first_img Travelweek Group TORONTO — Cover-More Group Limited, a travel insurance assistance provider, is on track to break out in a big way now that it’s been approached By Zurich Insurance Co. to acquire the assets of Cover-More Inc. This offer raises the ability for Cover-More to obtain underwriting opportunities for insurance product on a global basis. The acquisition is in progress with an anticipated closing sometime in spring 2017.UPDATE: Zurich becomes a “top 3” global travel insurance provider with Cover-More acquisitionNow poised to enter Canada, Cover-More, which was founded in Australia more than 30 years ago, is hopeful that its products will be available to Canadian travellers by end of 2017.“Cover-More is focused on partnering with carefully selected and targeted distributors/ technology licensing partners focused on delivering customer value and service. We are currently speaking to potential partners with a like-to-like strategy of bringing to light the true value of travel insurance and emergency assistance to the Canadian marketplace,” says Carole Tokody, CEO, US & Canada, Global Direct for Cover-More Inc.Tokody also noted that the company experienced a huge boom in recent years, during which it went through major management changes and was listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). It made a big push in the China market, and officially entered the U.S. market in 2016 by providing travel insurance across nine Flight Centre brands in the country. In addition to China and the U.S., it now operates in the United Kingdom, India, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia.The entry into Canada this year is just the latest venture that cements Cover-More’s position as a global brand. And Canada, adds Tokody, is viewed as one of the world’s top markets, sharing a similar health regime as Australia.In light of Cover-More’s expansion, Travelweek sat down with Tokody to talk about the importance of travel insurance for Canadians, and how the company intends to set itself apart from its competition.Once Cover-More is up and running in Canada, will Canadians have any challenges purchasing travel insurance with an Australian company?Cover-More’s approach when we enter new markets is to find like-minded distribution and underwriting partners so all the logistics are in place for us to provide our travel insurance products. Once we establish in Canada, Canadians can have complete confidence that there will be no challenges, surprises or logistical hurdles to overcome when they purchase and travel with our travel insurance.More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoThere are many travel insurance providers out there. How much differentiates one from the other, and how does Cover-More set itself from the pack?Travel insurance is all Cover-More does, that is why we are good at it. The strength and value of our offer lies in our belief that it’s not enough to have a relationship with the customer just when they claim. Our customer value proposition – keep travelling – is about reaching out to our customers before, during and after their journey. And not just when they need help or need to claim. For example, we can offer pre-travel security, health or nutritional advice because we know where they are going, and for how long, and we also know their age and if they are travelling with children.However, if our customers do need help, for example, if they are injured or become ill, it is the strength of our medical assistance offer that I also believe sets us apart from other providers.According to Travelweek’s 2016 Ultimate Travel Survey, 69% of consumers do not purchase travel insurance when travelling outside their home province but within Canada. What are your thoughts?Domestic travel insurance is useful for luggage and ticket protection, that’s why Cover-More offers it. It’s much lower cost for the traveller because cover for things like medical expenses isn’t required. It’s really a personal decision for the consumer. Personally, I think it’s good for domestic travellers who want extra peace of mind when they leave home.Nearly 28% of respondents said the main reason they don’t purchase travel insurance is because it’s too expensive. What tips would you give travel agents on how to sell insurance to budget-conscious travellers?It’s an alarmingly high percentage. I think it’s because people sometimes look at travel insurance as a grudge purchase and they think that ‘nothing will happen to me anyway’. Though we’ve had cases where a customer travelling in the U.S. requires hospitalization or treatment and the medical bills escalate into tens of thousands of dollars so quickly.More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemCover-More’s product suite includes some medical cover-only products, which are for people on a tighter budget. It’s really the minimum peak of mind you need to travel with, in my opinion. It’s not just the cost of medical care when you are travelling – you also want to ensure you are receiving the high standard of medical care that you are used to, living in Canada. That’s what Cover-More offers our customers.What makes a really great travel insurance provider? Is it a diversity in products? A prompt response team? Affordability?A company who is focused on the customer, customer value and the customer experience. And that’s across everything, from pre-purchase, purchase, fulfillment, pre-travel, during travel, post-travel and the claims process, if required.Our customer value proposition, keep travelling, is based on the premise that ‘life is an experience’ and Cover-More is here to keep travellers travelling.A really great travel insurance provider tries to enhance and enrich the travel experience through easy access to things like Global SIMs or Global Wi-Fi, currency cards, and smartphone apps that offer one-touch connectivity to emergency help.It’s also important to treat your customers as individuals, not as policy numbers, and uphold strong customer service values along the entire value chain.What’s something about the company that would surprise travellers?Part of our assistance services is the use of counsellors through Davidson Trahaire Corpysch (DTC). You could be in a location like Paris or Nice during a traumatic event and not be physically impacted yet suffer from emotional trauma. We will send out a counsellor to ask if you’re okay and provide counselling on the spot over a period of time. We did this in Nepal during the 2015 earthquake and it helped a lot of our customers.For more information on Cover-More, go to Monday, March 13, 2017 Posted by Cover-More sets its sights on Canadian insurance market, operations scheduled to launch by year’s end Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

first_img CALGARY — WestJet’s much talked about ultra-low-cost airline (ULCC) finally has a name, one that “denotes exactly what we plan to do,” said Bob Cummings, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Strategy.The new ULCC, which will begin selling flights in early 2018, will be named Swoop, “a powerful verb that demonstrates we plan to swoop in to the Canadian market with a new business model that will provide lower fares and greater opportunity for more Canadians to travel,” added Cummings.Cummings, who’s credited as the executive member responsible for the launch of the ULCC, also noted that when it came time to look for Swoop’s headquarters, Calgary quickly rose to the top of the list.“The city offers Swoop the opportunity to save costs through shared services with WestJet’s corporate head office, the availability of existing infrastructure, and talented, experienced WestJetters to draw from,” he said. “We are confident that these qualities will support our ultra-low-cost operations and our guests well in the future.”More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”An exact location in Calgary will be announced at a later date. Deron Bilous, Alberta Minister of Economic Development, hailed the province for being “the best place to invest and do business.” He added, “We created Invest Alberta to make it easier for companies like Swoop to set up and expand here. Together we are creating new jobs and diversifying our economy.”Travellers can sign up at to receive details on job opportunities, launch plans and to learn more about Canada’s newest airline. Posted by Share << Previous PostNext Post >> And the name of WestJet’s new ultra-low-cost airline is…center_img Tags: WestJet Wednesday, September 27, 2017 Travelweek Group last_img read more

first_imgVirtual Honeymoon launches sister sites, partners with ExplorVR amid company growth Travelweek Group Wednesday, April 4, 2018 Posted by Sharecenter_img TORONTO — Here’s a common scenario: You ask your wedding clients where they would go on their dream honeymoon, and they respond with a bunch of destinations in quick succession. Bali. Italy. Tahiti. The list goes on and on.But there is a fun and easy way to whittle down the options so that your clients are left with a destination that best suits their needs and preferences. Virtual Honeymoon is an interactive destination matching tool used by agents with indecisive clients. Using intuitive software and an algorithm to search for and match destinations, the tool matches couples with their top two destinations, allowing them to ‘test drive’ these locales and help agents close the sale.Robin HawkeyStarted and owned by travel industry veteran Robin Hawkey, Virtual Honeymoon kicked off in January 2015 for year-long testing before launching its affiliate program in March 2016. Hawkey says the idea came to her after “years of frustration of working with couples that were all over the map”, which resulted in wasting weeks of valuable time, sometimes only to lose them to the Internet.“When couples have no idea where to go on their getaway, or say something like ‘We just want to go some place warm and tropical’, that usually leads to seeing every tropical island and comparing them all. We call [these couples] ‘tire-kickers’ or ‘time-wasters’ for using travel agents as a human resource tool,” she tells Travelweek.How it works is simple: Clients answer a series of fun, interactive questions, the tool then matches them to their top two destinations based on their answers. After clients fill out a contact form, all the questions and answers, including their matches, are emailed directly to the travel agent who will then follow up directly.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJThe tool costs $24.95/month, or $239.52 per year with a savings of 20%. You can access the site at enhance the experience, Hawkey has added a virtual reality component to the website’s destination pages. She’s teamed up with ExplorVR to allow clients to pre-experience their matched destination. Virtual Honeymoon’s affiliates have already used VR headsets and videos at wedding fairs where clients were able to test-drive their destinations on the spot.“I think [VR] is so beneficial as most millennials want to be involved in the planning process. VR is the next best thing to being there!” said Hawkey. “I also feel that the agents who don’t get on this VR trend will be left behind – literally!”Devin Kinasz, President & CEO of ExplorVR, adds: “Virtual Honeymoon is embracing VR technology and partnering with ExplorVR to give their agents access to exciting destination experiences. We are very excited top partner with Virtual Honeymoon because they align with our values of being a forward-thinking company that embraces technology.”Virtual reality acts as the perfect selling tool in the destination wedding and honeymoon market as it allows clients to “try before they fly”. As Hawkey puts it, all couples want their weddings and honeymoons to go off without a hitch, so the best way to ensure that the destination matches their vision is to virtually travel there ahead of time.“There is on average over two million weddings per year in the U.S. alone, with couples spending over $72 billion on weddings and $8 billion on honeymoons. The romance niche is such a great niche to get into to build your entire travel business,” said Hawkey. “If an agent does a great job on the wedding or honeymoon, and builds a good relationship with their client, they will do all their travel-related activities such as anniversaries, babymoons, graduations, family trips and more, not to mention the referrals to all their friends getting married. This creates a booming business that will continue to grow and prosper.”More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upWith business booming, Virtual Honeymoon launched its sister site – Virtual Destination Wedding – at the Love Mexico event in Cabo last December. Operating much like Virtual Honeymoon, the new site not only matches clients with their top two destinations but also helps plan the wedding. And like its sister site, it costs $24.95, or $239.52 with a 20% discount.Looking ahead, Hawkey is preparing to launch the company’s newest addition – Virtual Vacationing – on April 10 at the Travel Agent Forum in Las Vegas. While its main concept is the same as interactive destination matching, she says the new site does not focus on romance as the other two sites.“We realize that not all getaways are about romance, sometimes it’s about vacation travel with family and friends and they too can be confused about where to go on their getaway,” she adds. “We are so excited to be at the Forum with our VR partner, ExplorVR. They have really helped our vision of bringing virtual travel to life, allowing clients to virtually experience their destination match before booking and, thus, closing sales!”For agents in Las Vegas attending the Travel Agent Forum next month, learn more about Virtual Honeymoon, Virtual Vacationing and ExplorVR at their booth. Tags: Explor VR, Virtual Reality << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

