Houston Colleges Offer Food Scholarships to Help Students Ease Food Insecurity

first_img Share X Laura Isensee/Houston Public MediaSince it opened in January 2018, the student market at Texas Woman’s University provides about 80 students – mostly in graduate programs – with 60 pounds of food a month.On a recent Monday afternoon at Texas Woman’s University in the Medical Center, it was delivery day. It’s always a little bit of a surprise what arrives from the Houston Food Bank.Graduate student Torrey Alexis unpacked boxes and found lettuce for garden salads, a whole mixture of fruits and frozen sausages.“And bags of rice — awesome!” he said.After class, Alexis, 24, will hand out maroon tote bags loaded with 30 pounds of groceries to dozens of fellow grad students. It’s part of his masters project in nutrition. He’s collecting food diaries and surveys on students’ food needs.The market is also personal. Alexis takes home two bags of food for himself. “I’m going to say it has helped me a lot, because it’s a lot of money — like I’m an out-of-state student, so a lot of my fees goes to out-of-state tuition. And so it’s kind of like money is very tight,” Alexis said.Last semester, between moving from Louisiana, starting graduate school and then being out of work during Hurricane Harvey, Alexis had to skip meals sometimes to pay bills. Or he made sure he had healthy snacks to keep him going.In fact, 20 percent of students at TWU have experienced food insecurity. That’s almost as much as the national average. A recent study found that over a third of U.S. college students went hungry over the last year.It all means the stereotype of the poor college student surviving on Ramen noodles isn’t a joke for a growing number of young people. And community colleges and universities like Texas Woman’s have started to offer a new kind of scholarship — for food — together with the Houston Food Bank.Video Playerhttps://cdn.hpm.io/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/17161405/College-Food-Scholarship-In-Depth.mp400:0000:0000:15Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Deb  Unruh, assistant director of student life at TWU, surveyed students in 2016.Their response: “They were cutting back on the size of meals, they were skipping meals altogether, they weren’t eating as much food as they thought they should and that money was running out at the end of the month, so they just couldn’t buy food,” she recounted.Unruh wasn’t totally surprised. For a while, she’d noticed students scarfing down snacks at the student life center, where they ate very quickly and ate a lot.Laura IsenseeDeb Unruh surveyed students at TWU in 2016 after she noticed students regularly scarfed down snacks at the student life center – as if it was their main meal. Unruh discovered 20 percent of students at TWU’s Houston campus in the Texas Medical Center experienced food insecurity, not knowing where their next meal would come from.It’s all led to this partnership with the Houston Food Bank. Carolyn Moore, a professor in nutrition and food sciences at TWU, helped make the connection with the Houston Food Bank. She also funded — with some of her own money — a renovation to house the new student market, adding new refrigerators and a freezer to keep produce fresh. Since the market opened in January, about 80 students receive groceries twice a month, just as long as they stay in school.“The reason that we call it a food scholarship is because we’re looking to tie this to outcomes,” said Harry Hadland with the Houston Food Bank. “It’s not just, ‘Hey, here’s some food, go be well with your life.’ It’s, ‘Here’s some food, let this help you maintain your way through with whatever program you’re pursuing,” Hadland said.  Some say rising tuition and housing costs mean more students resort to these programs. But it’s a complicated issue and there could be other factors.Laura IsenseeCarolyn Moore, professor of nutrition and food science at TWU, donated over $10,000 of her own money to build the student market at TWU. She’s advising graduate student Torrey Alexis on his masters project that’s monitoring how the food scholarships impact students’ nutrition. They both volunteer to help organize food for students on distribution day.Still, it’s prompted the Houston Food Bank to expand its food scholarships. Hadland said that they have student markets at six colleges so far, including San Jacinto Community College and the University of Houston-Downtown. And the nonprofit will open a ninth student market in Baytown at Lee College in the fall. Together, there are about 1,000 students in Houston higher education institutions on these food scholarships.At Texas Woman’s University, both administrators and students said that the food scholarships have made a difference. Unruh said that students seem more confident and that fills her with gratitude.“I mean, goodness! What a gift of humanity one to another, honest to goodness,” she said.Alexis hopes his masters project proves that his peers get more calories and better nutrition, because of this program. He’ll share the research with the Houston Food Bank. They won’t be able to tell if it improves students’ academics, but Alexis said that already his own stress is already way down. “I don’t really have to worry about food as much now. I have so much cereal at my house right now, it’s ridiculous,” he said.That means he can focus on work at a local hospital and class, so he can graduate with his masters in May 2019.  To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen 00:00 /04:00last_img read more

DC Author Kimberly K Parker Uses Writing and Culture to Teach Others

first_imgAs a self-published author, Kimberly K. Parker is using her life experiences to educate, tell stories, and coach others into living their dreams. At the heart of Parker’s work is her love for writing. “I just love words. They’re so powerful, they have the ability to uplift or destroy, they can change a person’s outlook, [and] they can change a person’s life. So if they are there, why not utilize them,” Parker told the AFRO.As a child, she was often ridiculed and labeled proper, smarty-pants, and teachers pet. She was even called ‘white girl’ on several occasions because slang was not part of her day-to-day conversation. However, she continued to use the dictionary for new and interesting words and proceeded to put them on paper, making writing her primary source of expression.In 2005, Parker self-published her first book, Out of the Mouths of Babes: Spiritual Insights for Practical Living, which was inspired by her two oldest children and their ability to transform her spirit through words. After the birth of her third child, she released the book’s sequel in 2011, Out of the Mouths of Babes: Daily Devotions from Our Greatest Teachers. In 2013, she released her first technical book, Writing an Essay is Like Playing Basketball, where she correlates players on a basketball court to essential pieces of an essay.Parker works with first-time authors, helping them translate their thoughts onto paper and walking them through the steps of self-publishing. “When people hear book publishing, they think it’s this massive undertaking and it’s not,” she says. “To publish a book simply means to take your creative content and put it in a format that can be reproduced so others can enjoy it – that’s all it is.”Parker’s latest book, published in 2015, documents one of her most life-altering experiences: teaching English to students in China through the international language program English First. In about 200 pages, she documents the challenges and successes of her year abroad in 2013.“What I experienced in China is there is no glass ceiling. They look at your base qualifications and if you’re a hard worker. If you prove that, you can advance,” she says. “So I started off as a foreign teacher in January and by June I was senior teacher because I put in the work. They needed someone to work 12 hours on Saturday, I did it, and my daughter was with me, too.”During her time in China, Parker also witnessed a cultural awakening. “If you were of African descent and you were a child, I did not see you,” she says. The only children she saw who resembled herself were her own.“When I saw that there were no beautiful Black faces consistently seen in China, I said I have a duty to offer this opportunity to as many Black children as possible,” says Parker, who is organizing a trip back to China in April 2016. “I have a grand vision of seeing this sea of beautiful Black faces at the Great Wall with our Kimberly K. Parker International t-shirts on saying ‘Yes we can, yes we did.’Parker is working on her next book, which will focus on the importance and ease of increasing vocabulary for adults and children alike. She takes these strategies into corporations and nonprofits during “Lunch n’ Learns,” teaching groups of busy professionals ways to refresh their English and language arts skills.“I enjoy teaching in whatever capacity that may be, I welcome the opportunity,” she says. “I believe that we’re so marginalized as African Americans and oftentimes labeled in ways that are not true so any opportunity I have to expose a little insight to help a person change their thinking and foster change on the parts of others – it’s my duty.”For more information, visit www.kimberlykparker.com.last_img read more

