OBITUARY James Thayer Hastings 84

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — James Thayer Hastings “Jim”, age 84, of Peabody, formerly a long-time resident of Wilmington, passed away peacefully on August 5, 2019, from complications of Parkinson’s Disease.Jim was born in Somerville, MA on August 15, 1934; he was the dear son of the late James L. and Helen Hastings. Jim was raised and educated in Somerville and Nashua, NH and was a graduate of Nashua High School. Jim went on to further his education at the University of New Hampshire where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Dairy Husbandry.Jim attended OCS in Newport, RI and in December of 1956 he was commissioned with rank of Ensign to active duty at Pearl Harbor, HI where he served for three years and was later promoted to Lt and became Aide to Admiral Buchanan at the Newport Naval Base in Newport, Rhode Island. Jim served the country for six years during the Vietnam Era and was released from active duty in February of 1962.On July 13, 1956, Jim married his sweetheart Virginia “Ginny” Eames; the couple lived in Pearl Harbor and Barber’s Point, HI, and Newport, RI, for several years before moving to Wilmington in 1962 where they raised four wonderful children; he was very proud of his family.After leaving the Service, Jim joined Buttricks Ice Cream in Arlington, MA where he managed the Ice Cream and Sandwich shops in the Boston/Arlington District. Jim became salesman for Sexton Foods, located in Canton, MA, and he finished his business career as a materials buyer at Charles River Laboratory in Wilmington. Upon retirement, Jim enjoyed many years of part-time work at Miller Landscaping.Outside of his professional career, Jim had many other interests. He was a member of the Greater Lowell Softball Umpire Association for 38 years, from 1975 to 2012. In addition to time spent on the field as an umpire, Jim donated much of his time working tournaments and running the food concessions on behalf of the Association, and he served as treasurer for many years. Jim was also an avid cyclist and regularly participated in the NH Seacoast Bike Trek, an annual charitable event for the American Lung Association. Jim also led many family bike trips, including trips to Nova Scotia, White Mountains, Cape Cod, and Martha’s Vineyard.Jim led his life by example and always made himself available to help others; for 53 years he was a member of the Masonic Friendship Lodge in Wilmington where he was always involved in helping others throughout the community in their time of need. He also was very active in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as well as the American Lung Association New Hampshire Chapter and raised countless dollars throughout the years at various fundraisers.Jim enjoyed spending time with his family; they loved to travel, to share holidays and special occasions, and to just “hang out” in his back yard “sports complex” that included a swimming pool, shuffle board, horse shoes, volleyball, croquet, bocce, badminton, basketball, and even a 9-hole mini-golf course that he personally designed and built. Jim especially looked forward to watching his children and grandchildren grow into the wonderful young adults that they have become.Jim will be remembered as a kind, energetic, and generous man who always went out of his way to help others in need; he had a wonderful sense of humor and will be forever missed by all who knew and loved him. Jim was the beloved husband of Virginia (Eames) Hastings, devoted father of Lynne Maxwell & husband Bob of North Attleboro, Gary Hastings & wife Heidi of North Reading, Leigh Bull & husband Keith of Wilmington, and the late Laurie O’Grady. Loving “Bampy” of Kim Proulx & husband Josh, Courtney Burke & husband Bill, Ryan Maxwell & wife Renee, Nathan Maxwell & fiancé Courtney Abate, Kyle Hastings, Jackson Hastings, Allie Hastings, and great-granddaughter Lexi Proulx. Devoted father-in-law of Kevin O’Grady & wife Lori and their daughter Shannon of Wilmington. Cherished son of the late James L. and Helen (Thayer) Hastings, dear brother of Betty Delisle and Barbara Carey both of New Hampshire. Jim is also survived by many nieces and nephews.Family and friends will gather for a Memorial Service at the Brooksby Village Chapel, 300 Brooksby Village Drive, Peabody on Friday, August 23rd at 1:00 p.m.In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim’s memory may be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Mass Chapter, 70 Walnut St., Suite 301, Wellesley, MA 02481 or to the American Lung Association Chapter of your choice.Arrangements are under the direction of Nichols Funeral Home, Wilmington.James Thayer Hastings(NOTE: The above obituary is from Nichols Funeral Home.)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.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington OBITUARIES (Week of August 11, 2019)In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Steven W. Parker, 62In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Lawrence “Mike” Considine, 63In “Obituaries”last_img read more

Antisurveillance clothes foil cameras by making you look like a car

first_img Share your voice Enlarge ImageDesigner Kate Rose in a dress that features excerpts from the Fourth Amendement.  Kate Rose A new clothing line lets you camouflage yourself as a car to mess with surveillance cameras. The garments in the Adversarial Fashion collection are covered with license plate images that trigger automated license plate readers, or ALPRs, to inject junk data into systems used to monitor and track civilians. ALPRs — which are typically mounted on street poles, streetlights, highway overpasses and mobile trailers — use networked surveillance cameras and image recognition to track license plate numbers, along with location, date and time. Hacker and fashion designer Kate Rose showed off her inaugural line at the DefCon cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas over the weekend. It was inspired by a conversation with a friend who works at the Electronic Frontier Foundation about the “low specificity” or inaccuracy of a lot of plate readers on police cars. The Adversarial Fashion garments, she said, highlight the need to make computer-controlled surveillance less invasive and harder to use without human oversight. “A person walking along the sidewalk or in a crosswalk is often close enough, as the readers take in a pretty large visual field, and have … problems with specificity.” The line is conceptual, she said, “but I worked pretty hard to make sure that it can work on the street in daylight.” The collection includes shirts, hoodies, jackets, dresses and skirts covered in modified license plate images and other circuitry patterns. Some of the garb features wording from the Fourth Amendment in bold yellow letters written over separate license plates made to look like the kind you see on vintage California cars: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”  The garments range in price from $25 (about £21, AU$37) for a crop top to $50 (about £41, AU$74) for a unisex bomber jacket. When picking a size, you’ll need to consider not only fit, but maximum readability. jacketEnlarge Image Adversarial Fashion “For the pattern to have a maximum effect, it’s ideal for the fabric to hang straight so that the text is not excessively warped,” all product descriptions read. “For this reason, you may want to consider sizing up if you intend for it to read in to ALPRs effectively.”   Rose, who’s organized civic hackathons across the US, isn’t the first designer to come up with wearables meant to flip off surveillance cameras. Artist Leo Selvaggio created a 3D-printed rubber mask aimed at foiling surveillance cameras by making everyone look like the same person — him. It started as an Indiegogo campaign and now sells for $200 (about £165, AU$296). And artist Adam Harvey created a hoodie and burqa designed to ward off the eyes of drones. They’re made with a metalized fabric meant to thwart thermal imaging, and they work by reflecting heat and masking the person underneath from the thermal eye of a drone. The Adversarial Fashion website also includes DIY resources such as APIs and image-editing tools for those interested in designing their own anti-surveillance fashion. Rose says there’s never been a better time to design such garb. “I can prototype single pieces in a way I couldn’t afford to even a few years ago,” she says, “and have designs made to order, reducing the price and improving the accessibility of an experimental design.” 13 Commentscenter_img Tags Culture Security Roadshowlast_img read more

Quality assurance specialist IneoQuest has named C

first_imgQuality assurance specialist IneoQuest has named Calvin Harrison as its new president and CEO.Harrison was previously chief operating officer at IneoQuest.The company’s executive team will now comprise Harrison, Steve Sanford, chief financial officer, Rick Ford, senior vice-president of worldwide sales, Gino Dion, vice-president of engineering, Stuart Newton, vice-president of corporate strategy and Ed Santana, vice-president of manufacturing.“IneoQuest is at the forefront of our industry– both setting the requirements around quality customer experience and providing the solutions to manage, optimize, and monetize video services,” Harrison said.“As the leading solutions provider helping operators to ensure maximum return on their customer service offerings, I could not be more honoured to have been selected to lead IneoQuest.”last_img read more

