disabled people’s anti-cuts movement shocked and devastated.Jolly (pictured), who died after a short illness, was a co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), and had worked over at least two decades at local, national and European levels to further the cause of disability rights.Her death came just days after a report by the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) confirmed allegations of “grave or systematic violations” of disabled people’s human rights by the UK government.Jolly, who lived in Leicestershire, had played a significant role in bringing those allegations to CRPD’s attention, and providing the evidence needed to prove those claims over several years.She was a long-time board member of the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL), and also a member of the Academic Network of European Disability Experts (ANED), of the National Union of Journalists, and of the editorial board of the journal Disability and Society.Despite her influence on the disabled people’s anti-cuts movement, Jolly shied away from the spotlight, and never sought media attention.Friends and colleagues this week described how she combined anger at injustice, determination, joy and vibrancy, and said she was both “a warrior and tireless campaigner for disabled people’s human rights” and a generous, caring and supportive mentor of other disabled activists.Linda Burnip, who had worked closely with Jolly for years as a fellow co-founder of DPAC, including on the complaint to the UN, said in a statement issued on behalf of DPAC’s steering group that disabled people had “lost a friend and advocate and a fighter for our movement”.She said: “Debbie was one of the main people involved in initiating the UN inquiry into the UK’s grave and systematic violation of disabled people’s human rights, which will be a lasting testimony to her life and work.“Debbie was a warrior and tireless campaigner for disabled people’s human rights and most of all she never wanted to be hailed as a heroine or praised by others for the work that she did.”A DPAC colleague, Ellen Clifford, added: “The enormous hole she has left is testament to what a rare and amazing person she was.“She never courted publicity or self-aggrandisement but believed in the collective struggle and was uncompromising in her commitment to the social model of disability.“To those she valued she was also endlessly supportive and caring. Her belief in me gave me a rock that at many times I would have been lost without.”But Clifford added: “However, she would want us not to mourn but to organise and to continue the fight that she dedicated her life to. And so, though it hurts, we have to go on.”Another DPAC colleague, Bob Ellard, said Jolly was “an admired colleague and a truly great activist. But more than that she was a much-loved friend.“She mentored me with great patience when I joined the disabled people’s activism community and she taught me so much.“I will always cherish her memory and be thankful that I had the chance to know her.”John McArdle, co-founder of DPAC’s Scottish sister organisation, Black Triangle, said: “It’s because of the work, love and dedication of women like Debbie that the world continues to carry on, so this generation of disabled people and those yet unborn will have a future and a hope.”He said the UN report would stand as Jolly’s “last will and testament”.Jamie Bolling, ENIL’s executive director, said Jolly would be “greatly missed” and was “much appreciated for her leadership skills and her straightforward messages on independent living”.Jolly was employed by ENIL between 2007 and 2009 on a project promoting independent living across Europe, and had served on the ENIL board since 2013.She was also active in ENIL’s Alliance Against Disability Cuts, pushing the European Parliament to counter the impact of austerity measures on disabled people, and was involved in ENIL’s project to promote independent living in Turkey, as well as working with Bulgaria’s centre for independent living. Bolling said: “A strong believer in the user-led grassroots groups, she made sure ENIL is able to engage with and support disabled people active at the local level in their countries.”And she said that the CRPD inquiry Jolly helped to spark would “hopefully help change the policy and practice not just in the UK, but will encourage other groups in Europe to take similar action”.She added: “Debbie was in full force fighting the battle against institutionalization of disabled people, and for deinstitutionalization.“Her research on independent living is greatly appreciated and will continue to be of relevance for years to come.”The artist-activist Ann Whitehurst and academic and cultural critic Dr Paul Darke – co-founders of the disability arts organisation Outside Centre – met Jolly for the first time on the same day in 2007, when she was speaking about Rethinking Disability Representation in Museums and Art Galleries, a major piece of academic research she was working on.Whitehurst and Darke worked on a short film of ENIL’s Freedom Drive in 2009, which Jolly was involved in organising, and which they say “stands as a testament to her work, her commitment and her internationalism”, as well as her passion.Jolly also wrote the main essay for their photo-book about the London 2012 Paralympic Games, All Swim In The River Of Life And Lean Towards Salvation, which, they said, “made the book and totally outshone our (art) work for its (political) passion on disability”.Darke said he and Whitehurst had met Jolly regularly for lunch in Wolverhampton over the last few years, “discussing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, all of which we agreed were intertwined and, as such, ever elusive”. Darke said: “Ann and I will both miss Debbie greatly; not just her company but her ability to educate, to teach, to listen, to inspire a political passion, and to drink more tea than us at any one sitting.   “Debbie was one of the best and will be missed at a time when she is more needed than ever. “Tears, words and emotional responses will never be enough to describe her contribution to us and many other individuals but sadly it is all one can muster at the loss of a great friend, mentor and supporter of disabled people, of me, of Ann and of disabled people across Europe. “The future was indeed bright with Debbie and seems much gloomier without her to lead us to the light that is now gone.”Whitehurst added: “I can’t bear to be without the intellectual stimulus and joy and vibrancy of her. We are beloved comrades, beloved friends.“I will not think of Debbie in the past tense. In her spirit and her intellect she is the theory, the analysis, the resolve of DPAC.“As long as it remains steadfast to upholding the political and social principle of full equality for all and the social model of disability, she will remain intellectually, passionately, alive through it.”John Clarke met Jolly through his work as organiser of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) in Canada, which itself was experiencing austerity-driven cuts to disabled people’s support.He said: “Despite the disadvantage of her only ever appearing to us in the form of email messages, her fine qualities came through very clearly. “Disabled people in the UK have faced austerity, abandonment and an accompanying assault on their dignity.“Resistance is hard and despair all too easy but Debbie had within her the anger, the love, the determination and the political judgement that has enabled DPAC to ensure that disabled people have not just resisted austerity but have given a lead to others.“In September, I was able to travel to London for the DPAC week of action, meet Debbie in person and entirely confirm the view of her I had already formed.“We are so sad she has gone but so proud and grateful that Debbie Jolly lived. We’ll take her contribution with us into the struggles for justice that lie ahead.”As well as her work with DPAC, ENIL, ANED and other organisations, Jolly leaves behind an impressive catalogue of academic and journalistic publications.She studied at Leeds University’s hugely influential Centre for Disability Studies, under Professor Colin Barnes, at a time when the atmosphere at the centre was “very communal” and drenched in the idea of disability activism.She received a post-graduate diploma in disability studies, and many of her subsequent articles can be read online on the centre’s website.Barnes said Jolly was  “not a theorist”, but a “strong advocate of social model thinking”, and was a “great loss to the disabled people’s movement”.He paid tribute to her role in co-founding DPAC, which he said was “probably the most important organisation campaigning for disability rights in the UK”.He said: “She wasn’t interested in being interviewed or being a major personality; she found that to be unnecessary.”Dr Alan Roulstone, former professor of disability studies at Leeds, said Jolly had been a “first-rate researcher” and had managed “brilliantly to build and actively exploit links between evidence and activism”.He said: “She was critical of orthodoxies and wasn’t afraid to question ministers, charity chief executives and academics alike.“Debbie was a very strong, focused person, but immensely human, softly-spoken and considerate.”She was, he said, “a force for good and an exceptional champion of all disabled people”.Among the academic work she leaves behind is an article from 2010, for ENIL, in which she gauged the mood of disabled people internationally on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and its effectiveness.She concludes, two years before she would start to push for the UK government to be investigated for breaches of the treaty: “Many respondents said that monitoring and evaluation processes must be strengthened with sanctions applied to those governments that did not implement or ratify.”Roulstone said Jolly was “central to the research on direct payments from the early to mid-2000s” and was “lead researcher on a number of very robust studies, ranging from direct payments to transport access and welfare to work”, including a piece of work for the Disability Rights Commission in 2006 on disabled people’s use of public transport.Another article, published in the wake of the 2011 Dilnot report on the funding of social care, and subtitled “eight things disabled people should know about the Dilnot report”, expressed Jolly’s contempt for “a series of ideologically driven ‘cuts’ by a government intent on removing the fabric of a post-war welfare state”.She says later in the article that the system was “in crisis” and “constantly denies individuals and families the support and investment that a relatively wealthy country is capable of providing.