Mahwah New Jersey – Reported by Elite Traveler t

first_imgMahwah, New Jersey – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyleJaguar celebrates its 75th anniversary today with the debut of the limited edition 2011 Jaguar XKR175 Coupe at the McCalls Motorworks Revival at the Monterey Jet Center during the Pebble Beach Automotive Weekend. This is the first appearance of the exclusive sports car in North America.The XKR175 is powered by a supercharged V8 with 510hp and 461 lb-ft of torque and top speeds raised to an electronically-limited 174mph. To ensure that the XKR175 remains stable at high speeds, a revised aerodynamic package incorporates a new front air dam, new side sills, a new rear diffuser and a larger rear spoiler providing increased balance and a reduction in lift. New 20-inch Kasuga 10-spoke alloy wheels, red brake calipers and Ultimate Black exterior paint adorn the car’s exterior.Inside, door sill tread plates reading “XKR175 – 1 of 175” greet the driver and passenger while the leather is finished in Warm Charcoal with Cranberry stitching, all accompanied by Piano Black wood veneer.Production of the XKR175 is limited to 175 vehicles at an MSRP of $104,500 (including destination charge). There will be 15 Jaguar XKR175 models for the Canadian market as read more

February 16 2018The residents and alumni have bee

first_imgFebruary 16, 2018The residents and alumni have been hard at work his week preparing the Arcosanti Cafe for the Annual Arcosanti Art Show opening on February 24th. From hanging walls and painting pedestals, to pricing pieces and firing kilns, they are doing it all.Here, Brendan is helping install the temporary walls that will help display the artists’ two dimensional work.Zach and Julie help to move tables to accommodate the new walls.A big group of artists and volunteers helped paint the new pedestals and give the old ones a spot paint to help them freshen up. Once the pedestals dried, they were brought to the cafe and the tables were moved back into place. Make sure to come and visit the Art show while its on display from February 24th to April 29th!(photos by Rebecca Weeks, text by Shannon Mackenzie)last_img

The number of digital TV homes around the world wi

first_imgThe number of digital TV homes around the world will double between now and 2017, according to the latest report from Digital TV Research.The forecasts, which cover 80 territories, say that the 2017 total will rise to 1.3 billion and that, at that point, global digital penetration will have reached 86.7%.Of the 648 million digital TV homes to be added between 2011 and 2017, 259 million will come from digital cable. Homes taking DTT but not subscribing to cable, DTH or IPTV will bring in a further 174 million, with pay DTT adding five million, according to the report. Pay IPTV will increase by 114 million, with pay DTH up 66 million and free-to-air DTH 31 million.Pay TV penetration (analogue and digital combined) reached half of the world’s TV households by end-2010, and will rise to 63% by end-2017, according to the report. Pay TV penetration at end-2017 will range from 87% in North America to 22% in the Middle East and Africa. Pay TV penetration will remain highest in the Netherlands, at 99.5% by end-2017. However, China will have the most pay TV subs, at 315 million by end-2017, followed by India with 145 million, according to the report.Simon Murray, report author, said: “There were still 714 million analogue TV households by end-2011. However, this total will fall to 202 million by end-2017. Analogue penetration will drop from 51.4% at end-2011 to 13.3% by end-2017.”last_img read more

