California seeks to bring hightech to state government

first_img SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Gavin Newsom is looking for a leader interested in “breaking things, and making them better,” who prioritizes “openness” and “simplicity” and can “feed and sustain team energy and enthusiasm.”“While you think long-term, your bias for action ensures you gain traction quickly,” reads the job description for the head of California’s new Office of Digital Innovation.It sounds more like a job advertisement for a Silicon Valley startup than state government — and that’s the point. Newsom wants the $26 million, 50-person office to throw away the old playbook and find ways to be more user-friendly for the state’s 40 million residents when they do such things as seek benefits, start a business or renew a driver’s license.California government has tried to infuse innovation before.The state’s technology department runs a digital innovation academy and an innovation lab, and it issued guidelines to make state websites more usable last year. The Government Operations Agency, which will oversee the new office, already has a director of innovation and accountability. The health and human services agency has its own innovation office.“Only Sacramento can take innovation and make it more bureaucratic,” said Assemblyman Vince Fong, R-Bakersfield, who noted problems persist with the state’s technology, from the Department of Motor Vehicles to a new state accounting system.Even the DMV, which has been plagued by hours-long lines and other hang ups, already has a Newsom-appointed “strike team” focused on improving its operations. The agency is closing its offices statewide for a half-day in July for employee training.Members of the Newsom administration said the new office can bring a fresh perspective to state operations, ideally helping the state run more like a business. They want people to access state services with the ease of ordering a ride, a meal or nearly anything else with the tap of a smartphone.“In your everyday life you have these great interactions with business,” said Mike Wilkening, the governor’s special adviser on innovation and digital services. “They make it as seamless as possible for you to conduct business with them — and the state does not.”While there’s broad agreement that improvement is needed, some critics and supporters alike see potential for the new office to become just another layer of bureaucracy.“It’s going to be interesting to see how they organize those 50 people, how they ensure that they are not being redundant with what the other organizations are doing and how they integrate,” said Teri Takai, a former chief information officer for California who now runs the Center for Digital Government, a 20-year-old national research and advisory organization for best practices in state and local government. She was an adviser to Newsom’s transition team and advocated for the creation of the office.She said other states are initiating similar efforts, though not all with a full department like California is doing. Alaska and New Jersey, for example, recently hired chief innovation officers.Administration officials say the office would complement, not duplicate, existing state programs. An agency could, for example, bring a problem for the office to tackle, or the Newsom administration could request the office look into something specific.“The governor would have no lack of ideas on ways we can improve services to Californians,” said Brian Ferguson, a Newsom spokesman.Once it comes up with an idea, the office would kick back some of the work of making it happen to the state agency that brought the problem or to the California Department of Technology if the solution is one that could improve service statewide, said Amy Tong, the state’s chief information officer.“It’s complementary in the sense that the Department of Technology is still going to be very much focusing on statewide technology initiatives,” Tong said. “Digital innovation would focus more on the front-end planning and discovery work.”Brian Metzker studied the proposal for the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office and said the work the new office will do appears different from other state programs. But he noted its duties will evolve once a director is hired and the office gets up and running.“It will be important for lawmakers to keep an eye on the office to make sure it’s not offering competing or duplicative services as it gets to work,” he said.Fong, the Republican lawmaker, agreed government needs an overhaul, even as he questioned Newsom’s approach.“Tech has changed for the better everything in our daily lives, whether it’s from travel, from booking services that we use in our daily lives or buying groceries,” he said. But, “state government has lagged behind because all they do is create more red tape and bureaucracy.”Beyond the director, Newsom will appoint 19 other employees who will be exempt from civil service. Thirty others will be hired through the normal government process.Of the new office’s $26 million budget, $10 million would go into a fund it could tap to complete its work. The budget in following years would be $14 million. June 26, 2019 AP AP, Posted: June 26, 2019 California seeks to bring high-tech to state government Categories: California News, Local San Diego News, Politics FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Print Magazines Have Never Stopped Selling

