Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires

first_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The original report can be seen below. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The Arizona Cardinals’ Week 13 matchup in Philadelphia is supposed to kick off at 11:00 a.m. MST, but according to an Eagles reporter, the game is going to be pushed back later into the evening. NJ.com reporter Eliot Shorr-Parks tweeted Sunday that the Dec. 1 contest will be “flexed” by the league to Sunday night.#Eagles game against Arizona Cardinals is going to be flexed to Sunday night, according to league source. Official announcement to come Mon.— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) November 17, 2013 The Sunday night game currently scheduled for that day is the New York Giants at Washington Redskins at 5:30 MST on NBC.The Cardinals stand at 6-4 after beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-14 Sunday on the road. The Eagles improved to 6-5 Sunday after holding off the Washington Redskins 24-16 at home. The Week 13 game looks to be an important contest for both squads as they try to enhance their playoff chances. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling UPDATE: A new report says the Cardinals-Eagles game will not, in fact, be flexed to Sunday Night Football.Just got word my report #Eagles game is NOT being flexed. My report was inaccurate. I apologize to everyone. #Embarrassed #Eagles— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) November 18, 2013 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Love actually IS all around We see it every day

first_img Love actually IS all around. We see it every day. The problem is that we don’t focus on it. Cooperation is even more common. Think about how few auto accidents there are. With all those thousands of cars driving at high speeds, stopping, starting, and changing lanes, it’s rather miraculous that there aren’t many more accidents. And the reason that there aren’t is that nearly all of us cooperate really well, nearly all of the time. Think about the things we usually complain about. They are times when cooperation or some other type of basic goodness breaks down. We expect cooperation, consideration, and basic responsibility so much that we half freak out when it fails. If You Try… If you try to see the good, you’ll find it everywhere. I drive by a homeless man who goes out of his way to help other homeless guys and to feed animals. I know a businessman who goes far out of his way to help friends, not wishing any kind of repayment. I know many women who are pleased to help their families, many men who are pleased to stop and help someone in trouble, and so on. If you look for it, goodness and decency are actually everywhere. So, for just one day, I challenge you to go out and see the good in the world. Pick your day, watch that clip again, then go out and focus your eyes on the good. I think you’ll get a lot out of it. Paul Rosenberg FreemansPerspective.com A point I’ve made several times in our subscription newsletter is that most people give their attention to the negative things in the world and pass right over the good things. If you think about that for just a moment, it’s easy to understand why people are more disturbed and unhappy than they need to be. In other words, we make ourselves far more miserable than is justified by the actual facts. So, I have a challenge for you (one that I make to myself from time to time as well): Go through a day – one day only – and pay attention to all the good things you see. I am quite sure that ignoring every bad thing for just one day won’t kill you. After all, you give those things your full attention every other day. So, I challenge you to spend just one day looking at the good and looking past the bad. Some Help Getting Started To help you get into the right frame of mind, here’s a short clip from the movie Love Actually. Please take the one minute or so required to watch it. last_img read more

Gene therapy is showing promise for treating one o

first_imgGene therapy is showing promise for treating one of the most common genetic disorders.Results of a study published Wednesday show that 15 of 22 patients with beta-thalassemia who got gene therapy were able to stop or sharply reduce the regular blood transfusions they had needed to alleviate their life-threatening anemia. There were no serious side effects.”We’re extraordinarily excited about these early results,” says Alexis Thompson, a professor of pediatrics at the Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, who helped with the study released Wednesday.”For the first time ever, we have a treatment that we might offer to all our patients,” says Mark Walters of the University of California, San Francisco, who also helped conduct the study.The researchers stress, however, that more research is needed to fully evaluate how well the treatment works and how safe it is.Still, the company that’s developing the treatment, Bluebird Bio of Cambridge, Mass., plans to seek approval of the treatment in Europe by the end of the year, a spokeswoman said in an email.An estimated 288,000 people have beta-thalassemia worldwide, which makes the disease one of the most common genetic disorders. It’s found most often in Mediterranean countries, the Middle East, Asia, India, and parts of Africa and South America. In the United States, about 10,000 to 15,000 patients have beta-thalassemia.The disease is caused by a defect in a gene that impairs the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen to tissues in the body. Blood transfusions can provide new blood cells that can supply needed oxygen and enable patients to live relatively normal lives. But transfusions can cause complications, including the build-up of dangerous levels of iron in the body.There are treatments to reduce the iron, but both the transfusions and the iron treatments are difficult to get in some parts of the world where the disease is most common. Some patients also undergo a bone marrow transplant, but only if they have a matching donor. That’s also not feasible in many countries.In the Bluebird Bio treatment, blood stem cells are taken from patients and modified by a virus that inserts a working copy of the gene that is defective in people with beta-thalassemia. The patients receive chemotherapy to remove the blood stem cells with defective genes from their bodies, then the modified stem cells carrying the proper gene are infused to replace them.In the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, all but one of the 13 patients who had a less severe form of beta-thalassemia were able to completely stop receiving blood transfusions, the researchers reported.Three of the remaining nine patients with a more severe form of the illness were also able to stop transfusions while the rest sharply reduced the frequency of the transfusions. The treatment was tested on patients in the United States, Australia and Thailand.Some of the patients have been followed for more than three years and so far there have been no signs of any serious side effects from the gene therapy, the researchers reported. The researchers stressed, however, that they will continue to be monitored for years for any long-term risks.After a roller-coaster history of high hopes and major disappointments, the field of gene therapy has finally started showing promise for several conditions. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved Luxturna, the first gene therapy for a genetic disorder, to treat a rare inherited form of blindness.”It’s more good news for the gene therapy field,” says P.J. Brooks of the National Institutes of Health, which helped fund the research. A similar approach could be used to treat other blood disorders, such as sickle cell anemia, Brooks says.The new results mark “one of the first examples in which gene therapy could be applied to a large population of patients,” noted Dr. Alessandra Biffi of the Harvard Medical School. She wrote an editorial accompanying the research in the New England Journal of Medicine.But one concern could be the cost. Luxturna costs $425,000 to treat each eye. Bluebird Bio hasn’t said how much the beta-thalassemia treatment might cost. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Bits of human brain tissue no larger than a pea ar

first_imgBits of human brain tissue no larger than a pea are forcing scientists to think about questions as large as the nature of consciousness.These clusters of living brain cells are popularly known as minibrains, though scientists prefer to call them cerebral organoids. At the moment, they remain extremely rudimentary versions of an actual human brain and are used primarily to study brain development and disorders like autism.But minibrain research is progressing so quickly that scientists need to start thinking about the potential implications now, says Nita Farahany, a professor of law and philosophy at Duke University and the director of Duke Science and Society.”Is it possible that an organoid far off in the future could develop something that looks like consciousness or any kind of sentience, the ability to feel something like pain,” she says.Farahaney and 16 other prominent scientists, ethicists and philosophers posed this question and many others in a commentary in this week’s issue of the journal Nature.Minibrains are usually created by transforming skin cells from a person into neural stem cells. These stem cells can grow into a range of structures like those found in the human brain, and even form networks of cells that communicate.At the moment these lab-grown minibrains are limited to a few million cells and don’t get much larger than a pea. In contrast, the human brain is thousands of times larger and contains about 85 billion cells.”Right now they’re pretty good proxies for being able to study how certain kinds of human neurons interact with each other and grow and develop over time,” Farahany says. “But they are still far from what an actual human brain would look like.”Yet already, minibrains are helping scientists do remarkable things, Farahany says.”If you’re talking about something like schizophrenia or autism, if you want to model those things, it is difficult to do so with animal models and it is ethically impossible in many instances to do so with living humans,” She says. But it is possible to grow a minibrain from cells with genetic mutations associated with like autism and watch how it develops.Minibrain experiments also helped scientists figure out how the Zika virus interferes with normal brain development, Farahany says.And just this month, a team at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif., published evidence that a human minibrain transplanted into a mouse brain could develop functioning blood vessels. That would, in theory, allow scientists to grow much larger minibrains.So it’s clear the potential of the field is huge, Farahany says. But so are the ethical questions surrounding brain cells that live and grow outside the human body.One area of concern involves the practice of transplanting human brain tissue into animals. That could eventually lead to, say, mice with exceptional mental abilities, Farahany says.So now, she says, is when scientists and society needs to start asking questions like, “How comfortable are we with certain kinds of hybrids we’re creating and does that change the way we regard those animals or the kinds of protections that should be afforded to them.”For example, researchers may need some guidance on what research rules apply to enhanced lab mouse, Farahany says. Do they assume it’s like a typical lab mouse, which can be killed at the end of an experiment? Or do these mice enjoy the protections given to chimps, which are allowed to retire after their time in research is done?The commentary doesn’t offer answers to those questions, or any specific guidelines for research. Instead, it is intended as a way of guiding future discussions about minibrains and other efforts to replicate the functions of a human brain.”This is really the time to get out ahead of these ethical issues before it becomes deeply problematic to proceed without having addressed them,” Farahany says. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