In This Issue ECB and Fed to show their hands

first_imgIn This Issue. * ECB and Fed to show their hands * Global data shows a wider slowdown * UK data continue to disappoint * Aussie dollar touches 4 month high And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Waiting on the Fed. Good day, and welcome to August. As Mike mentioned, July will go down as the hottest month ever here in St. Louis and we aren’t alone in our battle against the heat as the entire country will probably set a record for the average temperature in July. At least our power hasn’t shut off and we can enjoy some AC, unlike the folks in India where there was a massive power outage over the past few days. The dollar rally seemed to lose power yesterday as currency investors were afraid to take positions ahead of the ECB and Fed announcements. The world’s two top central banks continue their meetings today and the markets will look to the post meeting announcements for some direction. The Fed head, Ben Bernanke, will be the first up to the podium this afternoon and then he will be followed by the ECB President Mario Draghi who will hold his press conference tomorrow. I don’t think we will see any dramatic action taken by our Fed this meeting, as they chose instead to ‘kick the can’ for another month. But things are different for the ECB who will be forced to come up with something. The global economy continues to slow, which has put increased pressure on both central banks to come up with some sort of stimulus. Data released yesterday here in the US showed consumer spending stagnated in June after dropping a revised .1% the month before. Personal income was up slightly both months, which indicates US consumers continue to tighten their belts. This data, along with the stagnant employment picture here in the US shows the problem Bernanke and the rest of the FOMC members face. They need to try and stimulate the US economy, but their only tools are their ability to control interest rates. Typically the Fed only has a direct impact on the short end of the curve, and the only way for them to control longer rates was by ‘jawboning’ them up or down by adjusting the markets inflation expectations. But during the credit crisis, the Fed felt rates were still too high on the long end so they took a lead from the UK and Japan and instituted a couple of ‘quantitative easing’ plans to try and drive them down. The Fed became big buyers of longer dated bonds which helped drive the 10 year yields to record low levels (I question just how much of this drop in rates was due to the Fed as the Euro crisis has probably done more to reduce rates here in the US than ‘operation twist’!). But have these lower rates had any kind of stimulative impact on the US economy? Yes, every time the Fed announces another easing program the stock market has rallied a bit, but the last time I checked the Fed’s dual mandate did not include keeping equity markets in the black. The purpose of lower rates are to try and get consumers and businesses to make the decision to borrow and spend, stimulating the economy. But as I just mentioned, US consumer spending has stagnated, and companies don’t seem to be confident enough to begin hiring workers. Lower mortgage rates are great for those of us who are working, but I have to believe most homeowners who have the ability to re-finance have already done so. So just how much stimulus will lower rates bring? Not much if you ask me. Both consumers and businesses will continue to be worried about the outcome of the elections, and what that will mean for tax policy here in the US. There is also that nagging ‘fiscal cliff’ which is lurking out there at the end of 2012. I certainly don’t envy the position our boys and girls over at the Fed have put themselves into, and I think they will take the ‘safer’ option today and simply tell the markets they will continue to monitor the situation and stand ready to ‘take action’ if needed (what exactly that action is will remain a mystery). As Mike wrote yesterday, the ECB President has painted himself into an even more difficult position with his assurance that the ECB will do ‘whatever is necessary’ to support the euro. The currency markets have certainly priced in some action by the ECB. Nobody expects either central bank to take action on rates, as they are just about as low as they can go. Instead, the markets have been pricing in some other type of stimulus program, either an extension of their current quantitative easing programs or new ones designed to pump more liquidity into the markets. I think currency traders will probably give Bernanke some room, but now is the time for Mr. Draghi to put up or shut up. But the problems in Europe won’t be solved with one dramatic announcement. Draghi can only hope to convince the markets that the ECB has a long term plan to deal with the crisis, but I think the risk is that the markets won’t be convinced by his words and the euro will give back all of the appreciation we have seen over the past week. There is no ‘silver bullet’ which will kill the debt crisis in Europe. The collapse of the Greek economy is well underway, and the ECB can only hope a similar situation does not occur in Spain or Italy. The labor markets are bad here in the US, but are even worse in Europe with the jobless rate reaching a record level. According to a report released today, unemployment in the eurozone reached a revised 11.2% in May and held at that record level in June. And the ECB won’t be able to depend on a global economic rally as data indicates the globe will continue to be stuck in a ‘slow growth’ mode for the next few years. Euro-are manufacturing contracted for a 12th month in July according to a report released today; falling to a 37 month low of 44 from 45.1 in June. A report released in Canada this morning showed GDP in our neighbor to the north rose just .1% in May, less than economists forecast. Another report showed China manufacturing, which most believe will be the force driving the global economic recovery, stalled out in July and is teetering on the edge of contraction. The Purchasing Managers’ index in China unexpectedly fell to 50.1 in July, the weakest in eight months from 50.2 in June. Another piece of data due out today is predicted to show manufacturing in the US also stagnated in July. The ISM factory index is due out this morning, and is expected to show a slight increase from last month’s reading of 49.7, but the index isn’t expected to rise much above 50 which is the dividing line between contraction and expansion. Regional reports in the US released yesterday confirmed that manufacturing is sputtering with manufacturing gauges in Wisconsin and Ohio declining. The pound sterling dropped a bit overnight after a report showed UK manufacturing shrank the most in more than three years in July. The gauge fell to 45.4 from a revised 48.4 in June, weaker than any of the 30 forecasts on Bloomberg. The Bank of England is meeting today and tomorrow, and is expected to announce no change in their policies. The BOE was the first to institute a bond buying program designed to stimulate their economy, a model followed by the US and Europe. Unfortunately, the results of this QE program have not lasted. This is worrisome for the US and the ECB, as our stimulus programs were instituted after those of the BOE. While the economies are definitely different, it is not good to see a QE program which has been in place longer than our own seemingly having little lasting impact on the UK economy. The pound barely even got a lift from hosting the Olympics. There was one bright spot in all of the manufacturing data released yesterday. Sweden’s manufacturing unexpectedly expanded in July, with a purchasing managers’ index rising to 50.6 in July from 48.4 the previous month. The Swedish economy expanded 1.4% in the second quarter as consumer spending rose and an increase in exports of services offset a decline in exports of goods. The news sent the Swedish krona higher as currency traders lowered bets that the Riksbsank would lower rates in September. The Swedish krona was the second best performing currency during the month of July, rising 2.45% vs. the US$. The top performer during last month? It was the Australian dollar which rose 2.77% vs. the US$. The aussie dollar touched the highest level in more than four months moving solidly through $1.05. The currency was helped by a report which showed house prices unexpectedly rose in the three months through June as lower rates helped stimulate the housing market. Another report showed building approvals decreased by less than economists had expected, which was another good piece of news for the important housing sector in Australia. There was a pickup in the number of first time homebuyers, increasing the amount of liquidity in the housing market. Then there was this. As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, people in India faced a massive power outage over the past few days. I was actually made aware of the outage well before anything was reported about it here in the states, as I continue to work with programmers based out of India. I was scheduled to be on a call with a programmer early yesterday morning, and was a bit upset when he never called in as we were waiting on some code improvements which we wanted to get in place prior to the month end. We were finally able to reach an associate of his in London who told us about the power outage. India has gone through some tremendous growth, but their infrastructure hasn’t been able to keep up with the changes in the population. Throw in a drought and high temps similar to what we have been experiencing here in the Midwest, and you end up with a power system which just couldn’t handle the demand. Apparently over 620 million were without power across India, that equates to almost two times the entire population of the US. While the power is expected to come back on sometime today, the drought is continuing and Goldman Sachs announced yesterday that they were lowering their GDP growth forecasts for India because of the lack of rain. Goldman reduced India’s FY2013 GDP forecast to 5.7% from 6.6% due to the weak monsoon season. They also reduced their rate cut forecast to 25 bps in 2012 which will probably occur in the 4th quarter. Goldman maintained their view that the RBI will cut an additional 50 bps in 2013. None of this is good news for the Indian rupee. To recap. The ECB and FED begin their meetings today, and Bernanke should make an announcement this afternoon. I don’t expect our Fed to take any new action, but the markets are expecting something big from the ECB. The currencies remained in a tight range waiting for any news. Manufacturing data released across the globe verified a global slowdown is underway. UK manufacturing data weighed on the pound and Sweden was the sole bright spot, posting a positive manufacturing number. The Australian dollar was the top performer in July, and added to its gains moving up above $1.0530. And finally, there was a massive power outage in India, with over twice the population of the US losing power. Currencies today 8/1/12. American Style: A$ $1.0531, kiwi .8129, C$ .9989, euro 1.2310, sterling 1.5630, Swiss $1.0248. European Style: rand 8.2568, krone 6.0121, SEK 6.7564, forint 227.72, zloty 3.3377, koruna 20.5835, RUB 32.3128, yen 78.15, sing 1.2446, HKD 7.7539, INR 55.5175, China 6.3687, pesos 13.2847, BRL 2.0569, Dollar Index 82.582, Oil $88.27, 10-year 1.48%, Silver $27.93, Gold $1,614.90, and Platinum $1,410.25 That’s it for today. Thanks to all the readers who sent me notes regarding Lucy. I am happy to report that she pulled through last Friday’s operation with no complications and is almost back to her sweet self. I enjoyed watching the US girls grab the gold in gymnastics last night, and enjoyed watching Phelps set the record as the most decorated Olympian ever. The crew is coming in and the phones are about to turn on, so I better end this and get it out the door. Hope everyone has a Wonderful Wednesday, and thanks for reading the Pfennig!! Chris Gaffney, CFA Vice President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 read more

