Before you rush out to your nearest department store to get mom that fancy espresso machine she’s been eyeing, do a little research. Your pocketbook will thank you.The price of a Mother’s Day gift can vary as much as 71 percent depending on where it’s bought, according to a study by Costa Rica’s Economy Ministry (MEIC). Inspectors from MEIC’s Consumer Protection Office visited 192 businesses in the provinces of Alajuela, Heredia, Cartago and San José from July 28 to 31 and compiled prices of various gift options, including clothes, shoes, jewellery, home appliances, electronic devices and others.Among items surveyed, MEIC inspectors evaluated prices of 204 models of nine appliances. In some cases the price of identical items — same product, same brand — varied hugely from store to store. For example, the price of a Proctor Silex coffeemaker ranged from ₡20.900 to ₡32.900 ($38.70 to $61) — a 71 percent difference.Inspectors also compared similar products but different brands and found that price differences were even bigger. For example, inspectors surveyed the price of flat irons and found prices ranging from ₡4.624 ($9) for a Sankey model to ₡51.103 ($95) for a Remington — a 1,005 percent difference.Economy Vice Minister Geannina Dinarte Romero said the study’s findings confirm the importance for consumers to visit various businesses and compare prices and deals, especially around holidays like Mother’s Day.“Differences are so huge that we call on consumers to really take them into consideration in order to make an informed purchase decision,” she said.MEIC’s study also included an analysis of information displayed at stores and deals advertised in print media. Inspectors looked at the accuracy and clarity of information on price tags and on store signs or banners, including before- and after-discount prices, warranty conditions, special offer restrictions and the exchange rate in prices displayed in dollars.The results showed that 81 percent of businesses (156 of those surveyed) complied with Costa Rican laws regarding truth in advertising, an improvement over the previous year when a similar study found 72 percent compliance.A total of 25 businesses were asked to immediately correct detected errors, while 11 of them were given a written warning that grants them 10 days to comply with the law. Stores that fail to comply can be slapped with monetary fines ranging from ₡2.5 million to ₡10.2 million ($4,680 to $18,773).MEIC conducts price comparisons prior to holidays that boost sales, such as Christmas, Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. The full report can be downloaded (Spanish only) on the ministry’s website. Facebook Comments Related posts:Watch out for Mother’s Day sales tricks, says Economy Ministry Coming Holy Week brings huge price spikes in seafood Supreme Court’s Constitutional Chamber suspends public hearing on proposed changes to mobile Internet rates New banking consumer watchdog agency to open in November
Facebook Comments Related posts:Arts and culture in brief: the week ahead in Costa Rica Arts and culture in brief: the week ahead in Costa Rica Arts and culture at a glance: the week ahead in Costa Rica Arts, culture and Mother’s Day: the week ahead in Costa Rica Is dad a car fanatic? Take him to Plaza Real Cariari mall for afree display of more than 20 cars from modern to antique, plus tastings, gifts, indoor soccer and other activities (Friday, June 17 — Sunday, June 19). If he’s more of a sports fan, chill out with some ice hockey: on Saturday, the Castillo Knights Senior team faces off against the Pizotes of La Sabana at 7:30 pm at the Castillo Ice Rink in San Rafael de Heredia. For information, write firstname.lastname@example.org (Saturday, June 18).Take him out to a nice meal at Barceló San José Palacio, which will offer various dad-centered packages throughout the weekend, from a buffet meal to a sushi menu to a grill for two, plus an evening on the dance floor (Friday, June 17 — Sunday, June 19).The Guanacaste Concert Bands will celebrate Dad all weekend with a special series of concerts in Liberia, capital of the northwestern province, including everything from a sax quartet to traditional dancing to orchestras (Friday, June 17 — Sunday, June 19). Or head to the beach: the first edition of the Tamarindo Art Wave continues to fill the Pacific coast town with 50 painters, sculptors and other artists who – put up in hotels, restaurants and private homes all over town – will each create a new work of art during the festival (Thursday, June 16 – Saturday, June 18).
March 18, 2016Here is alumnus architect Salah Alsaqqa in June 1981 with Paolo Soleri. Thank you for sharing this photo with us.[photo courtesy Salah Alsaqqa]Salah returned for part the March 2016 workshop and here he is in the Soleri Archives, scanning some of Paolo Soleri spiral notebooks.
