first_img The second stretch of canvas is in place, and this first half of the shade structure has been completed. Adjustable posts on the two outer corners allow the angle of each awning to change depending on the Foundry’s shade requirements.In the foreground, bell moulds laid out by Foundry employees are ready for the morning bronze pour. [Photo & Text: JS] The shade structure is designed with a subtle curve matching that of the apse. The shadows cast by the two passive solar structures, apse and awning, align in congruence on the ground. [Photo & Text: JS] October 15, 2004 To continue the report from Oct.6. on the Foundry extension, a set of four awnings are to be installed. The first of four, a white canvas awning threaded onto a curved pivoting steel frame, is installed by a crew of staff and workshoppers. This first awning shades half of the newly completed Foundry porch, a quarter of the total Foundry space. [Image & Text: JS] center_img The installation crew is composed of Construction staff and workshoppers, and Maintenance staff and workshoppers. Foundry Extension Project Manager Dave Tollas helps workshopper Megan Willis thread the awning onto its steel frame. [Photo & Text: JS] last_img read more

first_imgDecember 30, 2011In-house film maker Aimee Madsen has been at work for several years on footage for a documentary about Paolo Soleri.Now she hopes to raise funds to continue and complete this very important project.The documentary is filmed mostly at Cosanti in Paradise Valley, AZ, and centers on Soleri’s work as an artist and a sculptor. With the following link you can access a teaser clip with commentary by Sonny Fox.BEFORE FORM: The Creative World of Paolo Soleri. Here you can learn more about Aimee Madsen. We thank everyone for their continued support during the last year and wish for a Peaceful, Healthy and Productive 2012 for all of us. We will continue our reports in the New Year. [image: Aimee Madsen & text: from kickstarter, Sue]last_img read more

first_imgMillennials are the group most likely to cut the cord, or to have never had a traditional pay TV subscription, a survey of 25,000 US consumers reveals.The GfK MRI survey shows that millennials account for 43% of the cordless population in the US. It added that almost a third of millennials have shunned pay TV compared to just 16% of the older ‘baby boomer’ group.Millennials are looking to streaming services for TV, spending two thirds of their entire viewing time streaming programme. Baby boomers by contrast spend over half of their viewing time watching live TV.Netflix, Amazon and Hulu figured prominently among the millennial’s streaming platforms of choice, but they also gravitated to OTT channels and services such as Crunchy Roll, Twitch and Adult Swim.The challenge for content companies and advertisers is reaching a millennial audience GfK noted. “Millennials are hard to reach because they are 44 times more likely to be cord-free than the average US consumer,” it said. “Cordless millennials also do not use much media except for Internet – they are heavy streamers, heavy binge viewers, but light on overall TV watching.”last_img read more

first_imgFreegold Ventures Limited is a North American gold exploration company with three gold projects in Alaska. Current projects include Golden Summit, Vinasale and Rob. Both Vinasale and Golden Summit host NI 43-101 Compliant Resource Calculations. The 2012 exploration program includes additional drilling on both Golden Summit and Vinasale. An updated NI 43-101 resource was calculated on Golden Summit in December 2011 and using a 0.35 g/t cutoff is 14,840,000 tonnes @0.66 g/t Au – hosts 316,000 ounces in the indicated category and 50,0460,000 tonnes @0.61 g/t Au – hosts 991,000 ounces in the inferred category. Drilling has been underway on this road accessible project since mid January. To date over 36,000 feet have been drilled since January on the project, of which 30,000 feet have been aimed at resource expansion. Drilling remains ongoing.  An updated NI 43-101 is expected to be completed in Q3. Additional drilling is also underway on Vinasale. Vinasale currently hosts recently updated NI 43-101 resource calculation of 49,320,000 mt @1.09 g/t for a total of 1,735,000 contained gold ounces in the inferred category using a 0.5 g/t cutoff. Please visit our website for more information. Sponsor Advertisement Whenever JPMorgan Chase, SLV and silver get mentioned together in the same sentence, I think it’s worth pointing out.The gold price traded pretty flat through all of Far East and London trading on Thursday.  But the moment London closed for the day…4:00 p.m. GMT…11:00 a.m. in New York…a smallish rally developed that came to an end at 3:00 p.m. Eastern in electronic trading…and from there, gold got sold down a few bucks into the 5:15 p.m. close.The high tick came shortly before 3:00 p.m…and that was recorded as $1,736.20 spot.Gold closed the Thursday trading session at $1,731.90 spot…up $14.60 on the day.  Net volume was a far more reasonable 135,000 contracts.Silver’s absolute low tick [about $31.60 spot] came around 11:00 a.m. GMT in London…and once the noon silver fix was out of the way, the price began to rally in fits and starts…as every New York rally attempt ran into a willing seller the moment that it showed any signs of becoming “irrationally exuberant”.The silver price topped out shortly after 3:00 p.m. in New York…and then gold sold off a hair into the 5:15 p.m. Eastern time close.  The high tick was $32.56 spot which, looking at the 24-hour silver chart below, I find hard to believe.Ordinarily I’d post the New York Spot Silver [Bid] chart to lay the matter to rest…but it’s M.I.A. on Kitco’s website.Silver closed at $32.31 spot…up 47 cents from Wednesday.  Volume, net of roll-overs, was only 29,500 contracts.The dollar index did zip…hovering just under the 81.00 mark all day long.  It opened at 80.81…and its feeble rally attempt to get above the 81.00 level crashed and burned…and the index closed at 80.81.  It was obvious that the price movements in the precious metals had to do with other factors.The shares didn’t do much…and I wouldn’t read a heck of a lot into yesterday’s HUI action.  It closed up 0.71%.With the odd exception, the silver shares turn in a real decent performance yesterday.  But two of the stocks that didn’t have a good day on Thursday…CDE and PAAS…make up a decent chunk of Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index.  And because of that, it only closed up 0.10%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 10 gold and 4 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Monday within the Comex-approved depositories.Once again both GLD and SLV showed increased in their holdings.  In GLD an authorized participant added 77,517 troy ounces of gold…and in SLV it was 1,549,091 troy ounces.The U.S. Mint had a decent sales report as well.  They sold 13,000 ounces of gold eagles…3,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 148,000 silver eagles.The Comex-approved depositories showed that 309,750 troy ounces of silver were withdrawn on Wednesday…and nothing was received.  The link to that activity is here.I have three charts for you today.  The first was from a colleague of Australian reader Wesley Legrand.  It’s the Dollar Index vs. the Gold Price going back about thirteen years. Wesley’s colleague had this to say about the relationship between the two…“There are periods were there has been an obvious inverse correlation, but then there are also extended periods where both gold and the USD index have risen together including the last 1.5 years (this is a monthly chart).”“Of particular significance, over the last eight years when the price of gold starting rising more rapidly, the price of gold rose from $400 to $1,700 and the USD has been in a trading range, but has ended up exactly where it started eight years ago, at 80.”“So the USD index is unchanged after eight years during which the price of gold quadrupled.”“I think the relationship is more psychological than anything else.”[He would be right about that! – Ed](Click on image to enlarge)This next chart contains only three days of data…starting with the U.S. election day on Tuesday…and ending at the close of trading yesterday. It’s a “Gold vs. Everything Else” chart.  Note how the gold price stands out above all others.  The other traces are the dollar index, the U.S. 10-year treasury, the S&P…and the commodity index.I thank Washington state reader S.A. for sending it…and I just know he stole it from a Zero Hedge article.(Click on image to enlarge)The third graph is from Vancouver, Washington reader Duane Zelinka.  It’s a graph from an AP story posted in the ‘Critical Reads’ section below…but in case you pass on the story, I want to make sure you at least skim the graph…and it needs no further embellishment on my part.I have the usual number of stories for a weekday column and, as always, the final edit is up to you.Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable. – George OrwellI wouldn’t read a whole heck of a lot into yesterday’s price action.  I was happy to see prices rise…and volume return to more normal numbers.  We are well along in the roll-overs out of the December delivery month…and barring something out of left field somewhere…I’m not expecting huge price action between now and the end of the month, although I reserve the right to be wrong about this.Before I started writing this column early yesterday evening, I was browsing through a website that Ted Butler had mentioned a year or so back…and it was the contents of that Internet site that made me change my mind about SLV a while back.  The website is about.ag…and the proprietor keeps a close eye on what goes on within the fund.As you know, JPMorgan Chase is the big silver short in the Comex futures market…with the Bank of Nova Scotia/Scotia Mocatta believed to be in second place.  The comments on this website about JPMorgan Chase and its SLV silver inventories in London between October 3rd and November 7th of this year, are worth noting…and here they are…October 3…”For the first time in nearly a year, there was no movement of silver from JPM London A to Brinks London. About 95Moz in all has been transferred from JPM London A to Brinks London, with 5Moz left in JPM London A (which we expect will be transferred shortly).”  October 10…”Again, we see a small movement of silver (0.8Moz) from JPM London A to Brinks London.”  October 31…”Another 1.6Moz was transferred from JPM London A to Brinks London, as part of what appears to be a phase-out of that vault.”  November 7…”A final 3.1Moz was transferred from JPM London A to Brinks London, with just 3 bars left listed as being in that vault.”Beats me as to what it means, if anything…but whenever JPMorgan Chase, SLV and silver get mentioned together in the same sentence, I think it’s worth pointing out.  You can read all the weekly commentary on SLV silver inventories at the link here.But please don’t get the idea that because I’ve changed my thinking on SLV [or GLD for that matter] that I now think they’re great investment vehicles.  I still wouldn’t touch either one with a 10-foot cattle prod.Today we get both the latest Commitment of Traders Report…and the November Bank Participation Report…and I will have something to say about each in my Saturday column.Very little happened with gold or silver during the Friday trading session in the Far East…and the same can be said for the first twenty minutes of London trading.  Volumes are near normal…whatever that means nowadays…and the dollar index is down about 12 basis points.And as I hit the ‘send’ button at 5:00 a.m. Eastern time…two hours after the London open…gold is up about five bucks and silver’s up a bit more than a dime.  Volume’s are getting up there a bit…and the dollar index is basically unchanged.I hate to beat this to death every week, but I’d like to remind you one more time that there’s still an opportunity to either readjust your portfolio, or get fully invested in the continuing major up-leg of this bull market in both silver and gold…and I respectfully suggest that you take out a trial subscription to either Casey Research‘s International Speculator [junior gold and silver exploration companies], or BIG GOLD [large producers], with all our best [and current] recommendations…as well as the archives. Don’t forget that our 90-day guarantee of satisfaction is in effect for both publications.Enjoy your weekend…or what’s left of it…and I’ll see you here tomorrow.last_img read more