In recent years some cities including Memphis an

first_imgIn recent years, some cities, including Memphis and Phoenix, withered into health insurance wastelands, as insurers fled and premiums skyrocketed in the insurance marketplaces that were set up under the Affordable Care Act.But today, as in many parts of the U.S., these two cities are experiencing something unprecedented: Insurance premiums are sinking and choices are sprouting.In the newly competitive market in Memphis, for example, the cheapest midlevel “silver” plan for 2019 health coverage will cost $498 a month for a 40-year-old — a 17 percent decrease compared to last year.And four insurers are now selling ACA policies in Phoenix. That’s the same market that then-presidential candidate Donald Trump highlighted in 2016 because all but one insurer had left the region — he called it proof of “the madness of Obamacare.”Janice Johnson, a 63-year-old retiree in Arizona’s Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, said her monthly premium for a high-deductible bronze plan will be $207 for 2019, instead of $270, because she is switching carriers.”When you’re on a fixed income, that makes a difference,” said Johnson, who receives a government subsidy to help cover her premium. “I’ll know more in a year from now if I’m going to stick with this company. But I’m going to give them a chance, and I’m pretty excited by that.”Looking across all 50 states, the premiums for the average “benchmark” silver plan, which the government uses to set subsidies, are dropping nearly 1 percent. And more than half of the counties in the 39 states that rely on the federal exchange are experiencing a 10 percent price decrease, on average, for their cheapest plan.In most places, the declines are not enough to erase the price hikes that have accrued since the creation of the health care exchanges in 2014.Instead, next year’s price cuts help to correct the huge increases that jittery insurers set for 2018 to protect themselves from anticipated Republican assaults on the markets. While Congress came up one vote shy of repealing the federal health law in the summer of 2017, Trump and Republicans in Congress did manage to strip away many of the structural underpinnings that induced people to buy plans and helped insurers pay for some of their low-income customers’ copayments and deductibles. Insurers responded with a 32 percent increase, on average, for 2018 plans.”Insurers overshot last year,” said Chris Sloan, a director at Avalere, a health care consulting company in Washington, D.C. “We are nowhere close to erasing that increase. This is still a really expensive market with poor benefits when it comes to deductibles and cost.”For 2019, the average premium for the benchmark silver plan will be 75 percent higher than it was in 2014, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)When Republicans failed to kill the health law last year, they inadvertently may have made it stronger. Insurers banked hefty profits in 2018, and that attracted new companies to most ACA markets.All these factors were especially influential in Tennessee, where the average benchmark premium is dropping 26 percent, according to an analysis by the federal government. That’s a bigger drop than in any other state.Seventy-eight of 95 Tennessee counties had just one insurer for 2018. That monopoly allowed the insurer to set the prices of its plans without fear of competition, said David Anderson, a researcher at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy in Durham, N.C. “They were massively overpriced,” Anderson said of all available policies.But for the coming year, 49 Tennessee counties will have more than one insurer, with a few — like Shelby County, where Memphis is located — having four companies competing. There, Cigna dropped the price of its lowest-cost silver plan by 15 percent. Even then, Cigna was underbid by Ambetter of Tennessee, a company owned by the managed-care insurer Centene Corp.”We’re finally at the point where the market is stabilized,” said Bobby Huffaker, the CEO of American Exchange, an insurance brokerage firm based in Tennessee. “From the beginning, every underwriter — [and] the people who were the architects — they knew it would take several years for the market to mature.”Still, the cheapest Memphis silver premium is nearly three times what it was in 2014, the first year of the marketplaces. A family of four, headed by 40-year-old parents, will be paying $19,119 for all of next year unless they qualify for a government subsidy.”The unsubsidized are leaving,” said Sabrina Corlette, a professor at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute. “They are finding these premiums unaffordable.”The landscape in Phoenix is greatly improved from when Trump visited after the federal government announced a 116 percent premium increase for 2017; the number of insurers at that time had dropped from eight to one.Now, three new insurers are entering Maricopa County. Meanwhile, Ambetter, the only insurer that offered plans for 2018, reduced its lowest price for a silver plan for next year by 12 percent — and it offers the cheapest such plan in the market.Still, Ambetter’s plan is 114 percent above the least expensive silver plan offered there in the first year of the exchanges. And neither Ambetter nor any of the insurers coming into the market for 2019 offer as broad and flexible a choice of doctors and hospitals as consumers had back then, according to Michael Malasnik, a local broker.Since the start of the exchanges, Malasnik said, insurers have “raised their rates by multiples, and they’ve figured out you have to be a very narrow network.”Each plan in Phoenix for 2019 contains trade-offs, he said. Only Bright Health’s plan includes Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Ambetter’s plan includes the most popular hospital and doctor groups, Malasnik said. But those providers are not as conveniently located for people living in the southeastern corner of the county, and that makes other insurers’ plans more appealing for some customers.”Geography is the name of the game this year,” Malasnik said.Theresa Flood, a preschool teacher who lives outside Phoenix, said none of the provider networks of the plans she considered included her doctors, such as the specialist who treats her spine problems. She has had four surgeries, and a neurologist who monitors a cyst and benign tumor in her brain is also outside the network she ended up choosing.”I have to establish care with a whole new spine doctor and establish care with a whole new neurologist if I want to follow up on these things,” said Flood, who is 59. “You’re going from ‘established care’ to ‘who in the heck am I going to see?’ “The plan Flood ultimately chose would have been too expensive, except that she and her husband John, who is a minister, qualified for a $1,263-a-month subsidy that will drop the cost to $207 a month. That bronze plan from Ambetter carries a $6,550-per-person deductible; so Flood expects she’ll still have to pay out-of-pocket for her treatments and doctor visits unless she needs extensive medical attention.”It’s gone from being able to have a plan that you could sort of afford and got some benefit from, to putting up with what you can afford and hoping nothing happens that you actually have to use your insurance,” she said. “At this point, I’ll take what I can get.”Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit news service, is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, and is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Copyright 2018 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit Kaiser Health News.last_img read more

Facebooks Brand Is Becoming the Uber of Social Media and Thats Not

first_img 6 min read Image credit: Shutterstock March 20, 2018 Entrepreneur Staff Facebook’s Brand Is Becoming the Uber of Social Media, and That’s Not a Good Thing Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Once upon a time less than five years ago every startup in existence pitched itself as the Uber of whatever it did. Nobdy frames their startup that way anymore. An ever unspooling series of scandals running the gamut from raunchy corporate culture to deliberately evading municipal regulators and alleged theft of trade secrets led to the ouster of Travis Kalanick, who now lives in exile and is remembered as the CEO who yells at his lowest-paid employees when they voice a complaint.Facebook and its famously boyish founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg appear to be spiraling toward the same branding calamity. The corporation and the man have consistently denied or downplayed Facebook’s role as a chief purveyor of Russian misinformation during the 2016 presidential campaign. An avalanche of new problems is burying Facebook with revelations that its loosey-goosey privacy rules allowed Cambridge Analytica, the company at the center of the scandal surrounding clandestine Russian involvement in the 2016 election, to “harvest” data from up to 50 million people without their permission (or, in the vast majority of cases, their knowledge) to sharpen the 2016 presidential campaigns of, first, Ted Cruz, then Donald Trump.The reporting on the Cambridge Analytica scandal is must reading no matter how burned out you are on politics and scandals. It reveals that Facebook operates a lot like a bar that doesn’t check ID — if you can pay for your drink, you get served and what happens after that is not their worry. In this instance, Cambridge Analytica — the data research firm owned by Steve Bannon and billionaire Robert Mercer, the same pair who brought us Breitbart News — hired a Cambridge University professor, Alexander Kogan, to entice Facebook users to download an app that vacuumed up their personal information as well as their Facebook friends.Related: Russian-Linked Facebook Ad Scandal Shows Just How Intricate Targeting Can BeThe data was supposed to be used for academic research but, as we know now (and Facebook has known for a long time but told nobody), it was used to draw exquisitely detailed profiles of American voters to guide how they were pitched during the 2016 campaign. Facebook is defensively arguing what is looking like one of the largest data breaches ever is not, in the narrowest possible sense, a data breach. As they explain it, everyone who dowloaded Kogan’s app agreed to surrender their data, but Kogan used the data he acquired in violation of his agreement with Facebook.That is something like telling a person who believes they have been robbed they are really victims of an embezzlement, so calm down and realize it isn’t Facebook’s fault. Alex Stamos, Facebook’s outgoing chief of security, seems to be among the many people skeptical of this explanation. According to The New York Times, Stamos has resigned from Facebook because of “internal disagreement rooted in how much Facebook should publicly share about how nation states misused the platform and debate over organizational changes in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections.”Stamos advocated disclosing more about how the Russians rigged Facebook and he advocates trying harder to keep them out of the upcoming elections. Zuckerberg, you will recall, in November 2016 dismissed as a “pretty crazy idea” that Russians had used Facebook to spread fake news. That was the same month Stamos’s team had already confirmed the Russians had done exactly that.Stamos, who once oversaw 120 people, was all but fired in December and left to oversee a staff of three.Related: Here Are the Russia Facebook Ads That Tried to Dupe YouZuck will be flushed from his comfort zone.The fall from grace of Facebook and huge social media companies in general (Twitter is better know known for Russian bots than earnest public debate) is likely to result in more regulation and more energetic scrutiny from regulators. Lawmakers in the U.S., U.K. and EU are clamoring for Zuckerberg personally to testify before investigating committees. Zuckerberg has only dispatched other executives to do that, and their testimony has been widely seen as evasive.“I will be writing to Mark Zuckerberg asking that either he or another senior executive from the company appear to give evidence in front of the committee as part our inquiry,” British lawmaker Damian Collins, head of a parliamentary committee that has been investigating Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, said to The Washington Post. “It is not acceptable that they have previously sent witnesses who seek to avoid difficult questions by claiming not to know the answers.”U.S. lawmakers seem intent on hearing from Zuckerberg himself.Related: Facebook Says 126 Million Users May Have Been Exposed to Russian Posts“They say ‘trust us,’ but Mark Zuckerberg needs to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about what Facebook knew about misusing data from 50 million Americans in order to target political advertising and manipulate voters,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said in a statement.Being hauled in front of congressional committees for a public grilling is just the unpleasant beginning for Zuckerberg and his company. Public outcry is likely to give new momentum to legislation to regulate political advertising on social media just as it is regulated in legacy media. Equally likely is heavy pressure on the Federal Trade Commission to enforce a 2011 consent order supposedly governing how Facebook protects release of user data to third parties. The order calls for fines of up to $40,000 per breach of privacy. The penalties for compromising the data of 50 million people could, at least in theory, run into the billions of dollars. The Electronic Privacy Information Center, which led the public movement that resulted in the consent order and has since sued the FTC for failure to enforce it, argues this latest data loss underscores the need for a national data protection law and a standalone agency to enforce it.“This is the consequence of the Federal Trade Commission’s failure to enforce the 2011 consent order with Facebook,” Marc Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, told The Washington Post. “The United States needs a dedicated privacy agency and a comprehensive privacy law. The FTC can’t do the job.”Related: Mark Zuckerberg ‘Dead Serious’ About Stopping Russian Facebook AbuseThere are limits to how bad it gets when your brand is tarnished. Uber, after all, remains an enormous and growing company likely to only get richer. Kalanick, wherever he is and whatever he is doing, remains a billionaire. It’s just neither is esteemed any longer or used as an example of excellence. Facebook, vastly larger and far more central to the daily life of many more people, is in no danger of going out of business, just as Zuckerberg is certain to remain one of the wealthiest people on Earth. How much it or he is respected or admired is much more uncertain. Peter Page Next Article center_img Senior Editor for Green Entrepreneur Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Add to Queue –shares Facebook Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg have squandered the public’s good will by downplaying just how compromised the platform was during the 2016 election. Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

