Go back to the enewsletter Capella Hotel Group w

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterCapella Hotel Group, with leading Chinese developer China Gezhouba Group Real Estate, has announced the opening of Capella Sanya in the last quarter of 2018. Located along the coastline of Blessed Bay on Hainan Island, Capella Sanya will offer 190 appointed rooms, suites and villas across 13.8 hectares of tropical paradise.Offering panoramic views of the South China Sea, Capella Sanya is a collaborative art piece by two of the world’s most celebrated designers: Jean-Michel Gathy and Bill Bensley. Inspired by a Chinese trader’s adventures along The Silk Road, Capella Sanya encapsulates the rich culture and heritage of ethnic communities along this historic trade route.The legend of Blessed Bay dates back around 600 years ago, when a group of Persian traders arrived in China. On their way home, they were pounded by typhoon at sea. The survivors floated to an unknown bay, where they rallied their way home and made a good fortune eventually. In honour of their experience and blessings, they named the bay “Blessed Bay” (Tufu Bay in Chinese).“Capella Sanya will be the new benchmark for China’s luxury beach resorts. Our pursuit of excellence in real estate development is complemented by Capella Hotel Group’s expertise in creating exceptional guest experiences,” said Mr. He Jingang, chairman of China Gezhouba Real Estate.Accommodation choices include executive suites, two- to four-bedroom villas and a Presidential Suite within the Manor House, as well as five low-rise mansions for an elevated sense of residential experience.Careful consideration was given to the needs of diverse clientele like honeymooners, extended families and incentive group travellers. To cater to their discerning palates, six distinctive dining concepts differentiate the culinary experience including a signature restaurant, authentic Chinese, a stylish Noodle Bar and Lobby Lounge. A wellness sanctuary offering unique and innovative treatments like the Moroccan Hammam and “Snow Cabin” complete the Capella Sanya experience.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

Googles pay TV service in the US city of Kansas c

first_imgGoogle’s pay TV service in the US city of Kansas could roll out within months, according to reports. The internet giant has announced that, under the moniker of Google Fiber, it would roll out a fiber-optic network delivering ultra high-speed internet to residents of Kansas City.The Wall Street Journal has now reported that Google has applied for the relevant licences to launch a local subscription TV service and quoted an unnamed Google executive as saying it could launch within months.last_img read more

