300-million-year-old ‘Tully Monster’ may not be the creature scientists thought it was

first_img 300-million-year-old ‘Tully Monster’ may not be the creature scientists thought it was Sean McMahon/Yale University The mysterious “Tully Monster,” a 15-centimeter-long, stalk-eyed creature (artist’s concept above) that swarmed the seas of what is now Illinois more than 300 million years ago, was a vertebrate and a close relative of lampreys. At least that’s what scientists concluded 3 years ago. An even more recent study seems to have confirmed that classification. But a new analysis could shake up this strange animal’s family tree.This new effort focused on the eyes of Tullimonstrum, whose informal name honors the paleontologist who first discovered it. They homed in on melanosomes, microscopic, pigment-containing structures that often bind to metals such as zinc and copper, which possibly serve as antioxidants. Such structures were widely thought to be present only in the eyes of vertebrates, hence a previous team’s 2016 classification.But analyses of modern-day invertebrates such as the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) and the European squid (Loligo vulgaris) reveal that melanosomes can be found in invertebrate eyes, too, the scientists report today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Not only that, the melanosomes in invertebrate eyes appear to attract and bond to metals differently from those in vertebrate eyes. Whereas melanosomes in vertebrate eyes sport higher concentrations of zinc than their invertebrate counterparts, those in the eyes of the invertebrates they tested contain higher proportions of copper, especially the Cu+1 form of the element. Interestingly, the researchers note, fossil melanosomes from the eyes of Tullimonstrum contain little zinc compared with the melanosomes of vertebrate fossils found in the same rocks, and they also contain substantial amounts of Cu+1.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Together, the findings suggest Tullimonstrum could have been an invertebrate. And similar analyses could help scientists classify other mysterious creatures from the past, the researchers suggest.center_img By Sid PerkinsOct. 22, 2019 , 7:01 PMlast_img read more

Ishant Sharma, Eoin Morgan in top base price bracket in IPL 2017 auction

first_imgIndia pacer Ishant Sharma, England’s limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan and former Australia pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson are among seven players who have listed themselves at the highest base price of INR 2 crore (approx USD 298,000) for the Indian Premier League season 10 player auction.England allrounders Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes, Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews and Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins are the rest of the players in this bracket.The IPL auction is scheduled to be held in Bengaluru on February 20.The INR 1.5 crore bracket has England’s Johnny Bairstow, New Zealander Trent Boult, Australia’s Nathan Lyon and Brad Haddin, South African Kyle Abott and Jason Holder of the West Indies. (Yuzvendra Chahal a product of Indian Premier League: Sourav Ganguly to India Today)A total of 799 players are part of the initial roster which would be reduced once the franchises submit their preferences before the deadline this weekend. There are 160 capped players from eight countries – leaving out Bangladesh and Pakistan – and 639 from India, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and West Indies.This will be the final year of IPL before the teams overhaul their squads for the 2018 season.The existing player contracts will expire after this season of the league and most players are expected to go under the hammer at a mega auction ahead of the 2018 season.last_img read more

9 days agoLjungberg primed to takeover at Arsenal if Emery departs

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say Ljungberg primed to takeover at Arsenal if Emery departsby Ansser Sadiq9 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal legend Freddie Ljungberg could be the man to take on the managerial job at the club next season.The Gunners are not thinking about sacking coach Unai Emery imminently.But the Spaniard is on thin ice, as fans are unhappy with the team’s performances so far this season.If Arsenal do not finish in the top four or win the Europa League, Emery would likely depart.And notoriously reliable journalist David Ornstein, who works for The Athletic, claims the club see Ljungberg as the natural successor to Emery.He said: “Freddie is highly-rated by the players and staff, and the logical feeling is he would take temporary charge if anything happened with Emery.”He has ‘number one’ ambitions of his own and won’t hang around somewhere for too long if he doesn’t think the opportunity will come.” last_img read more

Buckeye Brief Slowing down Keita BatesDiop and more notes from Ohio States

Ohio State redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop (33) takes a 3 pointer in the first half of the game against Maryland on Jan. 11 in the Schottenstein Center. Ohio State won 91-69. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorNo. 13 Ohio State (18-4, 9-0 Big Ten) is exactly halfway through its conference schedule with nine games won and nine games remaining. It narrowly edged out Nebraska Monday, 64-59, in its closest conference game of the season. Here are some notes from the postgame press conference. Keita Bates-Diop finding production despite tighter defensive coverageThe cat is out of the bag: redshirt junior Keita Bates-Diop is one of the best players in college basketball. The 6-foot-7 forward averages 19.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, shooting 50.5 percent from the field and 36.6 percent from the 3.Earlier in the year, teams played man-to-man against Bates-Diop. It allowed him to easily drive and to shoot high-percentage shots inside or catch wide-open passes from beyond the arc and knock home 3s. But teams have started to press more often in their coverage of him, double-teaming him to prevent him from having those open looks. His current four-game stretch has seen him average his lowest point rate (16.8) since he averaged 15 points per game from Nov. 19-26. The added defensive pressure has made it more challenging for Bates-Diop to find open lanes to drive to the basket. But against Nebraska, he said he was able to stay moving and would eventually find open space without the ball before catching a pass and making a play.“So I started slipping screens and just moving around a little bit more, cutting a little bit more off the ball and all my teammates found me,” Bates-Diop said Monday. “It was mostly just layups to the basket.”He had been off to a slow start, making only 2-of-5 shots from the field and struggling to find open shooting chances given the coverage. Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann said he typically does not have to say much to Bates-Diop when he goes into a bit of a lull and that it is always just a matter of time until his star forward starts putting up points.“I just told him I’d like for you to score a lot more and go get 14 really quickly here,” Holtmann joked. “He’s getting a lot of attention. He missed some open shots, but he made some huge plays for us. And I thought our guys did a nice job finding him in the post late too.”Four games in eight daysWhen the Buckeyes went to the locker room after the game Monday night, they finally had a chance to really catch their breath. They had just wrapped up their fourth game in eight days with the first three coming on the road. “I definitely am a little fatigued,” senior forward Jae’Sean Tate said. “I mean you know that’s just the cards we were dealt. Especially this season with the tournament being moved up, it’s a little tougher. But I think as a team, we’re doing a great job. The coaches are focusing more on film and recovery.”Holtmann said the team did not discuss any change in approach to the four-game stretch, but that the players have worked additionally with strength and conditioning coach Quadrian Banks to avoid getting too worn down.He also said he wanted three of his starters — junior guard C.J. Jackson, Bates-Diop and Tate, who played 37, 37 and 33 minutes, respectively — to get more rest given how much they had played during that stretch. However, given how close Monday’s matchup wound up being, he was unable to rest his starters as much as he would have liked.“We’re going to continue to trust and use our bench,” Holtmann said. “We played seven guys over 20 minutes, which is kind of normal. But we need to continue obviously for Thursday. We need to probably utilize our bench even more if we can.”Andre Wesson and Andrew Dakich providing much-needed reliefPart of those bench players who have helped to provide key relief for starters have been sophomore forward Andre Wesson and redshirt senior guard Andrew Dakich. Wesson, who lost time over the summer due to an undisclosed injury, has worked his way back and has taken the role of the top bench forward. Over the past five games, he has averaged 21.8 minutes per game.Though he has only averaged 2.8 points per game over that stretch, the players and coaches have raved about his passing and defense being valuable coming off the bench. “Sometimes you guys may not see things that don’t show up on stat sheets, but he’s being a great defender,” Tate said. “He’s getting his hands on deflections, he’s boxing out his man, making sure they don’t get the ball, but also keeping balls alive.”Like Wesson, Dakich has not been the most productive scoring guard, averaging just 3.8 points per game over his past five games — with an average of 22.4 minutes per game. Unlike Wesson, he lacks the size to guard taller forwards attempting jump shots. He also lacks game-changing speed, but Holtmann said the 6-foot guard makes up for it with his awareness.“What he lacks in athleticism — and let’s be honest, he lacks athleticism — he makes up for it so much in his IQ and his ability to connect his teammates,” Holtmann said. “I did not realize he’d be this solid for us defensively. They tried to ice him tonight and people shot over at times, but he’s hard to get around.”Up NextOhio State will try to extend its unbeaten streak in the Big Ten to 10 games when it hosts Penn State at 8 p.m. Thursday in the Schottenstein Center. read more

