January 11, 2010 To continue our report from 1/8/10, the group of art students from the Kansas City Art Institute met with Paolo Soleri for the weekly SCHOOL OF THOUGHT philosophy session. [photo & text: sue] The theme for discussion last week was THE LEAN LINEAR CITY [see a series of postings about the Lean Linear City from Nov. 27. to Dec. 14. 2009]. School of Thought occurs almost every Wednesday at 3 pm and is open to the public and visiting groups. If you plan to attend, please call our visitors center at 928 632-6217 for confirmation. [photo & text: sue] The Kansas City Art Institute group. This photo speaks for itself. [photo: & text: sue]
News channel France 24 has launched on Virgin Media in the UK, with both English and French language versions available. The English feed will take slot number 624 on the EPG and the French version can be found at 832. Both will be available to subscribers of Virgin’s M+ channel subscription package.France 24 now claims to reach 206 million homes across five continents with an Arabic version also available in selected markets.
Total payments for health care, long-term care, and hospice for people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia are projected to increase from $203 billion in 2013 to $1.2 trillion in 2050. (Source: Alzheimer’s Association, 2012 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, Alzheimer’s & Dementia, Volume 8, Issue 2.) Right now, about 5.2 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s—already a large number—but in just 26 years that number will have more than doubled, to 11 million. Here’s just a glimpse at the monstrous healthcare costs we’re facing: In 2013, the direct costs of caring for those with Alzheimer’s to American society totaled an estimated $203 billion, of which $142 billion came from taxpayers through Medicare and Medicaid. It’s hardly a state secret that we Americans are getting old. Both in raw numbers and as a percentage of the overall population, the 65+ cohort is growing rapidly as the baby boomers slide into retirement. On the plus side, these data confirm that more Americans are living to a ripe old age than ever before—many of them in good health well into their seventies and eighties. But all too often, with age comes susceptibility to ever more serious ailments and a diminishing quality of life—especially if you contract a disease that obliterates your innate sense of self and destroys everything that makes life worth living. That’s what Alzheimer’s disease does. This most common type of dementia was first described by the German physician Dr. Alois Alzheimer more than a century ago… but to this day science isn’t sure what exactly it is and what causes it. It is also increasing in incidence, as would be expected with an aging population: This dramatic rise includes a 500% increase in combined Medicare and Medicaid spending. It’s a serious healthcare crisis in the making—significant today, and on its way to astronomical levels in short order—putting an ever greater amount of stress on a medical establishment that is already coming apart at the seams. What About a Cure? As I’ve mentioned before, despite decades of research, until recently scientists knew precious little about the specifics and causes of Alzheimer’s. Their best guess was that it involved a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. But there was no reliable biomarker that would help indicate who would be affected, let alone a sure pathway to a treatment. The best the pharmaceutical industry managed to come up with were treatments that slowed down, rather than stopped, the progression of the disease—and even then only for a short period of time. In fact, to this day there are just five FDA-approved drugs to treat Alzheimer’s at all, and none is particularly effective. According to a stark appraisal from Consumer Reports Health, “When compared to a placebo, most people who take one will not experience a meaningful benefit.” The Alzheimer’s Association reports that on average, the five approved AD drugs show some efficacy for only about six to twelve months, but only in approximately half of the individuals who take them. Nevertheless, despite their lack of efficacy, these drugs posted some impressive sales figures before cheaper generics became available. A real breakthrough in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, the scientific world agrees, would be a game-changer for modern medicine. And that breakthrough may just be on the way. Right now, there’s a small company that looks like it may beat its competitors to the finish line. Metallic Catalysts Alzheimer’s disease diminishes the ability of neurons in the brain to communicate with one another. That ultimately leads to neuronal death and, over time, destroys memory and thinking skills. Although scientists have yet to pinpoint a single cause for the disease, they’re getting far closer to understanding the disease than ever before. Beta-amyloid plaques, for example—the infamous “plaques” that form in the brain as part of the disease’s development—show links with chronic and persistent infections, such as gingivitis. Also, the interaction of these amyloid plaques and biological metals (zinc, iron, copper, etc.) seems to result in deterioration of brain cells. It was once thought that beta-amyloid plaques were the primary cause of the damage to neurons seen in AD, because they’re the most visible when the brain of a deceased AD patient is dissected. But now a growing number of researchers believe that the small, still-soluble beta-amyloid oligomers may be the main culprits because they’re often found in the spaces between neurons (synapses), where they are believed to disrupt communication by interacting with the metals and creating a short circuit. With nothing firing across the synapses, information is no longer transmitted from one neuron to another, and the cells start to die off from lack of use. One small biotech startup has been moving forward with the development of compounds to render these biological metals inactive, preventing this short circuit and allowing the brain to resume normal function or even heal. Today, that company sits on the cusp of what may prove to be the single most important data readout on the subject since its inception—a trial that should prove whether this technique shows as much efficacy in a large group of human patients as it has shown in animal testing and in anecdotal evidence from early human trials. In the months since we started following this small company, many investors have caught on to its potential. Once a tiny company with a $30 million market cap, news of its successes, including positive readouts from a study of the much smaller but related Huntington’s disease, have driven the stock up nearly 400% in the last year. While that might sound like much of the good news has been priced in, we beg to differ. Global investment firm Deutsche Bank, for instance, recently pegged the global Alzheimer’s drug market at $20 billion per year. With no real competition in the market, the company could easily capture 20% of that market—or about $4 billion annually. Even if this small company can only realize a quarter of that revenue after working through big pharmaceutical partners to manufacture and distribute the treatment, it could see $1 billion in annual revenues. If we compare this company to other companies with similar revenues in the same industry, it means that in the long run, its shares could be worth 10x what they trade at today, even after the recent run-up—and that’s with many very conservative assumptions along the way. A real breakthrough treatment could make these numbers seem ridiculously small. But you won’t have to wait that long to make money. Positive trial results, which are due in March, could easily double the share price as the company moves steadily closer to market. Of course, there aren’t any guarantees, but the company doesn’t even have to provide groundbreaking news at this point. If early trial results can simply be repeated, the potential is enormous. If you want to get into this exciting biotech play before the next big news is due out, try Casey Extraordinary Technology risk-free for 3 months. If in that time you haven’t made any money from our picks or aren’t satisfied for whatever reason, just call or email us and cancel for a full refund of every penny you paid. That way, you don’t have to miss out on this potential windfall that could happen just weeks from now. Click here for more details on this amazing Alzheimer’s breakthrough, or go directly to the order form to get started.