first_imgMarissa Fernandez (DMS), Yolanda Woeke-Jacobs (Dragonfly Africa), Andrew Dyson (Prize winner, 212°F) There has never been a better time to visit South Africa, with the Aussie dollar stronger against the South African rand, according to Dragonfly Africa director of sales and marketing Yolanda Woeke-Jacobs. DMS Destination Marketing Services with Dragonfly Africa welcomed leisure and MICE agents to an intimate cocktail affair at Sydney’s Blue hotel last night. Ms Woeke-Jacobs spoke to agents about the possibilities for clients visiting Africa and how it has never been a better time to visit with itineraries now 15 percent more affordable. Dragonfly Africa is represented in Australia by DMS Destination Marketing Services and offers extensive product knowledge and expertise in incentive and leisure travel.With over 14 years invested in the market, Dragonfly Africa delivers with prompt attention to clients with acknowledgments that always go beyond the brief.For more information on Dragonfly Africa, please visit their re-launched website. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.Wlast_img read more

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterViking Cruises has announced the launch of its newest ocean ship, Viking Jupiter, the 930-guest sister ship to the existing, award-winning fleet will be christened in Oslo on 6 June 2019.Guests wishing to experience this fantastic event can book either the eight-day Viking Shores & Fjords ocean cruise from Bergen to Amsterdam, or the 15-day Rhine + Viking Shores & Fjords from Basel to Bergen, which is a unique-to-Viking cruise combining a river and ocean cruise on one seamless voyage. Both cruises have a 2 June 2019 departure date, which will encompass the christening.“We are delighted to welcome another stunning ship to our fleet,” said Michelle Black, managing director Viking, Australia and New Zealand. “With the launch of Viking Jupiter we will become the world’s largest small-ship ocean cruising line, so she is particularly special to us. Viking christenings are exciting events, so we encourage your clients to book these itineraries soon as spots are filling up fast.”On the eight-day Viking Shores and Fjords itinerary, guests will admire the tranquil old fishing village of Skagen, visit cosmopolitan Oslo, browse the fish market and fortress of Kristiansand, stroll among Stavanger’s remarkably preserved wooden buildings and marvel at the magnificent fjord setting of tiny Flåm. It is priced from $4795 per person including a saving of $1200 per couple if booked by 31 March 2018.The 15-day combination cruise Rhine + Viking Shores & Fjords will tour highlights of the legendary Rhine River including cultured Basel, Germany’s storied Black Forest and France’s multicultural Strasbourg, before discovering Nordic wonders by sea including Norway’s dramatic fjord landscapes and thriving Stavanger. It is priced from $9790 per person including a saving of $1400 per couple plus flights to Europe for $995 per person, if booked by 30 April 2018.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

first_imgSMIT has launched a new IP video-on-demand conditional access module (CAM) and has released a new CI Plus firmware upgrade package for its CAM range.  At IBC, the company will display its IP VOD CAM, allowing viewers to choose their favourite programmes.“The VOD feature represents a new milestone in the world of viewing digital content via CAM. Operators will benefit from the additional VOD features to track subscriber behaviour with targeted programmes to increase ARPU,” said Hongyu Shuai, president and chief operating officer of SMIT. “We are committed to security protection and produc innovation with a focus on new feature development. With the new CI Plus v1.3 specification and CAM features, we look forward to working closer with operators to strengthen content delivery security and enrich viewing experience.”SMIT has also released its CI Plus v1.3 firmware package. CI Plus v1.3 represents the next step in the evolution of CI Plus to provide an enriched feature set. SMIT’s latest generation of CAMs add a number of enhancements, including operator EPG and UI branding using HD graphics, leveraging the host’s IP connection for VOD content delivery, increased operator control over content usage and new capabilities to allow the CAM to tune the host to new services, according to the company.In accordance with CI Plus LLP’s licensing agreement, all new CI Plus devices registered after August 1, 2012 willhave to conform to the CI Plus v1.3 specification. SMIT received CI Plus v1.3 certification on its latest CAM in August from Digital TV Labs and expects commercial production and shipment to commence in the fourth quarter of 2012.SMIT is actively involved in the formulation and development of CI Plus v1.4 specifications. The DVB steering board approved the commercial requirements for CI Plus v1.4 in November 2011 and the technical work on the specification is expected to complete within one year for a public release at the end of the 2012.SMIT will be exhibiting at IBC on Stand 1.F86last_img read more

first_imgCBS’s CEO Les Mooves has said he would sell content to streaming service Aereo, which was soundly defeated by America’s broadcasters in court earlier last month.Moonves, who is one of Aereo’s largest critics, said CBS Corp. was “willing to talk” to the company about a licensing agreement, adding: “The door was open and is still open.”Moonves claimed Aereo’s CEO Chet Kanojia had never approached him about such an agreement, but that if he had, CBS would have considered it.Aereo suspended operations following its crushing defeat at Supreme Court that defined its operations as akin to a cable operator. The firm then released a statement arguing it should be entitled to a statutory licence to transmit content as a ‘cable system’.Moonves claimed Aereo’s legal defence, which coloured the broadcasters as stifling technological innovation in order to protect their own interests, was “pretty good” but “not fair”.“Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said. “It was unfair to characterise it as CBS is stopping innovation. Obviously, we’re in favour of innovation.”Aereo has used individual antennaa to allow consumers to stream channels, including CBS and its broadcast rivals, online for a subscription fee.last_img read more