Dear Reader Vedran Vuk here filling in for David

first_imgDear Reader,Vedran Vuk here, filling in for David Galland. First today, I’ll talk about adjusting your portfolio to minimize the damage from the political events around us. Then Bud Conrad will give us a comparison of today’s market to the Nixon-era political turmoil – it’s not pretty. Finally, I’ll touch on the youth vote in the recent election and how the US’s next generation is shaping up.Never Worry About Another Election AgainBy Vedran Vuk, Senior Analyst“Woooooooooo! Wooooooooo!” That’s what I heard all night from my neighbor’s election-night party. If the last four years are any indicator of the next four, then I’m not really sure what there is to be so excited about. Sure, some might prefer Obama a little more than Romney, and that’s fine. What confuses me is such excitement for an administration that has been such a failure.Well, my neighbor might have kept me awake Tuesday night, but I surely got him back on Wednesday morning. When I saw the market plunging 345 points on the DJIA, I’m certain he was awoken by my “Arrrrrrrgggggggg!!!!” followed by “$%#!!! #$%#%, E#%%!!!!!” Jokes aside, what a way to start the next four years. With the market crashing hard, it was one of those days where I’m glad not to be living on the top story of a high-rise.However, as the screen went red almost across the board, there was one ray of hope – gold. It was still holding its ground. With more problems ahead, the money-printing will continue and inflation will follow. And from there, gold will continue to rise. In a way, our obsession with gold at Casey Research is kind of weird. The same could be said of our readers who send us emails about inflation all the time.Think about it. We’re the ones always talking about the Federal Reserve and what the Fed is going to do next. We’re way more worried about it than almost anyone else. But should we be worried? Probably not. Well, why not? BECAUSE WE HOLD GOLD!!!! Duh!If the US experiences a hyperinflation, our subscribers are going to be the last ones in trouble’s path. In fact, it might be the greatest time of your life. While everyone’s paper assets turn into just that paper, you’ll be one of the few sitting on real wealth.The people who should be really freaking out are the ones who aren’t holding gold in their portfolios – it’s the portfolio owners who saw nothing but red after the election who need to worry.Here’s another worry to wipe out: gas prices. If you’re in the middle or upper class, you shouldn’t be complaining about gas prices. Why? Because you can do something about it! I’m going to come off as a bit of a jerk but I have to say this… every time WTI crude oil goes up, I’m a pretty happy guy. Why? Because the energy stocks in my portfolio went up as well.Am I some sort of evil profiteer? No; I realize that there is an energy problem in our society. And I don’t want to be a sitting duck when oil prices start rising yet again. I’m just doing what I have to do to protect myself – and that’s owning shares of energy companies.It’s ridiculous to just complain about gas prices and inflation – you can actually do something about these problems. Buy gold and energy companies. While these assets won’t guarantee keeping up with your personal expenses and gas prices and it can be a little tricky to match them exactly to your expenses, they are going to put you in a lot better position than those without them in the portfolio.The same goes for this election. Do you think that the US is going downhill faster than a snowball headed to hell? Well, do something about it. Invest in defensive stocks with an international base, diversify your assets overseas, and hold multiple currencies. We’re not sitting ducks here. You can take action to protect yourself from the meltdown.Does buying these sorts of assets guarantee your protection? No not necessarily, but let’s put it this way. When the economic hurricane comes rolling through, do you want to be the guy with a generator, plenty of diesel, ammo, flashlights, and weeks of food stocked up, or do you want to be the guy with three cans of tuna in the pantry and a single box of matches? When a natural disaster is coming, you have to prepare. What’s true for hurricanes is true for financial crises as well.On New Year’s Day, when the confetti is scattered on the floor and everyone is recovering from their hangovers, what do we usually do next? Make our New Year’s resolutions. Whether you’re picking up the confetti from your Obama re-election party or recovering from drinking away your newfound worries of the next morning, I want you to make a post-election resolution – much like the New Year’s one.Here it is: I will organize my portfolio and finances in such a way that I will never again have to nervously wait for the results on election night. Your hard-earned money shouldn’t depend on the voting decisions of a couple of bozos from Ohio and Pennsylvania. We can’t control everything about the world around us, but we can control far more risks than most people realize.How Far Could the Stock Market Fall?By Bud Conrad, Chief EconomistWe are heading back into a serious recession that will be similar to the crisis of confidence in 1974 with the Nixon impeachment. During Nixon’s landslide victory for a second term and the ensuing Watergate impeachment, I lived in Washington DC and watched the ensuing chaos with a front-row seat. The break-in of the Democratic national headquarters in the Watergate complex occurred before the election, yet it did not stop Nixon’s re-election.The country and Washington DC became accustomed to cover-ups and deceptive practices. Anger over Vietnam and the assassinations of respected leaders manifested into mass protests and arrests. I still remember tear-gas canisters in the streets of Georgetown. In a second, we’ll take a look at some charts showing just what this turmoil did to the stock market.Nearly 40 years later, the cover-ups haven’t stopped. Today, we have a cover-up of an assassinated ambassador and three others in Libya. If enough people ask questions – like Congressman Darrell Issa has been – about why there was weak security, we might even open a bigger can of worms, as this assassination is a bigger deal than most people realize. And again, much like with Nixon, the economic climate grows troublesome with high unemployment, growing future inflation concerns thanks to QE3, and the world economy slowing. As was the case back then, we’re a powder keg ready to blow. Remember the explosion of bad government regulations the last time around – like wage and price controls? I remember them all too well, as I was a consultant to the energy division of the Nixon administration’s Economic Stabilization Program Phase 2.Obama’s win gives a false sense of having resolved a key uncertainty. But the fundamental problems we face are bigger than one leader’s capability to solve them. No good answers are on the table for our budget deficits and endless wars. European peripheral countries struggle with 50% youth unemployment, leading to worries of money-printing and currency crisis. If we add an environmental catastrophe, such as a crop failure leading to food shortages, the world could face much bigger downturns than purely financial analysis can predict.The 1974 stock market crash was the second biggest compared to the crisis we went through in 2008. It was precipitated by political crisis more than financial difficulties. The Vietnam War and Johnson’s expansion of social services created deficits that at the time that seemed too large. Today, of course, we have political problems as well as financial problems. And this time around, the deficits don’t just seem large and unsustainable, they are too large and unsustainable. On top of that, Bernanke and Greenspan have spent every bullet in the arsenal to avoid short-term disaster. While in the ’70s we still had a box of bullets, we’re now running on empty – and the enemy is closing in on our foxhole.Since 2000, we have had two crises – one being the dot-com bubble, and the latest is the housing bubble. As the financial crisis gets worse, so will the political backlash and the disruptions in society. This scenario suggests much higher inflation, disenfranchisement of workers, and government oppression to maintain control.The chart below shows some of the effects of key moments of political turmoil on the stock market, as well as the relationship of those changes to the Purchasing Managers’ Index. This Index is one of the most reliable indicators of the country’s growth in manufacturing output and thus the growth of GDP. It comes from surveying purchasing managers as to whether the economy is improving or getting worse on a number of measures like orders, shipments, exports, prices paid, etc. The composite of these measures is provided monthly and is not revised. It is not a government number, so it is not vulnerable to manipulation to make the story fit the political agenda. It can provide an early warning of a slowing economy and can be useful for interpreting what might happen to the stock market.(Click on image to enlarge)The specifics of the Nixon-era stock collapse are shown in close-up in the chart below. It could happen again. The polarization of our factions is now back at the levels of that era, and there are no signs of it diminishing.(Click on image to enlarge)In the most recent issue of The Casey Report, I have an extensive piece on the importance of the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) and other measures for the US and many others countries – some of the results may surprise you as they surprised me. The analysis led me to change my view of where our economy may be heading. For more on that, make sure to check out the latest Casey Report.Besides our own political problems, there are a whole list of countries ready to erupt into turmoil, including Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Iran. Add the likelihood of an environmental destabilization of, say, some big crop failure to our recurring financial crisis, and the probabilities are even higher that the next year or two will be very bad on several dimensions.And that’s just half the problems on our plate. Here are a few more to consider over the next two years: the US fiscal cliff and continuing budget deficits; a collapse of the European currency union; and an Asian hard landing.There are many links between politics and money. I fear we will see some serious problems ahead because we haven’t fixed anything and the only actions our leaders seem to know how to take are to expand the money supply.The worldwide money-printing by central banks to fund government overspending is close to reaching its conclusion. When governments run out of stimulus to prop up their financial sectors and to placate the masses, then things really start to unwind.I am of the opinion that money will be inflated out of existence by corrupt governments and central bankers, so we should be buying physical assets like farmland, houses, commodities, precious metals, and energy. We should avoid bonds or any fixed-dollar return like bonds. In a way, one wishes that a single president or re-election could make all of these things go away, but that’s just not going to happen. The world’s problems are now much bigger than the presidency, and they continue to pile on in a similar way to what we witnessed during the ’70s.What’s Going on with the Kids Today?By Vedran VukIn looking to the future of the economy, we have to consider the next generation. Unfortunately, that generation just opted to vote for more government yet again, with about 60% of the youth vote (ages 18-29) going to Obama and 36% for Romney.I’m not saying that Romney was some sort of economic messiah. In fact, he was terrible as well. Rather, what I’m trying to gauge here is if the kids are waking up to the fact that the policies of the last four years have been pretty ineffective. Apparently, many haven’t caught on.You would think that this age group – that has had it pretty rough in the recession, with double-digit unemployment rates – would be the last ones to vote for Obama. Furthermore, even the college kids who have jobs often aren’t working in their fields of study. In this tough market, one would expect more angst toward the present administration.That said, the vote has slightly changed. In 2008, 66% voted for Obama and 31% for McCain. So apparently, a few of them are connecting the dots that Obama has not made them better off; or those who have moved in to voting age are more economically aware than those who remained in it or moved out of it. The even smarter kids probably connected the dots that Romney wasn’t going to do much for them either. Nonetheless, how do we explain the still-strong support for bigger government?Since I’m on the far end of the youth age group, I still have the pulse of these things, so let me share what I see going on. First of all, the 18-23 age group – college kids – are as brainwashed as ever. It’s the same story that has been around for years. They’re idealistic kids who, with their professors holding their hands, are happy to pull the lever for the left. They just don’t get how bad things are out there. It usually takes getting to the 300th résumé before that idealism behind “hope” and “change” starts to fade away.But what about the young kids like myself who have been out there in the workforce… who did fill out hundreds of job applications… what are they thinking? This is the most interesting group. In many younger friends, I see something happening similar to the polarization of war veterans.Have you ever noticed how polarized veterans’ opinions become after coming back from war? They either come back more gung ho than ever, putting a flag in the yard and supporting the most pro-war candidate or they come back the complete opposite – they see the wars as complete BS and become lifelong anti-war advocates. There are some people in the middle as well, but more often than not, soldiers seem to go the extremes of each side. When faced with traumatic life experiences, people often deal with them by going to an extreme.I see the same thing happening with this generation’s reaction to vast unemployment – they have been shell-shocked into the extremes. When times got tough, one group of kids got tougher. Many of my friends have unbelievable work ethics; they could give Third-World sweat-shop workers a run for their money. Furthermore, they’ve hunkered down by saving money and living very frugally. Their lifestyles make their Baby Boomer parents look bad. The older generation always tends to demean the younger, but in this case, there’s a portion of the current generation that’s tougher and better than the one before it. I emphasize “portion” for a reason. There’s the other portion to consider.When you’re filling out that 300th résumé, there are two ways to react. You either get tougher, or you start seeing the world as completely unfair. You can lose sight of the connection between effort and results. I understand how this can happen. There are lots of smart, hard-working kids out there who can’t land jobs. I’m not talking about the C-student sociology majors here. To many, the job market now looks like a rigged game of connections, rather than a meritocratic system. If you’re smart, hard-working, and still can’t get a job, how are you supposed to develop an appreciation for the capitalist system?These kids got tougher too, but in a much different way. They see the world as unfair. And since the world is unfair, they have no problem taking from others. Why feel bad about it? When your viewpoint has lost the connection between effort and results, everything looks like luck. To some extent, you can see their perspective. If one graduated even in 2006 or 2007, they are light-years ahead in their careers in comparison to those finishing school 2008 and later. The 2006 class got on the ladder with an entry-level job; the 2008 kids didn’t. It’s a hard case to make that the 2008 grads are lazier than the 2006 grads. The difference between the groups has a lot to do with luck.Here’s the problem with this. If wealth is seen as just the lucky circumstance of being born into better times rather than the result of effort and ingenuity, then it’s easy to not feel bad about redistribution. Despite the Obama administration’s failures thus far, this growing life philosophy is one of the reason for growing support for big government among the youth.However, there’s another side of the coin, like the Ron Paul movement. Guess who were the biggest supporters of Ron Paul’s extremely free-market views? It wasn’t the Reagan generation. An enormous amount of his support came from the youth. This is that polarization that I’m talking about. One part of the generation is Ron Paul crazy, the other is Obama crazy.Is this a good sign for the country down the road? Yes and no. It really depends what faction wins. If the fiscally responsible and hard-working part of the youth takes over in 20 or 30 years, we might see administrations that would make Ronald Reagan look like a communist. If the other side gains dominance, we might look back at Barack Obama as a free-market champion. It’s still up in the air; and the next few years are going to be instrumental in shaping this generation’s experience.Friday FunniesAnd now for a few funny political bumper stickers as we say goodbye to the 2012 campaign. I threw in a few Democrat ones and a few Republican ones, but all good enough for a chuckle. One more thing before we go: there’s a new Casey Phyle forming in Cafayate, Argentina. Anyone interested please send an email to phyle@caseyresearch.com. Thank you for reading and subscribing to the Casey Daily Dispatch. See you next week.Vedran VukCasey Senior Analystlast_img read more

