RDA Sells Its Direct To Consumer Business

first_imgRDA recorded revenues of $242 million for the first quarter 2012, down from $284 million in the same period 2011. The company booked a net loss of $8 million, down significantly from 2011’s first quarter loss of $82 million. Reader’s Digest Association announced today that it made good on its efforts to dispose of its Lifestyle and Entertainment Direct business—part of a process the company has been going through to dispose of non-core assets, simplify its operation and zero in on only its best performing products.The sale is a small one, Mosaic Media Investment Partners picked up the division for $1.1 million in cash, but it was part of a plan hatched last year to sell off the group along with Allrecipes.com and the Weekly Reader, both of which were sold in early 2012 for $175 million and $3.6 million respectively. RDA also sold Everyday With Rachael Ray in October 2011. The Lifestyle and Entertainment Direct Business is a direct-to-consumer sales operation that primarily sold fitness, books, music and DVD products. Also included in the deal was Saguaro Road Records.  last_img read more

California Sunday Brings December Issue East in the Form of an Art

first_img“We love opportunities to bring the print magazine to life,” says Jacqueline Bates, photography director for California Sunday Magazine, adding that in addition to the gallery show, the magazine has posted audio accompaniment to each of the issue’s stories on its website. “It really makes for a more multilayered reading experience. It’s less linear, and you can also listen to the audio on your phone as you walk through the exhibit.”Published bimonthly, California Sunday dedicates one issue a year to a single theme (last year’s was the lives of teenagers), and because photography has always been an essential aspect of the magazine, Bates says the team decided to make this year’s themed issue an “all-photography” one. Text in the issue, which features work from 34 different photographers, is minimal—mostly confined to captions and credits.Elisabeth Gambrell, Gerlach, Nev. — Katy Grannan“We knew we wanted to make an issue told entirely through photography,” Bates adds. “In a year when wildfires, rising housing costs, and controversial immigration issues have dominated the news, ‘Home,’ and how people come to find and define it, has never felt more important.”The 34 contributors to the issue are a mix of both up-and-coming and established photographers and artists, such as Jim Goldberg, whose work can be seen in the Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery in Washington. Another contributor, Taylor Kay Johnson, is a recent graduate introduced to California Sunday when her California College of the Arts class worked with the magazine on an Instagram takeover last year.Mary Dambacher, Taos, N.M. — Ahndraya Parlato &Gregory HalpernThe subjects of each feature, themselves wide-ranging in both geography and circumstance, are divided into sections organized by distance, says Bates, from those who are “Far Away”—long-distance firefighters, a family separated at the U.S. border—to those who are “In Between”—a high school student in San Diego who visits his deported mother in Tijuana—to those who are “Home”—a pair of formerly homeless men on move-in day at a San Francisco housing complex.For the cover story alone, “we assigned 19 photographers across 10 states, and from there allowed them to wander and look for stories of ‘Home,’” Bates continues. “We met a Bay Area transplant who made a sanctuary out of his sailboat, a mother who built a bathroom from scratch for her and her daughter, a DACA recipient who just purchased his first house, and many others.”All of this—a feature well whose subjects range from Alaska to Mexico and a coinciding gallery activation in New York City—beg the obvious conclusion that California Sunday envisions an audience that expands well beyond the Golden State. (Case in point: I recently purchased a copy at a magazine shop in London.)“From the very beginning, we made stories for a national audience of curious, creative people,” publisher Chas Edwards tells Folio:, noting that the magazine’s stories often focus on the broader American West, in addition to Asia and Latin America. “Among our digital readers, New Yorkers are the second biggest group after Californians, so we’re always eager to find ways to get closer to our New York fans.”Roscoe Mitchell, Oakland, Calif. — David BlackDebbie Austin, Portland, Ore. — Lauren Angalis FieldBut the business sense behind the gallery exhibit isn’t just about the prospect of picking up a few more East Coast customers for the magazine’s $39.99-per-year print subscriptions. The entire project, including both the exhibit and the December issue, is sponsored by the Google Pixel 3—the same smartphone that shot the November covers of Allure, Architectural Digest, Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler, Glamour, GQ, and W as part of a promotional partnership with Condé Nast.In addition to behind-the-scenes photos shot on the Pixel 3 depicting the December issue’s production, the integration includes displays of photos taken on the phone at the Aperture exhibit, custom ad inserts in the issue that blend in with the look and feel of the editorial.“We love it when we find a sponsor that’s willing to work with us, specifically our Brand Studio team, on a program that delivers new, compelling experiences to our community of readers and fans,” adds Edwards. “These are opportunities to support the journalism and storytelling we do, and at the same time deliver added goodness to our audience.” The California Sunday Magazine may still be a baby by national magazine standards—especially compared to the legacy institutions against which it has become a regular competitor for National Magazine Awards each March—but it’s accomplished quite a bit in its four years of existence.It’s most recent achievement, and perhaps its most financially impactful, was securing an acquisition by Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective, whose other media-related investments include funding for nonprofits like The Committee to Protect Journalists, The Marshall Project, Mother Jones, and ProPublica, as well as a majority stake in The Atlantic.In a statement announcing the acquisition, Powell Jobs called California Sunday and its sister brand, the touring stage show Pop-Up Magazine, “unique journalistic platforms that help foster empathy and better understanding in the world.”Those values of empathy and understanding are on display this month—literally—at the Aperture Foundation in Manhattan, at which visitors can take in “At Home: In the American West,” a gallery exhibition featuring over 90 photographs in an extension of the magazine’s December issue cover story.last_img read more

Facebook pages get facelift with new page layout design

first_img Comment Facebook 1 Facebook’s layout has shifted from three columns to two and removed a lot of clutter. Screenshot by Steven Musil/CNET If you think your Facebook page looks a bit different today, you’re not alone.The social networking giant appears to have rolled out a new page design on Tuesday, eschewing the previous three-column layout for one that incorporates only two. On the right is static information about the page, while the left side contains the feed of recent posts.Facebook tinkers with its design from time to time, but this is a pretty radical departure from the site’s previous appearance. In addition to the column change, the content on pages appears less cluttered, with plenty of eye-appealing white space and an increased emphasis on thumbnail images. It wasn’t immediately clear how widespread this rollout is or how different types of pages will see a face-lift.  Facebook didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Share your voice Internet Tech Industry Tagslast_img read more