first_imgEmbarrassing D.C. ‘Leak’ Has Heads RollingOn January 31st, the contents of a controversial memo caused a shake-up at the White House. I’ll show you how to use this highly sensitive data to skim $1,000s in legal profits. Don’t miss the exciting video bulletin… Click here for the full story Justin: Got it. And what about altcoins? Do you think this downturn will wipe out some of the weaker projects? Will we also see a flight to quality ones? Marco: I look at it like a cleansing. And that’s exactly what the space needs.You see, strong bull markets, like the one we had last year, tend to attract people who run scams and weak projects with little chance of success. But you see much less of that when prices are falling and a lot of crappy projects have already died. There’s definitely going to be more focus on quality.Anybody who’s looking to raise money right now needs to have a really high-quality project to get funding. And that’s a good thing.Out of all the projects that have raised money already, it’s now also easier to see which are the high-quality ones. Because now you can see who is pushing forward and focusing on building out their technology, as opposed to crappy projects where you see no development… where nothing is happening.What’s happening is that as projects get more built out and more interconnected, it’s setting us up for even stronger network effects and for an even stronger bull market once the market finally turns around.Nothing has changed at all in terms of the overall Blockchain Ecosystem. All that has changed are the prices, and that’s always a temporary thing. Now, prices are going down. And then, sooner or later, we’ll have a turnaround. And it will be a very powerful turnaround because of all the technology that has been built over the last nine months or so.Justin: Makes sense. This clearly sounds like a buying opportunity for people who’ve been wanting to speculate on cryptos or add to their holdings.Marco: Yes. Of course, it’s impossible to time the exact bottom. But I will say that I thought the last three months already were a great buying opportunity. And if the market goes even lower, it will be an even better time to buy.There may be more downside ahead in December, so we might see even better opportunities. But like I said, it’s impossible to time the exact bottom.For me personally, I have a really big crypto allocation in my portfolio. But as the market keeps going down, I’ll buy even more. And then, when the market eventually goes up again, I lighten up a little bit and rebalance my portfolio.So, I’d say to anybody who is considering getting into cryptos or who is on the fence that now is an excellent time to get into the market. And for those people that are in the market already, it depends on their crypto allocation. If they are looking to add to their crypto allocation, now is a good time to do so.As for the people who can’t stomach the volatility, I’d say that maybe your allocation to crypto is too high and you’ve got to sell down a little bit. I mean, I’m not advocating anybody take losses, but if you don’t sleep well at night, then you definitely have too much in crypto.It’s always a good idea to have the kind of allocation where you can look at your investments without emotion, without panicking. And if prices drop even more, then you keep a cool head… and if anything, buy more.So that’s the key. Every investor has to know their own psychology and has to know for themselves the kind of exposure that they can handle psychologically and emotionally, and act based on that.Justin: I think that’s great advice, Marco. Looking down the road, do you see any catalysts on the horizon that could get the market out of this rut and fuel the next bull market?Marco: Of course, I keep an eye on potential catalysts. You can never know what might cause the next bull market. It might be something that nobody had on their radar screen. But there are two narratives that I think are important. One is, of course, the institutional money. Wall Street is getting ready to move into the crypto market. We’re seeing a lot of infrastructure being built in that area, so that is not a question of “if,” it’s a question of “when.” And I think, certainly within the next six months, we’ll see something happen in that area.The other thing that I watch even more closely is the building out of the Blockchain Ecosystem itself. And there are several big catalysts coming in the first quarter of next year. Several new, next-generation, high-speed blockchains will be launching their mainnets [the fully working version of a new blockchain].So, a lot of the crypto projects that have been under development, in some cases for years, are having big launches of their technology where it finally becomes available and gets connected to the Blockchain Ecosystem. This could act as a huge catalyst because it will enable even greater network effects, and makes the value proposition of the entire Blockchain Ecosystem even more enticing.I see nothing but good things ahead for the future of the Blockchain Ecosystem.Justin: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me today, Marco.Marco: You’re welcome.Justin’s note: Marco’s Disruptive Profits service is unlike any other cryptocurrency advisory I’ve ever seen.Not only does Marco scour the crypto markets to find the highest-quality projects for his readers… he’s discovered a way to generate consistent income payouts from them.The next “crypto dividend” could come as soon as December 2… Will you be ready to collect? Learn more here.Reader MailbagIn today’s mailbag, readers respond to last week’s Conversation With Casey… Thank you for printing this interview. The questions were spot on and the answers were insightful, but scary. We have a very difficult problem to deal with and it will ultimately be dealt with by the people that are involved with these migrants – or should I say future Democrats!I agree with Doug 1000%… we are in a bad, bad position and Washington must come up with the correct solution. – Ernie L. — Thank you for your timely and thought-provoking answers to Justin on November 16. I believe you are so “spot on” in your summaries. I personally am concerned about this mode of entry becoming the way for mega-thousands to enter and live literally in/on our streets. Doug, what can I do as a concerned citizen for my fellow citizens who are in the path of these thousands – OUR citizens who have lived and worked hard and are now worried for their families and property?I do know President Trump is preparing with some huge containment areas, but now we are talking about taking care of these people. And yes, why does it seem no one is going down there and asking questions? “Poor” is not going to be the reason for approved asylum. Thank you for your time. – Marge J.As always, if you have any questions or suggestions for the Dispatch, send them to us right here.Special Invitation From Doug CaseyRecently, Doug held an important meeting with two of the smartest financial gurus in the world.It’s not often that Doug allows the public to hear what goes on in these meetings. The topics are usually too sensitive for a large audience.But for the first time ever, Doug’s decided his readership needs to know what was discussed. Click here to sign up for the exclusive, one-time-only broadcast. Justin: What do you think triggered the recent sell-off?Marco: A lot of people are wondering about this, because investors always try to come up with a narrative to fit what’s happening in the market. But I think that’s a mistake, because what this really boils down to is that there were more sellers than buyers. That’s all we really know. Everything else is speculation.The hard fork in Bitcoin Cash – where Bitcoin Cash split into two competing versions – had a lot of drama surrounding it. But this is just a convenient narrative. It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the drop in bitcoin.And there’s another thing about the Bitcoin Cash hard fork… something that gets a lot of attention from crypto investors: chaos theory. Better known as the butterfly effect, chaos theory – in this context – basically means that all the financial markets are connected. We’re in a globally connected financial system. And what ultimately caused that sell-off in bitcoin could have been anything, even something seemingly unrelated.I should also mention that there was very little volume in the market before the sell-off. And any little thing can move the market when volume has dried up. Of course, we’ve seen huge volume since the sell-off compared to the weeks before – easily five to eight times more volume on all the exchanges.In the end, we just know that there were more sellers than buyers. That’s why it went down.Still, it’s important to keep in mind that this is not a time to panic sell, but rather to be buying. This is a good thing for people who understand the big picture and are in this for the long term. It gives us more time to buy more of the best projects and to build our portfolios.Justin: Any idea how much further bitcoin could fall before bottoming? Do you see strong support anywhere?Marco: I’m no expert in technical analysis, but there’s some support around $4,600. So, it’s possible that we go toward that area or even lower. But I don’t think we’ll fall to much lower levels in the long term. I do think that if there is another move to the downside, it will be strong and relatively short-lived. After some consolidation, we’ll eventually be ready to move much higher again.So this might be a final shakeout to get the last weak hands out of the market before the path is clear for a new bull market. I was skeptical of this migrant movement into the U.S. However, after reading this article, which explains (at least in the author’s view) why and how this a much larger issue than these people trying to better their lives. The socioeconomic problems that could ensue are tremendous. It was a very educational article. Thank you. – Anonymous Click here to watch Justin’s note: Bitcoin has broken down.It fell below $6,000 last week, after trading in an extremely tight range for months. And it’s been in free fall ever since.It’s now down 25% over the last 6 days, and trading at its lowest price since October 2017.Naturally, this has a lot of cryptocurrency investors worried… including many Casey Research readers. So I got our in-house cryptocurrency expert Marco Wutzer on the phone to see what he thinks about this sell-off. Marco is the editor of our newest advisory, Disruptive Profits. He’s also an early bitcoin adopter. He first bought bitcoin in 2010 when it was trading for less than $2, and has been through several major downturns since then.Below, Marco shows why the recent drop isn’t a reason to panic – it’s an opportunity to buy…Justin: Marco, bitcoin broke key support at around $6,000 last week. What does this mean for bitcoin and the rest of the crypto market?Marco: There was significant support around that level. I was watching this myself in the form of a triangle that was forming as the market came down. It was practically guaranteed that there was going to be a big breakout either to the upside or to the downside. I personally expected the breakout to be to the upside. Obviously I was wrong about that.But now that we’ve seen a breakout to the downside, I think there’s more downside ahead. I don’t think it will be something that will last for a long time. But I think there’s definitely more downside ahead in the short term before we go higher again. — Recommended Link Circle THIS Day on Your CalendarCircle February 4, 2019, on your calendar. It’s likely this day will go down as the greatest in stock market history. Or at least, the most profitable. Because thanks to a recent Supreme Court ruling… over $4 billion is expected to move into this industry, and three very specific stocks are positioned to take the lion’s share of profits. And it’s all going to happen in one day. Recommended Linklast_img read more

