Video: Duke Basketball Releases Cool Video Celebrating All Of Coach K’s NBA Draft Picks

first_imgGrant Hill of Duke on draft day.Grant Hill DukeKentucky is the college basketball program that gets most of the love these days for producing NBA talent, but Duke has been pretty great at it, too. Since Mike Krzyzewski took over the Blue Devils’ program in 1980, he’s had 51 players get selected in the NBA Draft. Thursday night, he’ll add to that number, as Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones are all projected to get picked in the first round, with Quinn Cook a potential second-round pick. In anticipation of the draft, Duke has released a cool video celebrating all of Coach K’s NBA players.last_img read more

Welcome to New India Jairam Ramesh on Bombay HCs War and Peace

first_imgNew Delhi: Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Thursday termed “truly bizarre” the Bombay High Court asking an activist to explain why he kept a copy of Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”. “Welcome to New India,” Ramesh said, a day after the Bombay High Court Wednesday asked Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case accused Vernon Gonsalves to explain why he kept “objectionable material” like a copy of Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” and some CDs at his home. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details The single-judge bench of Justice Sarang Kotwal, hearing the bail plea of Gonsalves and others, also said “such books” and CDs prima facie indicated they contained some material against the State. “Truly bizarre that somebody is being asked by a judge of the Bombay High Court to explain why he has copy of Tolstoy’s War & Peace, a true classic. And to think Tolstoy was a major influence on the Mahatma. Welcome to New India!” Ramesh tweeted. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday The classic novel about Russia during Napoleonic wars became a point of contention after Pune Police claimed the book was part of the “highly incriminating evidence” it had seized from Gonsalves’ house in Mumbai during raids conducted a year ago. Pune Police also read out titles of several other books and CDs allegedly recovered from Gonsalves’ house, which included CDs titled ‘Rajya Daman Virodhi’ released by Kabir Kala Manch. “The title of the CD ‘Rajya Daman Virodhi’ itself suggests it has something against the state while ‘War and Peace’ is about a war in another country. Why did you (Gonsalves) keep objectionable material such as books like ‘War and Peace’, books and CDs at home? You will have to explain this to the court,” said Justice Kotwal.last_img read more

Giuliana And Bill Rancic Support Cord Blood Registry

first_imgGiuliana and Bill Rancic are gearing up for baby – and planning to bank the baby’s cord blood. This week, the couple is receiving the CBR (Cord Blood Registry) kit!Bill and Giuliana with a CBR KitCredit/Copyright: Elizabeth Messina via www.PitchPublicRelations.comGiuliana and Bill are arranging to have their newborn son’s umbilical cord blood stored shortly after birth. The blood in the umbilical cord is rich in healthy stem cells that can be used in transplants to treat a variety of illnesses, including leukemia and sickle-cell disease, or for certain injuries.The Rancics, who are the new spokespersons for Cord Blood Registry, believe that banking their son’s cord blood is a smart move.Stem cells are the body’s building blocks for organ tissue, blood, and the immune system. Doctors started using cord blood stem cells more than 20 years ago to treat diseases that previously had been treated with bone marrow. Today, the primary type of stem cells in umbilical cord blood – called hematopoietic – help treat many serious illnesses and disorders.last_img read more

Jordan Spieth Played A Great Masters And So Did The Rest Of

After an absolutely scorching first three rounds of the 2015 Masters, 21-year-old Jordan Spieth shot a 2-under-par 70 Sunday to finish off his first major championship victory. Giving the performance even more historical import, Spieth’s 72-hole score of 270 — 18 strokes under par — tied Tiger Woods’s 1997 record for the lowest score in the tournament’s long history. It was undoubtedly one of the most dominant performances ever seen at Augusta National.But was it the most dominant? Relative to the field, probably not, because not all 72-hole scores are created equal.When Woods shot his 270, the average player to make the cut in the Masters shot a 3-over-par 291, which ranks 31st-lowest out of the 79 Masters staged since the tournament began in 1934. Woods’s score, then, was 21 strokes better than the field average for players who completed all 72 holes, the fourth-best mark relative to the field in Masters history. (No. 1 was Cary Middlecoff, whose 279 was 24.8 strokes better than average in 1955, two years before the tournament instituted a 36-hole cut.)In 2015, the field averaged a 72-hole score of 285.6, 2.4 strokes better than par — the third-lowest average in tournament history — meaning the typical player in this year’s Masters took 5.4 fewer strokes than in Woods’s record-setting year. In turn, Spieth’s 270 was only 15.6 strokes better than the field average, a mark that ranks just 42nd among 72-hole scores since 1934.In fairness to Spieth, 37 of the 41 players ahead of him on that list put up their scores before the Masters started cutting the field down after 36 holes in 1957. Before that, scores such as Charles Kunkle’s 340 in 1956 polluted the overall field averages, making top-of-the-leaderboard performances look far better by comparison. But even if we limit our sample of tournaments to 1957 and later, Spieth’s -15.6 mark relative to the field ranks fifth-best, trailing not only Woods’s in 1997, but also Masters wins by Raymond Floyd, Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson:The rest of the field was so good this year that a record four players shot 11-under-par or better, and 58 percent of all players who made the cut broke par. Even without including Spieth’s 270, the rest of the field averaged a score of 285.9, the third-lowest 72-hole average for non-winners since 1957:This doesn’t take much shine off Spieth’s week at Augusta, of course. He’s only 21, the same age as Woods in 1997; Nicklaus was 25, Floyd was 33 and Mickelson was 39 when they posted superior performances relative to opponents playing the same course under the same conditions. But as long as par isn’t what the typical player shoots, the field average should always be taken into account when comparing scores across tournaments and eras — and in Spieth’s case, that slightly lowers the historical significance of his 2015 performance. read more

Ohio State announces Larry Johnson as assistant head coach and defensive line

Larry Johnson watches the team practice before the Blue and White scrimmage April 20 at Beaver Stadium.Credit: Courtesy of Daily CollegianLarry Johnson is officially an Ohio State Buckeye.OSU made the announcement Wednesday, naming Johnson the next assistant head coach and defensive line coach for the Buckeyes, according to a press release.“I am very pleased that Larry Johnson is an Ohio State Buckeye,” OSU coach Urban Meyer said in the release. “I have great respect for him as a family man, as a coach and mentor of young men and as a recruiter. He is an outstanding addition to our coaching staff.”Johnson spent the last 18 years of his career at Penn State, including overseeing the entire defensive line for the last 14 years. He also spent 20 years coaching high school football in Maryland and Virginia, according to the release.“In just a few hours I can tell that Ohio State cares about football,” Johnson said in the release. “There is a winning tradition that is important here. They care about academics and they care about players, and I like the way coach Urban Meyer approaches things. He’s a great teacher. He is very organized and this is what I was looking for.”Johnson is set to replace former Buckeye defensive line coach Mike Vrabel, who announced via Twitter Jan. 9 he was leaving OSU to take a job with the Houston Texans of the NFL. Vrabel’s jump to the NFL comes after Houston announced the hiring of former Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien Jan. 3.While coaching at Penn State, six of Johnson’s defensive linemen were first-round NFL Draft selections, most recently Jared Odrick in 2010. Johnson also coached seven first-team All-Americans on the defensive line in his time at State College, Pa., including Courtney Brown, who was picked No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft in 2000.Since 1996, Johnson’s first season with the Nittany Lions, no other Big Ten team has had as many players from one position win Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year than the five defensive ends Johnson coached.“I am really impressed with the Ohio State players. I just met a group of players, walked out of the room and thought, ‘wow,’ these are kinds of players I want to coach,” Johnson said. “They were really impressive.”Johnson, who grew up in Williamston, N.C., coached a defense that led the nation in sacks from 2005-09. He focuses on fundamentals and forming relationships with the players he coaches, according to the release.“I’m a relationship guy and I think in order to get the best out of your players you have to develop relationships,” Johnson said in a released statement. “I’m also a teacher. I like to teach the basic fundamentals of football. I want guys who are fundamentally sound and have the ability to play fast and to play relentless.”Johnson’s salary was not immediately available Wednesday evening, per OSU. The man he is replacing at OSU, Vrabel, earned a base salary of $291,004 last season, according to the USA TODAY coaches database.According to PennLive, Johnson was offered to remain as defensive line coach for the Nittany Lions by their new head coach — James Franklin — but declined.The Buckeyes are set to open their 2014 campaign Aug. 30 against Navy at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. read more

