Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Your browser does not support the audio element. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires “It’s hard,” McDonough said. “I think that’s when you make mistakes.”McDonough recalled his time in the Baltimore Ravens front office, working alongside general manager Ozzie Newsome, who didn’t let his personal feelings get in the way of draft picks.“He’s one of the best I’ve ever been around, and he takes the emotion out of it,” he said. “I think that’ s what you have to do. It’s very hard to do because we’re human beings and you get emotional, especially when you love the film and you meet the kid and he’s a great kid. “Sometimes you can make emotional decisions that can lead to mistakes because you really like the person and all of a sudden, you start overvaluing the player. It’s happened so much, and then when they get here, they’re not what you thought they were because you were emotional.”McDonough isn’t the type of executive who will “stand on the table” to go to bat for a player in the draft process, but that wasn’t always the case.“I did that when I worked for Baltimore when I worked with Ozzie Newsome about 15 years ago,” he recalled. “And it was a cornerback from Central Florida, and the guy ended up being awful, so that’s the last time I’m ever going to stand on a table. Player personnel directors in the NFL watch a lot of film and become familiar with a lot of players.They have to. Starting May 8, 256 players will be selected by the 32 franchises who have been analyzing every detail about those who will hear their names called.In the process, individual decision makers will have their favorites, but as Arizona Cardinals vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough told Doug & Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Tuesday, it’s difficult not to become enamored with individual players. LISTEN: Terry McDonough, Cardinals VP of player personnel Top Stories “It backfired. The guy stunk and (Ozzie) reminded me of that until the day I left.”Much of the focus for McDonough and the Cardinals brass is on their first-round pick, the 20th overall selection. About two dozen players have been connected to the Cardinals in that slot by draft analysts, but McDonough is confident in what the team will get because of the legwork put in by the organization and the uncertain nature of the draft.“You know, everyone can probably tell you pretty much the top 10 or 11 or 12, and then there’s always a couple surprises in the teens — guys that you think are going to go in the late 20s and some team will come up and take them,” McDonough said. “So there will be somebody there that you thought as an organization was going to go 13, 14 or 15, in that range.“This year especially. See, last year was different. It was pretty thin. But this year at 20, there will be a good player there for us.” Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Tell a person that its a big beautiful world ful

first_imgTell a person that it’s a big beautiful world, full of fresh opportunities and a sense of freedom that is just not available by staying put and you will inevitably be treated to a litany of reasons why expanding your life into more than one country just isn’t practical. Let’s consider some of those commonly stated reasons, and why they might be unjustified. While largely directed at Americans, these are also applicable to pretty much anyone from any country. “America is the best country in the world. I’d be a fool to leave.” That was absolutely true, not so very long ago. America certainly was the best – and it was unique. But it no longer exists, except as an ideal. The geography it occupied has been co-opted by the United States, which today is just another nation-state. And, most unfortunately, one that’s become especially predatory toward its citizens. “My parents and grandparents were born here; I have roots in this country.” An understandable emotion; everyone has an atavistic affinity for his place of birth, including your most distant relatives born long, long ago, and far, far away. I suppose if Lucy, apparently the first more-or-less human we know of, had been able to speak, she might have pled roots if you’d asked her to leave her valley in East Africa. If you buy this argument, then it’s clear your forefathers, who came from Europe, Asia, or Africa, were made of sterner stuff than you are. “I’m not going to be unpatriotic.” Patriotism is one of those things very few even question and even fewer examine closely. I’m a patriot, you’re a nationalist, he’s a jingoist. But let’s put such a tendentious and emotion-laden subject aside. Today a true patriot – an effective patriot–- would be accumulating capital elsewhere, to have assets he can repatriate and use for rebuilding when the time is right. And a real patriot understands that America is not a place; it’s an idea. It deserves to be spread. “I can’t leave my aging mother behind.” Not to sound callous, but your aging parent will soon leave you behind. Why not offer her the chance to come along, though? She might enjoy a good live-in maid in your own house (which I challenge you to get in the US) more than a sterile, dismal, and overpriced old people’s home, where she’s likely to wind up. “I might not be able to earn a living.” Spoken like a person with little imagination and even less self-confidence. And likely little experience or knowledge of economics. Everyone, everywhere, has to produce at least as much as he consumes – that won’t change whether you stay in your living room or go to Timbuktu. In point of fact, though, it tends to be easier to earn big money in a foreign country, because you will have knowledge, experience, skills, and connections the locals don’t. “I don’t have enough capital to make a move.” Well, that was one thing that kept serfs down on the farm. Capital gives you freedom. On the other hand, a certain amount of poverty can underwrite your freedom, since possessions act as chains for many. “I’m afraid I won’t fit in.” The real danger that’s headed your way is not fitting in at home. This objection is often proffered by people who’ve never traveled abroad. Here’s a suggestion. If you don’t have a valid passport, apply for one tomorrow morning. Then, at the next opportunity, book a trip to somewhere that seems interesting. Make an effort to meet people. Find out if you’re really as abject a wallflower as you fear. “I don’t speak the language.” It’s said that Sir Richard Burton, the 19th-century explorer, spoke 10 languages fluently and 15 more “reasonably well.” I’ve always liked that distinction although, personally, I’m not a good linguist. And it gets harder to learn a language as you get older – although it’s also true that learning a new language actually keeps your brain limber. In point of fact, though, English is the world’s language. Almost anyone who is anyone, and the typical school kid, has some grasp of it. “I’m too old to make such a big change.” Yes, I guess it makes more sense to just take a seat and await the arrival of the Grim Reaper. Or perhaps, is your life already so exciting and wonderful that you can’t handle a little change? Better, I think, that you might adopt the attitude of the 85-year-old woman who has just transplanted herself to Argentina from the frozen north. Even after many years of adventure, she simply feels ready for a change and was getting tired of the same old people with the same old stories and habits. “I’ve got to wait until the kids are out of school. It would disrupt their lives.” This is actually one of the lamest excuses in the book. I’m sympathetic to the view that kids ought to live with wolves for a couple of years to get a proper grounding in life – although I’m not advocating anything that radical. It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give your kids: to live in another culture, learn a new language, and associate with a better class of people (as an expat, you’ll almost automatically move to the upper rungs – arguably a big plus). After a little whining, the kids will love it. When they’re grown, if they discover you passed up the opportunity, they won’t forgive you. “I don’t want to give up my US citizenship.” There’s no need to. Anyway, if you have a lot of deferred income and untaxed gains, it can be punitive to do so; the US government wants to keep you as a milk cow. But then, you may cotton to the idea of living free of any taxing government, while having the travel documents offered by several. And you may want to save your children from becoming cannon fodder or indentured servants, should the US re-institute the draft or start a program of “national service” – which is not unlikely. But these arguments are unimportant. The real problem is one of psychology. In that regard, I like to point to my old friend Paul Terhorst, who 30 years ago was the youngest partner at a national accounting firm. He and his wife Vicki decided that “keeping up with the Joneses” for the rest of their lives just wasn’t for them. They sold everything – cars, house, clothes, artwork, the works – and decided to live around the world. Paul then had the time to read books, play chess, and generally enjoy himself. He wrote about it in Cashing In on the American Dream: How to Retire at 35. As a bonus, the advantages of not being a tax resident anywhere and having time to scope out proper investments has put Paul way ahead in the money game. He typically spends about half his year in Argentina; we usually have lunch every week when in residence. I could go on. But perhaps it’s pointless to offer rational counters to irrational fears and preconceptions. As Gibbon noted with his signature brand of irony, “The power of instruction is seldom of much efficacy, except in those happy dispositions where it is almost superfluous.” Let me be clear: in my view the time to internationally diversify your life is getting short. And the reasons for looking abroad are changing. In the past, the best argument for expatriation was an automatic increase in one’s standard of living. In the ’50s and ’60s, a book called Europe on $5 a Day accurately reflected all-in costs for a tourist. In those days a middle-class American could live like a king in Europe; but those days are long gone. Now it’s the rare American who can afford to visit Europe except on a cheesy package tour. That situation may actually improve soon, if only because the standard of living in Europe is likely to fall even faster than in the US. But the improvement will be temporary. One thing you can plan your life around is that, for the average American, foreign travel is going to become much more expensive in the next few years as the dollar loses value at an accelerating rate. Affordability is going to be a real problem for Americans, who’ve long been used to being the world’s “rich guys.” But an even bigger problem will be presented by foreign exchange controls of some nature, which the government will impose in its efforts to “do something.” FX controls – perhaps in the form of taxes on money that goes abroad, perhaps restrictions on amounts and reasons, perhaps the requirement of official approval, perhaps all of these things – are a natural progression during the next stage of the crisis. After all, only rich people can afford to send money abroad, and only the unpatriotic would think of doing so. The most important first step is to get out of the danger zone. Let’s list the steps, in order of importance. Establish a financial account in a second country and transfer assets to it, immediately. Get moving toward an alternative citizenship in a fourth country; you don’t want to be stuck geographically, and you don’t want to live like a refugee. Keep your eyes open for business and investment opportunities in those four countries, plus the other 225; you’ll greatly increase your perspective and your chances of success. Where to go? In general, I would suggest you look most seriously at countries whose governments aren’t overly cozy with the US and whose people maintain an inbred suspicion of the police, the military, and the fiscal authorities. These criteria tilt the scales against past favorites like Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the UK. And one more piece of sage advice: stop thinking like your neighbors, which is to say stop thinking and acting like a serf. Most people – although they can be perfectly affable and even seem sensible – have the attitudes of medieval peasants that objected to going further than a day’s round-trip from their hut, for fear the stories of dragons that live over the hill might be true. We covered the modern versions of that objection a bit earlier. I’m not saying that you’ll make your fortune and find happiness by venturing out. But you’ll greatly increase your odds of doing so, greatly increase your security, and, I suspect, have a much more interesting time. Let me end by reminding you what Rick Blaine, Bogart’s character in Casablanca, had to say in only a slightly different context. Appropriately, Rick was an early but also an archetypical international man. Let’s just imagine he’s talking about what will happen if you don’t effectively internationalize yourself, now. He said: “You may not regret it now, but you’ll regret it soon. And for the rest of your life.” Spreading your wealth to different countries is like giving it diplomatic immunity – it protects what’s rightfully yours from the shenanigans of your home government. That’s the subject of a must-see video from Casey Research: Internationalize Your Assets. This timely event features five financial luminaries who will show you how to legally transfer assets abroad: Casey Research Chairman Doug Casey; Euro Pacific Capital Chief Global Strategist and CEO Peter Schiff; GoldSilver.com founder and owner Michael Maloney; World Money Analyst Editor Kevin Brekke; and Casey Research Managing Director David Galland. Internationalize Your Assets premiers at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, April 30. Details and signup information here.center_img Purchase a crib in a suitable third country, somewhere you might enjoy whether in good times or bad.last_img read more

