A US federal appeals court has ruled that Netflix

first_imgA US federal appeals court has ruled that Netflix has been getting preferential treatment for the delivery of its TV series and movies through the post.The court agreed with video games delivery service Gamefly, which had complained that an extra charge was being levied by the US Postal Service for handling its deliveries because the material in question could not go through the automated sorting system.Netflix’s deliveries also bypass the system, but it has not been subject to the extra charge.The Postal Regulatory Commission must now come up with a fair system, the court ruled.However, Netflix stock rose in the immediate aftermath of the ruling as the Commission said that the amount the Postal Service charges to deliver its DVDs will not be increased for the time being.The Postal Service said the pricing structure it has for different clients were reasonable and fair and that it is studying the court’s decision. Netflix is the Service’s largest DVD delivery customer.last_img read more

Internet advertising will account for 52 of globa

first_imgInternet advertising will account for 52% of global advertising expenditure in 2021, exceeding the 50% mark for the first time, according to Zenith’s Advertising Expenditure Forecasts.The figure is up from 47% of global ad-spend that internet advertising will account for this year, and up from 44% in 2018.However, the growth rate is falling rapidly as the internet ad market matures. Internet ad spend grew 17% in 2018, but activity in the first half of 2019 leads us to expect only 12% growth for the year as a whole. By 2021 we expect internet ad spend growth to have fallen to 9% year on year. The growth rate of the internet ad market is starting to converge with the growth rate of the market as a whole.Internet adspend growth is led by online video and social media, which are expected to grow at average rates of 18% and 17% a year, respectively, to 2021.Broadcast television is now beginning to shrink, though not on the same scale as other traditional media such as print.  Zenith forecasts traditional television ad revenues to shrink every year from now to 2021, falling from US$184 billion in 2018 to US$180 billion in 2021, when it will have a share of just 26.5% of the total.According to Zenith, much of the growth in internet ad spend is coming from small, local businesses that spend all their budgets on platforms like Google and Facebook. Big brands are investing large sums in internet advertising, but the majority are still spending most of their budget in traditional media.Global ad spend growth will trail behind growth in the global economy as a whole this year, after outpacing it last year, according to data from Zenith.Zenith predicts global ad expenditure will grow 4.6% in 2019, reaching US$639bn by the end of the year. This is slightly below the 4.7% growth rate the group forecast in March.The agency expects advertising expenditure to grow behind the global economy as a whole in 2019- 2021, after it outpaced it in 2018.Zenith previously  upgraded its estimate of growth for 2018  from 5.9% to 6.4%.The outfit sees strong growth in North America, oosted by the flood of new small and medium-sized companies using Facebook and Google to advertise for the first time. It estimates that ad spend grew by 8% in both 2017 and 2018, and forecasts 5% annual growth to 2021.According to Zenith, Western and central Europe has seen solid growth since 2014, at 3% to 5% a year. Overall its  expects the region to continue to grow at the low end of this range out to 2021, despite a 0.4% decline in Germany this year as business confidence declines. Despite Brexit uncertainty, it expects 3.9% growth in the UK, though this is down 0.6% from a previous estimate.Among other regions, Latin America is set to grow by just 2.2% this year, rising to 4.3% a year through to 2021, while MENA will decline by 4.8% – a recovery following a decline of 47% between 2014-18.Growth in emerging Asia is slowing as China’s market matures, and is expected to achieve 4.7% average annual growth to 2021, excluding Japan, which will grow at 1.7% a year. Eastern Europe and Central Asia together will grow at 7% a year to 2021 after recovering from a decline earlier this decade.Advanced APAC countries – Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea – are likely to grow at 4% to 2021, according to Zenith.Television’s share of global ad spend will decline to 26.5% by 2021, according to Zenith.last_img read more

The scene in Strabane following the bomb atack ear

first_img The scene in Strabane following the bomb atack earlier this weekA 31-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the attempted murder of police officers in Strabane last week.It follows an incident on Tuesday when a device exploded. It was a roadside bomb with a command wire attached.The 31-year-old man was arrested in Strabane on Saturday but details of his arrest have only just been released. ShareTweet Detectives from the PSNI’s Terrorist Investigation Unit have been given additional time to question a 20-year-old man.He was arrested in Newtownstewart in connection with the bombing.Both men are currently being held at the serious crime suite at Musgrave PSNI station in Belfast.The PSNI said it was “incredibly lucky” that no-one was killed in the incident. Parts of the town were cordoned off as a result of the security alert, and there was no access to the town via Liskey Road.Forensic teams spent days examining the scene after a command wire to the device was found.SECOND MAN ARRESTED OVER MURDER BID ON POLICE OFFICERS was last modified: March 26th, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: LISKEY ROADPSNISECOND MAN ARRESTED OVER MURDER BID ON POLICE OFFICERSTERRORIST INVESTIGATION UNITTOWNSEND STREETlast_img read more