“A crisis matched by the erosion of disability rights and supports fought for by disabled people over the past 20 years in a regime that is severely impacting on the lives of disabled people now, and that will impact negatively on future generations.”Another influential article, A Tale of Two Models, was published by DPAC in 2012, and took aim at neo-liberalism, the American insurance giant Unum, and the so-called biopsychosocial model of disability, while delivering a passionate defence of the social model.In the article, she critcises the way the big disability charities try to speak for disabled people in a bid to secure “lucrative government contracts”, and how they helped design the work capability assessment, and then spoke out and campaigned against it.“This is not about getting people into work – there are no jobs, much less jobs for disabled people,” she wrote.“It is not about even about ‘thinking yourself well’ or tortured nonsensical models shored up by dubious academics in the pay of Unum.“This is about denying benefits, denying illness and denying disability: It’s about something Unum have a successful history of: denying pay outs for disabled people while capitalising on fear and risk.“It’s about an ideological regime of misery and austerity in the twelfth richest country in the world.“It amounts to the biggest government benefit fraud in social welfare and human rights in contemporary history.”In her own short biography on ENIL’s website, Jolly calls for more grassroots campaigns, which she says would help in “motivating more disabled people to demand change, engage in rights arguments and in developing more of our own solutions to our imposed social and economic inequalities”.Her son, Oliver, said in a statement this week that his mother was “an incredible human being” and that her family were “immensely proud of her” and “utterly devastated to have lost her, and for disability rights to have lost such an important campaigner”.Activists last night dedicated a protest outside parliament – which called for an end to welfare reform and highlighted the need for the government to be held to account for the UN report – to Jolly, while her family said they would donate the money they would have spent on a traditional funeral to DPAC.Oliver said: “The concept of a funeral made little sense to Debbie. She felt that a person could be mourned without the need of such ceremonies.“We feel that Debbie would rather have money go towards the cause she dedicated herself so passionately towards and therefore have decided not to have a conventional funeral, but instead we will donate the money saved to DPAC.”Picture by Pete Richeslast_img read more

Is Ready Player One Showing Us Our Virtual Reality Future

first_img Image credit: Jaap Buitendijk | Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc Craig Greiwe Senior Vice President and Head of Digital at Rogers & Cowan March 30, 2018 Virtual Reality Add to Queue Guest Writer Is ‘Ready Player One’ Showing Us Our Virtual Reality Future? Steven Spielberg’s new film Ready Player One envisions the world of 2044, when the poor live in vertically stacked trailer parks and everyone plugs into a Second Life-like virtual world called Oasis.While I’m not qualified to speak on the likelihood of vertical trailer parks, I can say that this conception of VR as a mainstream technology is about as likely as the Jetson’s car that folded up into a suitcase.VR has a bright future, to be sure, but if there’s one thing that we’ve learned from the last five years of VR being “The Next Big Thing” each year, it’s that VR’s handicaps make fuller adoption limited and leave the door open for a much less invasive technology with a much brighter future: augmented reality, or AR. AR is positioned to be a genuinely transformative and mainstream technology.Why VR faces challenges.VR has incredible potential, to be sure — but its fate is to be among the best video game consoles, not as an everyday, household item. A combination of price, quality and intrusiveness stand in its way. Peruse the product reviews and message boards for VR headsets and you’re likely to see a variation of this comment: “This thing is ripping through my forehead and when I try to adjust it, it rides on my nose, cutting my air off. I swear I’m ready to toss it in the trash.”So reads a message on a forum for Oculus. While some respondents insisted that the writer’s head was too large, others admitted that they too find the headset uncomfortable. If that’s not enough, VR headsets have also been known to cause nausea and headaches. But red lines around your eyes and headaches aside, VR just suffers from the fact that people don’t like putting on equipment. It should fit into their lives, not make them fit into it.Related: 12 Amazing Uses of Virtual RealityThe fact that VR headsets are uncomfortable is just one reason that it’s hard to see VR in every home or with everyday use. The devices are also expensive add-ons on top of phones, Apple Watches and cars. The Oculus Rift retails for $399. That might seem reasonable until you consider that the median wage in the U.S. is $44,564 and the product seems more like a luxury toy.AR: The Winner’s Circle is already here.AR and VR are often lumped together, but the former is Simon to VR’s Garfunkel or, if you prefer, Hall to VR’s Oates. Digi-Capital predicts that AR could reach $85 billion to $90 billion in revenue by 2022 while VR will likely grab $10 