first_imgAccording to the UK research body Mintel, this type of “customer publishing” is booming. It estimates that the industry in the UK alone is likely to be worth £1bn by 2013. Between 2008 and 2009 it grew 16 per cent, and by 2013 it is projected to increase by a further 22 per cent – no mean feat when the rest of the glossy magazine world is in the doldrums.What attracts companies is the direct impact on consumers. “Our research has shown that these magazines create an eight per cent uptick in sales,” says Julia Hutchison, chief operating officer of the Association of Publishing Agencies, the representative for the customer publishing industry in the UK. “On average, every customer spends 25 minutes reading these titles. That’s 25 minutes spent with the brand. Lots of companies are redirecting their ad and marketing spends to this avenue.”In the past, some sponsored publications were little more than product promos. But now, savvy marketers are investing in quality writers, photographers, and more objective journalism to attract larger audiences. The FT article continues:”Whereas in-house magazines used to be glorified advertorials, today the branding is much more subtle and there’s a genuine effort to tap top editorial talents and introduce original material; Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, photographic stalwarts of the fashion publications Vogue and Visionaire, shot the latest YSL manifesto.The investment makes sense: it gives depth to a brand in an environment they can control. It pushes product without the obvious “sell”, and in many instances may be cheaper than advertising. Asos’ title, for instance, which is known for its mix of celebrity, shopping and entertainment, is now the second largest women’s fashion title in the UK with an annual circulation of 471,522. Terri Westlake, head of media at Asos.com, says, “Customers are savvy; they understand that it’s a brand title (and not independent), but they still appreciate a very good free magazine.”Print magazines can provide marketers with a “media marquee” that gives them consistent visibility hard to duplicate in the crowed online world. What Kerry Smith, and a growing number of publishers are taking advantage of is the same benefit marketers using sponsored publications have used for years…print magazines sell! At the just concluded FOLIO: Show, Kerry Smith, Red 7 Media CEO, offered a surprising view of what the future of print publishing might be. Challenged, like all publishing companies, with the decline of print ad revenue, Smith has diversified his organization’s offerings to include marketing services such as research, and consulting. But even as less of his company’s revenue is tied to print he is more committed to it. Why? Because he has found that his magazines are most often the first point of contact leading to the sale of all the other services he is now selling. Today, publishers of all kinds are using the presence they have in their markets to start related businesses. For example:• Premier Guitar, sells sheet music to subscribers• Oil and Gas Journal sells industry data and research• Dwell, a shelter book for the modern home, sells modern prefabricated homesBut this “new” trend where publishers use a magazine presence to sell products and services to readers is not so new. Marketers have used sponsored or branded magazines to do this for years. Despite the migration of ad dollars away from print magazines, the dollars flowing into sponsored magazines are going strong as documented early this year by The Financial Times: last_img read more

SELECTMEN NEWS Big Issues To Be Discussed At Meeting On Monday December 10

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Board of Selectmen meets this Monday, December 10, 2018 at Town Hall (Room 9). An Executive Session begins at 6:30pm. The public portion of the meeting begins at 7pm.There are some noteworthy items on the agenda, including:DPW Director Michael Woods, Town Engineer Paul Alunni and Planning Director Valerie Gingrich will discuss the Woburn Street/Lowell Street intersection.Town Manager Jeff Hull will provide an update on the North Wilmington MBTA Commuter Rail Station.Town Manager Jeff Hull will provide an update on the Butters Row Bridge Replacement.Town Manager Jeff Hull will provide the results of the recent Annual Town Meeting Survey.Town Manager Jeff Hull will share good news about a recent award won by the Yentile Farm Recreational Facility.Town Manager Jeff Hull will provide an update on the FY2020 budget process.Town Manager Jeff Hull will provide an update on Russell Disposal’s performance bond.Town Manager Jeff Hull will provide an update on placing AEDs at all town parks.Town Manager Jeff Hull will provide an update on the Fire Department’s fire pumper situation.Town Manager Jeff Hull will announce the appointment of Laura T. deWahl to the Wilmington Conservation Commission.Selectmen will consider the approvals of various licenses for town businesses.The meeting will be telecast live by Wilmington Community Television on WCTV-G — Channel 22 on Comcast and Channel 38 on Verizon.  The meeting will also be streamed on WCTV’s website HERE.Wilmington Apple intends to report on many of the items above – and any other news that comes from the meeting — over the next two weeks. Wilmington Apple sometimes live-tweets the meeting HERE.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Thank You To Our Sponsor:Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSELECTMEN NEWS: Selectmen To Discuss Senior Center, Palmer Park, WHS Gym Floor At September 9 MeetingIn “Government”SELECTMEN NOTEBOOK: 6 Things That Happened At This Month’s Selectmen’s MeetingIn “Government”SELECTMEN NEWS: Childhood Cancer Study, Olin, Cook Ave., Recreation Dept. Update On Agenda For Tonight’s MeetingIn “Government”last_img read more