The World Health Organization Wont Reschedule Cannabis Should We Care

first_img Add to Queue Green Entrepreneur Podcast December 7, 2018 –shares News and Trends Earlier this week at the International Cannabis Policy Conference, which is being held at United Nations Headquarters in Vienna, Austria, participants were very excited about the prospects of the United Nations World Health Organization rescheduling the legal status of the plant.All signs looked promising. Last May, the UN released its first-ever review of marijuana, offering some positive assessments. And earlier this month, the Federal Drug Administration got involved, asking the American people what they thought the U.S.’ recommendation should be.But, in a somewhat surprising blow, the World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence came out with an announcement saying it would decline to give recommendations or reschedule cannabis. The Committee argued it needed more time to complete a thorough critical review.“It’s unfortunate to hear the news on the decision from the WHO,” said Evan Eneman, CEO of the MGO/ELLO Alliance. “Every day we see more and more researchers, health institutions, investors, large multinational operators and entrepreneurs entering the space to support the sustainable growth of this industry.”Related: FDA Welcomes Public Comments on MarijuanaShaken But Not SurprisedWhile many experts in the cannabis industry are disappointed, not all are surprised. Emily Paxhia, co-founder and managing partner at cannabis-focused hedge fund Poseidon Asset Management, noted that the cannabis industry is used to seeing “progress coupled with setbacks.” Hurdles are inherent to the nature of this space, she added. “We are always optimistic and hopeful about seeing progress, understanding the plant and studying it further, so we can better comprehend all the positive attributes that the plant can bring to society,” she told Green Entrepreneur. “But, it’s also not that surprising to see that outdated perceptions and misperceptions are holding back adoption of studying, researching and looking more positively into the cannabis plant.”Jonas Duclos, co-founder and CEO of Switzerland-based JKB Research, called the WHO announcement “obviously disappointing but not a real surprise,” explaining that “the main problem is that governments are far behind when it comes to innovation and research. They are not well informed and don’t know the right people to work with.” He sees opportunity in the disconnect. “The cannabis industry has to be led by its real wellness potential, rather than the profits it can beget. Although the WHO is a key actor in this process, this opens the door for others to demonstrate initiative in the short term.”Related: How Bad Is It?But, while many in the cannabis industry were unhappy with the WHO’s decision, some agreed with it.“We need to think of cannabinoids as we do any other plant-derived pharmacological agent that has historically been derived from plants such as paclitaxel, morphine and even codeine,” said Christine Allen, professor at the University of Toronto and Chief Scientific Officer at Avicanna, a Canadian cannabinoid biotech company. “All of these drugs have a safe and effective dose and are contraindicated in certain patient populations. It is critical that the gaps in our knowledge are filled in a timely manner in order to sufficiently educate the medical community and the public,”CEO of Avicanna, Aras Azadian,  also agrees with the WHO’s decision. “We have tested many products currently on the market that contain potentially toxic degradants and can be metabolized in the body to compounds with an unknown safety profile. Cannabis has become a cash crop and many unqualified companies are offering these unsafe products to consumers and patients. We’re afraid that many of the benefits patients experience with CBD products specifically may also be a placebo effect as we have tested the bio-availability of CBD products,” he saidWhat’s NextLezli Engelking, founder of the Foundation Of Cannabis Unified Standards, (FOCUS) who tracks issues like these predicts that the WHO won’t take action — if they take action at all — until March of 2020.But he cautions that “given the surprising and novel move by WHO, all bets are off. Policy can always be adjusted — just as it was today. One thing is for sure though: the time is now for the cannabis industry to step up their game and show the world it can produce safe, consistent, quality products that don’t pose an unnecessary risk to patients, consumers, the public, and the environment.”Adding to this point, Eneman said the industry as a whole, and society, have an “obligation to understand exactly what this plant is capable of as well as how it can be misused or abused.“It is clear that this plant in all the existing and contemplated forms is far safer than many other substances we consume. It is also clear as to the direction we are heading, and it is an important time to focus on establishing international trust and transparency for this industry. We need the support from policymakers, operators, financiers and regulators. There have been pioneers for years willing to support the safety and efficacy of the cultivation and consumption of this plant, and there are many many new entrants who want to explore the possibilities of what it can do, including the largest, most credentialed and most influential researchers in the world. WHO and others need to get behind this movement and allow all of the good stewards to help shape the way for a safe, effective and sustainable industry.” Each week hear inspiring stories of business owners who have taken the cannabis challenge and are now navigating the exciting but unpredictable Green Rush. In a surprising development, the U.N. comitee decided to punt on their decision to recommend or reschedule cannabis. VIP Contributor Image credit: Shutterstock The World Health Organization Won’t Reschedule Cannabis. Should We Care? cannabis, biotech and entrepreneurship reporter Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Next Article Listen Now 5 min read Javier Hasselast_img read more

Export with Ease

first_img This story appears in the July 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Export with Ease Next Article –shares July 1, 2006 Laurel Delaney Add to Queue Magazine Contributor 1 min read A free online filing system makes your mandatory paperwork a breeze. Complying with export laws just got simpler. AESDirect, a free and highly sophisticated system, simplifies the process of filing Shipper’s Export Declaration information to the Automated Export System. Though as of press time a date hadn’t been set, it will soon become mandatory to file all your export documentation electronically. AES-Direct offers these benefits:1. Ensures export compliance: It returns a confirmation number to verify that you successfully filed your export documentation.2. Corrects errors: Get immediate feedback when data is omitted or incorrect, and correct errors at any time.3. Eliminates paper review: Say goodbye to the time delays of handling paper.4. Stays up-to-date with various trade agreements: AES conforms to NAFTA and GATT, making it easier to do business in multiple countries.5. Evaluates and measures potential markets: Accurate and timely export statistics help your business stay ahead.For further information, visit AESDirector call the AES hotline at (800) 549-0595.Laurel Delaney runs GlobeTrade.comand, Chicago-based firms that specialize in international entrepreneurship. Apply Now » The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Growth Strategieslast_img read more

