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Brazil may have fewer Zikarelated microcephaly cases than previously reported

first_imgBrazil is enduring an extraordinary outbreak of microcephaly, a rare birth defect that results in infants being born with abnormally small heads and brains. Since last fall, more than 4,000 suspected cases have been reported, and authorities have blamed an unusual virus, Zika, carried by mosquitos.But now it appears that a number of those cases may not in fact be microcephaly, or not linked to Zika.On Wednesday, Brazil’s Ministry of Health said 4,180 cases of Zika-related microcephaly had been reported since October. The country is trying to find out which cases it could actually confirm from notifications provided by doctors – a slow and complicated process as the information is compiled and checked by health secretariats in 26 states and one federal district spread across South America’s biggest country.After experts scrutinized 732 of the cases they found that more than half either weren’t microcephaly, or weren’t related to Zika.Just 270 were confirmed as microcephaly that appears to be linked to Zika or other infectious diseases, according to the latest ministry bulletin.It’s not yet clear whether the same pattern will emerge from the rest of the 3,448 cases that Brazil has to examine. And health experts say the huge number of cases is still very worrisome — as is the rapid spread of Zika through the Americas. (Brazil reported just 147 cases of microcephaly in 2014).Microcephaly causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads, and can cause motor and learning difficulties, among other problems. The condition can also be caused by genetic factors or drug or alcohol abuse during pregnancy.Some scientists said the new data suggest that Brazil will have fewer cases of Zika-related microcephaly than originally feared. The country may have over-counted microcephaly cases because it initially asked doctors to report all births of babies with a head circumference of 33 centimeters or less — but some of those were simply children with normally small heads.“It is possible that the number of cases of microcephaly with suspected relationship to Zika will be much less,” said Esper Kallas, an infectious diseases specialist and professor of medicine at the University of São Paulo. “I think it will be less than a third” of the possible cases that have been reported, he said.Kallas also said the outbreak had made Brazil realize that microcephaly unrelated to Zika was more common than authorities realized in the past.Other specialists, though, were wary of the new data, questioning the methodology that was being used. They noted that authorities in one of the badly affected areas, the northeastern state of Bahia, have used relatively cheaper transcranial ultrasound imaging — rather than CT brain imaging scans — to try to confirm and discard cases of microcephaly.The more inexpensive test might not spot milder cases of the condition, said Ganeshwaran Mochida, a pediatric neurologist and researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital. “There could be some cases mistakenly discarded due to not enough sensitivity,” he said.Zika was first confirmed in Brazil in May last year, and has spread rapidly in the hemisphere, reaching 23 countries and territories. Its explosive growth has alarmed health professionals who worry about the suspected linkage to microcephaly and a rare nervous system syndrome known as Guillain-Barré that can lead to paralysis.The World Health Organization has convened an emergency meeting to explore ways of stopping the transmission of Zika for Monday.“The level of alarm is extremely high, as is the level of uncertainty,” Margaret Chan, the director-general of the World Health Organization, told a briefing of member countries on Thursday in Geneva.In October, when the Brazilian government began requiring doctors to report suspected cases, they were instructed to notify the Health Ministry if the circumference of a newborn baby’s head was 33 centimeters (about 13 inches) or less.In December, the ministry reduced the figure to 32 centimeters (12.6 inches) or less, roughly in line with World Health Organization guidelines. The ministry said some babies with the larger measurement were later found to be healthy, although a ministry spokeswoman said she did not have exact figures on how many.Something else?Some officials at the state level say they also believe that many of the cases of possible Zika-linked microcephaly will also be found to be something else.In northeastern Pernambuco state, one of the areas hardest-hit by the health crisis, authorities estimate that less than half of the 1,373 reported suspect cases are likely to be microcephaly linked to Zika. Some children just have small heads, others could have microcephaly caused by genetic factors, or alcohol or drug abuse by the mother during pregnancy — cases which do not show the same type of brain malformation.So far, the state has investigated 248 cases, using CT brain imaging scans. A total of 138 cases were confirmed as probable Zika-related microcephaly, and 110 were discarded, local authorities said.“There are many normal children who were included [in the original count]. This generates a lot of anguish for the families, for the general population,” said Vanessa van der Linden, a pediatric neurologist in Recife. Van der Linden was the first doctor to identify the microcephaly outbreak in Brazil.Mochida from Boston Children’s Hospital said that using standard U.S. growth charts, the 33-centimeter guide would put 10 percent of U.S. newborns in the category of suspected microcephaly – clearly way too high a percentage.Authorities in Bahia state have so far confirmed 35 of the reported cases of Zika-related microcephaly, and discarded 27. The state still has 533 other suspected cases of zika-related microcephaly that it will investigate, officials said.While some of the suspected cases of Zika-related microcephaly have been discounted, scientists and health officials are hardly breathing easy.There is some preliminary evidence that even babies born in Brazil with normal-sized heads may have developmental defects, according to Albert Ko, an infectious disease doctor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at the Yale School of Public Health. Ko has been working with colleagues at maternity hospitals in Salvador, Brazil’s third largest city and one of the places where the epidemic is most pronounced, to study what is causing the birth defects in newborns.Ko cautioned that the evidence so far is “extremely anecdotal.” But it is worrisome, he said, because clinicians are finding neurological lesions and smaller brains even in babies who look normal.Clinicians started identifying larger than expected numbers of fetuses with birth defects during ultrasound screenings in July, August and September, he said. Some of the babies were born with intracranial lesions that may be due to infection with Zika virus.Researchers in Brazil are working with the Brazilian health ministry to pin down answers, he said.© 2016, The Washington Post Facebook Comments Related posts:Zika research to be published rapidly and free World Bank: Zika will cost Latin America $3.5 billion in 2016 Obama seeks $1.9 billion to combat spread of Zika virus Commenting on Zika virus, Pope Francis calls abortion ‘a human evil’last_img read more

Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impa

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Fresh off their bye week, the undefeated Arizona Cardinals head to Colorado to visit the defending AFC champion Denver Broncos (2-1) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Sunday afternoon.Below is the official Week 5 injury report for both teams. 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img read more

Muriel Moscardini Digital video technology company

first_imgMuriel MoscardiniDigital video technology company Fluendo has teamed up with German research body the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute and is acquiring Fraunhofer’s H.265/HEVC decoder in order to extend HEVC support to Fluendo’s cross-platform multimedia Oneplay software products. Barcelona-based Fluendo works with cross-platform software open source framework GStreamer, providing products including proprietary codecs, together with their respective patent licences, a streaming server, and the Fluendo DVD Player.Fraunhofer has been a significant contributor to the H.265/HEVC standard.“Supporting HEVC through our solutions is the next logical step for our customers who want the best HD video playback capabilities,” said Muriel Moscardini, CEO of Fluendo.  “By adding Fraunhofer’s decoder to Fluendo’s proven multimedia player, Oneplay becomes one of the few media players in the world that is able to support HEVC, which we expect to be the future de facto video format globally.”“With the addition of our HEVC decoder, Fluendo’s Oneplay player will be able to support 4K, the new ultra-high definition resolution currently emerging in digital video,” said Benjamin Bross, H.265/MPEG-HEVC specification text main editor at the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute.  “We are happy that Fluendo chose our technology to use widely in the different markets that the company operates in.”last_img read more

Almost half of US adult broadband users engage wit

first_imgAlmost half of US adult broadband users engage with a mobile video app at least once a month, according to a new report from The Diffusion Group.According to the report, 49% of adult broadband users engage with some form of mobile video app monthly, while 17% do so on a weekly basis and 16% do so on a daily basis.Younger consumers are more likely to use mobile video, with 63% of 18-24 year-olds using apps at least once a month compared with 56% of 25-34 year-olds, 55% of 35-44 year-olds and 41% of 45-54 year-olds.Two in five users engage with mobile video apps on a portable computer, compared with 30% who do so on a tablet and 22% who use a smartphone.Online video service apps are used by two in five broadband users, while broadcast network apps are only used by one in four and cable network apps by one in five. Only 16% of users engage with TV operator apps, despite the high penetration of pay TV in the US.last_img read more