First Russia, and now China. US politicians aren’t doing themselves any favors getting involved in foreign disputes, especially with their track record of failed foreign policy. “Hong Kong affairs fall entirely within China’s internal affairs,” Chinese Embassy spokesman Geng Shuang states. “We hope that some countries and people can be prudent in their words and deeds, refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of Hong Kong in any way, do not support the illegal activities such as the ‘Occupy Central,’ and do not send any wrong signals.” Don’t make any mistake about this official statement: this was China’s way of telling the US politicians to zip it and mind their own business. How did all this start? With US Senator Menendez. New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez sent a letter to Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying asking that he respect the rights of his people (Hong Kong citizens), and condemning the Hong Kong government’s “excessive” use of tear gas under his watch. Tomorrow, US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. With China already having passed along its “butt out” message to the US, it will be interesting to see if Kerry tries to push his country’s misguided agenda, and if the mainstream media pick up on any of it. But what does this all mean? It means the US is being firmly put in its place by the emerging superpowers in the world. First it was President Putin standing up to Obama over Syria in 2013. Then again in early 2014, Putin stood up to the US sanctions. Now China has sent a sharp official message to the US, warning it to stop meddling. It’s hardly a new US tactic to foment dissent in a foreign state. We saw it in the support of anti-Assad rebels in Syria. We saw it again in Ukraine, where the US financed the February coup. With China, Washington will have to resort to words rather than guns, but it would love to see the people rise up against communism. Last Monday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest made that clear when he stated, “The United States supports universal suffrage in Hong Kong in accordance with the Basic Law and we support the aspirations of the Hong Kong people. We have consistently made our position known to Beijing and will continue to do so.” Earnest is just the messenger, of course. That message comes directly from Obama’s Oval Office. China is no backwater nation. It’s a global economic giant. It will stand up to the US on this issue, and not just because of how much it resents outside agitators. The more important reason is that the last thing the government of China needs is a wave of democratic protests across the nation. Remember, China has more than 160 cities with a population over 1 million. Vancouver, BC, Canada, the epicenter of the junior resource sector, doesn’t even have 1 million people (the greater Vancouver region does, but the city core doesn’t even have 750,000 inhabitants). For further perspective, consider that all of Europe only has 35 cities with 1 million people or more. China now has over 160 such cities, and it’s projected that by 2025—just 11 years away—that number will jump almost 40%, to 220! If a wave of protests were to spread across any large percentage of those 160 cities, that would be a disaster for the Chinese economy. And the worse the economy got in China, the worse the protests would become. Things could spiral out of control very quickly, and the government and military would have some serious problems on their hands. Given the dangers, it’s easy to understand why the Chinese government would go to great lengths to suppress any widespread protests. The last thing the government wants is another incident like Tiananmen Square, where hundreds of students were massacred by the authorities in June of 1989. We must bear in mind that what goes on in China may seem mysterious to an outsider who’s been raised on the notion that all the world’s people crave democracy. But for the majority of the Chinese, what they’ve grown up with is completely normal to them. What the governmental authorities feel they need to do to keep order may be repellent to Americans, but that’s their normal. So… how does what happens in China affect you? If you’re an investor, work in the resource sector, and/or have a job that’s involved in international finance, pay attention. All resource investors must realize that whatever happens in China will affect commodities around the world, for good or ill. Napoleon was quoted as saying, “China is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move the world.” He was right. China is awake, and it has more than shaken the world. There isn’t a better quote to summarize the importance of China today in the resource markets. Whether you’re talking coal, oil, iron ore, or copper, China matters. Take oil, for instance. In the month of September 2014, the US imported an average of 7.47 million barrels of oil a day. Ten years ago, the US imported an average of 9.73 million barrels a day in the month of September. These are data from the US’s Energy Information Administration website. (By the way, we’ve seen many reports from misinformed reporters claiming that the US imports only 5 million barrels of crude oil a day now. That is incorrect information, as the government data show.) How much oil does China import? A little over 6 million barrels of crude per day. China is the world’s second-largest oil importer after the US, which it is expected to pass in 2015. China also has the second-largest refining capacity of nearly 14 million barrels of oil a day, trailing only the US’s total of just under 18 million barrels. Again, China is projected to forge ahead in 2015. This is just one of the many ways in which China matters. So how do we profit from the information we have? History shows that energy stocks move in cycles. We’ve now completed a major analysis of the best oil producers in North America; we believe they’re on the cusp of a tremendous boom. The only way to position your portfolio for a major upswing in the oil sector is to buy before the boom is in full swing—and that is now in my opinion. Readers who want to understand, hedge against, and even profit from the decline of the petrodollar are advised to sign up for my Casey Energy Report. For most readers, this is literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Test my newsletter for the next 3 months, and if you don’t like it or don’t make any money, just cancel within that time for a full and prompt refund. Upon signing up, you’ll receive the September issue of the Casey Energy Report, which will provide you with an in-depth analysis of my favorite companies, including dividend-paying and small-cap companies ready to profit from the Russia/US confrontation that I’ve termed “the Colder War.” So if you want to get behind the real winners in the European Energy Renaissance and the Colder War and make some serious money from the inevitable bull market in oil, click here to get started now.