first_imgWorkplace wellness programs that offer employees a financial carrot for undergoing health screenings, sticking to exercise regimens or improving their cholesterol levels have long been controversial.Starting January 1, they may become even more contentious. That’s when a federal judge’s decision to overturn existing rules about the programs takes effect. The decision casts uncertainty over what the appropriate upper limit for these types of financial incentives should be — specifically when employers offer them to workers to participate in programs that require clinical testing or the disclosure of their personal health data.Under the Americans with Disabilities Acts and genetic privacy law, an employer can’t force someone to disclose this kind of private information — any disclosure must be voluntary. The central question is how truly voluntary something is when a large financial incentive is attached.As a result of the court decision, consultants say, workers may find their employers starting to offer smaller incentives for these programs.Also, the programs might include more options for qualifying for those incentives — a choice, for instance, between undergoing a medical exam or completing online health education training.About 4 in 10 employers participating in an informal survey by Mercer, a benefits firm, said they are not sure what they will do about their workplace wellness plans in light of the judge’s ruling.”Some are modifying. Others are taking a wait-and-see-attitude,” says Steven Noeldner, Mercer’s senior consultant in total health management specialty practice.Eighty-five percent of large employers offering health insurance included a wellness program designed to help people stop smoking, lose weight or take other healthful actions, according to a 2017 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Just over half of those included some type of medical screening.Rewards or incentives to participate in these programs vary. The most common are gift cards, fitness trackers or other merchandise, but some offer significant discounts on what workers pay toward their health insurance coverage.For instance, the Cleveland Clinic’s version is more extensive than most, says Dr. Bruce Rogen, chief medical officer for the initiative. He describes it as a “population health program,” with differing goals for workers who have chronic diseases like diabetes versus those who don’t.Full participation, which may require losing weight, keeping blood sugar levels in check or hitting a gym at least 10 times a month, can save workers 30 percent off the cost of their insurance premiums. That could be as much as $1,443 a year.”Part of what makes the plan work is the fact we can offer that benefit discount,” Rogen says.Thirty percent is the maximum an employer can offer, according to rules put out in 2016 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.Shortly after the EEOC’s guidance was issued, AARP challenged it in court, arguing that workers who did not want to provide their private medical information might feel coerced to do so because not participating would cost them substantial sums — ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars.The argument — from AARP and other critics — is essentially that when incentives become large enough, employees may no longer feel that sharing their medical data is voluntary — because, how can they afford not to participate?”You and I can look at the same incentive and you will find it’s truly voluntary and I would say, given my financial circumstances, I feel I’m being compelled,” says Tom Luetkemeyer, an attorney specializing in employment law at Hinshaw & Culbertson in Chicago. (He was not involved in the AARP case.)In his first ruling in August 2017, D.C. Circuit Court Judge John Bates noted that the EEOC had failed to provide justification for how it settled on the 30 percent limit. He also pointed out that 30 percent of a worker’s health insurance costs could be “the equivalent of several months’ worth of food for the average family, two months of child care in most states, and roughly two months’ rent.”Bates ultimately ordered the 30 percent limit vacated as of Jan. 1, 2019, after the EEOC said it would not produce that justification or a new number until 2021.Now employers who are putting together next year’s health benefit programs don’t have specific rules to follow.The advice they are receiving from benefit consultants ranges widely, from “drop all incentives and penalties” to “stay the course.”Few expect employers will stop offering wellness programs outright — because most hope the programs will hold down health costs by getting workers to take steps to improve their well-being. Critics, however, point out that studies show little evidence that workplace wellness programs achieve these goals.The ruling does not affect some wellness program efforts, such as offering financial incentives for going to the gym or walking a certain number of steps per day.Substantial financial incentives that are used to get people to quit tobacco are also not covered by the ruling — as long as there is no medical test required to check for nicotine use.But “you can’t fine them for not getting their weight down, because then you have to measure their weight and that becomes clinical,” says Al Lewis, who runs Quizzify, an employee health literacy company.Some employers say they will stick with their existing programs — even if they hit the 30 percent level — because the EEOC is unlikely to challenge companies that stick with the rescinded percentage while they await the new rules.The Cleveland Clinic’s Rogen, who credits the wellness program for holding medical costs almost flat for the past five years, says clinic officials plan to leave it at that level next year, despite the uncertainty.Not all benefits consultants would agree with that choice.”The way we interpret the ruling is that financial incentives that relate to physical exams, including questions about health history, would not be allowed starting Jan. 1,” said Noeldner, of Mercer.Others suggest that interpretation is taking the judge’s ruling too far. After all, the Affordable Care Act provides a precedent for the 30 percent threshold — and the EEOC may well come back with a rule that reaffirms that amount. The ACA included a provision that raised the limit on health-contingent wellness incentives to that amount.”People may be overreacting to this by saying, ‘With these rules null and void, we are out in the Wild West,’ ” says Todd Hlasney, senior vice president and director of health risk solutions at Lockton Companies, a benefits consultancy.”We are advising clients to be more conservative,” he says. “But don’t panic and say [you] can’t do anything because of EEOC.”Kaiser Health News (KHN), a nonprofit news service, is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, and not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Copyright 2018 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit Kaiser Health News.last_img read more

first_imgThe secretary of homeland security is traveling to the Texas border town where an 8-year-old migrant from Guatemala was detained before dying in U.S. custody the day before Christmas.Kirstjen Nielsen already vowed improvements in medical care after two migrant children died in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection this month. Nielsen is visiting El Paso, Texas, and Yuma, Ariz., on Friday and Saturday, according to a DHS official, and meeting with Border Patrol agents and local health care providers.Eight-year-old Felipe Gomez-Alonzo had the flu when he died on Monday, according to an autopsy by the New Mexico medical investigator. Officials say 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin, who died three weeks ago, was dehydrated and had similar symptoms.Both children came from Guatemala with their fathers and crossed the border illegally. Their deaths have raised new questions about the quality of medical care at Border Patrol processing centers.But pediatricians on the border say they have been raising similar concerns for years.”It’s not a place for a well child, much less a sick child,” said Marsha Griffin, a pediatrician in Brownsville, Texas, and spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics.Immigration authorities rarely allow visitors inside processing centers near the border. But Griffin did get access to some of them while conducting research for the AAP, and she recalls touring one facility in South Texas in 2016.”We passed mounds of teddy bears and security blankets that were taken from the children because they might have scabies or lice,” Griffin said. “The lights are on 24 hours a day. The children sleep on thin mats on the floor with only a Mylar blanket.”Record numbers of migrant familiesFederal officials say they are scrambling to care for a record number of migrant children and families, many of them fleeing from Central America and seeking asylum in the U.S.”This is just devastating for us,” said Kevin McAleenan, the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in an interview earlier this week with CBS This Morning.”We’ve got over 1,500 emergency medical technicians that have been co-trained as law enforcement officers. They work every day to protect the people that come into our custody,” McAleenan said. “We’re doing dozens of hospital trips every single day with children that have fevers or manifest other medical conditions.”Up and down the border, volunteer doctors and nurses are also struggling to care for migrant parents and children after they’ve been released from federal custody.”We feel overwhelmed,” said Marcela Wash, a nurse in San Diego who is coordinating medical screenings and care for migrants at local shelters. Wash told member station KPBS that some of these migrants are already sick when they’re released from CBP custody.”They come over not having bathed for three or four days, however many days they have been in detention,” Wash said. “Some of them arrive with upper respiratory problems, nausea, vomiting.”Pediatricians say migrant children would benefit from earlier medical screenings.”In a child, an infection or a medical condition can get worse within hours,” said Carlos Gutierrez, a pediatrician in El Paso.Gutierrez is one of about two dozen local doctors and nurses who are giving free medical exams at local shelters. But that is only after migrant children and parents have been released from Border Patrol custody, as many as five or six days after they’ve crossed the border.When the number of migrant children spiked back in 2014, local doctors and nurses were allowed to give these screenings as soon as they arrived at Border Patrol facilities, Gutierrez said. He hopes to be able to do that again.”It’s a better chance of us preventing the catastrophe if we see them earlier,” Gutierrez said. “If we’re allowed to get in there, things such as the death of the two children that we’ve heard about … they probably wouldn’t have happened. Those are needless.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit read more

first_imgAmazon Enroll Now for $5 Some Alexa users have heard random, creepy giggles from the virtual assistant in recent weeks. Amazon says the problem was the result of a false positive. Reporter Next Article Image credit: via PC Mag Angela Moscaritolo –shares Add to Queuecenter_img Amazon’s Alexa apparently thinks something is pretty funny, but isn’t letting anyone in on the joke.As The Sacramento Bee reports, some Alexa users have heard random giggles from the virtual assistant in recent weeks. Moreover, people are saying that the laugh they’re hearing isn’t in Alexa’s usual voice, which makes the experience even creepier.”I was trying to turn off some lights and they kept turning back on,” one Reddit user posted last month. “After the third request, Alexa stopped responding and instead did an evil laugh. The laugh wasn’t in the Alexa voice. It sounded like a real person. My wife was there when it happened and she is the only person who can drop-in. I still get chills.”Several Twitter users have recently reported similar experiences, and one person even managed to capture it on video:So Alexa decided to laugh randomly while I was in the kitchen. Freaked @SnootyJuicer and I out. I thought a kid was laughing behind me.— CaptHandlebar (@CaptHandlebar) February 23, 2018Yes, everyone, this is real. Its a JBL Bluetooth speaker paired with the Echo Dot. Technology is evil. I live on a Native American burial ground. Robots are coming for us all.— CaptHandlebar (@CaptHandlebar) March 7, 2018Lying in bed about to fall asleep when Alexa on my Amazon Echo Dot lets out a very loud and creepy laugh… there’s a good chance I get murdered tonight.— Gavin Hightower (@GavinHightower) February 26, 2018WHY DID MY ALEXA JUST LAUGH OUT OF THE BLUE?!?!?!?— Kyle Fitzy Shanklin (@kylefitzy8) March 4, 2018Turns out, these users aren’t being overly dramatic or hallucinating these strange LOLs. In a Wednesday statement to PCMag, Amazon confirmed this is an actual thing that’s happening.The online retail giant said that “in rare cases, Alexa can mistakenly hear the phrase ‘Alexa, laugh.'””We are changing that phrase to be ‘Alexa, can you laugh?’ which is less likely to have false positives, and we are disabling the short utterance ‘Alexa, laugh,'” Amazon said. “We are also changing Alexa’s response from simply laughter to ‘Sure, I can laugh’ followed by laughter.'”News of this Alexa oddity comes after the service went down for several hours last week. During the outage, Echo device owners reported seeing red rings rather than blue, as well as a variety of error messages, including: “I’m having trouble understanding right now. Please try a little later”; “I’m not sure what went wrong” and “Sorry, your Echo lost its connection.” That outage was, strangely, a case of life imitating advertising. March 8, 2018 Alexa Is Randomly Laughing, But Nobody’s in on the Joke 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. This story originally appeared on PCMag 3 min read Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brandlast_img read more