I think Im coming down with somethingUsually tha

first_imgI think I’m coming down with something.Usually that means I prepare a mug of tea, add a spoonful of honey kept solely for such occasions, and add a dash of lemon juice. This elixir, I’ve been told, will soothe my sore throat and coax my raspy voice back to normalcy. But does it actually work?”I have to say, when I have patients that are sick, I often ask them to sip hot tea,” says Dr. Edward Damrose, chief of laryngology at Stanford Health Care. “But I’m not sure that it’s the tea itself that has the beneficial property, or that the warm water cuts through the phlegm and makes patients feel good.”To figure out whether the classic tea drink alleviates a sore throat, it helps to know what causes a sore throat in the first place. As Damrose explains, the throat is divided into two parts: a pharynx and a larynx, and both can be infected at the same time or separately. We use our pharynx when we swallow food or liquid. Bacterial or viral infections can cause the pharynx to swell and lead to a sore throat.When we speak, on the other hand, we use our larynx, the part of the throat that contains our vocal cords. Viral infections make it more difficult for the vocal cords to vibrate, causing us to lose our voices.How exactly this happens is something of a mystery. “We have a lot of ideas but not a definite answer,” says Dr. Jennifer Long, assistant professor of head and neck surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. One theory suggests that white blood cells storm the vocal cords, causing them to swell and preventing vibration. Another theory is that viruses injure the surface of the vocal cords, making it difficult to vibrate. “For being a common problem, it’s surprising how little we know,” Long says.On top of this uncertainty, there’s not a lot of good research on whether tea or honey can help a sore throat or lost voice, according to Dr. Maya Sardesai, an associate professor of otolaryngology and surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine. High-quality health studies typically use placebos, but that’s difficult in this case, Sardesai explains. Most people can tell whether they’re drinking tea and honey, so creating placebos for study participants is challenging.These difficulties aside, all three doctors are willing to speculate about whether tea, honey and lemon help a sore throat and voice loss.Let’s start with tea. Because liquids and food go down our pharynx, not our larynx, Damrose points out that any beverage is unlikely to have a direct effect on our vocal cords. But tea could still help a sore throat that results from a swelled pharynx. Research has shown green tea has anti-inflammatory properties, which could help decrease a sore throat’s swelling. Perhaps more importantly, according to Damrose, when people drink a liquid like tea, the act of sipping and swallowing prevents irritating coughing. Warm liquid can also help remove throat phlegm. Long and Sardesai recommend teas with low caffeine, because caffeine may lead to greater acid production and irritate the throat further.As for honey, “it’s really very speculative” whether honey helps throat pain, according to Long. Honey might be a natural anti-coughing agent, but so far research is inconclusive. On the other hand, none of the doctors suggest that honey might harm the throat.That’s not the case for lemon. “I actually worry about too much lemon because it’s so acidic, and acids can be irritating” to the throat, says Long. Sardesai agrees, though she notes that “lemon does have vitamin C, and vitamin C is thought to be helpful early in some infections.” Damrose notes another plus: Lemon has antibacterial properties, which could fight off bacterial sore throat.The tea-honey-lemon trifecta has a mixed report card. For more tested treatments, the doctors recommend resting, inhaling steam and — in the case of voice loss — speaking as little as possible (yes, that includes cutting back on whispering). Symptoms should subside within two weeks, and if not, a trip to the doctor is warranted.I’ll do my best to follow the doctors’ advice. Just as soon as I finish my cup of tea.Natalie Jacewicz is a science writer based in New York City. You can find more of her work here. Gnawing Questions is a semi-regular column answering the food mysteries puzzling us and our readers. Got a question you want us to explore? Let us know via our contact form. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