Rahul takes charge as Congress president

first_imgNewly-elected president of the Indian National Congress party Rahul Gandhi (L) kisses his mother and former party president Sonia Gandhi during a ceremony at the party headquarters in New Delhi on 16 December, 2017. Photo: AFPIn a generational shift that ended the Sonia Gandhi era in India’s political party Congress, her son Rahul Gandhi on Saturday took over as the new party president and launched a sharp attack on Indian prime minister Narendra Modi accusing him of taking the country “backwards to a medieval past” where people are butchered because of what they eat and believe in.The handing over of the mantle of the leadership of the 132-year-old party took place at a ceremony on the lawns of the Congress headquarters where Central Election Authority president Mullapally Ramachandran presented the Certificate of Election to Rahul Gandhi in a ceremony watched by Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and other top leaders of the party.In his first speech as the Congress president, Rahul Gandhi launched an all-out attack against Modi and the BJP.”The Congress took India into the 21st century while prime minister (Modi) is taking us backwards to a medieval past where people are butchered because of who they are, beaten for what they believe and killed for what they eat.”This ugly violence shames us in the world. Our country, whose philosophy and history is born out of love and compassion, is tarnished by such horror and no amount of hugs can repair the damage done to this great country of ours.”He said the country was now being compelled to imagines that businesses can be built without harmony and “that only one man, one man himself – is the voice of reason, that expertise, experience and knowledge can be cast aside for personal glory, that it is acceptable for our foreign policy to lie in tatters so that one man can feel strong, and that everything in fact is subservient to the leader’s personal image”.He said many of the countrymen were “disillusioned by the politics of our time” as “today, politics is devoid of kindness and truth”.”Today, the BJP is trying to spread fire and violence in the entire country and only one power can stop this. That is the Congress worker and leader. They break and we bind. They set fire and we douse it. They create anger and we create love. This is the difference between them and us. And I want to assure you that Congress workers and leaders, that you all are my family, whether you are a youth or an elder, wherever you come from, you all are mine, and I will give you all my love.”The newly-elected party president Rahul Gandhi (R) receives the certificate of election as Congress president from the Congress Central Election Authority president Mullapally Ramchandran during a ceremony at the party headquarters in New Delhi on 16 December, 2017. Photo: AFPIn an apparent reference to Modi’s “Congress-free India”, Rahul Gandhi said the Congress considers the BJP its brothers and sisters even though it doesn’t agree with them.”They want an India free of Congress, they want to erase us but the Congress’ inclusion and respect for all Indians extends even to the BJP. We do not fight hate with hate. The Congress has met and will always meet our challenges and struggles with love and affection. They crush voice, we allow the most vulnerable to sing. They defame, we respect and defend.”They might control the structures of power, the machinery of silence and fear but, we in the Congress, we are the bastion of the people. It is in this service that my idealism, your idealism and our hope for politics always rests.”The Gandhi scion’s formal takeover comes two days before the counting of votes for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections, the outcome of which could be a trendsetter for the 2019 Lok Sabha election. His main challenge remains the revamping of party organisation, apart from electoral battles in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.Sonia Gandhi, 71, who helmed the party for 19 years, in her last address as the party President, said the Congress has been playing the role of opposition since 2014 and never before has it faced the challenge that it faces today.”The fundamentals of our Constitution are under attack, our party has lost several state elections. But an exemplary energy fires our Congress workers. We are not the ones to bend in fear, because our struggle is a fight for the very soul of this nation. We will never retreat from this fight.”Referring to the time she took over as Congress President in 1998, she said the party had only three governments and was far from a government at the Centre.”Meeting this challenge was not a marvel achieved by any one individual… India is a young country. I am confident that with a new and young leadership our party will be reinvigorated and bring about the changes we need.”Talking about Rahul Gandhi and challenges he faces after his elevation, Sonia Gandhi said it would not be suitable for her to praise him because he is her son.”But this much I will say — while from his very childhood he has borne the very experience of violence, the savage personal attacks he has confronted since entering politics have served to make him a brave and strong-hearted man.”I am proud of his endurance and firmness. And I am confident he will lead the party with a pure heart, patience and devotion.”Manmohan Singh said Rahul Gandhi was assuming the new responsibility amid “disturbing trends”.”As a distinguished academic pointed out a few days ago that there are dangers that the politics of fear will take over the politics of hope. Rahulji, we depend upon you to ensure that the politics of fear does not prevail over the politics of hope which this country needs.”He brings to this Office of the Congress President a new sense of dedication, a new sense of commitment, a new sense of looking after the leadership role with courage and humility.”Outside the 24, Akbar Road, Congress headquarters, a group of colourfully dressed artistes played drums and danced to Punjabi bhangra tunes with party supporters, including men and women, also shaking a leg or two and waving Rahul Gandhi’s pictures and Congress flags.There were other groups of artists from Hyderabad and Rajasthan performing folk dances of their regions.last_img read more