We all hear this advice with set-your-clock regularity: “Follow the smart money.” But who or what is this so-called smart money? Why is it smart? How do we find it—let alone try to determine where it’s headed? And how can we take advantage of it? Taking it from the top, what is “smart money”? It’s money put into companies by the top tier of experienced investors, hedge fund managers, and/or institutions. The opposite of it is “dumb money”—the cash that pours in once the investment gets touted front and center in the financial press as “the latest hot secret” for the naïve millions to read—commonly followed by the investing herd stampeding into the sector and driving prices up into a bubble that bursts and leaves heavy losses in its wake. Obviously we want to follow the smart money and avoid getting swept away with the dumb money. But what makes the smart money smart? It’s simple, really. 1. Those in the know have better access to information—and access to better information. If your job were to find the best investments and manage millions, perhaps billions, of dollars, wouldn’t you try to take every advantage the law allows (and maybe even exploit some of the legal gray areas)? This could mean gaining access to policymakers, personally getting to know company management and technical experts, or just immersing yourself in how the market is moving and why. Honestly put, the smart money may know important news hours or even days before it hits the newswires, due to a level of access unavailable to the average retail investor. Using this information, the smart money is able to make better-informed decisions, and make them faster. Sticking with the buy low/sell high mantra is easier when you’re in that position. 2. Serially successful people tend to continue to be successful. The Pareto Principle posits that 80% of an event’s effects often arise from 20% of its causes—or in financial terms, 20% of the people working in a given sector generate 80% of the wins. Being a math guy, I’ll take it one step further. If the top 20% of that group again generates roughly 80% of the wins, this means the top 4% of entrepreneurs generate 64% of the wins. Those who have previously demonstrated that they have what it takes are the ones most likely to do it again. I call it the “4-64” rule. Pay attention to what these folks are doing. 3. They don’t allow the herd to trample them. When you hear about the latest investment fad in the news, you can be pretty sure that idea has passed through hundreds of thousands of hands on its way to you. By the time it hits the airwaves, it’s usually too late: The real money, based on the company’s real value, has already been made. Herd investing is one of the most dangerous threats to your net worth. As the dumb money flows in and the share price begins to climb, it’s easy to get complacent and think that the shares will keep going higher. But that’s when the smart money strikes, pulling out their investment at the expense of the dumb money, taking its profits and leaving the field. Sooner or later, the price takes a nosedive under the selling pressure. It’s the herd that always ends up holding the bag. How to take advantage? Well, let’s take Warren Buffett for example. I have no hesitation labeling him and his group of companies and funds as very smart money. It’s also no secret that Buffett has a cult following, and after it becomes public that he owns a stock, that the “not so smart” money rushes in and pushes that stock even higher. So, the ideal is to get into an investment before the smart money… or at least at the same time. Then, when the involvement of someone like Warren Buffett gets noticed, the herd will drive the price upward, and you will reap the rewards. Of course, you also want to get out before the inevitable decline arrives, which may mean you exit a little early. No problem. You want to preserve your winnings, and no one ever lost money by taking profits. The nice thing is, if it’s basically a sound company, you can ride this cycle multiple times. That’s exactly what we did with ExxonMobil. We got in low, booked our gains, and moved on. It’s now pulled back enough once again that we saw another good entry point, and we jumped back into the stock. But what about our final question? How do you figure out where the smart money is headed next, so that you can get in with or—better yet—just ahead of them? Answer: you do a lot of hard work. There are no shortcuts. You have to ferret out the small number of solid companies that are selling at a discount—and discard all the rest. History is also your guide. It shows that energy stocks move in cycles. We’re somewhere in the trough of a long down cycle, which is exactly the time to go bargain hunting. To maximize our chances of finding the most compelling buys, we’ve now completed a major analysis of the best oil producers and service companies in North America. We’ve locked in our gains before the market selloff on many of the producers, and we believe now is the time to start buying and start building your position in the right companies, during market pullbacks and market weakness. Oil has dropped $15 per barrel in the last year, and majors are sale. Fortune favors the bold, and the key to buying is to do so when others are fearful. This is as true in the oil sector as any other. Buy before the smart money becomes comfortable to stake out major positions. Way before the herd takes notice. And that time is now, in my opinion. Readers who want to make money as the energy sector turns higher—and who want to understand, hedge against, and even profit from the ensuing decline of the petrodollar—are advised to sign up for my Casey Energy Report. For most readers, this is literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Test my newsletter for the next 3 months, and if you don’t like it or don’t make any money, just cancel within that time for a full and prompt refund. Upon signing up, you’ll receive the September issue of the Casey Energy Report, which will provide you with an in-depth analysis of my favorite companies, including dividend-paying and small-cap companies ready to profit from the Russia/US confrontation that I’ve termed “the Colder War.” So if you want to get behind the real winners, be a part of the “smarter money,” and book some serious profits from the inevitable coming bull market in oil, click here to get started now.
The shelter is prepared to serve up to 1,000 people. Red Cross team leader Jaici Murcia urges residents to stay vigilant and to remember that recovery could be a long road. “Not only is there the immediate disaster, but sometimes in heavily impacted communities, there’s the disaster after the disaster, which is the economic impact.”Murcia says she’s not sure how long the shelter site will be open. The Red Cross has access to the Joel Coliseum until September 26th because of the local fair that’s held on the grounds. If needed, Murcia says they will find another location in the area to help those impacted by the storm.To find the nearest American Red Cross shelter click here.*Follow WFDD’s Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news As Florence batters the Carolina coast, thousands of residents have fled the region for shelters farther inland, including here in the Triad.On Friday morning, the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem was home to about 60 evacuees, with Red Cross staff and volunteers providing food, water, medical staff and shower facilities. That number increased to nearly 80 by 2 p.m.Robert Talbot from Wilmington came to seek shelter since a lot of those in his area are full. His family took a bus to get to Winston-Salem. Friends and family say they’re seeing flooding in Wilmington, so his mind is also there.“Some are staying at the shelter, and they are full down there and are sleeping on the floor, and I hear that some places are flooded,” Talbot says. “My vehicle is up there and I don’t know what will happen.”William Mingo from Mooresville was able to get a ride to the shelter. “I left my apartment. Some people went to other shelters and others stayed behind. It concerns me because I have stuff that I’m renting. I have a system and TV, so I’m hoping they will be alright when I get home.”The Red Cross is encouraging volunteers at the Joel Coliseum Shelter to register online. The coliseum is located at 2825 University Parkway in Winston-Salem. KERI BROWN/WFDDHundreds of thousands of people in North Carolina are already without power from Hurricane Florence.Some residents in the Triad anticipate it will happen here too, and they’re not taking any chances. Carrie Russell from Winston-Salem is staying with a family member at the shelter.“My sister is on oxygen 24/7 and we were afraid that if we had a power outage her concentrator wouldn’t give her oxygen and she doesn’t have enough containers to last her one day, so we just want to make sure we have a place to stay and food to eat – and safe.”Officials at the shelter are anticipating the number of evacuees to climb due to the threat of flooding. Sherry Thompson and Cristien Farrior from Winston-Salem came to get shelter for their children.“The power, the flooding, also being able to stay away from the windows and stuff, that’s why I came here,” says Thompson. Farrior adds, “And also, their little needs and stuff. They are going to be hungry and you can’t cook without the power, so it’s best to be here.”Walmart, Krispy Kreme, Deweys and other local businesses have donated food and supplies to the shelter. The Red Cross says it welcomes volunteers and monetary donations. The organization says those who are interested in volunteering their time should register on their website, instead of coming down in person.The organization says anyone who wants to donate clothing or other items should drop them off at the Goodwill located beside the Joel Coliseum on University Parkway and specify that they are for the shelter.Red Cross officials say the Winston-Salem site is also pet-friendly.