A huge study on the possible health benefits of dr

first_imgA huge study on the possible health benefits of drinking alcohol will be completely shut down, because its credibility was compromised by frequent and early interactions between alcohol industry executives, scientists and government officials.That was the decision made by Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health. “Is it even possible at this point that the results of such a trial would have sufficient credibility to influence anybody’s decision-making?” asked Collins. “That does, in fact, seem quite doubtful.”George Koob, director of the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, which partly funded the trial, agreed. “I feel that the trial is irrevocably damaged,” said Koob, at a meeting of an advisory committee that gives advice to the NIH director.The Moderate Alcohol and Cardiovascular Health Trial was designed to follow over 7,000 people for years, at a cost of around $100 million. Half of the study’s participants would be instructed to abstain from alcohol, while the other half would be told to have a drink every day. The study was being funded in part by major players in the alcohol industry, through a nonprofit foundation linked to the NIH.An investigation by The New York Times revealed that scientists and NIH officials had met with alcohol company executives and appeared to solicit money from them in violation of government policy, prompting the NIH to shut down enrollment in the trial and do its own investigation.A report released Friday on the results of that investigation says that several National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism staffers “hid facts” from other staffers, and that there appeared to be an effort “to intentionally bias the framing of the scientific premise in the direction of demonstrating a beneficial health effect of moderate alcohol consumption.”The report includes emails, with names redacted, including one in which a staffer voices concern about the NIAAA appearing to solicit a gift from industry, “which we absolutely cannot do.” Another email from a staffer at the foundation noted a story the alcohol industry press saying that the foundation was raising money from industry for a large study, but that “no one here” knew what it referred to.”I think a very flashing neon light is staff conducting activities that they are trying to hide from other staff. That tells you that something is being done here that everybody recognizes has crossed a line,” said Collins. “Another very clear line is if that interaction involves a manipulation of what the research plan is going to be to achieve a certain outcome that would be beneficial to the donors. And that was clearly happening in these discussions as well.”Only 105 people had enrolled in the trial before it was suspended, said Collins, who expressed gratitude to the press for initially uncovering the problems with the study.”We do want to use this as a teachable moment,” he said. Collins noted that public-private partnerships have allowed valuable research to move forward for things like Alzheimer’s disease, lupus, Parkinson’s disease and cancer in ways that are “above reproach in terms of the way in which they were put together and the way the science is being conducted.”But this kind of interaction with industry clearly has risks, said Collins, who added that he will work with other officials to more clearly lay out the ethical boundaries that cannot be crossed. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