first_img France made cash transactions over €1,000 illegal, down from the previous limit of €3,000. The War on Cash is a favorite pet project of the economic central planners. They want to eliminate hand-to-hand currency so that governments can document, control, and tax everything. This is why they’re lowering the threshold for mandatory reporting of cash transactions and, in some instances, simply making it illegal to pay cash. In the U.S., central planners ratchet up the War on Cash every time the government declares a made-up war on something else…a war on crime, a war on drugs, a war on poverty, a war on terror… They all end with more government intrusion into your financial affairs. Thanks to these made-up wars, the U.S. government is imposing an increasing number of regulations on cash transactions. Try withdrawing more than $10,000 in cash from your bank. They’ll treat you like a criminal or terrorist. The Federal Reserve is at the center of the War on Cash. Its weapons are inflation and control over the currency denominations. Take the $100 note, for example. It’s the largest bill in circulation today. This was not always the case. At one point, the U.S. had $500, $1,000, $5,000, and even $10,000 notes. But the government eliminated these large notes in 1969 under the pretext of fighting the War on Some Drugs. Since then, the $100 note has been the largest. But it has far less purchasing power than it did in 1969. Decades of rampant money printing have inflated the dollar. Today, a $100 note buys less than a $20 note did in 1969. Even though the Federal Reserve has devalued the dollar over 80% since 1969, it still refuses to issue notes larger than $100. This makes it inconvenient to use cash for large transactions, which forces people to use electronic payment methods. This, of course, is what the U.S. government wants. It’s exactly like Ron Paul said: “The cashless society is the IRS’s dream: total knowledge of, and control over, the finances of every single American.” Policymakers or Central Planners? On stories related to the War on Cash, you may have noticed that the mainstream media often uses the word “policymakers,” as in “policymakers have decided to keep interest rates at record low levels.” When the media uses “policymakers,” they are often referring to central bank officials. It’s a curious word choice. As far as I can tell, there is no difference between a policymaker and central planner. Most people who want to live in a free society agree that central planning is not a good idea. So the media uses a different word to put a more neutral spin on things. To help you think more clearly, I suggest substituting “central planners” every time you see “policymakers.” Switzerland proposed banning cash payments in excess of 100,000 francs; Russia banned cash transactions over $10,000; Recommended Links The World’s First Cashless Society In 1661, Sweden became the first country in Europe to issue paper money. Now it’s probably going to be the first in the world to eliminate it. Sweden has already phased out most cash transactions. According to Credit Suisse, 80% of all purchases in Sweden are electronic and don’t involve cash. And that figure is rising. If the trend continues – and there is nothing to suggest it won’t – Sweden could soon be the world’s first cashless society. Sweden’s supply of physical currency has dropped over 50% in the last six years. A couple of major Swedish banks no longer carry cash. Virtually all Swedes pay for candy bars and coffee electronically. Even homeless street vendors use mobile card readers. Plus, an increasing number of government restrictions are encouraging Swedes to dump cash. The pretexts are familiar…fighting terrorism, money laundering, etc. In effect, these restrictions make it inconvenient to use cash, so people don’t. So far, Swedes have passively accepted the government and banks’ drive to eliminate cash. The push to destroy their financial privacy doesn’t seem to bother them. This is likely because the average Swede places an unreasonable amount of trust in government and financial institutions. Their trust is certainly misplaced. On top of the obvious privacy concerns, eliminating cash enables the central planners’ latest gimmick to goose the economy: Negative interest rates. Making The Negative Interest Rate Scam Possible Sweden, Denmark, and Switzerland all have negative interest rates. Negative interest rates mean the lender literally pays the borrower for the privilege of lending him money. It’s a bizarre, upside down concept. But negative rates are not some European anomaly. The Federal Reserve discussed the possibility of using negative interest rates in the U.S. at its last meeting. Negative rates could not exist in a free market. They destroy the impetus to save and build capital, which is the basis of prosperity. When you deposit money in a bank, you are lending money to the bank. However, with negative rates you don’t earn interest. Instead, you pay the bank. If you don’t like that plan, you can certainly stash your cash under the mattress. As a practical matter, this limits how far governments and central banks can go with negative interest rates. The more it costs to store money at the bank, the less inclined people are to do it. Of course, central planners don’t want you to withdraw money from the bank. This is a big reason why they want to eliminate cash…so you can’t. As long as your money stays in the bank, it’s vulnerable to the sting of negative interest rates and also helps to prop up the unsound fractional reserve banking system. If you can’t withdraw your money as cash, you have two choices: You can deal with negative interest rates…or you can spend your money. Ultimately, that’s what our Keynesian central planners want. They are using negative interest rates and the War on Cash to force you to spend and “stimulate” the economy. If you ask me, these radical and insane measures are a sign of desperation. The War on Cash and negative interest rates are huge threats to your financial security. Central planners are playing with fire and inviting a currency catastrophe. Most people have no idea what really happens when a currency collapses, let alone how to prepare… How will you protect your savings in the event of a currency crisis? This just-released video will show you exactly how. Click here to watch it now. Regards, Nick Giambruno Don’t Put a Penny in Tech Stocks Until You Hear What This Insider Has to Say Most tech giants take YEARS to be valued at $1 billion. But in 2014, an early stage start-up shot from $0 to $1 billion in just EIGHT MONTHS. All thanks to a new technological force on track to revolutionize the tech industry… and send profits soaring exponentially… starting next year. In a live event on Wednesday, December 2, at 8 p.m. Eastern, Bill Bonner’s resident tech expert will explain everything you need to know. Investors who act now could see exponential profits. Don’t miss out… — Mexico made cash payments of more than 200,000 pesos illegal; Uruguay banned cash transactions over $5,000; and – Editor’s Note: Your wealth and privacy could be collateral damage in a war you probably haven’t heard of until now… In this special edition of the Casey Daily Dispatch, our colleague Nick Giambruno, editor of Crisis Speculator, explains how central planners around the globe are waging this hidden war and what you should do to protect yourself. ———— Central planners around the world are waging a War on Cash. In just the last few years: Italy made cash transactions over €1,000 illegal; Big warning signs U.S. is the next Greece 70-year-old multimillionaire reveals #1 step to survive America’s looming currency crisis. Spain banned cash transactions over €2,500;last_img read more