A global megacorporation best known for BandAids

first_imgA global megacorporation best known for Band-Aids and baby powder may have to pay billions for its alleged role in the opioid crisis. Johnson & Johnson was the sole defendant in a closely-watched trial that wrapped up in Oklahoma state court this week, with a decision expected later this summer. The ruling in the civil case could be the first that would hold a pharmaceutical company responsible for one of the worst drug epidemics in American history.Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter’s lawsuit alleges Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals helped ignite the opioid crisis with overly aggressive marketing, leading to thousands of overdose deaths over the past decade in Oklahoma alone.The trial took place over seven weeks in the college town of Norman. Instead of a jury, a state judge heard the case.During closing arguments Monday, Hunter called the company the “kingpin” of the opioid crisis.”What is truly unprecedented here is the conduct of these defendants on embarking on a cunning, cynical and deceitful scheme to create the need for opioids,” Hunter said.The state urged Judge Thad Balkman, who presided over the civil trial for seven weeks, to find Johnson & Johnson liable for creating a “public nuisance” and force the company to pay more than $17 billion over 30 years to abate the public health crisis in the state.Driving the opioid crisis home has been a cornerstone of the Oklahoma’s lawsuit. In closing arguments Monday, one of the state’s attorneys, Brad Beckworth, cited staggering prescribing statistics in Cleveland County, where the trial took place.”What we do have in Cleveland County is 135 prescription opioids for every adult,” Beckworth explained. “Those didn’t get here from drug cartels. They got here from one cartel: the pharmaceutical industry cartel. And the kingpin of it all is Johnson & Johnson.”Johnson & Johnson’s attorney Larry Ottaway, rejected that idea in his closing argument, saying the company’s products, which had included the fentanyl patch Duragesic and the opioid-based pill Nucynta, were minimally used in Oklahoma.He scoffed at the idea that physicians in the state were convinced to unnecessarily prescribe opioids due to the company’s marketing tactics.”The FDA label clearly set forth the risk of addiction, abuse and misuse that could lead to overdose and death. Don’t tell me that doctors weren’t aware of the risks,” Ottaway said.Ottaway played video testimony from earlier in the trial, showing Oklahoma doctors who said they were not misled about the drugs’ risks before prescribing them.”Only a company that believes its innocence would come in and defend itself against a state, but we take the challenge on because we believe we are right,” Ottaway said in his closing argument.Johnson & Johnson fought on after settlementsInitially, Hunter’s lawsuit included Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. In March, Purdue Pharma settled with the state for $270 million. Soon after, Hunter dropped all but one of the civil claims, including fraud, against the two remaining defendants.Just two days before the trial began, another defendant, Teva Pharmaceuticals of Jerusalem, announced an $85 million settlement with the state. The money will be used for litigation costs and an undisclosed amount will be allocated “to abate the opioid crisis in Oklahoma,” according to a press release from Hunter’s office.Both companies deny any wrongdoing.The legal liability of ‘public nuisance’Most states and more than 1,600 local and tribal governments are suing drugmakers who manufactured various kinds of opioid medications, and drug distributors. They are trying to recoup billions of dollars spent addressing the human costs of opioid addiction.”Everyone is looking to see what’s going to happen with this case, whether it is going to be tobacco all over again, or whether it’s going to go the way the litigation against the gun-makers went,” says University of Georgia law professor Elizabeth Burch.But the legal strategy is complicated. Unlike the tobacco industry, from which states won a landmark settlement, the makers of prescription opioids manufacture a product that serves a legitimate medical purpose, and is prescribed by highly trained physicians — a point that Johnson & Johnson’s lawyers made numerous times during the trial.Oklahoma’s legal team based its entire case on a claim of public nuisance, which refers to actions that harm members of the public, including injury to public health. Burch says each state has its own public nuisance statute, and Oklahoma’s is very broad.”Johnson & Johnson, in some ways, is right to raise the question: If we’re going to apply public nuisance to us, under these circumstances, what are the limits?” Burch says. “If the judge or an appellate court sides with the state, they are going to have to write a very specific ruling on why public nuisance applies to this case.”Burch says the challenge for Oklahoma has been to tie one opioid manufacturer to all of the harms caused by the ongoing public health crisis, which includes people struggling with addiction to prescription drugs, but also those harmed by illegal street opioids, such as heroin.University of Kentucky law professor Richard Ausness agrees that it’s difficult to pin all the problems on just one company.”Companies do unethical or immoral things all the time, but that doesn’t make it illegal,” Ausness says.If the judge rules against Johnson & Johnson, Ausness says, it could compel other drug companies facing litigation to settle out of court. Conversely, a victory for the drug giant could embolden the industry in the other cases.Earlier in the trial, the state’s expert witness, Dr. Andrew Kolodny, testified that Johnson & Johnson did more than push its own pills — until 2016, it also profited by manufacturing raw ingredients for opioids and then selling them to other companies, including Purdue, which makes Oxycontin.”Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers have been stealing the spotlight, but Johnson & Johnson in some ways, has been even worse,” Kolodny testified.Kolodny says that’s why the company downplayed to doctors the risks of opioids as a general class of drugs, knowing that almost any opioid prescription would benefit its bottom line.The state’s case also focused on the role of drug sales representatives. Drue Diesselhorst was one of Johnson & Johnson’s busiest drug reps in Oklahoma. Records discussed during the trial showed she continued to call on Oklahoma doctors who had been disciplined by the state for overprescribing opioids. She even continued to meet with doctors who had patients who died from overdoses.But Diesselhorst testified she didn’t know about the deaths, and no one ever instructed her to stop targeting those high-prescribing physicians.”My job was to be a sales rep. My job was not to figure out the red flags,” she said on the witness stand.The role and responsibility of doctorsThroughout the trial, Johnson & Johnson’s defense team avoided many of the broader accusations made by the state, instead focusing on the question of whether the specific opioids manufactured by the company could have caused Oklahoma’s high rates of addiction and deaths from overdose.Johnson & Johnson’s lawyer, Larry Ottaway, argued the company’s opioid products had a smaller market share in the state compared to other pharmaceutical companies, and he stressed that the company made every effort when the drugs were tested to prevent abuse. He also pointed out that the sale of both the raw ingredients and prescription opioids themselves are heavily regulated.”This is not a free market,” he said. “The supply is regulated by the government.”Ottaway maintained the company was addressing the desperate medical need of people suffering from debilitating, chronic pain — using medicines regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Even Oklahoma purchases these drugs, for use in state health care services.Next stepsJudge Thad Balkman is expected to announce a verdict in August.If the state’s claim prevails, Johnson & Johnson could, ultimately, have to spend billions of dollars in Oklahoma helping to ease the epidemic. State attorneys are asking that the company pay $17.5 billion over 30 years, to help abate” the crisis in the state.Balkman could choose to award the full amount, or just some portion of it, if he agrees with the state’s claim.”You know, in some ways I think it’s the right strategy to go for the $17 billion,” Burch says. “[The state is saying] look, the statute doesn’t limit it for us, so we’re going to ask for everything we possibly can.”In the case of a loss, Johnson & Johnson is widely expected to appeal the verdict. If Oklahoma loses, the state will appeal, Attorney General Mike Hunter said Monday.This story is part of NPR’s reporting partnership with StateImpact Oklahoma and Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit news service of the Kaiser Family Foundation. KHN is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