Silver followed the same path as gold did yesterda

first_img Silver followed the same path as gold did yesterday, except for the fact that there was a smallish rally in the early going in London.  From there it traded sideways before meeting the same fate as gold at the 8:20 a.m. Comex open in New York. The low price tick [$28.35 spot] came fifteen minutes after the 1:30 p.m. Eastern time Comex close.  From there it rallied a bit into the close of trading. Silver finished the Monday session at $28.54 spot…down 4 cents.  Volume was around 31,000 contracts. John Embry said over a decade ago…the miners are either “ignorant, naïve…or complicit.” Gold rallied in early Far East trading on their Monday, but that didn’t last long before it got sold back to unchanged from Friday’s close.  Selling pressure showed up at the Comex open once again…and the low price tick of the day [$1,568.70 spot] came at 2:45 p.m. in New York.  From there it rallied a few dollars into the 5:15 p.m. Eastern time electronic close. Gold ended the trading day at $1,574.60 spot…down $2.20.  Net volume was pretty light…around 105,000 contracts or so. Sponsor Advertisement The gold stocks got sold off the moment that trading began at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time on Monday…and then continued lower for the rest of the day…closing just off their lows.  The HUI closed down another 2.80%. The silver stocks got slammed again…and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 5.18%. (Click on image to enlarge) I have no idea whether we’ll go lower from here or not.  But as I’ve been saying for years, the miners will never address the real issue…and that’s the price management scheme in all four precious metals by JPMorgan et al.  And as I said last week, they’d rather let their companies crash and burn than live up to their fiduciary responsibilities to their shareholders…and if you doubt me, just pick up the phone and talk to any precious metal mining company about this.  Normally I’d tell you what the answer will be, but you should find out on your own.  But I can tell you that they don’t give a damn about you…and that’s one of the things you’ll find out pretty quick. And don’t expect anything from either the World Gold Council or The Silver Institute.  The reason they are there is to make sure that this issue never sees the light of day within the gold and silver mining industry. As Sprott Asset Management’s John Embry said over a decade ago…the miners are either “ignorant, naïve…or complicit.”  Two of those three cop-outs existed ten years ago, when it was just us “conspiracy theorists” pounding at the gates.  Well, conspiracy theory has now become conspiracy fact…and “ignorant and naïve” no longer apply…as everyone one of them knows what’s going on, even if they won’t publicly admit it.  And the fact that they aren’t doing anything means that they are all complicit now…silent co-conspirators along side JPMorgan et al.  You couldn’t make this stuff up. In overnight trading, the gold price rallied until about 3:00 p.m. in Hong Kong…and has since rolled over, but is heading a bit higher in London as I hit the ‘send’ button.  Silver rallied even more strongly, but got hammered as it tried to break above the $29 spot price mark going into the London open. Gold volume, as of 5:15 a.m. Eastern time, is slightly higher than ‘normal’ for this time of day…and silver’s volume is substantially higher, as I suspect that JPMorgan had to throw a lot of short contracts at that rally to prevent it from blowing sky high, which it would have done had they not shown up to put out the fire. The dollar index has been heading lower all night…and as of this writing is down about 23 basis points.  As I hit the ‘send’ button at 3:20 a.m. Eastern time, gold is up about seven bucks…and silver is up 30 cents. Today, at the close of Comex trading, is the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report.  Last Tuesday we had a big rally in both metals, which really distorted the COT numbers in last Friday’s report.  But since then, JPMorgan et al have got prices back down again, so if things don’t blow up again today, we might actually get a more realistic look at the short positions in both gold and silver on Friday.  We’ll just have to wait and see what happens in New York, as that’s where all the trading activity that really matters, takes place. See you tomorrow. (Click on image to enlarge) As many pundits have stated, the XAU/GOLD Index is at an all-time record low…and here’s the 3-year chart for that.center_img (Click on image to enlarge) Try as I might, I could not get the stories down to a manageable number, so the final edit is up to you. Over the last three reporting weeks, the total commercial net short position in COMEX silver has declined by 21,000 contracts, or the equivalent of 105 million oz. Let’s put that into perspective. During that time, the world mined less than 45 million oz, recycled an additional 15 million oz and consumed that 60 million oz of total silver production. Investors also added 15 million oz to holdings (SLV and COMEX alone) over that same time period…and the price dropped by $4…or 12%. How in the world could the commercials on the COMEX buy 105 million paper oz on a 12% decline in price with the background I just described in a market that wasn’t manipulated? I’m not kidding – if anyone has a legitimate explanation, please drop me a line. – Silver analyst Ted Butler…02 March 2013 With gold down a couple of bucks…and silver down a few pennies on Monday, it was a shock to everyone to see their associated equities get slammed once again.  I would suggest that this sell-off had more to do with forced liquidation than panic liquidation.  I’m sure that virtually every precious metal mutual fund that contains their equities are getting massive redemptions…and the funds are forced to sell whether they wish to or not. It can end up being a vicious circle at times…and this is certainly one of those.  Here’s the 3-year HUI chart as ‘for instance’. Freegold Ventures Limited is a North American gold exploration company with three gold projects in Alaska. Current projects include Golden Summit, Vinasale and Rob. Both Vinasale and Golden Summit host NI 43-101 Compliant Resource Calculations. An updated NI 43-101 resource was calculated on Golden Summit in October 2012 and using 0.3 g/t cutoff  the current resource is 73,580,000 tonnes grading 0.67 g/t Au for total of 1,576,000 contained ounces in the indicated category, and 223,300,000 tonnes grading 0.62 g/t Au for a total of 4,437,000 contained ounces in the inferred category. In addition to the Golden Summit Project the Vinasale also hosts a NI 43-101 resource calculation (March 2012)  of 49,320,000 mt @1.09 g/t for a total of 1,735,000 contained gold ounces in the inferred category using a 0.5 g/t cutoff. Please visit our website for more information. The dollar index opened at the 82.27 mark on Sunday night in New York…and spiked up to its high of the day [82.47] around 9:30 a.m. in London.  From there it declined slowly for the rest of Monday…finishing the day at 82.15…down 12 basis points from its close on Friday. (Click on image to enlarge) The CME’s Daily Delivery Report for ‘Day 3’ of the March delivery month showed that 39 gold and 21 silver contracts were posted for delivery tomorrow within the Comex-approved depositories.  The link to that activity is here. There was a small withdrawal from GLD again yesterday.  This time it was only 19,354 troy ounces.  An authorized participant also made a withdrawal from SLV yesterday to the tune of 140,983 troy ounces. The U.S. Mint had a sales report yesterday.  They sold 5,500 ounces of gold eagles…and a chunky 763,000 silver eagles. Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Friday, they had a rare day where no silver was either shipped in or shipped out. Nick Laird sent me a couple of charts over the weekend.  They are the Intraday Average Gold/Silver Price Movement for the month of February.  Starting around 2:20 p.m. Hong Kong time, the sell-off during February was relentless…with only slight differences in timing as to when the selling stopped.  For both gold and silver, those time occurred during the electronic market in the New York afternoon, long after the Comex had closed for the day. (Click on image to enlarge)last_img read more

