SA AusSquad Weekend

first_imgSome of Australia’s best coaches and players will be on hand to share their knowledge and skills with South Australia’s up-and-coming talent this weekend when Touch Football South Australia holds its AusSquad Junior Development weekend. Australian Men’s Open squad member, Stuart Brierty and Australian Women’s Open squad member, Leah Percy will be in attendance at the camp as will Australian 18’s Boys coach, Dave Nolan and Australian Women’s Open assistant coach, Karley Banks. South Australia’s 12’s, 15’s and 18’s Boys and Girls teams will be involved in the weekend, which will be great preparation for their respective national events later in the year – for the 18’s teams, the 2013 X-Blades National Youth Championships in September, and for the 12’s and 15’s, the School Sport Australia National Championships in October in Darwin. For more information about the weekend, please visit Touch Football South Australia’s website – www.touchsa.com.au. Related LinksSA AusSquad Weekendlast_img read more

10 months agoLuiz insists Chelsea in the title race

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Luiz insists Chelsea in the title raceby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea defender David Luiz insists they’re in the title race.Chelsea are fourth in the table ahead of their match against Leicester at Stamford Bridge on Saturday and go into the festive period looking to make it three league wins in a row.”Everybody knows the Premier League is so difficult, we have to think step by step,” the Brazil international told Sky Sports News.”Of course the boss tries to give us the maths and to give us one direction to follow and we trying to get the points to be there and fighting for the title not just for the top four.”It’s not my first Premier League [season] so I know anything can happen.” last_img read more

DISNEYFOX DEAL PROMPTS HUMOROUS REACTIONS FROM RYAN REYNOLDS AND OTHER CELEBS

first_imgRyan Reynolds’ Deadpool is one of the many characters the Walt Disney Co. acquired in its landmark deal with 21st Century Fox. (Joe Lederer / Associated Press) Login/Register With: Walt Disney Co. finalized its acquisition of much of 21st Century Fox late Tuesday in a landmark deal that made Mickey Mouse and Bart Simpson corporate cousins.It’s finally official, my favourite Disney characters are Dana Scully and Ellen Ripley! #DisneyFoxDEAL pic.twitter.com/YXwKXf3Lte— Mizuno Takarai (@mizunotakarai) March 20, 2019 LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Disney, which had already made high-priced acquisitions of Lucasfilm, Marvel and Pixar, spent a whopping $71.3 billion to add the Fox assets to its library. The giant media takeover included Fox’s movie and TV production studios and the rights to major properties including “Avatar,” “Modern Family” and the “Alien” and “Predator” franchises, among numerous others.Feels like the first day of ‘Pool. pic.twitter.com/QVy8fCxgqr— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) March 19, 2019 Advertisement The owner of ESPN and ABC also acquired the FX and National Geographic channels, a controlling stake in streaming service Hulu and Fox’s international television portfolio.Notably, the globally recognized brand also reunited the previously splintered Marvel library. Fox’s “Deadpool,” the “X-Men” and “Fantastic Four” properties are now again owned by the same company that wields the rights to the “Avengers” and the Marvel Cinematic Universe they abide in. Advertisement Advertisement Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Report Ohio State wide receiver Jalin Marshall to miss remainder of spring