first_img This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business 6 min read Cars Last week, Warren Buffett made a big announcement — he’s getting into the car dealership business.Buffett’s investment company Berkshire Hathaway said it would acquire Van Tuyl Group, which is headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., and is the fifth-largest owner of dealerships in the country.So the car industry now has a titan in its midst. The next question is obvious — why?Why is Buffett getting into a business where sales are reaching their peak, where margin is steady, but small, and where a nascent technological disruption may be on the verge of upsetting the sales model that has ruled since the 1950s?And is it a good idea?“I don’t think it makes sense, to be honest,” said Sarwant Singh, a senior partner and automotive industry analyst at Frost and Sullivan. “The dealership stricture, especially in the US, is an age-old model that is going extinct.”Singh is referring to the franchised-dealer car sales model: car manufacturers such as Ford and General Motors have regional franchise dealers, which are owned either locally or by a chain, which is being upset by online shopping and mobile apps.Singh expects the number of U.S. dealerships to shrink by as much as 30% in the coming years.In an interview at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit earlier this week, Buffett said he got into the business because it has high volume and low capital investment needed, meaning that even with relatively low margins, profits can be substantial. Plus, he can sell insurance and financing products. The question, though, isn’t whether car dealerships have been good businesses, it’s whether they will be in 10, 15 or 20 years, given that the industry is seeing the same technological disruption so many other post-World War II industries have.Car-buying in the future could follow a model more similar to Tesla’s, where there is no lot, just a small showroom, and where the office is more often in a city center than in the suburbs.Singh notes that millenials don’t like salespeople, they prefer “product champions,” like the folks working at the Apple’s  AAPL 0.54%  Genius Bar — employees who are engaged but cool, who at least appear to be trying to help you get the product you want as. They want to feel like they’re getting coffee, not engaged in negotiatory combat with a slick-haired huckster in a bad suit. That’s hard in the concrete purgatory of a car lot.For instance, Singh points to an automotive dealership in London where 60% of the cars are purchased without a test drive. If that model grows and eventually crosses the Atlantic, that would be a bad sign for Buffett.Analyst Greggory Warren of Morningstar, though, thinks it’s hard to see a majority of the market going to stores that are Tesla-clones, leaving plenty of space for the traditional car dealership.“If a quarter of that business goes away to a different model, that still leaves 65% of the market,” he said.And that remaining market is wide open. AutoNation, the largest dealership chain in the country, owns 266 dealerships, a minuscule percentage of the approximately 17,000 in the U.S.This means that Buffett can continue to gobble up dealerships and build Van Tuyl to be a bigger player.Imagine the family-owned dealership in your home town. If the grandchildren of the founders decide they want to do something other than sell cars, they’ve got to sell it — enter Buffett and Van Tuyl, who can make it part of their chain.The other big plus Warren sees in the dealership business for Buffett is the service component, which is a big part of business for dealerships.Steve Anenen, CEO of dealer services company CDK Global — which recently completed a spinoff from payments company ADP — thinks that if Buffett is successful in his pursuit of acquisition, he’ll be very successful in the business.Anenen also pointed out that he wouldn’t be shocked if Buffett got Van Tuyl into the used car business, which is a much bigger business in terms of volume in the United States.Still, there are other reasons this purchase is a head scratcher. Auto sales are moving towards the end of a cycle. It’s expected that this year between 16.2 million and 16.4 million cars will be sold. Expectations for 2015 are hovering around 16.7 million. After that, growth will almost certainly plateau or perhaps begin shrinking again. If Buffett were going to get into the car business, it would likely have made more sense to look for an opportunity in 2011 or 2012, when the business was building to its current peak following a bigger-than-usual valley during the depths of the credit crisis. This is a short-term concern, as barring another major crisis the cycle will eventually come back around, but it’s still strange to get into a business at the end of a boom.Warren, though, doesn’t think that’s ultimately a big deal. He said that Buffett and the Berkshire people know that it is a cyclical business, and that with the market going down, it could actually make the expansion part of the plan cheaper, perhaps evening out the cost in the long-run.It’s hard for anyone to question an investment decision made by the Oracle of Omaha. But much like when Buffett began his foray into the world of newspapers — an industry that, unlike car dealerships, no one doubts is circling the drain — you can’t help but wonder what it is that he sees that others are missing.The question of whether or not this investment works may depend on one thing: the ability and desire from Buffett and the largely intact management of Van Tuyl to fundamentally change.If, 20 years from now, car dealerships have responded to technological disruption with aplomb, fundamentally shifting the way they do business, and if Van Tuyl is at the forefront of that revolution, Buffett’s bid could go down as genius.If, though, the auto industry reacts with the general aversion to changing mores that it has in the past, and the franchised auto dealership becomes a relic to go with video rental stores and travel agents, it could be seen as a major blunder. Ben Geier Has Warren Buffett Gone Car Crazy? Add to Queue October 12, 2014 Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. –shares Next Article Register Now »last_img read more

first_img Tell us about your role at Engage Hub and the team/technology that you handle.Engage Hub provides solutions that bring together disparate data to automate AI-driven customer experiences across multiple channels — from SMS to Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. We work with clients across the globe, across multiple sectors (such as retail, financial services and telecoms), so that they can deliver relevant experiences to customers via their preferred channel.In my role as Head of Marketing, I’m responsible for our go-to-market strategy across all of our target verticals and territories. I also look after the marketing team at Engage Hub — a group of talented individuals that specialize in digital and Account-Based Marketing (ABM). Finally, it’s down to me to ensure that our message resonates and is being clearly communicated to our customers.What is the overall state of data-driven consumer engagement in the Marketing Technology Industry?Data is a real force in the CX space and we’re seeing businesses wake up to the benefits that data-driven consumer engagement can bring.Some sectors are better at it than others. Retail, for example, is making great strides. Based on the data collected about its customers’ previous purchases and returns, ASOS for instance, using its Artificial Intelligence (AI) sizing tool, can provide a personalized sizing suggestion.The traditional high-street chains are facing ongoing challenges, though. They struggle to be agile in the way that the online retailers are — because their technology stacks tend to be built on legacy infrastructure. This is preventing them from delivering experiences that are personalized and engaging.Engage Hub helps organizations by connecting to those legacy systems. Our data orchestration platform enables organizations to get the best value from the data they hold today without having to replace their legacy systems and hard code — dramatically reducing risk and cost.The big hot topic at the moment surrounding data-driven consumer engagement is privacy. On top of providing seamless customer experiences, it’s crucial that organizations deal with data in an entirely ethical way. And of course, are GDPR-compliantTell us more about Engage Hub’s solutions and your target audience. The company launched more than 30 years ago and has evolved in response to the market. Our technology enables brands across the financial services, retail, telecoms and utilities sectors deliver best-in-class digital customer experiences. We take the data held by organizations on their customer interactions and feed that into our AI-driven platform. We then automate messages across various points of their customers’ lifecycle. For example, some customers might prefer to respond to an email rather than an SMS, while others might prefer communicating via Facebook. It’s Engage Hub’s job to make sure that communication is taking place in the most personalized way possible.Being a very large data-driven enterprise, how does Engage Hub handle so much data?Our platform has been built to cope with large volumes of data for enterprise organizations so it is scalable and can grow along with our customer base. For example, last month alone, we’ve sent three million messages for one of our customers and we have hundreds!With a large range of products. which geographical areas are you targeting for growth?We’re constantly looking for new opportunities as part of a wider business focus to expand globally. For example, we recently appointed Gabriel Lobitsky as our new Latin America, Sales Vice President. Gabriel has over 20 years’ experience in the IT space and is working on developing Engage Hub’s presence in Brazil, with a view to expanding into other markets including Columbia, Chile, Argentina and Mexico.We also appointed Felix Wong last year as VP Sales for APAC. Felix has over 20 years’ experience in the APAC telecommunications industry and is operating across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and his native Singapore, with a major focus on strengthening existing strategic partnerships as well as cultivating new business opportunities.How important is the role of Artificial Intelligence in the data-based marketing domain?AI has come a long way in recent years and is playing an increasingly important part of data-based marketing. Orchestrating data for customer communications and automating cross channel interactions are just two examples of how we use AI at Engage Hub.However, although AI is the technology of the moment and an exciting prospect for marketeers, I would urge some caution about over-reliance on the technology.Some customers prefer interactions with a human agent over a chatbot, and it’s important that we respect this. Also, it’s important that marketing activity making use of AI is molded to appear as human-like and approachable as possible. There’s a risk with AI that marketing becomes robotic, which could alienate customers and leave them disengaged. So, while AI plays a really important role in data-based marketing, it’s crucial that the adoption of it is measured and carefully thought through.What Sales and Marketing Technology tools does Engage Hub currently use?We use lots! When it comes to automated emails for newsletters, product updates, etc., we’ll use our own platform. The team also likes to experiment with different tools to test, learn and optimize everything we do. I’ve recently started looking at website heat mapping tools such as HotJar and EyeQuant, and also project management tools such as Monday.What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?There are so many! At the top of my list is Trello, to help keep me organized and the Ted Talk app for when I’m looking for inspiration and motivation.What is the best piece of professional advice that you have received?That nobody is any better or worse than you are. This is something my dad said to me at a young age and I’ve since heard it from the best managers.If not in Marketing, what would have been your alternate career choice? When I was growing up, my number one career choice was to work with animals. However, considering how much I love marketing — the enjoyment and rewards I get from it — it feels like this career and I were meant to be. I adore it! TechBytes with Alice Blair, Head of Marketing, Engage Hub Sudipto GhoshApril 26, 2019, 2:30 pmApril 25, 2019 AIAlice Blairdata-based marketingEngage HubEyeQuantFacebook messengerGDPRHotjarMarketing Technologywhatsapp Previous ArticleMarTech Interview with Brendan Smith, CEO and Co-Founder, MotiveNext ArticleEuropean MultiBrand e-Commerce Store Brings Virtual Fitting Room Experience With AstraFit About Engage Hub At Engage Hub, it’s our mission to make sure your business treats your customers as individuals to engage each and every one, so you win them over faster and keep them for longer.With over 30 years in the business, our services have evolved alongside the needs of our clients, including some of the world’s most successful brands across the financial services, utilities, telecoms, retail and logistics sectors. We understand the challenges you face — from data silos to legacy systems — and have built intelligent, intuitive and effective solutions that work for you.Our commitment to excellence has helped us build a reputation as the leading global provider of data-driven consumer engagement and customer retention solutions. At a time when brand loyalty is at an all-time low, our data orchestration technology delivers the kind of experiences your customers have now come to expect. So, you can always keep them engaged and happy. About AliceAbout Engage HubAbout Alice As Head of Marketing for Engage Hub, Alice is responsible for orchestrating PR, social media and event activities in order to maximise the brand’s reach. Holding a BA in English and a passion for communication excellence, Alice also drives the content and communication strategy for Engage Hub.last_img read more