Representatives of national disabled peoples orga

first_imgRepresentatives of national disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) in Bolivia, Greece, Malaysia and Uganda have described to UK activists how they have fought oppression and discrimination in their own countries.They were speaking at an International Deaf and Disabled People’s Solidarity Summit in east London, organised by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) to highlight the hypocrisy of the UK government’s decision to co-host a major “global disability summit” on the Olympic Park in east London this week.Feliza Ali Ramos (pictured, left) and Alex Marcelo Vazquez Bracamonte (centre), both wheelchair-users, from the Bolivian DPO New Hope, described how – two years ago – they and fellow disabled activists marched 300 miles through the Andes to the capital La Paz to confront president Evo Morales about the conditions facing disabled people in Bolivia and to seek an increase in disability benefits.Conditions facing disabled people in Bolivia were harsh, they told the summit.Many were dying from treatable conditions, some because doctors refused to give them oxygen, with families often welcoming their early deaths “because they were suffering anyway”.Many disabled people were excluded from education, despite the government’s insistence that disabled people had access to education and to healthcare, the summit heard.Local campaigns had called for the monthly disability benefit payment to rise from about £10 to about £50 a month, which led to the march on La Paz.Ramos said: “We sent letter after letter to the president, but the president never received us.”They marched through the mountains for 35 days and often had nowhere to sleep, while their only food was what they were given by people from the towns they passed through.When they arrived in the capital, they found the government had put up metal barriers to prevent them reaching the central square where the government offices were located.The square was guarded by police with water cannons and riot shields, and they were sprayed with pepper spray and water cannons, beaten and pushed out of their wheelchairs.Refused a meeting with the president, they pitched tents and took part in a vigil that lasted more than three months.The government tried to infiltrate the movement, and threatened activists with 10 years in prison.Morales eventually backed down and agreed to some of their demands.Ramos told fellow activists at Sunday’s summit how they lost two of their colleagues in a traffic accident during the march while another four had died because their health deteriorated during the protest.She cried as she told the summit: “Because these comrades had given their lives we fought on and we too were prepared to give our lives.“We remember what we went through and every day it moves me.“All of a sudden we have made ourselves visible in Bolivia and have got coverage in its media.”Last week, she said, there was national media coverage of a case in which a young man with cerebral palsy was found severely malnourished.She said: “Before, it would have been ignored. Now it is a national scandal because of what we did.“We have shown the whole of society we are strong and are not prepared to shut up and do whatever the government tells us to do.”New Hope was founded in 1999 to fight for an independent life for all disabled people in Bolivia, and its members try to empower disabled people with physical impairments through their Independent Life programme.Antonios Rellas, from the Greek DPO Zero Tolerance, told Sunday’s summit how he was the only disabled activist who gave evidence in the long-running trial of MPs and members of the extreme-right Golden Dawn party.He said: “As disabled activists, we know very well the story behind the fascist danger.“Golden Dawn followed exactly what Hitler and the Third Reich believed. Some of the first victims of the Third Reich were disabled people who were killed, 275,00 of them, as unworthy to live.”He also described his organisation’s ongoing fight against the institutionalisation of disabled people in Greece, which saw Zero Tolerance fight for the freedom of disabled residents who were being over-medicated and chained to cages in a state-run institution in Lechaina.He has directed a documentary which exposes the conditions, with Rellas and other disabled activists occupying the institution for four days and demanding that they were released.Now those disabled people who have been released from Lechaina have been found homes “in places where they can lead regular lives”, he said.But he said that more than 900 disabled people were still living in similar conditions in state-run institutions in Greece.He said: “The institutions that we are talking about are public institutions. We don’t know what is happening in private and church facilities.“This has nothing to do with the financial crisis that Greece is under. This was happening before this happened and if we are not there to resist and provoke it will stay like this forever.”Naziaty Yaacob, from Harapan OKU (Hope for Persons with Disabilities), speaking via Skype, told of her organisation’s battle to fight systematic discrimination against disabled people in her country following the election in May of the first new government in Malaysia in 60 years.They wrote an open letter to the new prime minister, with support from more than 100 charities, telling him that disabled people were “still struggling to achieve independence” and were “still facing barriers and discrimination”, with disabled people the most marginalised group in society.They highlighted the “toothless” nature of the existing disability discrimination act and the need for a new act and an independent commission to deal with grievances and systemic discrimination.Rose Achayo, from the National Union of Women with Disabilities of Uganda, described the wide-ranging discrimination faced by disabled women and girls in her country.She told the summit that her organisation had formed in 1999 to be a voice for disabled women and girls and to push for “a society where girls and women with disabilities lead a dignified life”.She pointed to barriers faced by disabled women in Uganda, such as violence in the home and in the community, the abuse inflicted on disabled people with high support needs who are placed in isolated settings, the lack of access to reproductive health, and the lack of access to justice.She also pointed to the stigma and “invisibility” faced by disabled women and girls in mainstream society, and their lack of access to the main source of income: land.But she said that, unlike the UK government, the Ugandan government had acknowledged issues raised by the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities and had come up with a plan for how they could be addressed.The committee examined Uganda’s progress in 2016, a process her organisation took part in. A note from the editor:For nine years, Disability News Service has survived largely through the support of a small number of disability organisations – most of them user-led – that have subscribed to its weekly supply of news stories. That support has been incredibly valuable but is no longer enough to keep DNS financially viable. For this reason, please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please remember that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring, and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

A Tale of Neighboring Countries and Their Very Different LegalMarijuana Banking Systems