first_imgThe occupational health expert chosen by the government to review its much-criticised “fitness for work” test appears to have suggested that the assessment should be scrapped and replaced with a radically different process.Dr Paul Litchfield, who led the fourth and fifth reviews of the work capability assessment (WCA), said the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had been “forced into rushing the design of the WCA”, before it was introduced by the New Labour government in 2008.Litchfield, BT’s chief medical officer, was giving evidence to the Commons work and pensions committee for its inquiry into the assessment processes for personal independence payment and employment and support allowance (ESA).He was speaking just days after new figures, published by Disability News Service, showed that the proportion of people claiming out-of-work disability benefits who had attempted suicide at some point in their lives doubled between 2007 – the year before the WCA was introduced – and 2014.Litchfield (pictured, giving evidence), who was not asked about the figures by the committee, said there had been attempts to improve the WCA, but he warned: “There have been efforts to adjust it and improve it over time, but when it starts from a position which is designed as imperfect, you’re lucky if it gets more perfect, it is just as likely to get more imperfect as you adapt it.”Litchfield told the committee: “The philosophical basis of what we do as a society does need to be revisited.”He claimed that “the thinking that went into creating the current assessment” dated back at least to the early 1980s in the United States, and the WCA was simply an “evolution” of the previous assessment, the personal capability assessment.He said the WCA was designed “very quickly to meet the legislative timescales… so it wasn’t a radical redesign of a system, it was an adaptation of what was there already”.Litchfield said that the nature of work had “changed dramatically over that period” and it was now necessary to “think about as a society… how we want to distribute benefits to those who can’t work for whatever reason, and whether we want something which is specifically based on their health condition and their disability.“If we do want that we need to think about how we would design that in the context of the modern workplace and the shifting demographics and the shifting disease profile that we are seeing in the population, so I think there does need to be that fundamental thinking that goes on but that inevitably is a 10, 15-year process and you can’t rush it.”Despite those comments, disabled campaigners who have been calling for years for the WCA to be scrapped and replaced – because of its links to relapses, anxiety and distress among those with long-term health conditions, and the loss of many lives – are likely to be bemused by other remarks made by Litchfield to the committee.He suggested that much of the reason for the failure of the WCA was that it was based on a “medical model” understanding of disability, which he said was now “largely discredited”.He said that many experts were now more in favour of a “biopsychosocial model” approach.But campaigners and researchers have previously pointed out that the biopsychosocial (BPS) model crucially underpins ESA and the WCA and also played a significant role in the tightening of eligibility criteria for ESA and other disability benefits by the coalition and Tory governments.Research published last year by Professor Tom Shakespeare and Professor Nicholas Watson, and fellow academic Ola Abu Alghaib, argued that the BPS model was riddled with inconsistencies, misleading statements and “unevidenced” claims.The BPS model was developed by Dr Gordon Waddell, an orthopaedic surgeon, and Professor Sir Mansel Aylward, who was DWP’s chief medical officer from 1995 to 2005.Key to the BPS model, the three authors said last year, is the idea that “it is the negative attitudes of many ESA recipients that prevent them from working, rather than their impairment or health condition”, essentially branding many benefit claimants “scroungers”.This allows supporters of BPS – including a string of New Labour and Tory government ministers – to draw a distinction “between ‘real’ incapacity benefit claimants, with long-term and incurable health conditions, and ‘fake’ benefit claimants, with short-term illness”, with the model responsible for a “barely concealed” element of “victim-blaming”, they said.last_img read more