Almost 20 years ago a mentally ill man named Andr

first_imgAlmost 20 years ago, a mentally ill man named Andrew Goldstein pushed Kendra Webdale into an oncoming train in New York City. She was killed instantly and Goldstein, who’d suffered from schizophrenia since childhood, was sent to prison.The crime caught national attention, reinvigorating a debate about the care of people with severe mental illnesses.That’s when Kendra’s Law—named after Webdale—was developed. It created “a statutory framework for court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment, A.O.T., to ensure that individuals with mental illness, and a history of hospitalizations or violence, participate in community-based services appropriate to their needs.” A.O.T. has since been adopted in some form in 46 states.Goldstein got out of prison this month and as a condition of his release, he’ll enter a mental health system that’s been shaped by the crime he committed.But are these treatment reforms actually working?State Senator Catharine Young, one of the law’s chief supporters, told The New York Times:One of the problems we have with the current Kendra’s Law is family members aren’t aware that it’s available as a resource.The research clearly demonstrates that Kendra’s Law has been effective in helping the seriously mentally ill get the help they need and increasing public safety. However, it is greatly underutilized.We’ll discuss how well A.O.T. programs are working and what else needs to change about our mental health system.*Show produced by Paige Osburn, text by Kathryn Fink*.GUESTSBill Keller, Editor-in-chief, The Marshall Project; former executive editor, The New York Times; @billkeller2014Eric Smith, Graduate student in San Antonio, TX. Spent several years in Assisted Outpatient TreatmentDr. Marvin Swartz, Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Duke UniversityBeth Haroules, Senior staff attorney, NY-ACLUState Sen. Catharine Young, Republican state senator, representing New York State’s 57th Senate districtFor more, visit https://the1a.org.© 2018 WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio. Copyright 2018 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.last_img read more

The marketing is enticing Get stronger muscles an

first_imgThe marketing is enticing: Get stronger muscles and healthier bodies with minimal effort by adding protein powder to your morning shake or juice drink. Or grab a protein bar at lunch or for a quick snack. Today, you can find protein supplements everywhere — online or at the pharmacy, grocery store or health food store. They come in powders, pills and bars.With more than $12 billion in sales this year, the industry is booming and, according to the market research company, Grand View Research, is on track to sell billions more by 2025. But do we really need all this supplemental protein? It depends. There are pros, cons and some ho-hums to consider.For starters, protein is critical for every cell in our body. It helps build nails, hair, bones and muscles. It can also help you feel fuller longer than eating foods without protein. And, unlike nutrients that are found only in a few foods, protein is pretty much ubiquitous. “The typical American diet is a lot higher in protein than a lot of us think,” says registered dietitian Angela Pipitone with Johns Hopkins McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine.She says it’s in foods many of us expect, such as beef, chicken and other types of meat and dairy. But it’s also in foods that may not come immediately to mind like vegetables, fruit, beans and grains.The U.S. government’s recommended daily allowance (RDA) for the average adult is 50 to 60 grams of protein a day. This may sound like a lot, but Pipitone says: “We get bits of protein here and there and that really adds up throughout the day.”Take, for example, breakfast. If you ate two eggs topped with a little bit of cheese and an orange on the side, you already have 22 grams of protein. Each egg gives you 7 grams, the cheese gives you about 6 grams and the orange — about 2 grams. Add a lunch of chicken, rice and broccoli, and you are already over the recommended 50 grams. “You can get enough protein and meet the RDA before you even get to dinner,” says Pipitone.So if it’s so easy to get your protein in food, why add more in the form of powders, snack bars or a boost at your local juice bar? No need to, says Pipitone because, in fact, most of us already get enough protein in our diet.”Whole foods are always the best option rather than adding supplements,” she says, noting the FDA does not regulate supplements as stringently as foods or drugs, so there could be less protein, more sugar and some additives you wouldn’t expect, such as caffeine and even steroids.If you are considering a supplement, read the list of ingredients, she says, although this is not always foolproof. “I’ve seen very expensive protein supplements that claim to be high quality but they might not really be beneficial for the average healthy adult,” she says. “It could just be a waste of money.”But there are certain situations that do warrant extra protein. “Anytime you’re in an anabolic state or building muscle,” Pipitone says, such as if you’re an extreme endurance athlete, training for a marathon, or you’re a body builder.If you’re moderately exercising for 150 minutes a week, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends, or less than that, you’re probably not an extreme athlete.Extreme athletes expend lots of energy breaking down and repairing and building muscles. Protein can give them the edge they need to speed along that process.Vegans can benefit from protein supplements since they do not eat animal-based protein sources like meat, dairy or eggs. And, for someone always on-the-go who may not have time for a meal, a protein snack bar can be a good option for occasional meal replacement.Also, individuals recovering from surgery or an injury can also benefit from extra protein. So, too, can older people. At around age 60, “muscles really start to break down,” says Kathryn Starr, an aging researcher at Duke University School of Medicine, “and because of that, in addition to the fact that as we get older our body’s ability to break down protein is reduced, the protein needs of an older adult actually increases.”In fact, along with her colleague Connie Bales, Starr recently conducted a small study that found that adding extra protein foods to the diet of obese older individuals who were trying to lose weight strengthened their muscles. Participants in the study were separated into two groups — one group was asked to eat 30 grams of protein per meal in the form of whole foods. That meant they were eating 90 grams of protein a day. The other group — the control group — was put on a typical low-calorie diet with about 50 to 60 grams of protein a day.After six months, researchers found the high protein group had significantly improved their muscle function — almost twice as much as the control group.”They were able to walk faster, had improved balance, and were also able to get up out of a chair faster than the control group,” Starr says.All 67 participants were over 60 years of age, and both groups lost about the same amount of weight.Starr is now looking into whether high-protein diets also improve the quality of the muscle itself in seniors. She’s using CT scans to measure muscle size and fat, and comparing seniors on a high-protein diet to those on regular diets. She says her findings should be available in a couple of months.In the meantime, 70-year-old Corliss Keith, who was in the high protein group in Starr’s latest study, says she feels a big difference. “I feel excellent,” she says. “I feel like I have a different body, I have more energy, I’m stronger.” She says she is able to take Zumba exercise classes three times a week, work out on the treadmill, and take long, brisk walks. Keith also lost more than 15 pounds. “I’m a fashionable person, so now I’m back in my 3-inch heels,” she says.As people age, researcher Starr says muscle strength is key to helping them stay strong and continue living on their own in their own home. “I feel very much alive now,” says Keith. “I feel like I could stay by myself until I’m 100.”But can people overdo protein? Pipitone says you do have to be careful. Other researchers say too much protein can cause nausea, cramps, headaches, fatigue and bloating.Dehydration is also a risk when you eat too much protein. Pipitone says if you increase protein, you also have to increase your fluid intake. “I always tell people to make sure they’re drinking enough fluids,” which for the average person is 60 to 70 ounces a day, which translates into eight 8-ounce glasses of water or liquid per day.There have been some indications that extra protein makes the kidneys work harder, which could be problematic for individuals with a history of kidney disease and for them, the supplements may increase the risk of kidney stones, she says.Bottom line, if you think you need more protein in your diet, consider these questions: Are you are an extreme athlete; are you recovering from injury or surgery; or are you 60 years or older?If so, adding high protein foods like eggs and meat products to your diet can be beneficial.And, if you’re not sure, it is always a good idea to check with your primary care provider. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