billion to $15 billion.AR’s growth isn’t just the story of the future, it’s the story of now. The Pokémon Go craze in 2016 got everyone’s attention but since then, AR has started to pervade our everyday life even when users don’t realize it’s AR. Stickers on Snapchat and Instagram are the perfect example: users don’t even realize these items are the leading edge of a trend that will start to crest in 2018.Related: 3 Ways Augmented Reality Will Find Its Way Into Your LifeThe story of AR isn’t just about entertainment. Because the infrastructure is already built into every phone, AR can be everywhere without being invasive. While VR requires standalone interaction, AR can be used for games (Pokémon Go) and photos (Instagram) but so much more. Exclusive content can play tied to a simple trigger, video can overlay reality, and you can turn your entire physical world into an interactive experience with brands and locations. Imagine, for instance, entering a store and having your phone’s AR app point out the items you’re looking for or ones that are on sale. Or maybe you could hold your phone up to a restaurant to see the reviews. These applications aren’t a giant leap — they’re either here or coming soon.Forever virtual, never real.The tech industry has been through game changers and near-game-changers before. The question is always which side of the equation innovation is on. Second Life, Google Glass and Bitcoin are all part of the could-have-beens. And while the jury is still out on whether VR joins them, AR is already a massive success and poised to join mobile phones, geolocation and electronic vehicles as innovation that changes the way we live our lives every day.So maybe the sequel to Ready Player One can be a bit more realistic and add a few Instagram stickers, AR scavenger hunts and “Easter Eggs” tucked in a local McDonald’s — and then we’d really be looking at the future.   Apply Now » Next Article 5 min read –shares Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List This expert predicts the winner of the battle between VR and AR. The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue.last_img read more

BlackBerry Takeover Bid Falls Apart CEO to Depart

first_img Next Article Add to Queue November 4, 2013 Benjamin Kabin Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Image credit: Techno Buffalo Thorsten Heins Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Journalistcenter_img Technology 2 min read Register Now » Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business The $4.7 billion deal that would have taken BlackBerry Ltd. private has come undone. The Waterloo, Canada-based tech company announced today that Fairfax Financial Holdings, the investment firm that proposed the takeover bid but was unable to raise the necessary funds, will instead invest $1 billion in BlackBerry.What’s more, BlackBerry says its chief executive, Thorsten Heins, will be leaving the company. David Kerr, a managing partner at investment holding company Edper Financial Corporation, will step down from BlackBerry’s board of directors — a role he held since July 2007. Heins was appointed president and chief executive in January 2012.As part of the new agreement, Fairfax and other investors will invest $1 billion in “convertible debentures” in BlackBerry, with Fairfax contributing $250 million. A convertible debenture is a type of loan that can be converted into common stock if BlackBerry’s stock price hits $10 a share.Related: BlackBerry Inks $4.7 Billion Deal to Go PrivateUpon the closing of the transaction, John Chen, the former chairman and chief executive of Sybase, is expected to serve as interim chief executive and board chairman until the company finds a replacement. Prem Watsa, Fairfax’s chairman and chief executive, will be appointed lead director and chair of BlackBerry’s Compensation, Nomination and Governance Committee.The agreement is expected to be reached in the next two weeks, pending approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange.Despite its sudden change of course and failure to go private after months of searching for a buyer, BlackBerry touted today’s news as a “significant vote of confidence.””This financing provides an immediate cash injection on terms favorable to BlackBerry, enhancing our substantial cash position,” board chair Barbara Stymiest said. “Some of the most important customers in the world rely on BlackBerry and we are implementing the changes necessary to strengthen the company and ensure we remain a strong and innovative partner for their needs.”But investors apparently are less confident. BlackBerry shares are trading at $6.88, down more than 11 percent.Related: BlackBerry Says, ‘Remain Calm. All is Well.’ –shares BlackBerry Takeover Bid Falls Apart, CEO to Departlast_img read more

Sean Bairs ZooWho App Is Like a CRM for Your Personal Life