In This Issue… * Blood in the streets for risk assets… * Currencies try to rebound today… * Thoughts from Ted Butler… * Treasury yields do go lower… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! EU Summit Is Non-Event! Good day… And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to you! Whew! What a day yesterday in the markets! There was blood in the streets for sure! Things have calmed down a bit overnight and this morning, but the mark that yesterday left on the risk assets is going to be not only felt, but seen for some time… Well… the talk about a Grexit softened its tone a bit yesterday… Shoot Rudy, the markets were basically saying that Greece could exit the euro this weekend! The U.S. is obviously on holiday this coming Monday, and that fact has factored into the calls for an exit this weekend… Again, I don’t see this happening, as the cost to Greece, the pain and mess will be far greater to the Greeks than their austerity measures, should they decide to leave… So, I’m on the side of the fence that says Greece stays… The EU Summit was a non-event… EU leaders left the Summit without any meaningful plans… They all agreed that Greece needed to stay in the Eurozone, but could not come up with any meaningful action that could be taken… If you go back in time, when the Greek debt problems first called for a bailout, and the markets all thought that the contagion effect would take over all the Southern Eurozone Countries, I told you then… that the only way to deal with this so that there is no further contagion is to issue a Eurozone bond, and quit having each country hold their own auctions… Yes, it takes another chink from each country’s sovereign armor, but, when each Eurozone country decided to give up their sovereignty of their currency, they opened the Pandora’s Box of how to lose one’s Sovereignty… So, now skip ahead to the EU Summit, where discussion of a Eurozone bond would have nipped the daily flogging of the euro in the bud, the EU leaders decided to push that discussion off to the next Summit… What? These guys are really beginning to give me a rash! What the heck are they thinking? Oh, I know… They are thinking that maybe with time, the problem goes away, and they don’t have to have that Eurozone bond discussion… My dad used to tell me all the time that most problems will take care of themselves with time… However, I think the EU leaders have chosen the wrong road to journey down… They needed to address this problem now! So… they decided to see if the problem will take care of itself, with time… I’m sure they will rue the day they decided to journey down this road… OK… the euro this morning is down just a bit, as it shrugs off the non-event EU Summit, and the news this morning that German Business Climate as measured by the think tank, IFO, fell by the largest one-month margin (-3 pts) since August 2011… The experts had thought it would be a negative number but a soft negative number, not a hard negative number… German flash PMI’s (manufacturing Indexes) also are showing some weakening… So, even the calm in the eye of the Eurozone storm, Germany, is showing that the overall weakness in the Eurozone is hurting them too… Speaking of PMI’s… In China, we always get two sets of PMI’s… The Government issues their report on the pulse of manufacturing, and HSBC (Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corp) issues theirs… And never do the two match up… For instance, last month the Gov’t issued a report that said that manufacturing as measured by the PMI was a number above 50… and HSBC issued a report that said it was below 50… (remember 50 is the line in the sand that denotes whether manufacturing is expanding or contracting)… I always grow suspicious of Gov’t reports that don’t line up with those in the private sector… Take the U.S. economic reports VS Shadow Stats… There are HUGE discrepancies between these two… But the sheeple here in the U.S. don’t pay attention to any of this… Whatever the Gov’t tells them they swallow hook, line and sinker… So… anyway, getting back to China… The HSBC PMI report showed a 7th month of below 50 for April… The Gov’t report is usually printed on a weekend, so we’ll see what this has in store for us this weekend, as the pools open here in the U.S. (ours has been open for a month!) and the smell of charcoal drifts through each neighborhood, and we sit back and reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day… Did you know that Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day? And that it was originated after the Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union Soldiers of the War? Notice it was only the Union Soldiers… Apparently, the South held their own Decoration Days in each region on different days… we joined this all together and called in Memorial Day, to honor the men and women that had died while serving in the U.S. armed forces, and said it would be the last Monday of May in 1911… There you go! A public service education announcement! You get it all here folks! Why go to any other newsletter? Just kidding… Of course, absolute newsletter reads that I have include: The 5 Minute Forecast, anything David Galland writes, Doug Casey, Bill Bonner, David Rosenberg, and I even carve out time for my friend John Mauldin once a week… and of course, the Mogambo Guru! I wanted to write about this yesterday, but forgot all about it, until I had hit “send”! UGH! But did you see the latest Existing Home Sales data here in the U.S.? Very strong, and for the first time in a year of Sundays, the Home Price increased! WOW! Did we just hit the bottom for home prices? Somehow I can’t get my arms around that thought… I just think about the unemployment situation, and the foreclosures coming down the line, and have to think that this was just a one-month blip… But maybe I’m wrong, and it’s time for me to stop being such a negative Nellie… Well… I really wanted to send Chris a note on this last week, and then something happened that took my attention away from the story… Then I thought I would talk about it first thing this week, but then something happened to take my attention away from the story, so ,now… on Wednesday afternoon, while I’m thinking about it, I will write it down for Thursday… And… it’s Thursday! Basically, I wanted to talk about sentiment… and focus… While everyone was having a cow over the Greek debt and whether they would form a new government and all that… the 8th largest economy in the world, announced that they had miscalculated their budget deficit, and what had previously been forecast to be $9 Billion turned into $16 Billion in deficits… That 8th largest economy in the world? Not Greece… Not Spain.. Not Italy… but… The great state of California… The sentiment right now is that the Eurozone’s center will not hold together… and the focus is on the Eurozone’s problems and not those here in the U.S. with the same thing… debt… Trader sentiment and focus is all that’s needed to either make a currency’s day, or send it up the creek without