Barnes Noble Buys Microsofts Stake in Nook Media Ending TwoYear Partnership

first_img This story originally appeared on Reuters Barnes & Noble Buys Microsoft’s Stake in Nook Media, Ending Two-Year Partnership Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Add to Queue Next Article Image credit: Reuters | Mike Blake December 5, 2014 Reuters center_img Barnes & Noble Inc struck a deal to buy Microsoft Corp’s stake in Nook Media LLC, ending a two-year partnership and clearing the way for the bookseller to spin off its loss-making e-reader and digital content division.Barnes & Noble shares closed down 5.4 percent on the New York Stock Exchange after the company also reported a much-weaker-than-expected quarterly profit, due to lower sales of Nook devices.The company estimated the value of the cash and share deal at about $125 million.  Nook, launched in 2009, enjoyed initial success but has ended up costing Barnes & Noble hundreds of millions of dollars as it was unable to keep pace with Inc’s  Kindle and Apple Inc’s iPad.Microsoft invested $300 million in Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader in 2012 to gain a foothold in the fast-growing e-books market. As of Sept. 9, Microsoft owned about 17 percent of Nook Media through preferred shares.Barnes & Noble said in June it would spin off its Nook Media business, which includes college bookstores, to focus on its retail book business.”We mutually agreed that it made sense to terminate the agreement,” a Microsoft spokesman said in an email. Microsoft will lose money on its initial investment, but will also be spared any future payments to fund Nook, which were running at about $21 million per quarter.Under the agreement announced on Thursday, Microsoft will have the right to receive about 22.7 percent of total proceeds of Nook’s digital business, which excludes the college bookstores, if it is sold in the next three years.Pearson Plc owns 5 percent of Nook Media, which had revenue of $815 million in the second quarter ended Nov. 1.The company said it would buy Microsoft’s stake in Nook Media for $62.4 million in cash and about 2.7 million in shares.Barnes & Noble said it now expected to complete the separation of its Nook Media business at the end of August 2015. It had earlier expected to complete it by March.The company said its total revenue fell 2.6 percent to $1.69 billion in the second quarter. Retail sales fell 3.6 percent.Net income fell to $12.3 million, or 12 cents per share, from $13.2 million, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts on average expected a profit of 31 cents per share on revenue of $1.69 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.(Additional reporting by Ramkumar Iyer; Editing by Don Sebastian, Ted Kerr, Siddharth Cavale and Gunna Dickson) –shares Register Now » Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Microsoft 3 min readlast_img read more

Lady Gagas Startup Just Went Out of Business

first_img Add to Queue Next Article Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand It’s a good thing Lady Gaga didn’t quit her day job.The celeb’s startup for building online communities, Backplane, has burned through $18.9 million in funding in five years and is now out of business, TechCrunch reports.Backplane was Gaga’s vision for an online social network, a place where her so-called “little monsters” (that is, Gaga fans) could come and connect.The startup fetched an original $40 million valuation back in 2011, Vanity Fair reports.But the Fame Monster’s bubble has since burst.Backplane launched a single product,, which was born out of Lady Gaga’s fan website. The monsters site was billed as a high-end social media and photo sharing network:The page as it appeared in March 2015Image credit: via Wayback MachineLady Gaga poured $1 million of her own cash into the launch, with Google Ventures, Menlo Ventures, and Google’s Eric Schmidt also funding the endeavor.But since the launch, the company’s seen little success. Now backplane has defaulted on its loans, forcing the company to go belly up, TechCrunch says. A group of investors has bought the company’s assets, everything from the patents to the office space, and is planning to restart the business, TechCrunch adds.Gaga’s fumble comes just as many venture capitalists are tightening their own purse strings, slowing the era of billion-dollar tech startup valuations.But Lady Gaga’s days in Silicon Valley aren’t over yet. The star recently partnered with Intel and Vox Media via her Born This Way Foundation for the new “Hack Harassment” project that will work to quell cyberbullying and sexual harassment on the Internet. Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. lady gaga Hilary Brueck April 12, 2016center_img Enroll Now for $5 Lady Gaga’s Startup Just Went Out of Business 2 min read –shares This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine Image credit: Courtesy of Intellast_img read more

How Does Digital Marketing Impact The Consumer Decision Making Process

first_imgAt one time, there was a fairly universal business model which applied to virtually every company. The customer would become aware of their product through a printed advert or billboard. They would then speak with the company selling the product to obtain a quote. After mulling over their potential purchase for several days, they would finally (hopefully) decide to go ahead and buy the product in question. The process could be a long one, with a decreasing chance of making a sale as each step of the path progressed.These days in the era of digital marketing, the process of consumer decision making has changed beyond all recognition. User behavior has been streamlined and today’s business model is a much briefer one than in the past. Now, when a consumer decides they need a product, they can surf the internet immediately, find exactly what they need virtually instantly and make a snap purchasing decision. Researching online takes a matter of minutes or hours rather than days trawling around stores and calling suppliers. Reviews are right there at the consumer’s fingertips and product demos can be viewed immediately before making any purchasing decision. This accessibility has had a major impact on the standard business model. It no longer follows a linear and traditional path. It has become a moving target that has digital marketing right at its heart.Read More: Eye Rolls at Pre-Rolls: How to Escape the Trap of Annoying AdsRecognizing A NeedThe first step of the traditional business model involved the consumer recognizing that they had a need for a product or service. Today, there is a wealth of options that companies can choose from to facilitate this stage of the process. Social media can have a powerful impact, reaching a targeted audience base within the brand’s most relevant demographic, with around 3 million advertisers now using Facebook to reach consumers. Email newsletters can reach out to interested parties and previous customers to highlight the latest products and promotional offers, encouraging them to find out more. Banner adverts can attract the attention of web surfers… in short, the options are extensive and effective.The Information-Gathering PhaseOnce the consumer has recognised their need, they begin gathering information about the product or service that they require. This is, arguably, the stage at which digital marketing can be most powerful. Around 89% of all consumers now begin their search for product information on the internet. That means that when companies harness the power of a strong SEO strategy paired with sponsored and PPC advertising they can rise up the search engine rankings to get their brand in front of the widest possible audience.Even local companies can benefit from taking a digital marketing approach. While they may be catering for a more localized demographic, they can take advantage of local SEO to point customers towards their physical presence. Around 86% of shoppers search for a local business to meet their needs online so the digital marketing avenue is something that even the smallest business can profit from. Gone are the days of relying on the Yellow Pages or locally distributed flyers.Read More: 3 Ways Mobile Technology is Changing the Brick-and-Mortar ExperienceEvaluation Of OptionsNext, we reach the evaluation stage. At one time, businesses could be fairly confident that as long as they were the first to reach the customer they could make a sale however this is no longer the case. Thanks to the internet, price comparison is the work of minutes. Companies can harness this power themselves, however, by featuring live price comparisons on their own website so that consumers need to look no further. By keeping the customer on the site, the chances of a sale increase.Assessing The EvidenceOnline reviews also have a key role to play at this stage of the consumer decision-making process. Evidence has shown that around two-thirds of all shoppers reference reviews before making most kinds of purchases. By taking a proactive response to consumer reviews, it’s possible to create a positive brand impression for outstanding customer service and so to sway the consumer in the company’s direction even if there are negative reviews.Making The DecisionBy this point, buyers have all the information they need to make a purchasing decision at their fingertips. Digital marketing has done its work. It is now important to ensure that the process of making the sale is as simple and efficient as possible with a smooth-loading, user-friendly site and a secure payment facility.It’s clear that, regardless of the size or type of a business, digital marketing is essential in today’s modern competitive marketplace. Harnessing its potential to generate leads, convert customers and close sales couldn’t be more important.Read More: How AI will Change the Game for Influencer Marketing B2BMetricDecision Making Processdigital marketingMarketing TechnologySEO Previous ArticleStop Wasting Your Programmatic Ad SpendNext Article10 Tried and True PR Tips to Grow Your Small Business How Does Digital Marketing Impact The Consumer Decision Making Process? Ben AlfreyMay 3, 2019, 4:00 pmMay 3, 2019 last_img read more