No 7 Cardinals Close Out Regular Season with Florida State

first_img 2. Florida State 586 The Cardinals began head coach Dan McDonnell’s 13th season ranked as high as fourth in the national polls. UofL is coming off a 45-19 record in 2018, its seventh straight 40-win season and the 11th in 12 seasons under McDonnell. The Cardinals advanced to the championship round of an NCAA Regional for the seventh straight season. LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The seventh-ranked Louisville baseball team closes out the regular season with a three-game series against Florida State starting Thursday evening at 6:00 p.m., ET at Jim Patterson Stadium. The series continues on Friday at 6:00 p.m., ET and the finale is set for 1:00 p.m., ET on Saturday. All three games will be televised on ACC Network Extra and radio coverage will be available on 93.9 The Ville. Live scoring is available at GoCards.com. PLAYER NOTES AND TRENDS Saturday, May 18 | 1:00 p.m. ET | Live Stats TV: ACC Network Extra | Radio: 93.9 The Ville LOU: So. RHP Bobby Miller (4-1, 4.61 ERA) FSU: So. RHP Conor Grady (8-4, 3.33 ERA) Story Links Louisville is currently leading the Atlantic Division at 19-8 with one weekend series remaining. Thursday, May 16 | 6:00 p.m. ET | Live Stats TV: ACC Network Extra | Radio: 93.9 The Ville LOU: So. LHP Reid Detmers (10-2, 2.59 ERA) FSU: Jr. LHP Drew Parrish (7-4, 3.99 ERA) Louisville captured its 40th win of the season Friday at Virginia. The program record for victories in a season was 39 prior to Dan McDonnell’s arrival in 2007, and the Cardinals have reached 40 wins in 12 of McDonnell’s 13 seasons. The Cardinals pitching staff struck out 23 batters on Tuesday night at Indiana. It was the most strikeouts in a game for UofL since at least 2000 and the third-highest total in Division I this season, trailing only Clemson (24) and Georgia (26) from their 20-inning game in April. The Louisville offense has tallied double digit hits in 26 games this season. The Cardinals are 36-1 this season when they outhit the opposition. Louisville scored double digit runs in five straight games from April 23-30, the first time in program history with 10 runs or more in five consecutive victories. Louisville leads the ACC in hits (552), runs (413) and stolen bases (96), and ranks second in batting average (.295), runs per game (7.8) and doubles (114). Louisville pitching currently leads the ACC in ERA (3.57), WHIP (1.19), strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.79), shutouts (6) and hits allowed per nine innings (6.98). Louisville’s starting pitcher has pitched five innings or more with one earned run or fewer allowed in 19 games this season. UofL has had a starting pitcher throw seven no-hit innings on three occasions this season, with Reid Detmers doing it against Brown and James Madison, and Bobby Miller against Wake Forest. Louisville pitchers set a Jim Patterson Stadium record with 19 strikeouts against Alabama A&M on April 26. The Cardinals have struck out 10 or more in 32 games this season, with a 29-3 record when doing so. UofL set program records against Alabama A&M for most runs in a three-game series (61) and margin of victory in a three game series (54). The Cardinals have been active offensively in the first inning this season, plating at least one run in the opening inning of 27 games. Louisville has scored 46 first inning runs overall and is 21-6 when scoring in the first. Louisville swiped a season-high nine bases on March 6 against Morehead State. It was the most since the Cardinals finished with 10 stolen bases against Eastern Kentucky on Feb. 20, 2013. UofL currently leads the ACC with 96 stolen bases on the year. Louisville has finished in the top five in the country in stolen bases in four of the last six seasons. In the victory over Morehead State on March 6, the Cardinals set a program record with eight different players recording a stolen base. The Cardinals are 36-0 this season when leading after eight innings. From 2012-17, Louisville accumulated a six-year record of 266-3 when entering the ninth with a lead, including a 50-0 mark in 2017. UofL has won 37 of its 39 ACC series since joining the league and is 40-8 in its series finales during that span, including an 12-5 record in rubber games. The Cardinals have won 19 of their 24 ACC series at home since debuting in the conference. While at Louisville, coach Dan McDonnell has guided the Cardinals to four College World Series berths, seven NCAA Super Regional appearances, 11 NCAA Regional bids, eight regular season conference championships and two conference tournament titles with 37 All-Americans. ABOUT FLORIDA STATECollege baseball’s all-time wins leader Mike Martin leads the Seminoles into Jim Patterson Stadium trying to close out the regular season strong. Florida State is ranked in three of the six major polls and is coming off a three-game sweep of Richmond last weekend. Prior to the sweep of the Spiders, FSU dropped games to Jacksonville and Stetson in midweek. LOUISVILLE CONTINUES TO FIND SUCCESS IN ACC PLAYSince joining the ACC before the 2015 season, Louisville has seen its success at the conference level spill over into its new league. The Cardinals won regular season titles in each of their first three seasons in the ACC and were voted the preseason favorite in 2019. SERIES HISTORYLouisville and Florida State have met 34 times previously, with the Seminoles holding a commanding 27-7 mark against UofL. FSU won two out of three in Tallahassee last season and defeated the Cardinals 11-8 in 10 innings in the ACC Championship game. Since joining the ACC, Louisville is just 4-10 against Florida State. Louisville is coming off a marathon victory at No. 21 Indiana on Tuesday night, in which it struck out 23 batters in the 12-inning win. Tyler Fitzgerald scored the game-winning run in the top of the 12th inning and Louisville’s bullpen didn’t allow an earned run while striking out 17 in nine innings of work. DETMERS NAMED GOLDEN SPIKES AWARD SEMIFINALISTContinuing his year-long run of accolades, starting pitcher Reid Detmers was named a Golden Spikes Award semifinalist by USA Baseball. Florida State is middle of the pack in the ACC in batting average (.266) and ERA (4.49), but the Seminoles have the second-best on-base percentage (.400) behind the country’s fourth-highest walk total. Alex Binelas hit his 10th home run of the season on Saturday at Virginia. He is the first freshman to reach double digit home runs since Chris Dominguez hit 15 as a redshirt-freshman in 2007. Tyler Fitzgerald ranks second in the country among shortstops with 60 RBIs on the season, trailing only Joey Ortiz of New Mexico State who leads Division I with 80. Logan Wyatt is third in the country with 59 walks through 53 games and is currently on pace for 62 this season. The UofL single season record in 69 by Kevin Malone in 1980. Wyatt moved into seventh all-time on Louisville’s career walk list with three walks vs. Alabama A&M Friday. Alex Binelas became the sixth player in program history and first since 1998 to hit for the cycle, doing so on April 26 against Alabama A&M. Justin Lavey leads all Louisville hitters and ranks seventh in the conference with a .349 batting average in conference play. Henry Davis currently leads all ACC catchers in throwing out potential base stealers, with opposing runners just 12-for-22 (54.5 percent) trying to run on the freshman. With a win in Friday’s series opener at Virgina, Reid Detmers became the 13th player to reach 10 wins in a season in Louisville history. Reid Detmers currently leads qualified ACC pitchers in wins, ERA, strikeouts and opponents batting average. Lucas Dunn, Tyler Fitzgerald, Justin Lavey, Trey Leonard and Jake Snider each have stolen at least 10 bases this season. The five players in double digits are the most since 2015, when six different Cardinals reached double figures. Five different Cardinals have hit their first collegiate home runs this season (Binelas, Davis, Leonard, Masterman, Poland). Twelve different Cardinals have made their Louisville debuts this season (Albanese, Binelas, Davis, Leonard, Lohman, Masterman, Metzinger, Perkins, Poland, Schmeltz, Smith and Wright). It was the collegiate debut for 11 of the 12. LOUISVILLE LEADS COUNTRY IN WINS SINCE 2007Dan McDonnell took the reins of the Louisville baseball program in 2007. Louisville entered 2019 with the most wins of any Division I program from 2007-18 with 554. ABOUT THE LOUISVILLE CARDINALSThe Cardinals enter the final series of the season with a three-game lead over Florida State and NC State for the top spot in the ACC Atlantic Division with three games to play. Louisville is trying to capture its fourth Atlantic Division title in five seasons. Presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, the 42nd Golden Spikes Award winner will be announced on June 14 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska. The finalists will then be announced on Wednesday, May 29. Detmers is one of 25 semifinalists and the only player from the ACC. The sophomore is the 12th player in program history to be a semifinalist and the first since Drew Ellis and Brendan McKay in 2017. McKay won the Golden Spikes Award that season. 4. LSU 583 TEAM NOTES AND TRENDS Friday, May 17 | 6:00 p.m. ET | Live Stats TV: ACC Network Extra | Radio: 93.9 The Ville LOU: Jr. LHP Nick Bennett (6-2, 4.15 ERA) FSU: So. RHP CJ Van Eyk (7-3, 4.01 ERA) 1. Louisville 595 GAME DAY INFORMATION #7 Louisville vs. #17 Florida State Location: Louisville, Ky. Venue: Jim Patterson Stadium (4,000) Twitter Updates: @LouisvilleBSB Game Notes: Louisville | Florida State 5. Vanderbilt 579 Louisville has won 37 of 49 conference series since joining the league. With sweeps this season against Wake Forest and at Duke, NC State and Notre Dame, the Cardinals have tallied 11 conference road sweeps over the last four-plus seasons and 21 sweeps in ACC play altogether.     North Carolina 586 Most Wins Since 2007 LOUISVILLE IN NATIONAL POLLS EVERY WEEK SINCE START OF 2012Louisville, which surpassed its previous high national ranking of No. 2 (in 2016) with the No. 1 ranking on March 13 and March 20 during the 2017 season, has enjoyed a historic run by remaining ranked in at least one major national poll every week since the release of the 2012 preseason rankings — the longest such span in school history. Ranked in the top 25 in all six major preseason polls for 2019, the Cardinals have earned a preseason national ranking in 11 straight seasons (2008-2018) overall. Louisville entered the 2019 season ranked fourth in the D1Baseball rankings, eighth in the Perfect Game and USA Today polls, ninth in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and NCBWA rankings and 11th by Baseball America. Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Rainfall likely in North Bengal districts soon South Bengal to remain dry