a paddle… And right now, the euro has been sent up the creek without a paddle… Gold & Silver saw another day of selling yesterday, and are down once again… (I have some words on this from Ted Butler in the TTWS section today)… And the Aussie dollar (A$) has bounced higher this morning… I have given you two measures that are used to calculate if a currency is oversold in the past week, and both showed that the A$ was oversold… But that doesn’t always mean that traders will jump to buying, in this case the A$, immediately… Not with the U.S. dollar strength so prevalent in the markets right now. But they will… traders can’t break free of their urges to react to charts and index measures… Hey! I just watched the price of Gold go from a negative $5 to a positive $5 in less than 5 minutes! WOW! Well… maybe the shiny metal can catch some wind in its sails today. The 7-year U.S. Treasury Auction was interesting… The yield on the 7-year note fell to 1.13%… That’s a record low yield, folks… And just when I thought that yields couldn’t really get much lower! I’m sitting here with the thought of “Yes, Virginia, Treasury yields can go lower”… Hey! For the award of financing U.S. deficit spending, you can get 19 basis points of yield out 1-year… Of course by the time the broker takes his pound of flesh for doing the trade, you probably end up with a negative yield… And I hate to break this to all you U.S. Treasury buyers, but unless you go out 30 years, you have negative real interest on your holding… (real interest is the yield – inflation)… And then the two anti-dollar investments, Oil and Gold, who have been butchered lately with the dollar strength, at least didn’t lose any more ground overnight… I’ll have to go read the Mogambo Guru to see what he’s thinking these days about the price of Oil and Gold… Then There Was This… from Ed Steer’s Daily… “This is Ted Butler speaking… “The price action this week has been horrid. It is horrid because the crooked commercials on the COMEX have made it horrid. There is no legitimate economic justification for the price decline since Feb 28th other than the price action was created to permit the commercials every opportunity to scare and induce others into selling COMEX contracts so that the commercials could buy. Almost every day the price of silver and gold seem to be put lower in thin overnight trading. Almost every day we start out “in the hole” where it is a struggle to get back to unchanged. This is not accidental, it is a deliberate plan to demoralize and keep silver investors confused. It is shameful that the CFTC has been captured by the crooks and is content to look away.” “The good news is that the commercials have succeeded in buying record amounts of silver (and gold) contracts. It’s impossible to pick the timing of the next rally, as we are in a sort of “no man’s land” currently, where technical type buying won’t come in until the moving averages are penetrated to the upside. There still doesn’t appear to be much speculative selling remaining in silver and gold after the orchestrated take down of the past couple of months, but neither is there any impetus for technical buying below the moving averages. In this environment, it’s not hard for the commercials and HFT practitioners to put prices sharply lower at will. About the only sane reaction to all this is to accumulate and hold physical silver for the long haul, as the short term manipulative games won’t last forever.” – Ted Butler Chuck again… last week at the Las Vegas Money Show, the booth across from ours was Investment Rarities, which is Ted Butler… One of the guys in their booth came over to me and told me what a fan he was of the Pfennig… And I was like, When you have Ted Butler? WOW… To recap… There was blood in the streets yesterday with the risk assets, as the asset prices dropped all day long. Today, we’re seeing some light, not much, but some, for the risk assets. German IFO and flash PMI’s say that even Germany is weakening… The 8th largest economy in the world, announced that their budget deficit was $16 Billion and not the $9 Billion they originally told everyone it would be… And yes, Virginia, U.S. Treasury yields can go lower… Currencies today 5/24/12… American Style: A$ .9785, kiwi .7545, C$ .9770, euro 1.2575, sterling 1.5680, Swiss $1.0470, … European Style: rand 8.3425, krone 5.9935, SEK 7.1545, forint 237.40, zloty 3.4520, koruna 20.1625, RUB 31.62, yen 79.35, sing 1.2740, HKD 7.7635, INR 55.72, China 6.3450, pesos 13.94, BRL 2.0310, Dollar Index 82.02, Oil $90.60, 10-year 1.74%, Silver $28.09, and Gold… $1,565.70 That’s it for today… Sorry for my going off-road a few times today… but like I’ve said for years now… this is a stream of conscience in the early morning, so for new readers, now they know what causes that! Cards got back on track after getting back home this week, but then they were playing a team with a bad record… The Big Bad Phillies come to town now, let’s see what happens now! The last day of school today for Alex, Andrew and Dawn… (Andrew & Dawn are teachers) I’m listening to Found Out About You by the Gin Blossoms… What happened to the Gin Blossoms? Now, Dock of the Bay is playing, I know what happened to Otis Redding! Well, I guess it’s that time, so I’ll get this out the door… and I hope you have a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 www.everbank.com
What a ride the precious metals have been on recently. Gold and silver prices have fallen off a cliff, while gold stocks were thrown on the rocks and left for dead. GLD has seen record outflows. Popular financial news shows featured guest after guest who proclaimed gold is now “officially” in a bear market, emboldened by the fact that in spite of its recent bounce, the price has languished below its September 2011 peak for 20 months. As a group, gold stocks are down an abysmal 54% over that same period. The capitulation process has been brutal. So, were we wrong? Is it time to admit defeat, sell our positions, slink into a cave, and lick our wounds? Absolutely not. The only thing that changed over the past 60 days was the price of gold, and perhaps the mainstream’s perception of our industry. The realities of the fiscal and monetary state of the world, however, did not. What has struck our industry was not the consequence of a shift in fundamentals, but rather a number of transient factors, including: (i) growing belief in the general investment community that inflation will not result from global money-printing efforts; (ii) claims the global economy is improving; (iii) Europeans fleeing their economic troubles buying US dollars (which makes the dollar look strong and hence gold less appealing to some); and (iv) a very large gold sale that caused the gold price to breach “technical support levels” and trigger a cascade of further selling. All of this – and a lot of commentary based more on opinion than fact – has led to the misguided conclusion that gold is a has-been asset. Casey Research readers know we think inflation is