Disabled people have been left demoralised and fr

first_imgDisabled people have been left “demoralised and frustrated” by the housing system and face a “chronic shortage” of accessible homes, according to a new report by the equality and human rights watchdog.More than 350,000 disabled people in England have unmet housing needs, with one-third of those in rented accommodation living in unsuitable properties, says the report.There are also about 17,000 wheelchair-users in Scotland with unmet housing needs, while there is “a severe shortage” of accessible and wheelchair-accessible housing in Wales.Despite this, fewer than one in four local authorities (22 per cent) have an accessible housing register, while only 28 per cent have a target for accessible housing.The report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) follows an 18-month formal inquiry and calls on the government to draw up a national strategy to ensure an adequate supply of new homes built to inclusive design standards.The report – Housing and disabled people: Britain’s hidden crisis – also says there is “unacceptable bureaucracy and delay” in the system of installing home adaptations.EHRC published separate reports on the crisis in housing for disabled people in both Scotland and Wales.The report on Britain warns of “insufficient attention given to those currently in residential care who wish to live independently and could do so with the right support”.And it says that provision of advice, support and advocacy is “patchy”, with disabled people reporting that they have nowhere to turn when in crisis or when their housing is unsuitable, while navigating the complex systems for allocating housing and securing adaptations is “stressful and challenging”.It concludes: “Progress to ensure that disabled people have accessible homes that support their right to independent living is unlikely to be made unless disabled people are actively engaged in shaping housing policy and practice.”And it adds: “The human and economic costs of inaccessible housing can be avoided if disabled people’s requirements are identified and built into planning and delivery of new housing supply.”The inquiry heard accounts of disabled people eating, sleeping and bathing in one room, and of having to be carried around their inaccessible homes by relatives.One disabled person who contributed to the inquiry said they had not been outside their second-floor flat since 2011 – apart from essential hospital trips – because there was no lift and the flat was not wheelchair-accessible.A second respondent to the inquiry’s call for evidence described how they were unable to access their children’s room and other parts of the house and could not use their wheelchair because their home was so inaccessible.And one disabled respondent said: “I have been on my local authority [housing] list for seven years, but there has never been a suitable property available in that time.“So for the past two years I have been reduced to having my hair washed in a bowl while sat on my toilet.”The report says that while more than two-thirds of local authorities say that developers do not always comply with accessibility requirements, only seven local authorities (three per cent) have taken action against a developer in the last three years.In addition to the demand for a national strategy, the report calls on the UK government to produce mandatory planning guidance for local authorities on assessing need and delivering accessible and adaptable housing, and wheelchair-accessible housing.And it says the government should amend building regulations so that the optional M4(2) accessibility standard – a series of design criteria intended to make homes more easily adaptable for lifetime use – is instead a mandatory minimum standard for all new housing.Government figures show this would increase construction costs by just £1,100 per home.It also says the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments should all require local authorities to ensure a minimum of 10 per cent of new-build homes are built to higher wheelchair-accessible standards.And it says the three governments should provide funding to disabled people’s organisations and advice agencies so they can increase provision of independent advice and information on housing.The report welcomes the UK government’s decision to increase funding for disabled facilities grants (DFGs) from £220 million in 2015-16 to £505 million in 2019-20 and incorporate the funding into a joint health and social care budget, the Better Care Fund, with the aim of doubling the number of grants to 85,000 by 2020.DFGs provide funding to make disabled people’s homes more accessible, for example by widening doorways, installing ramps or providing a downstairs bathroom.But the report adds: “The increase in funding is an important step, but we heard evidence that the slow and cumbersome nature of the DFG process often leads to people spending extended periods in hospital beyond their discharge date or being discharged into unsuitable accommodation.”EHRC says its findings “raise alarming concerns that disabled people’s right to independent living is being heavily restricted by unsuitable and unsafe housing”.The findings mirror those of the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD), which highlighted concerns last August about possible breaches in Britain of both article nine (on accessibility) and article 19 (on independent living) of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.CRPD warned that austerity measures had “hindered the advancement of accessibility” and raised concerns about “the reduction in social protection schemes related to housing, household income and budgets for independent living”.Kamran Mallick, chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said: “This research shows some of the fundamental issues we face on a day-to-day basis.“Appropriate housing is key to independent living and creating choice and control for disabled people.“But it’s also better for the tax payer. Better housing options mean disabled people are less likely to seek support from hard-pressed health and social care providers.“The same is true if we develop ways to ensure the swift provision of aids and adaptations when people become disabled.“We need clear standards for developers and designers so we begin to see the establishment of more lifetime homes; and better policing and support for private landlords, who have a huge slice of the rental market.”Heather Fisken, manager of Independent Living in Scotland, which is part of Inclusion Scotland, said: “This is indeed a hidden crisis. Disabled people living in unsuitable housing are denied their human rights to participate in and contribute to their communities. “Living in inaccessible housing can mean not getting outside at all or only rarely, or even being forced to move to a care home.“The EHRC’s recommendations echo Inclusion Scotland’s own report Our Place, Our Space which called on Scottish government to introduce a national target for new build houses built to wheelchair accessible standards, and for a new accessible housing design standard. “Without urgent policy change and investment, the situation is set to get worse as the population ages and housing stocks depreciate.”Disability Wales also welcomed the reports and called for “urgent action”.A Disability Wales spokesperson said: “There are far too many examples where disabled people are unable to move around their own home due to its inaccessibility.   “This is having a huge impact on disabled people’s health and well-being, their ability to engage in community life and access employment.“Having a suitable place to live is a basic need and a human right.”The EHRC reports come less than two months after the government rejected a series of recommendations made by the Commons women and equalities committee, following its inquiry on disability and the built environment.Maria Miller, the Tory MP who chairs that committee, said the government’s decision to reject those recommendations had left disabled people to face “unacceptable barriers to independent living, often making them feel isolated and forgotten”.She said: “I welcome the findings of this inquiry and hope that it will act as another much-needed wake up call for ministers.”A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government said: “We realise many disabled people can face a variety of obstacles in their daily lives, but we’re clear that their homes should not be one of these.“That’s why we’re providing councils with almost £1 billion over the next two years to adapt properties for disabled people so they can live independently and safely.“Our planning rules make clear councils must take the needs of elderly and disabled people into account when planning new homes in their area.”Picture © Equality and Human Rights Commissionlast_img read more