Brazils Ronaldo believes Salah is similar to Messi

first_imgBrazil great Ronaldo has admitted that he is a big fan of Mohamed Salah’s and even compared him to Lionel MessiThe Egyptian has scored 44 goals in all competitions for Liverpool in what has been a stunning maiden campaign for the Premier League side.Salah’s 10 goals in the Champions League has helped fire Liverpool to their first appearance in the final since 2007 and he is expected to be the main threat in their attempt to deny Real Madrid a third successive crown.Ronaldo, who only won the UEFA Cup with Inter Milan in 1998, has become a fan of Salah’s himself and believes that he shares similarities with Messi.“Salah, I love him. He is an incredible player with a tremendous quality,” said the Brazilian, according to beINSPORTS.divock origi, liverpoolReport: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…“He looks like Messi. I recently read him saying that I had been his inspiration and I was excited.”However, the 41-year-old is expecting his former club Real to overcome Liverpool in the final.“My result is 3-2 for Madrid,” said Ronaldo.“If they win the final it will be an unprecedented event in their history. I am very optimistic.“There were doubts during the year, but Real Madrid came together and have achieved something historic.”last_img read more

Reminder Do Not Plow Snow Into Roads Right Of Ways

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Department of Transportation issued a reminder that plowing snow from private property into local roads, ditches, and right of ways is illegal. DOT reminds residents that as the snowfall continues this winter remember it is a violation of state law to plow excess snow from your driveway and yard across state maintained roadways. According to the Kenai Peninsula Borough, this creates an obstruction hazard and sight problems for the traveling public and snow removal equipment. Along with the reminder about plowing, the Borough asks parents to keep children out of snow piles and berms along roadways. They say plowing snow into the right of way creates significant additional costs and delays to road crews who have to move the snow back – a cost which is eventually transferred to the taxpayer.last_img read more

Will And Beto Drive To DC Top Things We Learned From The

first_img Share CONGRESSMAN BETO O’ROURKE’S FACEBOOK PAGEU.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes, and Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, drove across the country when an east coast snowstorm scrambled their flights back to Washington.With flights canceled up and down the eastern seaboard Tuesday, two Texas members of Congress went all Thelma and Louise across the state — the start of a cross-country road trip so they could castvotes at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.U.S. Reps. Will Hurd of Helotes, a Republican, and Beto O’Rourke of El Paso, a Democrat, faced weather-related flight cancelations, so they opted for a 24-hour drive across Texas and beyond.“Will and I wanted to beat the blizzard of 2017, so we jumped in a Chevy Impala in San Antonio,” O’Rourke said. “We’re driving across the country.”The pair decided to livestream what will be 1,600 miles of banter and heavy policy discussions that so far have covered veterans’ services, Medicaid, immigration and frustrations with the partisan apparatus in Washington.They spent Tuesday morning traveling up Interstate 35, with a plan to turn east at Dallas. Here is what we’ve learned: Hurd’s CIA handle: By far the coolest detail surfaced amid a conversation about preferred morning caffeine. Hurd prefers lattes, while O’Rourke takes his coffee black. And that was when Hurd revealed his handle while serving as an undercover CIA agent overseas: “Coffee Black.”They know good Mexican food: The day began with breakfast at Mi Tierra, a downtown San Antonio Mexican food restaurant. It is also a favorite of Bill and Hillary Clinton.They’re doppelgangers:  Noting his 23rd district runs up into the outskirts of O’Rourke’s hometown, Hurd said he is frequently mistaken for his Democratic friend. “I’ve been confused for Beto O’Rourke many times in El Paso and in Washington, D.C.,” Hurd said. O’Rourke knows how to use the internet:  O’Rourke mostly coordinates the livestream through his various  accounts while Hurd fields media interviews, including a live phone interview with MSNBC. Last year, O’Rourke was the main point man who live streamed the House Democratic takeover of the chamber floor. They have stellar taste in music: Johnny Cash, John Denver and Willie Nelson made their road trip playlist. The force is with them: When asked from an online watcher, “Star Wars or Star Trek?” both men indicated their preference was with the Jedi. O’Rourke was careful, however, to show some geographic loyalty to his fellow El Pasoan, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.Neither man is happy with U.S. Rep. Steve King: Over the weekend, the Iowa Republican tweeted critical comments about foreigners and their children. O’Rourke called for a rebuke from the U.S. House of Representatives if King does not apologize. Hurd described the contributions of immigrants and said tone of King’s comments are “unhelpful” and “mean.”They are both potential statewide candidates…at least someday: During a stop on the University of Texas campus to see NBC’s Chuck Todd, the Meet the Press anchor asked both men when they might run statewide. Hurd demurred. “I think the connection is getting bad,” Hurd joked. “I’m focused on the 23rd district about getting re-elected there, and doing the work of those people.” O’Rourke, however, said his Senate intentions will soon be clear: “I’m really close to making an announcement.” He is all but certain to run for U.S. Senate, but is still relatively unknown both in Washington and Texas. He will need to raise his profile if he is to make headway in what would be an uphill climb against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. The Texas Tribune provided this story.Copyright 2017 KERA-FM. To see more, visit KERA-FM.last_img read more

Empowering women through self defence

first_imgWomen’s safety has emerged as a major concern all over the world, especially in our country. To combat this grave issue and to take on The Imperial’s commitment to women’s safety, the hotel joined hands with Delhi Police’s Parivartan program for a ‘Self Defense Training’, to train the hotel’s women associates and empower them with techniques of safeguarding themselves in challenging situations. The training which was organised after 4 years in the hotel since the last one conducted in 2014, aimed at developing skills and confidence in the ladies to knock out when the need arises. The Delhi Police instructors taught not only the techniques but also the approach and the methodology to defend oneself in completely adrenalized situations. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe finale culminated 15 days training by the Parivartan team of Delhi Police and saw the presence of ACP Shashi Bala Kaushik, under whose aegis the training was conducted, Chief Guest- Addl DCP Kumar Gyanesh who enlightened the role of Delhi Police for women’s safety, Inspector Mahesh Chandra, the respective instructors, senior management and associates of The Imperial. The energy and the excitement of The Imperial women was soaring high as they demonstrated defense techniques like hand to hand combat moves, knocking an opponent to the ground and leg sweeps, handling a situation when one is grabbed by an attacker and more. A few also shared their thoughts on their journey, the skills they imbibed and the confidence they have now to handle adversities, appreciating their mentors from Delhi Police. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveVijay Wanchoo, Senior Executive Vice President and General Manager, The Imperial, New Delhi, shared his thoughts on the training and said, “With an undoubted need for the security of women in the existing social scenario, The Imperial with Delhi Police initiated the self-defense training with Delhi Police for a period of 15 days this year. The training has instilled not only the right skills and confidence in them but has ensured their safety at all times. I am highly grateful to Delhi Police for lending their support in making this true by appointing their best of trainers since they have played a pivotal role in making our women aware of their strengths and capabilities. I am sure they are now better equipped to protect themselves in violent situations.”The finale witnessed Delhi Police honoring all the participants with certificates while The Imperial felicitated the Delhi Police officials for their wholehearted support in organizing this exclusive workshop.last_img read more