first_imgKolkata: The Meteorological Centre at Alipore has predicted that North Bengal districts may witness slight rainfall in the next few days, while the South Bengal districts are likely to stay dry.The temperature in the city may go down by a few notches. The lowest temperature in the city on Monday remained at 18.3 degree Celsius, which is 4 degrees above normal. The mercury may slide down for the next couple of days and then again start to climb up. A sudden drop in the temperature will have no major impact on the overall cold condition in the South Bengal districts, a weather official said on Monday. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAccording to the weather office, a low pressure trough has formed over some parts of Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, as a result of which the flow of northwesterly wind has been interrupted. It may also bring some rainfall in the North Bengal districts. In South Bengal districts, the sky may remain partly cloudy during daytime. The people may witness misty morning in the next few days, which will disappear as the day progresses. After the low pressure trough becomes weak and its impact ceases, the mercury will again continue to soar up, paving the way for the advent of spring. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe Met office also predicted that temperature in all the South Bengal districts will be rising from early February and with this, the winter season will be bidding farewell. The prediction also says that the days will generally remain warm while the nights may be comparatively cold. It has been learnt that the people in North Bengal districts may continue to feel a cold condition for a few more days, as the temperature in some places may hover around 10-12 degree Celsius.last_img read more

PEOPLE Trafalgar draws winner for European Highlights contest

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Samantha KniggeTORONTO — Vancouver Flight Centre agent Samantha Knigge has been drawn as the winner of Trafalgar’s European Highlights contest that ran in the Europe edition of Travel Professional.Trafalgar’s nine-day ‘European Highlights’ includes accommodation for eight nights, 11 meals, all land transfers, luxury air-conditioned coachs, hand-picked Insider Experience, all porterage and restaurant gratuities, must-see sighseeing experience and surprise extras, an expert travel director and VIP entry to many of the sights.“I am so happy to receive this opportunity Travelweek and Trafalgar. I have been selling and recommending Trafalgar to all of my clients in my three years in the travel industry. All of my clients who I send away come back telling me how amazing their experience was, so I am so excited to experience it firsthand. I can’t wait to learn more about this fantastic company so I can continue to pass on my knowledge to many more clients,” said Kinge about her win.For more about Trafalgar, go to trafalgar.com.For more travel agent contests, go to travelweek.ca/contests. Tuesday, April 18, 2017 [PEOPLE] Trafalgar draws winner for ‘European Highlights’ contestcenter_img Posted by Tags: Contests, People, Trafalgar Travelweek Group last_img read more

Michigan House legislators unveil tax relief plan for families seniors

first_img Categories: News Michigan House legislators today introduced legislation to provide substantial income tax relief for families and seniors.The bills continue and increase personal exemptions for Michigan taxpayers and their dependents on their income taxes, while providing additional relief for senior citizens.The main bills were introduced by Reps. Jim Tedder of Clarkston and Roger Hauck of Union Township, with another key bill sponsored by Rep. Jeff Noble of Plymouth.“The recent federal tax reforms are a good start, but hard-working Michiganders deserve broader and more significant income tax relief,” Hauck said. “Allowing people to keep more of their own money will help Michigan’s economy and improves our quality of life – and we can afford this tax break without compromising essential public services. Tax spenders have had their time in Lansing. Today is a day for the taxpayers.”Hauck’s bill ensures Michigan taxpayers can continue claiming personal exemptions on income taxes after federal tax reforms signed into law last month. In addition, Hauck’s bill increases the state personal exemption from the current $4,000 to $4,300 for the 2018 tax year, with gradual increases reaching $4,800 for 2020.Noble’s bill ensures taxpayers in Michigan cities with an income tax will continue to be able to claim exemptions if the city adopts a uniform ordinance.Tedder – chair of the House Tax Policy Committee – sponsors legislation to specifically help senior citizens in addition to the personal exemption increase. His bill would provide a $100 refundable income tax credit for a single filer age 62 or older – or $200 for joint filers.“As Michigan continues to experience budget surpluses, it’s an exciting time to talk about tax relief,” Tedder said. “With health and good fortune, we one day will all become senior citizens. Why not provide tax relief at a time in life when people need it most, when many are on fixed incomes? It’s time we provided real tax relief to the people who have shouldered Michigan’s financial burden for decades.”Noble agreed it is time to provide a tax break for Michigan families.“Lowering taxes will make Michigan a better place to live and raise a family, and that’s what our work as legislators is supposed to be all about,” Noble said. “The money collected through taxes belongs to the people – not politicians. It’s time families and seniors got to keep more of it for themselves.”House Bills 5420-22 were referred to the Tax Policy Committee for consideration.### 16Jan Michigan House legislators unveil tax relief plan for families, seniorslast_img read more