BMW i8 Set to Make India Debut at 2014 Auto Expo

German luxury car maker BMW seemed to have been making some aggressive plans for India. The company is now all geared to introduce its petrol-electric hybrid i8 at the upcoming Auto Expo 2014.The car, which made its global debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2013, is powered by a3-cylinder, 1.5-litre, twin turbocharging petrol engine, in combination with an electric motor. The engine generates a power of 231bhp, a peak torque of 320Nm and is mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox transmission. The car is capable of attaining 0 to 100kmph speed in 4.5 seconds and offers a top speed of 250kmph, along with a fuel efficiency of 40kmpl.The car is likely to be the most expensive from BMW for the India market and, according to various reports, it is likely to come with a price tag of ₹1.5 crore. The company is expected to start rolling out the new offering by early 2014.Also, BMW India has kick-started the promotions for the BMW i series car.”A new kind of movement has arrived. A movement that defines your future. BMW i. Its pure progressive shapes will fascinate you. Its lightening performance will energise you. Its intelligent applications and services will help you enjoy more. Its unparalleled use of sustainable technology will allow you to live responsibly. It will combine what is good for you and what is good for tomorrow,” RushLane quoted an update by the company. read more

Flipkart CFO Baweja quits as exodus at the top continues

first_imgReutersFlipkart Chief Financial Officer Sanjay Baweja has resigned from the company. Baweja will continue to be with the company till December-end.Flipkart has lost ground to Amazon India and has struggled to raise fresh funds, two people familiar with the matter told Mint. Flipkart, which saw its valuation decline this year in the wake of repeated markdowns by some of its investors, is reortedly trying to raise investment from world’s largest retailer Wal-Mart.Since the top management rejig in January this year, which saw Bansal take over the reins as CEO, exits in the top echelons of Flipkart have become common. Punit Soni, the star hire from Google, quit the company less than a year after he joined, the Business Standard reported.The other exits are that of Mukesh Bansal, whose company was acquired by Flipkart, following which he managed some of the top portfolios there.A Flipkart spokesman said December 31 would be Baweja’s last day at the company and the search for a replacement had begun.Flipkart, launched in 2007 by two former Amazon employees, sells a wide range of products from mobile phones to suitcases and cosmetics. Current investors include Tiger Global Management and Accel Partners.last_img read more

Long road ahead for MeToo in Nepal

first_imgIn this file photo taken on March 8, 2018, women shout slogans during an International Women`s Day rally in Kathmandu. Photo: AFPThe rape and murder of a teenager provoked unprecedented protests in conservative Nepal, but activists say a #MeToo reckoning like that unfolding in neighbouring India remains a distant prospect.Thousands poured onto the streets after 13-year-old Nirmala Pant’s body was discovered in July angered by allegations the police were protecting the perpetrators.Two hashtags — #RageAgainstRape and #JusticeForNirmala — have become the rallying cries for protesters fed up with Nepal’s woeful record of prosecuting cases of violence against women.But #MeToo has been largely absent from the ongoing debate. Those fighting for change say women still struggle to speak out against their abusers in Nepal.”I would love a society where you can say #MeToo,” said women’s rights activist Hima Bista.In recent weeks the #MeToo movement in neighbouring India has gathered pace, a year after the hashtag first went viral.The public allegations by Bollywood star Tanushree Dutta against a fellow actor emboldened a wave of women in India to tell their own stories.A government minister, M.J. Akbar, resigned this month after at least 20 women accused him of sexual harassment. A prominent Bollywood director was also sacked over similar allegations.The shockwaves have not gone unnoticed in Nepal, which shares strong cultural and religious ties with its influential neighbour, as well as a 1,850-kilometre (1,150-mile) open border.”You see a slight breeze come through,” Bista said of the ripple effect from India.In the last two weeks, a handful of women have gone public with #MeToo stories in Nepal, including two accusing the former mayor of Kathmandu, Keshav Sthapit, of abusing his power.”Nepal also has serial predators who have been misusing their powers and positions,” wrote Rashmila Prajapati, who says she lost her job in Sthapit’s office 15 years ago after she rejected his sexual advances.”(It) is high time to reveal them.”Sthapit has denied the allegations, describing them as “a rape of men’s rights” in an recent interview with the Kathmandu Post newspaper.’Fight for justice’But for most women in Nepal, particularly those in conservative rural communities, speaking out is not an option, says Mohna Ansari of the National Human Rights Commission.She is supporting two rape victims who brought their cases to court — a rare achievement in itself.But the women have been driven from their communities by gossip, a byproduct of speaking out about sexual violence.”They are now both hiding in a shelter. The stigma and victim blaming is still too strong in our society,” said Ansari.Bista is concerned that Nepal may not be ready for #MeToo, pointing out that so far only professional women in Kathmandu have felt able to speak out.”And the reaction has been very divided for and against (them),” she added.A change needs to come from the top, but the government’s response to Pant’s killing, the botched investigation and the ensuing protests has invoked outrage and derision.Parliament passed a ban on pornography saying it would curb violence against women, while the home minister blamed rape on capitalism. He also described the #RageAgainstRape protest movement as a conspiracy aimed at toppling Nepal’s communist-led government.There have been small signs of progress: official figures show 479 complaints of rape and attempted rape were made from July to September this year — more than the total number of cases filed between 2008 and 2009 — suggesting the protests have encouraged some to speak up.In 2016 to 2017, 1,131 rapes were reported to the police, but only a tiny fraction ended up in court.Sexual violence is making news too. An acid attack on two sisters by a jilted suitor in late September, and the gang rape and murder of a 10-year-old girl, dominated headlines for days.But activists say the sensationalist coverage and gratuitous detail paints women as weak victims with no agency — undermining their ability to call out their abusers.”Once we address the culture, then you have space for #MeToo,” said Bista.Pant’s killers meanwhile remain at large.”I don’t have any hope of justice, because the investigations have come up with nothing despite public pressure,” her father, Yagya Raj Pant, told AFP by phone.”But we still continue our fight for justice.”last_img