Area 51 raid event to see them aliens removed by Facebook

first_img Sci-Tech Internet Over 2 million people signed up for the Facebook event. David Becker/Getty Images In July a tongue-in-cheek Facebook event was created to coordinate a raid on Area 51, the classified military base in Lincoln County, Nevada. It became an online sensation. Over 2 million Facebook users signed up, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert gave it a spot on their respective talk shows, and the US Air Force strongly advised citizens against raiding the facility. But now, the Facebook event page has been taken down.It appears as though Facebook took the page down on Aug. 3 for violating community standards. Mathew Roberts, the event creator, posted a screenshot on his personal Facebook page of the notice Facebook had sent him saying it had taken down the event because it “went against” Facebook’s “Community Standards.””I never got any reason behind the event being removed,” Roberts told CNET. “I created a sister event which amassed about 15,000 people before being taken down for no reason.”After starting the Facebook event as a joke, Roberts is now planning an actual Area 51 festival in Nevada to take place Sept. 20, the day the facetious raid was to go down. He says he created another Facebook event, this time for the real festival that would take place somewhere that’s not a highly-classified military base, but this too was taken down by the social network. “I think it’s pretty reckless of Facebook, especially because I’m trying to direct people away from storming the base,” Roberts said. “And now I’ve lost my entire audience.” Roberts expects around 20,000 people to attend the festival. Facebook has been contacted for comment.The now-deleted Facebook event came with a brief description: “We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry,” it read. “If we Naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Let’s see them aliens.””Naruto run” refers to the main character in the eponymous Naruto anime.The Facebook event created the Area 51 meme, which became a fixture on Twitter and Reddit throughout July. You can see some of our favourites below. Area 51 is a highly classified zone around 150 miles from Las Vegas, Nevada, a detachment of the famed Edwards Air Force Base. No one really knows what the base is used for, but it’s speculated to be a location for aircraft development, and as such Area 51 has become synonymous with alien conspiracies. The most popular involve alien spaceships or aliens themselves, all allegedly kept within the classified zone.The location reportedly received its name when, in 1951, the remains of the alleged Roswell UFO (said to have crashed in 1947) were brought to the base. In 2013, the CIA issued a 355-page declassified report detailing the birth of Area 51 and the U-2 spy planes developed and tested there.Originally published Aug. 5, 7:30 p.m. PT. Update, 9:38 p.m.: Adds comment from event creator Mathew Roberts. Facebook Comments 7 #Area51 let’s see them aliens pic.twitter.com/0zmL8dFdoy— Ash (@taintdchinadoll) July 12, 2019 Share your voice The greatest alien encounter movies, ranked 41 Photos My motivation to study Vs. My motivation to get into Area 51 pic.twitter.com/lF7TbFb5RU— College Student (@FactsOfSchool) July 13, 2019 Tags screen-shot-2019-07-12-at-3-46-10-pmEnlarge Image Reddit/AnonEnigmalast_img read more

At least 18 dead in China karaoke lounge fire

first_imgMap locating Qingyuan in China where a deadly blaze broke out at a karaoke lounge. Photo: AFPA fire tore through a karaoke lounge in southern China on Tuesday, killing 18 people and injuring another five, as authorities sought an arson suspect who had reportedly blocked the entrance with a motorcycle.The fire started after midnight in a three-storey building in Qingyuan City, Guangdong province, and was put out shortly before 1:00am local time, according to the police.A preliminary investigation found that it was caused by arson, the Qingyuan public security department said on its Weibo social media account.The suspect got into an argument, then used a motorcycle to block the building’s door and lit the fire, state broadcaster CCTV said, adding that he was on the lam.The police said that “in order to quickly catch the suspect”, it was offering a 200,000 yuan ($32,000) reward for information leading to the arrest of a man identified as a 32-year-old with burn marks on his hips.The police statement did not describe the location of the fire but state media said it occurred in a small KTV house, or karaoke lounge.Unverified videos from the scene posted by local media show flames leaping from the building on a tree-lined street at night, with fire trucks and a crowd of onlookers on the road.The five injured people are receiving treatment in a hospital, state TV said.Karaoke is a popular activity in China, with even shopping centres featuring booths where people can sit and sing their favourite songs.Larger KTV lounges proliferate as well, often spanning across multiple floors in a building, with narrow corridors linking dozens of individual rooms together.The lounge where the fire occurred was smaller, with only one corridor for entry and exit, state TV said.Merrymakers often go for a buffet dinner and sing and drink with a small group of friends in the private rooms late into the night.Deadly fires are common in China, where safety regulations are widely flouted and enforcement is often lax.Common firesA blaze that killed 38 people at a nursing home in 2015 sparked soul-searching about safety standards in China. Courts jailed 21 people, including firefighters and government staff, over the fire last year.The legal representative of the Kangleyuan Nursing Home was sentenced to nine years in prison for constructing an illegal extension to the property, while the contractor was given a six-year sentence for using flammable materials to build an extension.In the days following the accident, China’s top safety watchdog said the facility had poorly-designed fire exits, while safety checks, fire and electricity management, and the emergency response system were all found lacking.More than two dozen people were killed in two fires in Beijing’s migrant neighbourhoods late last year.The first blaze, which killed 19 people in November, prompted authorities to begin tearing down unsafe buildings in the capital, driving hundreds of thousands of down on their luck residents out in the middle of winter.last_img read more

Mandelas legacy cherished by some challenged by others

first_imgNelson Mandela. Photo: WikipediaA black and white photo of Nelson Mandela in boxing attire greets visitors to the gym where the liberation hero trained in the 1950s before delivering the knock-out blow to apartheid decades later.“He used to train here, I feel strong… Physically and mentally I get some strength,” said gym-goer Kgotso Phali, 18.The red and white walls of the gym, located in South Africa’s Soweto township, smell of fresh paint.The Donaldson Orlando Community Centre (DOCC) has been restored to its former glory to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Mandela’s birth.Mandela, South Africa’s first black president known locally by his clan name “Madiba”, died in 2013.“People had to carry passes-all these things are gone now. We are free,” thanks to him, said Andy Zameko, who said he was proud to work out in the same gym as Mandela.Mandela would visit the gym several times a week to train and forget the ordeal that was the fight against the white supremacist regime.“The walls of… the DOCC are drenched with sweet memories that will delight me for years,” Mandela wrote to his daughter Zindzi from his cell on Robben Island where he was imprisoned for 18 years.A copy of the letter, dated 9 December, 1979, is displayed on a wall in the gym.Nearby, young musicians seek to catch the attention of passing tourists in front of Mandela’s former home which has been transformed into a museum.“(He) makes us united. Now we are all united. (Blacks) can perform in theatres like the Joburg Theatre now-it was not the case before,” said guitarist Vincent Ncabashe, 49.‘Not living his dream’Others recognise the achievement but are disappointed in the post-apartheid reality.“Madiba is so inspiring for me,” said hip-hop singer Thobane Mkhize who sported a striking bouffant haircut.“But we are not living his dream,” said the 24-year-old musician.“The parliament is like a (sitcom), it is no longer a parliament because politicians are busy with corruption. Instead of being united, we are busy looking at the colours of the skin,” he added.“There was need for a figure to reconcile black and whites,” said Genevieve Assamoi, a 45-year-old from Ivory Coast.“He was crucial in ensuring that blacks did not take revenge on whites and to allow the whites to feel safe.”“Without him, we would still be stuck in the same place,” said policeman and father-of-three Mpho Ngobeni.‘He did his best’At a nearby petrol station in Soweto, two white men in khaki outfits completed the purchase of a car from two young black men-an unusual scene in the sprawling black-majority township.“The white people also got a chance (to stay in South Africa),” said Kaelen Viljoen as he struggled to hide the handgun clipped to his belt.The 22-year-old had also brought along a baseball bat, perched on the front seat of his 4X4.“I always have a weapon with me and I would not have left it at home when I came here,” said Viljoen, visiting Soweto for the first time in his life.“We called a lot of guys and we were very worried to come here, because he said there are a lot of black people here, and white people driving around here, is going to be a big problem.“(But) after we met the guys we bought the car from, we actually love it, they are very friendly.”Maxwell Huis, 44, a homeless father-of-two said the reality delivered by Mandela was starkly different to that which he had promised.“He sold the black people to the whites. There should have been a civil war-it would have changed things,” he added as he foraged for wood to burn.Mtate Phakela, 19, sees Mandela’s legacy very differently.“He gave us a revolution without a war. He gave us the idea of freedom through peace,” said the teenager.“But we are not economically free.”Economic divisions still plague the country with the median monthly salary for whites at around 10,000 rands ($753, 638 euros) but just 2,800 for the black community.“He did his best,” continued Mtate. “The people who came after could have done better to free us economically.”last_img read more