Its not exactly news that gold mining stocks have

first_imgIt’s not exactly news that gold mining stocks have been in a slump for more than two years. Many investors who owned them have thrown in the towel by now, or are holding simply because a paper loss isn’t a realized loss until you sell. For contrarian speculators like Doug Casey and Rick Rule, though, it’s the best of all scenarios. “Buy when blood is in the streets,” investor Nathan Rothschild allegedly said. And buy they do, with both hands—because, they assert, there are definitive signs that things may be turning around. So what’s the deal with junior mining stocks, and who should invest in them? I’ll give you several good reasons not to touch them with a 10-foot pole… and one why you maybe should. First, you need to understand that junior gold miners are not buy-and-forget stocks. They are the most volatile securities in the world—”burning matches,” as Doug calls them. To speculate in those stocks requires nerves of steel. Let’s take a look at the performance of the juniors since 2011. The ETF that tracks a basket of such stocks—Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners (GDXJ)—took a savage beating. In early April of 2011, a share would have cost you $170. Today, you can pick one up for about $36… that’s a decline of nearly 80%. There are something like 3,000 small mining companies in the world today, and the vast majority of them are worthless, sitting on a few hundred acres of moose pasture and a pipe dream. It’s a very tough business. Small-cap exploration companies (the “juniors”) are working year round looking for viable deposits. The question is not just if the gold is there, but if it can be extracted economically—and the probability is low. Even the ones that manage to find the goods and build a mine aren’t in the clear yet: before they can pour the first bar, there are regulatory hurdles, rising costs of labor and machinery, and often vehement opposition from natives to deal with. As the performance of junior mining stocks is closely correlated to that of gold, when the physical metal goes into a tailspin, gold mining shares follow suit. Only they tend to drop off faster and more deeply than physical gold. Then why invest in them at all? Because, as Casey Chief Metals & Mining Strategist Louis James likes to say, the downside is limited—all you can lose is 100% of your investment. The upside, on the other hand, is infinite. In the rebound periods after downturns such as the one we’re in, literal fortunes can be made; gains of 400-1,000% (and sometimes more) are not a rarity. It’s a speculator’s dream. When speculating in junior miners, timing is crucial. Bear runs in the gold sector can last a long time—some of them will go on until the last faint-hearted investor has been flushed away and there’s no one left to sell. At that point they come roaring back. It happened in the late ’70s, it happened several times in the ’80s when gold itself pretty much went to sleep, and again in 2002 after a four-year retreat. The most recent rally of 2009-’10 was breathtaking: Louis’ International Speculator stocks, which had gotten hammered with the rest of the market, handed subscribers average gains of 401.8%—a level of return Joe the Investor never gets to see in his lifetime. So where are we now in the cycle? The present downturn, as noted, kicked off in the spring of 2011, and despite several mini-rallies, the overall trend has been down. Recently, though, the natural resource experts here at Casey Research and elsewhere have seen clear signs of an imminent turnaround. For one thing, the price of gold itself has stabilized. After hitting its peak of $1,921.50 in September of 2011, it fell back below $1,190 twice last December. Since then, it hasn’t tested those lows again and is trading about 6.5% higher today. The demand for physical gold, especially from China, has been insatiable. The Austrian mint had to hire more employees and add a third eight-hour shift to the day in an attempt to keep up in its production of Philharmonic coins. “The market is very busy,” a mint spokesperson said. “We can’t meet the demand, even if we work overtime.” Sales jumped 36% in 2013, compared to the year before. Finally, the junior mining stocks have perked up again. In fact, for the first month of 2014, they turned in the best performance of any asset, as you can see here: (Source: Zero Hedge) The writing’s on the wall, say the pros, that the downturn won’t last much longer—and when the junior miners start taking off again, there’s no telling how high they could go. To present the evidence and to discuss how to play the turning tides in the precious metals market, Casey Research is hosting a timely online video event titled Upturn Millionaires next Wednesday, February 5, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. You’ll hear from resource legends and investment gurus such as Frank Giustra (watch this short and, I think, highly entertaining video for a taste of what you’re in for), Doug Casey, John Mauldin, Porter Stansberry, Ross Beaty, Rick Rule, and our own Louis James and Marin Katusa. Don’t miss this event—register here for free.last_img read more

Its nearly four years since Natasha Baker claimed

first_imgIt’s nearly four years since Natasha Baker claimed two gold medals at London 2012, but the “fantastic” memories she has of her home Paralympic Games means it feels to her as if it was only last year.And she says her preparations for next month’s dressage competition in Rio – she is competing again in three events, with her “special boy” Cabral, known as JP – could not have gone better.She told Disability News Service: “It’s been a really fantastic year. I have won every one of the selection competitions. It couldn’t have gone better.”And despite helping her win three golds in London, JP’s performance has even improved.“He’s going better now than he was in London, which is fantastic,” she says. “He seems softer, more connected.”She places much of the credit for this down to a change of trainer since London.She says: “Everything seems to kind of slot into place; we are in a really good place at the moment and I’m feeling really excited about it.”JP has flown before, when Baker visited the Middle East last year for a competition, and she also believes they are ready for any weather conditions that Rio might throw at them.She says: “He’s used to the heat, he actually goes far better in the heat than in the cold. So I feel pretty prepared.“We only ride outdoors at home, so if it pours down with rain I think we will be used to that as well.”As for her hopes from the games, she says: “Obviously, three medals would make me have a grin from ear to ear like a Cheshire cat, but with horses you just never know what can happen, especially when we are travelling halfway around the world.“To come home with some medals would just be amazing, [but] as long as I go out and do my best and he does his best I will be a happy girl.”But she warns that other countries are “catching us up. They are chasing us at quite a rapid pace so to go out there and contend for a gold medal would be amazing, and hopefully we can do enough to bring it home.”She is due to compete on 13, 15 and 16 September.Baker was one of the Paralympians who spoke out to DNS before London 2012 about the importance of disability living allowance (DLA) to her and other athletes, and who spoke of their fears that government spending cuts could jeopardise their independence and that of other disabled people.Since then, the hugely controversial process to reassess working-age DLA claimants for the new personal independence payment has begun, with tens of thousands of disabled people already having their support cut or removed completely.Four years on from London 2012, Baker has decided not to speak about the reassessment process.Asked how she had been affected, she says only: “Yes, I’m all sorted. No change.” She declines to comment further.Speaking before the revelations of the Rio 2016 organising committee’s funding crisis, she says London 2012 “really propelled Paralympic sport forward”, and hopes that the Rio games will “do that even more so”.And she says she was not put off by health concerns about the Zika virus. “I’m not planning on having children any time soon.“Obviously it can be a concern but we have been given the best possible advice by the BPA [the British Paralympic Association], and they are updating it constantly on what’s going on and the latest medical advice, so I know we are in safe hands.”last_img read more

A note from the editor Please consider making a v

first_imgA note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… The police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are facing questions over why an “utterly barbaric” campaign of violence and abuse directed at a disabled mum and daughter was not treated as disability hate crime.A family of four were jailed last week for a total of more than 46 years for imprisoning the two disabled women and treating them as slaves as they forced them to work in two flats in Coventry.The mother and daughter were repeatedly beaten, and had to eat dried pasta, while the younger woman was so hungry she resorted to eating scraps of food from a bin.The court heard that the family knew the two women had learning difficulties but treated them in an “utterly barbaric manner”, preventing them accessing their own home, and restricting their access to food, heating and their ability to clean themselves.But despite the apparent evidence of disability-related hostility, the offences were not treated in court as hate crimes, so no attempt was made to seek stricter sentences under section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act.The court had heard details of a campaign of bullying, intimidation and repeated violent assaults, led by ring-leader Jean Kelly.One of the two women was made to clean and carry out other chores at Kelly’s flat, while the other had to work at Kelly’s daughter’s flat in another part of Coventry. They were each paid one cigarette a day for their work.Jean Kelly was found guilty of two charges under the Modern Slavery Act (MSA), as well as offences of grievous bodily harm (GBH), actual bodily harm and conspiracy to falsely imprison, after a trial at Warwick Crown Court in September.Three other members of her family also received prison sentences, with her husband Michael jailed for 14 years for conspiracy to falsely imprison and GBH, their daughter Anastasia Hitt jailed for four-and-a-half years for conspiracy to falsely imprison and an MSA conspiracy charge, and her partner Ian Healy jailed for 14 years for conspiracy to falsely imprison and GBH.Media reports state that Jean Kelly, herself a wheelchair-user, assaulted one of the two women with a baseball bat she called “Bob”.She had previously been jailed for 18 months for pouring boiling water on her step-brother, who also had learning difficulties.The judge reportedly told Jean Kelly that her behaviour “demonstrates a sustained interest by you in taking advantage of those with learning difficulties and maltreating them”, while he said the other three members of the family had sought to exploit the pair for their own gain.But despite his comments, a CPS spokesman confirmed this week that prosecutors had not treated the offences as disability hate crimes.He said: “The CPS takes prosecution of all kinds of hate crime, including against disabled people, extremely seriously.“In order to prosecute a case as a hate crime there must be evidence the criminal actions are motivated by hostility towards the protected characteristic.“In this instance prosecutors felt the facts did not allow the case to be prosecuted as a hate crime but very serious charges were brought against the defendants who ultimately received prison sentences totalling almost 50 years.“Our thoughts are with the victims in this case and we hope the outcome offers them some comfort as they rebuild their lives.”West Midlands police refused this week to confirm its officers’ apparent failure to treat the offences as disability hate crimes, and why they failed to do so.The latest failure of the criminal justice system to recognise disability hate crime came just days after the CPS annual hate crime report showed that the number of disability hate crime cases referred to prosecutors by police forces in England and Wales plunged last year by nearly a quarter.The number of disability hate crime convictions also slumped, from 800 in 2016-17 to 564 in 2017-18 (a drop of 29.5 per cent).Earlier this month, a report by two watchdogs found that the work of police officers on more than half of the disability hate crime investigations examined across six sample police forces – not including West Midlands – had been found to be “unacceptable”.last_img read more