Gadgets That Can Battle the Elements

first_imgJanuary 8, 2013 There’s always that moment of irrational hope just as disaster strikes a personal electronic device. Maybe your cell phone will be the first ever to survive an accidental bath, or perhaps your laptop, tumbling off the table, won’t shatter. The good news? If your device has a high Ingress Protection (IP) rating, it just might tough it out. The IP uses a two-digit system: The first digit (from 0 to 6) measures protection against solid objects like hands, wires and dust; the second (from 0 to 8) measures the level of protection against liquids, from condensation to total immersion. The rough-and-tumble devices showcased here didn’t just earn passing grades–they weathered our own real-world trials with flying colors. Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. 3 min read Tough StuffGetac X500 (from $4,999)Scored at IP65, this 16-inch laptop can fight off dust, splashes of water and, with its magnesium-alloy case, maybe even a few battlefield foes as well. Meeting U.S. military standards, this Windows 7 device has an array of options, including GPS, fingerprint scanner and night-vision display; it also has several great standard features, such as a shock-protected hard drive and a display that’s readable in sunlight. It functions in temperatures ranging from minus 4 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Bummer: At 11.68 pounds, portability is an issue. Raw PowerMophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro ($100)Road warriors need backup mobile power to charge devices quickly when operating off the grid. Mophie’s 6,000 mAh portable battery does this well. Compatible with a wide array of USB devices, the IP65-rated energy brick can withstand dust and sprays of water, and its rugged, rubber edging both covers ports and shields the device from impacts. After being carelessly dropped onto the ground a few times, the juice pack still worked, recharging a smartphone battery in less than an hour. Listen Now Splash of GeniusSony Xperia Advance ($320)This slim Android smartphone doesn’t need a protective case. To prove it, we put its IP67 rating to the test, drowning it in the sink for two minutes, then pulling it out and using it while still wet. The 3.5-inch, scratch-resistant touchscreen responded just fine to pruned, soaking-wet fingers. With its 5 megapixel camera and 8 GB of onboard storage (upgradable to 32 GB via microSD card), it’s a go-to phone for those who make their living in and around water or snow.  This story appears in the December 2012 issue of . Subscribe » How Success Happens Water BabyPantech Element ($400)The curves on this 8-inch Android tablet make it easy to grab–a great feature for retrieving it from the bath. With an IP57 rating, the Element survived a soaking just fine (it even continued to play video while underwater). Hooked into AT&T’s LTE wireless network, the device can be used anywhere, including in the rain while waiting for a cab. Haptic feedback adds to the tablet’s tactile experience: There’s a slight vibration when keys are typed, which is helpful for fingers that are numb from cold. The 16 GB of onboard storage is expandable through a microSD slot.last_img read more

HBOs Game of Thrones Game of Thrones generated th

first_imgHBO’s Game of ThronesGame of Thrones generated the most Tweets globally among 16 of the World’s most popular TV shows last year, with 16.646 million Tweets, according to research commissioned by UK electronics retailer Currys/PC World. Game of Thrones Tweets generated 133 billion potential total impressions, according to the survey.The Walking Dead came second in the list with 12.126 million Tweets and 63 billion potential impressions. These two shows were far ahead of third-placed Empire, which generated 2.16 million Tweets, with Mad Men and The Great British Bake Off making up the remainder of the Top Five.The survey found that broadcast TV shows have a clear peak day of the week when most Twitter content is generated, but Twitter traffic for shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime is more dispersed. It found that TV shows that are established and have gone beyond their first or second seasons tend to have higher levels of Twitter activity.Game of Thrones generated most Tweets in the US, the UK and Brazil, with Tweeters more or less evenly split between males and females and most coming from the 35-plus age group.Sixty per cent of The Walking Dead’s Tweets came from the US, far ahead of the next-placed territory Brazil, which generated 8.5% of Tweets about the show. Fifty-eight per cent of Tweeters were female, mostly in the 35-plus age range.Top-placed non-US show The Great British Bake Off generated 80% of its Tweets in the UK, with two out of every three Tweets coming from females.last_img read more