The Ohio State football team has suffered another casualty.After losing sophomore safety Vonn Bell already this spring to an injured MCL, redshirt-freshman wide receiver Jalin Marshall can be added to the list of players out for the remainder of spring practice.According to a report by Bucknuts.com, Marshall is set to have surgery Friday morning to repair a torn meniscus and will miss the remainder of spring practice.Senior quarterback Braxton Miller, junior tight end Jeff Heuerman and senior wide receiver Evan Spencer have not practiced since the beginning of spring. Miller is out with after having arthroscopic surgery on his throwing shoulder, Heuerman has a broken nose and Spencer is rehabbing from a lower leg injury suffered in OSU’s 40-35 loss to Clemson in the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl.After the first day of spring practice March 4, coach Urban Meyer noted he had seen an improvement in Marshall since he first walked on campus.“Jalin Marshall today, completely different football player than he was a year ago,” Meyer said. “Why? I put that on the coach. Let the kid go play. I saw what you saw, great looking dude, but he didn’t play great. Just go.”Marshall did not play for the Buckeyes in his first season in Columbus, despite coming in as a highly touted recruit out of high school. He was expected to compete for playing time next season, after the graduation of OSU’s leading wide receiver, Corey “Philly” Brown.Former Buckeye linebacker Ryan Shazier said before the Orange Bowl against Clemson he thought that Marshall was a player to watch for in the future.“Even some of those guys on offense like Jalin and (redshirt-freshman tight end) Marcus Baugh and guys like that,” Shazier said Dec. 13. “I feel like they’re going to do a really good job next year helping this team. They’ve been doing a great job on scout and even practices so just watching them in this bowl practice is going to be really key.”An OSU spokesman did not immediately respond to The Lantern’s request for comment Wednesday.The Buckeyes are scheduled to open the 2014 season Aug. 30 against Navy at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. read more

Series of crashes leaves one dead snarls traffic on I15

first_img September 30, 2018 Posted: September 30, 2018 KUSI Newsroom, Updated: 1:50 PM ESCONDIDO (KUSI) – A series of crashes left a man dead on Interstate 15 north of Escondido, a CHP officer said in a statement late Saturday.The crash happened in the early morning hours of Saturday on northbound I-15 just before Gopher Canyon Road.At about 4:15 a.m., a Volkswagen Jetta rear-ended a Dodge Ram pickup, leaving the Jetta stopped partially in the center divider and partially in the left lane, CHP Officer Mark Latulippe said.About four minutes later, a Dodge Magnum traveling in the left lane clipped the Jetta, causing it to spin around, and ejecting the man driving the Jetta into the the third lane from the left.A Toyota Tacoma pickup then struck and killed the Jetta driver, Latulippe said. The victim was also struck by at least one more vehicle that left the scene.The dead man’s name was not immediately released.The male driver of the Dodge Ram and the female driver of the Dodge Magnum both sustained cuts and were taken to Palomar Medical Center, Latulippe said.All lanes of northbound I-15 were closed from the time of the crash until about 7:20 a.m., when the two right lanes were re-opened.  All lanes were opened at approximately 8:15 AM. center_img KUSI Newsroom Series of crashes leaves one dead, snarls traffic on I-15 Categories: Local San Diego News, Traffic & Accidents FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

New town open air gym spreads fitness mantra

first_imgKolkata: In a unique move to create health awareness among the local residents, the Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation ( HIDCO) recently came up with an open gymnasium at New Town.This is for the first time an open air gymnasium has been set up in a township. Providing facilities to ensure sound health of local residents is the most important prerequisite of a clean and green city. Fitness equipment have been installed at the bus stations so that Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamatathe passengers can workout while waiting for the bus or can do it after coming back from work in the evening. The machines that have been installed are chest press, air walker, arm wheel, sit up bench, leg press and cross trainer. In New Town, hundreds of men and women go out for morning and evening walk and jogging. They will be able to use these machines free of cost to keep themselves fit, said a senior HIDCO official. “One has to get membership in gymnasiums to use such machines and the charges in gyms are high. The same kind machines they will be able to use at the open air gymnasium at free of cost,” he said. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateTushar Sil, former Mr Asia who runs several state of the art multi gyms in the city lauded the effort of HIDCO and said: “Many young boys and girls along with elderly people are going to gyms to keep themselves fit. After walking or jogging if they do work out at the open-air gym for some time that will keep fit. He urged the he Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation authorities to take steps for publicity so that more and more people are inspired to keep themselves heathy and fit. Some machines such as the cross trainer or leg press are highly effective to reduce obesity and maintain the strength of leg muscles.” PK Thakur, who is a doctor, also lauded the effort and said: “The way diabetes and obesity cases are increasing up among the people, particularly the youths, physical activities have become mandatory. If people can do light exercise with the help of machines that will help them to keep fit and control the disease. In the Western countries, open air gyms are available but the effort to develop the habit to exercise among the residents is welcome initiative.”last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter On Wednesday 13 July 2