Your next assembly lines may have Baxter robot doing pickup w Video

first_img Credit: Rethink Robotics The company offers Baxter with two kinds of grippers to choose from. Electric parallel grippers enable Baxter to pick up objects of varying sizes. Vacuum cup grippers are meant for hard-to-grasp objects, such as smooth, nonporous or relatively flat items.While Baxter is not the ideal choice for tasks that require an extremely strong or fast industrial robot, Baxter is smart enough to adapt to changes. The robot uses vision to locate and grasp objects, and can be programmed to perform a new task just by holding its arms and moving them to the desired position. The robot can continue to work even after missing a pick-up or dropping a part. It can visually detect parts and adapt to variations in part placement and conveyor speed. If Baxter drops an object, it knows to get another before trying to finish the task. What is not at all mindless about Baxter is its design in that, for an industrial robot, Baxter enjoys an incredible lightness of non-being. Baxter has thick, round arms, but they are not heavy. The arm moves in a fluid motion. “When you hold the cuff, the robot goes into gravity-compensation,” said Rodney Brooks, the company founder, “zero-force mode,” as if the arm is floating. Credit: Rethink Robotics Baxter signs British flu vaccine deal Explore further Citation: Your next assembly lines may have Baxter robot doing pick-up (w/ Video) (2012, September 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-09-lines-baxter-pick-up-video.html 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.center_img More information: www.heartlandrobotics.com/inde … php/products/baxter/ Another differentiator is that, while Baxter is smart, it does not require a high learning curve. One of the argued barriers to industrial adoption of robots has been training requirements to operate industrial robots. The disadvantage has been in the thought of requiring employees to train in programming and in interacting with new robotic equipment, eating up time and financial output. Rethink’s team claims Baxter units can be retasked in a matter of minutes. “No custom application code is required to get it started. So no costly software or manufacturing engineers are required to program it,” according to the company. Baxter is taught via a graphical user interface and through direct manipulation of its robot arms. Nontechnical, hourly workers can train and retrain Baxter right on the line.As for safety, the designers gave Baxter sensors to detect people within contact distance and trigger the robot to slow to safe operation speeds. If Baxter’s power supply were cut, its arms would relax slowly. Employees would have time to move out of the way. Baxter is based on the vision of roboticist. Rodney Brooks, company founder of Rethink Robotics, which started in 2008. Baxter’s first shipments will start next month. Credit: Rethink Robotics © 2012 Phys.org (Phys.org)—Rethink Robotics is introducing Baxter to the manufacturing sector with a note: Baxter can ignite a revolution in breaking down costs and safety barriers holding back automation in American manufacturing. The Boston-based company says the $22,000 (list price) robot is a fraction of the cost of traditional industrial robots “with zero integration required.” Baxter has been expressly designed to work on assembly lines to perform menial tasks. Baxter has two arms, each with seven degrees of freedom, and a reach similar to that of a human, to take over the mindless menial tasks. It can load, unload, sort, pack, unpack, snap-fit, grind and polish. last_img read more

CID arrests 2 Bangladeshi nationals for intrusion

first_imgKolkata: The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has arrested two Bangladeshi nationals from near the Indo-Bangladesh border at Swarupnagar in North 24-Parganas on Wednesday night. Acting on specific information, a team of CID’s Barasat unit raided the area and arrested the duo. They are originally residents of Khulna. During interrogation, the investigators came to know that they were trying to go to Mumbai. The CID officials are yet to ascertain their real motive behind illegally intruding into the country. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe duo has been identified as Urmi Seikh and Nayeem Seikh. Both are teenagers. The investigating officials are also probing to know if the duo was a part of any international smuggling racket. They are looking into the possibilities of the duo being involved with any anti-national activities.After being interrogated, the two Bangladeshi nationals were arrested on charges of illegally intruding into the country. During the investigation, CID had been trying to know if the accused had any past record of entering into the country illegally from Bangladesh, or if they have any connection with the extremist groups operating from Bangladesh.last_img read more

Tracing the journey of Sufism

first_imgSufi music has the power and the magic to calm one’s soul and make one transit into another world. However, there’s more to Sufi than being just the music of God. In order to reveal the facets and trace the journey of Sufism through music, an interactive performance titled ‘Sounds of the Sufis’ will be held on March 19 at Main Auditorium, India International Centre. The performance, which will trace the journey of Sufism from 8th Century AD to its impact in the present times on our everyday lives, includes narrations and mesmerising live music that cover the lives of the pillars of the Sufi thought, from Moinnuddin Chisti to Amir Khusrau to Kabir to Meera Bai and many others.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’By picking up pieces from their own lives, the performers explore the essence of Sufism reflecting research, interaction with scholars and a strong personal interest. The performance touches upon the lives and messages of 11 mystics and involves compositions in six regional languages including Kashmiri, Urdu, Farsi and Punjabi. The narratives are performed in English and Hindi, creating a rare ambience for introspection, indulgence and appreciation.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe event will be presented by The Looking Glass.  Anuraag Dhoundeyal, co-founder of The Looking Glass is also a singer, composer and a performer; and he has had years of training in Hindustani Classical singing and has to his credit both, international and national performances. His expertise lies in creating interactive performances that engage the audiences in experiential ways. Through ‘Sounds of the Sufis’, Anuraag lets his singing do the talking as he adds a distinct characteristic to Sufi with his soulful rendition of their poetry. As an educator, Psychologist and a storyteller, Priyanka Patel has been integrating arts and psychology to create environments that help individuals interact deeply with themselves. She has been training students, teachers and parents, helping them build life skills through workshops. In ‘Sounds of the Sufis’, she engages with stories and narrations to trace the experiences that celebrate humanity through love, selflessness and authenticity. Karan Chitra Deshmukh, who is a Tabla player and a multi percussionist, has been enthralling audiences with his drumming skills. He has been a technician and has assisted the esteemed Karsh Kale whilst also performing with him on several occasions along with being part of the MTV Coke Studio and Unplugged. Karan brings the rhythm to the ‘Sounds of the Sufis’ adding crispness to it with his dynamism.last_img read more