Google Wants to Help Style Your Outfit

first_imgGoogle Register Now » Image credit: Google via PC Mag Next Article April 14, 2017 Angela Moscaritolo Been eyeing a cute blush pink purse from Zara, but have no clue what you’d actually wear it with? You could always consult Pinterest for styling ideas, but now there’s another option: Google.The web giant on Thursday introduced a new feature called “style ideas” that aims to deliver sartorial inspiration inside Image Search. The feature is available in the Google app for Android and on the mobile web. Now, as you’re browsing fashion product images, Image Search will “surface a grid of inspirational lifestyle images and outfits that showcase how the product can be worn in real life,” Google Associate Product Manager Julia Enthoven wrote in a blog post.With this new feature, “you can see real-life options of what bag and jeans look stellar with those red high heels you’ve been eyeing,” Enthoven wrote. “Or if running gear is more your speed, no sweat — workout ensemble ideas are just a tap away.”Google will also now display an expanded carousel of “similar items” when you’re searching for specific apparel products. This way, you can find something that looks like the budget-busting Kate Spade bag you’ve been drooling over, but with a more affordable price tag.”Whether you’re researching shorts and sneakers or checking out sunglasses and handbags, you’ll be able to find product offerings that may suit your tastes,” Enthoven wrote. “Uncovering a bargain option without sacrificing style is now accessible right from Image Search.”The new feature comes after Google last year brought shopping ads to Image Search. –shares Reportercenter_img 2 min read Google Wants to Help Style Your Outfit Add to Queue Step aside, Pinterest. Google is bringing styling ideas to Image Search. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. This story originally appeared on PCMaglast_img read more

Take the Energy of NASAs RecordBreaking Mission With You Into 2019

first_img Take the Energy of NASA’s Record-Breaking Mission With You Into 2019 Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture. January 2, 2019 3 min read Apply Now » Goals Add to Queue Entrepreneur Staff At 12:33 a.m. EST on New Year’s Day, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft performed the most distant flyby by any spacecraft ever. The mission was to capture images of Ultima Thule, an icy minor planet in the Kuiper belt, which is believed to date back to the beginning of the solar system.Ultima Thule is a nickname for the world — it’s technically classified as 2014 MU69 — which aptly means “distant places beyond the known world.” It is 20 miles wide, and based on the photos the spacecraft has transmitted back 4 billion miles to us here on Earth, is kind of shaped like a giant jelly bean or a bowling pin.First image of #UltimaThule! At left is a composite of two images taken by @NASANewHorizons, which provides the best indication of Ultima Thule’s size and shape so far (artist’s impression on right). More photos to come on Jan 2nd! https://t.co/m9ys0VhmLA pic.twitter.com/qZu0KL8uJB— Johns Hopkins APL (@JHUAPL) January 1, 2019New Horizons completed its first mission back in 2015 — nine years after its launch in 2006 — when it became the first spacecraft to fly past Pluto. And this successful trip, headed up by a team from Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, to Ultima Thule fell on a major space exploration milestone, the week of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8’s historic first orbit of the moon.In The New York Times, Dr. Alan Stern, the planetary scientist at NASA that leads the project, meditated about the significance of both.Related: The 10 Things You Must Do to Achieve Your Goals“Ultima Thule is 17,000 times as far away as the ‘giant leap’ of Apollo’s lunar missions. The exploration at Ultima Thule is a fitting way to honor the brash exploration and boldness that was Apollo,” Stern wrote. “Cast an eye upward and think for a moment about the amazing things our country and our species can do when we set our minds to it.”As you begin to work on making your 2019 goals a reality, get inspired by New Horizons. Remember that you’re not going to be able to do it alone — Stern noted that it took 2,500 people to design and build Horizons.You might have to play the long game and even then, the first step might not look like much. As project scientist Hal Weaver commented at the press conference following the flyby, “Even though it’s a pixelated blob still, it’s a better pixelated blob.” If you keep going, who knows what you could learn or what could be possible.center_img Next Article Nina Zipkin How many miles will you go with your goals this year? The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Image credit: Joel Kowsky | NASA | Getty Images –shareslast_img read more