The prime minister has become the third senior Con

first_imgThe prime minister has become the third senior Conservative figure in a week to refuse to say in front of television cameras whether his party plans to tax key disability benefits after the general election.David Cameron was asked by SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon in last night’s (2 April) leaders’ debate on ITV how his party planned to find the £12 billion-a-year in welfare cuts announced by the chancellor in last month’s budget.Cameron refused to say where those cuts would come from and whether they would include taxing disability benefits.Last week, the BBC reported that it had seen leaked documents that suggested the Conservatives were considering taxing disability benefits as one way to cut the social security bill by £12 billion a year by 2017-18.Among the options, drawn up by civil servants in the Department for Work and Pensions, were an introduction of means-testing for the contributory form of employment and support allowance (saving a possible £1.3 billion a year), taxing disability living allowance (DLA), personal independence payment (PIP) and attendance allowance (possibly saving £1.5 billion a year), and restricting eligibility to carer’s allowance (saving £1 billion a year).George Osborne, the chancellor, refused to promise that there would no further cuts to disability benefits, when interviewed by Channel 4 News, but would only say that the party would “protect the most vulnerable”.And Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, said on BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show that the party might not provide any details before the election of how they would find most of the £12 billion in cuts, because “no decisions have been made”.But Duncan Smith added: “What throughout I’ve always said is I didn’t come into this job after years looking at this to just make cheese paring cuts.“What we’ve come in to do is to reform the welfare system, so that we don’t waste money on organisations and groups and things that don’t actually help life change.”So many people tried to sign an open letter on the Disabled People Against Cuts website – calling on Duncan Smith to “come clean about cuts affecting disabled people” – that the site crashed.And Richard Exell, a disabled senior policy officer at the TUC, said in a column that taxing DLA and PIP would be “particularly felt by low-paid disabled workers”.He also said that the government’s own figures suggested that more than 600,000 disabled people “could find it more difficult to keep their jobs or to move into employment if their DLA or PIP became liable for tax, reducing their ability to pay for services that remove barriers to employment”.Disability Rights UK (DR UK) said that it was “really concerned about the BBC’s report that officials have developed options for politicians to make spending cuts that would again unfairly hit disabled people and carers”.A DR UK spokesperson said: “DLA/PIP is not an out-of-work benefit; but it could become one, because if it is taxed it will certainly act as an incentive not to work.“It makes no sense to tax DLA/PIP since the purpose of the benefit is to help cover the extra costs of disability – things like getting around, and getting support – and so create more of a level playing-field between disabled people and other citizens.”The DR UK spokesperson added: “Furthermore, many disabled people already pay most, if not all, of their DLA/PIP over to local authorities if they get social care support – what we might call the ‘care tax’.  In effect, what this proposal would do would be to tax a tax.”A letter, published this week by the Guardian, and signed by leading disabled campaigners and organisations, including members of the WOWcampaign, Black Triangle, Disabled People Against Cuts, Pat’s Petition and People First England, called for the next government to carry out a proper assessment of the “human cost” of the cuts already made by the coalition before even contemplating any further cuts.The letter said: “The news of some leaked documents, explaining further horrendous cuts to carers and sick and disabled people, have left them terrified of what is going to happen.“We would have thought it imperative that any government respecting human rights would check the consequences of the cuts disabled people and carers have already endured, before imposing further draconian cuts.”Of the seven party leaders who took part in the ITV debate, only two were willing to mention the issue of disability poverty.Natalie Bennett, leader of the Greens, said that two-thirds of the households affected by the bedroom tax included at least one disabled person, and she pointed to the imminent closure of the Independent Living Fund, whose users were having their support “slashed away”.Bennett said: “We have to be a human, fair, decent society. We have to support the most vulnerable.”Sturgeon also raised the issue of cuts to welfare, when she asked Cameron: “You’re proposing an additional £12 billion in welfare cuts. Where are those cuts going to fall? Who’s going to pay the price of those cuts?”She added: “Let’s explain what that means: one million people on disability benefit across the UK are going to lose £1,100 of their benefit. That’s not the kind of economic plan I want.”Cameron said: “In the last parliament we found £21 billion of savings in welfare because everybody knows that welfare was overblown and needed to be properly dealt with.“What is the alternative to making cuts in welfare? Putting up taxes and working people’s pay. I don’t want to see that happen.”last_img read more