Ive always wondered why we tend to glorify pirate

first_imgI’ve always wondered why we tend to glorify pirates and treasure hunters: the Indiana Joneses, the Jack Sparrows, the Long John Silvers. I think it’s because most people, while it may not be reflected in their daily lives, are adventurers at heart. Don’t we all dream of digging a hole because we just know there’s something there, and hearing that telltale clunk of our spade striking the lid of a treasure chest filled with gold doubloons? Fact is, the precious metals mining sector—although by many derided, as Doug Casey says, as a “19th century choo-choo train” industry—is one of the last bastions where wannabe daredevils can still dream big. Luck—But Not Dumb Luck Most of the companies my subscribers and I invest in are explorers looking for gold, silver, and other metals. Of course today there’s a lot of science involved in finding those modern treasure troves. That includes the latest technologies, like XRF guns, to assay rock samples right in the field. And some geologists just have that spot-on intuition about how mineralization twists, turns, plunges, thickens, pinches out, breaks off, and reappears. However, we can’t—and shouldn’t—underestimate the role of luck in every discovery. Mother Nature likes to hide her treasures well, plant false clues, and bury them deep. That’s what makes the treasure hunt so exciting, difficult, and ultimately (when successful) profitable. Here’s a secret that most mainstream investors don’t know: There are literally thousands of mineral exploration companies, and MOST of them will never discover anything. The money these companies raise in the market will be poured into the ground, and chances are that it won’t ever do any good. This is what makes identifying companies likely to make a significant discovery so difficult—and therefore so enormously profitable when you do. When an exploration company goes from having nothing to having proven and probable mining reserves of calculable value, share prices can go through the roof… pennies turn into dollars… and dollars into fortunes. I love being part of the discovery process; especially when the mine gets built and creates new jobs, usually for people who desperately need them—not to mention the metals our civilization depends on. Windfalls: A Trade of Many Baskets This is all very exciting, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the part stock promoters don’t like to talk about. The outcome of most exploration projects is binary—it’s either something or nothing, just as one can’t be a little bit dead or pregnant—and the odds of failure vastly outweigh the odds of success. I’m not going to lie to you: Even when you’re backing the most serially successful people in the business, with good prospects and plenty of money to go after them, there’s no guarantee that every one of their projects will pan out. So how do legendary investors like Doug Casey hit home runs speculating on early-stage exploration companies? They do it by adopting a “large basket” approach, speculating on a best-of-the-best selection of early-stage penny-stock picks. Some of these stocks will go nowhere, make marginal gains, or become complete write-offs, but others will double, triple, or yield higher multiples. The occasional 1,000%-plus gain—what we call a “ten-bagger”—pays for all the rest, and then some. Obviously they don’t come along every day, but 5,000% and even 10,000% gains are indeed possible by speculating in this way—though you have to be willing to take some losses if you’re going to reach for something so far out on the bell curve. Lower-Risk Plays: Haves vs. Have-Nots Mind you, not all exploration companies start from scratch. Sometimes a known discovery that didn’t quite make the cut can later turn into a profitable mine—due to new technology… by combining “splinter deposits” into one project with economies of scale… or simply due to higher metals prices. Sometimes a new geological interpretation is all it takes, and voila, an old discovery of little consequence magically transforms into a major deposit with very robust economics.   In some cases, even better management has turned a disappointing dud into a highly profitable operation. And, of course, you can bet on a team that has already made a discovery, proved it up, and is now building a mine… because proof on the bottom line usually results in a rerating that moves share prices up. You see that there are many ways to speculate on the process of discovering, developing, and exploiting mineral resources. Naturally, the higher the risk, the greater the reward when successful. If a mine is already under construction, or is in operation but being expanded, the result will be less spectacular but more reliable gains. Which is a good thing, because it lets you choose which investment style is right for you (or maybe it’s a mix of high and low risk). Remember, natural resource stocks tend to move in sync with the price of the underlying asset. When gold, silver, or copper jumps 2%, associated stocks will often jump 5% or more—which makes it possible for us to make multiples of our original investment. Buy Low, Sell High. Of course the reverse is true as well: when metals and minerals prices drop, share prices in companies that produce them drop even faster, as has been happening for the last two years in the resource sector. This would be a disaster if we were talking about pet rocks, bell-bottom jeans, or cars with enormous tail fins, but we’re not; we’re talking about things without which life as we know it would be impossible. No Metals = Stone Age Even if some genocidal world government were to kill nine out of every ten people alive right now, without the use of metals those left would barely be able to hang on. It’s that simple. And that non-negotiable—regardless of what some environmental extremists may fantasize. With the population of our planet getting larger every day and unlikely to stop growing anytime soon, nothing short of global nuclear war or a similar catastrophe can stop demand for metals from rising. (And if that happens, we’ll have more important things to worry about than stock prices.) In other words: Investing in mining companies is, without question, one of the surest long-term bets you can make. That means times when metals prices “correct”—as they are doing right now—should be seen as buying opportunities. Buy low, sell high. It’s remarkable how hard it is for even those who understand this simple, fundamental formula for speculation to actually act on it. When prices are low, there are always those who bought at higher levels warning of what a disaster the given investment is. It’s very hard to put up your hard-earned cash when you don’t know if a market has already bottomed or will bottom in the future. There’s only one remedy for that kind of ailment: Don’t bother trying to time the market, but focus instead on buying value when you see it. That’s why I pull on my boots whenever opportunity presents itself, and hop in a Jeep, a helicopter, on a horse, or a rickshaw to go check out an opportunity for our subscribers. Only after checking and double-checking that a company indeed has the goods do I recommend it to our subscribers. Right now is a great time to jump in… because even top-quality mining companies with proven reserves are currently selling for pennies on the dollar. And as there’s no way metals prices can stay depressed indefinitely, all you need is some patience to watch the best of the best miners succeed. It’s my own treasure hunt—and I invite you to join this once-in-a-generation opportunity.last_img read more

Dont let your portfolio fall prey to the technolo

first_img Don’t let your portfolio fall prey to the technology hype cycle. Alex and the entire tech team at Casey Research dissect every element of a stock before making an investment call… and many don’t survive the process. The ones that do more often than not hand investors generous gains. Learn how to put them to work for you right now. Tech remains a highly popular sector, despite some worrisome valuations. In this Sun News interview, Alex Daley separates what’s investable from what’s on the crest of the hype cycle for 2014.last_img