Google Tweaks Ad Policy After Uproar Over Offensive Content

first_img Next Article 2 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag Google is making good on a promise to more closely monitor advertisements that appear alongside YouTube videos and give brands more control over where their ads appear. Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Add to Queue Google Tweaks Ad Policy After Uproar Over Offensive Content Angela Moscaritolo March 22, 2017center_img Image credit: Gil C / Shutterstock.com 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. Reporter Google on Tuesday announced some changes to ensure that brands’ advertisements don’t appear next to horrible, offensive content.The move comes after the British government pulled millions of dollars worth of advertising from YouTube after an investigation by The Times of London found that the government’s ads were showing up alongside videos from “rape apologists, anti-Semites and banned hate preachers.” In response, Google last week pledged to more closely monitor advertisements that appear alongside YouTube videos, and give brands more control over where their ads appear. Now, the web giant is taking the first steps to make good on that pledge.”Starting today, we’re taking a tougher stance on hateful, offensive and derogatory content,” Google’s Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler wrote in a blog post. “This includes removing ads more effectively from content that is attacking or harassing people based on their race, religion, gender or similar categories.”Google will also ensure that ads only show up alongside videos from legitimate creators in the YouTube Partner Program. Plus, “the YouTube team is taking a hard look at our existing community guidelines to determine what content is allowed on the platform — not just what content can be monetized,” Schindler wrote.In the coming days and months, Google plans to introduce new tools to help advertisers more easily manage where their ads appear across YouTube and the web. Advertisers will be able to exclude specific sites and channels from their campaigns, fine-tune where their ads appear and more easily see where their ads are running. Google is also changing the default setting for ads so that they don’t show on “objectionable content.””We’ll be hiring significant numbers of people and developing new tools powered by our latest advancements in AI and machine learning to increase our capacity to review questionable content for advertising,” Schindler wrote. With these changes, Google should be able to resolve any issues that arise “in less than a few hours.” Google –shares Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

7 Ways to Recover After a Reputation Crisis

first_img Add to Queue Next Article It takes a solid strategy, self-discipline and patience to reshape public perception. –shares Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Lida Citroën Reputation management and personal branding expert Guest Writer 7 Ways to Recover After a Reputation Crisis Reputation Management Image credit: praetorianphoto | Getty Images Several times a week, I receive an urgent email along these lines: “I think I need to hire you. Google my name and you’ll see why.” These individuals’ financial and legal representatives are struggling to help them repair damage to their good name after an incident or event. If you’re an investor, publicist, agent or attorney, you might work with clients who find themselves in the crosshairs of a personal reputation crisis. The list of possible reasons is endless, and I’ve heard them all. Maybe you’re advising a client who’s experienced one (or more) of these situtations:Violated company policy.Been accused of defamation or libel.Said something inappropriate in a media interview.Posted or shared something offensive online.Been caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.Angered former employees, investors, reporters or love interests who’ve taken to social media for revenge.Related: My Big Failures Cost Me My Reputation and My Business. Here’s What I Learned — and How I’ve Bounced Back.Reputation repair is a subspecialty within reputation management. And it’s getting greater attention in our current climate due to the #MeToo movement, higher scrutiny of corporate executives and the visibility of social media. These factors exponentially have elevated demand for individuals to live authentic, culturally acceptable lives whose careers embody that same meaning. But sometimes they don’t.Crisis is inevitable when public perception of an individual’s value and contributions conflict with who he or she wants to be. It’s a very public type of dissonance. Reputation-management specialists are trained to help people navigate options, design proactive strategies, manage the emotional rollercoaster and recover after the dust settles.It can be challenging to wake from a perception nightmare. My clients’ names, companies, careers and livelihoods are in jeopardy unless we can resolve the issue or repair the damage. Sometimes we must pivot, changing how the individual is seen in a specific market, with online audiences, within a company or in a home community at-large. In these cases, I often wish I’d been involved earlier to help minimize negative impact or avoid larger missteps.In the words of Warren Buffett, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”Related: Listen to Warren Buffett: Your Reputation Is Worth Cold, Hard CashSeveral reputation-repair companies propose a two-pronged digital approach: They’ll manipulate Google algorithms so critical posts don’t show up first and then spin a story to change the way an individual is seen publicly. They charge a lot of money for this work. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.It’s true that clients need quick triage. But they also need long-term solutions to right their reputations, for good. Here’s how — with examples from real-life clients whose specific details have been changed to protect confidentiality.1. Set realistic goals and expectations.If a client is facing multiple criminal charges for assault, it might be unrealistic to position him or her as friendly and approachable. When counseling your clients, talk about the reality of the situation and the gravity of public perception. You need to acknowledge both to rebuild or reboot their personal brand.This understanding is the basis of setting attainable goals. Is it feasible your client will work again in her or his previous industry? Should your client refrain from posting on social media? Does reputation repair need to come from your client’s community or followers instead of directly from the perceived wrongdoer? What is a realistic timeframe before the situation or damage is in the rearview mirror?Expectation-setting will not be easy for your client. Use your legal, administrative, financial and PR tools to gauge their sense of reality about what they’re facing. If your client isn’t willing to accept certain, realistic limitations, other experts might be able to help adjust expectations from the outset.Related: 4 Personal Reputation Management Tips for Entrepreneurs2. Assess the damage.Conduct a thoughtful and thorough perception sweep of the reputation hit’s after-effects. This includes assessing digital impact such as social media, online relationships and Google search results. The evaluation gives you a baseline. How serious is the situation? Sometimes the way we believe the situation to be is not reflected in the business impact of the damage.One of my clients was accused of sexual harassment several years ago and sued by two former employees. The parties settled the suit, and the case went quiet. My client received adequate training to manage his behavior and focused on building his company.As his organization grew in visibility and notoriety, those former employees banded together and began personal attacks via several social-media review sites. This caught attention, making current and prospective investors nervous. They questioned whether my client’s past behavior was part of a pattern that could jeopardize their stake and expose them to risk. I performed a solid perception sweep, considering social media, traditional news outlets and market reputation. My findings confirmed the past incident was “isolated and resolved” in the marketplace and posed no risk to investors, employees or customers. The proactive approach enabled my client to take control of how he and his company moved forward.Related: 6 Tools for Monitoring Your Online Reputation3. Separate emotion from the necessary work.It can be difficult to help clients separate feelings from facts, even if you’re trained in dealing with highly emotional individuals. A reputation crisis is a deeply personal ordeal that plays out on a very public stage. Each online comment, rejected meeting or funny look reinforces their vulnerability. Help your client understand what’s true and what is merely believed to be true.  Another of my clients suffered terrible workplace bullying during her time with a large company. Her colleagues intentionally left her out of key meetings or critical email exchanges, then claimed she ignored invitations and messages. They spread rumors about her marriage and home life. These “adults” went so far as to snicker at her when she passed by. My client spoke to her supervisors, who repeatedly told her it was her imagination and offered suggestions on projecting a more confident persona. This went on for several years.By the time my client left the company, she was emotionally shattered. Needing to find a place she felt safe and capable, she took a new job well below her skill level. There were other drawbacks, too. The poor track record at her previous employee and her demotion in taking the lesser job tarnished both her professional resume and her credibility in her field. She had to reclaim her career so she could again work at a level that reflected her capabilities and qualifications.We focused on facts only. Our frank conversation removed the high emotion. Which aspects of the situation should she claim accountability for, and which were beyond her control? What behavior was hers? What belonged to colleagues with questionable moral compasses? We picked apart what happened and the choices she’d made in response to hostile conditions. Then, we re-established her career plan, building on her successes and downplaying shortcomings. Related: 8 Steps to Surviving Workplace Bullying and Salvaging Your Reputation4. Thoughtfully plan your media strategy.You’ll need to decide whether it’s smart to proactively issue a statement, craft a message and choose the right person to make the statement. That’s the easy part. Understanding the pre-work and after-effects of communicating with the media — traditional and online — requires finesse.Not every reputation-repair strategy leverages the media. In some cases, pulling away from the public view is a better approach. One client in Australia needed to quit social media cold turkey and cease responding to media inquiries. The news surrounding his situation was too hot; the community and his industry, too upset. In the immediate term, the best strategy was not saying anything. Later, when we could communicate more effectively, rebooting his reputation through media channels proved valuable to shape public perception.Another client, an attorney, had acted as a public spokesperson for a prominent executive and his business. The attorney had low credibility, and he lacked the charisma and acumen needed to create a positive media impression. As a result, he could not effectively defend the executive in the court of public opinion. We pulled the executive out from the attorney’s shadow, connecting him with a trusted journalist who helped tell his story — in his own words.Related: 4 Mistakes You’re Making That Can Jeopardize Your Reputation5. Pick your social-media fights carefully.Social media is like traditional news media in one important way: It requires careful planning and strategy. If your client has engaged in social-media fights before involving you, the damage may already be done.Whenever possible, remind your client of the uncontrolled and volatile nature of the online community. When people are upset, hurt or angry, they lash out. Give them a keyboard, and they can tell the world. In many cases, upset people need to vent. Engage in a battle with them and you’ll get a very visible war that’s permanently etched in the public realm.Instead, use social media as a feedback tool, a perception meter and a way to share the good, honest reality of what’s being done to make things right. Worked correctly, social media can be a goldmine. Wielded incorrectly, it can make reputation repair very challenging.Related: These Social Media Fails Got People Fired6. Explore all the options.As the world becomes more transparent and Google makes mistakes more longlasting, a client may need to explore unpleasant options. He she shouldn’t rule out serving time for the crime (figuratively speaking) instead of spending years fighting allegations, switching industries or even changing names. One of my clients had spent five years and all her resources suing her former employer. She felt justified and sought justice at all costs. Her reputation and career were tightly bound to the lawsuit’s headlines, and anyone searching her name online inevitably would see the play-by-play. She was battling a giant corporation with the resources to keep lawyers on speed dial. She depleted her savings account, and her marriage failed. Only then did she realize the fight wasn’t worth the tremendous toll it had taken.This certainly wasn’t the outcome she’d hoped for. By the time she was referred to me, her options had narrowed. To rebuild her reputation and career, we needed to untether her from the headlines. She changed her work focus, returned to her maiden name and employed other tactics. These moves helped rebuild her confidence so she could pivot to a future that held opportunities for income and happiness.Related: 15 Steps I Took to Successfully Reinvent Myself After Losing Everything7. Be honest with yourself (and your client).If you’re out of your depth, admit it. Seek help or training to craft messages, answer media requests or advise your clients how to represent themselves. One timely, informative example provides a lesson from two parties currently involved in a legal dispute. (Full disclosure: Neither is a client of mine.)Aly Raisman is the face of Team USA gymnasts sexually assaulted by their longtime team doctor, Larry Nassar. After the Senate hearing on these abuses, Raisman approached Sarah Hirshland, the new CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC). Hirshland told Raisman she was not permitted to speak to her. In fact, Hirshland wouldn’t even shake Raisman’s hand.As pending litigation continues between the USOC and assault victims, it might be sound legal advice to avoid public greetings. But the “brush-off” created an optics problem that translates into questionable reputation advice. Whatever time the USOC spent crafting the CEO’s messaging was wasted in that moment. The media didn’t talk about Hirshland’s plans to fix entrenched problems. Instead, headlines said she snubbed Raisman. The new CEO might have fared better if she’d been advised to remain courteous. Perhaps she could have expressed a desire to work together with athletes after the legal proceedings are over.The lesson: If ever you find yourself wondering if you should consult an expert, hire one.Related: If a PR Crisis Happens to Your Company, Will You Know What to Do?Candidly speaking, clients aren’t at their best in a reputation crisis. They feel powerless as others thrash their names and question their values. The shame of the situation can be devastating. Your clients need a trusted advisor who can counsel them to look at the big picture. While Google and Facebook might be forever, your clients can retain dignity and assert control over who they are and how they choose to show up in the world. Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