first_imgCannabis –shares Federal law all but requires legal marijuana to operate strictly in cash, while in Canada banks are helping that nation’s cannabis industry boom. 3 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Add to Queue Image credit: Nastasic | Getty Images Easy Search. Quality Finds. Your partner and digital portal for the cannabis community. Next Article Keep up with the latest trends and news in the cannabis industry with our free articles and videos, plus subscribe to the digital edition of Green Entrepreneur magazine. dispensaries.com Guest Writer Springfield Bank of Illinois pulled out of working with legal medical marijuana companies in the state this month, leaving many businesses working on a cash-only basis while scrambling to find another banking partner. The bank tied the move directly to actions taken by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier this year, rescinding Obama-era rules that essentially kept the federal government from interfering in states where marijuana is legal.Meanwhile, in Canada, just the opposite is happening. The Bank of Montreal already is involved in two deals with legal marijuana companies and TD Bank Group is considering involvement as the country prepares to make cannabis legal nationwide this summer for both medical and recreational use.TD Bank Group CEO Bharat Masrani told The Canadian Press that national legalization is an “important data point.” He said TD Bank Group is actively studying cannabis investment in the cannabis industry. Both TD Bank Group and the Bank of Montreal are among the “Big Five” banks in Canada.Related: Baby Boomers Support Medical Marijuana but SkepticallyActions Backing WordsThe interest of Canadian banks in backing the legal marijuana industry took off in January, when the Bank of Montreal backed a $175 million stock-purchase deal to raise cash for Canopy Growth. Technically, the Bank of Montreal did the deal through a subsidiary, BMO Capital Markets, along with co-lead underwriter GMP Securities. Based in Ontario, Canopy is Canada’s largest licensed producer of medical marijuana. Importantly, they have no business dealings in the U.S.Speaking about the potential of entering deals with cannabis companies, Masrani said TD Bank Group will not consider any deals with companies that have a presence in the U.S. A few weeks after the Canopy Growth deal, BMO Capital Markets was named in a similar deal involving marijuana producer Cronos Group.Related: How to Stand Out From the Crowd: Entrepreneurial Lessons from Jeff the 420 ChefMeanwhile, In Springfield.Legal medical marijuana companies in Illinois may now have to deal in cash after the main bank for the industry, the Bank of Springfield, announced it was pulling out of the industry. The decision came after Sessions’ decision to rescind the Cole Memo.It is one of the few concrete consequences, so far, of Sessions’ actions.To be fair, the Bank of Springfield was something of an aberration. Most banks have refused to extend services to the marijuana industry because cannabis remains illegal at the federal level. Frustrated leaders in California are even considering setting up a state-run bank to serve the industry.There were about $8.5 million in medical marijuana sales in Illinois in February alone, according to state numbers quoted in the Chicago Tribune.Ross Morreale, co-founder of Ataraxia, a company that runs a cultivation facility and co-owns three dispensaries, told the Tribune: “This is the closest we’ve been to being without banks in Illinois in this industry … which isn’t good. It makes everything more difficult.”For the bank, it was a process of doing a risk assessment given Sessions’ action. The bank could not jeopardize customers working with businesses “in the legal gray zone,” a bank spokesman told the Tribune.To stay up to date on the latest marijuana related news make sure to like dispensaries.com on Facebook Free Green Entrepreneur App April 12, 2018 A Tale of Neighboring Countries and Their Very Different Legal-Marijuana Banking Systems Download Our Free Android Applast_img read more

Harvard MIT Receive 9 Million Donation to Conduct Marijuana Research

first_img –shares Harvard, MIT Receive $9 Million Donation to Conduct Marijuana Research 4 min read Guest Writer Biomedical Technology Add to Queue Image credit: gregobagel | Getty Images Easy Search. Quality Finds. Your partner and digital portal for the cannabis community. Next Article dispensaries.com Keep up with the latest trends and news in the cannabis industry with our free articles and videos, plus subscribe to the digital edition of Green Entrepreneur magazine. The donation from an alum of both schools will use the cannabis legally available in Massachusetts. May 14, 2019 Free Green Entrepreneur App Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The rapid spread of marijuana legalization has been coupled with concerns among medical researchers about gaps in knowledge on what cannabis can and cannot do in terms of health benefits.Unfortunately, with the United States federal government continuing to list cannabis as an illegal drug, it’s been hard to get funding for research. It also doesn’t help that what little marijuana is available for research is of far worse quality than what people routinely purchase at the local dispensary (or on the black market, for that matter).However, cannabis research in the U.S. got a shot in the arm this month when Charles Broderick, head of a New York-based global equity firm, dontated $9 million for cannabis research to be split between Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology . Broderick’s goal is clear cut, according to the Harvard Gazette: “Our desire is to fill the research void that currently exists in the science of cannabis.”Related: Why the EU Is Wrong About CBDMassachusetts Makes a DifferenceHow can the two prestigious schools manage to fill the marijuana research void with marijuana still illegal at the federal level? According to Rolling Stone, the answer lies in the fact that Massachusetts started legal recreational marijuana sales this year. That “makes it easier for the research to take place at the Boston-based schools,” the music magazine wrote.A researcher at MIT told the Boston Globe that the school plans to get cannabis of a higher grade than what is available from the University of Mississippi, which currently operates the only federal-sanctioned site to grow marijuana for research.The researcher also said that without Broderick’s donation, none of the research would be happening as quickly as now planned. The illegal nature of marijuana in the past — a situation that still exists at the national level — has made getting research funding difficult.Where Research Will FocusMIT plans to launch research into how THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) impact the cognitive function of people suffering from schizophrenia. Other MIT studies will focus on the use of cannabis for those with autism and Huntington’s disease, as well as the impact on attention and working memory.At Harvard Medical School, the money will fund creation of the Charles R. Broderick Phytocannabinoid Research Initiative. Initial research will focus on marijuana’s impact on brain cell function and the connections between brain cells.Related: Move Aside, CBD: New Data Finds THC Is the Real Medicine in Medical MarijuanaDonor Stands to GainWhile the donation received universal praise, it also generated conversation over the ethics of the donation. Broderick is an investor in cannabis companies in Canada, where pot is legal for medical and recreational use nationwide.The Globe wrote that many might wonder if his position could create bias in the research. After all, if new uses of cannabis are found, Broderick stands to make more money. But if dangers are found in using marijuana for medical purposes, he stands to lose money.However, both Harvard and MIT have rules in place that govern research, ensuring that researchers have complete control over their work and the results.For this part, Broderick told the Harvard Gazette, “I want to destigmatize the conversation around cannabis — and, in part, that means providing facts to the medical community, as well as the general public. Then we’re all working from the same information. We need to replace rhetoric with research.”To stay up to date on the latest marijuana-related news make sure to like dispensaries.com on Facebook Download Our iOS Applast_img read more

Square Makes Its Register Software Free Worldwide

first_img Kate Taylor –shares Add to Queue Next Article November 20, 2014 Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Reporter Square Makes Its Register Software Free Worldwide 2 min read Mobile Payments Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Square is going global – with software at least.On Thursday, Twitter co-founder and Square CEO Jack Dorsey announced that Square Register is being made available to sellers around the world. That means internationally Square-using sellers have access to free point-of-sale software that supports 130 different currencies.Los Desgraciados, a restaurant located in Saltillo, Mexico that uses Square RegisterImage credit: SquareSquare Register is a free app with software that allows users to analyze payments and manage items and inventory. The app is already used by millions of businesses in the U.S., but previously only supported the U.S. dollar, the Canadian dollar and the Japanese yen.Related: How Mobile Payment Apps Are Energizing Businesses That Live On Cash FlowHowever, despite the previously limited currencies, Square says that thousands of sellers outside the U.S., Japan and Canada have downloaded the app.”I’ve been using Square Register for about three years now,” says Michael Cheang, the owner of an Australian bar called Frisk, in an email sent by Square. “We came across the app when searching the internet for point-of-sale solutions. We looked into all the alternative options, and ultimately chose Square for its simple layout.”Square has not yet released readers that support transactions outside of the U.S., Canada and Japan. However, with the new software in place, the mobile payment’s app complete international expansion seems imminent. Related: Snapchat Partners With Square for Payment Service Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

SpaceX Lands Rocket on Platform in the Middle of the Ocean Start

first_img Staff writer. Frequently covers franchise news and food trends. Image credit: SpaceX Next Article Looking for the latest headlines in small business, innovation and tech? Our Start Up Your Day recaps are posted every morning to keep you current.Going big. First hot dogs, now this: Burger King’s menu now includes a Whopper Dog.Accused. Cupertino’s mayor feels “abused,” says Apple evades its taxes.In remembrance. An urn shaped of a White Castle restaurant was commissioned by a woman as a memorial. She and her sister ate there after chemo treatments.A new track. This McDonald’s placemat is also a DJ controller.Cut. Celebrated entrepreneurship course at Babson College is cut and its professor fired.Victorious. A SpaceX lands a rocket successfully in the Atlantic Ocean.The front lines. The Marine Corps is creating land-based battlefield robots with flying drone sidekicks. They would be used for “autonomous swarms.”Not enough. According to Facebook, the average user spends about 50 minutes a day on the social media platform. It may seem like a lot, but the company wants more. Lindsay Friedman Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. –shares May 6, 2016 Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel.center_img SpaceX Lands Rocket on Platform in the Middle of the Ocean — Start Up Your Day Roundup Start Up Your Day Add to Queue 1 min read Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Landing JSAT-14, 05052016 Register Now »last_img read more