TechBytes with Jacob Ross President at PebblePost

first_imgPebblePost is the leading digital-to-direct mail marketing platform. We capture online interest and intent data to send relevant direct mail that activates buying decisions at home and drives conversions everywhere.We invented Programmatic Direct Mail® to help brands convert more shoppers into buyers using advanced targeting, algorithmic optimization, attribution and quantitative analysis. PebblePost® is a venture-backed company based in NYC. Tell us about your role and the team/technology you handle at PebblePost?I joined PebblePost as President, in April. In my new role, I’ll partner closely with CEO Lewis Gersh and the team to drive growth and innovation for the company’s digital-to-direct mail marketing platform.I have been in the AdTech and MarTech space for many years, and have been fortunate enough to be on the cutting edge of digital marketing becoming more addressable, performance-driven and also accountable (although the latter is very much a work in progress, as I’m sure most industry insiders will agree).After five years at MediaMath, most recently as Chief Product Officer, I recognized the huge opportunity that PebblePost had harnessed in the space: where the digital world and the physical world intersect. As marketing becomes more digital and digital marketing becomes more addressable, the next frontier is being explored where those worlds come together: television and connected TV, radio and streaming audio, out of home and digital out of home, and, of course, direct mail and Programmatic Direct Mail (a term PebblePost coined as inventors of the space).PebblePost has identified a unique market position, and we’re just getting started. My role is to take our CEO Lewis’ enduring vision of ‘bringing good marketing home’ and make it a reality, with the right strategy, plan, and team to fully realize it. We have a responsibility as the category leaders to build great experiences for both brands and consumers that are effective, respectful and relevant. Given that remit, most of the team will roll up to me, from engineering to sales to Business Intelligence.How did you start your journey in the Technology industry?I fell into this wonderful, unique industry by chance. I was working on Wall Street, putting my Literature degree to good use, as a trader and analyst on a trading desk. I have always had a passion for markets of all sorts, and technology. When a friend told me about Right Media (the first real ad exchange), I was immediately hooked. He described it as a real-time marketplace for the buying and selling of ads, using cutting edge technology, that did more volume than all the world’s stock exchanges combined and ran 24/7/365. My first job was convincing publishers and agencies to adopt a bid-based philosophy and technology (we didn’t call it ‘programmatic’ quite yet) to help them run their businesses more effectively.I had a chance to work with a series of other leading companies in the years since, from Demand Media to Criteo to MediaMath; each of them has played a critical role in pioneering the evolution of digital advertising and creating new solutions for our young but rapidly maturing industry.What is the current technology roadmap to build powerful ROI-centric Marketing, Sales and Advertising stacks?Great question. Many companies struggle with actually providing clear ROI. The solution has a few necessary components. First, there must be clear, measurable goals, and the technology has to be able to hit that goal. Second, there has to be a way to measure performance. Third, the entire offering and experience must be grounded in how companies measure success and need their marketing departments to drive that success, so at the heart of it all, we solve a company growth problem, not just a mathematical equation.In PebblePost, I’ve already seen evidence of all three. We have developed intellectual property to harness and use digital data signals that results in highly effective (and respectful) mail. The solution is fully integrated. We are solving more and more parts of this brand measurement challenge with each product release.The challenge we came to in the early days was that the performance was so good that the results were hard to believe! We invested heavily here, developing strong data science and BI team with experienced leadership in Hongyan Jing and Bridget Gola, and we committed to holding ourselves accountable to both ROI and incrementality. Incrementality is so powerful – it is a way to measure the precise impact of a marketing tactic on overall ROI. PebblePost has consistent positive incrementality – that means the more our brands spend with us, the more they drive revenue, and we can prove that.Finally, our brands are looking for more than a report, they need to know that we deeply understand their business objectives and that their marketing efforts are making the impact that they need. When we get to know a new brand we try to understand this upfront, and when we share the results we make sure it aligns with what we are aiming for. We talk about ROI, ROAS, etc. But what we aim to deliver in every brand engagement is improved business outcomes. That is ‘true ROI.’What are the key Advertising Analytics/metrics that Digital Advertising and Marketing teams should be keenly following?We start with what most of our brands are measuring. They are looking to acquire new customers and delight their current customers. They want to achieve this effectively and respectfully. With all the fragmentation present in the industry today, all proxy metrics (and self-judged results) should be looked at with some skepticism. That’s why we believe strongly in metrics directly impacting business outcomes: sales. Our brands are measuring sales by looking at ROI, ROAS, and other metrics. We believe strongly in incremental lift measurement as well, and we conduct transparent incrementality analysis for almost all our brands now.The other challenge we have seen is that digital-only metrics are often not sufficient. Our Transaction Match Analysis, a proprietary study we do for every brand we work with now, looks at true sales holistically, wherever the customer was, to understand the true impact. We do this transparently for the brand. This gives our clients more confidence that their marketing efforts are really working, without smoke and mirrors.How is PebblePost’s strategy transforming the way modern brands do their Marketing and Sales?PebblePost is helping to connect the physical and digital worlds and make-at-home marketing a more effective, relevant experience. We do that by using data and decisioning to ensure that we only send mail to the most interested consumers, and we help mail move closer to the speed of digital. Brands who work with us are looking for modern solutions to modern problems, and we are working to deliver that every day. With brands like Dyson, Boxed.com, Parachute and many more we’ve already delivered – but we’re just getting started.Tell us more about your expertise in AI and Machine Learning initiatives for Marketing and Sales Intelligence.So much has been said about Machine Learning, so I want to try to say something new and useful here as a business leader, as opposed to a technical expert. I’ve been fortunate to work in innovative companies with very smart teams who are at the forefront of how to use data science to make better decisions, at scale.At Right Media, we used various Machine Learning techniques to predict the probability a user would take a certain action that, among other things allowed us to innovate a new pricing type: dynamic CPM (dCPM). This conferred great benefits to brands and publishers because it allowed a ‘true price’ to be paid.At Demand Media, we built an incredible content platform. We were publishing 10,000 articles per day, and our content technology allowed us to predict and optimize how useful each piece of content would be for the 150MM+ visitors to our sites each month. This informed what content we would create, allowing AI to guide our content strategy, as it were. Of course, we integrated our ad strategy into this stack.At Criteo, we employed incredibly powerful Machine Learning to predict both how likely a user would be to convert on an ad that they saw, and the actual content that the ad showed. This powerful personalization and targeting drove incredible performance.Finally, at MediaMath, we built both prediction and recommendation algorithms that could be used in a variety of scenarios, but we also built a Machine Learning platform that allows others to plug in their own algorithms. As the market has progressed it’s less about having one great Machine Learning algorithm, but more about allowing the variety of use cases and technologies out there to learn and compete for the best insights and performance out there. I’m still very excited about the partnership that MediaMath has with IBM’s Watson.At PebblePost that evolution continues, with the machine learning being laser-focused on driving the best performance in the digital-to-physical worlds. It’s incredibly powerful, and we’ll be sharing a lot more about this topic soon.What are the biggest challenges in measuring the ROI of Marketing and Advertising?Aside from the technical and analytical challenges we discussed above, we are looking at a moment of real maturation for the industry, in MarTech and tech more broadly.None of us will be successful if we don’t take consumer privacy and the security of consumer’s data seriously. Between the increasingly central role large tech companies have in our society, consumers who are fed up with the feeling that their data is out of their hands, and changing behaviors overall, we have arrived at incredibly important crossroads as an industry.At PebblePost we put consumer privacy and security first as we believe that how we approach these challenges in the next year or two will determine how effectively we can make marketing a progressive force for good and growth.How do you prepare your team to leverage analytics and technology for Search, Display, and Programmatic?PebblePost is a technology company, and in that, we have to be at the forefront. In addition to the technical expertise we have in our engineering, data science and BI teams, we’ve adopted tools and processes and training to help ensure those technical skill sets are married with a deep understanding of industry context.What is your prediction on the disruptive application of Video and TV Advertising Analytics in B2B and B2C marketing initiatives?The home is certainly a huge focus for many in the space: how do we market effectively and respectfully to consumers as devices proliferate, everyone spends more time online, and ways of consuming content continue to become more personal and tailored?I predict the trend will continue and accelerate, although new measurement standards will need to emerge that are omnichannel in nature, and purpose-built for the world we live in today.PebblePost is pushing the envelope on this frontier as well, focused on better at-home marketing experiences for consumers. We welcome the innovation we see in this space and will be building new offerings for our brands alongside TV, radio, and other at-home focused solutions. About JacobAbout PebblePostAbout Jacob About PebblePost Jacob will be responsible for accelerating PebblePost’s growth even further, and to prepare the company for the next stage. He is responsible for the near-term success of the business managing sales, customer success, marketing, operations, business intelligence, product, and engineering. Given the rapid growth this New York headquartered leading digital-to-direct mail marketing platform company is experiencing, another priority is to bring people in to help them with the next phase of growth. Direct MailJacob RossPebblepostTech Bytes Previous ArticleSpotX and Mediaocean Announce Integration Giving TV Buyers Direct Pipeline to Premium Video SupplyNext ArticleDun & Bradstreet Survey Reveals One in Five Businesses Loses Revenue and Customers Due to Incomplete Data TechBytes with Jacob Ross, President at PebblePost Sudipto GhoshJune 25, 2019, 1:00 pmJune 24, 2019 last_img read more

Kings scientists to monitor air quality exposure of 250 children

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 19 2019A new study by King’s scientists will monitor air quality exposure of 250 children on their way to school and in the classroom. The announcement was made today at Haimo Primary School in Greenwich by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who is funding the study.Led by Dr Ben Barratt from the Environmental Research Group at King’s, the study will use state-of-the-art toxic air monitoring backpacks developed by Dyson, to help monitor and better understand the levels of toxic air young Londoners are exposed to during their journeys to school and in the classroom.250 pupils from five London primary schools, situated across five boroughs (Southwark, Richmond, Greenwich, Haringey and Hammersmith and Fulham) will take part in the project, wearing specially adapted backpacks to and from school for a week.Weighing just over 1kg, the sensors fit into lightweight bags and measure particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels. The children involved will use the backpacks like a normal bag (the monitor takes up one pocket, leaving plenty of room for school equipment), allowing the monitors to record pollutant levels on each child’s journey to school and throughout the school day.The data from this study will allow King’s scientists to analyse at which point of their journey to school (or which part of their school day) children are exposed to the most pollution. They will also be able to the compare the exposure of children who have similar journeys but take different routes and travel modes and then make recommendations of how children can reduce their exposure in future.Dr Ben Barratt from King’s said: “Air pollution has been found to restrict lung growth in children. Low lung function in childhood can persist into adulthood and is often associated with other health problems including chronic obstructive lung disease in later life.”Analysing the impact of air pollution and providing information to our local, national and international communities is a core component of King’s civic responsibility. By monitoring the air that children breathe on the journey to and from school, we will gain a better understanding of which pollutants are the most harmful and where they are coming from, helping us to support effective improvements in public health.”The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “It remains a shameful fact that London’s toxic air is harming the lung growth and health of our young children, and City Hall is determined to do everything in our power to protect them.Related StoriesWhy Mattresses Could be a Health Threat to Sleeping ChildrenResearch reveals genetic cause of deadly digestive disease in childrenResearch team receives federal grant to study obesity in children with spina bifida”An issue this large and complex requires bold and innovative action to protect future generations and ensure our children inherit cleaner, healthier air. I’m proud that we’re able to launch world leading studies like this which will help us find new ways to reduce children’s exposure to toxic air. I hope the success of this scheme will act as a blueprint for cities around the world as they battle their own toxic air emergencies.”The health of London’s children is key to everything we do to improve air quality. We’ve already conducted air quality audits at dozens of schools and nurseries across London,resulting in positive changes that are helping reduce pollution and clean the air for thousands of pupils. But alongside these measures, we need strong action, I will continue to prioritise the health of all Londoners with a range of strong measures including cleaning up the bus fleet, funding a scrappage scheme for micro-businesses to remove the most polluting vans and, next month, the launch of the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone in the central London Congestion Charge area. But we can’t win this battle without more help from the Government, who are still failing to take this problem seriously and offer the support London needs to tackle this public health crisis.”The new sensors have been developed by Dyson engineers in co-operation with King’s as part of the Mayor’s Breathe London project – launched in January.Jessica Le Dinh, Category Intelligence Engineer, Dyson, said: “Our engineers have been researching clean air technologies for over two decades. Our team of experts applied their leading knowledge to develop intelligent sensors, compact enough to fit in children’s backpacks.”Children can take up to 30,000 breaths a day. Their lungs are still developing, which makes them vulnerable to air pollution. City air can contain potentially harmful pollutants – including nitrogen dioxide and soot-based particulate matter. That’s why this study is so vital. It will help us monitor exactly what our children are exposed to, to inform effective solutions.” Source:https://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/News-Article?id=09e0fdf1-230a-4a6a-bc4d-32c54b4ed975last_img read more