inevitable, but even if deflation were more likely, it is the fallout from a world living beyond its means in which most major central banks are massively debasing their currencies in an attempt to prop up ailing economies that worries me. These stimulus policies are unprecedented in scale, entirely unsustainable, and induce financial-system instability. And somehow, it is widely believed that the same policymakers who concocted this mess can get us out of it. Our views haven’t changed – yet suddenly, we’re contrarians again. It takes patience and courage to stay the course amid a groundswell of proclamations that the “gold trade is dead,” but our positive outlook isn’t based on stubbornness. The evidence from history is very clear: you cannot solve debt problems with more debt, nor strengthen an economy by destroying your currency. Eventually, these sins catch up to you. Today’s ongoing economic and fiscal crises cannot end smoothly or without unpleasant consequences. Since none of the excesses that precipitated the 2008 financial crisis have been fixed, another round of crisis is baked in the cake and will likely inflict even greater damage. When that happens, gold will again be seen as the refuge it is, regardless of current popular opinion. We’re not alone in this thinking. As you’ve undoubtedly read, in response to the crash, global demand for physical metal soared at both the retail and wholesale levels. This reaction is extremely important: we can’t identify a single crash, collapse, or crisis that ended with retail investors stampeding to buy the asset that had just been crushed. Not one. In our view, the gold story is not over. Far from it. The reasons for owning it are just as important now as they’ve ever been since the bull market started in 2001. I can’t be sure the price is done falling – but I’m sure it’s not done climbing. What is going on with gold? Was it overvalued before the recent drop? Or is the price being manipulated? Is now the time to get in, and if so, how? These are just a few of the questions investors want answered. And while no one has a crystal ball that issues definitive answers, some people have been around long enough to have keen insights on what’s happening and what’s likely to happen from here. People like Doug Casey, legendary speculative investor… Eric Sprott, founder and chairman of Sprott Inc… and Steve Feldman, former Goldman Sachs partner and cofounder of Gold Bullion International. Casey Research and TheStreet have teamed up to bring these great minds together, along with others, to discuss the questions asked above, and many more. You can hear their answers – and more important, get their actionable advice on what to do now to best position yourself for what’s ahead with gold – in an exclusive video event titled Gold: Dead Cat or Raging Bull? The webinar will be held Tuesday, June 25 at 2:00 p.m. EDT. Reserve your spot now.
Have you ever been on a diet but didn’t hit your goal weight? Your gut bacteria may be part of the explanation.New research suggests the mix of microbes in our guts can either help — or hinder — weight-loss efforts.”We started with the premise that people have different microbial makeups, and this could influence how well they do with dieting,” explains Purna Kashyap, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.As part of the study, Kashyap and his collaborators tracked the progress of people who were enrolled in a lifestyle-intervention program for weight loss. The participants were advised to follow a low-calorie diet, and they were tracked closely for about three months.”We found that people who lost at least 5 percent of their body weight had a different gut bacteria as compared to those who did not lose 5 percent of their body weight,” Kashyap explains. Their findings are published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.The successful dieters had an increased abundance of a bacteria called Phascolarctobacterium, whereas another bacteria, Dialister, was associated with a failure to lose the weight. And, Kashyap says it’s likely that there are other types of bacteria that might influence dieting as well.So, how might bacteria influence weight loss? It turns out we can get a significant number of calories from our microbes.Here’s how it works: Consider what happens when you eat an apple. You digest most of it.”But there’s a certain part of the apple we can’t absorb,” explains Martin Blaser, a professor in the Department of Microbiology at NYU Langone Medical Center. “We don’t have the right enzymes to digest every bit of [the apple], but our bacteria can.”Think of it this way: The bacteria eat what we can’t.And, in the process, they produce byproducts that we can digest. So these byproducts become another source of calories for us.The new study suggests that certain bacteria — or mix of bacteria — may be more efficient at creating “extra” calories for us to digest.”Somewhere between 5 to 15 percent of all our calories come from that kind of digestion, where the microbes are providing energy for us, that we couldn’t [otherwise] get,” Blaser explains.This calorie boost could be beneficial if food were scarce. “If times were bad, if we were starving, we’d really welcome it,” Blaser says.But at a time when many people want to lose weight, these extra calories may be an unwanted gift.But the study was small — just 26 participants. Now, researchers want to conduct a larger, follow-up study, including dieters from different geographic regions, to see if they can reproduce the results.”If two studies show the same thing, then we’re on more solid ground,” Blaser says. He was not involved in the research, but agreed to review the findings for NPR. For now, he says these findings are intriguing, but preliminary.Down the road, if the results hold up in a larger group, it could lead to more tailored dieting approaches. “What we would hope to do is to be able to individualize care for people,” Kashyap says. “And we’d also try to develop new probiotics, which we could use to change the microbial makeup.”Probiotics that are currently on the market would not be effective. The idea is to develop a new product that includes the specific types of bacteria linked to successful dieting.But it’s not so simple to manipulate the mix of microbes in our guts. Identifying the organism — or organisms — that are thought to be beneficial is just the first step.Next, the organisms would need to be cultivated and mass-produced in order to create a new probiotic. “Some bacteria are difficult to work with,” so it could be challenging, says Blaser.So, if it’s possible to produce a probiotic for dieters based on this research, “it’s at least some years off,” Blaser says. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Advertisement The latest report from IDC has indicated that Apple’s and Google’s mobile OS continue to dominate the smartphone market, and by a wide margin.iOS in the fourth quarter took up 14.8%, while Android in the same quarterly length amassed 81.5% of the market. Together, that means the pair combined for a total of 96.3% of the total market. – Advertisement – This essentially dominates the competing platforms of BlackBerry, Windows Phone and others.iOS climbed just over two percent in the latest results, and the report indicates that Apple shipped 192.7 million iPhones during the year. The report suggests that this was based on the strength of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales.Vying for third place is still a powerful battle between the likes of BlackBerry, Windows Phone and others.Via iPhone Hacks
Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Next Article Add to Queue Image credit: via PC Mag Chloe Albanesius OpenAI has been hard at work on a bot capable of beating top professional players at Dota 1v1, and on Friday, it succeeded. Elon Musk’s OpenAI Bot Beats Pro Gamers Artificial Intelligence Executive Editor, PCMag August 14, 2017 Register Now » 3 min read 54shares Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business This story originally appeared on PCMag Artificial intelligence developed by the Elon Musk-backed OpenAI bested human players this weekend at The International, an annual Dota 2 championship.While that might not sound too impressive on its face — we’ve seen Google-developed AI beat Go players — Dota 2 is “vastly more complex than traditional board games like chess & Go,” Musk tweeted.”Dota’s a great testbed for artificial intelligence; it’s a very complicated game with a large competitive scene,” OpenAI co-founder and CTO Greg Brockman said in a video explaining the project (below). “The rules of Dota are so complicated [that] if you just think really hard about how the game works and try to write those rules down, you’re not even going to be able to reach the performance of a reasonable player.”OpenAI has been hard at work on a bot capable of beating top professional players at Dota 1v1. On Friday, it was showcased at The International, a huge event hosted by Valve that draws 20,000 fans and players competing for $24 million in prizes.The OpenAI bot went up against Danylo “Dendi” Ishutin in rather dramatic fashion, and handily beat the pro player twice before Ishutin bowed out.”Bot is really fun and challenging to play against 🙂 I am sure it is possible to beat it. But it [has] no room for even slight mistakes,” Ishutin tweeted after the match. “Need much more tries for that 🙂 I think first few levels are most important to keep the lead. Still was amazing fun to play on stage!”Ishutin added that it’s “awesome what awaits us in future with all those technologies. Excited!!!”According to Brockman, OpenAI “trained entirely through self play. It starts out completely random with no knowledge of the world and simply plays against a copy of themself, which means it always has an evenly matched opponent. And it climbs this ladder of skill level until it’s able to the reach the performance of the best professional players in the world.”OpenAI then invited pro players to try out the OpenAI bot. “Many pros wanted to keep playing the bot and talked about using it as part of their training routine,” Brockman said, though “amateur players enjoyed playing the bot as well.”On Twitter, Musk thanked Microsoft “for use of their Azure cloud computing platform. This required massive processing power.” OpenAI and Microsoft announced a partnership in November.The International was OpenAI “introducing our Dota product to the world and see if they can reach the world of the top human professionals,” Brockman said.Going forward, OpenAI wants to “mix AIs and humans on a single team and reach a level of performance that neither of them can reach on their own,” according to Brockman. “AI can be extremely beneficial to humanity and it’s going to require fundamental advances to see what it’s really capable of.”
Enroll Now for $5 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. Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Image credit: Shutterstock.com Games News Assistant –shares Add to Queue October 9, 2015 2 min read This story originally appeared on CNBC The creators of Cards Against Humanity, dubbed as the “party game for horrible people,” have managed to do some good.Cards Against Humanity’s intellectual expansion “Science Pack” has raised over $546,000 for The Science Ambassador Scholarship, a scholarship fund for U.S.-based women interested in studying science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM).Co-authored with web-comic creator, Zach Weinersmith, and author, Phil Plait, the “Science Pack” is a $10 expansion pack dedicated to all things scientific, including global warming and evolution, and went on sale earlier this year.The Scholarship was announced in March 2015, with the intention of finding a candidate who will act as an ambassador for their field. The chosen candidate will start their four-year degree in the fall of 2016, paid for by the funds raised.”Women are underrepresented in science, tech, engineering, and math,” Josh Dillon, co-creator of “Cards Against Humanity”, said in March when the scholarship was announced.”We felt like the funding from this pack could have the greatest impact by making it possible for more women to get an education in those fields, and by giving them a platform to share their work and their passion for science.”Video applications for the scholarship have now opened, and after the December deadline, candidates will be reviewed by a board of fifty women, who work professionally in science, including those from Harvard Medical School and the Smithsonian Institution.For a brand that’s dedicated to going against humanity, it seems to be doing a lot of good.In late 2013, the game-makers donated around $100,000 to fund projects for classrooms in impoverished U.S. areas, from its 2013 Holiday Pack sales.Since 2012, the company has created an annual Holiday card pack, and each year the profits go to specific organizations, including Sunlight and Wikimedia. So far these holiday packs combined have donated more than $2.15 million. Alexandra Gibbs Next Article How Cards Against Humanity Is Helping Women in STEM