Chinese Automaker Plans SelfDriving Electric Car by 2020

first_imgJuly 12, 2016 2 min read This story originally appeared on Reuters An automotive venture backed by China tech giant Tencent aims to launch an electric self-driving car before 2020, entering a crowded field dominated by US-based Tesla, the chief executive told Reuters on Tuesday.Future Mobility, backed by Tencent and Hon Hai Precision Industries, is one of an expanding field of China-backed ventures that aim to take on Tesla Motors Inc. as green energy car sales boom in China.Although the venture sought to produce premium cars like Tesla, it would attempt a different strategy from the US company that began with relatively limited production and focuses on a single model at a time, CEO Carsten Breitfeld said in an interview.”Right from the beginning we define the platform, right from the beginning we define the production process to be mass production and right from the beginning we think of more than one model, a family of models, defined from this platform,” Breitfeld said, defining mass production as 250,000 to 400,000 cars annually.The company was in the midst of closing its Series A round of funding, which also included dealership chain China Harmony New Energy Auto, Breitfeld said.He declined to give financial terms of the first round or name other potential investors that the company was in talks with, although he said the leadership team would also have partial ownership.While Future Mobility intended to jump directly to fully self-driving cars, drivers would only be able to turn on full autonomy in a pilot city at first, later expanding to other geographies.The company would draw from the same battery technology made by a short list of suppliers that most automakers use but aimed to better rivals with more efficient battery management software.Breaking outFuture Mobility is not the first upstart automaker to make bold pronouncements. Chinese-invested Atieva aims to launch an electric car by 2018.LeEco says its proposed smart electric cars will eventually be free, making money on in-car content and other services.Even Tesla now aims to produce 500,000 cars annually by 2018.But Future Mobility stands out from its competitors for poaching its leadership away from big-name tech and autos companies.Breitfeld formerly led the BMW i series electric car division and brought the core team with him to the new venture, with others joining from Tesla, Alphabet’s Google and Daimler’s Mercedes.(Reporting by Jake Spring; Editing by Stephen Coates) Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now » Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right.last_img read more

Empower Your Team to Be More Productive with This Intuitive Tool

first_img 3 min read Register Now » Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. January 30, 2019 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. A successful business is sort of like a Big Mac in that it relies on a secret sauce to pull all the fixins together. In this case, that “secret sauce” comes in the form of effective, teamwide collaboration and communication.Teams can take all sorts of approaches to concocting the metaphorical sauce recipe that works best for them. As a manager, maybe you organize bi-weekly check-in meetings, send out teamwide progress emails every morning, organize daily scrums and communications training sessions, or abide by an open-door policy to encourage transparency. And to be sure, all of these approaches can improve collaboration so that you make deadlines and centralize workplace processes. But are they really unlocking your team’s true potential for productivity in the most intuitive, convenient sense?Say hello to monday.com, the team management tool that can help you do just that. The platform was launched in 2014 with the intention of fostering a culture where team members aren’t just productive, but feel like they’re part of something bigger than their job description. This sense of ownership and empowerment cultivates a productive environment where individuals stay engaged and on top of their work, all while using a product they love.To see its vision through, monday.com places both teamwide projects and individual duties on a simple (but not simplified) task board that serves as a beautiful, centralized space for managing and streamlining different workflows. Tasks’ progress are visualized as colorful columns, which can be tagged to monitor progress and inscribed with notes for additional context. You’re also given the option of integrating other productivity services like Dropbox, Slack, Google Calendar, and Trello within monday.com to further streamline your workflow and organize your files. (Custom integrations can be set up, too — just reach out to one of monday.com’s certified partners for more information and a quote.)Image Credit: monday.commonday.com’s format is unique in that everyone gets the same view, which increases transparency for employees, allows managers to easily distribute resources, and — perhaps most importantly — breaks down silos between different departments. With monday.com, you’re not just collaborating on initiatives, but fostering a culture where everyone feels invested in them.So go ahead — scrap those clunky Excel files, put the whiteboard in storage, and cancel tedious team meetings that no one actually finds useful. Whether you’re a team of two freelancers or a global institution of more than 2,000 individuals, tech-savvy or otherwise, you’ll be able to see the big picture on monday.com’s beautiful, flexible, and scalable dashboard.By signing up for monday.com, you’ll join a community of more than 35,000 paying teams, from startups to Fortune 500 companies, that includes the likes of NBC, WeWork, and Uber. Don’t misconstrue those big names for a hefty price tag, though, because you can start using monday.com today for free.Think monday.com is the right team management tool for you? Create your account to begin your free two-week trial.last_img read more