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One of the country’s most influential disabled campaigners is to take control of BBC Radio’s flagship news programme for its first show of 2016.Baroness [Jane] Campbell (pictured) has been chosen as one of six guest editors who will each take over the Today programme on Radio Four for one day between 28 December and 2 January.For her slot on New Year’s Day, the BBC has said she will examine reform of the House of Lords by asking a new SNP MP to “find out whether working peers can justify their existence”, while also going “head-to-head with Times columnist Matthew Parris on the right to die”.In its announcement of her guest slot, the BBC referred to Baroness Campbell’s background of activism, which helped lead to the Disability Discrimination Act 20 years ago.But Baroness Campbell is also a patron of the National Disability Arts Collection and Archive, and was a co-founder of the National Centre for Independent Living, and has campaigned on independent living issues for most of her adult life, so there are hopes that these subjects could also be aired in the programme.Baroness Campbell told Disability News Service that being a Today guest editor was “a huge privilege and one that carries great responsibility because choosing five or six features, when I have so much to say about the world, was much harder than choosing my Desert Island discs”.She said she could not comment on what issues she had chosen to cover, apart from the two mentioned by the BBC, but added: “I hope listeners (whoever is awake at that time, besides our Labrador, at 6am on New Year’s Day) will appreciate the mix.”Parris has already been interviewed by Baroness Campbell for the 1 January programme about his views, originally expressed in a column in The Spectator, in which he put forward the “Darwinian” argument that “tribes that handicap themselves will not prosper”.He argued in the column in September that “as medical science advances, the cost of prolonging human life way past human usefulness will impose an ever heavier burden on the community for an ever longer proportion of its members’ lives”, and that eventually it will be thought “selfish” to “want to carry on” when life is “fruitless”.Parris wrote about his interview with Baroness Campbell in his Times column this week, admitting that when she asked him if “people like me should be exterminated” his defence was that “we can’t all be in the House of Lords and have vastly expensive help and technology to sustain us”.Other guest editors chosen for the week are cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins; architect David Adjaye; Lord [John] Browne, former chief executive of BP; actor Michael Sheen; and lawyer Miriam González Durántez.
Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Teens bypass after-school jobs for virtual world businesses where the money earned and the skills learned are real. –shares Laura Tiffany 6 min read Next Article In a virtual world, you could be interacting with anyone. That night elf is a night-shift nurse. The girl with the pink hair and iridescent butterfly wings is a mid-level corporate exec. That boy flying by with the floppy brown hair and seriously customized kicks? He may be a high school student who’s figured out there are much better ways to earn summer cash than flipping burgers and busing tables.”Single-player games offer safe, controlled environments, but a virtual world like Second Life adds, ironically, realism. If a young person wants to experiment with running a business, they’re not just engaging in thought experiments and case studies; they’re actually working with real people and real money,” says Joey Seiler, editor of VirtualWorldNews.com, an industry news source that’s part of Virtual Worlds Management, a company that provides trade events, media, research and online services.According to Virtual Worlds Management, more than 100 youth-oriented virtual worlds are either now live or in development, including offerings from MTV and Disney. Research firm eMarketer estimates that 24 percent of the 34.3 million users ages three to 18 used virtual worlds at least monthly in 2007–and that will jump to 53 percent by 2011.Although some MMORPGs (massively multi-player online role-playing games) like World of Warcraft forbid selling in-world items and characters for cash, a few like Entropia and Second Life provide entrepreneurial opportunities for enterprising teens.”Often, the amounts [to be made] are limited and the startup costs are relatively minimal,” Seiler says. “In other words, you get the low cost and ease of setup of a lemonade stand, but you’re competing and selling to a lot more people than just your neighbors.”Designing a FutureBoth Mike Mikula and Eric Lomeli began selling in-world wares within a week of joining Second Life and Entropia, respectively. Mikula, whose avatar is named Mike Denneny and who recently turned 18, started exploring Second Life two years ago when he discovered its teen area. He was intrigued by the in-world design capabilities that allowed him to expand his interest in graphic design by learning 3-D design skills without expensive software.”I’ve designed [in-world] school buildings. I’ve designed stores, homes, furniture, clothing,” says Mikula, who lives in Racine, Wisconsin, and will be a high school senior in the fall. “I’ve made simple scripts that allow showers to go off, doors to open, stuff like that. But I’m most known for my architecture.”His skills have garnered him large projects like building a virtual school for Skoolaborate, a global education project based in Australia. His work in Second Life has convinced him to change his future plans from electrical engineering to architecture, and he even has an offer to visit a leading architect in Australia.During the school year, Mikula brought in $2,000 a month. His projections are a little off this summer as he had to move to the adult Second Life on his 18th birthday.”When I started on the teen grid, I spent my first year just talking and meeting everyone. I learned how the successful people there worked, and then, eventually, I became one of the successful people,” Mikula says.Now that Mikula is on the main grid, he’s restarted and needs to make new friends. Still, he estimates he can make $4,000 a month–without any investment other than his own time.One thing he enjoys about his virtual business is the ability to make a difference.”I can’t be in a job where I can’t progress and get better,” Mikula says. “In Second Life, I can see how I can change things about myself to keep doing better and better, instead of just being stuck doing one thing.”Some of the things he has learned during his Second Life entrepreneurial endeavors are “customer service, strategies to be more effective for the business, how to make sure that you don’t talk bad about any other business, no matter if they’re really competitive with you.”A Valuable ExperienceFor Eric Lomeli, time spent in Entropia cemented what he always knew about himself:”I’ve always planned on owning my own business,” Lomeli says. “[With Entropia,] I learned how to manage a business, how