3 min read Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Next Article Image credit: Pixabay Add to Queue Report: Federal Regulators Find ‘Serious Deficiencies’ at Theranos’ California Lab Facility –shares Former Staff Writer Jan. 25, 5:30 p.m. ET: This story has been updated throughout with comments from Theranos and Walgreens.An audit by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a federal health agency, has reportedly uncovered “serious deficiencies” at Theranos’s lab facility in Newark, Calif.The details of the audit were not disclosed but are expected to be released soon — and could result in Theranos tests being suspended from the Medicare program if not promptly redressed, according to The Wall Street Journal.CMS told the Journal that it “can’t confirm any survey conclusions or results at this time.”Theranos spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan told Entrepreneur that the company hadn’t received a copy of the final routine audit report, which was conducted last fall. “Unfortunately, the blind sources that The Wall Street Journal used didn’t tell us where they were from or who they are or what level of access that they have,” she said. “It’s all allegations at this time.”Theranos’s partnership with Walgreens is also hanging ever more in the balance, according to the Journal. Walgreens, which houses 41 Theranos testing facilities in locations throughout Arizona and California, has already suspended expansion of the program until questions about Theranos’s technology are resolved, but the facilities face an even greater risk of being shuttered pending the results from CMS’s latest inspection.Buchanan said that these reports are also incorrect. “We are actually looking to expand,” she said of Theranos’s partnership with Walgreens.Related: Health Regulators Are Investigating Theranos’s Blood Test TechnologyA Walgreens spokesman reiterated a former statement to Entrepreneur that it made last October when the retailer initially halted expansion. “We are currently in discussions about the next phase of our relationship,” that statement read. “Plans to open more Theranos Wellness Centers are dependent upon both companies’ ability to reach a mutually beneficial arrangement.”Previously, CMS had cited problems following an inspection of Theranos’ Newark lab in 2013, which the company said it resolved, as well as infractions last year at another Theranos lab facility in Arizona. But the latest findings are “far more severe,” according to the Journal.Theranos was founded in 2003 by 31-year-old Stanford dropout Elizabeth Holmes and says it can conduct a multitude of blood tests using a tiny sample pricked from a fingertip. The company was last valued at $9 billion.Currently, Theranos has only received FDA approval to conduct one test using its proprietary technology, for herpes. (As the only lab seeking FDA approval, Buchanan told Entrepreneur, “that’s one more test than anyone else.” She added that Theranos is seeking FDA approval to “create a best-in-class lab.”) Today, Theranos is conducting the rest of its tests with traditional machines, with some outsourced to outside labs — for which it is suffering financial losses, according to the Journal. As for these claims, Buchanan told Entrepreneur that the company isn’t losing any money and is instead experiencing a record-breaking volume of tests in its labs and traffic in its stores.“If The Wall Street Journal actually understood the laboratory industry a little bit better, they would know that it’s very common practice for labs to send out certain tests to reference labs,” she said.Related: Safeway Seeks to Dissolve Secret $350 Million Deal With Beleaguered Blood Startup Theranos January 25, 2016 Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Theranos Geoff Weiss Register Now »
Profitero launched AMZ Maximizer, the most complete and precise analytics solution for maximizing Amazon sales.AMZ Maximizer fixes a blind spot for brands selling on Amazon. While brands know how their product sales are trending on Amazon, it’s hard for them to measure the two main factors underlying sales performance: daily shopper views of their product pages (traffic) and daily product page conversion rates. Profitero analysis shows that 60% of sponsored products on Amazon have suboptimal conversion rates, revealing a missed opportunity to boost ROI by sponsoring higher-converting products.Using sophisticated algorithms, AMZ Maximizer provides brands with granular, daily-updated traffic and conversion estimates for all their products. It also allows brands to quickly and easily correlate their traffic, conversion and sales performance with changes in search ranking, pricing, out-of-stock rates, content and reviews, leading to more precise optimization.Marketing Technology News: Only 30% of Midsized Call Centers Are Confident in Ability to Meet Customer NeedsAdditionally, by using AMZ Maximizer brands can:Better prioritize content and promotional investments by focusing on the lowest-converting products with the greatest need and most to gainRapidly test new content variables, such as product images, videos and A+ content, and measure impact on traffic and conversion before implementing at scaleIdentify leading indicators of sales performance issues earlier and respond fasterMarketing Technology News: Outdated Technology Preventing Banks from Investing in Disruptive Technologies, According to Fenergo Survey“Using AMZ Maximizer’s traffic insights, we’ve been able to better forecast demand for our Amazon products and quickly adjust our supply chain to maintain in-stock rates,” said Stacy Hanks, Director of eCommerce for The Master Lock Company. “So far, this has allowed us to recapture half a million dollars in annualized sales for one of our highest-viewed products. Applying the same approach to our entire catalog has the potential to create several million dollars in additional value for our business, annually.”“Amazon is incredibly dynamic, and brands are constantly seeing their product sales fluctuate without precise insight into why. This can lead to guesswork and inefficient investment by eCommerce teams,” said Vol Pigrukh, CEO and co-founder of Profitero. “By providing a 360-degree view of the digital shelf, combined with a highly-granular view of the full Amazon sales funnel, Profitero clients will be able to grow online sales in a focused, proactive way.”Marketing Technology News: The Measurement Advantage: Marketing Leaders Are Four Times As Likely As Laggards To Exceed Business Goals, Grow Revenue, And Gain Market Share Profitero Launches the Industry’s Most Complete and Precise Analytics Solution for Maximizing Amazon Sales Performance MTS Staff WriterMay 14, 2019, 6:02 pmMay 14, 2019 AmazonAMZ MaximizeranalyticsMarketing TechnologyNewsProfiteroVol Pigrukh Previous ArticleAdobe Delivers Commerce Advances for Small and Mid-Market BusinessesNext ArticleConfirmit Announces 2019 ACE Award Winners