first_imgDisabled activists are hoping their latest protest in the heart of Westminster will empower other disabled people to follow their lead and fight the government’s social security cuts and reforms.The action by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), which involved scores of disabled protesters, focused on calls for the government to scrap its new universal credit working-age benefit system, which is being rolled out across the country.DPAC believes universal credit has “too many flaws to be simply paused and fixed” – the solution proposed by the Labour party – and is “rotten to the core”, with foodbank use and rates of claimants being sanctioned “soaring” in areas where it has been introduced.The action saw one group of activists occupy parliament’s central lobby and attempt to interrupt prime minister’s questions in the House of Commons.After their path to the Commons chamber was blocked by five police officers, they repeatedly chanted “stop and scrap universal credit” and “benefits not bombs” as prime minister’s questions was taking place.They later joined a larger group of activists opposite the Houses of Parliament, before marching to a traffic crossing in front of the House of Commons, where they blocked the road for more than half an hour.One protester was dressed as a crime scene investigator (pictured), beside a banner which said: “#StopandScrap. Universal Credit is a Crime.”The outline of a “murder victim” placed on the road had earlier been laid on the floor of parliament’s central lobby.Andy Greene, a member of DPAC’s national steering group, said at the start of the protest that he hoped other disabled people and the public would pay attention to the action.He said: “This is about continuing to show that disabled people will not be passive recipients of these changes.“We will continue to resist them at every opportunity and represent the interests of people who cannot be here but would want to say something if they were.”But he added: “It is not enough to hear, you also have to respond, whether that is speaking to your local councillor, writing a letter to the media, calling up talk shows, taking direct action or joining a local group; whatever it is, we want people to respond.”Greene said councils were not being given the resources to cope with the results of austerity, while the voluntary sector “has had its teeth pulled in terms of capturing what is going on and being able to respond to that.“We are seeing that it is only through activism that we have been able to see any consistent, empowering response, which is why we are here today.”He said the introduction of universal credit had the potential to be the most harmful of all the government’s social security cuts and reforms, putting not only people’s income at risk but also “the roof over their head”.Disabled people are “right at the centre of that”, he said.He added: “We spoke five years ago about people’s worlds shrinking. We are now talking about people’s worlds collapsing.”At the end of the protest, Greene said he believed that years of high-profile protests by DPAC – which was formed in 2010 – had encouraged many other disabled people to take part in local and national demonstrations.He said: “That’s how I judge our success. People see themselves reflected in these demos. There is no myth, no secret. We turn up and we take part. That’s it.”Labour MP Laura Pidcock* supported the protesters as they blocked traffic outside the House of Commons, and said the action was “absolutely necessary”.She said: “Sometimes when people won’t listen, what else are people supposed to do?“I am very supportive of any demonstration when people feel a government will not listen.”She said the rollout of universal credit had begun in her North West Durham constituency in December and there had already been threats of eviction.Although she did not say she wanted to scrap universal credit, she said her party needed to “have a conversation” about how it was working.She said that people who were experiencing universal credit themselves knew the government’s claims that it would be a simpler system and would provide a faster route into work were “not true”.She said: “There has to be an overall assessment of, ‘is this the best that Britain has to offer in terms of social security?’”Marion Nisbet, of Glasgow DPAC, had travelled by train from Scotland to take part in the protest in London.She said she has been “part of the fightback” since she was asked in a work capability assessment (WCA) in 2011 why she had not killed herself, when discussing her suicidal feelings with an assessor working for the government’s contractor Atos.She said: “I walked out thinking that that was what I was going to do. I felt totally humiliated and worthless.”She said the WCA process – which is part of the universal credit system – was “nothing to do with empowering people back into employability” but was “state-sanctioned cruelty”.She said: “As an unemployed disabled worker, there is nowhere I would rather be than at my work, but we have an Equality Act that is not worth the paper it is printed on when it comes to the employability of disabled people.”She added: “I am sick and tired of watching sick and disabled people paying for the fact that the bankers ran away with the money.“This has been an ideological, financial attack on disabled people, labelling them scroungers and skivers so everybody is convinced we are all at it and [that attack] needs to happen.”Another disabled campaigner, Kay Nosae, said she had attended the demonstration because she wanted “to be doing something, to feel I have some power”, and to try to affect some of the many people walking past the protest in Westminster.She said: “It is also partly all the history of disability protest. I want to feel I am carrying on the tradition of trying to do something, not just being passive and letting other people fight for us.”Another reason she attended was because of her concerns about the removal of disability premiums in the move to universal credit.She said: “The government said that no disabled person would lose out but obviously they have.”She said she had spent days in bed before the protest and would probably spend days in bed recovering afterwards.She added: “I cannot plan for my future because I don’t know how the benefits system is going to change.”Gabriel Pepper, who took part in the lobby action, said universal credit was “a juggernaut”.He said he believed the government did not care about the impact of universal credit, and was intent on rolling it out and its harsh conditionality while closing scores of jobcentres.He said: “That combination is toxic. What do they think will happen?”Other protests as part of DPAC’s day of action against universal credit took place across the country, including actions in Manchester, York, Sheffield, Norwich and Brighton, with others planned in Truro, Birmingham, Leicester, Edinburgh and Cardigan, Wales.Among DPAC’s many concerns with universal credit are the “harsh” conditions imposed on claimants, without reasonable adjustments for disabled people; mandatory health and work conversations for disabled people; an online application process that is inaccessible to many disabled people; and the scrapping of severe and enhanced disability premiums, which are currently added to some means-tested disability benefits to help with the costs of disability.The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been insisting since 2012 that “transitional protection” would ensure that no-one moving onto universal credit would see their benefits cut in cash terms.But campaigners have remained sceptical, while also pointing out that the transitional protections will not apply if there are changes in the disabled person’s personal circumstances – for example if they move to a new home, or their relationship status changes – and will not apply to new claimants.Despite repeated requests from Disability News Service to clarify exactly how disabled people will be affected by the removal of the premiums under UC, DWP has so far been unable to do so.in less than two weeks, the high court is due to hear a judicial review of the financial impact of the introduction of universal credit on a terminally-ill man who has lost £178 per month in disability premiums after he moved back to London to receive treatment and had to claim UC for the first time.*Pidcock said she had accompanied members of DPAC to a “very frustrating” meeting on Tuesday with Sarah Newton, the minister for disabled people, about concerns about disability benefit assessments.She said Newton had been “very, very dismissive” and although the minister was considering some recommendations made by this year’s report by the Commons work and pensions committee into the assessment processes, had refused to remove the PIP assessment contracts from Atos and Capita.She said: “I know they have a certain vision of the welfare state but I thought if I could meet with them on a human level and explain how difficult it is for people… but it didn’t make a difference.”last_img read more

first_img Entrepreneur Staff June 1, 2017 Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business After President Donald Trump announced the U.S. will pull out of the accord on climate change, Musk followed through with what he tweeted yesterday. Add to Queue –shares Image credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images Elon Musk Entrepreneur Staffcenter_img Register Now » Elon Musk and Steve Bannon, chief strategist for President Donald Trump, attend a Strategic and Policy Forum meeting. Update June 1, 2017, 4:08 p.m.Elon Musk tweeted on Thursday that he’s quitting his position on President Donald Trump’s advisory councils following Trump’s announcement that he will pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement.Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 1, 2017Original story, published May 31, 2017, follows.Elon Musk has received a lot of flak for serving on President Donald Trump’s advisory councils, but he may soon forgo his role if the Trump administration pulls out of the Paris climate agreement, as is expected.Musk tweeted on Wednesday, “Don’t know which way Paris will go, but I’ve done all I can to advise directly to POTUS, through others in WH & via councils, that we remain.”Related: Watch Elon Musk’s Underground Sled Reach 125 mphWhen asked by a Twitter user what he’ll do if Trump pulls the U.S. out of the Paris accord, Musk responded:Will have no choice but to depart councils in that case— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 31, 2017The SpaceX and Tesla CEO currently serves on the White House’s councils on manufacturing jobs, strategy and policy and infrastructure.Up to this point, Musk has argued that his place on the councils has allowed him to advocate for many issues, including climate change. Next Article 2 min read Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Elon Musk: I’m Departing Trump’s Councilslast_img read more

first_img 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. Image credit: via PC Mag Most Celebs Don’t Properly Label Their Instagram Ads –shares Next Article Add to Queue Do you follow a bunch of big name celebrities on Instagram? There’s a good chance you’ve been exposed to improperly labeled ads.Mediakix recently evaluated the accounts of the top 50 most followed celebrities on Instagram over a 30-day period and found that the vast majority of ads they posted were in violation of the Federal Trade Commission’s rules. According to the FTC’s guidelines, all sponsored posts on Instagram must include clear and conspicuous disclosure like #ad or #sponsored near the top of captions, so people viewing the post on a smartphone will see that it’s an ad without having to press the “more” button (see below). Social media stars sometimes use hashtags like #sp or #partner to call out Instagram ads; other times, they’ll just say “Thanks [Brand]” somewhere in the caption. Under the FTC’s rules, these disclosures aren’t sufficient.Mediakix didn’t name names but found that 30 of the top 50 Instagrammers posted sponsored content, which isn’t a problem if it’s done right. The problem is, just 7 percent of those posts were in compliance with the FTC’s guidelines. The other 93 percent of posts did not include the appropriate verbiage.”We found that celebrities who post sponsored content may, on average, post 3 FTC compliant posts a year vs. 58 posts that are non-compliant,” the marketing agency wrote. Mediakix went on to say that these violations “may have profound and far-reaching effects on consumers.” The low compliance rate means that “users are regularly coming across posts that could be interpreted as misleading where the material connection between a brand and a celebrity is ambiguous,” they added.The FTC last month sent out more than 90 letters reminding Instagram stars and marketers that they need to “clearly and conspicuously disclose their relationships to brands when promoting or endorsing products through social media.” That marked the first time the agency had reached out to social media influencers directly about their responsibility to be transparent when posting ads on Instagram. Angela Moscaritolo This story originally appeared on PCMagcenter_img Reporter Enroll Now for $5 3 min read Just 7 percent of sponsored posts from the top 50 most followed celebrities on Instagram are in compliance with the FTC’s guidelines, according to a new study. Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Instagram June 13, 2017last_img read more