The gold stocks gapped up a bit more than a percen

first_img The gold stocks gapped up a bit more than a percent at the open—and then climbed to their high of the day, which came minutes after 11 a.m. EST, as that was gold’s high of the day as well.  From there they drifted quietly lower giving up a bit more than a percent of their gains going into the close—but the HUI still managed to finish up 2.79%. This might be JPMorgan’s last swing for the fences The gold price didn’t do much in Far East trading, but rallied a bit starting just before the London open, with that rally ending about 30 minutes later.  From there it drifted quietly lower until the noon London silver fix—and then it rallied to its high tick of the day which came a few minutes after the 4 p.m. GMT London close—11 a.m. EST in New York.  From that point it got sold down five or so dollars and then chopped sideways into the 5:15 p.m. close of electronic trading. The low and high ticks were reported by the CME Group as $1,193.50 and $1,215.00 in the February contract. Gold closed in New York yesterday at $1,209.60 spot, up $11.10 from Tuesday’s close.  Net volume was 151,000 contracts. And as I write this paragraph, London has been open about five minutes.  At the moment, gold is still down on the day by a few bucks, but the other metals are up a bit from yesterday’s close in New York.  Gold volume is just under 19,000 contracts—and silver’s volume is just over 4,500 contracts.  The dollar index, which strayed above the 89.00 level by a couple of basis points during Far East trading, is now down a couple of basis points on the day. Well, a resolution of the speculative position limits in all commodities on the COMEX, especially the four precious metals, would certainly change things.  The only questions remaining are:  will it happen, what the new limits will be—and what date they become effective on.  If/when it does happen, how much ‘adjusting’ will all affected parties have to do, both on the long side and short side of each market—and how much time will they have to do it in? JPMorgan isn’t out of the woods yet, as it still has a substantial—although greatly reduced—short position in silver, plus a decent long position in gold.  I’d also bet their short positions in platinum and palladium would make your eyes glaze over as well. Including the mega-short positions in gold and silver held by Canada’s Scotiabank in the COMEX futures market, the only other two banks, either U.S. or foreign, that might be affected in any position limits the CFTC might impose in the precious metals would be HSBC USA and Citigroup in gold.  But if my educated guess that Scotiabank is as exposed as it is, it could get really ugly for them—unless there are some ‘gentle hands’ around. With the third key reversal to the upside in a row [in gold and silver] that has failed over the last thirty days, I’m of the opinion, especially after the price action last Friday—and again on Monday—that this might be JPMorgan’s last swing for the fences, or one of their last swings for the fences, now that speculative position limits are back on the table at the CFTC.  This position limit notification is something that JPMorgan would have known was coming for a long time before it was finally announced on Monday. When I spoke with Ted yesterday, I told him that it wouldn’t surprise me if Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report, along with the companion Bank Participation Report, weren’t quite what we were expecting, but in a good way. We’ll see. And as I send today’s column off to Stowe, Vermont at 5:29 a.m. EST, I see that gold is down 5 dollars from yesterday’s close, silver is still up a bit on the day, platinum is now up 15 bucks—but how long this rally is allowed to last remains to be seen.  Palladium is up 2 bucks—after trading above the $800 spot price shortly after the Zurich open. Gold volume is just north of 24,000 contracts, which isn’t a lot—and silver’s net volume is around 6,200 contracts.  The dollar index, which had been flirting with the 89.00 mark a few hours ago, is now down a couple of basis points on the day. With the speculative position limit issue back on the table over at the CFTC, I shan’t hazard a guess as to what prices will do in any of the precious metals going forward, but I am on the lookout for another engineered key reversal to the upside, as JPMorgan tries to rid itself of the last of its silver short position in the COMEX futures market—and as HSBC USA and Citigroup attempt to do the same in gold. That’s all I have for today, which is more than enough. See you tomorrow. Platinum and palladium followed similar price paths as gold and silver—and palladium’s attempt to break above its 200-day moving average got turned back minutes after Zurich opened—and it was all down hill from there.  Platinum was closed up 9 bucks—and palladium was closed down 6 dollars.  Here are the charts. The CME Daily Delivery Report for Day 5 of the December delivery month showed that zero gold and 57 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Friday.  ABN Amro was the short/issuer on 36 of these contracts, with another 19 out of JPMorgan’s client account.  The only long/stopper of note was HSBC USA with 47 contracts.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. The CME Daily Delivery Report for the Wednesday trading session showed that December open interest in gold dropped 153 contracts—and is now down to 2,096 contracts still open.  In silver, December open interest is now down to 611 contracts, after dropping 117 contracts on Wednesday—and minus the 57 contracts posted for delivery tomorrow.  I’m somewhat surprised at the slow pace of December deliveries in gold—and one has to wonder what the short/issuers are waiting for, as there’s zero benefit to them in withholding delivery. There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday—but there was another big withdrawal from SLV, as an authorized participant sent 2,203,396 troy ounces out the door for parts unknown.  But if I had to bet ten bucks, I’d say that JPMorgan and their ilk own it, but had to remove it for reporting reason.  Ted Butler had lots to say about this to his paying subscribers yesterday—and because there was so much, I’d be embarrassed to cut and paste it all. There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint. There was decent in/out movement in gold at the COMEX-approved depositories on Tuesday, as 32,000 troy ounces were received—and 4,524 troy ounces were shipped out.  The link to that activity is here. It was another monster day in silver, as 601,057 troy ounces were reported received—and 1,813,076 troy ounces were shipped out the door.  Of these amounts, the 601,057 troy ounces reported received, ended up in JPMorgan’s depository as a transfer out of the CNT Depository.  The link to that action is here—and it’s worth a quick look. Here are a couple of charts that I lifted from Nick Laird’s website in the wee hours of this morning.  They show the total inventory levels of both GLD and SLV since their respective inceptions, along with their respective prices over the same period.  The differences in inventory levels over time between GLD and SLV is nothing short of astonishing considering the price activity over the same period. Avrupa and Antofagasta intersect copper-rich VMS in Pyrite Belt, Portugal •             First Greenfields discovery of massive sulfide mineralization in 20 years in the Iberian Pyrite Belt •             10.85 meters of massive and semi-massive/stockwork sulfide mineralization grading 1.81% Cu, 2.57% Pb, 4.38% Zn, 0.13% Sn, and 75.27 ppm Ag •             Including 7.95 meters @ 2.21% Cu, 3.05% Pb, 4.82% Zn, 0.15% Sn, 89.8 ppm Ag •             Followed by 2.90 meters @ 0.71% Cu, 1.27% Pb, 3.17% Zn, 0.092% Sn, 35.4 ppm Ag •             Avrupa and Antofagasta sign an amended Joint Venture Agreement Please visit our website to learn more about the company and current exploration program. Here’s the 6-month dollar index chart so you can see how this dollar rally has progressed since its low back on July 1. Even though silver was down on the day, the silver equities mostly made up for their lousy performance on Tuesday.  They were up well over 5 percent by a few minutes after 11 a.m. EST, which was silver’s high as well.  They hung in there until noon—and from there they chopped lower into the 4 p.m. market close.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 2.81%. Silver analyst Ted Butler is the only person that has an explanation for this dichotomy—and if anyone else does, I haven’t seen it on the Internet anywhere. I have the usual number of stories for a weekday and, as always, the final edit is yours. [Speculative] position limits were fought by JPMorgan over the past five years because such an enactment would have been a disaster for the bank, which held a massively concentrated short position in COMEX silver during this time.  If JPMorgan was forced to buy back its silver short positions in excess of proposed limits, or even if the bank were prevented from adding new shorts to cap the price, the price of silver would have soared. Now that JPMorgan no longer holds a massive concentrated short position in COMEX silver—as I hope I have conveyed—the enactment of position limits could very well benefit the bank (if I am anywhere near close on how much physical silver the bank has acquired). – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 03 December 2014 It was another day where not much happened, although it was obvious that the rallies in both gold and silver that began at the London silver fix got capped minutes after the London close, which occurred at 11 a.m. EST yesterday. Gold closed back above its 50-day moving average yesterday, albeit barely, but any follow-through rally was obviously being capped.  Silver and platinum are being held below their respective 50-day moving averages—and palladium is now comfortably below its 200-day moving average after being capped the moment it touched it, which came minutes after Zurich opened on their Wednesday morning. And as an aside here, the largest short position [relative to total open interest] held in any of the four precious metals is palladium, as 15 banks are net short 35% of the COMEX futures market in that metal.  I’d bet serious coin that JPMorgan holds well over 50 percent of that short position all by itself. The new Bank Participation Report comes out tomorrow—and I’ll be interested to see if that has changed much over the last month. Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals. The dollar index closed late in New York on Tuesday afternoon at 88.63—and then didn’t do thing until shortly before 2 p.m. Hong Kong time.  Then it began to rally once again, topping out at 88.995 at the 1:30 p.m. EST COMEX close.  From there it drifted a handful of points lower, closing the Wednesday session at 88.96—up another 33 basis points on the day. The silver price followed the gold price tick for tick, but at a much more subdued price level.  Silver’s low came around 1 p.m. Hong Kong time—and except for that outlier, the price traded within a two bit range for the entire Wednesday session.  The low and high were recorded as $16.235 and $16.595 in the March contract. Silver finished the Wednesday trading session at $16.43 spot, down 3.5 cents from Tuesday’s close.  Net volume was 41,000 contracts.last_img read more