Crimson Agility Receives Two Nominations from Magento

first_imgCrimson Agility Receives Two Nominations from Magento PRNewswireJune 6, 2019, 9:21 pmJune 6, 2019 Most Innovative Commerce Experience and Best B2B Buyer ExperienceCrimson Agility, a full-service e-commerce consulting and development firm, has been honored with two nominations from 230+ entries, for the 2019 Imagine Excellence Awards by Magento, an Adobe Company. Crimson and its clients, Amped Innovation and Performance Health, snagged highly-coveted nominations for the Most Innovative Commerce Experience Award and the Best B2B Buyer Experience Award, respectively.The winners will be announced at the Imagine 2019 event in Las Vegas.Amped Innovation sells much needed solar appliances in Africa. The problem was affordability. More than 80% of Amped customers earn less than $2.50 per day.“By working with Crimson to incorporate micro-payments into the Magento platform, we tapped into emerging markets in Africa and Asia making our solar products accessible to the poorest customers,” said Andi Kleissner, Co-Founder and CEO of Amped Innovation. “Our customers can now buy previously unattainable products on a payment plan they can afford.”Marketing Technology News: StarfishETL Partners with PeopleSense, Inc.“The collaboration enabled Amped to achieve triple-digit growth, while introducing a life-changing line of products in previously untapped markets,” added Kleissner.Performance Health is a leader in consumer healthcare and the largest global manufacturer and distributor of products to the rehabilitation and sports medicine markets.Crimson’s nomination alongside Performance Health for the Best B2B Buyer Experience Award stemmed from the positive results of the features and capabilities Crimson added to Performance Health’s e-commerce sites.“With multiple, highly-complex e-commerce sites, we’ve put Crimson and Magento through the ringer, testing their knowledge and capabilities beyond what we ever imagined,” said Kristin Greenwell, E-Commerce Director at Performance Health. “They have exceeded our expectations since day one.”Marketing Technology News: How Digital Can Save Brick-And-Mortar Retail with Customer Experience ObjectivesThese capabilities provide a user experience that rivals the performance of the best-designed B2B websites. The e-commerce sites accommodate power users who manage thousands of ship-to addresses, many requisition lists, negotiated pricing, and hundreds of employees buying online for the company.“Crimson’s knowledge of Magento and e-commerce is unmatched. We have been so impressed with their accountability and determination to make our website look, feel and most importantly, PERFORM how we and our customers expect,” added Greenwell.“We are proud to stand with both our clients as finalists for these two prestigious awards.  We credit our success to a shared vision, collaboration, and hard work,” says David Baier, Managing Partner at Crimson Agility.Marketing Technology News: StarfishETL Partners with PeopleSense, Inc. B2BCommerce ExperienceCrimson AgilityMagentoNews Previous ArticleAgency Veteran Joao Machado Joins Sabio’s SVP of Product MarketingNext Brings on ClearSlide Co-Founder Jim Benton as CEOlast_img read more

Will Salesforce Customer 360 Arrival Push CRMs and DMPs Out of Equation

first_img blockchaincrmcustomer datacustomer experienceData Managementevergagemarketing cloudNewsNGDATApersonalizationSalesforce CDPSalesforce Customer 360Salesforce MarTechtealium Previous ArticleB-Scada Inc. Launches New Text Messaging Marketing PlatformNext ArticleMarTech Interview with Brad Agens, Founder at Glocally As we sink deeper and deeper into the ‘Experience’ economy, it’s getting even more noisier in the MarTech ecosystem with the coming of age for Customer Data Platforms (CDPs). Last month, SAP threw their hat into the CDP ring and now, this week, it’s Salesforce’s turn to disrupt the MarTech flywheel for CRMs and DMPs.Salesforce has announced its new-age product, Salesforce Customer 360, to enhance Data Management across all omnichannel Cloud offerings. Salesforce Customer Data platform was announced in Dreamforce 2018, and it took almost ten months for the #1 CRM company to align it with its concurrent Marketing Cloud solutions. Additionally, Adobe just announced the beta version of its platform and Oracle is rumored to debut its own very soon as well! In this anxious times for Cloud platforms connecting to CRMs and DMPs, we expect CDP providers to seize the moment and see a new line of MarTech customers who would invest in CDPs, pushing CRMs and DMPs to the backstage.Can Customer Data Platforms Solve all Marketing Challenges?According to Evergage, no CMO can deny that they need a CDP now or ever! According to the CDP Institute, industry revenues from CDP is expected to grow to $1 Billion in 2019. The major push will come from the collective technology innovations and marketing strategies of 29 new CDP vendors that emerged in the MarTech Radar in 2018. With SAP, Salesforce and Adobe taking the CDP game forward, linking real-time analytics and Cloud offerings together  for targeted and relevant personalization, the MarTech Equation for CMO’s stacks will change very soon.At least that’s what Salesforce is promising to deliver here.The company that adding new innovations to Customer 360 will help creating a comprehensive customer data solution for entire Marketing Cloud ecosystem. And, yes, it could solve the challenges that today’s CDPs are trying to address and much more.Why CDPs Rock the CRM Market?CDPs are broad-spectrum MarTech platforms compared to CRMs and DMPs that come with their own legacies in many organizations. CRMs are designed to gather and analyze data from only one particular customer relationship channel, and that’s where they falter in delivering relevant 360-degree customer experience that most modern marketing teams are craving for, today! CDPs bring data from every customer interaction channel, streamlined and funneled into one single platform, and this directly translates into Sales-Marketing alignment that CMOs always prioritize. Better Sale-Marketing alignment deliver higher revenues and higher customer loyalty.We are pursuing unified data, and not scattered data.In 2017, Steve Lucas, CEO of Marketo (now, an Adobe Company) had said, this about CRM –“The whole acronym – CRM – is fundamentally flawed because it implies that we get to “manage” our customers. They don’t want to be managed, they want to be engaged. It’s a fact that buyers are in now charge, and they demand brand experiences that let them feel valued, align with their values, and connect with them on a personal level. I call this concept the Engagement Economy, and succeeding in this new world means engaging with customers continuously – at every touchpoint, on every channel – throughout the entire lifecycle.”According to NGDATA, “A CDP maintains unified data. Add a dash of AI and Blockchain to it — and, voila, you have the most powerful Data Management platform ever conceived in MarTech. So, even if data is being captured from multiple channels, it will be tagged to a single customer….”According to Forbes, “With a greater understanding of customer needs, as well as the ability to anticipate future needs, there’s a higher likelihood that customers will become repeat customers. Forty-four percent of organizations surveyed by Forbes Insights report that a customer data platform is helping drive customer loyalty and ROI in their organization.”That’s not alone.Here is a quick snapshot of how CDPs have been changing CMO’s tactics in the past few years.Source: The Relevancy Group- 2016CDPs Essential to Contextual Relevance and Interactive Customer ExperiencesAccording to Tealium’s CEO, Jeff Lunsford, CDPs are a very refined and customizable option for modern Marketing teams. He spoke to MarTech Series:“As specialized enterprise software propagates throughout the enterprise, companies are also using an increasing number of software applications. Even companies that select an all-in-one suite for customer experience or marketing purposes will typically have ten more or more very critical systems outside that suite that they want to share data with. This challenge leads to the logical evolution of a vendor-agnostic, neutral data layer within the enterprise, which sits underneath and orchestrates data flows between these various suites and solutions.”Read Also: Hot Topics Recap: Cannes Lions 2019So, what about the neutral layer in the CDPs?Jeff explained, “The neutral data layer helps enterprises overcome classic data silo issues and allows data to flow freely across the organization. Enterprises that want to future-proof their tech stack and maximize the insights they can gain from their data would be wise to select a solution that enables data freedom and empowers them to quickly adapt to evolving customer needs.”Tealium is one of the pioneers in the CDP market.In a recent interview, Lotame’s Global VP- Evgeny Popov, said, “DMP by design has interoperability in mind thus allowing data to flow to any activation channel to allow omnichannel marketing. The key to this is connectivity across platforms and channels. At Lotame, we have our first-party connectivity suite which gives marketers the ability to collect data from online and offline sources, map it together, and determine the relationships that exist between billions of signals flowing from desktops, smartphones, tablets, and connected devices such as smart TVs. Our second and third-party data marketplaces, along with our Machine Learning look-alike modeling tool, allows customers to layer on additional profiles for scale.”Read More: Blockchain in Advertising: The Implications for Every Player in the SystemB2B Market: That’s where CDPs will Drive Customer Experience Economy in 2019-2024Theresa O’Neil, CMO of Showpad: “Tech giants’ moves to launch CDPs demonstrates the focus B2B companies are placing on creating streamlined, omnichannel customer experiences. Once the sales team gets involved, it’s essentially a black box, with zero awareness of who the customer is and a lack of insight into previous interactions with content and other sales materials. With disjointed information, salespeople can’t demonstrate unique business value, which thereby prevents them from hitting quota. And without bottom of the funnel data and analytics, marketing can’t optimize content to support the sales team.”Showpad’s CMO continued, “We need the same data analysis we have at the top of the funnel extended through the bottom of the funnel too. We’re seeing more enterprise players invest in customer data management capabilities for risk of losing their customers with a disjointed omnichannel experience. Having prospect data aggregated and centralized from the first interaction will help salespeople and marketers provide an exceptional experience for the customer and at the end of the day, boost revenue.”Read Also: TechBytes with Vinayak Nair, VP Research Ops and Custom Analytics at Verto AnalyticsSalesforce Customer 360: Belting Out Powerful MarTech Integrations Unified by Data, Analytics and AdaptabilityIn the official announcement, Salesforce  declared:“When we introduced Customer 360, it was a new way for companies to connect Salesforce apps and deliver unified cross-channel customer experiences. In other words, Customer 360 represents a fundamental commitment on the part of Salesforce — including marketing, sales, service, and commerce — to provide a unified customer profile that can be used across our customers’ organizations.With Customer 360 we promised to deliver a unified ID. With it, companies can easily connect and resolve customer data across their various Salesforce apps. The ID points to a single customer (or other key entity), fires up deeper, more connected insights, and enables stronger engagement across the entire customer journey.”The Curve Ahead: AI, Automation and Migration to Big Data+ BlockchainSalesforce made an acquisition deal with Tableau recently- adding powerful Data Science platform to its Marketing Cloud capabilities. Then, it also announced a significant upgrade to Pardot, their Marketing Automation platform. Together with Salesforce Einstein AI and Salesforce Blockchain CRM, we see their CDP platform creating a new roadmap for CDP market in 2020. If Salesforce is doing it, it’s definitely going to become CMO’s ubiquitous MarTech choice to build, grow and sustain in a customer-obsessed ‘Experience’ economy. Let’s see how SAP, Adobe and Oracle Marketing Clouds  pace their innings in the hyper-personalized MarTech ecosystem in the coming weeks. Don’t ignore Google’s MarTech horizon, though!Thank you, Jeff and Theresa for chatting with us, and providing deep insights into CDP ecosystem. To participate in our editorial programs, please write to us at News@martechseries.comRecommended: Big Data Push to MarTech Continues as Google Taps Looker for $2.6 Billion Will Salesforce Customer 360 Arrival Push CRMs and DMPs Out of Equation in 2020? Sudipto Ghosh1 day agoJuly 22, 2019 last_img read more