Satellite operator SES has raised €9088 million t

first_imgSatellite operator SES has raised €908.8 million to fund its acquisition of the part of broadband satellite operator O3b Networks that it do3s not already own.SES will issue 39,857,600 million new Fiduciary Depositary Receipts (FDRs) at a price of €19. The number of new FDRs represents 11.6% of the existing number of the company’s total Class A shares.SES will use the proceeds raised to fund the total consideration of USD 730 million to increase its ownership of O3b to 100%. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals which are expected to be completed during H2 2016. SES will also use around US$300 million to repay O3b’s most expensive debt facilities, leading to a reduction in annual financing costs after initially covering any repayment charges.O3b operates a fleet of medium Earth orbit satellites, with 12 currently in orbit and further satellites in the pipeline. The O3b constellation is designed to deliver broadband connectivity in the Ka-band.last_img read more

This third chart shows in one simple yet powerful

first_imgThis third chart shows in one simple yet powerful way exactly why Doug loves buying these stocks when they’re on sale and selling them when they go into bubble mode. ATAC essentially did nothing and still shot up over an order of magnitude more than gold. Note that while this third chart looks like the second, the scales are quite different. (ATAC, by the way, is part of my special report, 10-Bagger List for 2014, that details nine companies I believe could show 1,000% or more returns this year. Note that the report was written before the big move upward you see in the chart above.)It’s worth emphasizing that ATAC’s performance this year is just on a rebound from recent lows—imagine what a stock like this could do when Doug’s super-bubble for gold stocks arrives.But what if it doesn’t? Or worse—what if we already missed it?I remember a conversation with Doug back in 2011, when gold rose to within reach of $2,000 per ounce. Many mainstream analysts said gold was in a bubble. I told Doug I couldn’t understand why anyone would listen to analysts who’ve called the gold trend wrong every year since the current bull cycle started. I remember Doug chuckling and saying: “Just wait and see—this is barely an overture.”I am certain Doug is right. That’s not because he’s the guru, nor because I’m a nutty gold bug, but because no government in history has ever multiplied its currency base without sparking serious and often fatal inflation. That’s a fact, not an opinion, backed by enough data to make me extremely confident in predicting what lies ahead for the US dollar, even if I can’t say exactly when we’ll reach the tipping point.Since that 2011 interim peak, as we all know painfully well, gold has backed off on par with the correction in the middle of the great 1970s gold bull market. But economic realities require that the market turn around and head for his long-predicted super-bubble in junior mining stocks before too long. That makes the correction the last, best time to build a substantial position in the stocks best positioned to profit from the coming bubble.And now Doug is saying that he believes the upturn is at hand. He expects a steadily rising market for a year or two, perhaps more, but not many more, culminating in a market mania for the record books.Our market does appear to have bottomed. It may take a while to go into its mania phase, but it’s already heating up. No one is going to want to be short when this train leaves the station—and the conductor has blown the whistle.To find out what you could be missing if you don’t invest in junior mining stocks right now, watch Casey Research’s recent video event, Upturn Millionaires—How to Play the Turning Tides in the Precious Metals Market. With resource and investment experts Doug Casey, Frank Giustra, Rick Rule, Porter Stansberry, Ross Beaty, John Mauldin, Marin Katusa, and myself. Watch it here for free, or click here to find out more about my 10-Bagger List for 2014. Here’s one more, with a particularly telling point to make. This is the stock price of ATAC Resources (ATC.V) over the same time period as the chart above. The point I want to draw your attention to is that the company had no major news during the time period shown. It’s a Yukon gold play, buried deep under the famous snows of the Great White North, so there’s no exploration under way, and there won’t be until the snow melts weeks or months from now. In many of my conversations with legendary speculator Doug Casey since the crash of 2008, Doug has talked about a coming super-bubble.Everything Doug has studied about human nature, history, and economics—from Roman times right up to the present—has him absolutely convinced that the global economy is headed for high inflation, with a very real potential for hyperinflation in the US.Ben Bernanke’s panicked deployment of squadrons of cash-laden choppers has been emulated around the world. The Bank of International Settlements estimates that global debt markets now exceed $100 trillion.The laws of economics—maybe even physics—say that this inflation, whenever it arrives, must have consequences… and that those consequences cannot be avoided forever.The easiest consequence to predict, and the one we’re betting heavily on, is that the price of gold will move higher. Much higher. That move will in turn ignite a bubble in gold stocks and, as Doug likes to say, a super-bubble in junior gold stocks.Jeff Clark, editor of our BIG GOLD newsletter, recently illustrated what such a super-bubble can look like, citing figures from several historic bull markets. I hesitate to repeat any of his figures because the right junior stocks’ gains when the market goes bubbly are, frankly, hard to believe. However, it is a fact that quite a few junior stocks achieved the much-vaunted 10-bagger status (1,000% gains) in previous bubbles, and some even returned 100-fold.Here’s the essential reason why junior mining stocks are Doug’s favorite speculations.Let’s start at the beginning: Doug’s mantra is that one should buy gold for prudence and gold stocks for profit. These are very different kinds of asset deployment.It’s particularly important not to think of gold as an investment, but as wealth protection. It’s the only highly liquid financial asset that is not simultaneously someone else’s liability. Every ounce of gold you physically possess is value in solid form—there is no short to your long. Come hell or high water, it is value you can liquidate and use to secure your needs. That’s why gold is for prudence.Gold stocks are for speculation because they offer leverage to gold. This is actually true of all mining stocks and, more broadly, of stocks in commodity-related companies; they all tend to magnify the price movements in the underlying commodity. But the phenomenon is especially strong in the highly volatile precious metals.Allow me to illustrate—and in an effort to avoid seeming overly promotional, I’ll show how gold stocks’ leverage works on the downside as well as the upside. Bad news first: here’s a chart showing how gold retreated during October and November of 2008, the worst two months of that year’s crash for mining stocks. Also shown are an index of gold juniors and our own portfolio performance. This was, of course, a terrific time to buy, resulting in spectacular gains over the next two years. Now the good news: here’s a chart showing the performance of the same three things in January and February of this year, which saw a major rally in the gold sector.last_img read more