Facebook Pledges to Do Better After Posting of Murder Video

first_imgFacebook Angela Moscaritolo Reporter Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. This story originally appeared on PCMag Register Now » Add to Queue Facebook Pledges to ‘Do Better’ After Posting of Murder Videocenter_img 4 min read April 18, 2017 Facebook disabled the suspect’s account within 23 minutes of receiving the first report about the murder video, but admitted that’s not good enough. Facebook on Monday promised to improve its review process after a man in Cleveland shot and killed an elderly individual and posted a video of the murder on the social network, along with Live video confessing to the crime.”We know we need to do better,” Facebook’s Vice President of Global Operations Justin Osofsky wrote in a blog post. Police are still searching for the suspect — 37-year-old Steve Stephens — who has been charged with aggravated murder of 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr.AGGRAVATED MURDER WARRANT ISSUED FOR STEVE STEPHENS, BM 37 https://t.co/gvJpqaCOPb pic.twitter.com/v8Jkcmb4cy— Cleveland Police (@CLEpolice) April 17, 2017The suspect on Sunday morning posted a video of himself on Facebook announcing his intent to commit murder. Two minutes later, the man posted a second video of himself shooting and killing Godwin Sr. He then went Live on Facebook, confessing to the murder.”It was a horrific crime — one that has no place on Facebook, and goes against our policies and everything we stand for,” Facebook’s Osofsky wrote. “As a result of this terrible series of events, we are reviewing our reporting flows to be sure people can report videos and other material that violates our standards as easily and quickly as possible.”Osofsky said Facebook didn’t receive a report about the first video and only heard about the second video — the one containing the shooting — more than an hour and 45 minutes after it was posted. The company received reports about the third video — containing the man’s live confession — after it ended.Osofsky said Facebook disabled the suspect’s account within 23 minutes of receiving the first report about the murder video, but admitted that’s not good enough.”In addition to improving our reporting flows, we are constantly exploring ways that new technologies can help us make sure Facebook is a safe environment,” he wrote. “Artificial intelligence, for example, plays an important part in this work, helping us prevent the videos from being reshared in their entirety.”Facebook already prioritizes reposts with “serious safety implications,” but Osofsky said the company is working to make the review process go faster.”Keeping our global community safe is an important part of our mission,” he added. “We are grateful to everyone who reported these videos and other offensive content to us.”According to The Wall Street Journal, Facebook has a team of contractors who monitor Live videos 24/7 for objectionable material; they are alerted automatically if a video gets a certain number of concurrent streams.But the crime follows several disturbing incidents captured on Facebook Live, from shootings to sexual assault. The social network has also had to grapple with teens and tweens live streaming their own suicides; Facebook has since integrated its suicide prevention tools into Live, so if you’re watching a broadcast and someone expresses suicidal thoughts, you can report the video and get the person help.Last year’s shooting of Philando Castile by a police officer during a traffic stop, meanwhile, forced Facebook to clarify its policy regarding live streams of graphic content. The video, made by Castile’s girlfriend as he lay dying next to her in the car, was originally yanked from the social network but later reinstated. At the time, Facebook said it allows graphic content if it can “raise awareness or find [a] shooter,” but something that mocks a victim or celebrates violence will be removed.This issue is not unique to Facebook; a sexual assault was also broadcast on Twitter’s Periscope last year, while a young girl broadcast her suicide on Live.me. –shares Next Article Image credit: JaysonPhotography / Shutterstock.comlast_img read more

SmallBusiness Owners Are Split on the Federal Minimum Wage Debate

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. President, BizBuySell.com and BizQuest.com Many business owners polled favor a higher minimum wage because it means customers with more money to spend. 4 min read Bob House Add to Queue 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List The federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour has stayed the same since 2009. But with the majority of states already enforcing minimums beyond that amount, there’s a growing debate about whether the federal rate is overdue for an increase. That debate came into stark focus last year as the “Fight for $15” movement gained traction across the country. The push for this increased pay minimum was highly polarizing, with supporters publicly rallying around the increase and those in opposition decrying the proposal as inevitably harmful to the lowest-earning workers.When it comes to the question of raising the federal minimum wage, small-business leaders are similarly divided, a recent BizBuySell survey revealed. The survey – which polled over 700 small-business owners and prospective buyers – found that among owners, 47 percent support raising the federal minimum wage while 40 percent oppose it. Another 13 percent said they have no opinion. On the other hand, prospective small-business buyers are much more likely to support boosting the federal minimum, with 58 percent indicating they’re in favor. To truly determine small-business sentiment on the matter, it’s important to examine the reasoning from both sides.Related: The Minimum Wage Battle Is Here to Stay #Franchise500Small-business support for a federal minimum wage increase.Small-business owners and prospective buyers who said they endorse raising the federal minimum wage highlighted two key reasons:Positive economic impact: A number of respondents argued that increasing the federal minimum will not only positively impact individual workers, but the economy as a whole. As a surveyed potential small business buyer put it, larger paychecks bring “more economic activity,” while another business owner offered that, “Once people start earning decent pay, spending will rise as well.”Over-staffing of businesses paying federal minimum: Other small-business owners who support a higher minimum suggested that businesses that only pay the federal minimum are being financially irresponsible by staffing beyond their means. Instead, as one respondent argued, small businesses should concentrate staffing to a group they can afford to pay beyond the minimum.Related: The Small-Business Guide to Managing Minimum Wage IncreasesOpposition to increase minimum wage.Respondents to BizBuySell’s poll who don’t support raising the federal minimum pointed to several reasons for their opposition, including:Pessimism about employees’ work ethic: Some owners and prospective buyers see a widespread problem with diminishing employee work ethic, which is lowering business output. They feel this problem will only be compounded by raising the federal minimum. According to one small-business owner, “Higher wage without higher productivity = dead biz.”Concerns about business competitiveness: Other business leaders said boosting the federal minimum will force them to significantly restructure their organizational models in order to accommodate the increase. These changes would inevitably include raising the price of goods or services, leading small businesses to lose a competitive edge to bigger enterprises.Shortage of jobs for entry-level workers: Many jobs that pay baseline wages are filled by first-time, entry-level workers like high school students — people who are financial dependents looking for work experience and disposable income, not a living wage. As one respondent argued, raising the federal minimum will jeopardize these opportunities and “thousands of entry-level high school jobs will vanish.”Related: Contrary to Perception, Small Businesses Do Back a Minimum-Wage IncreaseThe state and local factor.For many small-business owners and prospective buyers, the question of whether or not to support a federal minimum wage hike is a moot point considering they’re already beholden to higher state and local minimums. As the survey revealed, 53 percent of small-business owners reported that their state or local government had upped the minimum wage in the past five years; among prospective business buyers, 39 percent reported increases over the same five-year period.Small-business owners and buyers shouldn’t expect these state-based hikes to slow down anytime soon. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, nineteen states unveiled higher minimum wages at the start of 2017. A notable number of states – including Colorado, Hawaii, Maine and Oregon — are incrementally approaching $10 an hour, while others — including Arizona, California, Vermont and Washington – have already reached or surpassed that amount.Across the country, many states and localities are pushing for the even loftier minimum wage goal of $15 per hour. Currently, California, New York and Washington D.C. all have legislation underway to secure a $15 minimum, while Illinois and North Carolina are following suit. Therefore, regardless of where small-business owners and prospective buyers stand on the federal minimum wage debate, they must begin budgeting for minimum wage requirements trending upward in the near future. Guest Writer Minimum Wage Next Article –shares The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. May 7, 2017 Small-Business Owners Are Split on the Federal Minimum Wage Debate Image credit: standret | Getty Images Apply Now »last_img read more