Pitt study delves deeper into how electrical stimulation activates neurons

first_img Source: Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 8 2019Electrical stimulation of the brain is common practice in neuroscience research and is an increasingly common and effective clinical therapy for a variety of neurological disorders. However, there is limited understanding of why this treatment works at the neural level. A paper published by Takashi D. Y. Kozai, assistant professor of bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, addresses gaps in knowledge over the activation and inactivation of neural elements that affect the desired responses to neuromodulation.The article, “Calcium activation of cortical neurons by continuous electrical stimulation: Frequency dependence, temporal fidelity, and activation density” (DOI: 10.1002/jnr.24370), was published in Neuroscience Research. Co-investigator is Kip Ludwig, associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.For this study, Kozai’s group – the BIONIC Lab – used in vivo two-photon microscopy to capture neuronal calcium activity in the somatosensory cortex during 30 seconds of continuous electrical stimulation at varying frequencies. They imaged the population of neurons surrounding the implanted electrode and discovered that frequency played a role in neural activation – a finding that conflicted with earlier studies.”Electrical stimulation has a large number of parameters that can be used to activate neurons, such as amplitude, pulsewidth, waveform shapes, and frequency,” explained Kozai. “This makes it difficult to compare studies because different stimulation parameters are used in other studies. Based on the parameters that were previously employed, it was thought that activation occurs in a sphere centered around the electrode where neurons near the electrode would activate more than neurons far from the electrode.Related StoriesDysfunctional neurons repaired in dementia mouse modelALS mobility and survival could be improved by increasing glucoseChronic inflammation removes motivation by reducing dopamine in the brain”Recent research, however, shows that stimulation mostly activates distant neurons whose axons are very close to the electrode by transmitting action potentials backward to the neuron cell body,” he continued. “We demonstrate that both of these things can be true depending on stimulation frequency and duration.”According to Kozai, the fact that researchers can use varying stimulation parameters to activate different neurons in the same location has huge implications in basic science research. The findings will allow them to activate different neural circuits with the same implant to elicit different behaviors. Beyond its research applications, Kozai believes that this knowledge may also help in clinical settings.”Empirical evidence in the field suggests that frequency plays a role in deep brain stimulation, but the why and how have puzzled scientists since the beginning,” said Kozai. “This research is a first glimpse into understanding the mechanisms underlying the role of frequency in clinical therapies. In the long-term, this research could also give insight on how to activate distinct glial and vascular populations, which could have a prolonged impact on behavior, attention, and tissue regeneration.”Kozai believes that more research needs to be done to understand neuronal activation properties and hopes that this work will lead to new tools in neuroscience and improved neuromodulation therapy by explaining why electrical stimulation produces its effective responses.last_img read more

UNC School of Medicine initiative providing unique care to dementia patients

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 2 2019The Dementia Friendly Hospital Initiative will reach a total of 3,900 employees in four hospitals across North Carolina to raise awareness of how patients with dementia experience care, and to meet their unique needs with strategic and compassionate treatment. Led by the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Center for Aging and Health in the UNC School of Medicine, the program will deliver dementia-friendly training to targeted UNC Health Care system hospitals, and could reach nearly 5,500 patients aged 65 years and older with dementia every year.The program is being piloted at UNC Hospitals Hillsborough Campus and aims to improve care for a rapidly expanding population of patients affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). ADRD is the sixth leading cause of death nationally and the only leading cause of death for which there is no cure. One in three seniors who die each year have ADRD. Patients with dementia have prolonged hospital stays, increased 30-day readmissions, poorer health outcomes and higher mortality rates.Related StoriesOU Health Sciences Center awarded federal grant to enhance dementia care across OklahomaWhy women who work are less likely to develop dementiaMetformin use linked to lower risk of dementia in African Americans with type 2 diabetesWith an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, the chance of being hospitalized also increases significantly. Yet routine hospital procedures can create confusion, agitation and fear in patients with dementia, because they may not have the ability to understand what is happening to them. Reactions span a range of behaviors such as yelling, striking out, pulling at IVs, or trying to leave their beds and rooms.”Imagine if you don’t know what’s going on. You’re in this strange place and you don’t remember how you got there. You’re connected to wires, the lights are bright, or the room is dark, and people are doing things to you that you don’t understand,” said Krista Wells, a clinical nurse education specialist at UNC’s Hillsborough Campus. “With a dementia patient, their common reaction is often to lash out and tell people to ‘leave me alone, stop bothering me.'””Hospitalization can be traumatic for patients with dementia and challenging for caregivers and families,” said Jan Busby-Whitehead, MD, principal investigator for the Dementia Friendly Hospital Initiative. “There is much we can do to improve experiences and outcomes for these patients. The Dementia Friendly Hospital Initiative moves beyond a provider-centric focus to involve the whole hospital in connecting effectively with patients with dementia and making them feel safe and well cared for,” said Busby-Whitehead, who is also chief of the UNC School of Medicine’s Division of Geriatric Medicine and director for the School’s Center for Aging and Health.The Dementia Friendly Hospital Initiative targets the entire span of patient and family interactions that occur during hospitalization. All staff who interact in any way with patients – from physicians and advanced practice providers to food service workers, security officers, and administrators – will be trained in strategies to improve quality and safety. The program also seeks to lower rates for in-hospital injuries, length of stay and 30-day readmissions. Source: read more