Scandinavian online movie service Voddler is launc

first_imgScandinavian online movie service Voddler is launching a service that lets customers buy movies and store them in the cloud.Under the new service customers can store purchased movies on Voddler’s network, which can then be accessed on various devices including PCs, smartphones and tablets by logging into their Voddler account. Users will also be able to download the movies.At launch, Voddler is offering 200 titles to purchase for between SEK69 (€8) and SEK139. Voddler’s rental service currently costs between SEK19 and SEK37 per film.“Film buyers would like to not have the hassle of remembering where they put their bought movies, regardless of [whether] it’s a physical disc or a downloaded file. A cloud-purchased movie is accessible everywhere where you have an internet-connected screen. You buy it once and access it everywhere. At the same time, we recognise that some consumers still prefer to keep the file themselves, so we also offer traditional downloading,” said Anders Sjöman, Voddler’s head of communication.Voddler launched its service in 2010 and has deals in place with 35 studios. It faces stiff competition from other operators including Netflix, Lovefilm and MTG’s Viaplay service.last_img read more

Scripps Networks International TV channel Food Net

first_imgScripps Networks International TV channel Food Network UK has launched a streaming app for iOS and Android devices. Food Network UK developed the app in partnership with multiplatform live streaming provider Simplestream.The Food Network app lets viewers access programmes such as Barefoot Contessa, Restaurant Stakeout and Mystery Diners live and on-demand across a range of devices.“We have developed a sophisticated yet simple app that allows our passionate viewers to enjoy the very best of live and on-demand viewing whether they are in the kitchen, on the sofa or on their daily commute,” said Kate Bradshaw, vice-president of digital, Scripps Networks UK & EMEA.Dan Finch, commercial director of Simplestream said: “With the proliferation of tablets and increases in mobile viewing, broadcasters are increasingly looking for new platforms and custom media management solutions for their channels. We are confident that the new app will be a recipe for success for Food Network.”last_img read more

Some 65 of US TV households now have at least one

first_imgSome 65% of US TV households now have at least one TV set connected to the internet, up from 44% in 2013 and 24% in 2010, according to Leichtman Research Group.The 65% figure relates to smart TVs or those linked to the web via a games console, a Blu-ray player, or a stand-alone streaming device like a Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, or Amazon Fire TV.Roughly 74% of those with connected TV devices have more than one device, with an average of 3.3 devices per connected TV homes, said the research.“Connected TV devices are now in nearly two-thirds of all TV households in the US, and there are actually more connected TV devices in US households than there are pay TV set-top boxes,” according to Leichtman Research Group’s president and principal analyst, Bruce Leichtman.The research found that across all US households the mean number of connected TV devices per home was 2.1, while the mean number of pay TV set-top boxes was 1.8 per home.“New forms of competition from internet-delivered video via connected TVs, along with technological innovations in the pay TV industry, are allowing consumers to choose more options for accessing and watching TV than they have ever had before,” said Leichtman.Other findings of the research include: 83% of households with any type of connected TV device get a pay TV service; 38% of adults with a pay TV service watch video via a connected TV device at least weekly; and 79% of all TV sets in US households are HDTV.last_img read more

Make sure you have a neutral setting Dont talk t

first_imgMake sure you have a neutral setting. Don’t talk to the child about liberty, obedience, or anything along those lines before asking the question. Make sure that you are feeling neutral too. You should want to know the child’s opinion, sincerely. If the child answers more than a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No,’ write down precisely what they say. Then, if necessary, write down your interpretation of what the child said and why you interpreted their meaning that way. We’re all born knowing the truth, but by the time you’re four or five years old, they’ve beaten it out of you. – Attributed to Bob Dylan I think I’d be a bit more charitable than Mr. Dylan; I’d say that we’ve only had the truth partly beaten out of us by the age of five. I think truth endures in us, at least to a significant extent, up till puberty, after which it is beaten into submission over the next decade or so. The Crazy Years We all have experience with the tumultuous years that begin with puberty: First we are slapped with a rush of hormones. That triggers a reproductive imperative. That’s crazy-making enough, but then we find ourselves inside of a rigid, status-based system… a system that massively influences all of our potential mates. That’s a recipe for the corruption of thought, and it does corrupt our thoughts. Orson Welles was an unusually clear-thinking and experienced child… far more experienced than average. He spent his days (he was what we’d now call home schooled) reading the works of Shakespeare and all the existing Greek tragedies, repetitively. As a man, Orson was once interviewed about his young days. The interviewer asked what he had thought of teenagers. Orson replied, “I thought they were absolutely insane.” I think all of us can understand why. Getting to the Truth So, if we want to get a glimpse of human nature before it’s stressed and shaped during the crazy years, we should really go to pre-teens. Granted, kids are not the pure saints they are sometimes imagined to be… and it is true that these kids are already sexualized and trained in status these days… but there remains, in most of them, some residue of honest thinking. They have not yet been dragged all the way into the conformist way of mind. My hypothesis is that most of us are born as natural libertarians – having a built-in bias toward liberty. And I have a clean way of testing this idea: Go to pre-teens, in a neutral setting, and ask them a very simple question: Shouldn’t you be allowed to do anything you want, as long as you don’t hurt anyone? My guess is that the results would show a large majority agreeing with the statement, and the younger the respondent, the higher the percentage. A Challenge to You I’d like to propose we actually run such an experiment. I’ll be pleased to coordinate and publish the data. In order to ensure that the results are meaningful, I recommend the following: After you write down the answer, feel free to continue the discussion with the child if fitting, but not if there are other study participants in the area. Keep them neutral.    Can I ask you a question? I want to know what you think about this. Since children have notoriously short attention spans, ask the question only after you have calmed them and centered their attention. I suggest something like this: As I say, I’ll be pleased to tabulate and publish the results if one or more of our readers want to run the experiment. I think the results might be very interesting… and quite possibly very useful. Paul Rosenberg FreemansPerspective.comlast_img read more

Twitter to Disclose Who Paid for Ads on its Platform

first_img Next Article 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Reporter This story originally appeared on PCMag Michael Kan Twitter to Disclose Who Paid for Ads on its Platform October 25, 2017 Amid criticism that Russia exploited Twitter to influence voter sentiment in last year’s election, the service will now clearly label political ads as such.On a Tuesday blog post, Twitter said it’ll create an “advertising transparency center,” where the public can view all the ads that are running on the platform, and who paid for them. In the future, Twitter will also clearly identify tweets from a political account.Twitter’s transparency center will have a special section devoted to these political ads. It’ll show who bought them, how much they’ve spent on total campaign ads and which demographics these ads have been targeting, including the age, gender and geography.Twitter unveiled the plan days after U.S. senators introduced legislation that would require major online services to adopt similar measures. That includes forcing services like Twitter to create a public file on political ad purchases, and placing disclaimers on each ad, identifying who sponsored them.The legislation is in response to Russia’s suspected role in using social media to interfere with last year’s presidential election. Some of those efforts included buying political ads on Facebook, Google and Twitter, but outdated campaign laws prevent the public from knowing who bought them, according to the U.S. senators behind the bill.On Tuesday, Twitter said it’s also going beyond electoral advertisements, and will develop stricter policies around “issue-based ads.” However, this will take time, and it’ll involve collaborating with other tech companies, industry leaders and ad partners to clearly define what these policies should encompass.Whether any of these measures will placate U.S. lawmakers remains unclear. But on Tuesday, Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat who was critical of Twitter’s initial transparency efforts on this issue, praised the company’s announcement.A good first step, particularly public disclosure of ads info. Online political ads need more transparency & disclosure. We need #HonestAds https://t.co/ewDbd1hTxZ— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) October 24, 2017Twitter’s blog post didn’t say whether the company supports the upcoming legislation.In the meantime, the company has vowed to crack down on another problem facing the platform: the influence of fake Twitter accounts spreading misinformation, another way lawmakers say Russia interfered with last year’s presidential election.Last month, Twitter itself disclosed that it had found 200 accounts connected to Russian-linked efforts to influence the public over social media. Reportedly, Russian trolls also created a fake Tennessee Republican Party Twitter account that managed to get retweets from President Donald Trump’s staff last year.In response, Twitter has said it’s investing in new techiniques to fight bots and spam on the platform. Twitter unveiled the new effort after U.S. senators introduced legislation that would require tech companies to add disclaimers to political ads. –shares Guest Writer 3 min read Add to Queue Twitter Image credit: Via PC Mag The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Apply Now »last_img read more