By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDDec 6 2018There are a large number of babies who are diagnosed with milk allergy and are being supplemented with lactose free infant milk formula. Experts have claimed that this over diagnosis could be due to the influences of the formula industry. The results of the investigation titled, “Over diagnosis and industry influence: how cow’s milk protein allergy is extending the reach of infant formula manufacturers,” was published in the latest issue of the British Medical Journal. Image Credit: Patrik Jech / Shutterstock The World Health Organisation (WHO) also believes that this trend could have an adverse effect on breastfeeding. Larry Grummer Strawn, a technical officer at WHO, in a statement said, “The influence that the formula industry has on young health professionals is likely an important reason for the lukewarm support for breastfeeding that we often encounter.”Declan O’Brien, director general of the British Specialist Nutrition Association, whose members include Danone Nutricia, Mead Johnson and Nestlé in a statement defending the charges said, “We recognise the need to put in place policies to ensure that potential conflicts of interest can be managed and avoided. The measures in the Infant Formula Industry Code are in line with the WHO Code, UK regulations, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry code and General Medical Council guidance.” The researchers write that there has been a six fold rise in diagnoses of infant formula allergies over the past one decade. They have warned that it is not possible that so many more babies are developing “cow’s milk allergies” over this short period of time. The team explains that the guidelines that dictate the ways how milk allergy is diagnosed among babies is also influences by the manufacturers of formula feed for babies. There are industry-funded bodies that run the allergy training sessions and CMEs for doctors as well as health care professionals. This is leading to irrational and unnecessary proscription of the these non-allergenic formula.One of the major problems with this is the mistaken belief that breast milk could be allergenic to the baby and this may discourage breastfeeding. Dr Fiona Godlee, editor-in-chief of the BMJ, said, “The growth in prevalence of cows’ milk protein allergy [CMPA] has all the hallmarks of over diagnosis fuelled by commercial interests. We need tighter diagnostic criteria and guidelines drawn up by experts who are free from financial conflicts of interest.” The report shows that between 2000 and 2016 there has been a rise from 105,000 to more than 600,000 annually in prescriptions for specialist formula milks prescribed to those who are allergic to regular milk. The report adds that the NHS was spending £8.1million on these specialist formula and is now spending to more than £60 million annually on these preparations.Nigel Rollins, of the World Health Organisations’ department of maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health in a statement said, “It’s reasonable to question whether these increases reflect a true increase in prevalence.” Dr Chris van Tulleken, lead author of this study and honorary senior lecturer, University College London Hospital said, “The extensive links between the formula industry and the research, guidelines, medical education, and public awareness efforts around CMPA have raised the question of industry-driven over diagnosis.” He pointed out that in the board of NICE (NHS body for guidelines development) that drew up the allergy guidelines, 5 of the 11 had declared their associations with the infant formula industry. Further the international guidelines released in 2007 and 2010 were sponsored by formula manufacturers. The five authors of the 2013 Milk Allergy in Primary Care guidance had conflicts of interest. This is unacceptable, he said.Related StoriesResearchers identify new clues on tissue damage in rheumatoid arthritis and lupusNovel vaccine against bee sting allergy successfully testedStudy explores long-term impact of food restrictions on normal eating patterns in patientsDr van Tulleken wrote in the article, “The Allergy Academy, which is sponsored by three infant formula manufacturers, delivers courses on Guy’s and St Thomas’ premises [in London]. These are described by the trust as private ‘evidence-based training days for healthcare professionals.” He referred to these specialists formulas as “Trojan horses” saying that companies use these to market their other baby formulas via doctors which are normally banned from marketing. He wrote, “The belief that specialist formulas are exempt from the code may be enabling manufacturers to justify this network of links with clinicians and institutions to pursue a wider agenda.” Source:https://www.bmj.com/content/363/bmj.k5056
Source:https://engr.source.colostate.edu/researchers-working-to-prevent-sexual-harassment-in-scientific-field-settings/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 10 2019Scientists involved in a field campaign are away from their normal routines, offices and universities, including the support mechanisms available if sexual harassment or other inappropriate behaviors occur. Three Colorado State University researchers are examining the prevalence of sexual harassment in field-based research as part of a National Science Foundation-supported study.The CSU team, which includes Emily Fischer, Kristen Rasmussen and Brittany Bloodhart, are also studying what psychological indicators might lead people to engage in – or intervene in – a harassment situation.Part of their work is documenting how people respond when the issue of sexual harassment is openly discussed, and expectations for professional behavior are clearly set by team leadership. The goal: creating a policy and culture of collegiality and respect across field teams.Their efforts are supported by nearly $300,000 from the National Science Foundation, awarded last year. The group used two recent CSU-led field campaigns as test cases and proving grounds for their project.With field-based research an integral part of earth science scholarship, the researchers believe field teams can be powerful agents of change. Earth and atmospheric scientists frequently build collaborative, multi-institutional teams, and these networks can take years to establish. With already shared common goals, the researchers want to promote effective, fact-based practices for improving workplace climate and safety within these networks.While sexual harassment has been studied extensively in workplaces and academia, very little research has focused on the problem in field settings. Those in “low-power” positions, the researchers say, such as graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, may be particularly vulnerable to those in positions of leadership.”As scientific principal investigators, we are responsible for the safety of a lot of people,” said Fischer, assistant professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science who led a large field experiment on wildfire smoke last summer. “I know from personal experience that sexual harassment can be an issue in these settings. I haven’t experienced it since I’ve become a professor, but I doubt that our community culture has changed that dramatically in six years. Sexual harassment is about power. I’m in a different position now, and so I am working to create the best culture possible.”The researchers also pointed to a recent National Science Foundation policy change, addressing harassment, as further motivation for diving into the project.Fischer’s field campaign, called WE-CAN, brought together multiple universities and agencies for six weeks in Idaho last summer. Another field campaign that Assistant Professor Rasmussen co-led in November, called RELAMPAGO, was the largest land-based atmospheric science field campaign ever conducted outside the U.S. and was aimed at studying Argentina’s thunderstorms.Since