In This Issue   US data turns the dollar aroun

first_imgIn This Issue. *  US data turns the dollar around… *  FOMC begins their much anticipated meeting… *  AUD rallies but then does a 180… *  Gold claws higher in front of FOMC… And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. The dollar does an ‘about face’ on disappointing US Data … Good Day!  Chuck is headed down to the southeast coast of Georgia this morning so I will get to share my thoughts with all of you readers over the next few days.  Many of the ‘traders’ seem to be taking a few days off as everyone awaits the results of the two day Fed meeting which begins today.  I don’t expect to see too many new positions put on by investors until after we get some ‘guidance’ from Fed Chair Janet Yellen on how quickly she and her compatriots are going to ratchet up interest rates here in the US.  But as Chuck told all of us yesterday, the week is full of data in addition to the FOMC meeting, and some of that data did move the markets yesterday. The US dollar reversed its march higher yesterday after data showed US industrial production unexpectedly dropped in August.  Chuck sent me this note regarding yesterday’s data: I was working in my office and not on the trading desk yesterday, so I didn’t see the Industrial Production number as it printed. And by the time I saw it, the markets must have just shrugged it off.  I walked out to the desk and the currencies and Gold were trading about the same as they were when I was out there in the early morning, writing the Pfennig. What gives? Industrial Production for August fell -.1% (consensus was for .3% gain). And, July’s previous print of +.4% was revised downward to +.2%…   And to top it off, Capacity Utilization fell from 79.1% in July to 78.8% in August! A look under the hood revealed that there was a .4% drop in manufacturing activity in August, which is, as the spin doctors like to explain it, merely a reflection of slower motor vehicle output, after an outsized increase in July.  I prefer to refer to this as the “QE tapering effect”.   Yes, after all this time, after all this money added to the system, all this excess liquidity in the markets, we’re beginning to see the effects of taking it away. And this is why I believe the Fed will be back to the QE Table before too long. Chris again..  As Chuck stated, the markets had a bit of a ‘delayed reaction’ to this data; as if they maybe didn’t believe the numbers.  But over the course of the day the dollar continued to drift lower.  Perhaps it was due to the extreme long position the market has on dollars right now.  And moves were also muted by the upcoming FOMC meeting.  Right now just about everyone believes the US dollar will continue to strengthen through the end of the year, and with everyone on one side of the trade any indication that it may be the wrong side can cause some of these investors to get a bit worried about being in such a crowd.  All of these long positions on the dollar could possibly restrain further gains in the dollar going forward; but the FOMC will have a lot to say about that. Chairman Yellen kicks off two days of meetings today in what has become one of the most anticipated Fed meetings this year.  The end of the bond buying is a foregone conclusion, but investors are now focusing on the language which will be used in the statement which will be released tomorrow afternoon.  The statement has contained the words ‘considerable time’ for a considerable amount of time, and most Fed watchers believe these words will be removed tomorrow.  These words have provided some comfort to the markets, as they assured investors that a steady stream of liquidity would give the markets a rising tide to float them higher.  But the Fed is now expected to pull this ‘security blanket’ away and replace them with some indication on when rates will start moving higher.  Instead of leaving the timing open ended, the Fed is now expected to tie their next move to a combination of labor market readings and inflation expectations.  But I still believe any interest rate increase is still a year away; and yesterday’s data showing the US manufacturing sector is still not firing on all cylinders certainly doesn’t bode well for those who expect an increase in interest rates as early as next spring.  While we are talking about the Fed, I read yesterday that they have created a new committee on ‘financial stability’.  The committee, headed by Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer has been tasked with making sure important parts of the financial sector do not overheat.  Many believe the Greenspan and Bernanke policies of the past were exactly what led to many of the largest asset bubbles which the Fed has now formed a committee to pop!  I’m sure many of you will not be surprised by this latest committee, as it is another sign of a much more ‘active’ Fed.  The pound sterling joined with the dollar in moving lower yesterday and actually fell to the weakest point this year vs. the US$ after a report showed UK inflation has slowed to the lowest level in five years.  CPI in the UK fell to 1.5% from 1.6% in July according to data released yesterday.  This disappointing number sparked selling of the pound sterling as investors already on edge regarding the Scottish independence vote dumped the currency.  The BOE will release minutes of its most recent policy meeting tomorrow, and some had been expecting to see an indication that interest rates will be heading higher in response to an improving British economy.  But the recovery has been overshadowed recently by the independence vote in Scotland. The pound has fallen over 3 percent in the past month as polls showing Scotland may vote to split from the UK weighed on investor sentiment.  The latest numbers indicate that the vote will be close, but my gut tells me Scotland will remain part of the UK. The Australian dollar began to show some signs of life yesterday after the release of the RBA minutes which pointed out that rates will remain stable for the time being.  The Aussie dollar had been selling off due to the thought that the RBA may be leaning toward a rate cut as the Australian economy struggles to gain a foothold.  But the positive feelings for the AUD quickly reversed in overnight trading and it is moving lower again this morning.  Perhaps investors read through the minutes of the Australian central bank meeting again and focused on the RBA’s statement that the relative strength of the currency is a drag on the economy since it has remained “above most estimates of its fundamental value.”  Investors may now be worried that these words foreshadow further efforts to ‘jawbone’ the currency lower in order to protect exports. Brazil’s real dropped for a sixth straight day as investors try to handicap the presidential election.  President Dilma Rousseff is currently locked in a very tight race with opposition candidate Marina Silva.  The real will continue to be volatile as investors eagerly await the next poll to try and guage who will win.  The first round of elections is set for October 5th and most expect the first round to result in a runoff between Rousseff and Silva which would occur on October 26th.  The Brazilian economy continues to struggle, and the central bank is currently ‘on hold’ until after the elections which will determine the future path of economic reforms and the possibility of further government intervention in the currency markets.  Rousseff has seen a downgrade of Brazil’s credit rating and the economy has slowed during her administration.  But inflation is starting to fall which could give the new administration some room to lower the benchmark interest rates in order to stimulate the economy.  But these relatively high interest rates are all that are keeping many investors interested in the Brazilian currency, so a move lower could have a detrimental impact on the real. Gold added to the small overnight gains this morning as investors prepare for the start of the FOMC meeting.  Gold investors, like everyone else, are focused on whether Fed Chairman Yellen will be taking a more ‘hawkish’ tone in tommorow’s announcement.   Many have been betting the Fed will signal a willingness to raise rates sooner than the mid-2015 estimate which most have.  Higher rates sooner would be another drag on precious metals, as it raises the carrying costs of metals and also makes alternatives more attractive.  But if the rates are rising because of rising inflation, well that would be a good thing for commodities and precious metals.  I have to think Gold will continue to face selling pressure in front of the meeting, as most investors believe we will see Yellen take a slightly more hawkish tone.  But these sell-offs could be a good time to add to positions, as the Fed Chairman has a long history of wanting to error on the side of accommodation instead of risking choking off what appears to be a fairly fragile recovery. For What it’s Worth.  Ty Keough knew I was writing the Pfennig this morning, and sent me a story he came across in the NY Times which he thought would be some good Pfennig Pfodder, and I agree!  The story is actually an oped piece  written by Jared Bernstein back on August 27, 2014.  Readers of the Pfennig know that Chuck believes the US$ is in serious danger of losing its reserve currency status.  And in this Op Ed Mr. Bernstein takes the position that this is not necessarily a bad thing.  I’ll share some of what I consider the highlights of the piece, but you can read the full op ed at the following: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/28/opinion/dethrone-king-dollar.html?AID=3818&_r=1 . …After all, who wouldn’t want their currency to be the one that foreign banks and governments want to hold in reserve? But new research reveals that what was once a privilege is now a burden, undermining job growth, pumping up budget and trade deficits and inflating financial bubbles. To get the American economy on track, the government needs to drop its commitment to maintaining the dollar’s reserve-currency status. …It is widely recognized that various countries, including China, Singapore and South Korea, suppress the value of their currency relative to the dollar to boost their exports to the United States and reduce its exports to them. They buy lots of dollars, which increases the dollar’s value relative to their own currencies, thus making their exports to us cheaper and our exports to them more expensive. …If trade-surplus countries suppress their own consumption and use their excess savings to accumulate dollars, trade-deficit countries must absorb those excess savings to finance their excess consumption or investment. Note that as long as the dollar is the reserve currency, America’s trade deficit can worsen even when we’re not directly in on the trade. Suppose South Korea runs a surplus with Brazil. By storing its surplus export revenues in Treasury bonds, South Korea nudges up the relative value of the dollar against our competitors’ currencies, and our trade deficit increases, even though the original transaction had nothing to do with the United States. …Dethroning “king dollar” would be easier than people think. America could, for example, enforce rules to prevent other countries from accumulating too much of our currency. In fact, others do just that precisely to avoid exporting jobs. The most recent example is Japan’s intervention to hold down the value of the yen when central banks in Asia and Latin America started buying Japanese debt. Of course, if fewer people demanded dollars, interest rates – i.e., what America would pay people to hold its debt – might rise, especially if stronger domestic manufacturers demanded more investment. …Others worry that higher import prices would increase inflation. But consider the results when we “pay” to keep price growth so low through artificially cheap exports and large trade deficits: weakened manufacturing, wage stagnation (even with low inflation) and deficits and bubbles to offset the imbalanced trade. But while more balanced trade might raise prices, there’s no reason it should persistently increase the inflation rate. We might settle into a norm of 2 to 3 percent inflation, versus the current 1 to 2 percent. But that’s a price worth paying for more and higher-quality jobs, more stable recoveries and a revitalized manufacturing sector. The privilege of having the world’s reserve currency is one America can no longer afford. Interesting slant on the whole question of reserve currency status, and while I don’t necessarily agree that reserve status is a ‘burden’ I agree with Chuck that there is a good possibility that this ‘burden’ will be lifted from the shoulders of the US sometime in the not too distant future – thanks to China.  The largest worry for me is the impact of higher interest rates which would likely accompany the loss of reserve currency status for the US.  With the staggering amount of debt the US has accumulated, any increase in interest rates demanded by investors would have a very dramatic effect on the US’s very fragile fiscal situation.    To recap. Disappointing US data sent the dollar lower, but it has steadied this morning as the long awaited FOMC meeting begins.  Investors await the statement, with expectations that the ‘considerable time’ wording with regard to low rates will be removed, but what will it be replaced with?  The Pound Sterling fell as the latest inflation report showed prices are not moving up as fast as before.  The RBA released minutes from their last meeting which at first rallied the AUD but this uptick was quickly reversed.  The Brazilian real moved lower on election worries and gold actually caught a bit of a bid overnight as investors await the FOMC meeting. Currencies today 9/16/14. American Style: A$ .9027, kiwi .8163, C$ .9077, euro 1.2946, sterling 1.6196, Swiss $1.0719. European Style: rand 10.955, krone 6.3923, SEK 7.1342, forint 242.70, zloty 3.2413, koruna 21.272, RUB 38.681, yen 107.12, sing 1.2610, HKD 7.7511, INR 61.055, China 6.1462, pesos 13.22, BRL 2.3401, Dollar Index 84.21, Oil $92.80, 10-year 2.57%, Silver $18.67, Platinum $1,359.00, Palladium $833.75, and Gold. $1,234.88 That’s it for today. I was anxiously watching last night’s football game, as I have Andrew Luck as my quarterback and needed him to post at least 10 points in order to remain undefeated in our FFL.  Luckily he had scored that by halftime, so I got to get some sleep before waking up a bit earlier than usual in order to get this Pfennig out.  Both Chuck and Frank will be hitting the road this week and will have an exciting announcement for everyone – you’ll have to wait until Friday to hear the big news as I don’t want to steal their thunder!  With that little tease I will go ahead and put a bow on this one and hit the send button.  I hope everyone has a Terrific Tuesday, and thanks for reading the Pfennig. Chris Gaffney, CFA Vice President EverBank World Marketslast_img read more