Jeff Bezos Did What The Week In Entrepreneur News Quiz

first_img Register Now » Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Quizzes Add to Queue –shares Entrepreneur Staff How plugged in are you? Find out! September 14, 2018 Entrepreneur Staff Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business 1 min read This week, Tesla got a jump start (of sorts) and a little girl’s crunchy dream came true. Were you paying attention to the goings on in the entrepreneurial universe? See how plugged in you were to this week’s news hits.Related: Are You a Genius? Take This Quiz and Find Out!Close Image credit: Bloomberg | Getty Images Next Article Jeff Bezos Did What?! The Week In Entrepreneur News Quizlast_img read more

5 Surprising Truths About Canadian Legalization

first_img Cannabis legalization is poised to have a huge, positive impact on Canadian society — now that the simple and commonplace act of lighting a joint or consuming a soft gel capsule is no longer considered a crime. Not only will Canadian citizens benefit, but investors and entrepreneurs will also be faced with a massive and rare opportunity.The excitement and interest surrounding what’s happening in Canada inspired our company to recently open offices in both Toronto and Vancouver. As we’ve navigated our way through that process and the country’s unique legal landscape, we’ve learned a few things. Here are five of my most important takeaways for my fellow U.S.-based cannabis entrepreneurs who are setting their sights on the Canadian market.Related: How Canada’s Marijuana Legalization Changes the Game1. Canada is legalizing cannabis with a prohibitionist mentality.Canada has come a long way, but it has much further to go. Unfortunately, there is still evidence of a prohibitionist mindset at play.The long road to legalization began with patient advocates and lawyers fighting for patient access. They achieved this by dragging the previous, resistant government through many legal battles. Ultimately, they won and secured a thriving medical program in Canada.Fast forward to today. Adult recreational users can now also enjoy the benefits of cannabis (albeit with a government mandate to keep cannabis out of the hands of the youth and criminals). But not everyone is on board. I’d like to see the Canadian government doing much more to recognize and promote the tremendous therapeutic, environmental and economic potential benefit of cannabis. There is an opportunity for businesses to take the lead here by seeking ways to educate lawmakers, medical workers, retail distributors and consumers. They can begin by connecting these audiences with the doctors and other experts who helped push the country past prohibition. Businesses can create compelling content and physical experiences that educate and entertain. My own experiences with my company in the U.S. have demonstrated the power of authentic content — which is not at all like advertising — combined with, say, physical education centers that offer learning experiences about cannabis companies, products and benefits.2. Only two types of cannabis products are being legalized this year.As of October 17, Canadians are able to enjoy two types of products that are legally available: 1. Whole flower cannabis, and 2. Edible oils, including Softgel capsules. Looking forward, the Canadian government is developing a regulatory framework for finished edible products, vape pens, hash and inhaled concentrates. But anyone seeking to enter the Canadian market and wanting to capture the buzz and excitement in the fall must understand that it will be at least a year before the full range of cannabis products are included in the regulated market.3. Each province has a different retail model.Now the Cannabis Act has come into effect, Canada’s 13 provinces and territories each have the authority to determine what distribution and retail will look like in their jurisdictions. This means each province can set their own rules about how cannabis can be sold, where stores may be located, and how the stores must be operated.Given the regional autonomy, we will see a mix of slightly different models comprised of government-run online and private retail. What’s more, the provinces and territories have the option to create other restrictions, which include the lowering of possession limits, increasing the minimum age, restrictions on where cannabis may be used in public, and added requirements on personal cultivation. Any entrepreneurs creating a Canadian business plan need to understand that it will be impossible to create a one-size-fits-all approach; their plans must consider the patchwork system of rules that make up the Canadian model.Related: 7 Interesting Things to Know About Canada’s Legalization of Marijuana4. The medical marijuana system will continue to exist.  There are 300,000 Canadian patients accessing medical cannabis through their medical system. The Canadian Medical Association lobbied to end the medical system arguing that patients should access cannabis through recreational retail outlets, but the Government consulted with and listened to patients and concluded that the medical system will continue, encouraging patients to use cannabis with the knowledge and support of their healthcare professionals.  For digital entrepreneurs, marketing to cannabis consumers with educational programs will be financially rewarding if they focus on building credible lead-generation offerings around new patient acquisition.5. Canada has highly restrictive branding, advertising and marketing regulations.Canada has put in place highly-restrictive regulations around packaging, branding and marketing. This has resulted in plain packaging with large health warnings and no promotion of cannabis accessories or services related to cannabis. A regulatory environment such as this requires innovation and creativity. Tried and tired marketing strategies will simply not fly. Cannabis companies will have to lean on education initiatives, corporate social responsibility and meaningful community engagement to build brand recognition.5.5  Bonus TipFor my fellow cannabis entrepreneurs living on the other side of the border, you should know that the sale and consumption of weed is still a federal crime in the U.S. and Canadians who admit to smoking it or working in the marijuana industry can be turned away from the border or even banned for life. Although there has been some recent progress with this, the fact remains that the U.S. is not making it easy for anyone to conduct cross-border business even if you don’t touch the plant.I’ll leave the final word to my friend and fellow advocate leading the charge in Canada, Hilary Black, Director, Patient Education and Advocacy at the Canopy Growth Corporation: “While this feels like legalization 1.0 and there is more work to be done in Canada, this is a momentous occasion to celebrate. This is a victory for human rights, social justice and patients rights. I am so proud of Canada for showing meaningful courageous leadership on the global stage.”Related: This Week in Weed: Canada ‘Okays’ Public Smoking!     Add to Queue CEO of PRØHBTD Next Article Drake Sutton-Shearer Guest Writer Free Green Entrepreneur App 5 Surprising Truths About Canadian Legalization –shares O Cannabis Keep up with the latest trends and news in the cannabis industry with our free articles and videos, plus subscribe to the digital edition of Green Entrepreneur magazine. The country’s legalization of cannabis was a big step forward, but they still have a long way to go. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Image credit: pixabay Download Our Free Android Applast_img read more