Central forces proactive in Bengal Trinamool peeved

first_imgKolkata: The streets, lanes and alleys of various pockets in West Bengal, including the eastern metropolis, are now filled with the sounds of heavy boots of the central paramilitary forces, as the troopers hold route marches, go door to door warning possible miscreants and asking people whether they are facing threats in connection with the polls. All these activities have angered the ruling Trinamool Congress, and its leaders have gone ballistic against the forces. A former minister has even warned of “mass revolt”. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose The troopers, who started arriving in the state on Friday — 27 days before the first phase of polls on April 11 — have been visiting vulnerable pockets in the metropolis and the districts in a bid to instil confidence among the voters. The state has a history of political violence, and the panchayat polls last year saw spewing of much blood, with ruling Trinamool Congress winning around 34 per cent of the seats uncontested amid allegations that candidates of other parties were forcibly not allowed to file their nominations. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata The 10 companies of troppers from the Border Security Force (BSF) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) have now been deployed in Malda, North Dinajpur, Murshidabad, Birbhum, East Midnapore, West Midnapore, North 24-Parganas, South 24-Parganas and Kolkata districts. At Ultadanga in the city’s northeastern fringes, a trooper was seen sternly telling a woman that if her son tries to play any mischief, strong action will be taken. “Koi dadagiri nehi karega (no one can bully) the trooper said. In West Burdwan district’s Andal, that comes under the Asansol constituency represented in Lok Sabha by BJP’s Babul Supriyo, the troopers carried out a route march, enquiring from people whether they were fine. “Is everything okay? Hope you are not facing any problem related to the polls,” a trooper asked an old man Ranjit Dutta. “Is anybody trying to terrorise you?” he asked again. The footages aired on television led to a political slugfest. Trinamool Secretary General Partha Chatterjee alleged the forces were trying to terrorise voters. “Do they have any such rights? We don’t have anything against the deployment of central forces. Their duty is to ensure free and fair polls. For this, they have to depend on the local administration,” he said. Trinamool MP from Barasat Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar took exception, saying she would look into the legal provisions to find out if the commandant exceeded his brief. “Telling people that there should be no disturbances two months before the polls is not the duty of the paramilitary forces,” she said. City Mayor and Trinamool leader Firhad Hakim warned if the troopers visit houses and issue threats, “we will bring it to the notice of the Election Commission”. He alleged that some of the troopers have arrived with “a commitment”. “They have to remain neutral. But if the forces or some of their commandants have come with a commitment, that’s improper. We will draw the attention of the Election Commission,” he said. Going a step ahead, Trinamool legislator Sujit Bose warned that the forces and the commission would have to bear the responsibility if there were “resultant problems”. “The paramilitary forces have to follow certain rules. They can’t go beyond their mandate. If they do so, and insult slum dwellers, then they and the Election Commission will be responsible for the resultant problems,” Bose said. But the sternest warning came from Trinamool leader Madan Mitra. “The way the central forces have started terrorising people, and the way they are creating pressure on the local administration, if there is a public revolt, they won’t be able to tackle it,” he said in Barasat of North 24 Parganas district. On the other hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party mocked the Trinamool. “The central forces are only asking people to cast their own votes, and not to be afraid. Why is the Trinamool all worked up at such a small thing? “Actually they are afraid that if people cast their own votes, it will be the end of the road for the Trinamool in this state,” said state BJP Vice President Jay Prakash Majumdar.last_img read more

Facebook sets aside 5 billion in anticipation of an FTC penalty for

first_imgYesterday, Facebook in its first quarter financial reports revealed that it has to pay a sum of  $5 billion, a fine levied by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This penalty is “in connection with the inquiry of the FTC into our platform and user data practices”, the company said. The company, in their report, mentioned that the expenses result in a 51% year-over-year decline in net income, to just $2.4bn. If they minus this one-time expense, Facebook’s earnings per share would have beaten analyst expectations, and its operating margin (22%) would have been 20 points higher. Facebook said, “We estimate that the range of loss in this matter is $3.0bn to $5.0bn. The matter remains unresolved, and there can be no assurance as to the timing or the terms of any final outcome.” In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the FTC had commenced their investigation into Facebook’s privacy practices last year in March. This investigation was focussed whether the data practices that allowed Cambridge Analytica to obtain Facebook user data violated the company’s 2011 agreement with the FTC. “Facebook and the FTC have reportedly been negotiating over the settlement, which will dwarf the prior largest penalty for a privacy lapse, a $22.5m fine against Google in 2012”, The Guardian reports. Read Also: European Union fined Google 1.49 billion euros for antitrust violations in online advertising “Levying a sizable fine on Facebook would go against the reputation of the United States of not restraining the power of big tech companies”, The New York Times reports. Justin Brookman, a former official for the regulator who is currently a director of privacy at Consumers Union, nonprofit consumer advocacy group, said, “The F.T.C. is really limited in what they can actually do in enforcing a consent decree, but in the case of Facebook, they had public pressure on their side.” Christopher Wylie, a Research director at H&M and the Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower, voiced against Facebook by tweeting, “Facebook, you banned me for whistleblowing. You threatened @carolecadwalla and the Guardian. You tried to cover up your incompetent conduct. You thought you could simply ignore the law. But you can’t. Your house of cards will topple.” Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, mentioned in a tweet, “Facebook must be held accountable — not just by fines — but also far-reaching reforms in management, privacy practices, and culture.” Debra Aho Williamson, an e-marketer analyst, warned that the expectation of an FTC fine may portend future trouble. “This is a significant development, and any settlement with the FTC may impact the ways advertisers can use the platform in the future,” she said. Jessica Liu, a marketing analyst for Forrester said that Facebook has to show signs that it’s improving on user data practices and content management. “Its track record has been atrocious. No more platitudes. What action is Facebook Inc actually taking?” “For Facebook, a $5 billion fine would amount to a fraction of its $56 billion in annual revenue. Any resolution would also alleviate some of the regulatory pressure that has been intensifying against the company over the past two and a half years”, the New York Times reports. To know more about this news in detail visit Facebook’s official press release. Read Next Facebook hires a new general counsel and a new VP of global communications even as it continues with no Chief Security Officer Facebook shareholders back a proposal to oust Mark Zuckerberg as the board’s chairperson “Is it actually possible to have a free and fair election ever again?,” Pulitzer finalist, Carole Cadwalladr on Facebook’s role in Brexitlast_img read more