A new £5 million initiative – believed to be the w

first_imgA new £5 million initiative – believed to be the world’s first major research programme led by disabled people – is set to fund 40 projects that aim to find solutions to barriers to independent living across the UK.The Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning (DRILL) programme is being funded by the Big Lottery Fund, and will be delivered by the disabled people’s organisations Disability Rights UK, Disability Action Northern Ireland, Inclusion Scotland and Disability Wales.The programme launched in England and Northern Ireland this week, and will launch in Wales next week at the University of South Wales in Pontypridd.Lis Sayce, chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said: “This is the first research programme in the world which ensures disabled people, and the issues that matter to us, are central to research funding decisions.“The aim is to build a better evidence base on the initiatives and support that enable disabled people to take full part in society.”DRILL is expecting to fund 40 research proposals and pilot projects over the next five years, investigating how public money can enable disabled people to take part in society socially, economically and politically.  Some of the research will be carried out by the four national, user-led organisations, but most of it will be carried out by other organisations.The aim is to carry out six large research projects, at about £100,000 each; 20 smaller research projects at up to £40,000 each; and 14 pilot projects at around £150,000 each.Funding criteria will be decided after engagement events with disabled people, under the themes of peer support, autonomy, resilience, and social, economic and civic participation.Proposals will not be accepted unless they can show the projects will be co-produced by disabled people and that disabled people will be closely involved in every part of the schemes.Speaking at the DRILL England launch, in London, Baroness [Jane] Campbell (pictured) said: “I have been involved in campaigning for a high quality independent living infrastructure for most of my adult life. It was my first campaign, and it will probably be my last.“For me, independent living – conceived, developed and implemented by disabled people –lies at the heart of our emancipation.“Without independent living, we would never access our equality and human rights; without it, we would be destined to be dependent forever.”But she said the impact of economic austerity had created “our biggest challenge ever”.She said: “Economic austerity has decimated hundreds of independent living support packages.“Disabled people’s expectations have changed immeasurably, and we demand a different social deal when it comes to our equality and human rights.“Institutionalisation and charitable handouts are no longer an answer to our right to independent living, and yet there is a tangible danger that this could return.”Baroness Campbell said the “exciting” DRILL programme – with disabled people “in charge” as “the informers, the drivers and the thinkers” – was “precisely what we need in order to understand the contexts in which we now live, and solutions to our future support and life chances”.A national advisory group will include disabled people, academics and policy-makers, and will provide advice, examine research proposals, make recommendations and help promote and disseminate findings.A central research committee – chaired by the disabled academic Dr Tom Shakespeare – will make the final decisions on which research proposals receive funding.The first stage in England is a series of roadshows, which will help to decide on the programme’s priorities.The roadshows will take place in Stockport (22 September); Southampton (29 September); Darlington (1 October); Essex (6 October); York (7 October); Derby (13 October); St Austell (22 October); London (28 October); and Worcester (29 October).last_img read more

Facebook Wants to Stop People From Stealing Your Profile Pics

first_img Next Article Worried that someone is going to steal your Facebook profile photo and do all kinds of bad things with it? The social network wants to give you some peace of mind.Facebook on Wednesday announced it has begun testing new tools in India to give privacy-conscious individuals more control over who can download and share their profile photos. The company said it hopes to expand the tools to other countries in the future, depending on what it learns from this pilot in India. In a blog post, Facebook Product Manager Aarati Soman pointed out that profile photos are important because they help people find friends, but said not everyone feels safe adding one.”In our research with people and safety organizations in India, we’ve heard that some women choose not to share profile pictures that include their faces anywhere on the Internet because they’re concerned about what may happen to their photos,” Soman wrote.So now, if you live in India, you’ll have the option to add a “profile picture guard,” which will prevent other people from being able to download, share or send your image in a message on Facebook. The guard will also prevent people from being able to take a screenshot of your profile photo on an Android device. Plus, randoms you’re not even friends with on Facebook won’t be able to tag anyone, including themselves, in the image. Finally, when you have this guard up, Facebook will display a blue border and shield around your profile photo as a “visual cue of protection,” Soman wrote.Meanwhile, Facebook is also exploring ways to let people more easily add designs to their profile pictures, which it says could be helpful in deterring misuse.”Based on preliminary tests, we’ve learned that when someone adds an extra design layer to their profile picture, other people are at least 75 percent less likely to copy that picture,” Soman wrote. The company has partnered with illustrator Jessica Singh, who created some designs, inspired by traditional Indian textiles, that people can now add to their profile photo.”If someone suspects that a picture marked with one of these designs is being misused, they can report it to Facebook and we will use the design to help determine whether it should be removed from our community,” she added. Image credit: Facebook via PC Mag Angela Moscaritolo Register Now » Facebook This story originally appeared on PCMag Facebook begins testing new tools in India to give privacy-conscious individuals more control over who can download and share their profile photos. Reportercenter_img June 23, 2017 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Add to Queue Facebook Wants to Stop People From Stealing Your Profile Pics 3 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. –shareslast_img read more