Researchers explore link between aging fat cells and Alzheimers

first_imgBoth adiponectin and PPAR-γ have been implicated in Alzheimer’s and delivering adiponectin to the brain has been shown to improve cognition in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s. PPAR-γ agonists, which increase adiponectin levels, already are used to lower cholesterol and blood glucose levels and have been tried in Alzheimer’s as well.However, investigators studying the agonists’ potential in Alzheimer’s have reported difficulty with the drugs reaching the brain, and that the high doses needed to compensate for that result in side effects like edema, heart failure, liver abnormalities and weight gain. These findings have some calling for more selective PPAR-γ therapies.Lu has evidence that for Alzheimer’s that could mean targeting PPAR-γ2, the version of PPAR-γ primarily made by fat cells. The other, PPAR-γ1, is the target of current PPAR-γ agonists, says Lu, and can be made by a variety of cells in other organs, such as the heart and kidney, which could account for the undesirable side effects.In the search for a better solution, the grant is enabling Lu and her team to further explore the relationship between adiponectin made by fat cells and the cognitive decline that comes with aging. They also are looking at the receptors for adiponectin on neurons in centers of learning and memory in the brain to explore their distinct function, what happens to them with the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s and the vulnerability of the neurons with the receptors to degeneration.Lu’s team thinks the benefit of PPAR-γ agonists in Alzheimer’s results from activating the PPAR-γ in fat cells, which increases adiponectin production, so they are using mice missing PPAR-γ in adult fat cells to look at its effects on cognition, metabolic function, the overall health of neurons and the hallmark neuropathological lesions in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s.It was obesity researchers who made the connection between fat cells, PPAR-γ and adiponectin, notes Lu. Interestingly, in obesity fat cells become less efficient at making adiponectin, which is anti-inflammatory and can help regulate neuronal activity, including turning activity of some neurons up and others down. One theory is that fat cells instead start making inflammation-promoting signals called cytokines and inflammation hinders adiponectin production so neurons suffer.The same thing essentially happens with age, which is Lu’s focus, and when Alzheimer’s tends to occur. Fat stores begin to shift from beneficial subcutaneous fat to unhealthy fat that piles up on our bellies and around the organs inside our abdominal cavity producing a hotbed of inflammation and a lot less adiponectin.Related StoriesMetabolic enzyme tied to obesity and fatty liver diseaseCutting around 300 calories a day protects the heart even in svelte adultsStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingIt’s not really about how much fat you have but what kind of fat cells you have and what hormones those fat cells can make, Lu says, that may affect your risk of Alzheimer’s.”Your fat cells were making beneficial adipokines like adiponectin, which decrease inflammation, and now are making more proinflammatory cytokines,” she says. This shifting toward unhealthy fat is a natural one that occurs regardless of your body weight, she notes.In the brain, adiponectin has two distinct receptors on neurons, AdipoR1 and AdipoR2. Lu’s lab has found that activating adiponectin receptor 1 and disrupting adiponectin receptor 2 increases the excitability of neurons in the hippocampus while disrupting receptor 1 and activating receptor 2 decreases it.Excessive excitability is common in early stages of Alzheimer’s and leaves neurons vulnerable to degeneration. And Lu thinks Alzheimer’s also manipulates this pathway to alter and ultimately decrease neuron function in the brain’s cerebral cortex and hippocampus, centers of learning and memory, that are heavily hit by Alzheimer’s, the most common dementia.They have shown that before they die, neurons become hyperactive and generally don’t function well. In fact, patients as well as animal models of Alzheimer’s can experience seizures, a sign of excessive excitability.”When you have Alzheimer’s, you have neurons die in the cortex and the hippocampus,” Lu says. In fact, the brain generally shrinks in size. Why some neurons die and others don’t is what Lu and her team are trying to better understand.Now they are working to better understand the functions of the apparently distinctive receptors, particularly on the neurons that produce glutamate, a brain chemical that helps excite cells and known to be critical to cognition.They suspect the receptors’ clearly opposite effects on cell excitability could mean they also have a different, and possibly opposite as well, effect on Alzheimer’s development. So they are looking at what deleting and activating the receptors does to those neurons and what that does to contribute to or alleviate age- and Alzheimer’s-related changes to the brain and our ability to think and remember.They also are studying what happens to the receptors themselves in different age mice.Adiponectin has a protective, or neurotrophic, effect on neurons helping enable their survival, growth, repair and even regrowth. They can help neurons and their connections stay nimble, or plastic, so our brains function better, and we can continue to properly respond to our environment and maintain other brain basics like making memories.Genetic variations in PPAR-γ and adiponectin as well as low blood levels of adiponectin already are associated with an increased Alzheimer’s risk. In fact, low adiponectin levels in the cerebrospinal fluid in the brain have been associated with increased production of the hallmark plaque and shrinking of the hippocampus associated with Alzheimer’s.Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. First symptoms may appear after age 60 and the number of people with it doubles every five years beyond age 65, according to the CDC. It’s known that metabolic disorders, like obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, increase Alzheimer’s risk. In fact, Alzheimer’s is sometimes referred to as type 3 diabetes, which is thought to result from resistance to insulin in the brain.Lu also studies adiponectin in depression and has shown how chronic stress can decrease fat’s production of PPAR-γ and adiponectin. We know when you have Alzheimer’s your adiponectin is low, now we want to make sure this is actually a cause.”Dr. Xin-Yun Lu, molecular behavioral neuroscientist at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University Source:Medical College of Georgia at Augusta Universitycenter_img Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 21 2019Scientists want to know whether our aging fat cells are important to the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s.They have evidence that as we age, our fat becomes less efficient at producing a hormone that helps support the growth and survival of neurons and helps regulate their activity. The result can be neurons in areas of the brain important to learning and memory become dysfunctional, degenerate and we develop Alzheimer’s.”What happens to neurons, that is really what we are interested in,” says Dr. Xin-Yun Lu, molecular behavioral neuroscientist at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Translational Neuroscience.Lu is principal investigator on a $3.5 million grant from the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health that is helping further explore the possibility that improving the function of our older fat may just help our brains.The hormone is adiponectin, which is made by fat cells, circulates in our blood and enters our brain. Inside fat cells, its production is regulated by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma, or PPAR-γ, a transcription factor that’s essential for early stage fat cells to become mature, fully functioning ones.last_img read more