A mental health charity has been heavily criticise

first_imgA mental health charity has been heavily criticised for its decision to announce a partnership with a controversial US insurance giant that has made significant financial gains from government incapacity benefit reforms that it influenced through its lobbying.The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) said the new partnership with Unum would see the two organisations work together to tackle the stigma of mental health in the workplace and encourage employers to safeguard the mental health of their employees.But disabled activists who learned of the partnership this week are horrified that a mental health charity would join forces with an organisation that has made money from the controversial programme to reform incapacity benefits and has bragged about steering government policy on those reforms.They point out that many thousands of people with mental distress have either died or had their health further damaged by the reforms.Mo Stewart, the disabled activist who has led efforts in the UK to raise concerns about Unum’s influence, has written to a trustee of the charity to alert him to the company’s background.She told Disability News Service (DNS) she had “spent the past six years researching the links between this American insurance corporate giant with the British government*, their funding of a research centre to produce policy-based research that was used to justify the introduction of the fatally flawed WCA, and the fact that they were identified as the second worst healthcare insurance company in America”.She said: “It remains cause for serious concern that this American corporate giant continues to infiltrate the agencies concerned with the welfare of our most vulnerable people.”Professor Peter Beresford, co-chair of the user-led, grassroots network Shaping Our Lives, also raised concerns about the partnership.He said: “Organisations like MHF (and Mind and Rethink etc) hog the resources, the credibility and still largely sign up to a traditional psychiatric/medical model which isn’t really working and isn’t really helpful.“For this sort of thing to be lurking as well means – well – what friends and allies have we really got, if such liaisons are underpinning organisations claiming to speak for us?”Unum was once described by a senior US law official as an “outlaw company” and it has been repeatedly exposed in the US courts for its refusal to pay out on large numbers of genuine insurance claims by disabled people.In 2011, Unum launched a major marketing campaign to promote the need for its income protection insurance (IPI) policies, just as the coalition began its three-year programme to reassess about 1.5 million existing claimants of old-style incapacity benefit through the work capability assessment (WCA).Disabled activists insist that the hated WCA is simply a public sector version of the tests used by companies like Unum to justify turning down valid IPI claims, and that by making the process of applying for the out-of-work disability benefit employment and support allowance (ESA) harsh and stressful, it has made IPI look more attractive.Three years ago, DNS revealed the existence of a Unum document from 2005 which bragged that government policy on disability assessment and management was “moving in the same direction” as Unum’s own views, and was “to a large extent being driven by our thinking and that of our close associates”.In 2002 – six years before the Labour government launched the WCA and the new ESA – Unum submitted a detailed memo to the Commons work and pensions committee.In the memo, Unum called for fundamental reform of the welfare system, and said the government “must ensure both that work always pays more than benefits, and more importantly that it is clearly seen to do so”, while laying out proposals with a strong resemblance to the ESA/WCA reforms that would be introduced several years later.The Unum memo suggested retaining a form of IB for those “genuinely incapable of undertaking any work whatsoever”, as Labour did with the ESA support group.It stressed in the memo that the company – then known as UnumProvident – was “confident that its policies and approach to [IPI] claim management and rehabilitation can be replicated more widely for those on IB” and that it would “particularly welcome the opportunity to put them into practice”.Despite this memo, and other evidence, John Letizia, head of public affairs for Unum UK, said in a statement: “Unum does not and never has lobbied on the topic of welfare reform or related matters.”He said: “As with many other businesses, Unum partners with various organisations on issues of mutual interest.“Our research in this case aims to tackle the stigma of mental health in the workplace in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation, a fantastic charity with who we wish to help reach and educate businesses on this important issue.”The Mental Health Foundation refused to respond to the particular criticisms of Unum, but a spokesman said: “As a UK mental health charity that seeks to reach the broadest possible audience, we are always looking for ways to amplify our message and to develop new evidence to ensure everyone is able to enjoy good mental health.“That includes entering into partnerships with companies to help increase our reach and our capacity to undertake new research.“These are sometimes difficult judgements to make and we are guided by an assessment of whether the output of a partnership will break new ground and positively benefit people’s lives.“To that end, we took a decision, which we stand by, to work with Unum on an important project which we are confident will uncover fresh insights on how employers can build a more supportive environment for people experiencing mental distress into their everyday business activity.”He added: “On the issue of welfare reform, like many charities we have raised concerns about the disproportionate effect on mental health that some welfare reform measures have had.“We remain concerned, and as an organisation that speaks truth to power, we continue to raise questions and promote debate through our policy, research and campaigning activities.“We will not hesitate to raise any concerns directly with Unum, if needed, and have found them open to constructive dialogue.”*Her book, Cash Not Care – The Planned Demolition Of The UK Welfare State, will be published later this year by New Generation Publishinglast_img read more