first_imgThis Relationship-Nurturing App Will Help You Be a Better FriendClient-facing professionals often use a customer relationship management tool (or CRM) to prioritize and maintain their business relationships. Entrepreneur Sean Bair saw the effectiveness of this system and realized how important it could be when applied to personal relationships, especially in today’s social media fatigued world. That’s why he decided to create ZooWho.ZooWho is an app that helps users manage their personal relationships by recording details and facts about friends and acquaintances, such as favorite foods, music preferences and social media activity.Marketing Technology News: Uberflip Named a Contender in Content Marketing Platforms for B2B Marketers for the First Time by Independent Research FirmZooWho also prioritizes connections between users and their contacts by providing gentle reminders to reach out to them based on set time intervals, encouraging continual cultivation of those friendships.“Unlike passive, old-school rolodex or mobile phone contact systems, ZooWho will help the user establish and nurture more meaningful relationships with friends, family and colleagues through reminders, geofencing alerts, ties to Amazon wish lists, predictive analytics and an app that captures the right data,” Bair said. “Armed with this information, users can begin showing their friends and contacts that they are paying attention to what matters to them and love, serve and nurture their relationship.”Marketing Technology News: Linda Dupree Named CEO of NCSIt may seem ambitious to claim that an app could make you a better friend, but numerous studies have shown that relationships are cultivated through moments of attention. ZooWho empowers users to mindfully direct their attention, thereby taking better care of those in their circle.Sean Bair is an established entrepreneur whose new app, ZooWho, is designed to help users foster their existing personal connections. The app is slated to be released in late May.Marketing Technology News: Riva CRM Integration Achieves SOC 2 Certification Sean Bair’s ZooWho App Is Like a CRM for Your Personal Life PRNewswireMay 10, 2019, 3:37 pmMay 10, 2019 Client-facing professionalscustomer relationship managementMarketing TechnologyNewsSean BairSocial MediaZooWho Previous ArticleNew Research: Global Businesses are Failing to Live up to their Claims of Putting the Customer FirstNext ArticleMarTech Interview with Yash Madhusudhan, CEO and Co-Founder, Fylelast_img read more

PTC Announces ThingWorx 85 to Help Customers Drive Digital Transformation to New

first_imgPTC Announces ThingWorx 8.5 to Help Customers Drive Digital Transformation to New Levels Business WireJune 13, 2019, 1:17 pmJune 13, 2019 New Capabilities Enable Businesses to Leverage the Power of Industrial IoTPTC announced the upcoming release of its ThingWorx Industrial IoT (IIoT) platform from the show floor of the LiveWorx digital transformation event. ThingWorx 8.5 combines new capabilities with world-class, domain-specific solutions to better serve the digital transformation needs of industrial enterprises worldwide.@PTC announces @ThingWorx 8.5 release from the #LiveWorx 19 show floor. #DigitalTransformationAmong the new and enhanced capabilities are tools that simplify the composition and deployment of solutions. Customers will be able to configure applications faster and deploy them across multiple sites and geographies. For those who want more ready-made solutions, ThingWorx also offers pre-built, pre-configured capabilities for engineering, manufacturing, and service. This latest version of ThingWorx brings enhanced integration with Microsoft Azure IoT and includes additional tools for rolling out solutions at an enterprise scale.Marketing Technology News: Mastercard Digital Wellness Program to Enhance Transparency, Security and Choice for Online ShoppingFunctional Solutions Taken to New LevelsEngineeringPTC’s long history in supporting the digital needs of designers and engineers is evidenced by the numerous enhancements in ThingWorx 8.5. The new ThingWorx Navigate Digital Change Management Application, the first in what will be a series, enables internal and external users to actively participate in the critical function of change management. The new series of ThingWorx Navigate Contribute Apps will expand on PTC’s popular NavigateView™ suite, which makes valuable information easily available and facilitates collaboration across the enterprise. Powered by the digital thread, engineers will now have real-time access to connected product data in ThingWorx to drive the design of next-generation products.ManufacturingWith domain contribution from Rockwell Automation, PTC offers a broad range of solutions to address manufacturers’ top challenges. During LiveWorx this week, PTC and Rockwell Automation are showcasing how their solutions – consisting of advanced technologies such as IIoT, augmented reality, analytics, and MES – can significantly improve enterprise operational intelligence, digital workforce productivity, intelligent asset optimization, and scalable production management. ThingWorx 8.5 is now compatible with Rockwell Automation’s FactoryTalk Analytics. Additionally, PTC will be releasing ThingWorx Kepware Edge® to provide flexible deployment of reliable and secure connectivity for dispersed equipment.Marketing Technology News: PROS Launches Sales Agreement Management to Streamline Selling in Digital EraServiceMaximizing service revenue and delivery margins is a critical mission for product manufacturers, and for many, IIoT is the answer. PTC’s service solution suite enables service organizations to transform from cost centers to profit centers and drive product and service innovation through new IIoT-enabled business models. The service optimization solution allows companies to improve margins by minimizing truck rolls and increasing first-time-fix rates, all while resulting in greater customer satisfaction. With ThingWorx 8.5, digital service delivery is enhanced through a deepened integration with Microsoft Azure, enabling manufacturers to now use the ThingWorx Software Content Management App with the Azure IoT Hub and Azure IoT Edge.