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterOn Wednesday 13 July 2016, LATTE was among the select media guests invited to learn the latest from Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group over lunch at Bennelong restaurant, Sydney. Sally de Souza, Group PR Manager, joined media in enjoying Peter Gilmore’s signature carrot salad and other sumptuous share plates as part of her visit to Australia to celebrate Mandarin Oriental’s beautiful hotels, share news of the restoration of the historic Authors’ and Garden Wings in Bangkok, and provide a preview of the new spa and wellness developments across all properties.Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok restores its historic Authors’ and Garden WingsMandarin Oriental, Bangkok has completed a comprehensive renovation of the historic Authors’ and Garden Wings. Designed to significantly enhance the facilities and services of this award-winning hotel, the renovation has restored the historic heart of the property to its original splendour. The project comprised a significant room reconfiguration resulting in the creation of new spacious suites, including a Grand Royal Suite in the Authors’ Wing and 12 suites with balconies in the Garden Wing.Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong introduces exclusive Suite Escape packageMandarin Oriental, Hong Kong’s new Suite Escape Package ensures a luxurious experience for guests, allowing them to escape the tedium of modern travel, with Fast Track arrival service, private car transfers and a 24-hour check-in and departure service. Once whisked to any of the hotel’s six signature suites, guests will enjoy breakfast in bed, a fully stocked complimentary mini-bar and internet access for multiple devices.Digital Detox RetreatMandarin Oriental recently announced the launch of a Digital Detox Retreat at all of its spas worldwide from 5 September 2016. The programme is designed to help guests find new ways to manage their relationship with technology and the stress that can come with a constantly connected digital lifestyle.“Technology has brought us many great advances;” said Jeremy McCarthy, Group Director of Spa and Wellness, “But the expectations for instant communication and the increasing pace of change in the world is causing additional stress which can overwhelm our lives.”As an antidote, the new Digital Detox Retreat encourages guests to use their visit to the spa as a chance to disconnect with technology. On arrival at the spa, guests will be asked to surrender their phones, thus removing any online distractions, and will be encouraged to fully relax into this restful treatment. This 1 hour 20 minute experience focuses on grounding both body and mind through the power of human touch, and is designed to provide a calming and peaceful respite from the outside world and the stress of repetitive movements.MO Panda ClubYoung travellers are invited to tailor their own adventure and explore the Big Apple with Mandarin Oriental, New York’s MO Panda Club. Launching 1 July 2016, this exclusive kids’ programme features Pocket Panda, a whimsical paper cut-out character inspired by MiniMO the Panda. Younger fans ages four to 16 can embark on a sightseeing and photography quest alongside Pocket Panda, and enjoy a selection of welcome amenities, immersive on-property experiences as well as access to some of the city’s top attractions.Land, Sea and Air packageGo on the ultimate expedition through Singapore with the new Land, Sea and Air package launched by Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, where guests can enjoy luxurious accommodation and delectable dining, while exploring the city through three different perspectives.Guests are first brought on a colourful rickshaw journey through the vibrant and bustling streets of the city, where they can be immersed in a rich melting pot of local cultures. The exciting adventure continues on a local Singapore river ‘bumboat’, which will take them on a leisurely cruise along the Singapore River. Discover the heritage behind iconic quays, bridges and landmarks with a live commentary of the river’s history, as they experience Singapore’s transformation from a little fishing village to the global trading port it is today. Finally, enjoy a relaxing evening and soak in the views atop the Singapore Flyer, offering a visual spectacle of the magnificent cityscape.The Oriental legend lives on in BangkokIn the middle of the 19th century, when Thailand was still known as Siam, a rest house for foreign seafarers was established on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. It was to become one of the world’s greatest hotels: The Oriental. To celebrate the 140th anniversary of Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, the hotel has released a package for guests, which includes:Luxurious accommodations with personal butler serviceDaily buffet breakfast for two at the VerandahAfternoon tea for two (Thai or traditional) once per stayA take away of the hotel’s home-made Jam with 140th anniversary packaging (one piece per room per stay)Additional nights at the special package rate inclusive of daily buffet breakfastMinimum two-night consecutive stayLocal taxes applyWhat’s coming in 2016 and 2017?Mandarin Oriental ended 2015 on a high, with two newly opened hotels (Mandarin Oriental, Milan and Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech), redesigned guestrooms at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong and plenty of plans for 2016. James Riley was brought in as new Group CEO in April 2016, and renovations are planned for Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London later this year. Hotel Ritz, Madrid, which was purchased by the group in May 2015, is also planning to undergo a refurbishment in 2017 that will maintain all the elegance of the Spanish grande dame, while Beijing (Mandarin Oriental Wangfujing, Beijing), Beirut (due to open in 2018) and Doha are new destinations glimmering on the horizon. The Group claims its greatest strengths are in dining and spa/wellness; Mandarin Oriental boasts 16 Michelin stars across 11 restaurants, more than any other group (the Noma pop-up restaurant in Tokyo alone yielded 74,000 booking enquiries last year), and lays claim to The Oriental Spa, one of the first hotel spas in Bangkok, and which has recently introduced the Spa Studio for express treatments.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