Speech Input GPS Make Mobile Search Smarter

first_img Speech-based search apps and services such as ChaCha, Microsoft’s Tellme, and Yahoo’s OneSearch cater to the needs of people on the go. Speech Input, GPS Make Mobile Search Smarter Technology Next Article Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business When you’re sitting at a computer, a good search engine puts the entire Internet at your fingertips–but that probably isn’t what you want when you are searching from a cell phone. Skimming pages of Google results on a tiny screen with sluggish connectivity can be frustrating, and typing keywords on a small (or software) keyboard is not fun.New mobile search services and apps let you speak (rather than type) search terms and filter results based on proximity (on the assumption that you’re likely searching for something nearby). Microsoft’s Tellme, Yahoo’s OneSearch, and offerings by smaller companies such as ChaCha may not be perfect, but they do try to tailor their searches to meet the needs of mobile users.Applications that accept speech input and return Web results are the latest development. New versions of Tellme and OneSearch (available at launch as downloadable apps for recent GPS-enabled BlackBerry devices) let you search by holding down the green Talk button and speaking keywords into the handset. Speech-to-text technology then turns the digitized audio into text fed to searches that use the handset’s location information.Results on OneSearch look and act more or less like traditional links, organized by category. When I spoke the words “dim sum,” the first results OneSearch returned (under the heading ‘Businesses’) were Chinese restaurants and a link to retrieve more of the same. The restaurant listings included links to maps, reviews, and a call dialer; conventional search results, including an entry from Wikipedia, came next.The new version of Tellme hadn’t appeared at this writing (it should be available by the time you read this), but in a demo it, too, presented a list of businesses. Clicking any entry produced a screen bearing the company’s address and phone number at the top, with icons for relevant info or tasks such as initiating a phone call, displaying a map, or even making a purchase. If you don’t want (or have)the GPS data to guide the search, you can tell your preferred location to Tellme. It does not provide general search results, however.An earlier version of Tellme, which accepts voice input for directory assistance, is available on Sprint and Helio GPS phones. Or you can try out the lookup service by calling 1-800-555-8355, or text search keywords to 83556. Starting today (April 23, 2008), BlackBerry users will be able to get the Tellme app over the air by pointing their browser at m.tellme.com; alternatively, they can download the app at http://www.tellme.com/you .Google doesn’t offer users a voice search app, but you can submit a voice query to 1-800-466-4411, and be connected to a relevant business. Google also supports a range of SMS searches.ChaCha, another search service, invites you to dial 1-800-224-2242 (for voice queries) or text your question to 242 242. In an interesting twist, ChaCha uses real people (called guides) to answer some queries. It took ChaCha only a few seconds to tell me the dates of the Democratic National Convention (August 25-28). But a query about new episodes of HBO’s John Adams elicited information about the network’s series House, which was irrelevant to my search request except perhaps in the marketing sense of “other fine products you might be interested in.” Maybe no guide was on duty…Meanwhile, V-Enable has announced a voice-enabled app for its Free Mobile 411 Web-based lookup service for Sprint users; others can type in keywords and, if they come up empty, opt to connect to a live operator–but in that case, Directory Assistance charges will apply.Go2 accepts text input only, but its menu-based structure acts as a filter that permits you to focus on restaurants, movies, news, and the like–or conduct a general search.Mobile search services expect to make money through ads, sponsored results (Go2’s restaurant search results, for example, included a link to Zagat’s site) and transactional fees (for example, a cut of a movie ticket purchase). Users need only consent to the use of their location information. Since so many of these services are new, it’s unclear what impact advertising will have, and I wouldn’t want to use them without an all-you-can-eat data plan. But for targeted information on the go, they should prove to be very helpful; for once, Google has some catching up to do. –shares Add to Queue April 27, 2008 4 min read Brought to you by PCWorld Register Now » Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel.last_img read more

10 Stories From the Web to Know About This Week

first_imgTechnology Jay Z Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Next Article 10 Stories From the Web to Know About This Week The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Image credit: underconsideration.com –shares 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Add to Queue 3 min read Brad Crescenzo September 20, 2013 Jay Z bails on the Nets, parsing the weird productivity tips of historical figures, San Francisco partners with Kiva.org, the CBO weighs in on a government shutdown, Twitter and GoDaddy get together, online merchants ditch credit-card processing, ethical fashion gets a bump, tips for delivering a knockout speech… This week’s notable news and tantalizing tidbits for entrepreneurs.1. Jay Z goes pro: The Jigga is liquidating his share in the Brooklyn Nets for $1.5 million after starting his own sports agency, Roc Nation Sports. The all-star roster already includes, Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees, Victor Cruz of the New York Giants and Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant. (Forbes)2. Historic productivity tips: Benjamin Franklin used to read and write in the buff; Beethoven demanded 60 beans per cup of coffee. Some of the world’s greatest thinkers had some borderline crazy methods for staying productive. Here are a few. (Fast Company)3. Kiva partners with SF: San Francisco moved to partner with online lender Kiva.org to bring crowdfunded loans to local entrepreneurs at zero-percent interest. Loans, which will be accessible through the site KivaZip.org, are seen as critical for bridging the lending gap for startups in particular. (SFGate)4. CBO talks shutdown: The Congressional Budget Office Chief Douglas Elmendorf says a government shutdown would damage the economy and “scale up” problems over time. He also added that only President Obama can “cushion” the effects. (CNNmoney)5. The kibosh on credit: The results of a recent National Small Business Association survey shed light on the growing trend of online merchants refusing to accept credit-card payments. Only 69 percent of online merchants currently accept credit cards, down 22 percent in the last three-years. The culprit? Cyber insecurity. (Businessweek)6. Ethical fashion falls short: After the recent tragedy at the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh, the push to make the fashion industry more ethical has lost steam. Still, new online platforms are hoping to buck the trend. (The Guardian)7. The golden minute: Nailing the first 60-seconds of a speech is critical to success. From dealing with public-speaking anxiety to preparing the room for your arrival, get insightful tips for delivering a knockout speech. (LinkedIn Today)8. Boston’s new Innovation Studio: T3 Advisors, a commercial real-estate consulting firm, has moved to a new space on the Boston waterfront. Included in the new office is an “Innovation Studio” meant to bring T3 closer to the local startup scene. (Boston.com)9. GoDaddy and Twitter unite: As part of its Website Builder tool, GoDaddy is offering a Twitter functionality aimed at small businesses looking to quickly and easily set up a profile page. Russ Laraway, the director of small and medium businesses at Twitter says, “we’re helping businesses get online faster to reach the followers most likely to purchase from them.” The service ranges from $1 to $5 per month. (Mashable)10. The land of engineering: The phrase “German engineering” has become synonymous with quality cars, but now the term is used more broadly, as people head to the country for a chance to win a key apprenticeship. The system has its perks, including partly subsidized earn-as-you-learn schemes. (BBC)  Apply Now »last_img read more