first_img Associate Editor Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now » At 9:48 a.m. on Aug. 7, 2018, Elon Musk tweeted two sentences that landed him with an SEC probe, an internal board review and an incalculable amount of online speculation.“Am considering taking Tesla private at $420,” he wrote. “Funding secured.” That price was a 20 percent premium over the share price at the time. Musk planned for current shareholders to have the choice to remain as such — if they preferred a buyout, they’d receive the approximate value he tweeted about.Today, the Tesla CEO is attempting to set the record straight on any speculation with a new company blog post. He sheds more light on his actions over the past week, including more on the “why,” writing that going private could help Tesla better focus on the long term. Entrepreneur reached out to Tesla for comment and will update this story if the company responds. Analysts at several top investment banks declined to comment, likely due to the sensitive nature of the company in recent months.Here’s what you need to know about Musk’s latest announcement.How likely is Tesla to go private?In a letter to Tesla employees, Musk wrote: “If the process ends the way I expect it will, a private Tesla would ultimately be an enormous opportunity for all of us.” The key takeaway from this is that Musk does indeed expect Tesla to go private. But analysts at JPMorgan aren’t quite as sure, assigning a 50 percent probability to the potential move. Before Musk’s announcement, JPMorgan valued the company’s shares at $195 each. The day after his tweet, analysts updated that valuation to $308 per share.Who is the backer behind Musk’s “funding secured” claim?Musk says the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund first approached him in early 2017 about taking Tesla private, a chief reason being they were interested in investing in more than just oil. According to Musk’s blog post, he met with fund representatives “several times” over the course of the next year — including July 31, 2018, after the Saudi fund bought close to 5 percent of Tesla stock. As for the “funding secured” part of Musk’s tweet? “Obviously, the Saudi sovereign fund has more than enough capital needed to execute on such a transaction,” he wrote. But Musk also clarified that he’s also in talks with other investors.How much more debt could cash-strapped Tesla incur for the move?Musk plans to leverage equity in the company rather than debt to fund Tesla’s potential move to private. “I do not think it would be wise to burden Tesla with significantly increased debt,” he wrote, disparaging reports that the move could cost the company more than $70 billion. He currently estimates that about two-thirds of all investor-owned shares would “roll over” into a private Tesla.What’s next?Musk says he’ll continue investor meetings to get a better idea of how many of Tesla’s current public shareholders would remain shareholders if the company goes private. The company’s board is currently setting up a special committee to evaluate any final proposal, followed by regulatory approvals and — one of the last steps — a vote by Tesla shareholders. Image credit: Robyn Beck | Getty Images Add to Queue –shares Hayden Field Next Article center_img Elon Musk Reveals New Plan for Taking Tesla Private 3 min read Elon Musk Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. August 13, 2018 Entrepreneur Staff On Monday, the outspoken CEO revealed the Saudi Arabian sovereign fund as a potential backer.last_img read more

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. –shares Next Article The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Create Your Own Online Network Add to Queue 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List July 16, 2009 Marketing 3 min read As an entrepreneur, you want to be on the lookout for the newest trends that help keep you lean and profitable. One thing you may want to consider is implementing an online network as an integral part of your business.As a person with strong entrepreneurial spirit, you may already be running one or more businesses. You may be running each by yourself or you may have employees of varying numbers. Starting an online network within your existing businesses can be a great way to increase the profits of those businesses.A great number of larger corporations have already discovered that opening up the gateways of communication through an internal social network has allowed them to learn more about employees, particularly their hidden talents, talents that may be tapped into as the company grows.Interestingly, the idea of creating a proprietary social network is not just for large organizations. Today, an increasing number of small businesses are embracing online networks, particularly as the workforce becomes more and more filled with employees who have spent their entire lives online.If you own a small business, or businesses, one of the main reasons you should consider adding an online networking component is that the best time to make an online network part of your company culture is when the company is small. It can then stay in place and grow along with your company. As a small-business owner, you likely wear multiple hats and, even with your handy PDA, you may have a difficult time getting easy access to all the information you need about your employees in a single place. By using an online network you can keep track of–and have immediate access to–information about what each employee is currently working on, and what experience they have from previous positions.Your company may have employees operating from remote locations. Setting up an internal online network will allow those employees to interact with one another–and with you–without leaving their desks, allowing for more personalization, and less isolation.Finally, if you more than one small business, implementing an online network gives you the power to gather information across your businesses, search for the best employees for particular tasks, and establish greater collaboration between you and your employees.Internal online networks are dynamic and allow employees to use virtually all the features they would find on Facebook, or even LinkedIn, including social networking, tagging and profiles. There are many hosted applications that cater to this market segment. Because of this, even the smallest companies have access to robust technologies at affordable prices.Larger businesses have already jumped on the bandwagon, particularly in the last couple of years, but the time is right–and the software is here–for smaller businesses to profit from an internal online networking component as well.Julien Sharp is the author of Design and Launch an Online Networking Business in a Week, and a contributing author to Masters of Sales: Secrets From Top Sales Professionals That Will Transform You Into A World Class Salesperson by Ivan Misner, PhD and Don Morgan, MA, both available from Entrepreneur Press. Julien Sharp Apply Now »last_img read more

first_img Daniel Cooper Add to Queue Next Article –shares Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Image credit: Endgaget Google’s Larry Page Is Secretly Developing a Flying Car Remember all of those dystopian futures where our skies are filled with grimy flying cars spewing smog across the land? The co-founder of Google is hoping to make that future a reality, at least according to Bloomberg.It’s published a report claiming that Larry Page has been secretly bankrolling Zee.Aero and Kitty Hawk, two California startups working on developing a serious flying car. While the former is based on the edges of Google’s Mountain View campus, Page’s involvement has been considered a secret, until now.According to 10 (10!) sources familiar with the matter, Zee.Aero has developed a pair of prototype aircraft which it tests regularly. It has a facility close to a runway in Hollister in southern California, where locals claim to have seen weird craft hovering overhead. The report describes them as plane-like vehicles, with propellers in the rear — one small enough for a single person, the other seemingly more capacious. Last year, website LongTailPipe found a patent detailing the firm’s thinking, with rotor blades lining a plane-style cockpit. As top-secret as the project is, Zee.Aero engineers have been known to show off their skills, breaking the cruising record for unpowered flight at the 2013 Red Bull Flugtag.Kitty Hawk, meanwhile, was apparently spun out by Page as a competing project, led by Sebastian Thrun, founder of Google’s X Lab. Thrun is also famous for being one of the minds behind the search engine’s self-driving car project way back when. Page apparently believes that two companies, competing directly with each other, will help get the job done faster. The smaller firm is working on something closer to a quadcopter drone, reminding us of EHang’s 184 passenger drone.Unfortunately, Bloomberg believes that merely reporting on Page’s involvement with both firms might kill his dreams dead. It claims that the Google co-founder said that, if his connection was made public, he’d withdraw in an instant. Although maybe he’s better off directing his energies toward a mode of transportation that’ll help solve the problems more people face today, like mass transit.center_img Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. This story originally appeared on Engadget June 9, 2016 2 min read Larry Page Register Now »last_img read more

first_img Add to Queue –shares Next Article Delta Air Lines to Cancel Nearly 300 Flights on Tuesday Delta Airlines 2 min read 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List August 9, 2016 This story originally appeared on Reuters The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Reuters Delta Air Lines Inc. said it was canceling some 300 flights on Tuesday morning, higher than an earlier estimate of 250, as the carrier worked to restore operations after a power outage hit its computer systems on Monday.The company, which has not yet given details about the financial impact of the outage, said it expected additional delays and cancellations.The airline canceled around 1,000 flights on Monday, stranding passengers at airports around the globe.”We were able to bring our systems back on line and resume flights within a few hours yesterday but we are still operating in recovery mode,” Delta, the No. 2 U.S. airline by passenger traffic, said on Tuesday.Customers traveling on Tuesday should check the status of their flight at delta.com or the Fly Delta App, the company said.Delta Chief Executive Ed Bastian apologized to customers on a video posted on the company’s website and said the company was working round the clock to restore its systems.The problems arose after a switchgear — which helps control and switch power flows like a circuit breaker in a home — malfunctioned for reasons that were not immediately clear, according to Georgia Power, a unit of Southern Co., which provides electricity to most counties in Georgia.Atlanta-based Delta said it would offer compensation to customers affected by significant delays or cancellations. The company said it would provide $200 in travel vouchers to all customers who experienced a delay of greater than three hours or a canceled flight.Delta shares were little changed at $37.75 in premarket trading on Tuesday.Rivals Southwest Airlines Co. and American Airlines Group Inc. have also suffered flight disruptions earlier due to data system malfunctions.(Reporting by Rachit Vats and Sayantani Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey) Apply Now »last_img read more