to manage capital and profits, how to watch markets and market trends. The experience that I gained was unmatched by any after-school job I ever had.”Lomeli, 21, started when he was 16. He first acted as a middle man, selling materials gathered by hunters to crafters. He soon had his own shop selling mid-level armor and weapons.”I found most shops either focused on new players or ‘uber’ players. This left a great market void that I capitalized on,” says Lomeli, who now has a non-virtual business, Entropiaoutfitters.com, with business partner Keith Ward. The site sells Entropia-inspired apparel and accessories, and the pair also offer consulting for those interested in Entropia.While still in high school, Lomeli spent about three hours a day on his Entropia business. He invested $300 at one point and had $5,000 Entropia net worth when he graduated. A year later, he sold the company and made $17,000.On the side, Lomeli owns two real-world businesses: one that restores and manages repossessed properties for mortgage companies and one multi-level marketing company that he says is still getting off the ground.While Lomeli acknowledges he had some difficulty playing as a teen–he had limited time and resources compared to his adult competition–he still advises interested teens to start up now.”The [Entropia] universe is only getting stronger, and the best time to get into a good investment is as soon as possible,” Lomeli says. “The great thing about Entropia is it’s fun. It’s not your everyday investment. You get to hunt and play around while you make money. Where else do you get to do that as a teen?”For those who want to get started, Seiler says the skills required aren’t that different from real-world businesses.”You still need interpersonal skills for management or sales, but now it comes in how you operate your avatar.” Seiler says. “You still need product design skills and the ability to manufacture something (unless you’re selling a service), but that comes in scripting or 3-D modeling instead of working with a hammer and nails. You still need to manage finances, but now you work with virtual currencies as well as real currencies.”Seiler does emphasize the need to learn the “ins and outs” of the virtual world you choose, as well as the product or service you hone in on.”There’s an inclination to view this as a get-rich-quick opportunity, where you need only set up a booth/website/virtual island, announce that you’re selling something and wait for money,” Seiler says.Though no business takes such little effort, for teens already glued to a screen for many hours in a day, putting the time and effort into a virtual-world business is not only a fun way to make extra money, but also a way to learn vital business skills and change the course of their future. July 10, 2008 Add to Queue Virtual Success Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Entrepreneurs Register Now »
Technology Ray Hennessey Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business –shares New York state financial regulators have issued subpoenas asking Bitcoin-related companies for information into whether safeguards are in place to prevent the virtual currency from being used in illegal activities such as money laundering.The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said the New York Department of Financial Services also wants information on whether the companies have consumer-protection measures in place, in addition to investment strategies for Bitcoin.Leading companies Coinbase Inc, BitInstant and Coinsetter are among the companies receiving subpoenas, according to the Journal. New York regulators also sent subpoenas to companies backed by high-profile Bitcoin investors, including venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, and Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the Journal said.The Journal says the subpoenas come as New York plans to issue a memo raising questions over whether Bitcoin companies are following state law. The memo and subpoenas also suggest Bitcoin companies will be subject to a host of new rules and regulations, which, up to now, they have avoided.”We believe that — for a number of reasons — putting in place appropriate regulatory safeguards for virtual currencies will be beneficial to the long term strength of the virtual currency industry,” Benjamin Lawsky, New York’s superintendent for financial services, wrote in a draft memo reviewed by the Journal. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Editor-at-Large August 12, 2013 Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. 2 min read Add to Queue Bitcoin Companies Subpoenaed Over Regulatory Concerns Image credit: AP Next Article Guest Writer Register Now »
March 17, 2014 Kim Lachance Shandrow Former West Coast Editor Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto wants reporters off his back, out of his business and away from his family. And, no, once and for all, contrary to what Newsweek reported, he did not “create, invent or otherwise work on Bitcoin,” according to an official statement released last night denying his alleged role in inventing the controversial cryptocurrency.The somber letter of denial, which Reuters financial journalist Felix Salmon posted on Twitter last night, was reportedly issued through Nakamoto’s lawyer Ethan Kirschner.Related: The Obsessively Secretive Founder of Bitcoin Has Been UnmaskedDorian Nakamoto official statement/denial. Very interested to see how @newsweek @truth_eater @jimpoco respond. pic.twitter.com/wfCyK1dQ48— felix salmon (@felixsalmon) March 17, 2014 Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Next Article Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Add to Queue 4 min read Nakamoto’s Echo Park, Calif.-based business and entertainment industry attorney also took to Twitter last night to retweet Salmon’s tweet about his client’s written denial. He also retweeted an alleged police report filed by Nakamoto claiming reporters and photographers stalked him outside his Temple City home. Ever since Leah McGrath Goodman’s Newsweek “The Face Behind Bitcoin” story broke, Nakamoto has been at the center of what TechCrunch writer Pankaj Mishra aptly compared to a “a modern tech manhunt,” with media staking out his home and later chasing the 64-year-old on foot and by car around Los Angeles. Here are four claims from Nakamoto’s official letter of denial:1. He is not who Newsweek said he was. The publication’s widely criticized “unmasking” story catapulted its reentry into print journalism — and Nakamoto — into the global spotlight. “I am the subject of the Newsweek story on Bitcoin,” Nakamoto’s statement reads. “I am writing this statement to clear my name. I did not create, invent or otherwise work on Bitcoin. I unconditionally deny the Newsweek report.” Nakamoto has repeatedly denied any alleged ties to Bitcoin, though this letter serves as his first written denial. Related: 6 Things You Need to Know About Bitcoin This Week2. He’d never heard of Bitcoin until about a month ago. He says in the statement that the first time he heard “the term ‘Bitcoin’” was from his son in mid-February 2014. “After