“We continue to evolve ThingWorx and our IoT solutions to further the success of our customers and their digital transformation goals,” said Kathleen Mitford, executive vice president, products, PTC. “We are committed to exceeding the expectations of the marketplace through continued innovation, customer centricity, and our strategic alliances with Microsoft and Rockwell Automation.”Marketing Technology News: Vidyard Expands Offering to Bring Personalized Video App to Any Sales Professional, No Matter How They Work PTC Previous ArticleCSDC Launches New Amanda Freedom of Information SolutionNext ArticleInseego’s 5G NR Solutions Highlight Leadership at 5G World Summitlast_img read more

Engineer says new study forces researchers to rethink how elderly break their

University of Utah mechanical engineering assistant professor Claire Acevedo. Credit: Dan Hixson/University of Utah College of Engineering. Citation: Engineer says new study forces researchers to rethink how elderly break their bones (2018, January 23) retrieved 18 July 2019 from To better understand why many elderly people are prone to break a bone in a fall (known as bone fragility fractures), perhaps doctors and researchers should look at the human skeleton in much the same way civil engineers analyze buildings and bridges, according to a new study from a University of Utah mechanical engineering professor. 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. Provided by University of Utah A team of researchers led by U mechanical engineering assistant professor Claire Acevedo believes the bones of an older person, say above the age of 50, become more susceptible to a break due to repeated stress from everyday activities such as walking, creating microdamage that affects the quality of the bone. That is in contrast to the common-held belief that bone breaks in the elderly are largely due to one massive impact or force on the bone, such as a fall.”It really starts with a small microcrack that grows over time under repeated loading,” says Claire Acevedo, who has just joined the University of Utah College of Engineering faculty. “You need to be doing something like just walking or moving, and the crack is slowly propagating. At some point, the remaining cross-section of the bone that is still connected is too small and will break suddenly.”In that case, such fractures in the elderly would be the cause of a fall rather than the result of a fall.The study, “Fatigue as the missing link between bone fragility and fracture,” was published online this week in the latest issue of Nature Biomedical Engineering. Acevedo says this theory that “cyclic loading” (repeated and fluctuating loads) might be a bigger contributor to bone breaks is similar to the study of structures and engineered materials. This type of stress in structures and materials resulted in a rise of catastrophic accidents near the turn of the 20th Century and has led to the development of “fracture mechanics.””In engineered materials and structures, cyclic fatigue is the most ubiquitous mode of failure,” wrote Acevedo, who studies fractures and stress on skeletal tissue. “Cyclic fatigue accounts for more than 80 percent of all failures, leading to catastrophic and sudden accidents such as the failure of railway axles, the collapse of metallic bridges, the failure of ships and the cracking of aircraft airframes and engines.”The research is based on examining not just the bone’s mineral density (bone mass) but its quality, specifically how well the collagen that provides the ductility of the bone deforms to resist fractures. And as one gets older, the more microdamage that person accumulates over time and the weaker the bones get.”Bone quality is much more important than what we have been thinking,” she says. “Old bones gradually lose their mechanical properties, their ability to self-repair and to recover bone quality to prevent the formation of a fracture.””Fatigue is really important, and bone quality is really important. We need to change our mind about that,” she says. “We need to change our approach on how to study it and not just look at the effect of a single load if we want to prevent such fractures and the high risk of mortality associated with them.” Explore further Blood marker may predict postmenopausal women’s risk of bone fractures More information: Claire Acevedo et al. Fatigue as the missing link between bone fragility and fracture, Nature Biomedical Engineering (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41551-017-0183-9 Journal information: Nature Biomedical Engineering read more

Chinas Huawei steps up charm offensive rejects security fears