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Viewpoints: Medicare Provider Cuts ‘Won’t Work’; A ‘Pamphlet Isn’t A Plan’ The Medicare NewsGroup: Medicare Provider Rate Cuts: Can’t Work. Won’t Work. And Something That Does WorkOnce the presidential election is over, Congress will try to address the Medicare cost shortfall one way or another. They will almost certainly consider a method that is guaranteed to fail: Medicare rate cuts for doctors and hospitals. It’s been tried before, most notably as part of the 1997 Balanced Budget Act. … Why is such an obvious answer so obviously the wrong one? Two reasons: first, doctor and hospital participation in Medicare is voluntary. If rates are cut, some providers will flee – leaving beneficiaries high and dry. And second, for those providers who stay in Medicare, cutting rates is nothing more than shifting costs (Michael McCallister, 10/24).Politico: A Glossy Pamphlet Isn’t A PlanOne of the benefits of having served the people of Utah in the Senate for as long as I have is that I’ve been able to work with many presidents from both parties. … Yet in this year’s historic presidential election, we have an incumbent president who either knowingly refuses to tell the American people what his plan for our nation would be if reelected … A look at the health care section is remarkable for its look backward – not forward – to ObamaCare, hardly an achievement in most people’s eyes since the president promised that it would hold down health care costs, which it’s failed to do (Sen. Orrin Hatch, 10/24).Roll Call: On Mitt Romney, Medicare And Making The Math WorkThe political appeal behind pledging not to touch Medicare benefits for current and soon-to-be seniors is obvious. The political appeal of attacking the president for slashing the Medicare program by $716 billion and pledging to restore it is equally obvious. The political appeal of promising to cut deficits and debt and cap government spending at 20 percent of  the GDP is also apparent. But the combination of the three is utterly inconsistent and impossible. Something has to give — the question is what. It is that question the 113th Congress will have to confront immediately if Romney wins, with no palatable answer (Norman Ornstein, 10/25).Chicago Sun-Times: Mourdock’s Mistake Is Speaking For GodWe have the right to interpret the universe in a way that makes sense to us. What we don’t have a right to do is expect — never mind demand — that other people share our worldview. This flies by some Republicans, and they trip over it. Particularly when it comes to abortion (Neil Steinberg, 10/24). Los Angeles Times: Mourdock’s Take On Rape And Pregnancy: What’s Romney To Do?Respect isn’t the word I would use to describe Mourdock’s position, though. If he respects the different beliefs about God, religious structure and abortion, he wouldn’t be pressing to force his particular religious perspective on others. Instead, he’d say: Well, it’s not something I can condone because of my religious beliefs, but it’s not something I have the right to stop, knowing that others believe differently (Karin Klein, 10/24)The New York Times: The Family Doctor, Minus the M.D.The Family Health Clinic of Carroll County, in Delphi, Ind., and its smaller sibling about 40 minutes away in Monon provide full-service health care for about 10,000 people a year, most of them farmers or employees of the local pork production plant. … Most of the patients are uninsured, and pay according to their income — the vast majority paying the $20 minimum charge for an appointment. About 30 percent are on Medicaid. The clinics, which are part of Purdue University’s School of Nursing, offer family care, pediatrics, mental health and pregnancy care. Many patients come in for chronic problems: obesity, diabetes, hypertension, depression, alcoholism. What these clinics don’t offer are doctors. They are two of around 250 health clinics across America run completely by nurse practitioners (Tina Rosenberg, 10/24)The New England Journal of Medicine: Talking With Patients About Dying Chemotherapy near the end of life is still common, does not improve survival, and is one preventable reason why 25% of all Medicare funds are spent in the last year of life. … If patients are offered truthful information — repeatedly — on what is going to happen to them, they can choose wisely. Most people want to live as long as they can, with a good quality of life, and then transition to a peaceful death outside the hospital. We have the tools to help patients make these difficult decisions. We just need the gumption and incentives to use them (Drs. Thomas J. Smith and Dan L. Longo, 10/24).WBUR: Health Care For All, Except Restaurant Workers?At a recent meeting with a group of successful restaurant professionals, there were the predictable questions — like, “How do you obtain financing for your nth venture?” — but there was a surprising inquiry from a soft-spoken young chef who asked: “If Obamacare stays in place, will you reduce your staff’s hours so that they are no longer full-time and thus you won’t have to cover them under your health plan?” As the only business owner from Massachusetts, where a health care law that closely resembles the president’s Affordable Care Act has been in place for the last five years, I shared my experience (and tried to hide my shock). No, we did not reduce hours — nor did we even consider it (Chang, 10/25). Chicago Tribune: On The MendOne of the highlights of the budget presentation Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle made last week to the Tribune editorial board was an impressively streamlined $868 million spending plan for the health system. In this case, what we didn’t hear from Preckwinkle and health system CEO Dr. Ram Raju was even more impressive. What we didn’t hear were excuses for why the health care budget would gobble an ever greater share of taxpayer dollars (10/25).last_img read more