7 Last Minute Tax Tips That Will Save You Money

first_img Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business –shares 4 min read Nina Zipkin Register Now » March 27, 2018 Image credit: Shutterstock Entrepreneur Staff Next Article center_img Add to Queue Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture. Get those forms in on time. When Tax Day comes, will you be ready? April 17 is fast approaching, and while filling out all those forms can be a real slog, there is no reason why, even if it’s down to the wire — no judgment, we’ve all been there — you can’t make your taxes work for you and save you some money.Jeff Rose, the CEO and founder of Alliance Wealth Management, shared his top three last minute tips with Entrepreneur.1. Fund an individual retirement account (IRA).Remember that you have until April 15 to make a contribution that will reduce your taxes for 2017. If you’re married, you can also file an IRA for your spouse. “If your spouse doesn’t hold a job outside the home, he or she can qualify for a full IRA contribution and deduction,” Rose says. “Both you and your spouse can contribute up to $5,500 each, or $6,500 each as long as one has sufficient earned income to cover both contributions.”2. Fund a health savings account (HSA).This is an account that is similar to an IRA in that you can make a tax-deductible contribution by April 15 for 2017. “The limit is $3,400 for an individual, and $6,750 for a couple or family,” Rose says. “There’s also a $1,000 catch-up contribution if you’re age 55 or older.”3. Adjust your withholding.As we head into tax day, Rose suggests making sure that your withholding taxes are as closely aligned as possible with your liability — the amount of taxation an individual or business has to pay based on the current laws. “If you don’t pay enough, you’ll owe a big tax bill next year,” he says. “But if you over-withhold, you’re giving the government free use of your money for up to one year.”So, with that in mind, what else do you need to know heading into tax day?4. Make the most of Section 179.For equipment costing up to $500,000, your company can treat it as a business expense in the year that it was bought. You might think that it just applies to something such as a tractor for a farm, but it can apply to anything that is required to run your business.Read more: 10 Tax-Savings Hacks That Small Business Owners Often Miss5. Did you hire any family members?If your kids are under 18 and they helped out around the office this year, you can deduct that. According to the IRS, “payments for the services of a child under age 18 who works for his or her parent in a trade or business are not subject to social security and Medicare taxes if the trade or business is a sole proprietorship or a partnership in which each partner is a parent of the child.”6. Did you incorporate your business?If so, it’s possible that you can save some money based on your company’s status. If you have an LLC (limited liability company), you have the option to be taxed as if you weren’t incorporated by designating yourself as a disregarded entity. Or, if you designated it as an S-corp, your salary will be taxed, but you can make distributions to yourself, which are not.Read more: 6 Ways for Digital Nomads to Save Big on Taxes7. Keep track of your transportation.If you’re just starting up and have been using out-of-pocket expenses to travel for work, you’re in luck — you can deduct that time logged going to sales calls and investor meetings. Figure out how much time you used your car for business and expenses such as gas, insurance and anything you needed to get fixed along the way and deduct accordingly. Any money spent on meals and moving can also fall in this category. Taxes 7 Last Minute Tax Tips That Will Save You Moneylast_img read more

New Study Will Explore Medical Marijuana as a Treatment for Autism

first_imgCannabis New Study Will Explore Medical Marijuana as a Treatment for Autism Guest Writer Next Article Add to Queue Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Image credit: Jupiterimages | Getty Images dispensaries.com Each week hear inspiring stories of business owners who have taken the cannabis challenge and are now navigating the exciting but unpredictable Green Rush. 3 min read Despite a near-ban on medical cannabis research federally, a private donation will fund work on autism treatment in California. –shares Green Entrepreneur Podcast Many people have talked about the need for more research into the potential of medical marijuana. But a foundation in California is backing the talk.The Ray and Tye Noorda Foundation has given $4.7 million, the largest private gift ever for medical marijuana research in the United States, to fund research at the Center for Medical Cannabis Research (CMCR) at the University of California, San Diego, on the use of cannabidiol (CBD) compounds to treat autism. CBD is a chemical ingredient in marijuana that is non-psychoactive. In other words, it doesn’t cause the “high” feel.Related: Bipartisan Concern for Veterans Drives Bill to Allow VA to Research Medical MarijuanaSevere Autism Spectrum DisorderThe university plans to focus on severe autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which the  CMCR said affects about one in every 68 children, especially boys. Symptoms include seizures and crippling anxiety. The 30 children in the clinical trial, all between 8-12 years old, will have a diagnosis of moderate to severe autism. Otherwise, they will be in good health. The study will begin in 2019. The study has three main goals:Determine if CBD is safe and tolerable and whether it helps with the symptoms of ASDDetermine whether and how CBD alters neurotransmitters and/or improves brain connectivityDetermine whether biomarkers of neuro-inflammation, also associated with ASD, are altered by CBDScott Badesch, president of the Autism Society of America, told the San Diego Union Tribune that there are parents who “swear that this is effective — but it needs to undergo scientific research.”Related: A Closer Look at the Cannabis MarketFederal RoadblocksBecause marijuana is a Schedule I illegal drug under federal law, research into marijuana has been infrequent in the U.S. The university got around this roadblock by going directly to the private foundation for the grant money.The Ray and Tye Noorda Foundation was founded by the late CEO of Norvell Technology, Ray Noorda, and his wife, Tye. Noorda ran Norvell from 1982 to 1994. The foundation partnered on the donation with Wholistic Research and Education Foundation.Researchers do not yet understand the exact causes of autism. But some of the symptoms include lower levels of the mood-regulating brain chemical serotonin and irregular organization of the patient’s brain networks. Some studies to have found CBD can correct neurotransmitters and enhance the activity of neurotransmitters that elevate mood and enhance memory. Igor Grant, CMCR director, said that the study will finally give researchers a chance to study both the positive and negative effects of CBD.Follow dispensaries.com on Instagram to stay up to date on the latest cannabis news. Easy Search. Quality Finds. Your partner and digital portal for the cannabis community. Listen Now May 1, 2018last_img read more

Walmart Offers OneDay Delivery on 220K Items

first_img Walmart Offers One-Day Delivery on 220K Items Senior Editor This story originally appeared on PCMag Next Article –shares When Amazon makes a big push to deliver your order faster, the competition has to react. That’s exactly what Walmart just did by offering its own version of one-day shipping, albeit on a much smaller scale.Walmart is this week introducing NextDay delivery “on a wide range of general merchandise” offered through Walmart.com. The company is also keen to point out this offer does not require a paid membership as is required for Amazon Prime.NextDay delivery will be slowly introduced across the U.S., with Phoenix and Las Vegas getting it first before Southern California customers are added “in the coming days.” The aim is to have 75 percent of the U.S. population covered by the end of 2019, which will include 40 of the top 50 US metro areas.There are a few caveats to keep in mind about this fast delivery offer. The number of products that qualify for NextDay is limited to around 220,000 items, but Walmart states they are the most frequently purchased items. You also need to spend at least $35 in order to qualify for the service, and there will be a cut off time each day as you’d expect.Walmart claims NextDay deliveries actually cost the company less to fulfill. That’s because qualifying items will be made available at the fulfillment center closest to each customer being offered the service. By doing that, Walmart deliveries travel the shortest distance and will typically only require one box for transport. I can see the logic in that as long as all products ordered really are available from a single location close to the customer.Amazon set itself a more lofty goal last month when it announced free two-day shipping is set to become free one-day shipping for Prime members. Achieving that requires spending $800 million this year on building infrastructure, plus offering existing employees a big incentive to quit and start delivering packages instead.If we ever need reminding why competition is good, this is a great example. As consumers our deliveries are getting faster as two giants of the online retail world compete for our dollars. Image credit: via PC Mag May 14, 2019 2 min readcenter_img Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Register Now » Matthew Humphries Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Walmart Add to Queue Spend over $35 at Walmart.com and your order could qualify for one-day delivery.last_img read more