Could LinkedIns New Intro App Put Your Private Info in the Wrong

first_img Entrepreneur Staff Could LinkedIn’s New Intro App Put Your Private Info in the Wrong Hands? Andrea Huspeni Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Add to Queue October 25, 2013 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Special Projects Director and Founder of This Dog’s Lifecenter_img Register Now » 2 min read Technology –shares In what was supposed to be a nifty new mobile app, LinkedIn’s Intro is now being put under the microscope over security concerns.Intro is a new service integrated into the iPhone Mail app that allows users to see LinkedIn profile information when receiving emails. So instead of seeing a bland email signature from Jane Doe, users are able to view Jane’s profile picture, job title, education history and mutual contacts, among other information.Sounds pretty cool, especially coming from LinkedIn, a company that hasn’t exactly been innovative on the mobile front. But security researchers think otherwise. Related: How to Avoid One of the Biggest Email Hacking Threats In order for Intro to work, LinkedIn needs to decrypt emails, insert profile information and then re-encrypt it. This process could possibly compromise secure information and allow hackers access to private data. “I don’t think people who use this are seriously thinking about the implications of LinkedIn seeing and changing their email,” Richard Bejtlichs, the chief research officer at computer security company Mandiant, told The New York Times. He continued, “I worry LinkedIn is not going to treat this as the holy grail for people’s email, even though it is. The risk is that you essentially trust a box, run by LinkedIn, with your email. It’s a target for someone that wants to get to your email.” This same tactic was used by Iranian hackers to break into Gmail in 2011 and Edward Snowden claimed the National Security Agency used the same technique to gain access Google traffic data, the Times reported.Related: How to Avoid Getting Hacked (Infographic) In a blog post, LinkedIn rebuffed the claims that Intro could expose private information and ensured users their data was safe. Let’s hope so, as LinkedIn doesn’t exactly have a stellar record for securing user’s information. The company made headlines in 2012 when 6.4 million accounts were hacked.What are your thoughts on LinkedIn’s new features? Do you trust it? Let us know in the comments below. Next Article last_img read more

Google News Quits Spain Over New Copyright Law

first_img –shares Google News Quits Spain Over New Copyright Law This story originally appeared on Reuters Next Article Google said it plans to close its news-linking service in Spain in response to legislation under which publishers will soon be able to force Internet sites to pay for re-publishing headlines or snippets of news.In a statement, the search giant said the new law makes the Google News service unsustainable and that it will remove Spanish publishers from Google News sites worldwide and shut down this service in Spain on 16 December.The move also means readers in Latin America and around the globe will no longer find links to articles from any Spanish news publishers on Google News.The change to the copyright law, which is set to take effect in January, only applies to news aggregation sites such as Google News or domestic rival Meneame (Meneame.net).It does not prevent Google users in Spain or elsewhere from reading snippets of the same stories when they look up news in Google search results, where Google stands to capitalize by selling ads alongside news stories that turn up.”The new law requires publishers to charge Google News for showing even the smallest snippets of their content — whether they want to charge or not,” the company said. Google News displays no advertising and makes no revenue from the service, it noted.Google’s action caps a decade of acrimony with news publishers who blame the search giant for revenue and readership declines. The company maintains that it sends millions of clicks that allow news sites to make money via online advertising.The stand-off also comes amid a growing campaign by politicians, regulators and courts across Europe to rein in Google’s power over the Internet search market and the impact it has on deeply ingrained social norms around personal privacy.The European Union’s recently installed digital commissioner Guenther Oettinger said in October that he was mulling a regional Internet copyright levy, taking aim at Google.In recent years, publishers in countries from Germany and France to Spain have pushed to pass new national copyright laws that force Google and other web aggregators to pay licensing fees when they publish snippets of their news articles.In Spain and Germany, these laws require publishers who want their content to continue to show up in Google search results to give the company explicit permission to do so.Google has responded by requiring publishers to release it from any liability for licensing fees under such laws.The Spanish law thwarts this by giving publishers an “inalienable” right to levy licensing fees.However, in November, Germany’s largest publisher, Axel Springer scrapped a bid to block Google after an experiment by a consortium of about 200 German publishers caused online traffic to plunge. Internet search experts say the shutdown of Google News in Spain may be greater on smaller, less-well known news publishers than on name-brand news sites who are less reliant on the site to draw in readers.For the top five Spanish news sites (ElPais.com, ElMundo.es, ABC.es, LaVanguardia.com and ElPeriodico.com), referrals from sites such as Google News are responsible for less than a quarter of traffic, ranging from 8 percent for ABC to 21 percent for La Vanguardia, according to online traffic measurement firm SimilarWeb. Social networks such as Facebook make up a smaller amount.Google’s move also does not appear to affect current agreements it has with major Spanish publishers to supply them with ad-serving technology that in effect creates a private ad marketplace to support their respective publications.Reacting to the announcement, the Spanish ministry of education, culture and sport said the company was making a business decision to pull out of certain services but that the government remained open to negotiation about how it implemented what its statement referred to as a ‘Google tax’. Add to Queue Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business December 11, 2014center_img 4 min read Image credit: Reuters | Dado Ruvic Register Now » Google Reuters Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel.last_img read more