The government of Congo declared a new outbreak of

first_imgThe government of Congo declared a new outbreak of Ebola after at least two people were infected and possibly as many as 17 died from the disease in the country’s northwest.”Our country is facing another epidemic of the Ebola virus, which constitutes an international public health emergency,” the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s health ministry said in a statement.The ministry says that of the five samples sent to the National Institute of Biological Research in Kinshasa, two came back positive for the Zaire strain of Ebola in the country’s Equateur province, according to The Associated Press.Before the outbreak was confirmed, local health officials reported 21 patients with signs of hemorrhagic fever. Seventeen of them died.Ebola is just one type of hemorrhagic fever, so it is not immediately clear whether some or all of the original victims died from Ebola.”Since notification of the cases on 3 May, no deaths have been reported either among the [hospitalized] cases or the healthcare personnel,” the Health Ministry statement said.On May 3, medical teams from the World Health Organization and Doctors Without Borders collected five samples from active cases in the area, two of which tested positive for Ebola, according to the WHO and the Congolese government.As Reuters notes, “Ebola is believed to be spread over long distances by bats, which can host the virus without dying, as they infect other animals with which they share trees, such as monkeys. Ebola often spreads to humans via infected bushmeat.”An Ebola epidemic that hit West Africa in 2014 infected some 28,600 and killing more than 11,300 before WHO declared the region Ebola-free two years later. The epidemic was concentrated in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.Since then, a vaccine called rVSV-ZEBOV has been developed to prevent the spread of the disease, which has a particularly high mortality rate. (However, a recent article in The Lancet medical journal questions the vaccine’s efficacy.)In the past few years, there have been isolated outbreaks, including one in Congo last year that infected eight, killing four of them.Experts were expected to go to the area of infection on Wednesday to implement procedures to halt the spread of the disease, the ministry says. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

2018 was the fourthhottest year on record accord

first_img2018 was the fourth-hottest year on record, according to a report released this week by NASA and NOAA.From Vox:In the short term, scientists expect the world to get hotter. This year, a simmering El Niño cycle threatens to bring more scorching weather. “We do anticipate the next El Niño will bring record or near-record temperatures,” said NASA climate scientist Gavin Schmidt during a conference call with reporters.Already, Australia was baked in its hottest January on record, followed by massive flooding. So another record-setting year will likely lead to more heat waves around the world, along with drought and drying vegetation, contributing to massive wildfires. That in turn will cost jobs, homes, and lives.During the State of the Union this week (during which climate change did not come up), President Donald Trump announced that there would be a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, to be held in Vietnam at the end of February.That left some observers wondering what such a meeting could accomplish.Pope Francis visited the United Arab Emirates this week, and during the trip, he acknowledged reports of sexual and physical abuse of nuns by priests. Through an interpreter, Francis said “there are priests and even bishops who have done that. And I believe it still happens because something doesn’t stop just because you have become aware of it.”NPR’s Sylvia Poggioli reports:For years, cases of abuse of women in the church have long been known. The problem persists particularly in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Italy. And yet church authorities have rarely addressed the issue publicly. But in the wake of the #MeToo movement, a #NunsToo movement has emerged, and the issue has been more widely reported. Last week, even the women’s magazine of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano reported on nuns having abortions or giving birth to children fathered by priests or bishops.And we also learned this week that rapper 21 Savage was born in the U.K. We know we’re not alone in thinking he was from Atlanta.Here’s how critic Jon Caramanica described him:His success, however, is especially American. Growing up in some of Atlanta’s poorest communities, 21 Savage had a troubled childhood. He’s said that he dropped out of school to sell drugs, and has spoken in interviews of a youth marked by violence and crime. But after losing a close friend and a brother to gun violence, he turned to rapping. And within a year, he was one of Atlanta’s most promising prospects.This is the American promise, no? To start from nothing and turn it into a bounty. To receive a cruel hand and still emerge victorious.And yet there is this other American promise, or threat, which is that all that comfort can be easily ripped away if it isn’t achieved in the correct fashion.In the case of 21 Savage, whose public image was built on a kind of impenetrable toughness mixed with weary resilience, this moment of vulnerability was destabilizing. Even in his most intimate music, he never presents as anything other than an agent of control.The rapper, whose name is Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, is being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement due to an expired visa. He has three children who were born in the United States.Jay-Z has reportedly hired a lawyer to defend Abraham-Joseph, according to the BBC.This week, more nations recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guido as president of his country, while President Nicolas Maduro has withheld food and medicine and other humanitarian aid from coming into Venezuela.We’re recapping the week in global news headlines.Text by Gabrielle Healy.GUESTSShane Harris, Intelligence and national security reporter, The Washington Post; Future of War fellow, New America; author, ‘At War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex’ and ‘The Watchers: The Rise of America’s Surveillance State’; @shaneharrisPeter Bergen, CNN’s national security analyst; vice president and director of the international security program at New America; author of “United States of Jihad: Investigating America’s Homegrown Terrorists”; @peterbergencnnDorothy Parvaz, Global politics reporter, ThinkProgress; @dparvazFor more, visit https://the1a.org.© 2019 WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio. Copyright 2019 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.last_img read more