Satellite operator SES reported its contract backl

first_imgSatellite operator SES reported its contract backlog had reached an all-time high of €7.2 billion at the end of the third quarter, up from €6.8 billion at the end of June.During the quarter, SES signed a 24-transponder contract renewal with Canal Plus and a six-transponder renewal with the BBC, and brought two new satellites – SES-4 and SES-5 – into service. In Europe, the Astra 2F satellite has been successfully launched and will be brought into service later this month.SES reported revenue of €1.36 billion for the first nine months of the year, up 1.6% at constant exchange rates, with year-to-date EBITDA of €1.01 billion, up 1.8% at constant exchange rates.SES president and CEO Romain Bausch said results for the first nine months were in line with expectations, and that revenue growth had been achieved despite digital switchover in Germany. SES confirmed its full-year guidance for 2012 and revenue and EBITDA CAGR guidance for 2012-14.last_img read more

Vodafone and Ziggo have given their Dutch joint ve

first_imgVodafone and Ziggo have given their Dutch joint venture the name VodafoneZiggo and have begun marketing activities under the new brand.The joint branding is intended to convey the capabilities of the company as a fixed, mobile and integrated communications and entertainment provider.The company will be headed by former Vodafone UK CEO Jeroen Hoencamp as CEO and by Ziggo chief financial officer Ritchy Drost as CFO.The other board members of the combined company are Robin Kroes as strategy chief, Marcel de Groot, in charge of residential business, John van Vianen, head of enterprise business, Ruben Uppelschoten, head of customer operations, Eben Albertyn, head of technology, Barbara Jongerden, head of legal and regulatory, Marieke Dekker, head of external affairs, and Anja Maaasen van den Brink, head of HR.The company said it had adapted its existing office locations to accommodate flexible working to enable the integration of fixed and mobile activities. Vodafone and Ziggo teams are to be brought together as much as possible across the company’s various facilities.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

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

Start Saving Michael Phelps The IRS Is Taxing Your Olympic Medals

first_imgRio Olympics 2016 Start Saving, Michael Phelps. The IRS Is Taxing Your Olympic Medals. August 15, 2016 Image credit: Michael Regan | Getty Images Entrepreneur Staff Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business 1 min readcenter_img Next Article Entrepreneur Staff Hey aspiring Olympians, if you dream of taking home the gold, start training … and get a good accountant.As reported by Americans for Tax Reform, the United States Olympic Committee awards monetary prizes to those athletes who medal: $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze.Related: Serena Williams and the 9 Most Successful Entrepreneur AthletesSo with five golds and one silver around his neck, doggy paddle specialist Michael Phelps is set to swim home with $140,000 in his pockets. (Speedos have pockets, right?) But don’t go blowing all of that in the arm floaties section of Wal-Mart, Michael. Your pals at the IRS are going to want to take a bite of your historic medal count.Americans for Tax Reform unhappily notes that using a tax rate of 39.6 percent, “victory tax” would be $9,900 for gold, $5,940 for silver and $3,960 for bronze.Those numbers could be smaller for athletes in lower tax brackets, but given Phelps’ net worth of $55 million, it looks like the human fish will be on the hook for the full $55,440 tax bill.  Register Now » Add to Queue –shareslast_img read more