How automation will make oil rigs safer

Many current regulations are still based on “static documents”. This means that they have been rarely updated since they were introduced decades ago, and exist relatively unchanged. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Report identifies options for lowering risk of failure of undersea bolts on offshore oil rigs Citation: How automation will make oil rigs safer (2018, April 27) retrieved 18 July 2019 from A robot will soon be used to detect gas leaks. The Rise of automationThe recurrence of major disasters means that we need to find a better way to predict and stop accidents before they happen. One radical approach is to rely more heavily on automation. Automated monitoring systems can range from remote sensing and recording devices to actual robots. Many different approaches have been proposed, but all with the same goal of preventing the loss of life and property.One such approach is being tested later this year. A North Sea oil rig will deploy the first ever autonomous robot that will move around specific areas of the rig, visually inspecting equipment and detecting gas leaks. It can navigate narrow pathways and even negotiate stairways in order to fulfil its inspections. The robot will be based in areas that are considered high risk for humans, such as gas turbine modules, the equipment that provides energy to the offshore rig. Currently, it is often humans that inspect for gas leaks, but any mistake could lead to the death of all in the vicinity. By applying autonomous systems to monitor gas leaks, we reduce the risk to humans carrying out these tasks. But more than that, because automated robots can inspect continuously, we also expect failures to occur less often.Another approach that is being researched for smaller offshore rigs is the Asset Integrity Monitoring method, which allows for continual live monitoring of offshore sites. Sensors are deployed inside or very close to the equipment, constantly detecting and transmitting any changes. For example, a sensing network could monitor the integrity of a gas turbine by recording temperature as well as the pressure and flow of the fuel gas. While these are already monitored on offshore platforms, in many situations they require physical inspection from a crew member. A remote monitoring system would use wireless networks to relay all of the relevant information to a central hub. Here a complete status regarding the integrity of the machine can be analysed.This technology would give safety officials a clear picture of the whole rig and its different component parts. The information could constantly be compared with offshore regulations and assist with their enforcement. The next major step is for them to be tested and implemented on offshore platforms. To improve safety on offshore oil rigs, the most important factor is ensuring that appropriate safety procedures are applied to appropriate systems. For example, it would be useless to deploy the autonomous robot into a low risk area to improve the safety of offshore operations. These automated systems are being developed in order to improve safety in high risk areas. Finding the right balance between automation and the risks posed by certain jobs will be the key to successfully introducing automation to offshore oil rigs. Whatever happens, automation will not be immediately thrust into the sector, but increasingly it looks like the future of offshore rig safety. Offshore oil rigs can be extremely dangerous places to work. Over the last few decades, several offshore explosions have led to environmental disasters and the death of workers. Regulations have so far failed to stop fatal accidents from occurring. But with developments in technology, particularly the rise of automation, we’re hoping that future accidents can be reduced. Explore further Automation could help us avoid future disasters. Credit: US Coast Guard 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. Small offshore rigs are the subject of research for automated monitoring systems, which use a variety of wireless sensors. And, in a world first, an autonomous robot will soon be deployed to monitor equipment and inspect gas leaks on a North Sea rig. If these technologies can be combined with tougher regulations, we might have found the key to reducing future loss of property and life.In 1988, 167 people were killed in the Piper Alpha disaster. Since then, the safety and risk assessment of offshore installations has become much more vigorous. Regulations now require duty holders and owners, such as Petrofac and Shell, to demonstrate that they have taken every possible measure to stop major accidents. But in 2010, the offshore world suffered another disaster, when an explosion destroyed the Deepwater Horizon installation in the Gulf of Mexico. 11 people were killed and the resulting oil leak had huge environmental consequences. The cause of this disaster was a broken subsea Blowout Preventer (BOP), a piece of machinery that is used to seal, control and monitor the uncontrolled release of oil and/or gas.Since Piper Alpha, every offshore accident has led the industry and governments to readdress the safety concerns surrounding offshore installations. Most recently, in 2016, the Obama administration outlined new drilling regulations aimed at preventing a repeat of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. These regulations require a greater number of independent inspectors and improved safety equipment.But in the absence of a more recent major offshore disaster, the Trump administration is set to roll back these regulations with the aim of reducing “unnecessary burdens” on the industry. In reality, these changes could be a recipe for disaster. Instead of reducing offshore safety regulations, we should be expanding them. Provided by The Conversation read more

Amarnath Yatra suspended for Saturday due to separatistbacked strike in Kashmir

first_imgAmarnath Yatra suspended for Saturday due to separatist-backed strike in KashmirAs many as 12 batches of pilgrims have so far left for the twin base camps of Pahalgam and Baltal in Kashmir valley from Jammu since the beginning of the pilgrimage on June 30.advertisement Press Trust of India JammuJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 17:55 IST PTI image used for representation.Pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Amarnath was suspended for Saturday as a precautionary measure in view of a separatists-sponsored strike in the Kashmir valley on Martyrs’ Day, officials said.As many as 12 batches of pilgrims have so far left for the twin base camps of Pahalgam and Baltal in Kashmir valley from Jammu since the beginning of the pilgrimage on June 30.”Amarnath yatra has been suspended from Jammu as a precautionary measure in wake of the strike called by separatists in Kashmir valley Saturday,” an official said.July 13 is observed as Martyrs’ Day in Kashmir. On this day in 1931, 22 people were killed in firing by the forces of Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh.Separatists have called for a shutdown as a mark of respect to those killed in the firing.On July 8, the pilgrimage was suspended as a precautionary measure in view of the third death anniversary of former Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.Due to the strike, normal life was severely affected in the valley as shops and other business establishments remained closed, while public transport remained off roads, the officials said.They said some private vehicles, however, were plying in intra-city and inter-district routes of Kashmir.Over 1.50 lakh pilgrims have paid obeisance at the cave shrine in the last 12 days of the Amarnath yatra.Over 1.75 lakh pilgrims have so far registered themselves for the 46-day long pilgrimage, which is through the 36-km Pahalgam track in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district and the shorter 14-km Baltal route in Ganderbal district.The pilgrimage commenced on July 1 from both Baltal and Pahalgam routes. Multi-tier security arrangements were made for the smooth and successful conduct of the yatra that concludes on August 15.As many as 2.85 lakh pilgrims had paid obeisance at the cave last year, while the number of pilgrims was 3.52 lakh in 2015, 3,20 lakh in 2016 and 2.60 lakh in 2017.Also Read | 13,004 pilgrims pay obeisance at Amarnath cave shrineAlso Read | Jammu Darshan bus service launched in J&K to promote tourismAlso Watch | First batch of Amarnath pilgrims reaches shrineFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byChanchal Chauhan Nextlast_img read more