The Department for Work and Pensions has refused t

first_imgThe Department for Work and Pensions has refused to name the charities and other organisations being paid millions of pounds to help deliver its new disability employment programme across England and Wales.All six of the new Work and Health Programme contracts went “live” last week, and DWP announced the main contractors in October.But it has refused to say which smaller organisations are helping to deliver the programme as sub-contractors.DWP’s reluctance to do so is likely to be linked to criticism that has been aimed at disability charities that were set to play a significant role in the new programme.When Disability News Service contacted seven of the largest disability charities – most of which are not user-led – in December 2016, none of them ruled out seeking Work and Health Programme contracts.But disabled activists have raised concerns that winning such contracts could mean that these and other charities would be unwilling to criticise the government on social security reform.All seven of the charities contacted in December 2016 insisted then that any contracts they won from the government would have no impact on their campaigning work.There are also major concerns about the programme itself, which is part of the government’s much-criticised Improving Lives work, health and disability strategy, with its “cruel and disastrous” emphasis on “work as a cure”, the placement of employment advisers in health services, and the continued use of benefit sanctions to “punish” disabled claimants.Disability News Service submitted a freedom of information request last month in a bid to discover which voluntary and private sector organisations would be helping to deliver the Work and Health Programme (WHP).But when DWP responded to the request earlier this month, it said the subcontracting organisations were still “subject to change”, but that it would “seek to publish a list of the confirmed main sub-contractors supporting the WHP” following “go live of all WHP contracts” in the week beginning 15 January.That date passed last week, but no list has yet been published.When DNS asked why it had not been released, a DWP spokeswoman said the department “will seek to publish a list of the sub-contractors in due course”.She refused to comment further.Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts, said: “It is no surprise that DWP are unwilling to release details of firms involved in colluding to exploit disabled people for their own profits and this simply confirms the underhand way DWP run their programmes and their diabolical practices. “We look forward, together with Boycott Workfare, to finding out which organisations will be involved in implementing the new disability employment programme.”Denise McKenna, co-founder of the Mental Health Resistance Network, said: “No one who is on the side of disabled people is celebrating the delivery of the Health and Work Programme, as it will wreck lives.“Perhaps the successful bidders will choose to celebrate their wins in private, because they know these contracts are shameful.“Disabled activists have called out charities on their close links with the DWP and their failure to remain independent of Tory ideology.“The private firms who take on these contracts, along with the charities, will be closely watched by activists.“Their identities can’t be protected by the DWP forever.“We are used to the DWP being secretive. After all, they have so much to hide.”The main WHP contractors are Remploy (in Wales); the charity Shaw Trust in central England and the home counties; Reed In Partnership in north-east England; Ingeus in the north-west; and Pluss in the south of England.Remploy, formerly owned by the government, is now mostly controlled by the US company Maximus.Maximus has a disturbing track record of discrimination, incompetence and fraud in the US, while Remploy slashed the pay of service-users who were taking part in inspections of health and care facilities, after taking on three Care Quality Commission contracts, and has since been heavily criticised for its performance in delivering those contracts.last_img read more

The number of staff working in the governments Of

first_imgThe number of staff working in the government’s Office for Disability Issues (ODI) has plummeted by more than two-thirds under the coalition and Conservative governments, new figures released under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed.In March 2010, just before the Tory-led coalition came to power, there were the equivalent of 48 full-time staff working in ODI.By March 2012 that had fallen to 29 full-time equivalent staff.Although there are no figures for 2013, 2014 and 2015, by 1 January 2016 there were just 20 full-time equivalent staff working at ODI.DWP insists that part of the reason for the fall is that “elements of the work that was carried out by ODI is now being taken forward by specialist units across government”, such as the Work and Health Unit (WHU), jointly set up with the Department of Health in 2015.But following the launch of WHU, the numbers continued to fall, to 13.65 in January 2017 and just 11.5 in January this year, although they rose again slightly to 15.45 by May this year.The numbers were released to Disability News Service by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in response to a freedom of information request.Meanwhile, the ODI website has not been updated in more than six months.In all of 2017, the website was updated just three times, compared with five updates in 2016, and 17 in 2015.Only last month, DWP admitted that none of the bodies it set up to engage with disabled people and their organisations as part of its disability strategy had met in nearly a year.And earlier this month, DWP refused to say whether it still followed the Fulfilling Potential strategy, which was supposed to describe the government’s commitment to “a society where disabled people can realise their aspirations and fulfil their potential”.A DWP spokeswoman said: “ODI remains the focal point for cross-government disability issues, working on a range of issues to empower disabled people and enable them to participate fully in society, but their team is [by] no means the only people working on disability issues.“ODI has an oversight role to provide advice and facilitate engagement, as departments focus upon disability as part of their policy.”She also pointed to this week’s announcement by Sarah Newton, the minister for disabled people, of a new “interdepartmental ministerial group on disability and society”, which “will include ministers from a wide range of departments to oversee and drive forward the work of government in tackling the barriers faced by disabled people and to ensure their voice is heard in policy development and legislation”.No further details of how the group will operate and who will be involved have yet been released.But there was confusion following the announcement because the coalition had previously announced it was setting up an “inter-departmental ministerial group on disability” in February 2014.Successive governments have failed to explain what happened to that group, and why it appears to have been scrapped at some point in the last four years.But the DWP spokeswoman said: “The IMG in 2014 was set up and run under a previous parliament.“It is normal practice for different governments to set up new structures and protocols.”She had not confirmed by 9am today (Thursday) when the previous IMG was scrapped.The DWP spokeswoman added: “This government is determined to build an inclusive society that enables everyone to realise their full potential and as such remains committed to ODI facilitating the work across government for disability issues.”DWP’s admission of the cuts to ODI staff since 2010 will cast further doubt on the government’s commitment to disability rights and equality, and its pledge in 2013 to make the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) “a living reality for disabled people in Britain”.Last August, the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities told a UK government delegation – led by ODI – that its cuts to social security and other support for disabled people had caused “a human catastrophe”, which was “totally neglecting the vulnerable situation people with disabilities find themselves in”.The committee later told the UK government to make more than 80 improvements to the ways its laws and policies affect disabled people’s human rights.In its “concluding observations” on the progress the UK has made in implementing UNCRPD, the committee raised concerns and made recommendations on all but three of the 33 treaty articles it could have breached.It was, said the committee, the highest number of recommendations it had ever produced for a country undergoing the review process.last_img read more