being contacted by a reporter, my son called me and used the word, which I had never before heard. Shortly thereafter, the reporter confronted me at my home. I called the police. I never consented to speak with the reporter. In an ensuing discussion with a reporter from the Associated Press, I called the technology ‘bitcom’. I was still unfamiliar with the term.” 3. He has fallen on hard times. The letter seemed to serve two purposes for Nakamoto — to divorce himself from any alleged ties to Bitcoin and to bring attention to his financial woes. “I have not been able to find steady work as an engineer or programmer for 10 years,” he said. “I have worked as a labourer, polltaker, and substitute teacher. I discontinued my internet service in 2013 due to severe financial distress. I am trying to recover from prostate surgery in October 2012 and a stroke I suffered in October of 2013. My prospects for gainful employment has [sic] been harmed because of Newsweek’s article.”Meanwhile, Blockchain chief security officer Andreas M. Antonopoulos kicked off a fundraiser on Reddit to help raise money to help Nakamoto cover his legal and medical expenses. “If this person is not Satoshi, then these funds will serve as a ‘sorry for what happened to you,’ help with medical bills his family is facing, any legal bills they may incur, or anything else,” Antonopoulos wrote in a post on Reddit. “Most of all, it serves to soften the damage caused by irresponsible journalism and to demonstrate the generosity and empathy of the community, which I know is huge.”Related: 3 Big Misconceptions About Bitcoin4. He is pleading for privacy. He said in the statement that “Newsweek’s false report has been the source of a great deal of confusion and stress for myself, my 93-year-old mother, my siblings, and their families.” It appears that Nakamoto hopes his written denial will close what seems to be a very painful chapter in his and his family’s history. He wants further media inquires to stop, asking “that you now respect our privacy.” He also said this will be his last public statement on the matter. Bitcoin ‘I Did Not Create Bitcoin’: 4 Major Takeaways From Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto’s Letter of Denial –shares Register Now »
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. Matt Straz Healthcare costs are rising, and that means one thing for employers: more expensive employee benefits. Founder and CEO of Namely How to Control Increasing Employee-Benefits Costs Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Health-care Costs Image credit: Shutterstock –shares 5 min read Enroll Now for $5 Guest Writer Healthcare costs are rising, and that means one thing for employers: more expensive employee benefits. In fact, an August survey of 133 large U.S. employers by the National Business Group on Health (NBGH) found that employers surveyed expected health-plan premiums to rise in 2017 by 5 percent.Related: 6 Hacks for Taking Control of Your Healthcare CostsStill, many of those employers are optimistic that they can lower that increase by making changes to their plans. Those changes will target the top factors expected to raise the cost of benefits and will ultimately help make health care more affordable for everyone.Here’s a look at the top cost drivers and how employers plan to control them:Specialty pharmacy benefitsPrescription drugs are driving increases in costs associated with employee benefits. According to a March 2016 report from Express Scripts, the prices of these drugs are expected to increase 7.3 percent in 2017. Spending on specialty drugs has been deemed the most influential factor of these high prices, and the same report expects those costs to rise 16.8 percent in 2017.Employers agree that specialty medications have a huge impact on healthcare costs. Among those surveyed by the NBGH, 80 percent listed specialty pharmacy benefits among the top three cost drivers, while 31 percent rated them number one.Controlling costs: To control specialty drug costs, consider pharmacy-management techniques. The goal is to have employees make the most efficient decisions when it comes to medication, and 68 percent of the surveyed employers planned to give the strategy a try.For general medications, practices here can include requiring prior authorization before filling a prescription and using quantity limits or step therapy to encourage employees to try less expensive drugs, first. There are specific strategies for specialty drugs, as well. For instance, 68 percent of employers said they will require specialty medications to be obtained from a specialty pharmacy, a facility that carries only this kind of drug. Partnering with specialty pharmacies not only helps control employee-benefit costs, but also connects employees with specialty pharmacists who can help them better manage their condition and medications.Related: Diagnosing a Sick Healthcare IndustryHigh-cost claimantsIn the NBGH survey, the next biggest influencer was high-cost claimants. The American Health Policy Institute (AHPI) defines a high-cost claimant as a patient who costs $50,000 or more annually, and 74 percent of respondents rated this issue among the top three drivers of employee-benefit costs.In the AHPI’s recent analysis of claims data from 26 large employers, it found that the average high-cost claimant costs $122,382 each year — 29.3 times the cost of the average member. While these expenses account for 31 percent of healthcare spending among the employers surveyed, these individuals made up just 1.2 percent of all members.Controlling costs: Offering consumer-driven health plans (CDHP) and health savings accounts (HSA) puts employees in the driver’s seat and makes costs more manageable for everyone. CDHPs make employees responsible for a greater amount of their initial healthcare costs. In other words, employers manage less of the insurance cost.But these plans are beneficial for employees, as well. Employees pay lower monthly premiums, and can prepare for future costs by saving money tax-free with HSAs. HSAs are similar to flexible spending accounts, but employes keep the money they save even if they change jobs or retire. HSAs can help employees meet the deductible for medical expenses and can lead to considerable pre-tax savings — especially when employers contribute to those accounts.That’s why more employers will offer CDHPs and HSAs in 2017, the NBGH report found. Thirty-five percent of employers will offer only CDHPs — up from 33 percent in 2016 — and the number of employers offering HSAs will increase from 87 percent to 92 percent next year.Diseases and conditionsEmployers surveyed by NBGH also rated a different aspect of costly claims among the top three drivers of employee benefits costs: high-cost diseases and conditions. In fact, the AHPI analysis found that 53 percent of the healthcare costs for high-cost claimants are for chronic conditions, while 47 percent are for acute conditions.Controlling costs: To control the costs of diseases, employers are going to the source. NBGH found that 80 percent of the employers surveyed planned to offer nurse-coaching for care and condition