5 Unique Traits of Millennial Entrepreneurs

first_img January 28, 2016 I started Cutler PR in 2009 at age 22 — just three months out of college. I began the business in my bedroom, with $200. I was scrappy and focused on results, and I hustled to make my company a success. As a millennial entrepreneur, I did things that in many ways were different from the actions of previous generations of entrepreneurs.Related: Millennials ‘Are Great Problems to Have’Here are a few of the top characteristics that set today’s millennial entrepreneurs apart:1. We grew up on entrepreneurship.Past generations idolized climbing the corporate ladder, whereas for millennials, business success has often been envisioned in the form of enterprising endeavors.”Gen Y is the first generation to grow up with entrepreneurial role models,” says Donna Fenn, author of Upstarts! How GenY Entrepreneurs are Rocking the World of Business and 8 Ways You Can Profit From Their Success.Our parents looked to the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, like Chrysler’s Lee Iacocca and GE’s Jack Welch, for career inspiration, but we grew up watching Steve Jobs lead the renewed Apple, Mark Zuckerberg create a social media sensation and other young innovators break new ground. We saw entrepreneurs, not corporate titans, as the rock stars — and we all wanted to be them.Not only did these role models attract us to entrepreneurship through role models, but events simultaneously repelled us from the traditional corporate lifestyle: We watched corporate scandals unfold, experienced elders get laid off or fired and other facets of the downside to corporate life reveal themselves.We were inspired to create our own paths.2. We are highly collaborative.”Millennial entrepreneurs tend to be highly collaborative, and less protective when it comes to ideas,” says Fenn.Those from the older generations will often play their ideas, the way they do their cards, close to the vest. But millennials are more likely to pitch their ideas, to gain feedback from peers and lay everything out there for the world to see and respond.Millennial entrepreneurship is also often a group effort, and companies headed by co-founders are the new norm. Mark Zuckerberg, for example, doesn’t even have a private office — like everyone else at Facebook, he sits at a desk in a massive open-floor plan.Related: 3 Millennial Marketing Tips From Taylor Swift3. We are digital superstars.Although Gen Z is often seen as the techiest generation of them all, that title really belongs to Gen Y — whose members came of age during the peak of the digital revolution.”Although the iPhone might as well be an extra appendage for Gen Zers, millennials have developed a unique understanding of the inner workings of devices that have become more and more intuitive over the years,” says Aron Cutler, a doctoral candidate in psychology and a millennial techie.“When millennials were impressionable children,” Cutler says, “they needed to figure out clunky computers via trial and error, giving them a deeper knowledge.” And with this resulting intimate knowledge of technology, starting a business became much easier for millennials.The widespread use of mobile technology and other modern resources has allowed these younger entrepreneurs to start and run businesses from their homes, significantly reducing startup costs.The cloud and the varioius SaaS offerings have morever enabled automation to occur throughout all departments — from marketing to sales to accounting to operations — and that has cut costs significantly.4. We’re motivated by purpose.Most millennial entrepreneurs are not motivated solely by money. Money is important, of course, but being passionate about our work and knowing its larger meaning is at the center of the millennial entrepreneurship mindset.Millennials want to know their work is making some impact and helping to make the world a better place.I believe many millennial entrepreneurs would choose work that makes a difference, and pays less money, over the opposite work scenario.5. We think outside of the box and constantly strive to learn.We graduated during the worst recession in decades. Many of us were up to our necks in student loans. We couldn’t find jobs.To dig out of this financial mess, we millennials have had to be extremely creative and learn to do things in new ways. In fact, entrepreneurship education is now very popular in colleges and universities, Fenn says.“I think millennial entrepreneurs want to learn first,” she adds. “I think that that’s what motivates them to start companies.”The millennial entrepreneur mantra? To create awesome companies, as a team, and to use technology, ultimately to better the world. Most importantly, we want to always learn, especially from our failures, because that’s another aspect of who we are and the unique path we’re on.What do you think? What traits do you think are most important to the success of millennial entrepreneurs?Related: 3 Ways to Turn ‘Unteachable’ Millennials Into Disciples Register Now » Founder & CEO, Cutler PR 86shares Millennials Image credit: Shutterstock.com Add to Queue Zach Cutlercenter_img Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals 5 Unique Traits of Millennial Entrepreneurs 5 min read Next Article Guest Writer Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more

Netflixs Big Bet on Original Shows Looks Like Its Finally Paying Off

first_img –shares Netflix October 18, 2016 Next Article Reuters Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. The company’s shares were up 18 percent at $117.93 in premarket trading. Register Now » This story originally appeared on Reuters 3 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Add to Queue Netflix Inc.’s shares looked set for their best day in 15 months on Tuesday, after the company added 50 percent more subscribers than expected in the third quarter.At least 10 brokerages, including Goldman Sachs and RBC Capital Markets, raised their price targets on the stock, praising the company’s focus on developing original content.Netflix’s shares were up 18 percent at $117.93 in premarket trading.The video streaming company also said it was getting ready to spend $6 billion on content next year, up $1 billion from 2016.”The benefits of NFLX-produced original content including attractive economics and greater control are clear and we believe returns on original spend are high,” J.P. Morgan Securities analyst Doug Anmuth said in a research note.Strong subscriber additions after two quarters of disappointing growth helped Netflix post a 31.7 percent jump in third-quarter revenue.Anmuth said he believed Netflix was on track toward 60 million plus subscribers in the United States and about 100 million internationally by 2020.The company has often been criticized for spending too much on content as it tries to aggressively gain subscribers outside the United States, its main market.The company added about 3.20 million subscribers internationally in the third quarter, compared with the 2.01 million average analyst estimate.In the United States, Netflix added 370,000 subscriptions, compared with analysts’ estimate of 309,000, according to research firm FactSet StreetAccount.Though the company’s stock has fallen nearly 13 percent this year, it still trades at 356 times forward earnings, versus the peer median of 5.88.The second season of Narcos, a Netflix original show on Colombian kingpin Pablo Escobar, has proved highly popular, following up on the success of Orange is the New Black and House of Cards.The company plans to launch Crown, a show about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.Netflix plans on releasing over 1,000 hours of original programming in 2017, up from 600 hours this year.”This is unprecedented growth that should drive a substantial improvement in the breadth and depth of content on the service, which should provide a tailwind to subscriber growth in 2017,” said Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves.The company said it now expects a higher free cash flow burn at $1.5 billion in 2016 as producing original content consumes more cash up front.The company, which faces competition from the likes of Hulu and Amazon.com Inc., said it would likely tap the capital markets to fund spending on original content.(Reporting by Tenzin Pema in Bengaluru; Editing by Sayantani Ghosh and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty) Image credit: Shutterstock Netflix’s Big Bet on Original Shows Looks Like It’s Finally Paying Offlast_img read more

Medallia Names SaaS Veteran Mitchell K Dauerman to its Board of Directors

first_imgUltimate Software’s EVP and Former CFO Becomes Medallia’s Fourth outside DirectorMedallia, Inc., the global experience management leader, announced the appointment of Mitchell K. Dauerman, former Chief Financial Officer of Ultimate Software who currently serves as the company’s EVP of Investor Relations, as a new member of Medallia’s board of directors.Under Dauerman’s leadership, Ultimate Software grew from a market cap of $180 million and 299 employees in 1998, to a company with a current market value of over $11 billion and more than 5,200 employees.“We are honored to have such an accomplished executive become a member of our board,” said Leslie Stretch, President and Chief Executive Officer of Medallia. “Mitch’s experience with building Ultimate into a cloud leader, that changed the market for human capital management, gives him a perspective perfect for advising Medallia as we continue to disrupt the status quo around experience management.”Marketing Technology News: Sales Engagement Leader Outreach Reaches Unicorn Status, Raises $114 Million Series E“Medallia is in a unique position as a visionary company with a clearly differentiated platform. Experience management is the strategic priority of every organization today. Medallia’s technology enables their clients to engage their customers and employees in the relentless improvement of experience, making Medallia strategic and transformative to the enterprises and partners they serve,” said Dauerman. “I am honored to join the Medallia board and excited to contribute to the company’s continued success.”Marketing Technology News: PCM Partners with RingCentral to Bring Cloud Communications Solutions to EnterprisesAt Ultimate Software, Mr. Dauerman acted as CFO for 22 years, and is currently the company’s Executive Vice President, focusing on investor & sales relations. Prior to joining Ultimate, Mr. Dauerman worked at KPMG LLP for 17 years, including serving as a Partner in the firm from 1988 to 1996. Mr. Dauerman is a Certified Public Accountant. He received his B.A. from Rutgers University.Marketing Technology News: DemandBlue launches DemandBlue Labs, a Salesforce Innovation Org for its Customers Medallia Names SaaS Veteran Mitchell K. Dauerman to its Board of Directors PRNewswireApril 24, 2019, 4:03 pmApril 24, 2019 EVPExperience ManagementMarketing TechnologyMedalliaMitchell K. DauermanNewsSaasUltimate Software Previous ArticleNew Entity Helps Customers Reimagine What’s Possible With DigitalNext ArticleLargest Mobile Lockscreen Platform Buzzvil Partners with Japan’s Pontalast_img read more