Teleperformance Groups Praxidia Knowledge Services partners with CallMiner to launch TP Interact

first_imgTeleperformance Groups ‘Praxidia Knowledge Services’ partners with CallMiner to launch TP Interact – a Comprehensive Interaction Analytics Solution PRNewswireMay 23, 2019, 2:52 pmMay 23, 2019 CallMinerCXMarketing TechnologyNewsPraxidiaTeleperformance GroupTP Interact Previous ArticleAlpha Software Launches Alpha TransForm, Cuts Build Time for Robust Offline Enterprise Mobile Apps from Months to HoursNext ArticleCint Appoints SVP of Asia Nicholas Antram to Continue Strategic Expansion Across the Region Eleperformance Groups ‘Praxidia Knowledge Services’ Partners with CallMiner to Launch TP Interact – a Comprehensive Interaction Analytics SolutionPraxidia Knowledge Services, a specialised subsidiary of the Teleperformance Group, announced its strategic partnership with CallMiner to launch a customer solution called TP Interact. This speech and customer engagement analytics solution will optimise agent quality and customer satisfaction within contact centres across the globe.“Our ability to quickly consolidate actionable insights from multichannel interactions in both real-time and post-call provides Praxidia with agent quality management and CX benefits that boost customer satisfaction and build competitive advantage”TP Interact’s managed analytics and consulting services, powered by the CallMiner Eureka speech analytics platform, is scalable in terms of both capacity and geography. This allows organisations across industry verticals to benefit from the invaluable insights driven by its customer interactions, regardless of call volume or channel. Through this partnership, customers can evaluate and score 100% of customer interactions to define the customer experience and agent quality. This Includes customisations, reporting and on-going tuning to business needs.Marketing Technology News: Phishing of SaaS and Webmail Brands Surpasses Phishing Attacks on Payment Brands for the First TimeTP Interact customers benefit from:A scalable, flexible solution that seamlessly integrates into the business within days of deployment.Personalised services tailored to unique business needsData-driven insights to define action and control outcomes.Marketing Technology News: Punchh Launches Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence “Customer Sentiment Analysis” to Enable Real-Time Response to Customer ReviewsCommenting on the development, Paolo Righetti, CEO Praxidia said “CallMiner and Praxidia have already begun driving Business Intelligence from global call centres with language-specific customer experience applications across Italian, French and German-speaking organisations. This partnership enables a seamless Digital Customer Experience”.Paul Bernard, President & CEO of CallMiner said “Our ability to quickly consolidate actionable insights from multichannel interactions in both real-time and post-call provides Praxidia with agent quality management and CX benefits that boost customer satisfaction and build competitive advantage”.Marketing Technology News: Alibaba Cloud Expands Offerings for EMEA Partnerslast_img read more

Wipro Positioned as a Leader in Gartners Magic Quadrant for Managed Workplace

first_imgWipro Limited, a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company, announced that it has been positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Managed Workplace Services, North America. The report authored by Daniel Barros & Mark Ray was published on January 14, 2019.“Gartner evaluates the providers based on the quality and efficacy of the processes, systems, methods and procedures that enable each provider’s performance to be competitive and effective, while positively affecting revenue, retention and reputation.”“Gartner evaluates the providers based on the quality and efficacy of the processes, systems, methods and procedures that enable each provider’s performance to be competitive and effective, while positively affecting revenue, retention and reputation.” This Magic Quadrant assessed 21 MWS providers on their ability to execute and completeness of vision. Wipro has been positioned as a “Leader” in this Magic Quadrant for Managed Workplace Services, North America for the third time in a row.According to Gartner analysts, “Leaders deliver their service solutions skillfully, have a clear vision of the direction of the service market, and are actively building and improving their competencies to sustain their leadership positions. The Leaders quadrant indicates the direction of the MWS market. However, most digital workplace offerings still have low adoption rates. Ten providers have emerged as Leaders in this Magic Quadrant. Leaders have demonstrated their experience in delivering MWS and understand the requirements to successfully deliver these services. They have proved their ability to execute and their completeness of vision.”Marketing Technology News: MultiVu Launches Digital Marketing SuiteKiran Desai, Senior Vice President and Global Head, Cloud and Infrastructure Services, Wipro Limited said, “We are pleased to have been positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Managed Workplace Services, North America, for the third successive year. We believe this recognition underscores our capabilities to manage complex workplace transformation projects by leveraging our LiVE Workspace™ platform. Our digital transformation endeavours have been key to us achieving an industry-leading position in this space. We remain steadfastly committed to offering a truly digital and enhanced user experience to our customers.”Marketing Technology News: Live Data Is Now The Lifeblood For Telco Value CreationWipro’s LiVE Workspace solution, powered by the Wipro HOLMES artificial intelligence platform and backed by a strong partner ecosystem, will help enterprises advance to a digitally empowered user-centric workspace from a traditional desktop system-based approach. The solution is an end-to-end standardized and integrated workplace offering consisting of pre-defined tools, technologies, and processes, that enables users to access their business applications and data, anywhere, anytime, and on a device of their choice. The solution also offers predictive and prescriptive analytics with cognitive capabilities to proactively identify, resolve, and manage critical applications and infrastructure-related snags before end-users experience issues.Marketing Technology News: Informatica Unveils AI-Powered Product Innovations and Strengthens Industry Partnerships at Informatica World 2019 Wipro Positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Managed Workplace Services, North America PRNewswireJune 12, 2019, 2:33 pmJune 12, 2019 artificial intelligence platformGartner’s Magic QuadrantManaged Workplace ServicesMarketing TechnologyNews Previous ArticleTEGNA to Acquire Dispatch Broadcast Group’s Leading, Top Ranked Stations in Indianapolis, IN and Columbus, OHNext ArticleSwiftStack Announces Data Analytics Solution With 10x Performance and Massive Scalelast_img read more

Optimizely Announces Series D Funding Led by Goldman Sachs Catapulting Digital Experience