If the past nine years have had you feeling on edg

first_imgIf the past nine years have had you feeling on edge, Jared Diamond has good news and bad news for you.The good news: You’re not alone. “Even when I tell myself that we should be suspicious because every decade has seemed at the time to be the one offering the most cause for anxiety,” Diamond writes in his compelling new book, Upheaval, “I still have to agree: the current decade of the 2010s really is the one offering the most cause for anxiety.”The bad news, which we’ll get to later, is that things could, and might, get a whole lot worse unless the nation goes through some serious changes. Diamond, whose popular book Guns, Germs, and Steel won the author a Pulitzer Prize, doesn’t appear to have the highest of hopes for the fate of the U.S., but that’s no reason to skip Upheaval, his fascinating look at how countries have dealt with nationwide crises, and what we might be able to learn from them.The idea behind Upheaval is a captivating one that draws from both history and psychology. Diamond theorizes that nations in crisis can learn from the experiences of people in crisis, and the therapies that have been used to treat them. “There is a large body of research and anecdotal information, built up by therapists, about the resolution of personal crises,” he writes. “Could the resulting conclusions help us understand the resolution of national crises?”He lists 12 factors related to the success of people in navigating their own life upheavals, and adapts them to apply to nations. Some of these include “national consensus that one’s nation is in crisis”; “honest national self-appraisal” and “situation-specific national flexibility.” In the following chapters, he looks at several nations who have dealt with their own crises to varying degrees of success, including Japan, Indonesia, Finland and Germany.Perhaps most interesting — and chilling — is Diamond’s chapter on Chile, a country with “a long history of democratic government” until 1973, when its government was seized by its armed forces in a coup. Diamond writes that the coup was the result of “increasing polarization, violence, and breakdown of political compromise.” That might sound familiar to you, and it certainly does to Diamond.”Despite Chile’s strong democratic traditions, Chile’s political polarization and breakdown of compromise culminated in violence and a dictatorship that few Chileans had foreseen. Could that happen in the U.S.?” he asks. “Yes, the U.S. is indeed different from Chile. Some of those differences, reduce, and some of them increase, the risk of an end of democracy in the U.S. If democracy does end in the U.S., it won’t be through an uprising led by the heads of the armed forces; there are other ways to end democracy.”Toward the end of the book, Diamond takes a look at what crises the United States, and the world in general, might be forced to reckon with in the coming years. All nations are facing crises involving nuclear weapons, inequality and climate change, he writes, while the U.S. must deal with our issues of “political polarization, low voter turnout, obstacles to voter registration, inequality, limited socio-economic mobility, and decreasing government investment in public goods.”Although its subject matter is intrinsically distressing, Upheaval is not a gloomy or pessimistic book. Diamond is neither a cheerleader who promises that America, because it’s somehow special, is incapable of dying, nor a doomsayer who’s thrown up his hands and declared the inevitable end of the republic. While the country might be headed to a spot behind the eight ball, he writes, deliverance is possible if Americans don’t give in to denial. He argues that Americans should develop “the sense that something important about one’s current approach to life isn’t working, and that one has to find a new approach.”Diamond is an endlessly engaging writer, and the experience of reading Upheaval is similar to taking a college course from a professor who’s as charming as he is polymathic. He’s gifted at explaining the context of various national crises, providing fascinating background information (and sometimes personal anecdotes) without ever getting distracted by tangents. Diamond has an impressive range of knowledge — he’s an expert in a wide variety of fields, including physiology, geography and history, and his ability to draw from each of them in a way that makes sense to lay readers is extraordinary.Anyone with an interest in history, psychology, or the future of the country will find much to admire in Upheaval, and Diamond’s take on how our nation might navigate its path forward is fascinating reading for anyone anxious about the state of the republic today. “There is no way that China or Mexico can destroy the U.S,” he writes, but then warns: “Only we Americans can destroy ourselves.” Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

3 Takeaways From a Young Companys International Media Tsunami

first_img 3 Takeaways From a Young Company’s International Media Tsunami Add to Queue Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business –shares 7 min read In the wee hours of a July Saturday morning, Walter Carr set out for his first day at a new job. Sounds like a pretty ordinary story, right?Sure. Except for one thing. To get to that job, Carr had to walk 20 miles from one Birmingham, Ala., suburb to another. Yes, he walked.Walking across Alabama.You see, Carr’s car had broken down, and he couldn’t find anyone to give him a ride. What about public transportation, you ask? Let’s just say Alabamians aren’t blessed with a bevy of such options (as is the case with many of their Southern neighbors). So, Carr walked.Related: Team-Building Tips: 8 Ways to Make Sure Every Employee Feels IncludedStarting out just after midnight, he left Homewood for Pelham, a 20-minute drive — or a five-hour walk. After trudging down the roadside a few hours, a Pelham police officer spotted Carr, pulled over, and asked where he was heading at such an odd hour. When Carr explained he was walking to his job, the police officer decided to drive him the rest of the way, stopping first to get him breakfast.Social media started the wave.The job Carr walked to was as a mover with Bellhops, a young, VC-backed, tech-enabled moving company headquartered in Tennessee. And the customer, Jenny Lamey, after hearing about how he got to work — and being pleased with his work performance — shared Carr’s story that Saturday evening in a Facebook post for their friends to see. And no, she didn’t tag Bellhops.By early Sunday morning, members of the Bellhops communications team, led by Kyle Miller, caught wind of the social media post and immediately got it in front of company leadership. The response was unanimous: They all wanted to do something for Carr. What, though?You get a car!Miller said they “threw around some ideas knowing that Walter needed reliable transportation more than anything, but also that we couldn’t buy him a brand new car,” given Bellhops’ startup budget.That’s when CEO Luke Marklin decided to give Walter his own personal ride. “Later that day, Luke called me and said, ‘I am going to give him my car.’ I laughed, and then he said, ‘I’m serious. Let’s figure out what I need to do to give him my car tomorrow.’”With that decision, Miller knew the story would attract some attention. Yet the amount of attention it generated was surprising. Almost unheard of, really.Sensing a PR flood.Most communications directors for young businesses spend much of their time trying to figure out how to get media coverage. Rare is the occasion when the tide turns and managing a wave of media requests becomes an all-consuming task. That, however, is precisely what happened.Related: 5 Reasons Why PR Is Important For Your StartupUnder the guise of taking Carr for coffee to say thanks for a job well-done, Marklin and some of the Bellhops HQ team drove from Chattanooga to Birmingham that Monday morning.“We got everything lined up to give Walter the car in Birmingham,” said Miller. “We coordinated with the local police department and Jenny so that everyone could be there… and we sent out a media advisory to the local Birmingham outlets.”The goal was to shine a spotlight on Carr, surprise him with a car, and help drive local donations to a GoFundMe account the customer had set up for Carr. Those turned out to be modest expectations.“The first outlet to publish the story was AL.com, and as we drove back to Chattanooga, we watched the story spread,” Miller told me. “It went viral, landing on the front page of Reddit. At that point, it was clear that this was going to be a big story. We started prepping for inbound media requests, but we didn’t realize just how big it would get.”PR as a team effort.As the Bellhops team made the two-hour drive from Birmingham to Chattanooga, Miller began getting his team — as well as the rest of the company — ready for a possible flood of media outreach. To him, “the number one thing was to make sure we could respond to every request quickly and be able to anticipate the needs of each reporter. I feel like we did that really well.”When it was all said and done, Carr was featured on most major broadcast and cable news television channels and was in more than 2,000 online articles worldwide.Hindsight being 20/20, Miller said if he’d had more lead time “the big thing I would have done would have been making sure everyone had a clear role because events like the one we went through develop very fast and there is no downtime. Luckily, the team jumped right in, and everyone helped out a ton.”Which gets to the three big takeaways Miller got from the experience.Three lessons from riding the big (PR) wave.Good public relations is not done in a vacuum: It takes a lot of people to manage the multiple moving pieces. Bellhops drew people in to help from across the company.Speed is everything in situations like this: The more prepared you are to respond, the better you will be able to help reporters tell the right story.You can’t manufacture stories like Carr’s. You need a strong company culture that values hard work and celebrating it. It has to be real. If what you’re doing isn’t real, people will sniff the insincerity out and move along.Related: 7 Characteristics of Startups Built to Weather Any StormOnce the tide ran out.For Carr’s story to reach the masses, multiple people had to do the right thing.He, of course, had to show his gumption to get to work; the police officer had to give him a ride (and feed him); the customer had to write a Facebook post; the CEO had to want to reward him; Miller had to help reporters tell the story quickly.And if any of those variables didn’t happen, there’s a good chance my Airbnb host in Boston a couple weekends ago wouldn’t have said, “Bellhops, I know them. They’re the ones that gave the kid the car, right?”In the fast-paced world we live in, Carr’s story isn’t in the headlines anymore. That’s to be expected. So, where is he now?Carr is still a mover in Birmingham, easily the most popular. Bellhops gets regular requests that he be assigned to specific jobs, though no cameras are around anymore waiting on him to lug a couch into a U-Haul.With that reality in mind, Bellhops didn’t want the past national exposure to simply be a wondrous blip on the radar for Carr. The GoFundMe account set up for him — with an original goal of raising $8,000 — surpassed $90,000 recently, and Bellhops connected him with a financial advisor to help him manage that windfall as he nears college graduationThat’s par for the course for Bellhops.That spirit-inspired company leadership to reward a deserving Carr — it rallied an entire HQ team to help tell the world about him, and it makes it possible for another good media tsunami one day. September 11, 2018 David Martin Image credit: AL.com Next Article Guest Writer Did you hear about the guy who starting walking 20 miles to work and was rewarded with a car? Of course you did! News and Trends Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Founder of Heed PR Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Register Now »last_img read more