Warning Affordable Care Act Penalties Start This Year

first_imgAffordable Care Act The Affordable Care Act (ACA) remains a lightning rod for political and legal challenges. This year will be no exception, as new requirements are coming on line. Related: Entrepreneurs at ZocDoc Say They Can Solve a Major Obamacare ConcernCompanies that want to wait and see how this will all shake out do so at their own risk. Here’s one reason why: Beginning this year, Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 4980H is requiring that certain “large employers” offer health coverage to their full-time employees or risk being subject to tax penalties. Two potential ones, affectionately termed (by lawyers) the “play or pay” penalties, can be assessed if no coverage is offered; or if coverage is offered that is either unaffordable or does not provide minimum value. For 2015, employers must determine two critical factors: (a) whether they are a large employer; and (b) if coverage is required, how they can ensure that it is both affordable and provides minimum value. Here are six related questions — and their answers.1. Am I a large employer?In general, “large employers” are those with 50 or more employees. The IRS has — for 2015 only — exempted employers with fewer than 100 employees from being subject to the penalties, but not the reporting requirements. Determining “large employer” status requires looking back to the preceding calendar year to see if the organization employed an average of at least 50 full-time employees on business days during that year. A full-time employee is defined as any employee who provides 30 hours of service per week or 130 hours per month. However, even employers with fewer than 50 full-time employees can meet the definition of a “large employer.” Section 4980H also requires that the hours of service performed by part-time employees be counted toward determining “full-time equivalents” (FTEs). Determining the number of FTEs is a simple fraction, calculated by counting the hours worked by part-time employees and dividing by 120. 2. What if I just started my business? This circumstance is a bit tricky. The code and regulations merely provide that organizations that did not exist on any business day during a prior year may self-determine their status as applicable large employers upon opening for business. This must be based on the number of full-time employees and FTEs the employer reasonably expects to have during the current year.Whether a new employer’s determination of its status is reasonable is open to interpretation, but the preamble to the final regulations states that a new employer’s determination may still be considered reasonable “even if subsequent events cause the actual number of full-time employees (including FTEs) to exceed that reasonable expectation.” Related: Still Sorting Through Your Company’s Healthcare Options? We Can Help 3. What if I’m involved with more than one business?Many existing business enterprises involve multiple business entities or operations. The ACA mandates are designed via these aggregation rules to define a large employer in a manner not easily circumvented by superficial ownership and entity variations.On the other hand, because some business enterprises could legitimately consist of separate business units that avoid the aggregation rules, business owners at formation or even post-formation should consider whether the aggregation rules render their enterprises a collective large employer and if there are business planning opportunities to legitimately allow separate business units with varying ownership patterns outside of the aggregation rules to have differing ACA obligations.4. If I provide coverage: Is it affordable? Or, does it provide minimum value?The Affordable Coverage Standard: The regulations provide three safe harbors for determining whether coverage is affordable. The first is the W-2 safe harbor that allows employers to rely on the total wages paid during the year to each employee, in comparison with that employee’s required contributions. This is permitted so long as an employee’s required contributions do not exceed 9.5 percent of the W-2 wages. The second method is the rate-of-pay safe harbor that allows employers to deem coverage affordable so long as the employee’s required contributions in any month do not exceed 9.5 percent of an assumed monthly payment, determined by multiplying the lowest hourly rate of pay by 130 hours.The third method is the federal poverty-line safe harbor that deems coverage affordable if an employee’s required contributions in any month do not exceed 9.5 percent of 1/12 of the applicable federal poverty line for that year.  The Minimum Value Standard: In general, a plan fails to provide minimum value if its share of the total allowed costs of benefits provided under the plan is less than 60 percent of those costs. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regulations provide multiple options for determining minimum value, including the MV Calculator tool. However, while this is still a useful tool, the IRS issued a notice last November warning employers that use of the MV Calculator is not sufficient for establishing that a plan provides minimum value if the plan excludes substantial coverage for in-patient hospitalization services or physician services.5. If I want to pay rather than play, what’s my exposure?Section 4980H(a) provides for a nondeductible penalty of $2,000 per full-time employee employed by the organization during the year if an employer does not offer substantially all (i.e., 95 percent) of its full-time employees (and their dependents) the opportunity to enroll in minimum essential coverage. If the penalty applies, every full-time employee is factored into the calculation regardless of whether he/she was offered coverage.The $2,000 penalty amount is prorated by the number of months each individual was employed. For example, assume that a company does not provide coverage, has 50 employees who worked the entire year and 100 employees who worked only 3 months. The penalty in this circumstances would be $150,000. For 2015 only, employers with 100 or more employees can avoid this penalty as long as they offer coverage to 70 percent or more of their employees. Also for 2015 only, the number of full-time employees counted for purposes of assessing the penalty will be reduced by 30, potentially lessening any penalty by as much as $60,000. Finally, no penalty will be assessed for a failure to provide coverage during the first three months of 2015. 6. What if the minimum essential coverage is either unaffordable or does not provide minimum value? Section 4980H(b) provides for a lesser penalty in this scenario. The penalty is $3,000 per employee certified to the employer as qualifying and receiving an exchange subsidy. Like Section 4980H(a), this penalty is also nondeductible. Unlike Section 4980(a), this penalty is assessed only on an employee-by-employee basis. For 2015 only, employers with more than 50 but fewer than 100 employees will not be subject to either penalty under section 4980H, but will be subject to these penalties beginning in 2016. Business enterprises should evaluate ACA compliance requirements presently in place, and engage in business-planning analysis to explore how these requirements will affect IRS coverage mandate obligations. More important, business enterprises will benefit from understanding how large employers are defined and whether existing business structures present mitigation opportunities.While ACA modification or replacement is certainly possible, it is unlikely that these basic mandate principles will entirely disappear. The wise course is to plan now for mandate-compliance management. The ACA is currently the law, and some form of it is likely to remain, in order to address the economic burdens imposed in a country with an inordinate number of citizens who lack healthcare coverage.Related: What the Self-Employed Need to Know About Obamacare Joshua Katz 7 min read April 17, 2015 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Guest Writer –shares Add to Queue Next Article The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Warning: Affordable Care Act Penalties Start This Year Apply Now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Attorney with Higgs Fletcher & Macklast_img read more

TechnologyOne Dials Up Global SaaS Business With RingCentral Cloud Solutions

first_imgRingCentral Office, Meetings and Contact Center Solutions Enhance Employee Collaboration and InnovationRingCentral, Inc. a leading provider of enterprise cloud communications, collaboration, and contact center solutions, announced that Australia’s largest enterprise software as a service (SaaS) company, TechnologyOne, has selected RingCentral’s cloud communications platform to streamline customer engagement and connect its global workforce for increased innovation and productivity. The deployment of RingCentral will support the company’s 14 international offices across six countries and 1,200 team members worldwide, including 400 innovative developers.“The agility of their approach, their product’s ability to provide a great user experience regardless of location and connectivity, and the reporting capabilities will support our steep growth trajectory.”With more than 30 years of software innovation, TechnologyOne is one of the top 150 companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and has doubled in size every four to five years. The company has Australia’s largest research and development center for the future of enterprise software. TechnologyOne delivers its integrated enterprise SaaS solution to key sectors, including education, federal, and local government.Marketing Technology News: Kneron Debuts Edge AI Chip, Bringing AI to Devices Everywhere“We selected RingCentral for its unified, cloud-first collaborative communications and video conferencing platform that allows for easy integration with our productivity suite and our customer support system,” said Edward Chung, CEO, TechnologyOne. “The agility of their approach, their product’s ability to provide a great user experience regardless of location and connectivity, and the reporting capabilities will support our steep growth trajectory.”Prior to deploying RingCentral, TechnologyOne had separate communications and contact center systems, restraining growth via mobile, global and application integration needs. By moving to RingCentral’s cloud communications platform, TechnologyOne now uses a single solution, RingCentral Office, to connect its global workforce across distributed locations, enabling them to communicate and collaborate using voice, web, and video meetings.Marketing Technology News: SRAX Receives $1 Million Investment to Launch BIGtoken Asia, Increasing Access to Over 1 Billion Internet Users to Own and Earn from their DataKey RingCentral solutions and benefits for TechnologyOne include:RingCentral Global Office: Increases workforce productivity and reduces TechnologyOne’s IT overhead by providing reliable voice, messaging, and collaboration functionality globally.RingCentral Meetings: Enables TechnologyOne employees to connect via video meetings, delivering more effective collaboration across global offices with customers and colleagues.RingCentral Mobile: Empowers the TechnologyOne team to communicate on the go, from anywhere, on any device by making calls, taking part in online meetings, and sending messages.RingCentral Contact Center: Allows customers to choose the way they wish to interact by providing native support for voice, web chat, SMS, email, and fax, and Salesforce® integration.“We have a differentiated approach to cloud communications that enhances productivity and empowers people to work the way they want with collaboration and teamwork at the center,” said Peter Hughes, vice president, sales for Asia Pacific, RingCentral. “Our solutions have enabled TechnologyOne to connect its global workforce and customers in a way that cannot be achieved with its former systems. As the TechnologyOne team continues to execute on their cloud-first IT strategy, we look forward to partnering with them in new ways.”Marketing Technology News: ON24 Empowers Marketers with a 360-degree View of Customer Engagement TechnologyOne Dials Up Global SaaS Business With RingCentral Cloud Solutions PRNewswireMay 23, 2019, 3:08 pmMay 23, 2019 Australian Stock ExchangeEdward ChungMarketing TechnologyNewsRingCentralSoftware-as-a-ServiceTechnologyOne Previous ArticleAirship Bolsters its Senior Leadership Team for Accelerated Global GrowthNext ArticleZendesk Announces New Partnerships and Integrations for Sunshine CRM Platformlast_img read more