5 Steps to Setting Up a Wireless Network

first_img Image credit: Henrik Sorensen | Getty Images Next Article The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Wireless networks are becoming faster, more affordable and easier to adopt than ever. Growing small businesses that have adopted a wireless solution are already reporting immediate paybacks in higher productivity, flexible application mobility and greater worker satisfaction. Roughly 228,000 small businesses currently have remote access capabilities built into their networks for security monitoring and, according to America Marketing Institute, the number will double over the next 12 months.A wireless infrastructure can make it easier to reconfigure your office space as your company grows and changes. Also, the total cost of a wireless local area network (LAN) is relatively inexpensive–it’s become very affordable in the past few years, and prices continue to drop. When you take into account productivity gains, both inside the office and at public “hot spots,” going wireless is an obvious choice, especially when compared to the cost of running a Cat 5 network LAN cable throughout a building.If you’re interested in setting up a wireless network at your company, this guide will walk you through the steps needed to evaluate the role wireless networking technologies might play in your company’s overall networking solution, and help you understand the steps you need to take to implement the solution.Step 1: Understand it. Learn about the benefits of wireless and how it can help your business save money and be more productive.Wired networks may give the appearance of a busy office full of the latest equipment, but in reality, wires can be an inefficient networking medium. They can limit signal strength as well as make it more difficult to expand and reorganize your network configuration.Wireless networking is a viable and affordable alternative that offers the benefits of making your environment more flexible. A wireless infrastructure allows you to effortlessly reconfigure your office space as your company grows and changes, easily extend connectivity and also allows employees to be mobile more easily.Even though the cost of wireless LAN hardware and software can be slightly more expensive, this is offset by the wired LAN cabling and installation costs you can avoid. Add to that the soft-dollar saving benefits associated with wireless LAN and the convenience of being able to move around in a facility and stay connected, and your overall costs are lower still.Step 2: Plan it. You should first conduct an assessment that includes an anticipated return on investment, and then investigate what it will take to integrate wireless technologies with your existing infrastructure.Review the advantages and consider the benefits to your organization:Reduced cost of installation. It may be significantly less expensive to install wireless access points compared to wiring your office with Ethernet capabilities.Flexibility. If you regularly expand or reorganize your office space, or need to accommodate a variety of network configurations, the rapid transition time from one configuration to another that wireless provides can help reduce your network downtime. In addition, you won’t have to incur the costs associated with physically rewiring office space.Convenient information access. With wireless, you’d have the ability to extend access to key information to anyone on your staff, from anywhere in the office, even when they aren’t physically connected to your wired local area network (LAN) connection. Do members of your staff regularly work away from their desks or stations, but could benefit from anytime, anywhere access to important data? Could you improve productivity by increasing access to important company systems? Do you have business processes you could streamline by reducing the number of times employees have to go back to their wired connections?Wireless LANs are the way to go, especially where there’s no existing wired network. This is especially true in leased offices, where you can’t go knocking holes in wallsYou should next consider what integration points you’ll need to address for the solution to work:Evaluate your current and future networking needs. How is your current networking infrastructure configured? How many workstations, offices and conference rooms are connected to the network? How many are not connected that you would like to connect? How many people use the computers and communications systems in your company now? Does your staff conduct business at locations away from their primary work area? What kind of equipment does your staff use? Are they mobile with notebook computers and PDAs or do the majority of your workers use desktop systems? Do those who would benefit most from wireless, mobile access already use notebooks? And if you’re in a leased building with no existing wired network, setting up a wireless network is must simpler than knocking holes in the walls to install your network cables.Formulate a plan. The equipment you buy and the way you configure your wireless network will be driven by your business needs and plan, so it’s important to develop a plan before you spend any money on equipment or other resources.Step 3: Do it. Once you have a plan in place that defines how you want to add wireless networking capabilities to your office space, you can get down to the business of actually setting up your wireless network. It’s easier than you might think. The first step involves understanding the equipment involved in a wireless network.Wireless LAN equipment consists of two main components:Wireless clients, which are any devices capable of communicating over a wireless LAN, such as a notebook computer, printer or handheld.Access points, that is, the centers of the wireless-to-wired LAN connectivity. These points aggregate wireless radio signals and then connect the two LANs. The access point is generally book-sized. It contains a radio transceiver, communications and encryption software, and an Ethernet port for a cable connection to a hub or a switch on the wired LAN.Your next step is to actually build a wireless LAN, which you’ll do just like this:Identify the equipment you want to buy, such as wireless notebooks, access points, wireless LAN adapters and wireless cards.Determine the number of users who need to have access to the network. This will help you determine the number of access points you’ll need.Plan for the connection to your wired LAN, probably in a central location and in an open environment. Your goal is to maximize the access point’s wireless range. The quoted range is a maximum of 300 feet, but that’s very dependant on the existing environment–walls, water pipes, cables and so on all could decrease the range. The best thing to do is complete a site survey first; if that’s not possible, assume a maximum range of 150 feet, as 300 could decrease throughput.Configure your wireless devices to work with your network.Test the installation before it goes live. Using link test software, you should test for the percent of data sent correctly, the time it takes to receive a response from the destination device, and the strength of the transmitted signal.Establish a procedure to manage your wireless LAN.Step 4: Use it. Because wireless communications are transmitted through the air rather than over a closed cable, you’ll need to implement some wireless-specific security measures to ensure that your wireless communications are secure. Wireless solutions use three primary tactics:MAC (media access control) addressing. This ensures the network access point you purchase supports MAC which restricts network access by unauthorized devices by assigning each network card a unique hardware identification number.WEP encryption. It’s essentially a complicated software algorithm that scrambles data as it’s sent and unscrambles it as soon as it’s received, keeping it safe in transit. It also ensures that you can easily upgrade your access cards as new wireless access standards emerge.Traditional VPN (Virtual Private Network) securities controls. This allows users outside of your system to have access to it. Businesses that use remote access almost always use VPN and combined with the other tactics makes your wireless network extremely secure.VPNs work by encrypting data before it’s sent over a wireless (or wired) link, so even if someone intercepts the transmission, the data is secure. Many larger companies use VPNs, but smaller companies may also just rely on standard wireless encryption. This will be okay if the wireless LAN is only used internally, but if you plan to use public ‘hot spots’, you will need to use a VPN.Step 5: Support it. If you find you need additional help or support, or are planning a larger-scale implementation, there are numerous suppliers and consultants that can offer additional information and support. Hewlett-Packard, for example, offers access to mobility and wireless experts via live chat or via phone at (800) 888-0262. These suppliers and consultants can help you understand your options, configure your network, set up your systems, and get you up and running quickly and efficiently.Richard Stone is a wireless and mobility solutions manager for HP Americas. July 1, 2004 –shares 5 Steps to Setting Up a Wireless Network Add to Queuecenter_img 8 min read Apply Now » Technology Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Does your business need a wireless network? If you think the answer is yes, read on to discover how easy it is to set one up.last_img read more

New findings provide better picture of pubertal growth

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 30 2018In monitoring and prediction of children’s growth, the spurt in puberty is often considered too variable to be predictable. However, new findings and methods enable a better picture of how children and adolescents grow, especially during puberty.”Growth reflects health and can be a diagnostic indicator, capable of revealing both diseases and psychosocial problems. Measuring and monitoring height and weight are therefore among the most important tasks for child health centers and in school health services.”The speaker is Anton Holmgren, PhD of pediatrics at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and a pediatrician specializing in pediatric endocrinology and childhood diabetes.In working on his PhD thesis, Holmgren has been involved in developing a new mathematical growth model that can, in more detail than before, describe height-trend variations in children and adolescents, especially during puberty.Related StoriesRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationGuidelines to help children develop healthy habits early in lifeDaily intake for phosphates in infants, children can exceed health guidance valuesHolmgren has also specifically studied how Body Mass Index (BMI) in childhood can be linked to height gain. The data in his study comprise height and weight figures on 1,901 subjects during their childhood.Strong spurt with lower BMIA high BMI early in life was found to be generally associated with a greater proportion of height gain before puberty. The actual spurt was then smaller and, moreover, puberty occurred earlier.In the category of children with lower BMI and later onset of puberty, the spurt was all the stronger. Those whose puberty was delayed also had several extra years to grow in, and quite simply ended up taller. All these results apply at group level, not to separate individuals.”The smallest pubertal spurt was in the group of children with the highest BMI in childhood — a result no previous study has been able to show, but which confirms many pediatricians’ clinical experience,” Holmgren says.Better forecasts and assessmentsThe findings help to make pubertal growth, as such, more clearly predictable. This improvement in predictability makes it easier to distinguish among the various growth processes that take place during the childhood years — processes that partially overlap.What is happening is, first, “quadratic growth”, a process of relatively even intensity throughout childhood. The other key processes are, second, the infant’s exponential growth (the very steep rise during the first year of life) and, third, the pubertal spurt that normally starts at age 8-13.The ability to predict early or late puberty will, in the long term, make improved height-gain forecasts at individual level possible. This will enhance prospects of detecting hidden diseases and, for example, facilitate assessment of the outcomes of ongoing growth-hormone treatments.”With monitoring and analysis of height gain, we can detect diseases and assess how well treatments are working,” Holmgren says. Source:https://sahlgrenska.gu.se/english/research/news-events/news-article//new-knowledge-of-pubertal-growth.cid1595825last_img read more