first_img Huawei invites foreign media to see for itself on spy claims Huawei strenuously denies any connections to China’s government.Sceptics, however, say it is highly unlikely that Ren, a former Chinese army engineer, could have steered his company to such heights in such a strategic sector without the support of Beijing, which has clearly stated its goal of becoming the world’s high-tech leader. On Thursday, Huawei Chairman Guo Ping will hold a news conference at the Shenzhen headquarters that may be the real reason for the media tour’s timing.The New York Times on Monday cited anonymous sources saying Huawei this week will announce plans to sue the US government for barring American federal agencies from using the company’s products.The topic of the news conference has not been disclosed, but a big announcement would allow Huawei to seize back the narrative from Meng’s extradition hearing.Huawei declined to comment publicly on the Times report.Opening its sprawling grounds also is a chance for Huawei to show that it is a global player not to be trifled with.Its Shenzhen headquarters—near Dongguan—has cutting-edge laboratories, hotels, swimming pools and fitness centres, a dozen cafeterias, and a Huawei University where it trains staff as well as foreign customers and partners. © 2019 AFP An employee works on a mobile phone production line at a Huawei production base during a media tour in Dongguan “They should be able to ride this out,” Balding told AFP. Huawei has kicked off the year with an aggressive PR campaign to counter US warnings that it could be used by Beijing for espionage and sabotage, with reclusive founder Ren Zhengfei denying the fears in a series of foreign media interviews.The charm offensive went into another gear Wednesday as Huawei welcomed news organisations to its facilities in southern Guangdong province.That included a stop at Huawei’s Independent Cyber Security Laboratory, whose director Wang Jin waved off the US fears.”Our most basic red line is that our products cannot have any backdoors,” Wang said.Journalists also toured a huge factory floor with 35 highly automated assembly lines in the city of Dongguan, where an array of robotic arms put together a Huawei P20 smartphone every 28.5 seconds.CFO’s arrestForeign journalist visits are hardly routine at Huawei’s facilities in Guangdong, where high-tech labs and manufacturing facilities employ more than 60,000 people, but these are unusual times for the company.The United States says Huawei equipment could be manipulated by China’s Communist government to spy on other countries and disrupt critical communications. Explore further Timeline on Huawei security concerns, and the legal woes of financial chief Meng Wanzhou. Washington is urging governments to shun the company just as the world readies for the advent of ultra-fast 5G telecommunications, an advancement that Huawei was expected to lead and which will allow wide adoption of next-generation technologies like artificial intelligence.Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, Ren’s daughter, also faces a court hearing on Wednesday in Vancouver on a US extradition request. Two Canadians have been detained in China in suspected retaliation over her arrest.During the tour, journalists were served coffee in cups featuring an image of a lighthouse and the words: “Lighting a beacon for Wanzhou’s early return.”The US Justice Department accuses Huawei and Meng of circumventing US sanctions against Iran. Two affiliates also have been charged with stealing trade secrets from telecommunications group T-Mobile.Christopher Balding, a China expert at Fulbright University in Ho Chi Minh City, said Huawei’s sudden PR outreach shows its concern over the US stance, but that the company shouldn’t suffer too much damage. Huawei has espoused a relentless ‘wolf’ ethos that executives say fuelled its rise to become the world leader in telecom network hardware Around 60,000 employees work at the Shenzhen headquarters which includes laboratories, hotels, swimming pools, fitness centres and a Huawei University Chinese telecom giant Huawei insisted on Wednesday its products feature no security “backdoors” for the government, as the normally secretive company gave foreign media a peek inside its state-of-the-art facilities. “It’s not realistic to expect the entire world to shun Huawei and that probably wouldn’t be good anyway.”‘Wolf’ ethosFounded by Ren in 1987, Huawei has espoused a relentless “wolf” ethos that executives say fuelled its rise to become the world leader in telecom network hardware.It remains to be seen how the new charm offensive will play out, but the wolf may already smell blood.After intense recent lobbying by Huawei, reports have suggested Britain and New Zealand may walk back earlier indications that the company would be frozen out of their telecom plans.At the world’s top mobile industry fair in Spain last week, Huawei bagged 5G commercial contracts or partnership agreements with 10 telecom operators—including Switzerland’s Sunrise, Iceland’s Nova, Saudi Arabia’s STC and Turkey’s Turkcell. Citation: China’s Huawei steps up charm offensive, rejects security fears (2019, March 6) retrieved 17 July 2019 from 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 US says Huawei equipment could be manipulated by China’s Communist government to spy on other countries and disrupt critical communicationslast_img read more

FedEx Offices new bots can deliver pizza groceries or even bring chicken