first_imgOptimizely Announces Series D Funding Led by Goldman Sachs, Catapulting Digital Experience Optimization Into the Mainstream PRNewswireJune 24, 2019, 5:45 pmJune 24, 2019 Accenture Venturesdigital experience optimizationfundingMarketing TechnologyNewsOptimizely Previous ArticleEvergage Named a Strong Performer Among B2B Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) by Independent Research FirmNext ArticleTokio Marine & Nichido Selects Salesforce to Exceed Customer Expectations at Every Touchpoint Optimizely Secures $50 Million From Goldman Sachs and Accenture Ventures, Bolstered by Additional $55 Million Financing From Bridge BankOptimizely, the world’s leader in digital experience optimization, announced it has closed US$105 million in financing, including US$50 million in Series D funding. The funding, led by Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing, also included Accenture Ventures. This brings the company’s total funding to US$200 million. Additionally, Michael Kondoleon of Goldman Sachs will join Optimizely’s Board of Directors as a Board Member.Digital Experience Optimization Hits the Mainstream Industry-leading organizations are embracing digital experience optimization as more than a quarter of the Fortune 100 have chosen Optimizely’s experimentation and personalization platform. The category has exploded, and Optimizely customers like Gap, Visa, StubHub, as well as digital leaders like Metromile, Lending Club, and Sonos, are making experimentation a mainstream business best practice.In the last two years, Optimizely’s customers have tripled their investments in digital experience optimization with the company’s highly scalable infrastructure now handling over 6 billion events a day. Optimizely has consistently deployed breakthrough products and the company’s machine learning capabilities have been shown to double website visitor conversion rates. Recent platform additions also ensure that Optimizely serves the needs of the developer community through feature management, feature flagging, and testing in production to ensure organizations can safely launch a new product, feature, or experience.“Optimizely is recognized as a leader in the experimentation space and the solution of choice for numerous global brands. We’re pleased to have Accenture onboard as a co-investor in the Series D. We see a substantial market opportunity ahead for Optimizely, and we are excited to help fuel their continued growth,” said Michael Kondoleon, vice president at Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing.Marketing Technology News: Global Software Leaders Xero and Stripe Join Forces to Bring Seamless Payments to Millions of Small BusinessesOptimizely also extended its line of credit with Bridge Bank in this latest investment round. Combined with the additional funding from Goldman Sachs and Accenture Ventures, this investment signals a tipping point for the category of digital experience optimization, with Optimizely the clear innovator and category leader.“Bridge Bank is proud to continue working with Optimizely, a global leader at the forefront of the digital experience optimization market,” said Mike Lederman, senior vice president and western region director of Bridge Bank’s technology banking group. “Optimizely is on a path of substantial growth and the additional capital will help them continue to build market-leading products that are used by an increasing number of top global brands.”Accenture Interactive Doubles Down on Experience Optimization Offering with Strategic Investment in Optimizely Accenture Interactive and Optimizely have been teaming together since 2013 to help some of the leading brands transform customer experiences to drive superior business outcomes. “Today’s business leaders are aware of the importance of experience but nevertheless struggle to continuously optimize and personalize their channels consistent with their customers’ expectations,” said Matty Wishnow, managing director of experience design & optimization at Accenture Interactive. “We know well that experimentation is the quickest, most confident path to better user experiences and returns on investment. Optimizely has a platform that truly transforms how experiences work for both the business and the customer.”Marketing Technology News: Whitebox Raises $5 Million in Series A Funding to Accelerate eCommerce “Factory Floor to Front Door” Tech PlatformWith this new investment, Accenture Interactive and Optimizely will work more closely together to deliver high-value services along with Optimizely’s best in class software platform.“We’re thrilled to have the backing of one of the most respected financial institutions in the world. Goldman Sachs’ investment in Optimizely is a clear indication that the digital experience optimization market is growing rapidly and that Optimizely is the leader in this space,” said Jay Larson, CEO of Optimizely. “As more business is done online, companies understand that optimizing the digital experiences they deliver to their customers is the difference between winning and losing in their respective markets. Building experimentation into your company culture requires the best platform and the best services. The combination of Optimizely and Accenture can deliver game-changing value to companies that are serious about winning in today’s digital economy.”Marketing Technology News: LiveVox and TDECU Share Keys to Optimizing the Customer Experience in a Digital Environment at CCW 2019last_img read more

Lytics Named a Strong Performer in Customer Data Platform Report by Independent

first_imgLytics Named a Strong Performer in Customer Data Platform Report by Independent Research Firm PRNewswireJune 27, 2019, 6:20 pmJune 27, 2019 B2B Customer Data Platformscustomer data platformJames McDermottLyticsMarketing TechnologyMarketing Technology NewsNewspersonalization Previous ArticleChorus.ai Named #1 Sales Coaching Momentum Leader in G2’s Summer 2019 Momentum GridNext ArticleGartner Identifies Five Cost Optimization Tactics for Marketing Leaders Lytics, the first Customer Data Platform (CDP) built to bridge the gap between data and personalization, announced it has been named a Strong Performer in the “The Forester New Wave™: B2B Customer Data Platforms, Q2 2019” report.“The Forester New Wave™: B2B Customer Data Platforms, Q2 2019”Forrester profiled the 13 most significant vendors in the emerging CDP market and ranked against 10 criteria as explained by Forrester principal analyst and report author Steven Casey in his blog post. Forrester reported that Lytics offers robust activation and recommendation capabilities resulting in a differentiated score for those two criteria. They also noted that “Lytics leverages machine learning insights to build dynamic audiences that can trigger activation when a member enters or exits a segment. The solution also offers next best campaign recommendations that include optimizations for both engagement timing and content topic.”Marketing Technology News: New Study Shows Adoption of Business Automation Technologies is Driven by the C-SuiteAs stated in the report, customers praised Lytics’ ability to help them analyze and monitor product usage data and the ease of use of its segmentation tools. One customer was quoted as sharing, “Their segment builder is very visual and really easy to use.”“As customer acquisition costs continue to rise and customer lifetime value declines, it’s imperative that marketing leaders understand that the problem isn’t data. In fact, it’s today’s workflows which are based on the company’s segmentation models instead of the needs and actions of the audience,” explains James McDermott, CEO and co-founder of Lytics. “Forrester’s noting our ability to build dynamic audiences that trigger activation and next best campaign recommendations we believe illustrates their recognition of the importance of personalized experiences. Lytics was built from the ground up to help marketers meet the needs of each individual customer.”Marketing Technology News: Monetate Exceeds $2 Billion in Influenced Revenue and Unveils New Brand Identity and Leadership at Cannes Lions 2019Forrester also gave Lytics a differentiated score in the product road map criteria and recognized that Lytics’ market approach and product strategy makes it a best fit for subscription-based businesses or companies selling to B2B and B2C.In 2018, Lytics saw revenue increase nearly three times and adoption of the Lytics platform more than double across every industry. Today, more than 175 enterprise brands rely on Lytics to know and serve their customers.Marketing Technology News: Visa to Acquire Rambus Payments Portfoliolast_img read more

The Vegan Society EU ban on meaty names for veggie food products

first_imgThe Vegan Society has highlighted the proposed measures will not only impact vegans, but also public authorities that currently serve vegan food, such as government departments, health providers, education establishments, police forces and prisons.It has legally challenged the plans in a formal letter to EU officials, signed by its CEO and prepared by a legal expert, on the grounds of breaching fundamental human rights of vegans that are set out by the Union.The letter states the proposed measures contravene the EU consumers’ right to be informed adequately as to how goods can be used and denies the vegan community the benefits offered by EU law on clear labeling.If the proposals are voted into effect next month, vegan and veggie burgers could become ‘discs’, and sausages ‘tubes’ among other products.George Gill, CEO at The Vegan Society who signed the letter, said: Dr Rowley quotes in the letter the European food labeling laws that state “food information should … enable consumers to identify and make appropriate use of food” and argues the use of ‘meaty’ names informs the consumer how the plant-based products can be cooked and used. The 14-page letter includes an appendix with over 100 examples of plant-based food descriptors being used in the public and private sectors, suggesting many institutions would be affected.Public authorities are obliged to provide plant-based food to vegans in their care as veganism is a protected philosophical belief under the Equality Act 2010.Excessive amounts of time and money would have to be unnecessarily spent on revising menus in public sector institutions if the proposals are accepted.Dr Jeanette Rowley, Vegan Rights Advocate at The Vegan Society, said: This proposed measure is not aligned with EU policy on respect for diversity.It is not in the public interest and, if implemented, would have a disproportional impact across society by affecting the normal daily functioning of all public and private entities that provide food.This EU measure threatens to cause widespread administrative chaos, confusion and time wasting trying to understand how to plan a meal that includes a veggie disc or a veggie tube!The widespread impact of this unreasonable and costly proposal should not be underestimated.” Apr 23 2019A vegan charity has warned the proposals to ban the use of traditional names like ‘burger’ and ‘sausage’ for vegan and veggie food products will result in “excessive administrative burdens” to all public entities. As consumers are increasingly moving away from eating animals, the demand for vegan products is growing. There’s no denying that meat, dairy and egg industries are feeling threatened by this and desperately trying to restrict the marketing of vegan products.These proposals have little to do with consumer protection and instead are motivated by economic concerns of the meat industry. We are calling on EU officials to reject these irrational measures for vegan meat alternatives to be banned from using the qualified conventional terms everyone has been using for decades.” Related StoriesAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaSmarter, more educated people get a cognitive ‘head start’, but aren’t protected from Alzheimer’sVegans are often deficient in these four nutrientsThe Vegan Society dismissed what it sees as unlawful proposals, calling them “an attempt to bolster a depressed agricultural economy” and warned they would “create confusion across the EU” if put in place.It argued the proposed measures do not achieve the required threshold for implementation as the EU rules recognize that “any limitation of fundamental rights must respect the principle of proportionality and meet objectives of general interest”.The rights and equality provisions available to the vegan community have not been included in the assessment of the validity of the proposed measure, which has not, according to the charity, taken into account all relevant stakeholders in the EU community.Alternative vocabulary put forward such as ‘vegetable disc’ does not constitute clear food labeling under EU consumer law because such terms do not describe or facilitate ease of interpretation, nor make it easy to perceive the food item in question.The EU has 21 days to respond to the letter, after which the matter will be escalated by The Vegan Society.Source: https://www.vegansociety.com/whats-new/news/eu-ban-%E2%80%98meaty%E2%80%99-names-would-financially-impact-public-sector-not-just-veganslast_img read more