Back in the 1960s a clever but financially disadv

first_imgBack in the 1960s, a clever but financially disadvantaged fellow placed a small ad in a national magazine that read something like: Money needed. Please send $1 to the address below. Do it today! No specific need was given, and nothing was promised in return, so that fraud could not later be charged.Yet within a few months, thousands of dollars arrived in his mailbox, a considerable sum in those days. Or so the urban legend goes.P2P MoneyA half-century later, many things have changed, but one thing remains unchanged: People still need money, and they have not ceased to innovate ways in which to get it.We have written extensively in this space about many of the P2P Internet connections that are transforming the planet… in commerce, in education, in the job market, and with business and social networking. The list of possibilities is truly endless. For yet another example, the world of money has been given a Red-Bull jolt by a fast-growing phenomenon known as “crowdfunding.”Previously, if you had a grand scheme for a new product or service and you needed seed money to get your project off the ground, you had to save it yourself, borrow from friends and relatives, or go with begging bowl to your local bank, which was unlikely to see you as the next Steve Jobs. If it was a big enough idea, you might even attract the attention of a venture capital (VC) company, but there you had to be prepared to offer many pounds of flesh in return. And still, those ideas that didn’t meet with bank criteria (there’s no collateral for a software startup) yet weren’t large enough for the VC crowd often fell into a no man’s land, scraping out some funding from unorganized, so-called “angel” investors, or never getting funded at all.More recently, we’ve seen the rise of for-profit Internet alternatives to traditional lending, such as Prosper, Zopa, and the market leader, LendingClub. These P2P companies specialize in small loans – LendingClub’s limit is $35,000. They don’t originate loans – they facilitate them, cutting out the banks and creating a situation that allows individuals with spare cash directly to invest in other people’s dreams, while the dreamers can borrow based on the public responses to their particular (hopefully compelling) stories. For each loan, there is a multitude of lenders, not just one.It’s a win-win proposition. Borrowers receive below-market rates with less hassle than is usually encountered at a traditional financial institution. Investors get an excellent rate of return, and can attenuate risk by building a portfolio spread across multiple loans. And LendingClub prospers by taking a cut. The site claims a very low default rate of less than 3% since its inception in 2007, and it has been a monster success. To date, LendingClub has negotiated nearly a billion dollars in loans, a meteoric ascent from about $175 million just two years ago.Other, more philanthropically oriented organizations either are or function a little more like nonprofits. They solicit donations in order to make very small micro-loans to budding entrepreneurs, primarily in the developing world. Donors either simply get their money back, or the principal plus a small amount of interest. Those that work this way include Kiva, Zidisha, Fundable, PayPal’s MicroPlace, GlobalGiving, FirstGiving, CreateaFund, Calvert Foundation’s Community Impact Investing, and the Grameen Foundation, which received tremendous worldwide publicity when its partner organization Grameen Bank shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Muhammad Yunus in 2006.At the other extreme – if you’re an upscale investor looking outside of the traditional markets for greater risk/reward potential – there are alternatives for you as well, in the form of secondary markets. Sites such as SharesPost and SecondMarket provide access to participation in private placements and the purchase of already existing, pre-IPO shares in privately held companies. These opportunities are generally only open to accredited investors, i.e., those who can verify that they are high-net-worth individuals and attest that they’re comfortable with assuming a high degree of risk.No quite so well-heeled? You can still play the game. MicroVentures was the first Internet broker/dealer to help startups in the US raise capital in exchange for equity. Companies can apply for up to $500,000, and individuals can buy in with an investment as low as $1,000. There’s also MediaShares, which offers companies the opportunity to crowdfund IPOs, and investors the chance to buy as little as a single share of stock. The stock can be sold online, with or without an underwriter. A new US law (H.R.1070) has been passed by Congress that will allow for advertising the sale of stock to the general public and selling to non-accredited investors; this is expected to greatly expand these types of online offerings. Crowdcube, Grow VC, and Symbid also finance business startups. SeedUps specializes in tech.Clearly there are a lot of new and imaginative ways of moving money around that vie for our attention. Many of them would be considered crowdfunding (derived from the general term “crowdsourcing,” which has traditionally referred to works like Wikipedia driven by large numbers of amateur contributors), since the definition of this term still tends to be on the loose side. It can be applied very widely, as Wikipedia does, calling it any “collective effort of individuals who network and pool their resources, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations.”Crowdfunding, if thought of merely as the pooling of resources for a common cause, is as old as human groupings. Neighbors pitching in to help someone who’s had a house fire, supporting the local rescue squad, sending truckloads of canned goods to disaster areas – all of these cooperative efforts represent crowdfunding of a sort.But that isn’t the way it’s thought of nowadays. In fact, the very term “crowdfunding” is just six years old, with Word Spy attributing its first official appearance in print to blogger Michael Sullivan on his fundavlog of August 12, 2006. And the first book on the subject – Kevin Lawton and Dan Marom’s The Crowdfunding Revolution – wasn’t published until October, 2010.In contemporary usage, “crowdfunding” is generally defined as an ongoing money-raising effort organized through the Internet. As such, it is intimately related to and initiated by online communities and social networks. However, while a given crowd might pre-exist as a community, it can also arise completely spontaneously, from disparate groups around the world which happen to share an interest in funding a person, project, or whatever. And it can be brought together by a website whose purpose is just that. These are the characteristics that distinguish crowdfunding from traditional co-ops.Funding the ArtsEarly crowdfunding efforts often involved musical groups that needed cash to advance their careers. A British rock group, Marillion, wanted to tour the US in 1997, but the band lamented on a newsgroup that they couldn’t hack it financially themselves, and their record company wasn’t prepared to pony up the support money.Marillion’s fans then took it upon themselves to raise the necessary bucks. Word went out via the Net, and the money poured in. With just a live CD promised in return, the band raised $60,000 from all over the world. Later, Marillion went on to tap its Internet fan base to fund the production and distribution of subsequent albums, cutting out the record company entirely.ArtistShare, founded in 2000, formalized the concept, becoming the first fully crowdfunded website for music. In 2005, American composer Maria Schneider’s Concert in the Garden became the first album in history to win a Grammy Award without being available in retail stores. The album, funded through ArtistShare, received four nominations that year and copped the Grammy for “best large jazz ensemble album.” Since then, ArtistShare projects have received several other nominations and taken home four additional Grammies.Other music-centric crowdfunding sites followed ArtistShare’s lead, including SellaBand (2006) and PledgeMusic (2009).Music and the arts have always been logical targets for crowdfunding and, with barriers to entry in the movie business historically so high, film was a natural. Movie crowdfunding was initiated by French entrepreneurs and producers Benjamin Pommeraud and Guillaume Colboc in August 2004, when they launched a public Internet donation campaign to fund their film, Demain la Veille (Waiting for Yesterday). Within three weeks, they managed to raise $50,000, allowing them to make the picture.Spanner Films has been a centrally organized pioneer in this area, and has even published a guide titled How to Crowdfund Your Film, just in case you have any great cinematic ideas. Spanner crowdfunded a film called The Age of Stupid, set in 2055 and starring Oscar nominee Pete Postlethwaite. Further taking advantage of the Internet, the company in September 2009 pulled off a gala global premiere, satellite-linking to more than 700 cinemas and other venues in 63 countries, with a total audience of more than a million people.Many, many other sites – including RocketHub, Sponsume, My Show Must Go On, AKA Starter, inkubato, and A Swarm of Angels – have set up shop to service the creative arts.One of them, Indiegogo, originally focused on fundraising for independent film, and was launched at Sundance in 2008. But the site soon branched out into all sorts of creative projects, whose breadth is confirmed by a quick look at the projects currently listed: game development; a graphic novel; a documentary film; a gender-transition calendar; a Canadian comic-book anthology; an asthma education app; traveling dramatic performances; and some kind of knitting endeavor (which you can back if you read German), among others.As an example of how these things work, here’s Indiegogo’s model: Entrepreneurs create a page for their funding campaign, set up an account with PayPal, make a list of “perks” for different levels of donation, set a fundraising goal in dollars (or euros, pounds, etc.), then create a social-media-based publicity effort. They publicize the projects themselves, through Facebook, Twitter, and the like. Postings are free, and users have 100% ownership of their campaigns.In the end, Indiegogo collects 4% if you reach your goal, but allows you to keep money raised even if you don’t, minus 9% (to encourage people to set “reasonable” goals). If you fail to reach your goal, you may also elect to return all money to contributors, and you will owe nothing.Kick It into GearThen there is the current king of the hill, Kickstarter. Launched in April of 2009, the site has been a massive success. At the moment, Kickstarter says that over $350 million has been pledged by more than 2.5 million people, successfully funding more than 31,000 creative projects “in the worlds of Art, Comics, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film, Food, Games, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology, and Theater.”The bulk of Kickstarter-funded projects – 68% – were in the $1,000-10,000 range. But 300 raised between $100,000 and $1 million, and 13 raised in excess of $1 million. Of those that are posted, about 45% fully meet their goals, and about 12% end without having received any pledges. 82% of those that reach 20% of their goal go on to attain full funding.Kickstarter is an “all or nothing” proposition. Project creators make their pitch, set a funding goal, and a deadline by which the full amount must be raised. If they succeed, donors’ credit cards are charged at that time; if they don’t make it, no one is charged anything. Kickstarter takes a 5% cut of successful fundraisers, and payment processing fees can claim another 3-5%. Outside of that, creators keep 100% of the money and retain all rights to their projects.Backers receive no equity or financial payback, but are promised “rewards,” depending on one’s pledge level. Mostly, people participate in good faith, contributing to something they believe in. Kickstarter’s “Terms of Use require creators to fulfill all rewards of their project or refund any backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill.” But there are no legal guarantees.If a Kickstarter project really tickles people’s fancies, the results can be stunning. For instance, a modest project currently listed on its start page began with a goal of $5,000 and, with the deadline still two weeks away, has pulled in almost $110,000.Where To from Here?So, is crowdfunding the future capital source for every new venture under the sun? Well, probably not… although we can’t say for sure, because it does sometimes seem that way. In no particular order, some current and projected applications include:Journalism – With Spot.us and Global for me, the public provides suggestions and tips for stories. When a journalist accepts a suggestion, he creates a pitch, which is then funded by those who are interested. Whether this will gain any traction with readers accustomed to free Internet news content remains to be seen.Politics – Democratic candidates can benefit from ActBlue, a crowdsourced fundraising site that allows anyone to be part of a PAC. Since 2004, ActBlue has raised over $300 million. Across the aisle, Ron Paul ran his campaign for the presidential nomination largely through crowdfunding.Public projects – Want those bike lanes but your town is out of money? You can turn to CivicSponsor.Fashion – Milk and Honey Shoes allows customers to design their own shoes. Several other sites that will let consumers participate in designing new fashions are currently under development.Personal wants and needs – GoFundMe specializes in fundraising for individuals, for everything from weddings to funerals, and medical expenses to high-school trips. Greedy or Needy aims to fund make-a-wishes without the necessity of going through a big foundation. Kapipal teams up with PayPal to finance just about anything.Science – Still in its infancy, science crowdfunding has many researchers excited about the possibilities. RocketHub’s #SciFund Challenge was the first crowdfunding initiative to support science projects, while Petridish invites donors to “fund science & explore the world with renowned researchers.”Biotech – On October 1, biopharmaceutical antibacterial drug-discovery company Antabio, and WiSEED, the French crowdfunding platform dedicated to technologic startups, announce the successful completion of their seed round of financing. Initially funded by more than 200 small investors, Antabio was able to finance a key step in the validation of its drug-candidate molecules, bringing it to the attention of some major players in the drug-discovery arena.Cars – According to Gizmag, Local Motors “is a small Phoenix, Arizona-based automotive firm that uses crowd sourcing for brainstorming, designing, refining and developing vehicle ideas. They work with an Internet community of more than 20,000 designers, engineers, auto enthusiasts and other passionate minds toward developing unique, customer-centric offerings.” They’re currently working with BMW to crowdsource the Beamers of the future.DIY – Launcht claims it “empowers universities, nonprofits, startup crowdfunding portals and others” to design and implement “their own custom white label crowdfunding & voting platforms.”Brewskies – BeerBankroll is your destination if you want to help fund a small brewery.And so on.It’s difficult to overstate how fast and furious crowdfunding has grown (but it pales in comparison to the growth potential of a new technology in replication).  So red-hot is the sector that a whole secondary support network has popped up out of nowhere, largely as a result of the 2012 passage of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which effectively lifted a previous ban against public solicitation for private companies raising funds. Among the nascent bureaucracies there is now a National Crowdfunding Association (NLCFA), National Crowdfunding Association of Canada, World Crowdfund Federation, Crowdfund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates, and Crowdfunding Professional Association (CfPA), all of which sprang into existence subsequent to the passage of JOBS. The CfPA offers a course in Crowdfunding 101 and sponsors a Crowdfunding Bootcamp to teach entrepreneurs how to master the process.While crowdfunding does not yet have the Web presence of some other services, it’s headed up with a bullet. Alexa, a leading Web information company, ranks some 30 million websites worldwide, according to the amount of traffic users of its toolbar generate. Its statistics are considered one of the most accurate yardsticks by which site popularity can be measured.As of August 2012, crowdfunders were nowhere near challenging the top 10 megasites like Google, Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, Twitter, and Amazon. But Kickstarter was in 748th place, followed by Indiegogo (#1,798). Rounding out the ten most-visited crowdfunders were GoFundMe (10,892), ChipIn (28,394), RocketHub (47,424), GiveForward (52,383), Fundable (60,149), Crowdtilt (133,246), crowdfunder (105,447), and appbackr (125,977).Pros and Cons… and ConsThe pros of crowdfunding – the Internet’s P2P ability to unite worthy projects with seed capital, in the absence of conventional funding sources, and bring dreams to life – are obvious. But what of the cons?Well, there’s fraud, for one. Though crowdfunding sites claim to do detailed background checking before clearing a project to be posted, in reality this is fertile new ground for scam artists. In fact, in August the Massachusetts Securities Division charged a Lowell man in a crowdfunding scam, alleging that he had bilked 20 investors – who thought they were putting money into a gaming site – out of more than $150,000.Regulation of securities issuance is another sticky topic. Questions about crowdfunding campaigns involving unaccredited investors and private companies are being closely examined in Washington. Complicating the matter is that due diligence can be very hard if not impossible for a prospective investor to do prior to offering startup money for a new company, and that the stock those companies are offering is often not intended to be traded on any recognized exchange. Private offerings for oil and gas drilling, which are not SEC-registered, are another area of concern.Though the SEC has yet to set any hard-and-fast rules in place regarding equities, it is widely expected to stick some fingers into this rapidly baking pie as soon as the next few months.Further, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) publishes an annual list of emerging threats to investors. This year, NASAA included crowdfunding on its list of worries, warning that fraudsters could use it in new scams involving such unexplored territory as precious metals, real estate, and promissory notes.Although not overtly fraudulent, there are also going to be ideas (including possibly some great ones) for which the funding goal is unrealistic. A September Reuters article discussed a Kickstarter project called Lifx, which intends to develop a dimmable, WiFi-enabled, multicolor, energy efficient, 25-year LED light bulb that you control with your iPhone or Android… and to start shipping finished product by next March. Talk about ambitious. So far, the bulb is a monster Kickstarter hit, and the project is oversubscribed. Backers have thought so highly of it that they’ve ponied up more than $1.3 million, in return for which they’ll get… well, some bulbs. Once they’re in production.Unfortunately, as the Reuters piece pointed out, “Coming up with a truly worthy LED bulb is enormously complex, requiring expertise in physics, chemistry, optics, design, and manufacturing.” One of the early entrants into the space, the Switch bulb, has received an eight-figure investment from one VC company alone; it was promised in October of 2011 and still hasn’t arrived. Phillips, which won a $10-million government prize by marketing the first LED bulb, spent much more than that in development. So maybe Lifx can deliver the goods for $1.3M, and good for them if they can. But investors should probably be at least a little skeptical that they’ll ever be dimming the room lighting with their phones.If, instead of bulbs or other manufactured goods that may not show up, you’re looking for a return on capital – i.e., investing in a startup that’s offering stock – you are also likely to be disappointed, since more than half of all new small businesses fail within five years. Should you wish to make such an investment, it would seem sensible to find one in your immediate area, so you can check it out with your own boots on the ground.Then there is intellectual-property theft. Most basement innovators probably haven’t patented their ideas before presenting them to the waiting world, which means there’s nothing to prevent someone with deeper pockets from stealing the idea, producing the product, and getting it to market first.The reverse is also possible. Someone may, knowingly or unknowingly, post a project that infringes on someone else’s patent or intellectual-property rights. According to a recent story in Wired, this has happened on Kickstarter at least five times since April.On balance, though, we’re optimistic. All of these potential drawbacks will eventually work themselves out in the marketplace, we’re sure, provided that forthcoming government regulations don’t make it too difficult for these sites to thrive.Investment ImplicationsCrowdfunders may facilitate transfers of newly minted stock to investors, but they don’t sell stock in themselves, so there are no opportunities here, at least for the time being.However, there are some income-producing sites, like Lending Club, that have been very successful at returning a decent yield. Some Casey Research employees are invested in them, and they may interest readers who are willing to do their homework. By all means, check them out for purposes of portfolio diversification if you’d like to – or crowdfund your own pet project.As promising as crowdfunding is for investors, its profit potential pales in comparison to a new technology that could change everything from people’s shopping habits to the way diseases are treated.  When you hear about it, it may well seem like science fiction, but it’s already working on a number of fronts. You can learn more about it here.last_img read more