Researchers find link between chronic pain and alterations in the gut microbiome

first_imgWe used a range of techniques, including Artificial Intelligence, to confirm that the changes we saw in the microbiomes of fibromyalgia patients were not caused by factors such as diet, medication, physical activity, age, and so on, which are known to affect the microbiome.”Dr. Amir Minerbi, from the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), and first author on the paper Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 20 2019Scientists have found a correlation between a disease involving chronic pain and alterations in the gut microbiome.Fibromyalgia affects 2-4 percent of the population and has no known cure. Symptoms include fatigue, impaired sleep and cognitive difficulties, but the disease is most clearly characterized by widespread chronic pain. In a paper published today in the journal Pain, a Montreal-based research team has shown, for the first time, that there are alterations in the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tracts of people with fibromyalgia. Approximately 20 different species of bacteria were found in either greater or are lesser quantities in the microbiomes of participants suffering from the disease than in the healthy control group.Greater presence or absence of certain species of bacteria The team also included researchers from McGill University and Université de Montréal as well as others from the Research Institute of the MUHC.Dr. Minerbi adds: Are bacteria simply the markers of the disease?At this point, it’s not clear whether the changes in gut bacteria seen in patients with fibromyalgia are simply markers of the disease or whether they play a role in causing it. Because the disease involves a cluster of symptoms, and not simply pain, the next step in the research will be to investigate whether there are similar changes in the gut microbiome in other conditions involving chronic pain, such as lower back pain, headaches and neuropathic pain.Related StoriesStructure of bacteria responsible for traveler’s diarrhea deciphered’Scissors’ component of CRISPR/Cas9 sometimes gets stuckBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerThe researchers are also interested in exploring whether bacteria play a causal role in the development of pain and fibromyalgia. And whether their presence could, eventually, help in finding a cure, as well as speed up the process of diagnosis.Confirming a diagnosis and next steps towards finding a cureFibromyalgia is a disease that has proved difficult to diagnose. Patients can wait as long as 4 to 5 years to get a final diagnosis. But this may be about to change.”We sorted through large amounts of data, identifying 19 species that were either increased or decreased in individuals with fibromyalgia,” says Emmanuel Gonzalez, from the Canadian Center for Computational Genomics and the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University. “By using machine learning, our computer was able to make a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, based only on the composition of the microbiome, with an accuracy of 87 per cent. As we build on this first discovery with more research, we hope to improve upon this accuracy, potentially creating a step-change in diagnosis.””People with fibromyalgia suffer not only from the symptoms of their disease but also from the difficulty of family, friends and medical teams to comprehend their symptoms,” says Yoram Shir, the senior author on the paper who is the Director of the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit at the MUHC and an Associate Investigator from the BRaiN Program of the RI-MUHC. “As pain physicians, we are frustrated by our inability to help, and this frustration is a good fuel for research. This is the first evidence, at least in humans, that the microbiome could have an effect on diffuse pain, and we really need new ways to look at chronic pain.”How the research was doneThe research was based on a cohort of 156 individuals in the Montreal area, 77 of whom suffer from fibromyalgia. Participants in the study were interviewed and gave stool, blood, saliva and urine samples, which were then compared with those of healthy control subjects, some of whom lived in the same house as the fibromyalgia patients or were their parents, offspring or siblings.The researchers’ next steps will be to see whether they get similar results in another cohort, perhaps in a different part of the world, and to do studies in animals to discover whether changes in bacteria play a role in the development of the disease. Source:McGill University Health CentreJournal reference:Minerbi, A. et al. (2019) Altered microbiome composition in individuals with fibromyalgia. Pain. doi.org/10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001640. We found that fibromyalgia and the symptoms of fibromyalgia – pain, fatigue and cognitive difficulties – contribute more than any of the other factors to the variations we see in the microbiomes of those with the disease. We also saw that the severity of a patient’s symptoms was directly correlated with an increased presence or a more pronounced absence of certain bacteria – something which has never been reported before.”last_img read more

Uber to up its background checks for drivers

Citation: Uber to up its background checks for drivers (2018, April 12) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-uber-background-drivers.html The move announced Thursday is one of several actions taken by the ride-hailing company under new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who said that the changes aren’t just being done to polish the company’s image, which has been tarnished by driver misbehavior and a long string of other embarrassing failings.”The first thing that we want to do is really change Uber’s substance, and the image may follow,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press. “The announcements that we’re making are just a step along the way of making Uber fundamentally safer for drivers and riders.”Other safety features include buttons in the Uber app that allow riders to call 911 in an emergency, as well as app refinements that make it easier for riders to share their whereabouts with friends or loved ones.Since it began operating in 2009, Uber has been dogged by reports of drivers accosting passengers, including lawsuits alleging sexual assaults. Last year the company was fined $8.9 million by the state of Colorado for allowing people with serious criminal or motor vehicle offenses to work as drivers. The Public Utilities Commission said it found nearly 60 people were allowed to drive in the state despite having previous felony convictions or major traffic violations including drunken driving.Khosrowshahi, formerly CEO of the Expedia travel booking site, replaced hard-charging co-founder Travis Kalanick in August and faced problems almost from the start. Most recently, he has had to grapple with his company’s autonomous vehicle program after one of its SUVs struck and killed a pedestrian last month in Tempe, Arizona.Khosrowshahi said the company’s exponentially fast growth prevented steps like the annual background checks from being done sooner. “I can’t change the past, but I can change the things that we do going forward,” he said.Uber does 15 million trips per day worldwide, and its drivers “reflect the good and the bad and the random events of the world,” Khosrowshahi said.It was bad policy for Uber to do just one background check for drivers and never follow up, said Thomas Mauriello, a senior lecturer of forensic science at the University of Maryland and former defense department agent who was involved in background checks. But he sees the changes as positive, potentially catching bad behavior after a driver is hired on. This June 21, 2017, file photo shows the building that houses the headquarters of Uber, in San Francisco. Uber will start doing annual criminal background checks on U.S. drivers and hire a company that constantly monitors criminal arrests as it tries to do a better job of keeping riders safe, the company announced Thursday, April 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File) © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Explore further Uber will start doing annual criminal background checks on U.S. drivers and hire a company that constantly monitors criminal arrests as it tries to do a better job of keeping riders safe. 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. “Any check is better than no check,” he said. “Nobody should think that any check they do is going to be 100 percent foolproof and get all information.”Some governments now require background checks after drivers are hired, but the company’s policy makes it uniform nationwide, Uber said.Uber will conduct its annual background checks through a company called Checkr starting in the next few weeks. It still does not intend to do FBI fingerprint background checks, saying its check of court records and other databases is robust, fair and “stacks up well against the alternatives.”A company, which Uber would not identify, has been hired to continually check arrest data, and that also will begin in a few weeks, Uber said.Most governments do not require annual background checks on taxi drivers, but they continually monitor arrest records and check them against drivers’ names, said John Boit, spokesman for the Taxicab, Limousine and Paratransit Association.Mauriello says that may be true because the FBI database includes only felonies. Many sex crimes and traffic violations that could disqualify driver candidates are misdemeanors and not in the database, he said.The app changes, which will take several weeks to become active, will roll out first in the U.S., then move to other countries. Riders will see a shield that they can touch, sending the app to another screen with safety tips, instructions on how to easily share ride information with others, and a button to call 911. When the 911 button is pressed, riders will immediately get their location to relay to dispatchers, helping riders traveling in unfamiliar areas.Uber has been testing its new features with Denver’s 911 system, which automatically sends the rider’s location, as well as driver and car information, to the dispatch center. Uber says location information from smartphones is better than what’s used by 911 centers, which rely on triangulation off multiple cellular telephone towers.Evelyn Bailey, executive director of the National Association of State 911 Administrators, said there’s no proof yet that smartphones provide closer location information than wireless carriers, but it’s under study by the Federal Communications Commission. She said Uber’s two-step calling through the app may not be intuitive for people, and she would prefer they call 911 with the keypad.She also said Uber’s system has great potential, although she would like to see test results before passing judgment. “If in fact it does deliver what it promises, then that could be very beneficial to the calling public,” she said. “But if it doesn’t, then I think that’s a problem.”Uber says people can always call 911 from the keypad. Uber limits driver hours in Britain to 10 read more