Shop Direct Enhances Customer Engagement Revenues with Revionics AIBased Price Optimization

first_imgShop Direct Enhances Customer Engagement, Revenues with Revionics AI-Based Price Optimization PRNewswireMay 9, 2019, 11:57 amMay 9, 2019 Comprehensive Organizational and Process Approach Transforms and Streamlines a Retail InnovatorAs the UK’s largest integrated pureplay digital retailer and financial services provider, Shop Direct is committed to continuous innovation that makes it a preferred online shopper destination while delivering strong business results. Having made a deliberative selection to adopt AI-based price and promotion optimization, Shop Direct’s implementation of Revionics is delivering measurable positive impact on multiple fronts, including customer engagement, unit lift and revenues.  Based on strong results in the initial deployment in its Ireland businesses, Shop Direct is now moving confidently through rollout in its UK operations.“The success of this customer-centric pricing initiative is due in no small part to our unique culture at Shop Direct, which embraces a willingness to constructively challenge the traditional ways of doing things, at the same time recognizing the critical value of thorough planning and a comprehensive end-to-end approach,” said Shop Direct’s Group Retail Director Sam Perkins, the executive board member who leads the etail giant’s combined retail and product teams. “Rather than adopting retail price optimization technology in isolation, we took a holistic end-to-end approach, from a meticulous consensus-driven selection process, to setting up the right price strategies, processes and organisation structure, to a disciplined implementation rollout, all of which enable us to maximise the impact of these powerful optimisation capabilities. And we teamed with Revionics at every step of the way to benefit from the best practices they’ve seen as they’ve worked with leading retailers worldwide.”Marketing Technology News: Persistent Systems Joins Siemens’ MindSphere Partner Program to Bring Industrial IoT Solutions to Market“While Revionics has always taken a long-term partnering approach with our retail customers, Shop Direct is a truly outstanding partner that embodies the powerful business benefits of this sort of strategic collaboration,” said Revionics Chairman and CEO Marc H. Hafner.  “Their willingness to challenge their past approaches in favor of new, thoughtful innovations, their deep commitment to having a razor-sharp focus on their customers, and their strategic business transformation mindset make Shop Direct an exemplar of a forward-thinking retailer structured for long-term success.”Marketing Technology News: Madison Logic Unveils New Data Cloud to Accelerate ABM for B2B Organizations GloballyAs the UK’s largest integrated pureplay digital retailer and financial services provider, Shop Direct has annual sales of £1.96 billion. Later this year, we will rebrand to The Very Group as part of plans to bring our name and identity in line with our largest and fastest growing retail brand Very.co.uk.Marketing Technology News: Amazon or Alibaba: Freedonia Compares These Global E-Commerce Leaders AIfinancial services providerMarketing TechnologyNewsSam PerkinsShop Direct Previous ArticleZappar Launches ZapWorks Studio 6Next ArticleVoicify, LLC Receives Second Round of Funding from Multiple Investorslast_img read more