management, while 72 percent will offer nurse-coaching for lifestyle management.Nurse-coaching and other wellness programs help employees manage their conditions. Programs help workers with everything from taking their medications correctly and consistently to following a proper diet and exercise regimen for their condition. They also make sure employees meet with doctors regularly and take other steps to keep the condition under control.Employers are further turning to telehealth as a low-cost option of condition management. Telehealth provides employees communication with a health provider without their having to travel to a doctor’s office. These services may be especially useful in treating mental health conditions, such as depression, and benefit both the employee and employer. Employees gain convenient counseling services, while employers save on costs.Related: Are Better Benefits the Solution to the Employee Wellness Problem?Among large employers surveyed by NGBH, 90 percent will make telehealth services available to employees, in states where they are allowed, in 2017, up from 70 percent this year and 46 percent in 2015. Next Article Add to Queue September 5, 2016
Dr Harrison then investigated alternate grooming patterns that could counteract the issue and potentially improve snow sport safety.By using computer modeling, he was able to predict how well the brain could process groomed snow at the standard viewing distance of 10 meters.”I determined a combination of differently sized groom patterns would possibly improve visibility, and therefore safety, of groomed snow in cloudy conditions,” he said.”I’ve shown a minor modification to the grooming pattern could improve safety in theory, now I’m keen to work with engineers to trial it.” Source:University of QueenslandJournal reference:Harrison, W.J. (2019) The (In)visibility of Groomed Ski Runs. i-Perception. doi.org/10.1177/204166951984289. Snow at ski resorts is compacted and smoothed in a process called grooming, which has been shown to reduce accidents.Grooming results in a pattern of parallel lines in the snow, and researchers know a lot about how the brain processes these patterns.I was interested to test if the particular groom pattern at the ski resort I was skiing at made it more difficult to see the snow.After analyzing the sensitivity of central vision under different lighting conditions, I found on overcast days the ability to see the standard grooming pattern was severely reduced.This is due to the lack of contrast which makes it difficult for the brain to process narrowly-spaced lines.”Dr Will Harrison, UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 18 2019A spectacular stack on a ski slope in Canada has led to a University of Queensland researcher determining a simple modification that could improve skier safety on the snow.UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute researcher Dr Will Harrison studied visual perception under different lighting conditions to identify a better method for grooming ski runs.
Citation: Threat from on high: race on to bolster drone defences (2018, August 13) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-threat-high-bolster-drone-defences.html “We have a strategy of surveillance, inquiry and material testing,” said Colonel Jean-Francois Morel of France’s gendarme police force, who said 400,000 civilian drones were sold in the country last year. 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. An eagle seizing a drone at a French air force training centre From hand-held copters that zoom around the living room to high-speed craft offering the sensation of flying over the countryside, drones have won over legions of fans—and are proving a growing challenge for security authorities. Explore further Experts say models readily available on the market can easily be turned into a “poor man’s weapon”, a remote-controlled bomb or a means of filming a site in preparation of an attack.”This is going to be the weapon of choice for those who feel that they are technically outmatched in other areas,” said Todd Humphreys, an engineering professor at the University of Austin in Texas who specialises in drone research.Already the list of worrying incidents and close calls is long.The latest was on August 4 when two explosive-laden drones were allegedly used in an attempt to kill Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro as he gave a speech in Caracas.And last week, President Emmanuel Macron’s security services jammed a drone’s navigating signals as it flew near his vacation retreat, sending it crashing into the Mediterranean.An inquiry has been opened, with police divers trying to recover the craft.Other high-profile scares saw a drone crashing onto a stage near German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2013, and two years later, the White House went on lockdown after a drone foiled radar systems and landed on the lawn.”I believe that this is a trend, and heads of state will need to be very cautious about giving outdoor speeches or outdoor rallies unless they’re sure they can defend themselves against an attack of one or more drones,” Humphreys said.Evolving risksIslamic State fighters have used civilian drones to track Iraqi army movements, while Russia reported in January that drones equipped with explosives had attacked its forces stationed in Syria.Environmental activists have launched them at nuclear power plants in France, and such threats have prompted the installation of drone-blocking capabilities at key US nuclear sites.A Japanese man was convicted in 2016 for landing a drone carrying a bottle of radioactive sand from the Fukushima disaster site on the roof of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s office.Faced with such risks, officials are testing and deploying equipment including frequency jamming gear, nets and even intercepting eagles. Dutch police use real eagles to counter drones Strict operating rules are also in place in France, including a ban on their use in cities, and an online map which shows all areas that are off limits—including Macron’s holiday retreat at Bregancon.Starting next year, any drone weighing more than 800 grammes (1.8 pounds) must be registered with French authorities.But experts see shortcomings in the current defence strategies.”It is very difficult to hit a drone that is coming at high speed, at 100 km/h (70 mph), and it’s not hard to build drones that do that,” Humphreys said.”Even if you could hit one drone that came in at high speed, what if five or 10 of them attacked you all at once?”Other risks include an intercepted drone falling in an urban area, or crafts that are modified to ignore ground-based signals on the last stage of an attack, rendering jamming gear useless.Eagles?Stationing sharpshooters at all sensitive sites could also prove impracticable—and costly.Prisons, in particular, are taking seriously the use of drones to deliver illicit packages to inmates or to scout out a means of breaking people out.French officials believe this is how career criminal Redoine Faid was sprung so quickly from prison in July by armed accomplices using a helicopter—he is still on the run.It was later revealed that no net had been stretched across the main courtyard at the prison to prevent airborne entry.As for training eagles to snatch rogue drones, the French air force programme was inspired by a similar effort in The Netherlands.But Dutch officials said in December they were dropping the project after the birds were deemed too expensive and too unruly to be effective. Experts say it is relatively simple to convert a standard civilian drone into an effective weapon © 2018 AFP