It is an essential impossibility to solve problems

first_imgIt is an essential impossibility to solve problems created by excess debt and artificial liquidity with more of the same. That’s our credo here at Casey Research, and the reason why we believe the gold price will turn around and not only go higher, but much, much higher.While fellow investors around the world may not agree with gold-loving contrarians like us, they are buyers: gold is up in euros and almost everything else, except the dollar.The dollar’s rise has been strong and seems all but unstoppable. But look at it in big-picture terms, as in the chart below, and ask yourself how sustainable the situation is.I’m skeptical of reading too much into such charts. A peak like the one in the early 1980s would certainly take the USD much higher, and for several years to come. But still, this is an aberration. It’s not the new normal, but rather the new abnormal.More to the point, gold hasn’t collapsed since the dollar began its latest surge last July. Just look at this one-year chart of gold vs. the US dollar. The dollar is up sharply (in EUR, as a proxy for everything-not-the-dollar and for comparability to the chart below), but gold is only moderately down.Gold has been trading almost sideways over the last year.That might seem like damnation by faint praise, but it’s critically important. With the USD skyrocketing and commodities plummeting, gold should be dropping like—well, like a gold balloon—if the critics are right and it has no practical value at all, except to dentists and fashion accessory designers.But gold is money, the best store of wealth millennia of human experience have devised, and more and more people are recognizing this.Consider this chart of gold vs. the euro, which documents my contention that people outside the US do not see gold as a barbarous relic, but as an essential holding to safeguard their future.Pretty much everywhere but in the US, gold is up, not down.This chart supports my view that gold rebounded last November when it breached its 2013 low because international buyers saw that as an opportunity. The US has gone from primarily exporting inflation to exporting gold and inflation.The fact that the dollar has risen faster than gold has dropped has important, positive effects on miners operating outside the US. If costs are paid in Canadian dollars, Mexican pesos, euros, or really hard-hit currencies like the Brazilian real, then those costs have just gone way down relative to the price of gold.Of course, there’s a good chance that there’ll be more sell-offs before the gold bull resumes its charge… but they should be regarded as opportunities. Because once the gold market rises again, the best small-cap mining stocks have the potential to go vertical.Watch eight industry experts discuss where we are in the gold cycle, and how to prepare your portfolio for gains of up to 500% or even 1,000%, in Casey’s recent online event, GOING VERTICAL. Click here for the video.last_img read more

In 2014 Nadia Murad a member of the Yazidi minor

first_imgIn 2014, Nadia Murad, a member of the Yazidi minority in northern Iraq, was taken captive by ISIS members and sexually enslaved for three months before escaping. In 2016, at the age of 23, she was named the U.N.’s first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. Today, she became the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Dr. Denis Mukwege, a gynecologist from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who treats victims of rape.The pair were named for their work to highlight and eliminate the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, according to the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Murad was honored for her refusal “to remain silent and ashamed of the abuses to which they have been subjected,” the committee said. At age 25, she is the second-youngest peace prize recipient; Malala Yousafzai was the youngest at age 17.NPR profiled Murad in August. This story has been updated.In August 2014, Nadia Murad was one of thousands of Yazidis who were captured by ISIS and forced into sexual slavery. Three months later, she escaped through a door that one of her captors left unlocked.Murad has shared her painful story with international media outlets over and over to show the world what happened to Yazidis. She has become a voice for captive women and girls in the process.She urges women who have faced sexual violence to reclaim their lives. “The hope of ISIS was to break the Yazidi community,” she says. “But for survivors especially, going back to their lives and getting married and making a life and working, it’s basically making sure ISIS did not succeed.”When she was named the U.N.’s first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised her courage.”Nadia survived horrific crimes. I cried when I heard her story. But I didn’t only cry out of sadness,” he said. “I was also moved to tears because Nadia has so much strength, courage and dignity. She rightly calls for a world where all children live in peace.”Yazidi women and girls who have escaped ISIS or are rescued face an array of problems, Pari Ibrahim, founder and executive director of the Free Yezidi Foundation, tells NPR. “A lot of the women have difficulty trying to build a new future. They don’t have a boyfriend or get engaged; they are living in the past. It’s not easy for them to switch back to the here and now and to live daily life.”Murad, who has tried to loosen shackles of the past, announced in August her plans to be married.Her fiancé, Abid Shamdeen, is a former interpreter for the U.S. Army and a human rights activist. “Despite all the difficulties that we were going through, he was always there. He was supportive,” Murad tells NPR.Shamdeen says of Murad: “Obviously she’s a very brave woman. She is courageous, she’s smart, she’s strong. And she’s a fighter.”Murad says their engagement shows Yazidi survivors that “it’s possible to live their lives again and to not believe the propaganda of ISIS — that they will not be accepted back into the community.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Two ministers have refused to apologise after they