HHS Health Insurance Enrollment Figures Far Below Targets

first_imgOnly about a fourth of the enrollees signed up through the federal health exchange. The low initial sign up could set up a steep challenge for the health law.The New York Times: Only 106,000 Pick Health Insurance Plans In First MonthOnly about a fourth of the new enrollees — 26,794 — signed up through HealthCare.gov, the problem-plagued federal exchange, according to figures released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. A much larger number, 76,319, signed up through the 14 state-run marketplaces (Stolberg and Craig, 11/13).Los Angeles Times: Obamacare Enrollments Far Below TargetsNewly released figures show enrollments for coverage under President Obama’s healthcare plan fell far below official projections, underscoring the damage inflicted by the botched rollout and further endangering the administration’s support among restive Democrats on Capitol Hill. Just 106,185 Americans successfully enrolled in health coverage in October. The administration had hoped to get half a million people signed up in Obamacare’s first month. About a third of the enrollments — 35,364 — came from California (Mascaro, Levey and Memoli, 11/13).The Washington Post: Administration: 106,000 Enrolled In Health Insurance In First Month Of Healthcare.govSlightly more than 106,000 Americans signed up for health plans in the first month of new state and federal insurance marketplaces, the Obama administration reported Wednesday. The figure, which was far lower than the administration predicted, points to the steep challenge ahead as the White House tries to overcome public and congressional frustration with the program’s problem-plagued rollout. The tally showed that just a quarter of the enrollments were in the federally run marketplace, while the rest were in the state exchanges (Goldstein and Kane, 11/13).NPR: The Health Care Numbers Are Out, And They’re DisappointingThe Obama administration released its much anticipated enrollment numbers for the first month of the troubled HealthCare.gov website Wednesday. And as predicted, the numbers were disappointing. Just over 100,000 people managed to navigate the process and choose a health plan between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2 — 106,185 people, to be precise (Rovner, 11/13).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Fewer Than 27,000 Health Care Sign-Ups Through Federal Website, 79,000 More In State SitesPlanting a paltry number on a national disappointment, the Obama administration revealed Wednesday that just 26,794 people enrolled for health insurance during the first, flawed month of operations for the federal “Obamacare” website. Adding in enrollment of more than 79,000 in the 14 states with their own websites, the nationwide number of 106,000 October sign-ups was barely one-fifth of what officials had projected — and a small fraction of the millions who have received widely publicized private coverage cancellations as a result of the federal law (11/13).The Wall Street Journal: Obama Administration Gives First Month Health-Site TalliesThe news that only 106,185 people nationwide were able to get through the sites in a month comes as a significant blow to the administration. In one memo, it had projected some 500,000 people would obtain private-insurance coverage nationwide. The Congressional Budget Office projected in May 2013 that seven million people nationwide would sign up for private plans by the end of March 2014 (Radnofsky and Ante, 11/13).Politico: Takeaways: Obamacare By The NumbersThe Obama administration did everything possible to dress up the ugliness of the first month of Obamacare enrollment numbers — adding in people who haven’t even paid and throwing in figures that have nothing to do with actual signups. The one true bright spot is there seems to be interest, so enrollment could pick up in the coming months, just like the White House always said it would (Nather, 11/13).McClatchy: Only 25% Of New Health Care Enrollees Signed Up On Federal WebsiteJust 26,794 people managed to complete enrollment on HealthCare.gov, the problem-plagued federal government website, which serves as the portal for consumers to enroll in insurances plans available through the federal marketplace. The federal enrollment figure was in line with the “very low” numbers that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had projected in recent congressional testimony. Technical problems with the website have frustrated users, as many became stuck and were unable to create the personal accounts required for enrolling in coverage. The problems have vexed people across the country working to enroll consumers (Pugh, 11/13). PBS NewsHour: Initial ACA Enrollment Numbers Come Up Short Of Expectations Technology chiefs in charge of HealthCare.gov were grilled by lawmakers on Capitol Hill about the problematic rollout of the website. Kwame Holman reports on their testimony, while Judy Woodruff talks to Mary Agnes Carey of Kaiser Health News about the lower-than-expected enrollment numbers for the insurances exchanges (Holman and Woodruff, 11/13). The Fiscal Times: Obamacare: How The Federal And State Exchanges Stack Up California, the state with the largest population of uninsured, saw more than 35,000 individuals select an insurance plan, by far the most of any state – and thousands more than the federal exchange covering 36 other states. In North Dakota, by contrast, just 42 people signed up through the federal exchange, and just 58 people signed up in South Dakota. Enrollments in the California exchange plans have accelerated since the beginning of November, state officials announced Wednesday in releasing numbers that cover a broader time period than those released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Rosenberg, 11/14). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. HHS Health Insurance Enrollment Figures Far Below Targetslast_img read more