©2018 Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Explore further Experts disagree about whether Magic Leap’s issues are red flags or whether they are simply growing pains.”These things happen … the bigger the company, the bigger the liabilities,” Joe Russo, head of Palm Beach Tech, a nonprofit tech trade organization, said in an email.The technology press has been more skeptical. “Many details (about Magic Leap’s product) remain unclear,” Romain Dillet of TechCrunch wrote in February. “For instance, the company hasn’t shared anything about pricing and software features. It’s hard to grasp the use case of the device without this information.”Magic Leap’s fate is more than simply a topic of tech gossip. Florida taxpayers plan to invest more than $8 million in Magic Leap through tax breaks and incentives from the state and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, an economic development agency.The Alliance does not see anything to be worried about.”Magic Leap’s presence is extremely valuable to our community,” Bob Swindell, president and CEO of the Alliance, said in an emailed statement to the Herald. He noted that they had just participated in a tech hiring event at Nova Southeastern University. He did not address Magic Leap’s legal issues.A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity declined to comment on any of the recent developments, other than to say that Magic Leap had submitted required paperwork documenting progress toward meeting its goals for incentives. The documents, submitted on time, are still under review by an auditor.Magic Leap has created dozens of high-paying tech jobs in a state where the annual median family income is less than $59,000. Many employees have moved from across the country—and the world—to Plantation, once known mostly for its giant mall, just to be part of Magic Leap’s story. Patrick McKenna, a venture capitalist now based in Miami who recently touted the area as a tech destination in a New York Times article, said Magic Leap has shown “that an innovative technology company can raise large sums of money and attract world class talent to South Florida.”But the mixed signals it’s sending were recently on display at a pitch event hosted by Wynwood’s The LAB. A Magic Leap employee served as a judge on the pitch panel—on the condition that she not discuss the company, and that the LAB neither promote Magic Leap nor use its logo.Ironically, Magic Leap has been most forthcoming about what is happening inside the company in legal documents. In the Feb. 28 filing for judgment against its security director, Magic Leap maintains that the director, Todd Keil, had planned to submit a complaint alleging Magic Leap management rejected his recommendation that Microsoft HoloLens devices—direct competitors to Magic Leap’s reality-shaping headsets—delivered to Plantation be confiscated and returned. Keil also planned to allege he was told by a senior manager that Magic Leap would retain possession of a HoloLens device, Magic Leap says. And Keil planned to argue Magic Leap’s conduct violated the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, the filing states.Magic Leap says each of these accusations is false, and that Keil was simply retaliating for his poor performance reviews.In a brief phone interview, Keil said he has an agreement in place with Magic Leap that stipulates he cannot discuss the dispute. He said he has been with the company for two and a half years, and had moved to Florida from Texas, where he has since returned. A representative for Magic Leap did not respond to an inquiry asking whether Keil is still employed.Mike Lingle, a managing partner at Miami’s 10xU startup advisory who has consulted for many South Florida tech companies, says there is reason to continue asking questions about what’s going on in Plantation.”They’ve raised way too much money for a company with no product and no revenue,” he said in an email. “This leads people to behave strangely. I’m actually surprised that more cash hasn’t walked out the door.”The secrecy around the company could cripple its chance for success, he said.”Look at how much trouble Google had launching Glass, and they did everything right,” he said, referring to a technology Google ultimately pulled from retail shelves. “Customers need to be involved in the development process, especially when you’re asking them to change their behavior. Secrecy kills startups.”As it happens, a video interview posted in which a new Magic Leap employee speaks highly of the company was pulled down within 24 hours of going live. According to a report by Next Reality, a website that covers the futuristic augmented reality technology Magic Leap works on, a Plantation-based employee named Necole Pynn discussed in the video how Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz’s 2013 Ted Talk ultimately led her to join the company.”I started doing research when I first applied for the job,” she said, according to Next Reality. “I started looking into some of the people who worked there, and I realized that so many of my creative heroes work in this company.”Next Reality Editor Adario Strange said it is ironic the video “disappeared” so quickly.”It was easily the most full throated and glowing review of the company’s culture I’ve seen, so it might have helped Magic Leap to allow her voice to be more widely heard,” he said in an email.The company that posted the video, Trench Media, could not be reached for comment. Magic Leap did not respond to a request for comment.Strange believes the excitement surrounding Magic Leap may have caused expectations to outpace reality.”If the Magic Leap One isn’t several orders of magnitude better than Microsoft’s HoloLens, there may be a good deal of disappointment after so many years of anticipation,” he said. “Personally, I’m hoping it lives up to the hype.”Strange believes many startups like Magic Leap inevitably go through “learning experiences” as they attempt to establish a healthy and productive culture.”In that respect, there’s a certain amount of margin of error to be expected,” he said.But its other issues cannot be ignored.”Some of the allegations that have been reported are troubling for such an incredibly well funded company,” he said. When it comes to tech, the most buzzed-about companies often raise big investments—and big questions. That’s been the case with Magic Leap, the Plantation-based augmented reality company whose wunderkind status has resulted in more than $2 billion in investment—and a slew of legal disputes.In the past six months, Magic Leap announced it had raised $502 million from Singapore’s wealth fund; an unstated amount from German publisher Axel Springer; and, earlier this month, $461 million from Saudi Arabia’s national investment fund and other unnamed investors.That brings their total reported investment to $2.3 billion, including incentives from the state and Broward County.For a company whose goal is to literally transform how everyone sees the world, the hype makes sense.The company also recently showed off its new partnership with the NBA, whose fans will be able to interact with live stats and commentary as they watch a game on a Magic Leap headset. A few weeks later, the Royal Shakespeare Company in London said it was partnering with Magic Leap on a project to “change the way audiences experience theatre,” according to the theater troupe’s website.And in December, Magic Leap finally unveiled its long-anticipated Magic Leap One “creator edition” headset for developers, allowing any company to create content that a user can experience as lifelike.Then there’s the less favorable news. Magic Leap now finds itself in yet another legal quagmire, this time with its senior director of global security. Recently, the company filed for a declaratory judgment against the director, claiming he planned to use a whistle-blower complaint to “extort” the company by accusing it of stealing technology from Microsoft.That dispute is the latest in a series of legal complexities. In October, the company filed a report with the Plantation Police Department alleging Magic Leap had been defrauded by a recruiting firm, according to a report in Business Insider. And in 2017, Magic Leap settled a harassment suit brought by a former employee who alleged a company culture rife with sexism.All the while, the company has displayed an aggressive penchant for secrecy and has pushed back release dates—raising further questions. Google-backed Magic Leap alleges workers stole its secrets 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. Citation: There are 8 million reasons why you should care if Magic Leap succeeds (2018, March 23) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-million-magic.html read more