From 707s and 747s back in the day to A330s now TAP

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: TAP Portugal Posted by Share Travelweek Group center_img TORONTO — TAP Portugal is anticipating a strong performance for its return to the Canadian market, with new five times weekly Toronto-Lisbon flights starting June 10.It’s been years since TAP flew out of Toronto and the carrier had Montreal flights at one time too. Through the 1970s, 80s and 90s TAP did good business out of Toronto and Montreal to Lisbon on 707s and 747s, at that time serving a sizeable VFR market without much onward traffic. Why did TAP Portugal pull the Canadian flights all those years ago? For the same reason any airline shuts down routes: they stopped being profitable.Now TAP is back and Carlos Paneiro, VP Sales North & Central America says he looks forward to rounding out TAP’s network on this side of the Atlantic with Toronto, the carrier’s fifth gateway in North America and (so far) its only Canadian gateway.The Toronto service will run Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with flights arriving in Toronto at 10 p.m. and departing for Lisbon at 11:55 p.m. TAP is using A330s for the route, and the planes have been retrofitted with upgrades, says Paneiro. There are 244 economy class seats (with a minimum 31” pitch) and 25 lie-flat business class seats.More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterPart of the reason TAP pulled its Canadian flights back in the 1990s was because the airline didn’t have a network for onward travel. Now Paneiro says he anticipates that about 60 to 70% of passengers onboard the Toronto flights will be outbound Canadian passengers, and of those about 50% will take advantage of TAP’s network to fly beyond Lisbon to Europe (where TAP has 52 gateways) and Africa (15). TAP also has a growing presence in Brazil, with 10 gateways.The airline’s ‘TAP Portugal Stopover’ program should also generate interest with Canadian passengers, he adds, offering 24, 48 or 72-hour stopovers in Lisbon at no extra cost. Launched last summer in the North American market, it’s been a popular proposition for the U.S. market, with about 40,000 U.S. travellers spending some extra time in Lisbon before heading onto other TAP network destinations. TAP is part of the Star Alliance as well.TAP’s new District Sales Manager for the Canadian market, Liliana Vieira, is already on the road meeting with agents. Vierira has 20-plus years of experience in the travel industry here, mostly with airlines.More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoMore information is at flytap.com. Friday, April 7, 2017 From 707s and 747s back in the day, to A330s now: TAP Portugal gets ready for its Toronto returnlast_img read more

Cuba cruise calls flights exempt but new Kempinski blacklisted

first_imgCuba cruise calls, flights exempt but new Kempinski blacklisted << Previous PostNext Post >> Source: The Associated Press Thursday, November 9, 2017 Share Tags: Cuba WASHINGTON — While Canadian travellers are still flocking to Cuba’s beaches in record numbers, American travellers with Cuba on their wish list are even less likely to go now that President Trump’s administration has handed down specific travel, commerce and financial restrictions for the island.Now off-limits to U.S. citizens are dozens of Cuban hotels, shops, tour companies and other businesses included on a lengthy American blacklist of entities that have links to Cuba’s military, intelligence or security services.Blacklisted hotels include the Manzana Kempinski, which opened with great fanfare this year as Cuba’s first to meet the international five-star standard.Most Americans will once again be required to travel as part of heavily regulated, organized tour groups run by U.S. companies, rather than voyaging to Cuba on their own.The stricter rules are the implementation of Trump’s revised Cuba policy announced in Miami back in June. They mark a return to the tougher U.S. stance toward Cuba that existed before former President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro restored diplomatic relations in 2015.“These measures confirm there is a serious reversal in bilateral relations which has occurred as a result of the decisions taken by the government of President Donald Trump,” said Josefina Vidal, the top Cuban diplomat for North America.However the overall impact on American business with Cuba will be limited. Trade is sparse as it is and many American travellers already stay at hotels not on the no-go list.Cruise ship calls and direct commercial flights between the countries will still be permitted.More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterThe rules are designed to steer U.S. economic activity away from Cuba’s military, intelligence and security services, which dominate much of the economy through state-controlled corporations. The goal is to encourage financial support for Cuba’s growing private sector, said senior Trump administration officials, who briefed reporters on a conference call on condition they not be quoted by name.“We have strengthened our Cuba policies to channel economic activity away from the Cuban military and to encourage the government to move toward greater political and economic freedom for the Cuban people,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.The new policy maintains several categories of travel to Cuba that are permitted despite the embargo, which carries on decades after the Cold War’s end. Americans can still travel on educational and “people to people” trips as well as visits designed to support the Cuban people by patronizing privately owned small businesses that have popped up across the island in recent years.But those travelling to support Cuba’s people must have a daylong schedule of activities designed to expose them to Cubans and steer dollars toward citizens, such as renting rooms in private homes. Those on organized, “people to people” or educational visits must be accompanied by a representative of the U.S.-based group organizing the trip.Vidal, the Cuban diplomat who was the public face of Cuba’s opening with the United States during the Obama administration, said the policy would harm Cuba’s economy, American citizens and U.S. businesses. The rules were also quickly denounced by travel groups and proponents of closer U.S. ties to the island.More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthThe rules come amid deep strains in the U.S.-Cuba relationship stemming from invisible, unexplained attacks that have harmed more than two dozen U.S. government personnel in Havana since 2016. The attacks led the Trump administration to order most of its diplomats to leave Cuba in September and issue a sweeping travel warning urging Americans to stay away.Officials insisted that the new, tougher rules had no connection to the attacks. The U.S. first complained to Cuba’s government about the attacks in February, four months before Trump announced his broader policy intentions.Some exceptions will accommodate Americans who already plan to visit Cuba. Those who booked “people to people” trips before Trump’s June announcement will be exempt, along with Americans who organized education trips before the rules start on Thursday. Business deals already reached with entities on the prohibited list will be allowed to proceed.It’s unclear how aggressively the U.S. will police the new rules. Officials said they would use information obtained from several U.S. agencies to catch violators, who could be subject to penalties and criminal prosecution.The blacklist bars business with the large military-run corporations that dominate the Cuban economy. These include GAESA and CIMEX, holding companies that control most retail business on the island; Gaviota, the largest tourism company; and Habaguanex, which runs Old Havana.With files from The Associated Presslast_img read more