Amazons Search for HQ2 Proves That Location Location Location Is Still What

first_img Add to Queue Samuel Edwards Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Amazon –shares Amazon’s Search for HQ2 Proves That Location, Location, Location Is Still What Matters Most Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. 5 min read Guest Writer Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Just last month, Amazon announced its plans to establish a second headquarters in North America. The multi-billion dollar company has already received 238 proposals from cities, states and regions across the continent. How can Amazon possibly choose between so many different locations — and why does it even matter?Related: Amazon Has Triggered a $5 Billion Bidding War — Here Are the Craziest Proposals for Its New HeadquartersWhere will Amazon choose?When Amazon announced that it would be accepting bids for its “HQ2” location, it didn’t provide a ton of requirements for applicants. It really only mentioned three factors:A metro area with more than 1 million peopleA business-friendly environmentA place that’s appealing enough to attract and retain top talentWith such loose guidelines — which are intentionally loose — it’s no surprise 238 proposals came in. Amazon asked people to “think big and creatively” and that’s exactly what they did.As Forbes reporter Kurt Badenhausen notes, “New Jersey offered $7 billion in potential tax credits for Amazon to plant its ‘HQ2’ in Newark. Kansas City Mayor Sly James bought and reviewed 1,000 products on Amazon to make the case for his city. Tiny Stonecrest, Ga., located outside of Atlanta, voted to rename the city Amazon if the retailer located there.”All of these are intriguing little PR stunts, but Amazon isn’t going to be swayed by clever gestures. In a world where most businesses are putting all of their energy and focus into online branding, Amazon — which is ironically an ecommerce company — still values physical location in a digital world.The physical location of a business is important for a variety of reasons, but Amazon has touched on one of the most significant factors: people. If you want to attract and retain top talent, you need a location that attracts people. No offense to Stonecrest, Georgia (which is only half an hour outside of Atlanta), but it’s much harder to attract top talent here than in, say, Austin or Chicago.Then, there’s the cost factor. With different tax rates and state-specific economic incentives, Amazon could save billions of dollars by choosing one city over another. Even for a massive company that some value at nearly half a trillion dollars, that’s a significant amount of money.While not quite as important as talent and cost, there’s also the branding factor. The location Amazon chooses will say something about the company. The brand will naturally be connected with the city for years to come — as it will likely become the largest private employer in the area — and Amazon wants to choose a place it believes in.So there you have it — talent, cost, and reputation. Each of these factors plays a big role in where Amazon will choose to plant its HQ2. And in a business world that seems to be prioritizing digital location more than physical location these days, Amazon is proving that the latter still has tremendous value.How to Find the Right Location for Your BusinessWhether you’re launching a startup and looking for a place to establish your company, or you already own a business and need to move or expand, finding the right location is an important challenge that you need to face head-on. And while you probably can’t ask for proposals and convince cities to woo you with fancy perks, you can do the following to ensure you find the right location.Related: 5 Lessons on Writing Sales Proposals Gleaned From the Competition for Amazon’s New Headquarters1. Consider your industry.What industry are you in? Are there specific cities that are more conducive to your niche? This is becoming less important in a digital world, but it does still matter. For example, if your startup develops software, then you probably want to be somewhere near Silicon Valley.2. What can you afford?”Places like New York and San Francisco are great for founders who are looking to raise funds from venture capitalists, but they’re also two of the most expensive cities in America,” entrepreneur Elliot Tomaeno mentions. “When vetting potential locations, consider everything from the cost of office space to the cost of personal accommodations to the cost of top-talent in the area (and the pay that talent expects).”If you can’t afford a certain location, it doesn’t matter how attractive it is. Affordability is a very real issue and one you can’t just gloss over.Related: Everything You Need to Know About Amazon’s New HQ3. What do you need and what do you want?You’re the one who is going to move your family to a new city (or raise one there). Think about your own needs and wants when choosing a location. If it doesn’t mesh with your personality, then you might want to look elsewhere.Location, Location, LocationIn a business world that’s overwhelmingly digital, physical location remains important. Amazon has proved this much already in its calculated and extensive search. As a business owner or entrepreneur, make sure you’re giving just as much weight to your own site selection. November 21, 2017 Even if your customers can be anywhere in the world, your company has to be somewhere your employees want to live. Digital Marketing Strategist Image credit: Amazon Next Article Register Now »last_img read more

Is Your Tech Impeding Your Biz Growth

first_imgTechnology What Are the Benefits? –shares Is Your Tech Impeding Your Biz Growth? A consistent, secure, reliable network foundation can provide your small business with many benefits, including:Anytime, anywhere information access. Employees can securely access company databases from home or on the road, turning what might be “dead” time into productive time.Flexibility. A solid network foundation allows growing companies to be flexible in their future plans. It can be scaled up as a business grows and new employees are added.Faster information exchange. A single network foundation provides the opportunity to easily and securely exchange information among employees, partners and clients. Enhanced collaboration can lead to faster decision making, better customer service–and ultimately, improved profits.The ability to add newer, emerging technologies. A secure network foundation provides the platform your business needs to add voice over internet protocall (VoIP), video teleconferencing from your PC, webcasting, and other productivity-enhancing and cost-saving technologies. Your business applications can evolve from simple printer sharing to complex business-to-business data exchanges and supply-chain management using the same network infrastructure.Enhanced security. Without a common network foundation, a business may have multiple internet connections and various types of hardware devices–an environment that’s extremely difficult to secure. In contrast, a single network foundation is streamlined and consistent, making it much easier to secure.The ability to maintain data in a single location. By making your databases and information resources available from one place, users throughout the company–including sales as well as accounting–have access to the same data. That helps employees provide better customer service and make more informed decisions.What Does a Network Foundation Require?Establishing a solid network foundation isn’t necessarily inexpensive. And many small businesses are used to spending as little as possible on technology.But as I explained in last month’s column (” Creating a Technology Roadmap “), it’s important for small businesses to make sure the technology they invest in today can support their needs tomorrow. Map your short- and long-term business goals to the network-enabled technologies that can help your business realize those goals. If you weigh the many competitive and financial advantages of a secure network foundation against the costs over time, you’ll quickly see the return on investment.The good news is that building a strong network foundation is getting much easier. Just a few years ago, the kind of comprehensive network foundation I described earlier would have been cost-prohibitive for small businesses. But in recent years, hardware and software prices have declined dramatically, and the small business sector has grown in size and clout. The result: Many technology vendors are now offering affordable products and services–as well as attractive leasing options–especially tailored for small business.Financial resources are only part of the story, of course. Many small businesses lack the human resources to deploy and maintain a solid network infrastructure. Again, thanks to the growing clout of small business, many network vendors have partners and resellers that specialize in helping small businesses set up a comprehensive network foundation.In summary, a hodgepodge of network technologies might help you in the short term. But for the long haul, your business–like anything built to last–needs a solid foundation. Next Article Every structure–whether it’s a home, an office building or a bridge–needs a foundation. Without one, the structure simply can’t endure or be expanded upon. The same is true in business today: Every company that relies on information access and instant communications–which means just about every small business–needs a solid network infrastructure as a foundation.Unfortunately, many small businesses don’t have a secure, consistent network foundation. In order to grow quickly, many small companies have accumulated a hodgepodge of network connection solutions, including DSL and dial-up. Their network cabling, hardware and devices (such as routers, firewalls and switches) often come from multiple vendors.But multiple vendors and an inconsistent array of network technologies can leave your business vulnerable to security threats. Your business can’t easily make its data resources securely and widely available to users. Time, money and resources are wasted. The business isn’t as nimble as it could be. Workers aren’t as productive; customers aren’t as satisfied.A solid network foundation that ties all your technologies together cost-effectively supports your company’s business processes, increases operational efficiencies, lowers costs, increases security and makes it possible to easily add more advanced technology as needs arise.In this month’s column, I’ll explain what a network foundation is, how it benefits your small business, and how you can have one.What Is a Network Foundation?At a high level, a network foundation is a secure, flexible communications platform that enables your small business’s many data-enabled tools and systems to work together.A network foundation consists of several key hardware components, with routers and switches chief among them. Switches reside in your local-area network, and routers are used to create a wide-area network.In addition, a network foundation may include wireless access points, which allow laptops, printers and other devices such as handheld Internet Protocol (IP) phones to wirelessly connect to the network or share broadband connectivity.And a strong network foundation includes security technology that’s integrated into devices such as routers. This security provides such protections as firewall technology, which blocks unauthorized access to your network.A network foundation may also include devices such as adaptive security appliances, which protect against network threats and provide application security, network control and containment, and secure connectivity technologies. Add to Queue March 6, 2006 Peter Alexander Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 5 min read Are you outgrowing your communications technology? Help your business compete by building a strong network foundation.last_img read more