UN Warns Climate Change May Doom Us but Nobel Committee Suggests Taxing

first_img The United Nations has sternly warned civilization to end its addiction to fossil fuels within a decade or so to avoid a long “or else” list that includes submerged coastal cities, acidic oceans, devastating cycles of drought and flood upending agriculture and … oh come on, how long does the list need to be for you to get the picture?The report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the latest and shrillest — or perhaps just the least understated — of periodic IPCC scientific assessments issued since the 1990s. However, and perhaps not entirely coincidentally, the same day as the depressing IPCC report was issued the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to two U.S. economists, William Nordhaus and Paul Romer, who have argued for many years that economics is both the cause and the cure of the global environmental crisis.Related: ‘This Is Climate Change’ Tells an Urgent Message Via Virtual RealityNordhaus, 77, has taught and researched economics at Yale University since 1967. He built the first economic model that combined data and theory from chemistry, physics and economics that “describes the global interplay between the economy and the climate,” according to the Swedish academy. Norhaus was the first person to advocate for taxing carbon emissions to combat climate change, an idea now widely embraced by economists (if not politicians).Romer, 62, has worked for decades modeling the interplay of economic growth and regulation. According to the award statement, “Romer showed that unregulated markets will produce technological change, but tend to underprovide R&D and the new goods created by it.”Governments can offset this tendency through “well-designed government interventions, such as R&D subsidies and patent regulation. [Romer’s] analysis says that such policies are vital to long-run growth, not just within a country but globally. It also provides guidelines for policy design: patent laws should strike the right balance between the motivation to create new ideas, by giving some monopoly rights to developers, and the ability of others to use them, by limiting these rights in time and space.”Related: Can Corporates Save the World from Climate Change?Although the two economists work separately, the prize committee awarded them jointly because, in the words of committee member Per Krusell, a Swedish macroeconomist, they are both thinking about “long-run, global” issues.Taxes, regulations and even the science of climate change (and perhaps science generally) are currently far out of vogue politically in the U.S., but a carbon tax is broadly favored by business leaders. One idea advocated by the fossil fuel industry is a U.S. carbon tax with the proceeds refunded directly to taxpayers. The proposal has been met with suspicion by climate activists because it would also end the many lawsuits that have been (and likely will be) filed against the coal and oil industry for damages from climate change, eliminate regulations on the theory they are redundant and preclude government using the revenues for crucial R&D, infrastructure upgrades and everything else needed to adapt to higher oceans and extreme weather.What does all this mean for entrepreneurs? Tough to say, though a few things are good to keep in mind, not least is that millennials are deeply concerned about climate change. It also seems increasingly clear that taxes are not invariably bad and that the market won’t solve every problem, including most obviously those that are not profitable. On the other hand, there is considerable evidence that taxes and policies that treated climate change as an existential threat would create huge new industries and save trillions of dollars in avoided damages (to say nothing of social upheaval from forced migration). It might be that for entrepreneurs, climate change is more a question of what to do as a citizen than as a business person. –shares Climate Change Next Article 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. Add to Queue 4 min read Entrepreneur Staffcenter_img Senior Editor for Green Entrepreneur October 8, 2018 Register Now » Peter Page UN Warns Climate Change May Doom Us, but Nobel Committee Suggests Taxing Pollution Might Save Us The latest and most pessimistic warning about climate catastrophe came the same day as the Nobel Prize committee honored two economists for their work exploring potential solutions. Image credit: Douglas Sacha | Getty Imageslast_img read more

62 Percent of Restaurants Feel Unprepared for a Mobile Future

first_imgRestaurateurs Engaging Customers with Mobile Offerings Today, but Are Not Confident in Keeping Pace with the Mobile Innovations of TomorrowA recent survey of food and beverage leaders highlights that while a large percentage feel confident in their restaurant’s current use of mobile technology, only 48 percent feel prepared to capitalize on future innovations. Sixty-two percent of respondents expressed doubts over their ability to keep up with the speed of mobile technology changes. And more than half (59 percent) agreed that their company faces the threat of disruption from their more mobile-enabled competitors.“The rise of mobile ordering and on-demand food delivery services are completely changing the restaurant and guest experience,” said Simon de Montfort Walker, senior vice president and general manager for Oracle Food and Beverage. “In order to remain relevant to a rapidly evolving audience, restaurants must act quickly to modernize their mobile strategy and offerings. Today, the experience a customer has ordering online or from a kiosk can be just as essential as if they were ordering in the store.”The study findings point to a clear and urgent need for restaurants to embrace the right mobile and back-end technology to drive higher ticket value, turn tables faster and enable more cross and upsell. In addition, the findings highlight the need to embrace mobile technology to avoid being outpaced by the competition, help cut labor costs and improve the guest experience – all critical components to revenue growth.Marketing Technology News: Glocally and Storied Partner to Develop Digital Ad Units Distributing Local Social ContentImproving Loyalty and the Dining Experience Today’s foodies want choices. In addition to great food, what drives their loyalty is easy ordering and delivery, fast, seamless payments, and a personalized experience.86 percent of operators say branded mobile apps increase their speed of service and therefore revenue93 percent believe their guest-facing apps enhance the guest experience, promote loyalty and drive repeat businessCutting Costs, Saving Time Equals Increased RevenuesRestaurants are investing in mobile technology to cut costs and save time in areas such as hiring less serving staff but more runners, keeping a close eye on stock levels to avoid over-ordering and waste, and the ability to quickly change the menu and offer specials when there is an overstock of inventory.84 percent of food and beverage executives believe the adoption of guest-facing apps drives down labor costs96 percent agree, with 40 percent strongly agreeing, that expanded mobile inventory management will drive time and money savingsPerceived Future Benefits of Mobile TechnologyRestaurants are already using mobile devices for table reservations, taking orders, and processing payments, but what value do restaurateurs believe will come from future mobile innovations?82 percent believe partnerships with third-party delivery services like Uber Eats and GrubHub will help grow their business89 percent believe check averages will increase thanks to in-app recommendations95 percent believe the guest experience and customer loyalty will continue to improveMarketing Technology News: BSI Reports Top Supply Chain Themes for 2019The Road AheadWhile most organizations rated themselves as highly able to meet new consumer demands, an undercurrent of anxiety about the future was also apparent with only 48 percent of respondents reporting that they have the tools they need to meet the mobile demands of tomorrow. The mobility study findings show a clear path for restaurateurs including applying mobile innovation to broader areas such as inventory efficiency, getting new customers in the door, serving them more efficiently, and keeping them coming back.Marketing Technology News: New Research from Fresh Relevance Highlights Impact and Adoption of Influencer Marketing Is Overestimated 62 Percent of Restaurants Feel Unprepared for a Mobile Future PRNewswireApril 26, 2019, 4:03 pmApril 26, 2019 Marketing TechnologyMobile Futuremobile technologyNewsOracleRestaurateurs Engaging Customers Previous ArticleWhy Measurement is the Secret to Agency SuccessNext ArticleGroundTruth Names Chris Yamaoka Chief Privacy Officerlast_img read more