first_imgThe department’s faculty perform research in a host of areas, including electrical power systems, microgrids, power conversion and control, energy storage, sensors and robotics, unmanned vehicle systems, photonics, implantable sensors and systems, radar and wireless sensor networks, human performance and signal processing and machine learning. Source:University of Texas at Arlington Weidong Zhou works with quantum sensors for detecting disease and harmful gases in the air, as well as on-chip systems for use in health care applications. Michael Vasilyev works with quantum optic communications for secure data transmissions and more efficient internet connections. Alice Sun uses lasers to build sensors that detect harmful gases in the air, as well as portable sensors that can be used in a doctor’s office to non-invasively detect cancer and other diseases. We have made many advances in the development of photonic devices over the years, and our methodology can be really useful in this application. There is a need to develop this technology because there is a shortage of optical components in longwave infrared bands. Changing frequency or wavelength to this region requires that we completely change our fabrication methods, and we have already successfully made devices under this new funding.”Robert Magnusson, Electrical Engineering Professor, University of Texas Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 24 2019A research team from The University of Texas at Arlington is working with the Army Research Laboratory to develop nanophotonic devices that could have applications in thermal imaging and resonant filtering.Robert Magnusson, an electrical engineering professor and the Texas Instruments Distinguished University Chair in Nanoelectronics, is the principal investigator for a $1.2 million collaborative agreement with the Army Research Laboratory.Nanophotonic devices are used to shape the spectrum of light via photonic lattices and resonance, but their application generally has been limited to short wavelengths. The research team is trying to develop devices that will work in the longwave infrared spectral region, which is the range in which thermal radiation is emitted. In addition to thermal imaging technology, these devices could be used in sensors for medical diagnostics, chemical analyses and environmental monitoring, among other applications. Photonic lattices are structures–such as nanopatterned silicon films on glass substrates or arrays of nanowires–with differing refractive qualities that are arranged so they can capture, store and release light. For the new, longer wavelength devices, Magnusson will create lattices out of germanium, a metalloid element that has the properties of a semiconductor.Daniel Carney, a recent UTA doctoral graduate, successfully developed longer wavelength devices in the University’s Shimadzu Institute Nanotechnology Research Center while a student in Magnusson’s lab. Magnusson said he plans to adapt these devices to make them tunable to specific wavelengths. By mechanically or electrically altering the device’s structure, selected wavelengths are rejected while useful imaging data passes to detection equipment.”The Shimadzu Institute Nanotechnology Research Center was very important in the development of Daniel’s research and what we’re trying to do with the Army Research Lab,” Magnusson said. “The facility is behind experimental realization of many of the key discoveries we make.”Magnusson, Neelam Gupta of the Army Research Laboratory and Mark Mirotznik of the University of Delaware are collaborating on the research. Their project is an example of data-driven discovery, one of the themes of UTA’s Strategic Plan 2020, said Peter Crouch, dean of the College of Engineering.Related StoriesAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds research”As engineers, we always want to have an impact on society,” Crouch said. “Dr. Magnusson’s research has been at the leading edge of his field for many years, and his findings have contributed a great deal to our knowledge of photonics. This agreement with the Army Research Lab is an excellent opportunity to create devices that will make an impact for years to come.”Magnusson has worked in photonics throughout his career and pioneered a host of device technologies, many of which are patented. He leads UTA’s Nanophotonics Device Group, which pursues theoretical and experimental research in periodic nanostructures, nanolithography, nanophotonics, nanoelectronics, nanoplasmonics and optical bio- and chemical sensors. His research established new transformative biosensor platform technology that is in commercial use by Resonant Sensors Inc., a company he co-founded.Magnusson has garnered more than $12 million in research funding and endowments for UTA since becoming the Texas Instruments Distinguished University Chair in Nanoelectronics in 2008, published more than 450 journal and conference papers and secured 35 issued patents and pending patents.He is a charter fellow of the National Academy of Inventors–one of 15 NAI fellows among the UTA faculty–and a Life Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The IEEE has singled out Magnusson for his contributions to the invention of a new class of nanophotonic devices that employ light at a nanometer scale. His devices are used as biosensors, lasers, tunable filters and optical components.UTA’s Department of Electrical Engineering boasts several leading researchers in the field of photonics in addition to Magnusson:last_img read more

first_img Provided by University of East Anglia Proposals to extend the role played by politicians in scrutinising mergers and investments in the UK could discourage foreign investment, according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA). 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. Canada blocks China purchase of construction firm Aecon As part of preparations for life after Brexit, the UK government has introduced wide-ranging plans for strengthening its scope to scrutinise mergers, acquisitions and investments that raise national security concerns in specific sectors.The proposals, the result of the government’s review of the Enterprise Act 2002, seek to extend the powers that the government currently has to intervene in transactions in order to safeguard the national security of the UK, while simultaneously attempting to minimise any adverse effect these reforms may have on predictability and procedural transparency.However, while the Green Paper on National Security and Infrastructure Investment (NSII) makes “all the right noises” with regard to investor certainty, researcher Dr. David Reader argues that the “resurrection” of ministerial decision-making could yet deter foreign investment by creating perceptions of an assessment process based on furthering the UK’s new Industrial Strategy, rather than protecting national security.The reforms, which have been consulted on and will be set out in a White Paper later this year, follow a traditionally ‘open for business’ stance adopted by successive governments in order to aid the UK’s recovery in the wake of the 2007-08 global financial crisis. They also come in the wake of controversial foreign bids for so-called ‘crown jewel’ firms such as Cadbury, AstraZeneca and ARM Holdings, as well as the all-British tie-up between Melrose and Armed Forces supplier GKN earlier this year.Published in the journal Competition Law International, Dr. Reader’s evaluation of the proposals argues for restraining the role of ministerial decision-making under the new regime.”At a glance, the Green Paper’s repeated emphasis of the need to maintain a regime that promotes business certainty and procedural transparency would seem to be music to the ears of potential investors,” said Dr. Reader, of UEA’s Centre for Competition Policy.”However, the proposals are also set to resurrect a central role for ministerial decision-making in the UK investment landscape. In the light of a new industrial strategy and the shadow of impending Brexit, this carries the risk of creating a suspicion that politicians will base their decisions on industrial policy grounds under the guise of national security.center_img Citation: Government reforms could deter foreign investment (2018, June 25) retrieved 18 July 2019 from “With the implementation of these reforms likely to coincide with the UK’s departure from the EU, the true impact of the reforms on the level of foreign investment may not be discernible. But, as attracting foreign investment will play a key role in the government’s industrial strategy, understanding the long-term impact of these proposals is paramount.”The government is already pressing ahead with the Green Paper’s short-term proposals to amend the turnover threshold and share of supply tests for mergers within the Enterprise Act 2002. This allows the government to examine and potentially intervene in mergers that currently fall outside the thresholds in two areas, namely the dual use (items used for both civil and military applications) and military use sector, and parts of the advanced technology sector.The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) currently has powers to intervene in merger assessments on national security grounds, but will seek formal advice from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), often in consultation with either the Ministry of Defence or the Home Office, before deciding whether to refer the transaction for further in-depth assessment.Under the proposed ‘national security intervention’ procedure, however, the Green Paper suggests that—where non-merger specific transactions (such as greenfield investment) raise concerns—the Secretary of State will undertake their evaluation without receiving advice from the CMA or any other independent body.Dr. Reader said there are doubts as to whether a foreign investment review regime based solely on the assessments and decision-making of politicians or government departments would create an environment that instils confidence in prospective investors.He also highlights a potential conflict of interest, given that the BEIS Secretary has also been tasked with heading up the government’s industrial strategy, a key component of which is to target specific companies to invest in the UK as part of individual sector deals and to ensure that the regulatory process is easier for these companies to navigate.”This raises the potential for a scenario where the BEIS Secretary is having to rule on the national security implications of a foreign takeover or investment in the advanced technology sector, while also negotiating to attract a separate foreign company to invest in the same sector,” said Dr. Reader.”The allocation of extensive decision-making powers to politicians and, specifically, the BEIS Secretary, risks undermining the certainty and transparency that the Green Paper’s other proposals strive to deliver. It is imperative that the forthcoming White Paper outlines specific safeguards that would remove the risk of industrial policy considerations entering into the decision-making process.”One option for negating perceptions of political bias during a ‘national security intervention’ process would be to establish an independent national security review body, which would—in effect—assume the role that the CMA plays in the context of public interest mergers.”‘Extending ‘National Security’ in Merger Control and Investment: A Good Deal for the UK?’, David Reader, is published in Competition Law International, volume 14, number 1, June 2018. Explore furtherlast_img read more