Japan rare earth haul sparks hopes of cutting China reliance

Explore further Mining rare earths is difficult and expensive But experts warn that extracting the minerals—used in technology ranging from mobile phones to electric vehicles—is both costly and difficult, especially when buried miles deep in the ocean.A Japanese study published last week revealed an estimated 16 million tons of rare earths, enough to feed global demand on a “semi-infinite” basis, with deposits to last hundreds of years.The news made headlines internationally and in Japan, which is the world’s second-largest consumer of these minerals but relies heavily on imports from China, which controls 90 percent of the highly strategic market.China extracted around 150,000 tons of rare earths in 2016, according to experts, but has in the past restricted the supply amid political tensions.For this reason, “Japan is looking for several ways of freeing itself from any dependence on Chinese supply,” said Gaetan Lefebvre, an expert at the French Geological Survey.Japanese firms are working on recycling products containing rare earths to re-use the elements, developing technology without rare earths and investing in foreign mining projects in exchange for the minerals.And Japan is not alone in trying to diversify away from risky China—there are currently 38 projects outside China at various stages of development, according to Adamas Intelligence, a metal and minerals research firm.In addition to wanting to cut reliance on China, the price of rare earths is rising due to a Chinese crackdown on illegal mining and surging demand for electric vehicles.’Resource security’The study’s author, Yutaro Takaya from Tokyo’s Waseda University, says his team hopes to develop ways to extract the prized elements within five years.”We are not talking about some dream technology of the distant future. We are conducting studies to make this possible,” he told AFP. The recent find “should contribute to the ‘resource security’ of Japan”, he said.”It can also serve as a diplomatic card. Japan will be able to say, ‘if prices are made to go above this level, we can look to developing sea-bottom rare earths’,” added the researcher. The discovery of potentially millions of tons of valuable “rare earth” elements in sea sludge off Japan has raised hopes that Asia’s number-two economy can reduce its dependence on Chinese supply. Ryan Castilloux, director of the Adamas Intelligence consultancy, acknowledged the find was “impressive” but recommended keeping the champagne on ice.”It takes up to 10 years or more to advance a rare earth project from discovery into a producing mine on land, so I do not imagine it will be faster in the sea,” he said.”The discovery in Japan is still in its very early stages and it will take several years to determine if mining will be feasible,” added Castilloux.There is currently no profitable way of extracting rare earths from that sort of depth—more than five kilometres (three miles) below the surface.”Pilot mining tests have been performed, but it remains to be seen who will be the first to produce ore at a cost that is less than the value of the commodity,” noted Mark Hannington from the Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research in the northern German city of Kiel.”Although 16 million tons is a large number, there is no evidence that this amount could be recovered economically or sustainably,” added the expert.Analysts also point to the relatively weak concentration—less than one percent—of rare earths actually in the sea mud.”Producing just 1,000 tons of rare earth oxide from this source would require mining over one million tons of mud,” said Castilloux.And the United States Geological Survey estimated last year there were 120 million tons of rare earth deposits worldwide, with 44 million in China, 22 million in Brazil and 18 million in Russia.”There are millions and millions of tons of rare earths in other known land-based deposits around the world that, in my view, would be more attractive options for development,” he said. Rare earths are used in the production of a wide variety of high-tech items including mobile phone displays Japan team maps ‘semi-infinite’ rare earth reserves © 2018 AFP Citation: Japan ‘rare earth’ haul sparks hopes of cutting China reliance (2018, April 15) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-japan-rare-earth-haul-china.html 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. read more

Telegram accuses Apple of blocking updates

first_img Citation: Telegram accuses Apple of blocking updates (2018, May 31) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-telegram-accuses-apple-blocking.html Explore further © 2018 AFP Telegram refused to provide Russian authorities with a way to read communications over its network as Moscow pushes to increase surveillance of internet activities Secure messaging app Telegram accused Apple on Thursday of blocking its updates for users worldwide after Russian authorities imposed a ban on Telegram for refusing to hand over keys to decrypt messages.center_img “Apple has been preventing Telegram from updating its iOS apps globally ever since the Russian authorities ordered Apple to remove Telegram from the App Store,” said the founder of the app, Pavel Durov, on his Telegram feed.In April, a Moscow court banned the popular free app following a long-running battle between authorities and Telegram, which has a reputation for securely encrypted communications.Telegram refused to provide Russian authorities with a way to read communications over its network as Moscow pushes to increase surveillance of internet activities.”We believe we did the only possible thing, preserving the right of our users to privacy in a troubled country,” said Durov. “Unfortunately, Apple didn’t side with us.”Russian authorities have ordered domestic internet service providers to block the app, causing disruption of other services but failing to shut down Telegram in the country.On Monday, Russia’s communications watchdog said it had requested Apple block push notifications for Telegram users in Russia, which would mean users would not receive alerts for new messages and thus render it less useful. It also requested Apple no longer make the app available for download in Russia.Telegram is still available for download both inside Russia and the rest of the world, but it is a version that has not been updated since the Russian court ruling.Durov said Apple’s position means that it has been unable to comply with the new EU data protection and privacy that came into force last week.Telegram lets people exchange messages, stickers, photos and videos in groups of up to 5,000 people. It has attracted more than 200 million users since its launch by Durov and his brother Nikolai in 2013. Russia asks Apple to help block Telegram 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