Using drones to simplify film animation

first_imgActors’ movements can be easily recorded using commercial drones, which greatly reduces the technical effort required for animated film. Credit: ETH Zurich / Tobias Nägeli Citation: Using drones to simplify film animation (2018, December 5) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-drones-animation.html “What makes our system so unique is that it can also reliably capture sudden and fast movements,” explains Nägeli. “Of course, this kind of demo system is not good enough to meet the requirements of the film industry yet. But it does offer a promising approach.” As the young researcher explains, the system could also be extended with additional drones to capture movement in even greater detail. It is also conceivable that the current approach with light markers could be replaced by automatic image analysis, thus reducing the technical complexity of film production even further.Sport motion analysis by drone?The team conducted various tests to show how the system can be used to track human movement over longer distances – something that makes the approach interesting for sport motion analysis. “Until now, it has been impossible to perform a comprehensive motion analysis on runners, for example, because it is much too complicated,” explains Nägeli. “With our system, it’s very easy now to examine how a runner’s kinetics changes over a period of time.”For the time being, this is still just a vision. Now, the challenge is to continue developing the system for practical applications. Together with two colleagues, Nägeli plans to tackle this task at the new start-up company Tinamu Labs. And who knows – maybe he and his drones will soon land in Hollywood. Drones are going to change the film industry in a major way. Tobias Nägeli, for one, is sure of that. The computer scientist, who recently finished his doctoral thesis with Otmar Hilliges, a professor of computer science and head of the Advanced Interactive Technologies Lab, was able to show about a year ago that spectacular, highly technical film scenes could be shot in a much easier way by using these mini aircraft. In a further project, which he presented at a conference in Tokyo in early December, he demonstrated that drones also have great potential for animated film.Drones to replace dozens of cameras”It’s a very time-consuming task to make figures look realistic in an animated film,” explains Nägeli. “For the figures to appear natural, the first step is to film an actor performing the movements. The second step is then to build the animated figure around this.” In order to reconstruct the actor’s movements for the 3-D animation, they must first be recorded with at least two cameras simultaneously. Sequences of motion that cover a great deal of space in particular create an enormous amount of technical work, so two well-positioned cameras should be able to cover the entire scene. This requires either installing numerous cameras in different places, of which only a few can be used at the same time, or other tricky installations.This complicated technique may soon be rendered obsolete. Nägeli and his colleagues at ETH Zurich and Delft University of Technology have developed a system that, in its simplest configuration, consists of two commercially available drones and a laptop. The drones follow the actor’s every move and automatically adjust their position so that the target can always be shot from two angles. This reduces the amount camera work required, since the cameras only have to be in the spots where they are actually needed. Impressively, the system anticipates the actor’s movements in real-time and then calculates where the drones need to fly in order to keep the actor in the frame. 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. Explore furthercenter_img The team conducted various tests to show how the system can be used to track human movement over longer distances. Credit: ETH Zurich / Tobias Nägeli To minimise the volume of data generated, infrared diode markers are fixed to the actor’s joints. The drones, which are equipped with a true light filter, record only the light from the markers, greatly simplifying data processing. The system only sees a few points, from which it then determines the body’s position and directional movement. Provided by ETH Zurich Spectacular images thanks to an efficient algorithm Producing realistic animated film figures is a highly complex technical endeavour. ETH researchers have now shown how drones can be used to greatly reduce the effort required in the process.last_img read more

Edmunds examines costly side effect of safety tech repairs

first_imgVehicle safety technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Today’s cars can watch your blind spot, help keep you in your lane, automatically hit the brakes in an emergency, and more. But while the technology helps prevent accidents, there is a potential side effect: increased repair costs. How to make your car’s safety features work for you © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. 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. Ultimately, we had two options for our Prius: 1) fix the blind-spot monitoring system and leave the scuffed bumper, costing us $2,384, or 2) do the repairs with a new bumper for a staggering $4,339.CALIBRATION AND ADDITIONAL REPAIR COSTSWindshields and bumpers are two of the most common body repairs, and safety system calibration is a consistent cost factor in those repairs. Even one degree out of alignment can cause significant problems, according to body repair experts.Windshield damage accounts for more than 14.5 million replacements annually, according to AAA, with some automakers requiring the use of factory glass that meets strict standards for optical clarity. Plus, many safety systems that rely on cameras positioned behind the windshield require recalibration when the glass is replaced.This calibration can cost roughly $1,500, which can be as much as three times the amount to replace the windshield on a car without the technology. Add another $850 to $1,900 if the front camera sensors ? used with automatic emergency braking adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and lane keeping systems ? need to be replaced.Finally, rear radar sensors used in bumpers with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems can add $850 to $2,050 in repair costs, according to AAA.WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?If you are relying on a safety feature that is not functioning correctly, then you are putting yourself and your occupants in danger. It will also affect the trade-in and resale value of your vehicle. Even if you replaced your bumper, you can’t hide the warning lights.One option might be to drive an older vehicle without the expensive safety technology. On modern cars, however, there’s really no way around it. You have to go into it knowing that you will end up paying more for repairs, whether out of pocket or through insurance, where it may increase your premiums. It is just a sign of the safer, yet more expensive, times we live in.EDMUNDS SAYS: Advanced safety features are becoming a standard fixture integrated into vehicles. They help prevent accidents, which could save you money. But if you do get into a seemingly minor accident, make sure you are prepared to pay double, or even triple, the amount of a basic automobile repair. This undated photo provided by Edmunds shows the 2016 Toyota Prius, an example of a late-model vehicle that comes with advanced safety features. These features are useful but can lead to increased repair costs should the vehicle get damaged in an accident. (Scott Jacobs/Edmunds via AP) Explore further These technology features in new vehicles typically rely on sensors and cameras that are mounted on relatively exposed parts of a vehicle, such as bumpers and windshields. If you do get into an accident, the resulting repairs can add up to about $3,000 in extra repair costs, according to a recent AAA study .We experienced this firsthand after a parking lot fender-bender left what appeared to be minor scratches on Edmunds’ 2016 Toyota Prius long-term test vehicle. A visit to the body shop, however, revealed that the damage was more substantial.MINOR ACCIDENT TURNS INTO MAJOR REPAIRSNot too long ago, an incident such as ours could be fixed for roughly $1,000 in total. Sand down the old bumper, add some Bondo as filler, repaint it and you’re done. Nowadays, the repair is more complicated.After the incident, our Prius had deep paint scratches on its bumper and persistently displayed the “Blind-Spot Monitor Malfunction” warning light. We took it to a local Toyota dealership in Los Angeles since the damage was minor—or so we thought.The dealership pointed out that the damage was more extensive. The blind-spot sensor needed replacing, and the sensor bracket, which is welded to the frame, was damaged and out of alignment. The replacement sensor had a price tag of $1,000, and it needed to be calibrated. This fix would cost an additional $465 and take about three hours to complete.The dealer suggested we contact a body shop to address the bent bracket and the cosmetic damage to the rear bumper. That’s where we learned of another repair issue. In some vehicles equipped with blind-spot monitors, manufacturers now use a thinner layer of paint on the bumper so the paint won’t interfere with the sensors. This special paint job makes it more difficult for a repair shop to fix and repaint. In many cases, a repair shop will opt to put on a new bumper rather than repair the old one. Citation: Edmunds examines costly side effect of safety tech: repairs (2019, April 3) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-edmunds-costly-side-effect-safety.htmllast_img read more