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: FedEx Office’s new bots can deliver pizza, groceries or even bring chicken noodle soup to the sick (2019, April 17) retrieved 17 July 2019 from Robots may soon make your FedEx delivery from Walmart, Target and Pizza Hut Starting in July, the robots, dubbed same-day bots, will be put to the test in the real world. FedEx Office will run the bots through routes in Plano and Frisco. They will join pedestrians on sidewalks and roll beside cars on the roadside.The bots also will be tested in Memphis, near parent company FedEx’s headquarters, and in Manchester, N.H., near the headquarters of DEKA, the engineering firm that designed them.For Plano-based FedEx Office, the bots represent a large untapped business opportunity. FedEx Office, which was formerly Kinko’s, has more than 1,500 employees in Plano. It has about 1,900 stores and locations and 15,000 employees in the U.S.With the on-demand economy, companies from startups to Fortune 500s are looking for creative and cost-effective ways to make speedy deliveries. They’ve enlisted the help of gig economy workers and experimented with tech-driven approaches, such as drones and robots.The bots are FedEx’s answer.The six-wheeled bots look like a white cargo box that’s attached to the base of a high-tech wheelchair. They can carry up to 100 pounds, but can fit through a standard doorway. They’re powered by a rechargeable electric battery and use software, sensors and a 360-degree camera to navigate. They can climb steps, wade through puddles and roll through granite, sand or snow.When they arrive to their destination, customers can unlock the bot’s sliding door with an app or a punched-in code.FedEx Office chief executive Brian Philips imagines a fleet of the bots lined up outside a neighborhood Walmart, Target or restaurant, waiting to be filled when a customer presses the “buy” button online. Several companies have already signed on, including Plano-based Pizza Hut, AutoZone, Lowe’s, Target, Walgreens and Walmart.FedEx Office will own and maintain the bots, but they’ll be customized for a company and its needs, such as chilling groceries, keeping a pizza hot or holding items in compartments, he said.LAST-MILE, SAME-DAYFedEx Office has seen a surge in business as people receive more and more packages, Philips said. The fastest growing parts of its business are its pickup service and returns. For example, FedEx Office has a contract with some retailers that allows it to refund money to customers after inspecting the returned item. The bots, he said, will solve a different challenge: Making last-mile, same-day deliveries that are difficult for a car or truck. They will focus on a 3-mile radius around a store location. On average, more than 60 percent of merchants’ customers live within that area, according to research by FedEx.Philips wouldn’t say how much each bot costs, but said the company is confident it can get the price “down to the point where our customers can line up a dozen of them outside their wall and use them constantly around the clock to make deliveries.”Sidewalk robots have already debuted in some parts of the country. In Washington, D.C., San Francisco and other cities, they have delivered pizza and other takeout. In recent months, San Francisco-based robotics delivery company Marble mapped routes in Arlington. The city of Dallas was briefed in the fall about a pilot program that Marble planned to launch in Dallas.But so far, no sidewalk robots have hit the streets or sidewalks of Dallas. Marble spokesman Craig Frucht said the company postponed expansion plans to focus on research and development and testing near its Bay Area headquarters.FedEx’s bots were designed by DEKA, a New Hampshire-based engineering firm that’s behind numerous innovations, including high-tech prosthetics, an insulin pump and a system used to purify water in the developing world. It was founded by Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway. The bot is built using the base of an iBOT, the powered wheelchair developed by DEKA and Johnson & Johnson.The bot made a guest appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in February and showed its stuff by delivering him a New York pizza.Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere recently watched a bot roll through the parking lot during a demonstration at FedEx Office’s headquarters. He said he’s glad the city will host such an innovative project. But, he added, the bots have a practical purpose, too.As Plano has grown from “bedroom community to suburb to city of our own,” it’s dealing with traffic and congestion. He said the bots will take some delivery trucks and cars off the road.ROLLING INTO THE REAL WORLDThe same-day bots will start rolling this summer in Plano and Frisco, Philips said. During testing, they won’t ferry any goods, but will help the company learn more about how they operate. FedEx Office will test its ability to intervene remotely, if the bot runs into an obstacle.The bots will go up to 10 miles per hour. Initially, they’ll be monitored by a worker.In the next phase, he said, FedEx Office will start using bots to move its own inventory between different stores. Then, they’ll test deliveries with their retail partners.The bots will start making customer deliveries in 2020, he said.center_img ©2019 The Dallas Morning News Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. FedEx Office is adding a new kind of worker in North Texas: A robot that can deliver a hot pepperoni pizza, a bag of groceries or a prescription to a customer’s home. The bot could bring a swab for a strep test to a sick person’s door and return hours later with medication, cough drops and a cup of chicken noodle soup. Explore furtherlast_img read more