Harmful substances in herbal medicines may play big role in deaths of

first_img Source:https://www.adelaide.edu.au/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 25 2018A University of Adelaide forensic pathologist is warning that potentially harmful substances found in herbal medicines may be playing a bigger role in deaths of ‘health tourists’ than previously thought.Professor Roger Byard is calling for closer checks during post-mortems for the presence of drugs and adulterants that originate from herbal remedies.”There is a possibility that harmful materials found in herbal medicines are either contributing to, or causing, deaths of overseas travelers,” says Professor Byard.’These factors should be considered in all medical and legal cases involving recent overseas travel, particularly to Asian destinations.”Related StoriesAI-enabled device detects if targeted chemotherapy is workingInnovative single-chip platform speeds up drug development processAntibiotic combination effective against drug-resistant PseudomonasAs part of health and wellness tourism, Western travelers to many Asian countries now often visit herbal centers. Free health checks may be performed at these centers and herbal products are offered for sale. They offer hope to a growing number of people looking for a cure for their health problems.”This type of health tourism is based upon learning about and consuming traditional medicinal herbs and is an important part of the worldwide medical tourism industry,” says Professor Byard.”Patients wrongly believe that they are being treated without using harmful chemicals or drugs.Studies have found some herbal remedies have been adulterated with approved or banned drugs and even toxic heavy metals. Adulterants have been linked to a range of side effects of varying severity including hypertension, heart problems, psychiatric disorders and in some instances even deaths.”The composition of many of these products is uncertain, there may be contaminants and pharmaceutical additives, and their interaction with prescription medications is unpredictable,” says Professor Byard.”However, the potential role and impact of herbal medicines, and possible adulterants within them, is usually not considered in medicolegal cases.”Forensic facilities may be missing the presence of harmful or toxic substances when carrying out post-mortem assessments not because the substances aren’t there but because pathologists may not be looking for them.”When considering cases in which a person has died after taking herbal medicines sourced from overseas, forensic pathologists need to take extra care to consider the possibility that adulterants have played a role in the person’s demise,” says Professor Byard.last_img read more

App that could detect level of anemia by looking at fingernails

first_imgAnemia results from reduced amounts of iron and haemoglobin blood or reduced oxygen carrying capacity of blood. It can result in features ranging from pallor to weakness, shortness of breath, fatigue and even heart failure in severe cases. Statistics have shown that around 3 million people living in America are diagnosed with anemia annually. These individuals may get anemia due to dietary insufficiencies or other causes. They need regular blood tests to check on their haemoglobin levels. Being anemic also raises the risk of several diseases and conditions.Related StoriesNew study reveals ‘clutch’ proteins responsible for putting T cell activation ‘into gear’Exciting study shows how centrioles center the process of cell divisionNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellThe new app developed by the scientists can detect levels of haemoglobin and red blood cell counts by looking at the colour of the nail beds from the pictures. This test can be performed without the hassle of painful blood tests, the team explains. The test was originally developed by an engineering PhD student Rob Mannino, at the Emory University, Atlanta, was himself was suffering from a genetic blood disorder named beta thalassemia, that caused anemia in him. He would normally require routine blood tests to detect levels of anemia and when his anemia was bad he would require blood transfusions.Mannino explained that due to regular blood transfusions he would often get an overload of iron in his body which would cause other problems. The doctors needed to test his haemoglobin levels, he explained, before he could be scheduled for a transfusion. He said that these tests were becoming routine and a hassle. To rid of this, Mannino associated with fellow biomedical engineer at the University, Dr Wilbur Lam to develop this test.Mannino tested the app on himself by regularly photographing his nail beds and using the app to determine the fluctuating levels of haemoglobin in his blood. The researchers explained that the colour of the fingernails can help determine the levels of red blood cells because of the absence of melanin there. Thus there is no influence of skin tone or tan over the skin underneath the nails and the skin can clearly show the red blood cell concentration.Dr. Lam explained that Mannino’s pictures of his nail beds “enabled him to constantly refine and tweak his technology on himself in a very efficient manner. So essentially, he was his own perfect initial test subject with each iteration of the app.” The app was then tested on four individuals who had haemoglobin deficiencies and different skin tones. Each time the app was successful in determining the levels of red blood cells. The team then went on to photograph the nail beds of 227 people with or without anemia and the test was successful. The test was then conducted on 100 people more to perfect an algorithm. They developed their app based on the algorithm on the results of the four individuals. Lam explained, “This is just a snapshot of the accuracy right now. The algorithm gets smarter with every patient enrolled.”Researchers have warned that this test can only provide a guide to the haemoglobin levels and the results are far from accurate. The app can just predict the risk of anemia in individuals they explain. Lam counted off the benefits of the app saying, “All other “point-of-care” anemia detection tools require external equipment, and represent trade-offs between invasiveness, cost, and accuracy. This is a standalone app whose accuracy is on par with currently available point-of-care tests without the need to draw blood.”Researchers and experts have lauded this new app saying that it could help women who are menstruating or those who are pregnant because they are at a greater risk of anemia.The research work was sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the 2017 Massachusetts General Hospital Primary Care Technology Prize, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDDec 5 2018Researchers from the Emory University have developed a new phone app that needs just a colour photograph of the nail beds of an individual to detect anemia in them. The results of the report titled, “Smartphone app for non-invasive detection of anemia using only patient-sourced photos,” were published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Communications. Implementation of a smartphone app for measuring hemoglobin (Hgb). a A patient simply downloads the app onto their smartphone, opens the app, obtains a smartphone photo of his/her fingernail beds, and without the need for any blood sampling or additional smartphone attachments or external calibration tools, quantitatively measures blood Hgb levels. The patient first takes an image of their fingernails, and is then prompted by the app to tap on the screen to select the regions of interest corresponding to the nailbeds, and a result is then displayed on the smartphone screen. Images are screenshots and photos of actual operation of this app. b As smartphone images with fingernail irregularities such as camera flash reflections or leukonychia may affect Hgb level measurements, a quality control algorithm integrated within the Hgb level measurement app detects and omits those irregularities to preserve measurement integrity and accuracy. Image Credit: Nature Communicationscenter_img Source:https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-07262-2last_img read more

Plant based diet could be the best option for the planet says

first_imgBy Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDJan 17 2019An international team has devised the best possible diet for the planet and it seems that the diet is mainly plant based. The team met to devise a diet for the people of the world that would not only be nutritious but also help save the environment. The diet called the “planetary health diet” draws up guidelines to provide nutrition to the billions of people living across the world. The diet also considers the problem of supply and the role of farming and livestock in its compilation. Farming and livestock management and the food industry in general has an impact on the natural resources, wild life, forests and the climate and this has also been addressed in the diet that has been devised for the planet.According to researchers, if this diet is adopted, it would save 11 million people around the world from deaths due to unhealthy diets and also save the natural world from exploitation. The team and other experts believe that by 2050 the population of the earth would reach 10 billion. This would mean that if this unhealthy diet continues, it would be detrimental for the health of not only the world’s population but also for the nature with problems of the climate including global warming. They speculate at present there are 800 million of the population around the world suffer from lack of food and 2 billion are malnourished. On the other hand 2 billion people around the world are obese.The commission was convened by the Lancet medical journal along with an NGO called the Eat Forum. It was led by Walter Willett at Harvard University along with others. The final report is published in The Lancet. The report would be launched by policymakers across 40 cities all over the world. The team also wants halve food waste to 15 percent. Prof Johan Rockström at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweden, one of the authors of the report said, “Humanity now poses a threat to the stability of the planet…[This requires] nothing less than a new global agricultural revolution.” The report says that the farm produce in the poor countries needs to be improved.Related StoriesPlant-based diet may be effective treatment for Crohn’s diseaseHigh-fat, low-carbohydrate diet may improve brain function and memory in older adultsStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskThe diet primarily focusses on cutting down the consumption of sugar and red meats by half of what is now being consumed by the population. On the other hand consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts, pulses and other plant based foods need to be consumed double the amount of what is being eaten now. Some of the recommendations are specific for specific regions. For example looking at the current diet pattern of the people living in North America, they need to consume 84 percent less red meat and six times more lentils, pulses and beans. Among Europeans, diet needs to be shorn of by 77 percent of red meat and there has to be a 15 times increase in seeds and nuts to meet the current guidelines.This new diet would contain an average of 2,500 calories a day. This means if one beef burger is allowed per week, it can allow another two servings of fish. Most of the protein comes from nuts and pulses. A glass of milk, butter and cheese is allowed along with one or two eggs. Half of the plate contains fruits and vegetables. One third of the plate contains cereals.Source: https://eatforum.org/eat-lancet-commission/last_img read more