Peertopeer sharing company BitTorrent has taken

first_imgPeer-to-peer sharing company BitTorrent has taken the surprising step of launching an original online drama series that puts it in competition with the likes of Netflix and Amazon.The platform behind the BitTorrentprotocol is best known for allowing users to transfer huge amounts of data over the internet, which has lead various legal issues over illegal file-sharing of media content.However, the firm is now seeking to be seen as a legal distributor of premium content, and has launched its first original web series, according to AdWeek.Children of the Machine is an eight-episode sci-fi from Marco Weber (Igby Goes Down) and takes place in a futuristic society in which androids rule over humans.The male-skewed series, targeted at the largely-male BitTorrent user base, will be available via BitTorrent Bundle, a service that allows IP owners and artists to release content direct to market.The pilot and an ad-supported version of the show will be available for free, with a US$4.95 version skipping theads. For US$9.95 users will receive the series plus bonus content.Six weeks after the pilot is released, the rest of the series will be made available at once, a la the Netflix ‘binge’ model.“This is a science fiction show catered to the typical tech-savvy, male-dominated audience,” said Weber. “We’re not trying to launch a romantic comedy, so the concept of this show moved us toward BitTorrent.”IP owners using BitTorrent bundle gain 90% of the sales revenue, as well as data on the downloaders. There are more than two million legally licensed pieces of content on the site, according to AdWeek.last_img read more

15 Fab Quotes About the Making of Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club

first_imgInspiring Quotes Contributor 6 min read Next Article 15 Fab Quotes About the Making of ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ Bill Schulz Image credit: Bettmann | Getty Images John, Paul, George and Ringo, plus a host of others, give a glimpse into the creation of the landmark record on its 50th anniversary. For those of you who read the news today and thought “oh boy”, here’s a fun distraction: This year/month marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles game-changing Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, culminating in a re-mastered release of the record as well as an hour-long PBS documentary premiering Saturday, June 3rd at 8 p.m. ET. Here are thoughts from the Fab Four themselves, as well as other artists, on the record that re-imagined pop music.Competitive set“The big influence was Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys. I just thought, Oh dear me. This is the album of all time. What the hell are we going to do?” — Paul McCartney Sgt. Pepper’s origin story”We were fed up with being Beatles…we’d now got turned on to pot and thought of ourselves as artists rather than just performers… then suddenly on the plane, I got this idea. I thought, Let’s not be ourselves. Let’s develop alter egos so we’re not having to project an image which we know.” — Paul McCartney Related: The Most Inspiring Quotes from 2017 Commencement SpeechesJust say no“I never took it [LSD] in the studio. We didn’t really shove the LP full of pot and drugs. We were more consciously trying to keep it out. You wouldn’t say, ‘I had some acid, baby, so groovy,’ but there was a feeling that something had happened between Revolver and Sgt. Pepper.’” — John Lennon Lucy was really a girl named Lucy“People later thought ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ was LSD. I swear– we didn’t notice that when it first came out.” — Paul McCartney Related: 11 Inspiring Quotes About What It Means to Be an EntrepreneurUrge to innovate“When I first started in the music business, the ultimate aim for everybody was to try and recreate, on record, a live performance as accurately as possible. Without being too pompous, we decided to go into another kind of art form, where we are devising something that couldn’t be done any other way. We were putting something down on tape that could only be done on tape.” — producer, George Martin Divine intervention“The night we went to record ‘Fixing A Hole’ a guy turned up at my house who announced himself as Jesus. So I took him to the session. You know — couldn’t harm, I thought. Introduced Jesus to the guys. Quite reasonable about it. But that was it. Last we ever saw of Jesus.” — Paul McCartney  No clue what come next”Now that we only play in the studios, and not anywhere else, we have less of a clue what we’re going to do. Nobody knows what the tunes sound like until we’ve recorded them and listen to them afterward.” — George Harrison Related: 9 Surprisingly Inspiring Quotes from ‘Trainspotting’Rating Ringo“[Ringo] Starr is vastly underrated. The drum fills on the song ‘A Day In The Life’ are very complex things. You could take a great drummer today and say ‘I want it like that.’ He wouldn’t know what to do.” — Phil Collins “A Day In The Life” was not a typical day in the life“Brian Jones and Marianne Faithfull were in attendance, along with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Donovan and Mike Nesmith, while a 40-piece orchestra, wearing funny hats and clown noses, generated a tremendous orchestral tsunami the likes of which had never been heard before – certainly not on a pop record.” — journalist Darryn King The concept that wasn’t a concept“’Sgt. Pepper is called the first concept album, but it doesn’t go anywhere. All my contributions to the album have absolutely nothing to do with this idea of Sgt. Pepper and his band, but it works, because we said it worked, and that’s how the album appeared. But it was not put together as it sounds, except for Sgt. Pepper introducing Billy Shears and the so-called reprise. Every other song could have been on any other album.” — John Lennon George wasn’t so curious“I felt we were just in the studio to make the next record, and Paul was going on about this idea of some fictitious band. That side of it didn’t really interest me. The trips to India had really opened me up…I’d been let out of the confines of the group, and it was difficult for me to come back into the sessions…It was a job, like doing something I didn’t really want to do, and I was losing interest in being ‘fab’ at that point.” — George Harrison Related: Inspiring Quotes From ’80s and ’90s MoviesWho invited these people?“I still have no idea who chose some of those people [on the cover]. I think [artist] Peter Blake put a lot of the more confusing people in there. The ones I wanted were people I admired. I didn’t put anybody on there because I didn’t like them (unlike some people…)” — George Harrison Keith just can’t”If you’re the Beatles in the ’60s, you just get carried away — you forget what it is you wanted to do. You’re starting to do Sgt. Pepper. Some people think it’s a genius album, but I think it’s a mishmash of rubbish, kind of like Satanic Majesties — ‘Oh, if you can make a load of shit, so can we.'”  — Keith Richards John’s dark side“It is a diary form of writing. All that ‘I used to be cruel to my woman, I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved’ was me. I used to be cruel to my woman, and physically… any woman. I was a hitter. I couldn’t express myself and I hit. I fought men and I hit women. That is why I am always on about peace, you see. It is the most violent people who go for love and peace.” — John Lennon A little help from John’s hand”I think that was probably the best of our songs that we wrote for Ringo actually. I remember giggling with John as we wrote the lines, ‘What do you see when you turn out the light/ I can’t tell you but I know it’s mine.’ It could have been him playing with his willie under the covers…” — Paul McCartney  –shares June 1, 2017 Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Add to Queue Register Now » Guest Writerlast_img read more