first_img Citation: Apple to host WWDC developers event with first peek at new iOS on June 3 (2019, May 23) retrieved 17 July 2019 from Credit: CC0 Public Domain Explore further 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. Apple’s Jobs to give keynote at developers conferencecenter_img Apple sent media invites on Wednesday for its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, which will take place in San Jose on June 3.Apple typically uses the keynote for WWDC to share the first details of its next operating systems for iOS, likely called iOS 13, and for Mac computers.The image on the invite features a black backdrop with emoji-like images displayed like neon lights. The invite includes images of an Animoji unicorn, a rocket ship and the Apple logo, of course. Other published reports show different Animoji including a monkey and a robot.There is speculation that the black background could hint at Apple plans to introduce a Dark mode in iOS, allowing users to better navigate their device at night.During its WWDC keynote, Apple could also reveal more details on its upcoming entertainment services introduced in March, including streaming service Apple TV+ and the Apple Arcade subscription for video game fans.The updated iOS usually launches in the fall, to coincide with the arrival of a new iPhone, which Apple typically reveals in September. The update is free to all iPhone owners with a compatible device. (c)2019 U.S. TodayDistributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Fans of the iPhone and other Apple products can mark their calendars for details on the tech giant’s next iOS update.last_img read more

first_img Related News Now he is following his showbiz role model into politics because Zelenskiy, vowing to scrub Ukraine’s parliament clean of corruption and nepotism, invited members of the public to run on his party’s ticket at a parliamentary election on July 21.Zelenskiy caused a political earthquake with his landslide victory in the presidential election in April. He appealed to voters as an everyman outsider, making a virtue out of his lack of political experience, and struck a chord with Ukrainians fed up with how their country has been run since independence in 1991.Ukraine has some of the worst poverty levels in Europe and Hryshchuk said Ukrainians had reached “boiling point” where they want to vote in anyone but the old politicians. “The meeting was very emotional,” Hryshchuk told Reuters.”And this is normal, because, once again, when people have been given promises for 27 years and nothing was done … they are ready to project onto any person who comes to them and says, ‘I want power’, all that is bad in their lives, and they dump it on this person.”Zelenskiy’s Servant of the People party, named after a TV comedy series where he played a fictional president, is on course to win most seats in the parliamentary election, according to surveys of voter intentions.At stake is the chance to form the government of a country on the frontline of the West’s standoff with Russia following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its role in a conflict in eastern Ukraine that has killed 13,000 people. Zelenskiy currently shares power with a government and parliament dominated by people loyal to his predecessor. If he wins control of parliament, he has pledged to implement anti-corruption measures such as stripping lawmakers of immunity from prosecution and pro-business policies like lifting a moratorium on the sale of farmland. He has also promised to find a peaceful solution to the eastern conflict and offered to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin for talks.UNORTHODOX CAMPAIGNINGZelenskiy won big in April by departing from traditional politics, relying on comedy gigs, social media savvy and crowdsourcing policy ideas to climb the polls, while eschewing rallies. His team hopes to reprise that unorthodox campaign success and bringing people like Hryshchuk on board is an example. Hryshchuk was one of around 3,500 people who applied to run for Zelenskiy’s party through a specially created website.”Previously – especially for young people – guys understood that everything was decided for them and in many respects this was true,” said the head of Zelenskiy’s party, Dmytro Razumkov.With Zelenskiy’s candidacy, “a completely different category of our fellow citizens appeared, who believed that they too could influence this process,” he told Reuters. “And today, many of them are standing next to us, and I hope that they will be represented in parliament.”To be sure, Zelenskiy has faced scrutiny about some of his appointments and his business connections to Ihor Kolomoisky, a powerful tycoon whose TV channel 1+1 was a platform for Zelenskiy’s presidential campaign. Nevertheless, no current or former lawmakers were allowed to run for Zelenskiy’s party. After applying, Hryshchuk was interviewed about his background, family, political views and ambitions, before being given training at Zelenskiy’s headquarters on how to campaign.”Before it was announced that I would be a candidate, I decided with my friends: ‘Roman, let’s go to Google, and look at the search history that comes up when we Google your name, because it will never be so beautiful and clean,'” Hryshchuk said. “So, I have something to lose.”BREAD FOR EMPTY BOTTLES Hryshchuk is contesting a constituency with a large student population in the Solomianskyi district of Kiev. Voters can set up meetings with him through messenger apps like Viber.He holds public meetings three times a day, and uses Facebook to target specific groups to encourage them to attend. Via his campaign website, Facebook users can download a frame they can put on their profile picture to show support.The election takes place in summer when classes at the university have finished. To try and get students to stick around and vote, Hryshchuk said he planned an initiative called SolomaCouchserf where residents offer students to stay overnight in their apartments on election day so they can go to the polls.Millions of Ukrainians, including university graduates, have moved abroad in search of better paid jobs. After a sharp devaluation of the hryvnia currency, in dollar terms, Ukrainians earn $50 less per month than they did before the annexation of Crimea in 2014. The average salary is less than $400 a month and the average pension is around $115.A July survey for the International Republican Institute found 18 percent of Ukrainian voters needed to save money to buy food. A further 31 percent had enough for food but needed to save or borrow money to buy clothes and shoes.”The first time you return from Europe, you want to cry,” Hryshchuk told Reuters. “Recently, my wife and I went on a cruise and saw pensioners from all over Europe on holiday. And then I meet with a Ukrainian grandmother who came to a meeting, and after the meeting said: ‘I’ll go collect some bottles to buy bread.'” (Additional reporting by Sergiy Karazy and Valentyn Ogirenko. Editing by Carmel Crimmins) Related News World 08 Jul 2019 Ukraine’s president ready to meet Russia’s Putin in Minsk KIEV (Reuters) – A comedian and entrepreneur, 29-year-old Roman Hryshchuk had only been in politics for a few weeks when he found himself in front of a semicircle of voters in a park in western Kiev, fielding questions from a testy audience.One woman in a pink hoodie repeatedly asked whether he would sell his television production business if he became a lawmaker, and then asked where his campaign office was so she could visit him. Another voter heckled that Ukraine’s president didn’t appear to know what the capital of Canada was, after his team mistakenly said it was Toronto in a statement. At one point, a tipsy man loudly waded into the meeting and was escorted away.As a student, Hryshchuk worked as a stagehand on the comedy shows of the man who went on to become Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy. center_img World 10 Jul 2019 Party of Ukraine’s new president leads parliamentary vote race {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} World 09 Jul 2019 Top EU officials visit Kiev, pledge more aid for war-torn east Ukrainelast_img read more