The energy industry is being disrupted – and traditional firms cant keep

first_img Explore further Storage is a key technological element of the new system. Fortunately, the development of electric vehicles (EV), to address climate change and localised pollution, is being seen as a key driver of change for transport and power sectors. EV sales are set to increase dramatically, stimulated by recent government targets and policy support, while the prices of lithium-ion batteries decline sharply. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Citation: The energy industry is being disrupted – and traditional firms can’t keep up (2018, August 30) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-energy-industry-disrupted-traditional-firms.html The electricity sector is experiencing a profound disruptive shock. This is due to technological innovation including the falling costs of renewables and energy storage, along with tougher environmental policies and regulatory reform. Credit: Sergey Nivens / shutterstock These changes are most apparent in Australia, the EU and parts of North America, where once-powerful utility companies are struggling or restructuring to survive. But, as I’ve looked at in a recent report, decision-makers elsewhere are asking whether these power markets are outliers or if they herald a global shift.Global investment in renewable energy – excluding large hydropower – was just under US$279 billion in 2017, a rise of 2% on the previous year. Wind and solar account for most of this. In fact, as technology and installation becomes cheaper, non-hydro renewables accounted for 61% of all the new installed power capacity (that’s including all fossil fuel, nuclear and hydro) across the world in 2017.If we are to address climate change, such changes must continue. While the construction of wind and solar was initially stimulated by decarbonisation policy, now it is driven by economics. As renewables continue to be deployed, they become ever cheaper to build and install. Solar is already at least as cheap as coal in Germany, Australia, the US, Spain and Italy. By 2021, it is also expected to be cheaper than coal in China.Integrating all this new power may become costly. National power systems have been designed for centralised coal or gas power stations, after all, which can more easily be switched on and off to ensure supply meets demand. Things are much more challenging when renewables are involved, as the sun doesn’t always shine, and the wind doesn’t always blow.A new energy system is emergingInnovations in energy storage and digital technology promise to keep these costs down, but the big traditional utilities are failing to keep pace. This has left new actors free to provide new technologies and business models.center_img Nissan has moved into the home battery market. Credit: Eaton/Nissan PV, wind, batteries: Energy outlook research Provided by The Conversation A plethora of large and powerful car manufacturers are getting into electric vehicles, prompted by government sales targets and the speed at which the total cost of owning an EV is approaching that of a traditional petrol car. Honda wants two-thirds of its sales to be electric or hybrid by 2030, BMW is aiming for 15–25% by 2025, while both Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover are targeting 100% by 2020. Many of these companies are now making use of their manufacturing capabilities and moving into selling home storage units for electricity, which aren’t too different from an electric car’s battery. These storage units mean that people with solar panels will be able to consume more of their own electricity. This is further reducing the market for traditional firms and creating new competitors as some of the world’s largest manufacturing companies enter the power sector for the first time.Going digitalAs in many other sectors, digitalisation is another disruptive change. Smart meters in particular mean energy firms can better monitor and understand their customers, which enables even more flexibility – imagine energy supplies tailored to individual households and times of day. These increasingly complex electricity systems will rely on machine learning algorithms to know when and where energy will be needed. Internet giants like Google and Amazon are already piloting and exploring the opportunities. Who would bet against Amazon becoming a major power supplier in the next decade? Blockchain technology could also enable a peer to peer energy market, allowing neighbours to sell excess power to one another and potentially further reducing the role of traditional firms.Over the past few years, there have been significant changes in the power sector, resulting in declining profits and the restructuring of traditional utilities. However, looking forward, the electrification of the transport and eventually heat sectors, and increasing digitalisation is likely to lead to far more significant disruption than we have seen to date. This will bring in a whole new set of companies and potentially engage consumers like never before. 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.last_img read more

Porsche first German carmaker to abandon diesel engines

first_img Porsche’s move out of diesel enjoys follows the three-year-old “dieselgate” scandal at auto giant Volkswagen, the German group to which the luxury sports car brand belongs © 2018 AFP German police arrest Porsche manager over diesel scandal He promised that the company would keep servicing diesel models on the road now.Blume also defended diesel as a viable technology, which the broader VW group plans to keep using. “I think modern diesel engines are highly attractive and environmentally friendly,” he said. “They will continue to be of great importance to the auto industry in the future.” However, he added, “for us as a sports car manufacturer, where the diesel has traditionally played a subordinate role, we believe that we can do without diesel in the future.”According to the paper, Porsche also faces new claims of having manipulated engines to produce a more powerful sound with a technique that was deactivated during testing. Explore further Blume acknowledged that German regulators had pointed to irregularities in the 8-cylinder Cayenne EU5, affecting some 13,500 units.The fallout from dieselgate has been wide ranging for Germany and its auto sector which employs some 800,000 people.Courts are increasingly pressuring German cities to clean up their air, with a diesel ban on two major roads in Hamburg and city-wide exclusion zones for older vehicles coming into Stuttgart and Frankfurt to reduce harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions.Consumers have reacted to the prospect of more bans by shunning diesel vehicles, sending its share of the new car market plunging from 46.5 percent in August 2015 to 32.6 percent last month.The EU has meanwhile toughened emissions testing and car companies hope a flood of new battery-powered vehicles will help meet tighter fleet-wide CO2 targets that bite from 2021.The German government hopes to see one million fully electric and hybrid vehicles on the road by 2022, up from fewer than 100,000 at the start of this year.Blume said that the matching infrastructure was emerging, telling Bild that by late 2019, some 400 electric charging stations along European highways would allow drivers of battery-powered cars to “get across all of Europe”. “There won’t be any Porsche diesels in the future,” CEO Oliver Blume told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag.Instead, the luxury sports car brand would concentrate on what he called its core strength, “powerful petrol, hybrid and, from 2019, purely electric vehicles”.The Porsche chief conceded the step was a result of the three-year-old “dieselgate” scandal at auto giant Volkswagen.VW in 2015 admitted to US regulators to having installed so-called “defeat devices” in 11 million cars worldwide to dupe emissions tests and obscure its much higher emissions on the road.It has so far paid out more than 27 billion euros in fines, vehicle buybacks, recalls and legal costs and remains mired in legal woes at home and abroad. Diesel car sales have dropped sharply as several German cities have banned them to bring down air pollution—a trend that Chancellor Angela Merkel was due to discuss with car company chiefs in Berlin later Sunday.”The diesel crisis has caused us a lot of trouble,” Blume said, months after Germany’s Federal Transport Authority ordered the recall of nearly 60,000 Porsche SUVs in Europe.City driving bansStuttgart-based Porsche in February stopped taking orders for diesel models, which it had sold for nearly a decade.Blume said Porsche had “never developed and produced diesel engines”, having used Audi motors, yet the image of the brand had suffered. 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. Sports car maker Porsche said Sunday it would become the first German auto giant to abandon the diesel engine, reacting to parent company Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal and urban driving bans. Citation: Porsche first German carmaker to abandon diesel engines (2018, September 23) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-germany-porsche-wont-diesel.html There’ll be no Porsche diesels in the future, CEO Oliver Blume says. Instead, the German company will focus on “powerful petrol, hybrid and, from 2019, purely electric vehicles”last_img read more