Tesla exits US probe of fatal Autopilot crash

Elon Musk makes light of Tesla’s woes in April 1 Twitter prank Tesla said Thursday it withdrew from participating in a US probe of a fatal crash last month that killed a driver who was using its “Autopilot” feature. © 2018 AFP Tesla said the decision was due restrictions on disclosing information about the accident.The company exited a party agreement governing a National Transportation Safety Board probe into the fatal March 23 crash in California. The NTSB demands participants in investigations to not release information about the probe before the agency and reportedly balked at Tesla’s public statements about the deadly crash.The agreement with the NTSB “requires that we not release information about Autopilot to the public, a requirement which we believe fundamentally affects public safety negatively,” a company spokesperson said.”We believe in transparency, so an agreement that prevents public release of information for over a year is unacceptable.”However, Tesla will “continue to provide technical assistance to the NTSB,” the spokesperson added.NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt told Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk in a phone call Wednesday that the agency decided to remove Tesla from the investigation due to the disagreement, Bloomberg News reported.An NTSB spokesman said the agency would comment publicly on the issue later Thursday.Tesla has released several statements on the accident, including in a March 30 blog post that expressed sorrow for the family, but defended its technology and pointed responsibility for the crash on the driver, Walter Huang.Huang’s hands were “not detected on the wheel for six seconds prior to the collision,” Tesla said.”Tesla Autopilot does not prevent all accidents -– such a standard would be impossible -– but it makes them much less likely to occur. It unequivocally makes the world safer for the vehicle occupants, pedestrians and cyclists,” the company said.The company also noted that the accident occurred at a confusing highway interchange, and the protective shield on the concrete barrier involved in the crash was not in proper condition.Huang’s family has hired the Minami Tamaki law firm to “explore legal options” following the fatality, the firm said.”The firm’s preliminary review has uncovered complaints by other Tesla drivers of navigational errors by the Autopilot feature, and other lawsuits have also made this complaint,” Minami Tamaki said in a strongly-worded statement. “The firm believes Tesla’s Autopilot feature is defective and likely caused Huang’s death.””The family wants to investigate this incident and help ensure that this tragedy does not happen to other consumers who buy semi-autonomous vehicles,” said Mark Fong, a partner at Minami Tamaki. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Tesla objects to government restrictions on releasing accident data on a fatal crash in California late last month Citation: Tesla exits US probe of fatal ‘Autopilot’ crash (2018, April 12) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-tesla-exits-probe-fatal-autopilot.html read more

The apps that can tell you if youre buying sustainably

first_img Provided by Horizon: The EU Research & Innovation Magazine Explore further Dr. Johannes Klinglmayr from the Linz Center of Mechatronics in Austria is developing a smartphone app to help shoppers choose food products that conform to their own version of sustainability.”One of the problems for sustainable consumerism is getting reliable data,” he said.The app is designed to be used when someone is standing in front of a supermarket shelf, and allows people to assess the difference brands for between similar products such as pasta.It works via Bluetooth, matching the customer’s location with a database of product information. The app allows someone to see how each one matches their own preferences, which they’ve pre-programmed into the app.To do this, Dr. Klinglmayr and his team on the ASSET project used some 25 sustainability criteria to tag products with, including environmental factors such as being free from palm oil as well as health concerns such as being sugar-free. “We have to take the word apart and give people the ability to build their own criteria,” Dr. Klinglmayr said. “The point is that everyone has a different understanding of sustainability, but on some levels there is overlap.”For one shopper, he explains, sustainability could mean organic food, while for another it means food that was sourced locally, or has a small carbon footprint, or was produced whilst upholding workers’ rights.But all four of those sustainability criteria would prompt a shopper to buy a product made locally, in an area he or she feels familiar with. “This means that four shoppers could have different understandings of sustainability, but end up buying the same product in the shop,” he said.OrganicDr. Klinglmayr believes this type of information could be more helpful than relying only on food labels, which he says have become so diverse as to risk creating confusion. “In Austria, for instance, there are 30 different labels that call an egg organic,” he said.The app has already been trialled by the COOP shop in Estonia and WinklerMarkt in Austria. ASSET looked at information on all food products in the Estonian shop, excluding tobacco and alcohol. In Austria, the products used included common shopping items such as tea, milk and pasta. Dr. Klinglmayr said initial indications were that the app had been appreciated by shoppers and that data from the trials is now being analysed to see if a business case could be built for the app moving forward. He says that ASSET is part of a wider trend to improve product data and share the information with customers, whatever the end form of that turns out to be.”In general, I strongly encourage widely spread implementation within the EU of a transparent product information system,” he said.OpaqueOne hard-to-assess criteria of sustainability is what goes on in companies that form the opaque supply networks around the world that bring goods to shoppers and which can allow brands and companies to hide behind distant suppliers.Much of this data, about which factories are working for which companies, and which brands are produced where, is available if you know where to look. But a lot isn’t published publicly, or when it is there is so much data that even the companies themselves don’t know where to start.Laureen van Breen, program manager with open analysis platform WikiRate, which gathers data from companies at various points along global supply chains and publishes it in an online database, says there is a lot of information about supply chains that could be made transparent, if the right systems are in place.Van Breen coordinates a project called ChainReact, which aims to make supplier networks easier to understand and more responsive. This includes identifying responsible and irresponsible corporate behaviour, and making it easier for workers to report problems.One important feature of ChainReact and WikiRate is sharing research with companies, trade unions and NGOs, and developing tools for them to make use of the information. With this project, ‘we’re able to connect companies (to supply chain data),” van Breen explained.Working with the UK’s University of Cambridge, ChainReact has developed an app for whistleblowers known as The Whistle. The Whistle makes it easier for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to collect grievance reports from workers, to improve transparency along the supply chain.Theresa Heithaus, ChainReact’s co-coordinator, say NGOs are already using the data gathered by ChainReact. The pressure group Clean Clothes Campaign, a network of NGOs and labour unions in the garment industry, has for instance used supply chain data in talks with trade unions, with the aim of improving working conditions.SlaveryAnother NGO, the Walk Free Foundation, used ChainReact data to analyse the effect the UK’s Modern Slavery Act was having on company behaviour in order to advise the Australian government on the development of the country’s own anti-slavery legislation.Through WikiRate, ChainReact gathered information about over 500 companies, to see whether for instance they had a training programme to raise employee awareness of modern slavery, or a whistle-blower system. ChainReact also looked simply at which companies were legally complying with the act, which turned out to be ‘a shockingly low percentage,” says Van Breen.Van Breen says the NGOs’ work shows the important of ethical supply chains goes well beyond Europe and will always be relevant. “We don’t really have a geographic limit,” she explained. “Supply chains are global.” Almost every brand of tuna on supermarket shelves shows why modern slavery laws are needed What does sustainable shopping look like? From environmental impact to workers’ rights, the term can cover so many aspects that buying sustainably can be a daunting task. But a new app that helps people select supermarket products by ethical preferences and an online database that brings transparency to supply chains aim to change that. Sustainability means different things to different people, say researchers. Credit: Lars Plougmann, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 Citation: The apps that can tell you if you’re buying sustainably (2019, January 16) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-apps-youre-sustainably.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.last_img read more