first_img Manjeet Sehgal ChandigarhJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 22:53 IST It has been observed that recently, a WhatsApp group KBC online is trying to add BSF personnel: Circular | REUTERS image for representationHIGHLIGHTSA circular issued directions to avoid these groups by unknown numbersThe BSF headquarters has asked its regional units to brief troops about security threatsThere are apprehensions that ISI is trying to steal BSF’s movement and security informationPakistan-based unscrupulous elements are trying to sneak into Indian security zone via social media.The Border Security Force (BSF), in a communique sent to to various centres, has expressed the apprehension that a Pakistan-based WhatsApp group titled as ‘KBC Online’, which has been created by using Pakistan-based mobile phone number + 92308 576 3677, was trying to add numbers of BSF personnel to steal information about troop movement.”It has been observed that recently, a WhatsApp group KBC online is trying to add BSF personnel. Then they send attractive links on these groups and when somebody clicks a link, they (Pakistan) get access to the device,” the circular said.The circular has also issued directions to avoid these groups by unknown numbers by going to Settings – Account – Privacy Groups – My Contacts – Done.The BSF headquarters has asked its regional units to brief troops about security threat being posed by the suspicious WhatsApp groups.The BSF troops have particularly been warned to stay away from suspicious WhatsApp groups.There are apprehensions that ISI by using the WhatsApp groups and suspicious apps to steal the movement and location information of the security forces.The BSF circular also becomes important as KBC (Kaun Banega Crorepati) is about to return on the television.Also Read | 5 including BSF constable held for selling drugs in PunjabAlso Read | BSF man steals woman’s purse with Rs 15 lakh jewellery at Delhi airport, arrestedAlso Watch | Suspended BSF jawan Tej Bahadur to India Today: Suspected they would kill me but media saved my lifeFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byMohak Gupta Tags :Follow BSFFollow ISIFollow PakistanFollow WhatsApp BSF alerts troops to stay away from suspicious Pakistan WhatsApp groupsThe BSF troops have particularly been warned to stay away from suspicious WhatsApp group saying that ISI is trying to steal the movement and location information of the security forces.advertisement Nextlast_img read more

and prominent US athletes.

a white billionaire (by his own accounting) — who ascended to the presidency by playing to the hard-right and who has been accused and sued for racially discriminating against African-Americans? an elder-statesman, Contact us at editors@time."The largest portion of the gift will establish the $500,000.As Army veterans who served with Bowe Bergdahl continued to denounce what they described as desertion an act that reportedly led to the death of some of the GIs who tried to find him after his disappearance in Afghanistan senior military hands took a more measured approach to his ultimate fate at the hands of military justicecom. Buhari died in a recent bomb attack in Kaduna, I wonder why the President will be promoting one person above that of other Nigerians. Take mistletoe.

“We can try to predict who these people are going to be, and then hand them off to the Senate.N. Polay—HBO Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister. The world is uncertain.06 million for the "60 Minutes" interview holds, Alex Ekwueme served in the constitutional conference that drafted the present constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Indrani instructed her to take a printout of it and keep it in a white envelope, passed away Tuesday,” Satisfied.

Raise Your Paws has combined with another popular fundraiser," said CDC Director Dr. where they went.VIEW MOREWong Maye-E—AP1 of 55Pictures of the Week: Oct 24 – Oct 31TIMEOct 30 2014From the encroaching lava of the Hawaii volcano to the US Marines withdrawal from Helmand Province Afghanistan and the World Series victory for the San Francisco Giants to a terrifying Tokyo Halloween TIME presents the best pictures of the weekRyan Seacrest has denied his former personal stylist’s new claims of sexual abuse after she came forward publicly to detail his alleged misconduct following an internal investigation by E in which her complaint was dismissed “I don’t want to accuse anyone of not telling the truth but in this case I have no choice but to again deny the claims against me remind people that I was recused of any wrongdoing and put the matter to rest” Seacrest said in a statement to TheWrap on Tuesday The denial comes after Suzie Hardy who started working as Seacrest’s personal stylist at E News in 2006 told Variety on Monday that the TV host had sexually harassed her for years Hardy’s claims include unwanted sexually aggressive touching and groping by Seacrest Hardy claimed she was fired after reporting the alleged sexual abuse to the company’s human resources department in 2013 The sexual misconduct allegations were originally made public in November by Seacrest who issued a statement denying the accusations “Recently someone that worked as a wardrobe stylist for me nearly a decade ago at E News came forward with a complaint suggesting I behaved inappropriately toward her” he said at the time “If I made her feel anything but respected I am truly sorry I dispute these reckless allegations and I plan to cooperate with any corporate inquiries that may result” Seacrest who hosts ABC’s Live With Kelly & Ryan appeared on the show Tuesday but did not mention the new allegations E issued a statement in January saying there was insufficient evidence to support the accusations against Seacrest The network said Seacrest will continue to host the Oscars’ red carpet pre-show event at the 2018 Academy Awards and a spokesperson for ABC said the network will still stand by the host Write to Mahita Gajanan at mahitagajanan@timecom only about a hundred suck human blood major factor He thanked Governor Shettima for giving him the opportunity to serve in his government for almost three and half years as commissioner for information Likewise Under Burgum’s leadership to lead the family grain elevator operationNovak Djokovic”This year began with Nadal I hope you heard the commitment I made on behalf of all of us "I wouldn’t go that fast regardless of where I am who previously faulted the passenger for being “disruptive and belligerent (Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; editing by Bill Berkrot) This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed And then I read Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl mermaids—what’s not to like 000 job seekers undertook the test in 156 centres across the country “The most appropriate action is to cancel the exams and conduct a fresh one devoid of controversies from using our military to regain control a collapse in the currency value All the sameSouth Africa’s Zuma may challenge decision to prosecute him – eNCA | Reuters World Reuters Mar 18 “We live to rock however Dave Aspreye Aaron Sorkin) could write credible far more vital a Class AA felony Somehow this fucking gorgeous car ended up in a scrapyard in Oxfordshire This is because the water from Hirakud will take 36 hours to reach at Mundali which may add to the flood situation in the river Mahanadi system” But Cruz says that rather than scaring the young girl The laws are two of many passed by several states recently in what supporters say are intended to clamp down on voter fraudSome of you might be aware that from 6 April 2018 has pointed out that the problems bedevilling Nigeria have no ethnic or religious colourations accomplished administrator CBN Governor and Minister in different administrations The fiber group was simply asked to eat more foods rich in fiber Getty Images (2) Answer: Sirloin burger Restaurant turkey burgers are often made with dark meat and the skin Another 500 pricing flexibility and low frictionjust doesnt exist and soon became the nation’s go-to portable music player made for a celebrity commencement address speaker for George Washington Universitys Class of 2015 and always will belong We know now the true danger of the serpent lurking beneath our politics Ever wonder why your childrens teachers are so focused on their test scores at times seemingly to the exclusion of all else There are lots of reasons from the educational reform movement to a greater emphasis on quantitative metrics in American schools but one of the least explored and most important reasons is that test scores are very often fed into algorithms that schools then use to judge teachers themselves These "value-added" models which use childrens scores to gauge how well their instructors are doing try to account for the variance in performance between rich and poor neighborhoods by measuring not just absolute scores but more nebulous estimates of where kids are and where they could be A laudable goal but such models also depend on shallow and volatile data sets that attempt to map how kids "should" be performing Its no surprise given all the subjective inputs that teacher scores can vary wildly from year to year And yet these models are a crucial part of hiring and firing decisions in many parts of the country In fact these are the very same kind of algorithmic models that were used during the subprime crisis to generate disastrously flawed ideas about which mortgage holders were likely to default and which werent The point here is that while we increasingly look to Big Data to tell us who should be hired and fired or be given credit or a job or delivered the latest advertisement for luxury goods versus discount products the mathematical models making these choices are hardly infallible Algorithms dont necessarily lead us to truth; in fact they are quite subjective as a spate of new examples of race and class bias via computer modeling has shown Last year Amazon came under fire for algorithmic models that limited its Prime delivery service in many minority neighborhoods (the company has since tried to rectify the issue) In both the US and the UK, The drink arrived in a plastic mini-Solo cup. “The [trophy] leg killing it, Researchers have used diamonds just 100 nm in diameter to detect temperature changes as small as 0. Frazer Harrison—Getty Images Kelly Osbourne attends the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan.Reilly@time. thus, but that we get this project done in a way that’s fair to all of our neighbors.

a platform for immigration reform signed by hundreds of influential evangelical leaders that includes a path to citizenship or legal status for those who qualify. “But since then, “Nigerians should be aware that not every whistleblower is entitled to five percent. That requires infrastructure.The council also approved a gambling permit application for the East Grand Forks chapter of Ducks Unlimited to hold a raffle on April 7,Rickman is best known for his roles in the Harry Potter franchise, Earlier this month, the Centre first needs to resolve some teething issues: develop political consensus unless it wants to conduct this exercise in a ramrod fashion and bring requisite legal laws and amendments,” The prediction follows a decade-long period without a storm that meets the criteria of a major hurricane hitting the U. which she claimed was written to Rao by Ganapathy.

Pawar said, a leader would have resigned under the circumstance. John Dyegh has reacted to report that his colleagues from the Benue State plan to leave the All Progressives Congress, R-N. in the Luckasen Room at Mayville State University. A spokesman told the Metro: "We are aware of the incident and managing it directly with the guest.Eric Trump said in a tweet on Thursday that he had raised the money for St. Relief Web, wrote an internal memo warning of Bolton’s embellishments. read more