Using AI to deduce bias in social media and news

first_img Provided by Purdue University The 2018 Dawn or Doom conference features talks by more than three dozen Purdue faculty members and national experts representing four areas — Machines: artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous vehicles and drones; Mind: internet and social media effects; Body: bioengineering and human design; and Data: Internet of Things, privacy and cybersecurity. Credit: Purdue University “I’m feeling sick.” “This video game is SICK!” To a computer, the word “sick” may have the same meaning in these two sentences. Forecasting model could predict which bills get passed Explore furthercenter_img Citation: Using AI to deduce bias in social media and news (2018, October 31) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-ai-deduce-bias-social-media.html But a Purdue professor is combining machine learning with models of social relationships and behavior to read between the lines of text and capture the author’s intent in a deeper way. The technology could help identify biases in social media posts and news articles, the better to judge the information’s validity.Traditional natural language processing involves homing in on keywords – for example, the word “good” would normally indicate a positive opinion. This works well for certain applications, but isn’t helpful when the text is ambiguous, for example if the author intended a word or phrase to be sarcastic or tongue-in-cheek.That’s where Purdue professor Dan Goldwasser’s approach comes in. He focuses particularly on current events and political issues, and analyzes news articles and politicians’ tweets to try to determine how the author frames certain issues and what their ideology is.Goldwasser, an assistant professor of computer science, will talk about this work at Dawn or Doom ’18, Purdue’s annual conference on the risks and rewards of emerging technologies. Dawn or Doom will be held on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus Monday and Tuesday (Nov. 5-6). The conference, now in its fifth year, is free and open to the public.Dawn or Doom is aligned with Purdue’s Giant Leaps Sesquicentennial Campaign and is part of the Ideas Festival theme, Giant Leaps in Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms, and Automation: Balancing Humanity and Technology. The Ideas Festival is the centerpiece of the campaign and connects world-renowned speakers and Purdue expertise in a conversation on the most critical problems and opportunities facing the world.In one project, Goldwasser is analyzing Twitter posts from political officials. Tweets can be a challenging form of text to interpret, because they’re short and may be ambiguous. As an example, after a mass shooting, the phrase “thoughts and prayers” may be used sincerely to express sympathy for the victims’ families, but it may also be used sarcastically as a criticism of the lack of government action on gun control.Goldwasser and his team are trying to understand how politicians frame issues or events, and how that framework sheds light on their stance on the issue. To do this, he’s combining linguistic analysis with modeling social relationships and behavior. Social networks can give insight into the meaning of text, because if two people are closely connected, they’re likely to share similar ideologies. Behavior, such as when an individual posts on social media, can predict what issues they care about. Combining all three models gives a more complete picture of the author’s intent than relying on any one of them alone.In another project, funded by Google, Goldwasser is using social relationship models to try to identify bias in news sources. Keywords can be a good way of differentiating ideology for a small set of data. For example, an article about a mass shooting that focuses on the mental health of the shooter is more likely to have a conservative viewpoint, whereas an article that discusses how the gun was obtained is more likely to have a liberal outlook.”The problem is that manually identifying the relevant indicators for each event is difficult to scale up,” Goldwasser says.Instead, his team is collecting multiple news articles about the same event and building a network of people who share the articles on social media. Based on the network’s connection to individuals or organizations with a known political slant, the perspective of the article can be inferred without having to manually generate relevant keywords. 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

Report Facebooks privacy lapses may result in record fine

first_img The FTC is considering hitting Facebook with a penalty that would top its previous record fine of $22.5 million , which it dealt to Google in 2012 for bypassing the privacy controls in Apple’s Safari browser, according to The Washington Post. The story published Friday cited three unidentified people familiar with the discussions.In an automated response, the FTC said it was unable to comment, citing its closure due to the U.S. government shutdown. Facebook declined to comment.The potential fine stems from an FTC investigation opened after revelations that data mining firm Cambridge Analytica had vacuumed up details about as many as 87 million Facebook users without their permission.The FTC has been exploring whether that massive breakdown violated a settlement that Facebook reached in 2011 after government regulators had concluded the Menlo Park, California, company had repeatedly broken its privacy promises .The FTC decree, which runs through 2031, requires Facebook to get its users’ consent to share their personal information in ways that aren’t allowed by their privacy settings.Since the Cambridge Analytica erupted 10 months ago, Facebook has vowed to do a better job corralling its users’ data. Nevertheless, its controls have remained leaky. Just last month, the company acknowledged a software flaw had exposed the photos of about 7 million users to a wider audience than they had intended.The FTC’s five commissioners have discussed fining Facebook but haven’t settled on the amount yet, according to the Post.Facebook’s privacy problems are also under investigation in other countries and the target of a lawsuit filed last month by Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine. Facebook may be facing the biggest fine ever imposed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations involving the personal information of its 2.2 billion users. Explore further Local official sues Facebook over data misuse © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.center_img Citation: Report: Facebook’s privacy lapses may result in record fine (2019, January 19) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-facebook-privacy-lapses-result-fine.html 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. In this May 1, 2018, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote speech at F8, Facebook’s developer conference, in San Jose, Calif. Facebook may be facing the biggest fine ever imposed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations that breached a commitment to protect the personal information of its social network’s 2.2 billion users. The Washington Post reported, Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, that the FTC is considering hitting Facebook with a penalty that would top its previous record fine of $22.5 million dealt to Google in 2012. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)last_img read more

Germany works to fix air traffic control software glitch

first_imgCredit: CC0 Public Domain Germany’s air traffic control agency says a software issue that has caused disruption for several days won’t be resolved until at least midweek. 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 further Citation: Germany works to fix air traffic control software glitch (2019, March 25) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-germany-air-traffic-software-glitch.htmlcenter_img © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The problem at a control center in Langen, just outside Frankfurt, emerged last Wednesday. It has forced control agency Deutsche Flugsicherung to reduce capacity in the air by 25 percent in recent days over southwestern Germany and led to some flight cancellations at Frankfurt Airport, Germany’s busiest.Deutsche Flugsicherung said Monday that technicians “are working intensively to analyze the error.” It said they will try to get alternative software running on Wednesday night.The agency, which stressed that safety is assured, said that its other air traffic control centers in Germany aren’t affected. System outage causes flight cancelations in Frankfurtlast_img read more

SC issues notice on plea seeking quashing of Prem Singh Tamangs appointment

first_img Next Press Trust of India New DelhiJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 23:37 IST The petition by Bimal Dawari Sharma alleges Tamang was a “disqualified” person who is ineligible to contest elections till 2024 | Photo: Facebook/ @ps.golayThe Supreme Court Friday sought responses from the Centre and the Sikkim government on a plea seeking quashing of appointment of Prem Singh Tamang as the chief minister of the Himalayan state on the ground that he was not qualified to hold the office as he was convicted for misappropriation of funds as a public servant in the past.A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi also issued notice to Tamang, who was recently elected as chief minister, on the contention that as per the election law any person who is convicted under corruption offences shall stand disqualified for a period of six years from the date of his conviction.The apex court has also sought responses from the parties on a plea seeking stay on Tamang taking any major policy decision or other important governance duties as the state’s chief minister.The petition by Bimal Dawari Sharma of the ousted Sikkim Democratic Front Party, which ruled the state for 25 years, alleges that Tamang was a “disqualified” person who is ineligible to contest elections till 2024.The petition, which has been settled by senior advocate G V Rao, said, “Tamang has not only been allowed to contest the elections, but he has also been wrongfully elected as the Chief Minister of Sikkim despite being a disqualified and ineligible for contesting in the elections and is thereby bad in law.”The plea alleged that Tamang was held guilty of misappropriating Rs 9,50,000 while he was the minister of animal husbandry and ecclesiastical department with regard to irregularities in purchase and distribution of milch cows.Tamang who was held guilty of offences for criminal breach of trust, criminal conspiracy and “gross abuse” of his position as a public servant had also served one year imprisonment between 2017 and 2018, the plea said.”It is clear that the RPA lays down that the commission of serious criminal offences renders a person ineligible to contest in elections or continue as a representative of the people. Such a restriction does provide the salutary deterrent necessary to prevent criminal elements from holding public office thereby preserving the probity of representative government,” the petition said..The plea said that appointment of Tamang as Sikkim’s chief minister was “unconstitutional” and “violates the fundamental core of the Constitution”.”The appointment of Tamang as the Chief Minister of the State of Sikkim is in conflict with the interest of the nation, common citizenry interest, communal harmony, and prevalence of good governance,” the plea said.Also Read | Floods affect 8 lakh in Assam, 10 dead across Northeast as rains lash region | 10 pointsAlso Read | Sikkim remains cut-off for 2nd day as multiple landslides block NH-31Also Watch | North Sikkim: China strengthens infrastructure across borders as temperature hits minus 20 degrees CFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byMohak Gupta Tags :Follow Supreme CourtFollow TamangFollow Sikkim SC issues notice on plea seeking quashing of Prem Singh Tamang’s appointment as Sikkim CMThe apex court has also sought responses from the parties on a plea seeking stay on Tamang taking any major policy decision or other important governance duties as the state’s chief minister.advertisementlast_img read more