Why the American Wine Industry Needs a Shakeup

first_img Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Image credit: Chappellet Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Wines Guest Writer Tracy Byrnes Principal, Wine on the Street Add to Queuecenter_img January 26, 2016 Next Article Why the American Wine Industry Needs a Shakeup 5 min read The United States currently is the world’s dominant wine producer and the American wine drinker is its dominant consumer.But that doesn’t mean we should rest on our laurels.Between the web, agnostic millennials and the strong dollar, there’s a huge opportunity for our overseas brethren to take over.Silicon Valley Bank, which offers financial services to more than 300 premium wineries on the West Coast, recently released its 15th annual State of the Wine Industry Report.And the results should be a wake-up call to American vineyards.Thankfully, the Jug Is DeadU.S. per capita wine consumption is decreasing for the first time, after more than 20 consecutive years of growth.But, thankfully, that’s because our tastes are getting better. Jug wine is going the way of the dodo bird.“We are willing to spend a little more for quality but that means we won’t be buying as much,” says Rob McMillan, founder of Silicon Valley Bank’s Wine Division and author of the report.But if you’re looking for quality and value, it’s very easy to look outside our borders, especially thanks to our stronger dollar.“I predicted back in 2006 that we would start to feel the impact of foreign wine on domestic sales,” says McMillan. “You have perfect pricing information online and you can have the wine delivered instantly from almost anywhere.” This is not so much a concern for Baby Boomers. They’re dying off and they just can’t drink as much as they age. Generation X, though, is forecasted to be the dominant consumer of “fine wine,” wine valued over $20, over the next 10 years.Related: How South Africa Built a Booming Wine BusinessAnd while Gen X-ers, those born between 1960 to 1980, probably do have a favorite label or two, they still will hunt for value. You can thank the recession for that.So the wine industry better figure out a way to market to them here at home. And plopping words like “sustainability” on a label and using lots of cartoony colors is just not going to cut it.Millenials Matter – AgainAs their purchasing power continues to grow, Millennials, those born 1980s to 2000, need to be addressed as well.While they also are looking for quality and value, anything goes right now until they truly figure out their taste preferences. That means wine, beer and spirits are all on the table. Gaining their attention may prove to be a struggle for smaller vineyards with low marketing budgets.Bigger houses are using M&A to fill the void. E. & J. Gallo Winery bought Barefoot Cellars, one of the best-selling wine brands in the world. Originally targeted at women, with a fun colorful label, it has become a Millennial favorite.High-end brand Wagner Family Wines created the Conundrum brand as its entry-level wine, retailingfor about $25, in hopes of getting them young and keeping them as their tastes mature. Then someday they’ll move up to their Caymus Special Select at $160.Mercedes created its C-class for the same reason. “You have to have an on ramp and hopefully you don’t have an off ramp,” says McMillan.Millennial winemakers are surfacing, too. Josh Phelps, son of winemaker Chris Phelps, and his childhood friend Carlo Trichero, whose family runs Trinchero Family Estates, have created their own label, Taken Wine Co., with the intent of making great quality wines at reasonable prices to meet their peers’ demands.Even Farmers Need SocialTo be fair, most of the older winemakers are truly farmers and many still don’t believe in using social media, if you can even fathom that.“It’s the nature of the business though. They get stuck in their ways and don’t want to change,” says McMillan.Related: The Top Wine Trends Expected in 2016We do have to cut the industry some slack. Only 41 states are even allowed to ship direct-to-consumer. Up until 2005, a law that dated back to Prohibition prevented it entirely. So the industry is already way behind the times, says McMillan.Maybe.  But that’s no excuse today.Time to Wake UpAmerica is making great wines – and tons are still great values — so we need to come together as a domestic producing group and tell the world our story.“It’s not doom and gloom. It’s just a wake up call,” says McMillan.The good news is there’s about to be a plethora of opportunity for some marketing gurus.Napa Valley had three consecutive, large and awesome harvests from 2012 through 2014.“And not all of that wine will make it into branded premium labels,” says McMillan, mainly because vineyards can’t dilute the market with extra wine and still command a higher price.So there is entrepreneurial opportunity here to buy the leftover juice and then price it and label it in a way that appeals to Gen-Xers and Millenials.That could be a great way to remind people that there really is quality and value in the States.Look if Cadillac could figure out how to make its cars cool again, anything is possible.Great wine should be a much easier sell.Related: Drink More Wine. It’s a Resolution You Can Keep. –shares Register Now »last_img read more