Game Over Oculus Fans Outraged by Facebook Purchase

first_imgVirtual Reality Guest Writer Next Article –shares Game Over? Oculus Fans Outraged by Facebook Purchase Add to Queue Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 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.center_img March 26, 2014 Laura Entis Gamers are a notoriously prickly bunch.But they liked Oculus: When the virtual reality firm asked for $250,000 on Kickstarter to build Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset, gamers responded with love and money, throwing nearly $2.5 million at the project.Oculus was cool; it was scrappy, raised on crowdfunding, the very antithesis of a tech behemoth like Facebook.So when news broke yesterday that Facebook is acquiring Oculus — paying a whopping $2 billion in cash and stock — there was an instant and intense backlash from the gaming community, particularly from those who had backed Oculus’s Kickstarter project.Related: 10 Crowdfunding Success Stories to LoveThe virtual reality firm announced the news on its website, providing users with a space to vent. The Oculus Rift Kickstarter page has also been flooded with diatribes against the sale. Negative comments ranged from the simple: “DO NOT WANT,” to the chiding: “It is immensely disappointing that you have chosen this course, as it clashes directly against what you have been espousing over the past year,” to the, well, dramatic: “YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE THE CHOSEN ONES.” Many simply expressed hope that this was all an elaborate early April Fool’s prank.By accepting Facebook’s offer, many commentators felt Oculus had traded its soul for cash. (“I guess you might as well go full-evil when selling out,” was a typical observation).The general argument, shared by Minecraft creator Marcus Persson, who stated his issues with the acquisition in a blog post, is that Facebook’s intentions are all wrong; a host of commentators stated their concerns that the social network will pollute what would have been a pure gaming product with tacky games and ads.Related: Will Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs Learn With Virtual Reality?But not everyone was upset. A few commentators – although their voices were few and far between – advised everyone to get over it already. “Everyone needs to settle down about this,” wrote one. “No one is saying they will stop developing Oculus for gaming. They needed money and now they have it.”Another put it more bluntly: “A company we like has some money to actually finish their project now. Whatever will we do? You know, besides buy it anyway while we continue to complain about it, just like we’ll all whine about Facebook as if we’re not using it.”For his part, 21-year-old Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey wrote a post on Reddit outlining his reasons for making the sale, essentially telling gamers that the acquisition will enable the company to reach more people at a faster pace.”I’m proud to be a member of this community — thank you all for carrying virtual reality and gaming forward and trusting in us to deliver,” he concluded. “We won’t let you down.”Related: Facebook Buys WhatsApp in Whopping $19 Billion Deal Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand 3 min read Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

Leadspace Acquires ReachForce to Offer Customers Even More Robust B2B Customer Data

first_img acquirationB2B Customer Data Platformsb2b dataLeadspaceMarketing Technology NewsNewsReachForce Previous ArticleCommunity Management Is the Main Course for Hospitality SectorNext ArticleTechBytes with Lauren Maffeo, Associate Principal Analyst at GetApp (a Gartner company) Leadspace Acquires ReachForce to Offer Customers Even More Robust B2B Customer Data Platform PRNewswireJuly 8, 2019, 12:48 pmJuly 8, 2019 As Interest in the B2B CDP Category Heats Up, Leadspace Adds Reachforce’s Offerings and Expertise to Power Customers’ Data-Driven Marketing and Sales Efforts Leadspace, the leading B2B Customer Data Platform, has acquired ReachForce, a private company with complementary B2B data solutions like SmartSuite and SmartForms. Leadspace will add Reachforce team members, technology, and strong customer and industry relationships. They’ll also add an Austin, Texas office to the Leadspace locations in San Francisco, CA and Hod Hasharon, Israel.Leadspace, recently named a “leader” in The Forrester New Wave™: B2B Customer Data Platforms, Q2 2019 report, looks at this acquisition as an opportunity to strengthen its team, expand its offerings, and add to its growing customer community.“ReachForce is a well-respected brand with an experienced team in the B2B marketing tech space,” notes Leadspace CEO, Doug Bewsher. “We’ve known them, and competed against them, over the years, so we’re excited to be joining forces now to move the B2B CDP space even further.”Marketing Technology News: Converge Technology Solutions Acquires Nordisk Systems, Inc.With all of the interest surrounding the CDP category, the ReachForce team saw joining Leadspace as a great next step to where they’d been moving. With the SmartSuite and highly successful SmartForms products, ReachForce customers will now be able to tap into the wide set of data sources and signals on the Leadspace CDP and will also benefit from Leadspace’s advanced AI and analytics offerings for predictive and persona modeling and scoring. “We are excited to join the Leadspace team. The combination results in one of the most comprehensive B2B offerings and clearly establishes the leading B2B Customer Data Platform,” adds former ReachForce CEO, Dion Cornett.The B2C space has blazed a trail with Customer Data Platforms, using them to solve data challenges created by complicated consumer buying and affinity behaviors. Now CDPs are proving their immense value in solving B2B marketing and sales teams’ own unique data challenges – like bridging data silos, creating a single source of truth for company- and person-level business data, and making sense of the data to improve future performance. And with B2B CDP leaders rapidly bolstering their offerings, it’s clear there’s plenty of innovation and advancement ahead.Marketing Technology News: Tapad Partners with Programmatic Buying Platform, Beeswax, to Extend Identity ResolutionRingCentral is one of several companies who have been working with both ReachForce and Leadspace in recent years, and believes in the importance of data-driven marketing. Dave Cowings, Chief Marketing Data Scientist at RingCentral stated: “We’ve loved working with both the Leadspace and Reachforce teams, and we think they’ll fit wonderfully together. We see a lot of value in unifying all the data expertise that the Reachforce team brings on Leadspace’s powerful and flexible platform. More and more companies are starting to see this value too, so we look forward to where the new Leadspace team will take it in the future!”The newly combined teams look forward to expanding the joint customer family, and working on exciting new features coming later this summer.Marketing Technology News: RedPoint Announces Digital Acquisition Platform for Targeted Ad Experienceslast_img read more