Chorusai Named 1 Sales Coaching Momentum Leader in G2s Summer 2019 Momentum

first_imgChorus.ai Named #1 Sales Coaching Momentum Leader in G2’s Summer 2019 Momentum Grid Business WireJune 27, 2019, 6:05 pmJune 27, 2019 “Chorus is great because of how easy it’s scaled across our sales organization. We’ve rolled it out to every team, BDRs and AEs, and each group uses it in a different way.”Marketing Technology News: Mobile Data Use Nearly Doubles, CTIA Annual Survey Shows“Chorus.ai earned its position as a Momentum Leader in G2’s Summer 2019 Momentum Grid Reports for Conversation Intelligence and Sales Coaching by demonstrating high growth indicators and high user satisfaction over the last year,” said Kara Kennedy, Market Research Director at G2. “With its continued momentum of earning high ratings for satisfaction, and growing its employees and digital presence, Chorus has shown that it is outpacing industry growth solutions that meet the evolving needs of their users.”Marketing Technology News: Extreme Networks to Acquire Aerohive Networks Chorus.aiConversation IntelligenceLuca VingianiMarketing Technology NewsMomentum GridNewssales coaching Previous ArticleNew Research Reveals Employees Are Ready to be Empowered by Automation TechnologyNext ArticleLytics Named a Strong Performer in Customer Data Platform Report by Independent Research Firm Chorus.ai, the Conversation Intelligence Platform for high-growth sales teams, announced it is a momentum leader in the G2, formerly G2 Crowd, Summer 2019 Momentum Grid Reports for Conversation Intelligence and Sales Coaching. Chorus led the market in its placement as a momentum leader.“We’re honored to lead G2’s Conversation Intelligence and Sales Coaching quadrants in Momentum and Customer Satisfaction,” said Roy Raanani, CEO and Co-Founder of Chorus.ai. “G2 has become a critical input to delighting our customers by informing our product investments. Our G2 NPS of 75 and Customer Satisfaction score of 96 are a reflection of the product investments we’ve made. For example, our recently launched AI-Assisted Coaching Initiatives and Scorecards proactively flags calls and moments for Managers to review, and measure the impact of coaching on quantifiable results.”Marketing Technology News: Human Connection Matters to Gen Z: Ooma Survey Busts Myths Around Generational Communication PreferencesChorus.ai has worked with hundreds of high-growth companies to increase quota attainment and shorten new hire ramp times by creating visibility and analyzing prospect-facing meetings at scale. The company’s proprietary AI automatically identifies and curates such moments for sales and customer success teams, thus freeing sales representatives to focus on building relationships that impact selling outcomes and use those insights for real-time sales coaching and to replicate sales best practices.“Chorus has been an essential coaching tool,” said Luca Vingiani, Global VP of Inside Sales at Crossover for Work. “We have a goal to create a team of highly consistent, trusted sales advisors in a high sales volume environment. In order to achieve this, we needed a tool that would help us measure and coach call quality with consistency versus a subjective analysis. We’ve found that call quality can impact sales outcomes by as much as 65 percent. And in 12 weeks, we improved quality scores from an average of 5% to 100% and this has translated to raising our retention rates to over 90%.”Highlights from customer reviews on G2 include:“It’s been called the best investment our company has ever made in a tool, including Salesforce.” “The most valuable thing for my team is the meeting insights. Chorus breaks down talk time, watches for critical moments, and is incredibly informative about the quality of the conversations you are having with clients.” “The most impactful coaching on the market. It not only helped reduce the ‘ramp’ time of new AEs, but also helped nearly double the close rate of the existing AE team.” “Chorus is basically a cheat code. It’s an incredible training tool, and I would recommend it to all sales departments.”last_img read more

Heat and reapplication impact different sunscreen products containing common ingredients

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 8 2018With the growing awareness of ultraviolet (UV) exposure resulting in an increased risk of photoaging and skin cancers, consumers are using higher sun protection factor (SPF) sunscreens with frequent reapplication. New research, Evaluation of Reapplication and Controlled Heat Exposure on Oxybenzone Permeation from Commercial Sunscreen Using Excised Human Abdominal Skin, presented today at the 2018 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) PharmSci 360 Meeting demonstrates that heat and reapplication influences different sunscreen products containing the same amount of a key ingredient, oxybenzone, potentially affecting safety and toxicity of the UV filters included in sunscreens.”What our research shows is that current safety testing procedures may be underestimating the amount of oxybenzone being absorbed into the skin considering heat and reapplication, such as someone sunbathing on the beach,” said presenting author, Paige Zambrana, a pharmaceutical sciences graduate student at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. “Although sunscreens are intended for the entire body under higher temperatures with reapplication every 80 minutes, safety testing for setting UV filter limits only require single dose testing under baseline skin temperature of 32 degrees Celsius.”The researchers performed in vitro permeation tests, which indicated that oxybenzone, using lotion and spray sunscreen formulations, was able to permeate human skin with significantly higher cumulative permeation occurring from the lotion. With the addition of 24-hour heat exposure on the lotion, there was a 2.1-fold increase in cumulative permeation of oxybenzone when comparing sunscreen reapplication at 80 min and 160 min, to a single application and a 1.2-fold increase in permeation when comparing 24-hour heat application to 24-hour baseline temperature sunscreen reapplication studies. When comparing formulations, applying lotion with 24-hour heat and reapplication significantly increased the cumulative oxybenzone permeation 3.1-fold more than the spray reapplication.Related StoriesOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CT”Although sunscreen use is important and generally safe, our work suggests that some additional preclinical and clinical safety testing parameters should be considered before maximum UV filter levels are established,” noted Audra Stinchcomb, Ph.D., principal investigator and professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. “Also, given oxybenzone’s potential environmental hazards and recently being banned in Hawaii, we are focused on how different factors affect people to provide accurate predictions of total oxybenzone absorption.”The next stage of this work will examine sunscreen use through controlled in vitro and in vivo testing procedures with the eventual aim of establishing an in vitro-in vivo correlation between the two tests. In addition, clinical trials with currently marketed sunscreen products will be performed to assess sunscreen use conditions allowing for a better understanding of the current maximum absorption of oxybenzone.Evaluation of Reapplication and Controlled Heat Exposure on Oxybenzone Permeation from Commercial Sunscreen Using Excised Human Abdominal Skin will be presented Wednesday, Nov. 7, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (EST) Poster Forum 5 the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Source:https://www.aaps.org/homelast_img read more

GARP protein can be a potential target for immunotherapy against colorectal cancer

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 19 2019Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in both men and women. Despite significant advances in therapies for this particular cancer, the five-year survival rate is 12 percent, according to the American Cancer Society.Immunotherapies have emerged as a promising treatment for many cancers and are effective against melanoma, lung cancer, and renal cell carcinoma. These immunotherapies include checkpoint therapies such as PD-1 inhibitors, which help activate the immune system against the cancer.Despite the promise these immunotherapies hold, clinical trials involving PD-1 inhibitors have been disappointing against colorectal cancer. Further, only a subset of colorectal cancer patients with certain mutations seem to respond well to anti-PD-1 therapy.In an article published in the March issue of Cancer Research, Zihai Li, M.D., Ph.D., and his team at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) report a potential new target for immunotherapy directed against colorectal cancer.Like PD-1, GARP is a protein expressed on the surface of our immune cells. Li and his team hope that targeting this protein could be a potential therapy for colorectal cancer patients who do not respond to other immunotherapies.”In terms of cancer therapy, the immune system has so many buttons you can push,” says Li. “PD-1 checkpoint therapy is an example of that. Researchers are constantly looking for more buttons to push, and I think that GARP could be one of those buttons.”Li is chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at MUSC and co-leads the cancer immunology research program at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center.An important balance exists within the immune system. While we need our immune system to protect us against diseases like cancer, we also need regulatory mechanisms to keep it from attacking our body. Collectively, these are known as tolerance.Cancer takes advantage of tolerance mechanisms to hide from our immune system. T cells are a type of immune cell that can target and kill cancer cells. However, they can come in many different flavors. One flavor, called a regulatory T (Treg) cell, makes sure we maintain tolerance to our own cells. Cancer cells can increase the presence of Treg cells in order to avoid being killed off by other types of T cells.Li and his lab have always been interested in how Tregs can be regulated both in terms of tolerance and in disease states like cancer. The research team led by Li found that disrupting GARP, a cell surface receptor on T regulatory cells, decreases tolerance, reduces colon cancer development, and inhibits migration of Treg cells to the gut in a preclinical model.Related StoriesResearchers identify potential drug target for multiple cancer typesStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryAdding immunotherapy after initial treatment improves survival in metastatic NSCLC patients”Fundamentally we shed some light on basic T regulatory cell biology,” explains Li. “We found that GARP, specifically that on T regulatory cells, is important for immune tolerance. It also seems to be involved in immune evasion by cancers in the gut.”The MUSC team showed that, in a mouse model of colitis, genetic deletion of GARP on Treg cells prevented the immune system from maintaining optimal tolerance in the gut. Without GARP, the Treg cells could no longer efficiently suppress the immune system and fewer of them traveled to the gut. Further, the team showed that deleting GARP on Treg cells in a mouse model of colon cancer diminished tumors by half compared with mice with intact GARP.”In our preclinical cancer model, mice with no GARP on their Treg cells had a better outcome, and more T cells infiltrated the tumor,” says Li. “Interestingly, this only seems to be the case in the gut. When we induced cancer in other places like the skin, there was no difference between mice with or without GARP on Treg cells.”Another major player involved in the regulation of Treg cells is TGF-beta. TGF-beta is released by cells and can regulate different parts of the immune system. It is known that GARP is involved in TGF-beta activation. Li’s work indicates that GARP and TGF-beta work together to regulate Treg migration to the gut.If researchers can figure out how colon cancer cells increase Treg homing to the gut, they could block that homing signal. That would enable the immune system to find and eradicate the cancer.Li and the research team found CD103, a cell surface protein, to be that homing signal.”When GARP is expressed on the surface of Treg cells, it can grab TGF-beta that’s secreted from other cells,” explains Li. “This causes an upregulation in CD103 expression, which acts like a zip code to the gut for Treg cells.”Ultimately, the MUSC’s team is the first to show the role that GARP plays in regulating the activity of Treg cells in the colon. Their next steps will be to characterize the presence of GARP on Treg cells in human colon cancer, as GARP can be therapeutically targeted.”It turns out that colon cancer patients have high levels of TGF-beta, which upregulates Treg cells”, says Li. “This may be one of the reasons why they don’t respond to PD-1 therapy. However, these could be the patients that anti-GARP therapy could work really well on.”Source: https://web.musc.edu/last_img read more