A disabled benefit claimant with high support need

first_imgA disabled benefit claimant with high support needs who has lost more than £40 a week after having to transfer onto the new universal credit – forcing him into even greater poverty – has challenged the government to defend its drastic cuts and reforms.Mark Golden, from Yorkshire, estimates that he paid more than £100,000 in income tax and national insurance during his working life before he was forced to leave his job by a serious injury at work.Now the wheelchair-user is having to confront the reality of the impact of the introduction of universal credit on disabled people, after being forced off employment and support allowance (ESA) and onto the new system.The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has repeatedly refused to provide details of exactly how universal credit will affect disabled people in different situations financially, insisting instead that more than a million disabled people will be better off by £100 a month under universal credit.But Golden’s case appears to demonstrate how many disabled people with high support needs will be forced into even deeper poverty by universal credit.On 1 December, Golden – who has both physical and mental health impairments – had to move from Bradford to Bridlington so he could be nearer his family, because of his deteriorating health.Because of his change of circumstances, he was told that he would have to move from the ESA support group – and associated disability premiums – onto the much-criticised universal credit.He was shocked to be told that he would receive only £149 a week in living costs benefits on universal credit, compared with £191 a week on ESA, severe disability premium (SDP) and enhanced disability premium (EDP).Out of that £149, he must also contribute £17 a week towards his housing costs.Out of the remaining £132, he must also pay child support (£10 a week), credit card repayments (£20, after having to replace his fridge-freezer and washing-machine), contents insurance (£2 a week), about £6 a week on his mobile phone (he has no landline or broadband), TV licence (£3 a week), gas and electricity (£27 or £28 a week), and £10 a week he budgets for clothing and footwear (he gets through five or six pairs of trainers a year because he drags his left foot).He already has to restrict his use of central heating, only turning it on when the temperature in his flat falls below ten degrees, even though he has Raynaud’s disease, which affects extremities such as the fingers and toes in cold temperatures.This leaves about £50 a week for food and other essentials like toiletries and cleaning products, but that is without the £20 a week he budgets for MOT and car repairs, the £20 a week he previously spent on petrol, which he can no longer afford, and council tax of more than £20 a week he has been asked to pay, which he is hoping the council will reduce.He has been left with a choice of spending his little remaining weekly income on food, heat or transportation. He is likely to have to sell his car, leaving him even more isolated than he is already.He will eventually receive some compensation for the loss of SDP – likely to be less than £20 a week extra, backdated to when he moved onto universal credit – once regulations laid before parliament this week are voted on by MPs.He also receives personal independence payment of £145 a month to cover some of his disability-related extra costs, but he uses this to pay for personal care, provide the support he needs for visits to shops and other busy locations, and to pay for taxis when he is too ill to drive.In a letter to his MP, the Conservative Sir Greg Knight, Golden described both how inaccessible he had found the universal credit process and the impact on his income, writing: “As a constituent of Bridlington I would like to inform its MP of what is happening in his constituency. And how Universal Credits is so unfit for purpose.“The whole process has left my health even worse and I can totally understand why people are actually taking their own lives due to the process and awards of Universal Credits.”He told Disability News Service that he wanted the government to explain how it could justify the “dread and high stress levels” caused by the introduction of universal credit, which was leaving him and others with less money and “causing even more hardship and very difficult decisions on what areas you can cut back on in an already frugal lifestyle”.He said this was “pushing people into even more poverty and hardship” and having a “massive” impact on both their physical and mental health.He said: “Over the past few years, disabled people of this country have been made to jump through the government’s hoops to receive what they are entitled to, in many cases going through not only the benefit allocation but also the appeals processes.“At times, it makes one feel like you are having to grovel for what you’re entitled to.”A DWP spokesperson said: “People can access support online, via our helpline or in the jobcentre and Mr Golden regularly uses his online journal to communicate with the DWP.“In some circumstances, home visits can also be arranged to support a claimant with their claim.“Where a claimant is unable to make or maintain their claim online, they are able to do so using the claims by phone process.”She said the government was “committed to supporting people with disabilities and health conditions.“The SDP is not part of universal credit because we have simplified disability provision within universal credit.“This change ensures that around one million disabled people will receive more in universal credit than the legacy benefits system.”Despite this, a report by the Commons work and pensions committee suggested last month that even claimants with higher support needs would be worse off under universal credit because of the loss of SDP and EDP, saying that universal credit “does not match what those claimants could have received under the legacy system, with the premia in place”.DWP continues to refuse to say if it accepts this statement is correct.Only last week, the minister for disabled people, Sarah Newton, told her Labour shadow, Marsha de Cordova, that it would be too expensive to find out how many disabled people claiming SDP had been moved onto universal credit since June last year – and in the previous 18 months – in circumstances like Golden’s.Golden will be one of the last recipients of SDP to be moved on to universal credit, at least for several months, as new regulations came into force yesterday (Wednesday) that prevent any further migration of such claimants – apart from those involved in a small pilot programme – until the main “managed migration” process begins next year.Ministers laid this and another set of regulations before parliament on Monday (14 January), following a statement made by employment minister Alok Sharma on 11 January.The other set of regulations – which will have to be approved by MPs – will allow the government to run the small pilot, which will involve a maximum of 10,000 claimants of legacy benefits, including ESA, moving onto universal credit, which will begin in July.The regulations will also provide transitional protection for former recipients of SDP like Golden who have already moved across to universal credit, and those who will do so in the future.But even when these protections are introduced, ministers have previously suggested there will be compensation of only about £80 a month, compared with potential losses for Golden of more than £180 a month.The government will report on findings from the pilot before introducing legislation that will allow it to extend the “managed migration” to a further three million people on legacy benefits, including hundreds of thousands on ESA.The DWP spokesperson said: “The department will be providing a transitional payment to those who have already moved to universal credit who had SDP before they moved and who are eligible. This will be a lump sum and ongoing payments. “The transitional payments are within the main managed migration regulation package, laid today (Monday), which will be debated prior to the pilot, when parliamentary time allows.“Both the lump sum payment and the ongoing payments will commence after the managed migration regulations are passed.”She added: “The aim of the pilot is to ensure that claimants on all legacy benefits, with a range of differing characteristics, are successfully migrated to universal credit.“The department is currently working closely with a wide and diverse range of stakeholders to design the managed migration process and we are considering our approach to the pilot.” A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