Renault actively looking to postGhosn future

first_imgFrench carmaker Renault on Thursday launched the search for a successor to Chairman Carlos Ghosn, only hours after a Tokyo court quashed his appeal for bail as he faces three charges of financial misconduct. Citation: Renault ‘actively’ looking to post-Ghosn future (2019, January 17) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-renault-post-ghosn-future.html Renault and the French government are looking for a successor Renault said in a statement its governing bodies were now “actively working to find the best solution for the future governance of the group, with a view to preserving the company’s interests and strengthening the Renault Nissan Alliance”.The statement comes a day after French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that if Ghosn was prevented from doing his job “for a lengthy period of time, I have always said that we have to move on to a new stage. This is now the case”.The French government, which owns 15 percent of Renault’s shares and 22 percent of voting rights, has called for a board meeting “in the coming days”.French daily Le Figaro said Sunday was a likely date, but on Thursday no invitations had been sent out to board members who must be informed 48 hours before a meeting.Since his stunning arrest on November 19 the auto tycoon—who still officially heads up Renault—has languished in a Tokyo detention centre, facing questioning over allegations he under-reported his salary and tried to shift personal losses on to the company.The court had previously refused to release the 64-year-old Franco-Lebanese-Brazilian businessman on the grounds that he could present a flight risk and destroy evidence.Last week he was formally charged on two of the counts and his request for bail was denied. Even his own lawyer has admitted he is likely to be kept behind bars until a trial—which could take six months.His legal team said they would now appeal to the Supreme Court.Japanese firms Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors jettisoned him as boss almost immediately after his arrest, but Renault was more cautious and appointed an interim leader while Ghosn fought the charges.With the latest rejection he faces at least a two-month period in pre-trial detention. This can be extended almost automatically by one month at a time. © 2019 AFPcenter_img Explore further French govt seeks new Renault boss, ditches Ghosn 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.last_img read more

Bharat Bandh Mixed response in BJPruled Gujarat Congress workers detained

first_imgCOMMENTS Congress workers protest in Ahmedabad on Monday September 10, 2018.   –  Vijay Soneji COMMENT Bharat Bandh called by Opposition parties receives a mixed response Rahul Gandhi hits out at PM Modi, says country being divided SHARE SHARE EMAIL RELATED center_img Published on SHARE strike The call for Bharat Bandh, given by 21 Opposition parties, including the Congress, against the unprecedented rise in petroleum products, evoked mixed response in Gujarat as the authorities briefly detained hundreds of Congress workers from different places when they tried to enforce the bandh by closing markets and institutions or they tried to break the law.No major untoward incidents were reported from anywhere in the state. The Congress workers tried to disrupt traffic at various places by burning tyres on the roads.State BJP spokesman IK Jadeja said the bandh “failed” even as the the Congress leaders claimed success.AICC General Secretary for Gujarat Rajeev Satav and State Congress chief Amit Chavda were among those the police briefly detained in Ahmedabad while they went on a rally, breaking the Section 144 which prohibits gathering of more than five persons at a place. Paresh Dhanani, the Leader of the Opposition in the Vidhan Sabha, was also similarly detained for some time in Amreli.The Congress workers tried to enforce the bandh call at different places. Many markets, educational institutions and other establishments remained closed for a few hours and reopened later. State transport bus services was suspended at some places, causing problems to commuters and passengers. September 10, 2018last_img read more

Najib PAS and Umno more compatible now than before

first_img Nation 26 May 2019 Umno-PAS cooperation won’t last, says Husam PAS , Bersatu , Barisan Nasional , Pakatan Harapan , Najib Razak Nation 09 Jul 2019 Najib appointed BN advisory board chairman Related News Related News “I don’t think PAS will make a decision in a hasty manner, as both Umno and PAS have agreed to cooperate.”During an Umno event in Gerik that I attended earlier today (July 13), the Perak PAS commissioner and other party leaders were present, so we are more compatible now compared to before,” he told reporters at former Umno member Datuk Hamidah Osman’s daughter’s wedding luncheon at the Royal Perak Golf Club here.Asked why he accepted the Barisan Nasional Advisory Board chairman position when he should be focusing on his legal case, Najib said: “There are many personal views, but what is important is that we are able to contribute to the strength of Barisan by providing some sort of added value.”For one year, I have been taking efforts to give my views on Pakatan’s policies, their weaknesses, and we will let the people judge,” he said.Najib said he has been going to the ground to listen to the grouses of the people.”This is not about position; the question is what we can do and contribute. This is about the party, and it is not about Najib,” he added.center_img Nation 10 Jul 2019 Ku Li says Najib’s appointment could be useful for BN IPOH: Datuk Seri Najib Razak believes PAS will not hastily make any decision over an offer to be part of Pakatan Harapan.The former prime minister was asked to comment on a statement by Parti Amanah Negara vice-president Senator Datuk Husam Musa asking PAS to join Pakatan.Husam had said PAS could be part of the government if they joined Pakatan now.Najib said leaders from Pakatan could make all sorts of offers. {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Tags / Keywords:last_img read more

Puducherry power tussle SC asks Centre to move Madras HC with plea

first_img Press Trust of India New DelhiJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 23:22 IST Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry Dr. Kiran BediThe Supreme Court on Friday refused to extend its order restraining the Puducherry government from implementing any cabinet decisions having financial implications and asked the Centre to move the Madras High Court with its plea on alleged power tussle between the chief minister and the Lieutenant Governor.The apex court, on June 4, had directed that “any decision in the Cabinet meeting to be convened on July 7 having financial implication/implications or with respect to any transfer of the lands shall not be implemented”.A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose did not allow the plea of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the issue of alleged tussle over power between Lieutenant Governor and the chief minister was important and required a judicial decision in the light of the five-judge Constitution bench verdict in the Delhi-Centre power row matter.”We are not inclined to entertain this case. It would be open to the petitioner (Centre) to challenge the order of the single judge bench order (of the HC) in the division bench,” the bench said.The Puducherry government had earlier told the apex court that it has taken three cabinet decisions , distribution of free rice to all ration card holders in the Union Territory, renaming a department and auctioning of a sick factory.Out of these three decisions taken, free distribution of rice to all ration card holders can be allowed as the scheme has been running for the last ten years, it had said.The counsel for Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi had said that the scheme cannot be allowed as it will be a modification of an earlier order and has a huge financial implication.The top court had on June 4 directed the Puducherry government, led by Chief Minister V Narayanasamy who is at loggerheads with Kiran Bedi, not to implement any decision having financial implications, that may be taken at the Cabinet meeting of in the June 7.The application filed by the Centre and Kiran Bedi had sought a direction for restoring the situation prevailing before the April 30 Madras High Court verdict which held that the Lieutenant Governor “cannot interfere” in the day-to-day affairs of the elected government in the Union Territory.On May 10, the apex court had sought response from Congress MLA K Laksminarayanan, on whose petition the high court had delivered the April 30 verdict, on the pleas filed by the Centre and Kiran Bedi.On April 30, the Madras High Court had allowed a plea filed by Laksminarayanan and set aside the two communications issued in January and June 2017 by the Ministry of Home Affairs “elevating” the powers of the administrator.Referring to the Supreme Court judgement on the tussle between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, the high court had said that restrictions imposed on Delhi government are not applicable to the Puducherry government.”The administrator cannot interfere in the day-to-day affairs of the government. The decision taken by the Council of Ministers and the chief minister is binding on secretaries and other officials,” it had said.Laksminarayanan had claimed in his plea before the high court that the administrator was interfering in the day-to-day administration of the territorial government, its policies and programmes.ALSO READ | Lt Guv Bedi’s water crisis remarks echoes in Assembly, DMK demands her removalALSO WATCH | Rahul Gandhi is rallying point for Congress: Puducherry CM V NarayanasamyFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byKritika Kashyap Tags :Follow Puducherry GovernmentFollow Supreme CourtFollow High CourtFollow Kiran Bedi Puducherry power tussle: SC asks Centre to move Madras HC with pleaThe Madras High Court had recently held that Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi “cannot interfere” in the day-to-day affairs of the elected government there.advertisement Nextlast_img read more

nvestment should be how to choose the brand the fast food business

fast food industry profits are very high, people’s lives can not be separated from eating. If you want to invest in fast food industry, how should choose fast food brands? Xiao Bian for us to do a detailed introduction, I hope you can help.

how to choose fast food brands? In the shop before the local beverage market to do a thorough diagnostic, identify market gaps or distinctive delicacy, and survey analysis, the current fast food market, the brand is not too much, but the homogeneity of the products, has a certain brand operation ability as investors escort. read more