her field campaign, RELAMPAGO, was led by early- to mid-career scientists like herself, Rasmussen saw an opportunity to establish a clear code of conduct for the campaign. And as the leader of a concurrent NSF-funded Advanced Study Institute that involved students from several universities, Ramusssen said she felt a particular need to “ensure that the underrepresented students I was bringing to an international setting to participate in field research were safe and protected.”Related StoriesResearch on cannabis use in women limited, finds new studyOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairThe researchers sought to use the WE-CAN and RELAMPAGO campaigns as springboards for two new, multi-institutional, international networks of proactive scientists, including men, all invested in combating gender inequality. Now, the researchers are developing written materials for future field campaign managers to facilitate culture change around sexual harassment in the field.”Sexual harassment is a culture issue,” Fischer said. “We need practical guides that everyone can use to set a professional tone in their workplaces.”Another of the researchers’ major objectives was to train participants in the two CSU field campaigns on how to recognize, report and confront sexual harassment. To do this, they relied on existing training materials developed by a separate group of researchers looking to improve work climates in geosciences.That related work is called “ADVANCEGeo” and is an NSF-funded partnership among the Earth Science Women’s Network, the Association for Women Geoscientists and the American Geophysical Union. ADVANCEGeo had previously developed workshops and materials for department heads, chairs, faculty and graduate students to respond to sexual harassment in their workplaces. The CSU team adapted these materials for their field campaigns, with an added emphasis on building effective teams.Another key aspect of the CSU project was led by Bloodhart, a social psychologist previously with the Department of Psychology who has expertise in beliefs, attitudes and discriminatory behavior around gender equity. Bloodhart designed and administered surveys to field campaign participants before and after, asking about past harassment experiences, as well as observed climate and behaviors during the campaigns.Bloodhart presented survey results at the American Meteorological Society meeting in January. The researchers issued a “call to action” after their session, and several attendees, many of them men, indicated a willingness to push for conversations and action around the topic.Bloodhart reported that about half the surveyed women had experienced sexual harassment at some point in their careers. She found that a “hostile work environment” was the largest source of sexual harassment, and that men and women typically reported different forms of harassment.The trainings during the two field campaigns were well received, Bloodhart said, but women were more likely than men to report that they had a “positive experience” during the trainings. She also found that men were more likely to intervene in harassment situations following the trainings.”Overall I have been impressed with the department leadership and especially the male faculty who have been on board,” Bloodhart said. “The fact that they are willing to put time and effort into this reflects the excellent leadership of this department.”
Alibaba doubles investment in SE Asia e-commerce firm Explore further Citation: Alibaba acquisition values meal-deliverer Ele.me at $9.5 bn (2018, April 2) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-alibaba-acquisition-values-meal-deliverer-eleme.html Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba said Monday it was acquiring full ownership of leading food-delivery firm Ele.me in a deal that values the Shanghai-based start-up at $9.5 billion. The deal is the latest salvo in the intensifying turf battle between tech heavyweights Alibaba and Tencent in the fast-growing Chinese markets for online food ordering and digital payments.Alibaba and its financial arm Ant already owned 43 percent of the app-based Ele.me and said in a statement that it would acquire all remaining shares.It said the takeover puts Ele.me’s value at $9.5 billion. Alibaba did not say how much it was paying for the remaining stake.Ele.me, which means “Are you hungry?”, said it operated in 2,000 Chinese cities and had 260 million users as of mid-2017, employing an army of three million scooter-borne delivery drivers.The statement by Alibaba, an e-commerce leader through its hugely popular Taobao online shopping platform, implied that it would expand Ele.me’s delivery business beyond mere meals.”Ele.me’s fast local delivery service will build on its core expertise in food delivery to provide consumers with a wider range of products and services on demand,” Alibaba said.”This expansion of offerings will allow Ele.me to efficiently utilise its large delivery force that currently fulfils orders in cities across China.” Ele.me has been competing fiercely with its main rival Meituan, which is backed by Tencent, the Chinese social media, messaging and online payments heavyweight.Users of meal-ordering platforms tripled in two years to 343 million in 2017, the China Internet Network Information Center said. The vast majority use mobile apps. Alibaba has been trying to integrate its online e-commerce services with offline bricks-and-mortar services to ensure growth momentum. © 2018 AFP 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. Alibaba is acquiring full ownership of food delivery firm Ele.me in a deal that values the start-up at $9.5 billion
Congress President Rahul Gandhi – PTI SHARE SHARE EMAIL Congress chief cites a report of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, which said India is the most dangerous country for women SHARE COMMENT Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday cited a damning report on violence against women to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the increasing violence against women was a shame for the country. He cited a report by the Thomson Reuters Foundation to point out that India is the most dangerous nation for women. “While our PM tiptoes around his garden making yoga videos, India leads Afghanistan, Syria and Saudi Arabia in rape and violence against women. What a shame for our country!” he tweeted on Tuesday. The report said that as India’s rape “epidemic” worsens by the year, critics have pointed fingers at the Modi government for not doing enough to protect women. “The world’s second most populous nation, with 1.3 billion people, ranked as the most dangerous on three of the topic questions – the risk of sexual violence and harassment against women, the danger women face from cultural, tribal and traditional practices, and the country where women are most in danger of human trafficking including forced labour, sex slavery and domestic servitude,” it added. Published on June 26, 2018 COMMENTS