Novartis raises 2019 guidance helped by Sandoz generics unit

first_imgFILE PHOTO: Switzerland’s national flag flies in front of the logo of Swiss drugmaker Novartis in Basel, Switzerland, January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd WiegmannZURICH (Reuters) – Novartis (NOVN.S) lifted full-year sales and profit targets on Thursday, helped by innovative medicine sales and as the Swiss drugmaker’s Sandoz generics unit saw rising international demand for its biosimilar copies of blockbuster drugs made by rivals. Related CoverageNovartis CEO sets aside $700 million to settle doctor bribery lawsuitSecond-quarter core operating income rose 20% in constant currencies to $3.6 billion (£2.8 billion), while sales were up 8% to $11.8 billion, compared to the $11.54 billion forecast by 10 analysts in a Refinitiv poll. The Basel-based company now expects 2019 core operating income to grow at low-double-digit to mid-teens percentages, faster than the previous high-single-digit percentage rate target. Sales expectations were also raised, with growth now seen in the mid to high-single digit range. Novartis highlighted performance at Sandoz, where it said international business offset price declines in the United States. It revised Sandoz 2019 sales forecasts upwards — to broadly in line with last year or possible low-single-digit growth — as the company’s copies of Roche’s Mabthera, AbbVie’s Humira and Amgen’s and Pfizer’s Enbrel captured business from the namebrand drugs in Europe. “We increased our full year guidance for both sales and core operating income in light of our strong momentum,” Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan said in a statement. Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Thomas Seythal and Brenna Hughes NeghaiwiOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.last_img read more

IndoSpace enters Gujarat with Rs 650 cr investment

first_imgnew project COMMENT SHARE SHARE EMAIL IndoSpace closes third fund, ILP III, for $1.2 bn IndoSpace ties up with logistics facilities provider GLP Indospace to launch five mega industrial parks To add over 2.5 mn sq ft of Grade A leasable area in 3 years Everstone-backed IndoSpace, a leading developer of industrial real estate and warehousing facilities, has made its foray into Gujarat with the launch of its park in Bavla near Ahmedabad. The facility will help IndoSpace move towards its goal to build a pipeline of 120 million square feet of modern logistics infrastructure to support the growth and modernisation of India’s supply chain. The cutting-edge industrial and logistics park on the Ahmedabad-Rajkot national highway is spread across 47 acres. It is located close to the industrial hubs of Sanand and Changodar, and has easy access to Kandla and Mundra ports. With GST and growth in e-commerce, India’s warehousing and light industrial manufacturing is demanding new capacity with large-scale, state-of-the-art infrastructure and locational advantages. Accordingly, IndoSpace is planning to build two more logistics parks in Gujarat.“The Bavla industrial park not only marks our foray into Gujarat, it also shows our clear determination to strengthen our leadership in the light industrial manufacturing space. We plan to invest Rs 650 crores in new parks across Gujarat. Upon completion, the projects are expected to generate employment for more than 10,000 people directly and indirectly,” Rajesh Jaggi, Managing Partner, Real Estate, Everstone Group, said.It may be recalled that IndosSpace was jointly promoted by Everstone Group, GLP and Realterm. Recently, IndoSpace announced the closure of its third – and India’s largest ever – logistics real estate fund with a corpus of $1.2 billion, taking its total India commitment to well over $ 3.2 billion. IndoSpace has around 30 million square feet across developed and under-construction projects. Its portfolio includes 30 industrial and logistics parks in nine cities, making it the only national network in India.Srivats.kr@thehindu.co.in SHARE Ahmedabad Published on real estate RELATED January 15, 2019 COMMENTSlast_img read more

Disquiet in Congress ranks as Rahul insists on resigning say sources

first_imgCOMMENTS SHARE SHARE EMAIL SHARE Faced with a colossal electoral defeat, the Congress was riven by internal turmoil with Rahul Gandhi insisting on quitting as party president while its governments in Rajasthan and Karnataka teetered on the brink. In the midst of the disquiet, several state Congress chiefs, including Punjab’s Sunil Jakhar, Jharkhand’s Ajoy Kumar and Assam’s Ripun Bora, also offered to resign following the party’s drubbing in the elections, party insiders said. Congress sources said Gandhi is insisting on resigning his post and is understood to have conveyed to several leaders that it is time for the grand old party to look for a new chief. The Congress won only 52 out of 542 parliamentary seats in the Lok Sabha polls, just six more than its 2014 tally. The party could not open its account in 18 states and union territories.Taking responsibility for the defeat, Gandhi on Saturday offered to resign as the party’s president at a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision-making body of the party, but it was “unanimously rejected”. At the CWC meeting, Gandhi accused three senior leaders — Ashok Gehlot, Kamal Nath and P Chidambaram — of placing their sons above the party. His sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said the entire top brass of the party left Rahul Gandhi alone to fight it out against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Existential crisisAs the party grapples with a severe existential crisis, its governments in both Karnataka and Rajasthan face a tough time with reports suggesting the BJP may try to wrest power in both states.It is learnt that Congress legislators Ramesh Jarkiholi and Dr Sudhakar visited BJP leader SM Krishna’s residence in Bengaluru on Sunday along with several other BJP leaders and they are understood to have deliberated on dethroning the incumbent dispensation.Sources said a number of Congress legislators in Karnataka are understood to be unhappy over the party’s electoral loss.In Rajasthan, there have been reports of internal turmoil with several ministers demanding fixing of accountability and seeking action against those responsible for the poll debacle in the state. The Congress drew a blank in Rajasthan as the NDA won all 25 seats. In Karnataka, where it formed a government with the JD(S) in May last year, the Congress managed to win only one Lok Sabha seat out of 28.The party was crushed in most of the 29 states, including Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, where it had defeated BJP in the assembly polls in December. ‘Rumour mongering’As crisis beset the opposition party, its chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on Monday urged everyone to respect the sanctity of the CWC meeting and asked the media not to fall into the trap of “conjectures, insinuations, gossip and rumour-mongering”.Surjewala said it is a democratic forum for exchange of ideas and taking corrective action. It was a “closed-door” meeting and any speculation about it was unwarranted and uncalled for, he added. He was reacting to news reports about happenings at the May 25 meeting, the first of the CWC after the Congress’s humiliating defeat in the parliamentary polls.“The Congress party expects everyone, including the media, to respect the sanctity of a closed-door meeting of the CWC. Various conjectures, speculation, insinuations, assumptions, gossip and rumour-mongering in a section of the media is uncalled for and unwarranted.“The CWC held a collective deliberation on the performance of the party, the challenges before it as also the way ahead, instead of casting aspersions on the role or conduct of any specific individual. The gist of the deliberations was made public in the CWC resolution of May 25, 2019,” the Congress leader said in a statement. All India Congress Committee (AICC) Elections 2019center_img May 27, 2019 COMMENT Published on Congress president Rahul Gandhi loses in Amethi.   –  Bloomberglast_img read more