first_imgTwo ministers have refused to apologise after they both misled MPs about the impact of the government’s new disability benefit on disabled people.In the space of just 20 minutes, work and pensions secretary Damian Green and minister for disabled people Penny Mordaunt both misled the House of Commons about how personal independence payment (PIP) was affecting disabled people.The first House of Commons work and pensions questions after the break for party conferences saw about 20 questions from MPs across the main parties with concerns about the way PIP was operating, far more than for any other issue.In one answer, Mordaunt (pictured) told MPs that under PIP – compared with disability living allowance (DLA), which it is replacing for working-age claimants – “more people are entitled to use the Motability scheme”.But Motability’s own figures show that of their customers who have been reassessed for PIP so far, 44 per cent have lost their entitlement to the scheme and have had to hand their vehicles back.Responding to another question on PIP, Green told MPs on Monday that “many more people are eligible to receive PIP than were eligible to receive disability living allowance”.But the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) own figures from June showed that only about seven in 10 disabled people who were previously claiming DLA were being found eligible for PIP.The DWP figures showed just 71 per cent of DLA recipients who applied for PIP were successful with their claim in April 2016, once withdrawn claims were excluded.PIP was introduced with the intention – announced by chancellor George Osborne in his 2010 emergency budget – of cutting the number of working-age claimants by 20 per cent.A DWP spokesman appeared to accept that the two statements were not true*, arguing in a statement that the ministers were trying to make completely different points about PIP.He has so far refused to say whether the ministers stand by their statements or whether they will be apologising to MPs, but insisted that “the comments should be considered in the context of the exchanges made during DWP Oral Questions and the wider discussion of which they formed a part”.Among MPs who raised concerns about PIP, the SNP’s Martyn Day told Mordaunt that for the fourth year in a row “the Infrastructure and Projects Authority has said that the roll-out of the personal independence payment project is ‘in doubt with major risks… apparent in a number of key areas’”.Mordaunt claimed that PIP was “a vast improvement on what went before” and was “a more targeted benefit”.Another SNP MP, John Nicolson, then told her of a disabled constituent who had had her Motability car removed after a PIP assessment.He said: “She had to use public transport, which she was unable to do, and she lost her job as a result.“Does the minister really think that government policy is delivering compassionate outcomes in such cases?”After asking for Nicolson to write to her with details of the case, Mordaunt claimed that more people were entitled to use the Motability scheme under PIP, although “clearly we want to make sure that any decision taken on a PIP assessment is the right one”.Tory MP Peter Bone told Mordaunt: “I do not know whether it is just in my area, but at every weekly surgery I will have one person who has been refused PIP who is clearly entitled to it.“I had a lady this week with multiple sclerosis; she is clearly entitled to it and will get it when she goes to the independent tribunal, but why do such people have to wait until then?“Surely this can be corrected at an earlier stage.”Mordaunt said she understood Bone’s frustration, and told him that DWP was “looking very closely at those cases that have gone to appeal and been overturned to see why the right decision was not taken earlier in the process”.She pointed to an earlier answer in which she had said that DWP was working to address such problems, “including giving a bit more flexibility for certain cases at that early stage, with the hope that the evidence we need will then be submitted at that stage”, work that she said was currently being rolled out.She told Bone that there would be more announcements on PIP in the department’s forthcoming green paper on employment support for disabled people, which is due to be published before the end of the year.*In full, the DWP spokesman said: “There are more people using Motability now than when PIP was first introduced, including a number who are newly entitled to Motability under PIP, which is the point the minister was making. “PIP recognises both physical and non-physical conditions, such as mental health problems, much more effectively than DLA did. “For example, under DLA some people with mental health conditions were not eligible for support or were on much lower rates than they are under PIP, which is what the secretary of state was referring to in his remarks.“Overall, 66 per cent of PIP recipients, whose main disabling condition is a mental health condition, are getting the enhanced rate of the daily living component, compared to only 22 per cent of working age mental health recipients receiving the highest rate of the DLA care component.“24 per cent of PIP recipients, whose main disabling condition is a mental health condition, are getting the enhanced rate of the mobility component, compared to only nine per cent of working age mental health recipients receiving the higher rate of the DLA mobility component.”last_img read more

When Your Virtual Assistant Goes MIA

first_img President of Keener Marketing Solutions The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Guest Writer –shares What would you do if someone you worked with just disappeared? Image credit: Georgijevic | Getty Images Next Article Apply Now » Virtual Assistant February 16, 2017 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List When Your Virtual Assistant Goes MIA It was like any other morning. I fired up my computer, checked email and started prioritizing the day ahead. Despite my usual sense of optimism, I couldn’t help but feel a little concerned. It had been several days since I heard from my virtual assistant — we’ll call her Jessica — which was definitely not like her. For more than a year, we had worked closely together on practically everything. Although she was not an employee, I thought of Jessica as an extension of my brand. She helped me keep things organized, took excellent meeting minutes, collaborated on new ideas and even shared a laugh or two. Her prompt service and rapid turnaround was one of her greatest strengths. Now, after a few days of no response, I was beginning to question everything.More time passed. I never heard another word from Jessica. It’s like she just disappeared. I’ll occasionally see her chat status as “online,” but I’ve stopped trying to contact her. In this article, I’ll share four lessons learned from this experience.Related: 7 Ways to Gain Self Discipline and Strive Towards Greatness1. Don’t ignore the warning signs.In hindsight, I should have seen the situation coming. Unfortunately, I’m often too forgiving and willing to overlook minor annoyances. A forgetful moment here, an oversight there — everyone makes mistakes, right? Of course, no one is perfect; however, when examined in their entirety, a pattern of events had developed that I failed to notice.Be on the lookout for these warning signs from your virtual assistant(s):Forgets simple instructions. By definition, a virtual assistant should be someone who is highly organized. His or her job is to make your life easier, not complicate matters. A reliable virtual assistant will be proactive and make detailed notes, rather than constantly asking how things are to be done.Unexpectedly misses meetings. Scheduling conflicts do occur, although very few happen due to real emergencies. When a calendar overlap is identified, your virtual assistant should offer plenty of forewarning and seek a new date that works for everyone. Waiting until the last minute, or after the fact, is simply unacceptable.Makes excuses. There are only so many pet crises that actually impact one’s work schedule. It’s OK to be compassionate with your virtual assistant, but, on the other hand, it’s also possible that you’re on the receiving end of an excuse.2. Be strategic when giving system access.I was either too trusting or too lazy when I hired Jessica. Within a week of starting her contract, I had made her an administrator on several of my company’s most important systems, including my project management software. I later found out that she was also an “owner” of several important Google Docs folders, which was especially difficult to unwind upon her mysterious departure.Before hiring another virtual assistant, pause to consider your approach to freelancer onboarding and offboarding. If you needed to, could you flip a switch and instantly restrict access to outgoing contractors? Of your existing assistants, which of them have more access than is actually needed? Spend time reviewing each user’s permission levels and adjust accordingly.To further limit your risk, it can also be wise to take a staggered approach to onboarding. Rather than giving access to everything on day one, share only those systems necessary to get work done. As you build trust with the contractor, you can then expand his or her access to include additional systems or administrative privileges.Related: When to Hire Virtual Assistants and Outsource Help3. Formally review your virtual assistants.Virtual assistants are usually freelancers who serve multiple clients. Although they’re not your employees, it’s still a good idea to provide regular feedback by means of a formal review process. Doing so provides an important forum to express concerns or warning signs you’ve observed and to drill down into the root causes.To structure your review process, it can be helpful to do the following:Create an assessment form for your virtual staff.Schedule an hour-long, review session twice a year for each virtual assistant.As the annual review approaches, s invite the virtual assistant to submit the form as a self-assessment.Also submit the assessment from your perspective.At the review meeting, compare notes and share candid feedback.Save the assessment data and meeting notes in a drive for safekeeping.The review process is your opportunity to objectively examine the situation. If you realize that a virtual assistant is actually making your life more complicated, then it’s probably time to move in a different direction.Related: How Inefficient Processes Are Hurting Your Company4. When you start to beg, something is wrong.The best virtual assistants are motivated by accomplishment and your total satisfaction. Therefore, when you find yourself begging for simple updates, you know something is seriously wrong.For example, I probably said things like this to Jessica before she vanished:”Did you ever enter that one task I sent you last week?””Are you going to send the meeting invite we discussed? I never saw it come through.””Can you post the link to the meeting minutes? I needed that yesterday.”Remember, your virtual assistant should keep you organized — not the other way around. Stop begging for things you could do yourself in a matter of minutes. 5 min read Matt Keener Add to Queuelast_img read more