Reducing smoking among Medicaid recipients by 1 could result in 26 billion

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 12 2019Reducing smoking, and its associated health effects, among Medicaid recipients in each state by just 1 percent would result in $2.6 billion in total Medicaid savings the following year, according to new research by UC San Francisco.The median state would save $25 million, ranging from $630.2 million in California (if the smoking rate dropped from 15.5 percent to 14.5 percent) to $2.5 million in South Dakota (if the rate dropped from 41.3 to 40.3 percent), the research found.The study, by Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, director of the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, is published April 12, 2019 in JAMA Network Open.”While 14 percent of all adults in the U.S. smoke cigarettes, 24.5 percent of adult Medicaid recipients smoke,” said Glantz. “This suggests that an investment in reducing smoking in this population could be associated with a reduction in Medicaid costs in the short run.”Related StoriesStudy finds increase in cigarette smoking among minority teens after college affirmative action bansPrenatal exposure to paternal tobacco smoking linked to high asthma riskStudy: Smoking does not shorten the length of telomeresTotal Medicaid costs in 2017 were $577 billion.”There is no question that reducing smoking is associated with reduced health costs, but it’s commonly assumed that it takes years to see these savings, which has discouraged many states from prioritizing helping smokers quit,” said Glantz.”While this is true for some diseases, such as cancer, other health risks such as heart attacks, lung disease and pregnancy complications respond quickly to changes in smoking behavior. So reducing the prevalence of smoking would be an excellent short-term investment in the physical health of smokers and the fiscal health of the Medicaid system,” he said.Glantz derived state-by-state percentages of Medicaid recipients who smoke based on data from the 2017 Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System, which provides the percentage of smokers among the population of each state, and the 2017 National Health Interview Survey, which identifies Medicaid recipients in four major regions in the United States (Northeast, Midwest, South and West).He then estimated potential Medicaid savings based on a previous research finding which showed that a 1 percent relative reduction in smoking prevalence is associated with a reduction of 0.118 percent in per capita health care spending.Glantz noted that the study looked only at the potential savings from reducing the total number of Medicaid recipients who smoke. But even if each smoker just smoked less, there would be additional reductions in health care costs, he said.Cost reductions from reducing smoking would continue and likely grow over the long term.”Because some health risks linked with smoking, such as cancer, can take years to fully manifest, these savings would be likely to grow with each passing year,” Glantz said.The paper shows predicted reductions in Medicaid costs by each state. Source:https://www.ucsf.edu/last_img read more

Driving to work may increase the risk of premature death by a

first_imgBy Sally Robertson, B.Sc.May 2 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Adults who are obese and commute by car are at a 32% increased risk of death from any cause, compared with normal-weight peers who walk or cycle to work, report researchers. The finding, which was recently presented at this year’s European Congress on Obesity, was based on an analysis of more than 160,000 British individuals.Pair Srinrat | ShutterstockFor the study, researchers from the British Heart Foundation examined data from 163,149 people (aged between 37 and 73 years) who provided information about whether they drove to work, walked and cycled (active-mixed), only cycled or only walked, as part of a UK Biobank study.Previous assessments of UK Biobank data have found that active modes of commuting such as cycling or walking were associated with a 50% decreased the risk of death, compared with commuting by car.A 32 percent difference in premature deathGiven that in the UK, 57% of men and 66% of women in the UK are overweight or obese, lead investigator Carlos Celis and colleagues investigated whether different ways of commuting to work may have an impact on the link between obesity and adverse health outcomes.Obesity was defined as a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30 and the health outcomes being assessed were death from any cause, death due to heart disease and hospital admission due to non-fatal heart disease.At the congress, Celis reported that a total of 2,425 participants died and 7,973 developed heart disease over a mean follow-up period of five years.Compared with normal-weight individuals who had an active-mixed commute, obese people who drove to and from work were at a 32% increased risk for premature death, a two-fold increased risk for heart disease and an almost 60% increased risk for non-fatal heart disease.By contrast, obese individuals who said they had an active commute were found to be at a similar risk for death from any cause as normal-weight active commuters, suggesting that an active commute could decrease the detrimental health effects of being obese.However, obese people who had an active commute were still at an 82% increased risk for heart disease, compared with normal-weight individuals who also had an active commute.Active commutes are easily ‘fitted within our daily routines’The study’s lead author, Edward Toke-Bjolgerud, says the results suggest people who are overweight or obese could decrease the risk of premature death if they walked or cycled to work. U.S studies have reported similar adverse health outcomes associated with overweight or obesity.The findings are not new. A 2013 study conducted by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the University of Cambridge found that each five-unit increase in BMI (from 30 to 35, for example) was associated with a 49% increased risk for death from cardiovascular disease, a 38% increased risk for death from respiratory disease and a 19% increased risk for death from cancer.The authors of the current study say that irrespective of body weight, engaging in physical activity could partly reduce the health risks associated with obesity.The authors conclude: Our findings, if causal, suggest that people with overweight or obesity could potentially decrease the risk of premature mortality if they engage in active commuting.However, compared to other forms of physical activity – such as gyms and exercises classes – active commuting can be implemented and fitted within our daily routines, often with no additional cost, but at the same time could increase our overall physical activity levels and therefore help to meet the current physical activity recommendations for health.”last_img read more

Gold declines as Treasury yields advance dollar pares losses

first_imgExchange-traded funds backed by the precious metal have been rising, with holdings reaching 2,311.3 tonnes as of Wednesday, the most since 2013.The sell-off in gold could be short-lived with central banks signaling a dovish stance, analysts said. Even with stronger-than-expected US inflation data Thursday, traders are still pricing in a July rate cut by the Fed as a certainty.The price data was “probably not enough to change the mindset of the Fed given how long inflation has been quiescent,” Tai Wong, head of base and precious metals derivatives trading at BMO Capital Markets, said an email. “It will take more than one stronger print in inflation to even register for Fed policy makers.”In other precious metals, silver futures settled lower on the Comex. Palladium declined on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while platinum gained. — Bloomberg New York: Gold slipped as the dollar pared losses and yields on US Treasuries surged, damping the appeal of the metal because it doesn’t pay interest.Yields on 10-year Treasuries reached a one-month high after a key measure of US consumer prices rose more than forecast in June. The price report could complicate the Federal Reserve’s assessment of inflation as policy makers weigh an interest-rate cut as soon as this month.Gold “is sort of caught between cross-currents,” Ed Meir, an analyst at INTL FCStone Inc, said by phone. “The bearish influence is the fact that the dollar has come back from being weaker today to unchanged and also the fact that rates are going up in response to the higher inflation numbers we got. So higher rates, stronger dollar is bearish for gold.”Gold futures for August delivery fell 0.4% to US$1,406.70 an ounce on the Comex in New York, after rising as much as 1.2% earlier. An index of the dollar was down 0.1% after falling as much as 0.3%. Related News Markets 10 Jul 2019 Asia cautious as everything rides on dovish Powell Business News 10 Jul 2019 Gold slips as dollar strengthens ahead of Powell’s testimonycenter_img {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Related News Business News 09 Jul 2019 China’s gold hoard swellslast_img read more