Experts release scientific statement on predicting survival for cardiac arrest survivors

first_imgCredit: Getty Images Source:Johns Hopkins Medicine According to the statement, about 8% of the more than 320,000 people who have cardiac arrest outside of a health care setting in the U.S. are released from the hospital with a good outcome, whereas the vast majority of resuscitated patients end up in a coma or another state of consciousness due to brain injury. Most of the deaths are reported as brain injury, yet only 10% of these patients show clinical signs of brain death. Most die from being removed from life support because it’s predicted that they will have little brain function and will most likely not recover.Related StoriesSmarter, more educated people get a cognitive ‘head start’, but aren’t protected from Alzheimer’sJohns Hopkins experts release digital health roadmapLoose double-stranded RNA molecules spur skin rejuvenationCurrently, many physicians wait 48 hours after a cardiac arrest for a patient to awaken from a coma, and some even opt to wait 72 hours. But due to testing limitations and other confounding factors, such as therapeutic hypothermia, predicting an outcome may be biased and premature.During a cardiac arrest, there are two stages of brain injury: One is due to lack of oxygen and the other happens, ironically, after blood returns. Healing may not begin until after the patient has cleared this hurdle, which may take at least a week after the cardiac arrest. This further muddies the decision for how long to wait for a patient to awaken. Sedatives may also influence some of the diagnostics that determine brain function, so the authors generally recommend waiting seven days or until after the patient comes off sedatives, whichever happens later.“One possible reason that every single drug that has been tested in clinical trials to heal brain injury after cardiac arrest may have failed is because the studies are designed to look for these drug effects at 30 or 90 days after successful resuscitation from cardiac arrest, but we don’t allow most of the patients time to recover for that period. Instead, early predictions on recovery (within 72 hours) are made based on low quality studies,” says Geocadin. “By providing this statement, health care providers can use this as a guide to develop better, more rigorous studies that can inform how to undertake better clinical studies that will lead to better practice medicine and develop helpful treatments for our patients.”The authors reviewed the current diagnostics available and their limitations to test brain function, such as assessing reflexes, stimulating sensory nerves in the arm, measuring pupil dilation after shining a penlight in the eye, using electroencephalogram to evaluate for seizures, applying MRI and computerized tomography brain imaging, and more. By using existing or yet to be developed tools properly in better designed studies, they hope researchers can adopt these procedures or enhance them to create better diagnostics for predicting long-term brain function.The statement offers clinician researchers parameters for setting up their studies, such as how many people they need to enroll, what statistical methods to use, when to reassess function in those that do recover, ways to avoid bias and applying protocols consistently.The statement’s final section addresses ethical issues like respecting patient or family wishes for being on life support and do-not-resuscitate orders. The authors address that quality of life is an important factor, and stress that currently there is limited data regarding long term outcomes after awakening and more work needs to be done. Jul 12 2019If a loved one has a heart attack that stops the heart, ends up in a coma, and the treating physician approaches you about taking the person off life support, would you trust that the physician knows when to make the call or how to judge that the person won’t recover? It turns out that the science is rather shaky on when to decide the likelihood of recovery from a coma after the heart stops.center_img We owe it to patients and families to ensure we are doing the best to both not prolong unnecessary suffering while balancing that with not withdrawing care too soon if the person has the potential to recover with a reasonably good quality of life. At the current state of affairs, we have to acknowledge the limitations in our practices in this area because we don’t have high-quality science to back our decision-making.”Romergryko Geocadin, M.D., the chair of the expert panel and professor of neurology, neurosurgery, and anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine To better facilitate research on appropriately determining prognosis after cardiac arrest and to establish better treatments for recovering from brain injury, a working group composed of a Johns Hopkins Medicine physician and American Heart Association (AHA) experts have released a scientific statement that provides best practices on how to predict recovery in comatose survivors. The statement was released in the July 11 issue of Circulation.At this time, there aren’t any rules or set criteria for how to carry out a study to predict recovery. Because of low quality, flawed research, decisions related to current policies may result in prediction errors that may forecast a poor outcome for patients who may have a good outcome, or vice versa. Moreover, the lack of standards for predicting outcomes has made it all but impossible to properly study therapies that could potentially heal the brain and the rest of the body after being resuscitated from cardiac arrest.To develop this scientific statement, the AHA Emergency Cardiovascular Care Science Subcommittee formed an international panel of experts in the adult and pediatric specialties of neurology, cardiology, emergency medicine, intensive care medicine and nursing. The group’s goal is for the clinical research community to develop an accurate, precise clinical test for most patients after resuscitation from a cardiac arrest to determine likely prognosis.last_img read more

A step toward independence from fossil resources

Nature demonstrates how bacteria degrade lignin and provides better understanding to make biofuels Instead of happening as a result of one big discovery, independence from fossil resources will most likely take place gradually. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Bremen have succeeded in taking another step in this direction. The scientists are now able to produce a paint primer on the basis of lignin, which, for example, can be obtained from plant residues. It is free of petrochemical raw materials and therefore has a significantly improved CO2 balance. Lignin is a real alternative to fossil resources in the manufacture of primers and adhesives. Credit: Fraunhofer IFAM 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. Explore further Fossil resources are limited in supply. Nevertheless, the production of many products depends on these finite – often environmentally harmful – resources. Accordingly, there is great demand for raw materials that not only will be a substitute for petrochemical substances, but also have a better environmental compatibility and CO2 balance. Of particular interest are raw materials that are not in competition with the production of foodstuffs or biofuels and, at the same time, are available in large quantities. One example is lignin, which – next to cellulose – is the most abundant natural product. Among other things, lignin is a by-product of paper production. Also large quantities of lignin are produced as a waste product in the production of bioethanol. For the Fraunhofer scientists, it therefore seemed reasonable to create an alternative to petrochemicals by processing lignin, which is renewable, environmentally friendly and available almost without any limit. In the development of alternatives to petrochemical substances, lignin has often attracted the attention of scientists. Due to its challenging properties, though, such efforts with the mechanical wood pulp have so far not prevailed. For example, the exact chemical composition of the lignin mass depends on whether it comes from paper production and is mixed with other substances or whether it is a by-product of biofuel. Accordingly, the production of a substance that always has a similar reaction is highly complex. “Most previous approaches were based on producing lignin monomeric starting materials, which always have the same properties. Due to the different composition of the starting material, this is quite complex,” explains Yvonne Wilke from the Fraunhofer IFAM. “We took a different approach by standardizing and modifying the whole substance. This gives us a raw material that we can say is always the same within certain limits.” The experts from the Fraunhofer IFAM transformed the standardized mixture further and used it as raw material for binders for primer formulations. The result is a primer that has key properties such as corrosion protection, adhesion or applicability comparable to primers based on petrochemicals. Primers made of plant residuesEspecially in times when the call of both manufacturers and end customers for sustainable products is becoming louder, such bio-based solutions are particularly interesting. In the automotive industry, for example, the carbon footprint is an important selling point. Through the use of bio-based primers and paints, this can be significantly improved. And since the lignin-based primer of the Fraunhofer IFAM has comparable properties to those of conventional primers, no compromise would have to be made in terms of quality.”Independence from fossil fuels is a tremendous goal. Especially considering the amount of products that are still based on fossil fuels,” says Wilke. “With our project, we’ve been able to take a few steps in the right direction and to show that lignin is a real alternative in the manufacture of primers and adhesives, as well as that it brings us closer to independence from petrochemicals.” Citation: A step toward independence from fossil resources (2018, February 1) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-independence-fossil-resources.html Provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft read more