How to Watch Apples WWDC Keynote

first_img Next Article The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Chloe Albanesius June 5, 2017 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List The opening WWDC keynote begins at 1 p.m. ET and will be live streamed on Apple’s website. 2 min read Image credit: via PC Mag Add to Queuecenter_img How to Watch Apple’s WWDC Keynote –shares Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) kicks off this morning, but if you can’t make it to the San Jose Convention Center in Silicon Valley, you can live stream Cupertino’s big announcements — if you have the right setup.The opening keynote begins at 1 p.m. ET and will be live streamed on Apple’s website. To watch, you’ll need an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with Safari on iOS 7.0 or later; a Mac with Safari 6.0.5 or later on OS X v10.8.5 or later; or a PC with Microsoft Edge on Windows 10. You can also stream on the newest Apple TV or the second- or third-gen set-top box with software 6.2 or later.PCMag’s Matthew Buzzi and Dan Costa are on the ground in San Jose, and will bring you all the news about iOS 11, the next version of macOS and perhaps a few hardware surprises. Look for some Mac news, and maybe even a smart speaker that can tap into Siri.Last year, Apple gave its operating system a new name — macOS — and brought Siri to the desktop. Updates for iOS 10 were heavy on notifications and messages, with emoji and the ability to send animations, invisible messages that only appear once tapped and handwritten notes. We also got some tvOS and watchOS updates.We’ll have to wait until 1 p.m. ET to see what Apple has on tap for WWDC 2017. Until then, check out what PCMag expects to see. This story originally appeared on PCMag Executive Editor, PCMag Apple Apply Now »last_img read more

How This 28 Million Startup Hopes to Save the World With 3D

first_img Entrepreneur Staff Divergent 3D, founded by a one-time investor and two-time entrepreneur, holds patents on technologies that allow carmakers to print vehicles. Kevin Czinger says he wants to completely change how cars are built, but his motivation isn’t money or fame. It’s to help humanity avoid the “suicidal direction that people are heading,” he declares.By shaking up how cars are made, Czinger believes, the world will be saved from an impending climate disaster. And that’s where 3D printing comes in. Yes, that’s right: Some day, most cars will be manufactured using 3D printing technology, if Czinger gets his way.But first, an aside, because you’re probably thinking, Well, how about ‘saving the world’ with something we’ve already got: electric cars?The correct response there is, Not so fast. Yes, drivers switching wholesale to electric vehicles would certainly make a sizable dent in the CO2 damage that tailpipe exhaust creates. Yet those cars are just a Band-Aid solution, since the electricity they require comes largely from nonrenewable sources. So picture a Band-Aid trying to cover a gaping environmental wound.Alternately, the most effective way to reduce the environmental damage cars have long fomented is something people don’t usually think about: automobile manufacturing. According to a United Nations report, manufacturing is the single largest source of the damage automobiles unleash on the environment.An electric vehicle’s batteries account for about a third of its weight, while the carbon composites and aluminum in its body also require a lot of energy as part of its production and processing.Related: Stephen Hawking Says We Have 100 Years to Inhabit Another PlanetAnd while low-emission vehicles can be good for the overall environment in places in the United States where green energy providers already abound — think California — electric cars simply add to the problem in places where coal still rules — think China.Because coal, as we well know, is a global-warming bomb.The part of the Blade that’s 3D printed is the chassis, not the entire vehicle. The company says a chassis such as this can be assembled in a matter of minutes.Image credit: Divergent 3D”The [reduction of] tailpipe exhaust,” Czinger says, “is fooling you into thinking that you’re not creating a super-destructive system, that any potential environmental benefits are offset.” That’s a mistake, he says.“You’re vastly accelerating the destruction of the environment.”So, how does this Los Angeles-based entrepreneur, who walked away from his first startup, plan to shake the pollution out of how the automobile industry builds cars? His answer brings us right back to 3D printing.How it worksCzinger’s company, Divergent 3D, created and holds the patents for 3D-printing equipment and software that specifically allows carmakers to print individual pieces of a vehicle, each of which is then assembled by hand or machine. The process requires less energy and fewer materials than current manufacturing methods, Czinger explains, by replacing the hard-metal tooling, stamping, welding and painting currently required to create today’s vehicles.In a case study, Divergent found that its process eliminates 80 percent of factory costs and decreases the number of chassis structure parts by about 75 percent compared to typical vehicle-manufacturing practices.”The machine doesn’t care if you’re doing the most complicated layer cake in the world or you’re doing a simple nail,” Czinger says. “We’re looking at it as a system we’re going to continuously innovate around, and then we’re going to license that, so that people can create structures that are much more functional and much more profitable and use vastly less material and energy.”Czinger says he sees Qualcomm, which licenses the use of the chips found in devices such as smartphones, as a model for Divergent. His own company, which emerged from stealth three years after its 2011 founding, employs about 55 people, most of them engineers. And so far, it’s raised a total of about $28 million. Last year, Divergent also announced a partnership with PSA, the French automobile giant.PSA weighed in on the deal: “We are very impressed by the promising new opportunities in Divergent 3D’s technology. We’re convinced that these spectacular advances in 3D printing will help position PSA Group as a leader in automobile manufacturing,” said Carlos Tavares, chairman of the managing board of PSA Group, in a press release in March.Divergent 3D creates car parts using metal 3D printing that bypasses some of the most energy-intensive factory operations such as fixturing, stamping, welding and e-coating.Image credit: Divergent 3D”This has the potential to dramatically scale down the size and scope of our manufacturing footprint, reduce overall vehicle weight and build complexity, while also giving us almost limitless flexibility in design output,” Tavares said. “We are talking about a radical change for our industry.”Czinger plans for Divergent to partner with major automakers and commercialize the technology, which he believes could eventually lead to what he calls a democratization of cars. In that scenario, individual designers and small firms would create car models, and customers would special-order them. The larger automakers could act as the manufacturer, certifier and distributor, combined, for smaller brands.”Design, engineer, send data, manufacture, assemble the standard parts and customized Lego block connectors and then you have an object,” Czinger says, ticking off the steps of Divergent’s process. “That will be for a whole range of complex structures: vehicles, maybe in the future architecture, aerospace vehicles, etc.“You’ve democratized even the larger-scale industries because there’s no big capital barrier to them anymore, and you’ve relocalized the manufacturing. That’s what I think the future will be.”Related: Our Rosy Outlook on Driverless Cars Needs a Reality CheckTwin passions early onCzinger’s past goes back to Cleveland, where he grew up, and where he had a love of cars ingrained into him from a young age.”I grew up in a relatively large family where probably from the time I could physically help my brothers, they enslaved me working on cars,” Czinger says. “And then of course I built and raced cars. I always had this love of cars.”In high school, when this son of a housewife and door-to-door salesman was captain of the football and wrestling teams, Czinger also developed his other passion: a love of nature and a sense — instilled by his Jesuit teachers — that we are all responsible for the planet. “They were totally focused on stewardship,” he remembers. “That you had 100 percent responsibility for creating a human society and for caring for nature.”Following graduation, Czinger attended Yale, where he played football under Carm Cozza, who coached the team from 1965 to 1996. Cozza gushed over Czinger in his 1999 book, True Blue, writing, “Kevin Czinger was the toughest kid to play football at Yale in my 32 years as head coach.Divergent 3D partners with SLM Solutions Group to develop specific metal 3D printing hardware and software.Image credit: Divergent 3D“No question about it,” Cozza’s memoir continued. “He was also the most unusual personality, probably the outstanding overachiever, maybe the brightest student, and definitely the scariest individual.”Scary? “When I say Kevin was tough,” Cozza wrote, “ I mean he was competitive to the point of obsession, and loyal almost to a fault.”Czinger earned his BA from Yale, followed by a law degree from Yale Law School in 1987.A rebellious streak”I was always rebellious against authority,” Czinger says. But then came his stint in the Marines Corp. Reserves — inspired by his parents and brother who served in the armed forces — from 1983 to 1992. There, the rebelliousness stopped. “What they did for me is [make me] say, ‘This is the context I’m in. The last thing I want to be is disruptive. I have to fit in here and support what the Marine Corps is doing.’“You have to understand context and be willing to discipline yourself for a greater aim.”That greater aim included interning with Goldman Sachs during law school, clerking for Judge Gerhard Gersell — who famously presided over the Watergate and Iran-Contra cases — then moving to a job as an assistant attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s office, Southern District of New York, under Rudy Giuliani, who of course would later become the city’s mayor.Relatively early in his tenure, the then-young attorney Czinger even led a case. He then made a return to Goldman Sachs, where he became the executive director of media, telecom and technology group, from 1991 to 1995.”Those things transformed me from someone who had zero public speaking skills — I was shy and nervous — into someone who could stand up, think on their feet in a logical way and address a broad range of people,” he says of those early years.Electric carsIn 2008, Czinger finally acted on his love of automobiles by moving away from both law and Wall Street to become co-founder of CODA Automotive, a company which produced electric vehicles.His experience at CODA ultimately led to the founding of Divergent 3D, but first, Czinger had to fail.CODA aimed to create electric vehicles for the Chinese market by converting an existing Chinese sedan to electric power, but Czinger found that the associated economic details were not in the company’s favor. “If you look at electric cars, autonomous vehicles — all of these programs people are talking about — these are all lower-volume vehicle programs,” he points out.He says he wanted the company to change course, but because he had raised so much funding and given away equity, his share of the company had become minimal. So, in 2011, Czinger left CODA to start researching the concepts that would eventually become Divergent 3D.A divergent pathWhile researching his next move, Czinger found studies, primarily the aforementioned UN report, that detailed the environmental impact of automobile manufacturing. He also found inspiration in Stephen Emmott’s book, Ten Billion, which predicts a global calamity once the world population reaches 10 billion.”By 2025 we’ll have 8 billion people in an industrialized world that’s scaling up,” Czinger says, ominously. “We’re going to look [back] at that 120-year period where we built 2 billion vehicles, and in the next 30 to 35 years we’re going to build 4 billion-plus vehicles, which on average are 50 percent heavier.“So, we’re going to, in a fraction of the time, triple the number of vehicles ever manufactured in the history of the planet.”He continues: “From a materials and energy standpoint, you’re looking at a magnitude difference in environmental destruction. That means that the way we design and manufacture vehicles is critical to our survival.”This fact reflects the sobering reality that electric vehicles can be as detrimental to the environment as gas-powered ones — and Czinger isn’t the only one saying that: Ozzie Zehner, author of Green Illusions, declared that, “Moving from petroleum-fueled vehicles to electric cars begins to look more and more like shifting from one brand of cigarettes to another.”Related: Meet the Entrepreneurs Driving the Edible Insect MovementCzinger says that once he started looking into the problem, he knew that an incremental solution wouldn’t be good enough. There needed to be a way to eliminate the specific machine tooling and long assembly lines currently used to manufacture vehicles, he reasoned. That solution? 3D printing.Divergent showed off its 3D-printed car, the Blade, at CES 2017.Image credit: Divergent 3D”The dream of car engineering is to look end to end at a vehicle and only pick the materials that are perfectly optimized for each segment,” he says. “That’s what [3D printing] allows you to do.”Divergent got PSA on board after it shaved about 150 kilograms off a Peugeot 308 and reduced its number of structural parts by more than 75 percent. Not only that, Czinger says, but the updated version of the car won a better crash rating.Lifelong learnerDuring our interview, Czinger tends to give lengthy answers involving technical descriptions. He even expresses gratitude to the Carnegie Library System in Cleveland, where he spent weekends as a kid reading for entire afternoons — his favorite pastime growing up.Clearly, he’s a lifelong learner. And, today, he says, when tasked to learn something new, he takes a similar approach to those library days of his youth: reading and more reading.”The reality is you can teach yourself anything,” Czinger says. “First, I do a general survey of what the literature is, to understand what people are thinking; and then if I find particular people that I want to talk to, I’ll talk to them.”Still, while all that idealistic stuff about fighting climate change is Divergent’s mission, Czinger has his feet planted firmly on planet Earth. He knows Divergent is a business first.”The most internal discipline you can possibly have, because you are wanting to change the world, you have to look out and say, ‘I’m not going to change anything if I run out of money,'” Czinger says. “I’m not going to change anything if I don’t survive. I have to make sure that we maintain our survival.”Meanwhile, he says he doesn’t see Divergent as an extension of himself. “My ego doesn’t depend on this company,” he says.“Whether my life is successful or not doesn’t depend on this company. I’m going to give it, like, an enormous, crazy, crazy, crazy effort because I’m a competitive person and I think this is the right thing to do. But, as a human being, this is not about ‘me.’ The most important thing is to be a good person and have those relationships.”He adds, “If I thought this was about making more money or being cool, I would not do it for a second, believe me.” June 15, 2017 12 min read Enroll Now for $5 Image credit: Divergent 3D News Director Stephen J. Bronner –shares Cars Add to Queue How This $28 Million Startup Hopes to Save the World With 3D Printing Next Article Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand 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. Jay Leno and Kevin Czinger pose with Divergent’s Blade while filming a segment for ‘Jay Leno’s Garage.’last_img read more