Western diet may increase the risk of deadly sepsis warn experts

first_imgNapier also predicts that if it is the fats in the diet that are reprogramming the immune system, then these findings might not only apply to the Western diet but other high-fat diets as well.Napier and her team will now investigate whether specific fats in the diet are able to influence the risk of higher sepsis severity. If you could introduce a dietary intervention while they’re in the ICU to decrease their chances of manipulating their immune system in that way, you can somehow influence the outcome.”Brooke Napier, Study Author Napier and her team also identified molecular markers in mice fed the Western diet that could be used as biomarkers for patients who are at high risk of developing severe sepsis.She stated that treatments could be predicted and specifically tailored depending on whether a patient has these certain “cell populations” in their blood. Source:Western diet regulates immune status and the response to LPS-driven sepsis independent of diet-associated microbiome.center_img The mice’s immune system on the Western diet looked and functioned differently […] It looks like the diet is manipulating immune cell function so that you’re more susceptible to sepsis, and then when you get sepsis, you die quicker.”Brooke Napier, Study Author By Lois Zoppi, BAFeb 13 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)New research conducted at Portland State University suggests that the Western diet may increase the risk of severe sepsis and mortality from the infection.hurricanehank | ShutterstockThe Western diet, which is the most prevalent diet in westernized countries, is characterized by the consumption of foods that are low in fiber and high in fat and sugar. It is well documented that this diet pattern can cause significant damage to cardiovascular health, the kidneys, and cause obesity.However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the Western diet can also have detrimental effects on the immune system, which includes increasing the risks of severe sepsis, the 11th most common cause of death worldwide.Sepsis is commonly known as blood poisoning, The illness can occur when the body reacts to an infection too aggressively, attacking its own tissues and organs.The body goes into overdrive and can lead to reactions causing inflammation, clotting, and organ failure. It isn’t fully understood what regulates this serious immunological response, or what influences the outcome and severity of sepsis.In a recent study, Brooke Napier (Portland State University), found that mice who were fed a ‘Western diet’ were more likely to contract sepsis and suffered poorer outcomes, compared to mice that were fed a balanced diet that was rich in fiber.The mice that were fed this high-sugar, high-fat diet presented higher chronic inflammation, increased sepsis-associated immunoparalysis, and altered neutrophil populations in the blood. They also showed an increase in sepsis severity and higher mortality rates than mice fed a standard fiber-rich diet.The increase in sepsis severity and mortality was independent of the diet-associated microbiome, hinting that diet might be “directly regulating the innate immune system”. However, the exact mechanism through which this occurs remains unknown.last_img read more

Phishing success linked to incentives and sticking to an effective strategy

Credit: CC0 Public Domain Citation: Phishing success linked to incentives and sticking to an effective strategy (2018, February 21) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-phishing-success-linked-incentives-effective.html Not all phishing campaigns work, but when an attacker perseveres with a strategy that does it is the key to their success. That’s the finding of a new study focusing on the attacker, a largely ignored but crucial aspect of phishing. In addition to identifying successful strategies, it also reveals that attackers are motivated by quicker and larger rewards—with creative individuals putting more effort into constructing these malicious emails. Insights from the study, published today in open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology, can be used to develop tools and training procedures to detect phishing emails. Provided by Frontiers Gone phishin’: CyLab exposes how our ability to spot phishing emails is far from perfect “We find specific phishing strategies, such as the use of authoritative tone, expressing shared interest and sending notifications, are more likely to succeed,” says Dr. Prashanth Rajivan, lead author of the study and based at Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania, USA.Phishing is a common form of cyber-attack. Criminals impersonate a trustworthy third party to persuade people to visit fraudulent web sites or download malicious attachments, with the intent of compromising their security. While research has largely focused on the victims of these crimes, this new study looks at a critical aspect of phishing: the attacker’s behavior and strategies.”We created a game-like experiment to assess how well different strategies work, and to understand how incentives and success rates, or an individual’s creativity, can affect motivation,” explains Dr. Rajivan.In the experiment, human participants play the role of a phishing attacker and accumulate points, over a number turns, for successfully deceiving other people who are the ‘end-user’ performing an email management task. The game was carefully constructed to train and reward people into producing phishing emails that employ different strategies and topics.Strategies that were less likely to succeed included ‘offering deals,’ ‘selling illegal materials’ and ‘using a positive tone.'”People may be less receptive to strategies associated with scams that worked a decade ago,” explains Dr. Rajivan. “More successful strategies today would be ‘sending notifications,’ ‘use of authoritative tone,’ ‘taking advantage of trust by impersonating a friend or expressing shared interest,’ and ‘communicating failure’.”The repeated design of the game allowed the researchers to assess the attacker’s tactics over time. This revealed that perseverance with a successful strategy, rather than switching from one to another, can yield better results. The researchers attribute this to the attackers improving the email text at each turn.Incentives had a direct influence on motivation, with delayed rewards resulting in lesser effort. The easier and sooner high rewards were gained, the more effort an attacker applied to designing persuasive emails, as did individuals who scored high in a ‘creativity’ test. There was no evidence to suggest, however, that creativity could be used as a predictor of phishing success.”There has been a resurgence in phishing attacks in recent years and the regular, non-expert users of the Internet are usually the victims of these crimes. We need to improve current security practices to change the incentive structure for the attacker. If the rewards are greater than the costs, attackers will continue to exert more effort into phishing campaigns,” says Dr. Rajivan. “We think that attackers with higher creativity may be capable of changing and adapting emails to evade detection, even though their creativity cannot determine how much success they achieve in getting the end-user to respond.”He continues, “Our novel experimental design could be used to crowdsource people to play our game, which would give us lots of information on phishing success rates and how these emails can be adapted, thereby improving detection software. In addition, we could use it as a training tool to help people think like hackers to better detect phishing emails.” Journal information: Frontiers in Psychology Explore further More information: Frontiers in Psychology (2018). DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00135 , https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00135/full This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more