Gujarat: Alpesh Thakor, another former Congress MLA set to join BJPFormer Congress MLAs Alpesh Thakor and Dhavlsinh Zala are set to join the ruling BJP in Gujarat.advertisement Press Trust of India AhmedabadJuly 16, 2019UPDATED: July 16, 2019 00:13 IST Alpesh ThakorFormer Congress MLAs Alpesh Thakor and Dhavlsinh Zala are set to join the ruling BJP in Gujarat.Dhavlsinh Zala indicated this after a meeting of the Thakor Sena, an outfit founded by Alpesh Thakor, Monday in Ahmedabad.Both of them had apparently cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat held on July 5 and then resigned as Congress MLAs.”A meeting of the core committee of our Thakor Sena was held today in which they gave permission to Alpesh Thakor and me to join the BJP,” Zala told reporters after the meet. Alpesh Thakor was not present at the meeting,” he said.”Now, Alpesh Thakor has been authorised to negotiate with BJP leaders and fix a date for our joining that party,” Zala further said.Alpesh Thakor (43) had emerged as a prominent OBC leader after the Patel quota agitation of Gujarat in 2015. He had formed the Thakor Sena, an outfit of his OBC Thakor caste.Before the December 2017 state elections, he had joined the Congress and later got elected from the Radhanpur assembly constituency in Patan district.However, he soon fell out with the Congress leadership and had resigned from all organisational posts before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, but stayed in the opposition party.Alpesh Thakor and Zala had apparently voted for BJP candidates S Jaishankar (foreign minister) and Jugalji Thakor in the Rajya Sabha polls instead of Congress nominees. Both of them had quit as Congress MLAs just after voting.Both the BJP candidates had emerged victorious.Zala was elected from Bayad in Sabarkantha district in the 2017 assembly polls.Speculation was rife in Gujarat that Alpesh Thakor will join the BJP before the April-May 2019 Lok Sabha polls. However, that did not happen.ALSO READ | Ahmedabad amusement ride collapse: Six booked for culpable homicideALSO WATCH | BJP fields External Affairs Minister Jaishankar for Gujarat Rajya Sabha seatFor 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 byAnupriya Thakur Tags :Follow Alpesh ThakorFollow Gujarat Next
Party president Amit Shah to kickstart enrolment to party from Shamshabad BJP president Amit Shah – Rajeev Bhatt COMMENT Published on SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAIL The BJP is making a big push in the two Telugu States on July 6 to expand its base and make a serious bid for power in the 2024 elections. Amit Shah, the Union Home Minister and Party Chief, will be in Hyderabad to kick-start the nationwide party membership enrolment programme from Shamshabad on Saturday. He will be followed by all the top leaders of the party touring the 33 districts to attract people from all walks of life into the party. Meanwhile, on the same day, the Chief of the RSS (Rastreya Swayam Sevak Sangh) Mohan Bhagwat will be in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, taking part in a “Gurudakshina” programme. He will also be joined by several BJP leaders.In AP, the BJP has already been able to split the Telugu Desam Rajya Sabha Party by getting four of the six MPs into its fold a few weeks ago. There are clear indications from a majority of the 23 MLAs that the TDP won, of the 175 member Legislative Assembly willing to join it, according to Party spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao. With Chandrababu Naidu, TDP Chief facing charges of corruption, the Jaganmohan Reddy government slapping notice on his residence and demolishing its annexe on gounds of they being illegal, the party is facing a serious crisis within. The criticism on Nara Lokesh role is also growing and unless Naidu makes some realistic moves, the simmering discontent can boil over into desertions, warn political analysts. The Telangana focusThe visit of Amit Shah is expected to boost the morale of the State Unit and its efforts to attract leaders from the battered Cong(I) & TDP as well as the ruling Telangana Rastra Samithi (TRS) too. ‘The mood is already upbeat after the BJP’s impressive performance in the April Lok Sabha elections, where it won a record four seats. Subsequently, the Party has been preparing the ground for expanding its base across the districts. The Cong(I) leader and former MP, Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy, is expected to it at any time soon. After making his intentions to quit the parent party clear, Reddy is awaiting the decision of the State Party’s disciplinary Committee to make his next move. Towards the end of June, two ex MLAs of the TDP–E Peddi Reddy and Boda Janardhan and and ex MP, C Suresh Reddy joined. along with from Cong(I)- Sashidhar Reddy (ex MLA) and Sheik Rahmatullah in the presence of P Murlidhara Rao, one of the national secretaries of the BJP. In its efforts to accelerate its growth in Telangana, the Modi government also appointed the Secunderabad MP, Kishan Reddy, a former State President as the junior minister of Home under Amit Shah. With the changed equations between the BJP & TRS post the 2019 General elections, the visit of Amit Shah is seen in a completely different light. Party general secretary G Premender Reddy told media recently that it was decided to enrol another 12 lakh citizens into the party by focusing on dalits, tribals, youth, farmers and women. Before the Telangana Legislative Assembly elections in December 2018, the understanding between Modi and K Chandrasekhar Rao, saw the BJP a bit subdued in its attack on the TRS and was also seen as supportive. An aggressive, KCR during his campaign’s also attacked Amit Shah, which did not go well with the latter. Though, down after managing just a solitary seat (Raja Singh in Hyderabad) in the 119 member Assembly, the BJP worked its way and surprised everyone by winning four and also dealing a shock to KCR when his daughter and sitting MP from Nizamabad, K Kavitha was defeated by D Arvind. Atter the LS polls, the two parties are clear in their strategies. The TRS has been aggressive in decimating the opposition. It has engineered a split in the Cong(I) and 12 of the 18 members into its fold. Similarly, it has got a TDP legislator too to take its tally beyond 100. The BJP on its part is putting its best efforts to attract leaders from all parties as well as expand its base. On the defections, the State BJP president K Laxman said this is just a beginning. “You are going to witness many leaders from the Congress and TRS joining BJP soon”. Andhra Pradesh politics July 04, 2019 COMMENTS