Watch Out Santa Denmark Says It Owns the North Pole

first_img Image credit: Pixabay Watch Out, Santa. Denmark Says It Owns the North Pole. Jason Fell December 16, 2014 –shares Entrepreneur Staff Director of the Entrepreneur Partner Studio 2 min read Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Santa, man, you better dig up your deed and call your city officials, pronto. It looks like Denmark is making a power play to be the sole owner of the North Pole.Following a 12-year, $50 million survey of an underwater mountain range, the Nordic country — located in Northern Europe just south of Norway and Sweden — has concluded that it is the rightful owner of the North Pole. Its research apparently shows that the Arctic region is geologically attached to Greenland, which Denmark also controls.For those of us who need a quick refresher on where the North Pole is, it’s the 556,463-square-mile area in the middle of the Arctic Ocean that represents the northernmost point on Earth. So, no, residents of North Pole, Alaska, can rest easy.Related: 5 Steps to Working a Holiday Party Like SantaTurns out, a number of countries have voiced interest in owning the North Pole over the years, including the U.S., Russia, Canada and Norway. Denmark’s claim is uncharacteristically bold for a country that’s otherwise considered a pretty chill, diplomatic place.As with most things, there appears to be some business strategy behind Denmark’s northern land grab. The North Pole is believed to contain 30 percent of the world’s undiscovered natural gas and 15 percent of its oil. As the polar ice melts, getting to these resources becomes more feasible.In other words, Denmark is seeing dollar signs.I wonder if Santa knew what was under his feet if he would have gotten into a different line of business. Or, maybe he would have diversified revenue streams, at least.Related: How Much Would Santa’s Salary Be? Next Article Add to Queue Opportunity Register Now »last_img read more

Apple Signs Up for Googles Cloud Services

first_imgCloud Technology 2 min read Add to Queue Reuters Image credit: Denys Prykhodov | Shutterstock Next Article –shares Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brandcenter_img Apple Signs Up for Google’s Cloud Services Apple Inc. recently started using Google’s cloud service even as it simultaneously builds its own data centers to reduce its reliance on third-party service providers, technology news website Re/code reported, citing sources familiar with the deal.Apple currently also uses Amazon.com Inc.’s and Microsoft Corp.’s cloud services, but intends to end its reliance on all its rivals in the next few years, Re/code said.The iPhone maker is spending between $400 million and $600 million on Google’s cloud services, tech magazine CRN reported, adding that it was unclear if the range was for an annual rate or a set amount of capacity.CRN said Apple has also significantly reduced its reliance on Amazon since signing up with Google late last year.Apple, Amazon and Alphabet Inc.-owned Google could not be reached for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.Apple said last February that it would spend a combined $3.9 billion to build three data centers in Arizona, Ireland and Denmark. The Arizona facility is planned to be a command center to manage its other data centers.Google has also been pushing to gain share in the fast-growing market. In November, the company appointed industry veteran Diane Greene to run its cloud business.Last month, Google signed a deal to provide cloud services for online music streaming platform Spotify.(Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza) March 17, 2016 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. Enroll Now for $5 This story originally appeared on Reuterslast_img read more