Omar Javaid Named President of Vonages API Platform Group

first_img Alan MasarekBusiness Cloud Communicationscontextual communication experiencesMarketing TechnologyNewsNexmoVonage\ Previous ArticleQuorum’s Integrated Platform Opens New Dimension for Out-of-Home Advertising, Synchronizing Billboards, Mobile and Social Ads, and OOH Response DataNext ArticleRelationship-Building App ZooWho by Sean Bair to Launch This Summer Omar Javaid Named President of Vonage’s API Platform Group PRNewswireMay 21, 2019, 4:54 pmMay 21, 2019 Jay Patel Promoted to Vonage Chief Product OfficerVonage, a global business cloud communications leader, announced that Omar Javaid has been named President of the Company’s API Platform Group. In this role, Omar will drive the vision and development of Vonage’s communications APIs via Nexmo, the Vonage API Platform and will continue to provide strategic oversight of the Company’s product portfolio.Vonage’s Nexmo continues to be integral to accelerating the Company’s One Vonage strategy of delivering fully integrated cloud communications solutions to help enterprises improve how business gets done. Nexmo APIs provide businesses and developers alike with tools that allow them to build innovative and contextual communication experiences (via SMS, voice, video and messaging) directly into their applications, giving companies the freedom to innovate in ways that are critical to their success.“I am thrilled to congratulate Omar and to recognize the significant impact he has made on the Company’s success in driving the growth of our API Platform strategy,” said Alan Masarek, Vonage CEO. “Omar has been a key driver in bringing our product portfolio to where it is today and we will continue to rely on his guidance as we accelerate the evolution and growth of our product roadmap.”Marketing Technology News: WireWheel and Virtru Partner to Protect Integrity and Privacy of Personal DataAs Mr. Javaid moves into his new role, Jay Patel, Vonage’s Senior Vice President of Portfolio Planning and Strategy over the last three years, has been promoted to Chief Product Officer. He will continue to report to Mr. Javaid. In this role, Mr. Patel will leverage his more than 20 years of experience building and guiding top-performing product development teams, with a focus on advancing product strategy, defining and executing on the Company’s product roadmap. Prior to Vonage, he served as Vice President of Engineering for consumer electronics and telecommunications company, Motorola Mobility, where he was responsible for driving product and technology development.Vonage owns the entire communications stack – from carrier to application. With One Vonage, a microservices-architected platform, the Company provides a powerful combination of unified communications, contact center and communications APIs capabilities. Under Mr. Javaid’s leadership, Mr. Patel’s product team has worked to position Vonage as the first provider to bring these technologies together in one portfolio – all on a single platform. In his new role, Mr. Patel will lead the product team to continue to build and innovate on top of the One Vonage platform to help businesses create better employee and customer experiences.Marketing Technology News: Alibaba Cloud Expands Offerings for EMEA Partners“Jay’s vast experience in product development and cloud services, as well as his proven leadership skills, will help Vonage to drive further innovation in our product development timeline,” said Mr. Javaid. “Since joining Vonage, Jay has made a tremendous impact on our product strategy, helping us to become a global leader in business cloud communications. I look forward to his continued success in leading our product teams.”Marketing Technology News: Baidu’s Mobile Reach Expanded to 1.1 Billion Monthly Active Devices in March 2019last_img read more

GPs play pivotal role in ensuring success of new Faster Diagnosis Standard

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 26 2019GPs will have a pivotal role in ensuring the success of the new Faster Diagnosis Standard (FDS) for Cancer, new research from the University of Surrey finds.In the first study of its kind, published today in the British Journal of General Practice and funded by Cancer Research UK, researchers investigated public attitudes towards the new FDS for Cancer. Scheduled to be introduced in England next year, this new standard will give patients a diagnosis or all-clear for cancer within 28 days of referral with suspected cancer.Conducting focus group sessions in Bradford and Guildford with participants who in the last six months had undergone diagnostic tests for cancer and received results, researchers identified a degree of scepticism amongst the groups about how the new standard would work. Many participants had experienced swift referrals for diagnostic testing but encountered a delay when receiving test results and were unsure about how the FDS would rectify this.Concern existed amongst participants that the FDS may ultimately extend waiting times and could become more of a ‘tick box’ exercise, with one participant noting:’So what happens is that as soon as 28 days appears anywhere that becomes the standard, rather than the last resort, so when suddenly you go, well we’ve got 28 days, we’ll give them a … we’ll get in touch with them in three weeks’ time […].’Participants also described a lack of transparency in the referral process and were apprehensive about getting lost in the system. This feeling was exacerbated by not knowing what to expect and/or being unable to draw upon past experiences due to inconsistency between one referral and the next.Related StoriesBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedSpecial blood test may predict relapse risk for breast cancer patientsInterestingly, researchers found that participants valued reassurance and support from their GP as highly as a speedy referral. A feeling of being listened to by a GP was found to be important to participants when being referred for diagnostic tests.’Being listened to I think, so it’s being heard and my GP was fine, has really really been… it was really quick, it couldn’t have been quicker, but it was feeling… I suppose it’s being listened to and then almost like being believed.’Dr Katriina Whitaker, Reader in Cancer Care at the University of Surrey, said: “The new Faster Diagnosis Standard for Cancer is an important step in diagnosing cancer earlier and faster. However we have found that although patients value a speedy referral there are other factors that they regard as just as important.”Simple steps such as informing patients about the diagnostic testing and referral processes and about time scales will help patients better prepare, both physically and emotionally, for the next phase. This will ultimately fall to GPs, who will need clear guidance so they are able to support their patients.”Dr Jodie Moffat from Cancer Research UK said: “We need to redouble our efforts to reduce the late stage diagnosis of cancer, so that more people survive their disease. Reducing late stage diagnosis of cancer requires action on a range of fronts, and we all have a part to play. Ensuring there’s enough workforce in the system – whether that’s in primary care or in hospitals – is vital to achieving our early diagnosis ambitions.” Source:https://www.surrey.ac.uk/last_img read more

Tesla feuds with one federal agency cooperates with another

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. While one federal agency is openly feuding with Tesla over a crash investigation, another one probing the same crash says the company is cooperating. Explore further © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. US investigating fatal Tesla crash in California Citation: Tesla feuds with one federal agency, cooperates with another (2018, April 13) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-tesla-feuds-federal-agency-cooperates.html The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says on Friday that it has no concerns with the electric car maker.But on Thursday the National Transportation Safety Board said it kicked Telsa out of a group investigating the crash because the company violated an agreement not to release information.Both agencies are investigating a March 23 crash of a Tesla Model X SUV on a California highway that killed the driver.They’re looking into the performance of Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot driving system.The safety board determines the cause of crashes and makes recommendations to prevent them. The traffic safety administration can fine automakers and impose regulations. read more

Spanish court rules Deliveroo riders are employees

first_img Explore further Platforms that rely on self-employed contractors are facing a number of cases that may force them to recognise the workers as employees entitled to benefits A Spanish court ruled Thursday that online food delivery group Deliveroo wrongly hired 97 riders as self-employed contractors instead of as regular workers, which costs less for the firm. Deliveroo on trial in Madrid over workers’ status Brought by Spain’s social security system, the case involves riders in Valencia on Spain’s eastern Mediterranean coast and it is one of several being fought by Deliveroo and other gig economy groups like Uber in Spain and various other countries over whether workers should be classified as employees.Online food platforms have blossomed worldwide, allowing people to order from local restaurants via mobile phones, with dishes delivered to their homes or offices shortly afterwards, often by young bicycle couriers.Spain’s social security system had claimed unpaid social contributions from Deliveroo after work inspectors ruled that the riders in Valencia were in fact employees of the British online food delivery firm.A Valencia social affairs court agreed that the riders were in fact employees, arguing that they communicated with Deliveroo via a mobile app and had to “follow the company’s orders”.The court also pointed out that Deliveroo staged training sessions for the riders in June 2016 and later announced new working conditions for them, called them to order, and summoned them for meetings and even fired some of them “using the power of management in the traditional sense,” the court added.In addition, the court said Deliveroo riders in Valencia are part of an organisation headed by Deliveroo and must meet the criteria for food deliveries set by the firm.Deliveroo argues that it “collaborates with self-employed riders” who can “choose when and where they work, and for how long”.The Valencia court ruling is not final as the company could appeal the ruling. The result of court cases against Deliveroo over the same issue are still pending in Madrid and the eastern city of Zaragoza.center_img Citation: Spanish court rules Deliveroo riders are employees (2019, June 27) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-spanish-court-deliveroo-riders-employees.html © 2019 AFP This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more