first_img“The goal of my research group is a form of mobility that combines the convenience of a private car with the sustainability of public transport.” In other words, a kind of Uber, but driverless and therefore much more economical and available. Plus – thanks to electrification and better capacity use – a solution that offers significantly lower energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Right now, people use private cars, on average, just 5 percent of the time, which means the cars spend the remaining 95 percent of the time standing idle in car parks and garages or on the street. This makes no sense in terms of sustainability, urban development or resource efficiency.Frazzoli’s start-up, NuTonomy, which develops control software for autonomous vehicles, began drawing up plans to test self-driving cars in Singapore back in 2014. At around the same time, the professor published an article in which he investigated how replacing all the private vehicles in the 719-square-kilometre city-state with shared, self-driving vehicles would affect traffic volumes. His results showed that the mobility needs of Singapore’s entire population could be met with some 40 percent of the vehicles (350,000 instead of 800,000).One year later, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong unveiled his vision of a “car-lite future” based on autonomous vehicles, the expansion of public transport and the fostering of slow traffic such as walking and cycling. With 5.5 million inhabitants and a population density of 7,697 people per square kilometre – compared with Switzerland’s figure of 203 – Singapore is more dependent on efficient transport than any other major metropolitan area.That is why Singapore has spent years trying to crack down on demand for private cars by imposing high taxes and charging up to 70,000 dollars for the certificates of entitlement required to own a vehicle. More than 10 companies are currently testing their systems in a two-hectare test facility at Nanyang Technological University in the western part of Singapore Island. And plans are already in place to operate the first self-driving buses outside rush hours in three of the city’s suburbs starting in 2022.Simulating transformationPieter Fourie works in a sunlit office on the sixth floor of the CREATE Tower, a building encased in vertical foliage at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Here, he conducts research into the cities of the future on behalf of ETH Zurich’s Future Cities Laboratory. Fourie heads up the Engaging Mobility project, which brought together government authorities and universities at a preliminary workshop in July 2017. The goal was to define the basic conditions required to implement city-wide, on-demand mobility using autonomous cars and buses.The researchers used the results of the workshop to formulate key research questions such as: What do we do with the current supply of parking spaces if the majority of vehicles are constantly on the road? Do we need to redefine the layout of our roads? And what effect will automated, electrified transport have on existing public transport, energy requirements and safety?Fourie explores these and similar issues using the MATSim simulation platform developed by a group led by Professor Kay Axhausen at ETH Zurich’s Institute for Transport Planning and Systems. MATSim is agent-based, which means the simulation is driven by the behaviour of individual agents rather than by overarching rules. “On the basis of Singapore’s most recent demographics, we are modelling a synthetic population that is as close as possible to the real one,” Fourie says.Within this population, each individual agent exhibits a certain mobility behaviour and has a specific destination based on real-life traffic data. Fourie is now at the stage of tinkering with the underlying conditions, including the number of vehicles employed, their size, the maximum permissible waiting times for passengers, the availability of parking spaces and a variety of different traffic flows. He then lets the synthetic population loose on the simulation for 24 hours. The system automatically evaluates how efficiently the individual agents were able to reach their destinations in each scenario.Right now, Fourie’s team is programming these kinds of simulations for the waterfront area of Tanjong Pagar, a district of some 2 square kilometres in the western part of Singapore. This site is currently being converted from a container terminal into a residential and commercial area. Fourie has already simulated more than 200,000 trips involving 60,000 individual agents. This included calculating how big the fleet of autonomous vehicles would need to be and how many kilometres the vehicles would have to cover to achieve an equivalent level of service in three different street typologies.The researchers also simulated four different parking strategies for a fleet of 4-, 10- and 20-seater vehicles. Preliminary results suggest that the transport system is at its most efficient if the shared vehicles are allowed to park in the street when they stop receiving requests for pick-ups. That holds true even if it means temporarily reducing the roadway capacity by one lane. The researchers’ findings also suggest that having fewer, but correspondingly larger, pick-up and drop-off stations has a favourable impact on traffic flow by reducing the detours cars have to take to collect passengers. The stations also need to be big enough to accommodate different vehicle sizes. Fourie is hoping to have these kinds of simulations up and running for the entire island as early as next year.Decision-making dilemmasDespite these rapid developments in Singapore and the fledgling services coming online in Las Vegas, Emilio Frazzoli still sees plenty of challenges ahead, especially when it comes to dealing with chaotic environments. “We still don’t know exactly how autonomous vehicles should behave in traffic,” he says, explaining that this involves dozens of decision-making dilemmas that are an integral part of everyday traffic situations. For example, should a self-driving car cross a double line in order to avoid a potential collision? And what if an innocent road user is injured as a result of a manoeuvre designed to save a culpable driver from a fatal crash? These are the kinds of decisions that have to be defined when programming control algorithms. One key focus of Frazzoli’s current research is therefore the “rulebooks” that should be used to prioritise these various decision-making criteria in control algorithms. At the top of the hierarchy are rules designed to ensure road users’ safety. At the bottom are rules designed to enhance passenger comfort.In a recent article, Frazzoli and his team estimated that it would take 200 rules in 12 hierarchy groups to prepare vehicles for every possible scenario, including low-priority rules such as not frightening animals on the edge of the road. Frazzoli feels the time has come for a broader public debate on autonomous driving: “The coding of safety and liability rules is not something we should simply leave in the hands of engineers working for private companies”. Ultimately, he argues, it is in everyone’s interest to incorporate our new, virtual drivers into urban traffic as smoothly as possible – much like we do with new human drivers, but with the greater levels of safety, predictability and efficiency that autonomous vehicles offer. 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. Car sharing with autonomous vehicles could improve cities in many ways. Singapore is taking a pioneering role, working with ETH researchers to explore the potential of personalised, electrified and automated public transport. Provided by ETH Zurich Explore further Singapore to deploy driverless buses from 2022: minister Emilio Frazzoli’s start-up NuTonomy develops control software for autonomous vehicles and uses Singapore as a test bed. Credit: NuTonomy Citation: Algorithms take the wheel (2018, December 18) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-algorithms-wheel.html The future of mobility is measured in milestones: this February, Google subsidiary Waymo announced that its fleet of self-driving cars had covered over 8 million kilometres on public roads. This came shortly after Uber’s announcement that it had completed 3 million kilometres of autonomous driving. If industry has its way, then we will soon be sharing all our streets with vehicles controlled by algorithms instead of drivers. But is that a realistic scenario? Or simply a rose-tinted vision of a tech-driven future?We asked one of the leading experts in this field, Italian researcher Emilio Frazzoli, Professor of Dynamic Systems and Control at ETH Zurich since October 2016. “It all depends what level of autonomous mobility you have in mind,” he replies. “I would say it will be at least another 15 years before you can buy a self-driving car from a dealer. But if you mean a limit-ed kind of car sharing, then it’s already happening.” In fact, this latter concept is a core part of Frazzoli’s own research. In mid-2018, the ride sharing company Lyft launched a service on the Las Vegas Strip that allows anyone to book one of a fleet of 30 BMWs through its app. The driverless cars are controlled by algorithms developed by vehicle technology company Aptiv, which acquired NuTonomy – the start-up founded by Frazzoli – in October 2017.Rethinking urban mobilityBefore joining ETH, Frazzoli spent ten years as a professor at the prestigious MIT in Boston. Autonomous systems – initially aircraft and drones – were the focus of his work right from the start. “The technical side of that was generally pretty cool, but it wasn’t really doing much to help solve the challenges society is facing.” In 2009, he found himself pondering a fundamental question: “Back then, the main argument for conducting research into self-driving cars was the idea that they would make road traffic safer.” While acknowledging the truth of that statement, at least in the long term, Frazzoli realised there was potentially a much larger, medium-term benefit to be gained from completely rethinking the issue of individual mobility for city dwellers.last_img read more

first_img Related News Tennis 10 Jul 2019 Factbox: Roger Federer versus Kei Nishikori Related News {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} LONDON (Reuters) – As Roger Federer prepares to take on Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s Wimbledon final, he knows there is little he can do now to improve his chances of winning a 21st Grand Slam title — all the work has been done.”This is like a school,” the Swiss 37-year-old said. “The day of the test, you’re not going to read… many books that day. You don’t have the time anyhow.”It’s quite clear the work was done way before. It’s been a rock solid year (for me)… the stars are aligned right now. From that standpoint I can go into the match very confident.”With eight Wimbledon titles in his locker, Federer has every right to be confident. But Djokovic is himself a four-times champion, and can equal the great Bjorn Borg with victory for a fifth crown.center_img Tennis 10 Jul 2019 Highlights: Wimbledon day nine Tennis 09 Jul 2019 Pella downs Raonic to reach first major quarter-final More importantly, the Serb beat Federer in the final here in 2014 and 2015.”We all know how good he is anywhere, but especially here,” Djokovic said of the Swiss.”This surface complements his game very much. He loves to play very fast. Takes away the time from his opponent. Just doesn’t give you any same looks.”He just rushes you to everything. So for players maybe like Nadal or myself that like to have a little more time, it’s a constant pressure that you have to deal with.”I’ve played with Roger in some epic finals here a couple years in a row, so I know what to expect. Of course, I’m going to be excited and nervous and everything that you can think of.”I’m going to do my best to control that in some way and be able to portray my best tennis in a balanced, hopefully, state throughout the match.”Federer was sublime in beating Rafa Nadal in Friday’s semi-final, whereas Djokovic was not tested nearly so much against Roberto Bautista Agut.The Swiss will need to match those heights again on Sunday to end a four-match losing streak against Sunday’s opponent.It would be unwise to bet against him managing that, but many commentators make top seed Djokovic the favourite.”For Sunday’s match, it’s hard to not see Novak as a pretty strong, clear favourite for the title because Federer’s weapon is probably his serve, and Novak finds a way to neutralise that,” said former world number one Mats Wilander.”Federer’s serve is not that hard, but well placed… so Novak will get a play on most serves and then he’s in the rally straight away.”If you look at everything, then you say that the weakest part of Djokovic’s game is as good as Federer’s, he’s stronger in a couple of places such as movement, the return of serve and the backhand. I think it’s going to be tough. I think Djokovic is going to feel pressure, that’s for sure, but then for Federer it might be his last chance.” (Editing by: Toby Davis)last_img read more

first_img Press Trust of India SrinagarJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 22:10 IST Till date, 1,57,062 yatris have had the darshan of the Shivling. (Image used for representation)A total of 13,004 pilgrims paid obeisance at the naturally formed ice lingam in the cave shrine of Amarnath on Friday, officials said.With this, the number of pilgrims who have visited the shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas has crossed 1.5 lakh, they said.”On the 12th day of the ongoing Shri Amarnathji Yatra, 13,004 yatris paid obeisance at the holy cave. Till date, 1,57,062 yatris have had the darshan of the Shivling,” a spokesperson of the Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board said.The annual Amarnath pilgrimage commenced on July 1 and will conclude on August 15, coinciding with the festival of Raksha Bandhan.Also Read | Jammu Darshan bus service launched in J&K to promote tourismAlso Read | Over 1.44 lakh pilgrims perform Amarnath Yatra in 11 daysAlso Watch | First batch of Amarnath pilgrims reaches shrineFor 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 byChanchal Chauhan 13,004 pilgrims pay obeisance at Amarnath cave shrineWith this, the number of pilgrims who have visited the shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas has crossed 1.5 lakh.advertisement Nextlast_img read more