Apple Presents a Pretty Good Take on Shark Tank With Its First

first_img Entrepreneur Staff 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. –shares Next Article Enroll Now for $5 Stephen J. Bronner Add to Queue News Director June 8, 2017center_img Apple Presents a Pretty Good Take on ‘Shark Tank’ With Its First Foray Into TV Image credit: Planet of the Apps 3 min read Apple debuted its first TV series, Planet of the Apps, on Tuesday, and guess what? The first episode was actually good!In the show, entrepreneurs pitch the apps they’ve built to a panel of judges made up of Gary Vaynerchuk, Honest co-founder Jessica Alba, Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow and will.i.am, who is involved with a few tech companies.Related: All the Updates From Apple WWDC 2017The first half of the pilot follows the Shark Tank format: The contestants introduce themselves and their apps to the panel. The difference here is they have 60 seconds to do so in an “escalator pitch” — in which they literally ride down an escalator. The judges then use iPads to vote on whether they’d like to learn more about each given app. If at least one judge does, the contestant presents further. If one of the judges is still interested after this second round, the entrepreneur can choose which leader they’d like to have as a mentor.For me, the nice thing about watching Planet of the Apps was that the judges’ feedback always aligned with my thoughts. Only three concepts made it to the next round — one failed in the second round — while the judges swiftly passed over most of the others. And I didn’t question those decisions.During the second half of the show, the entrepreneurs behind the two apps that were chosen, Pair and Companion, discussed next steps with their partners, Alba and Vaynerchuk, respectively. The advice was stock for any frequent readers of Entrepreneur — know what the value of your product is, look at it from all angles, understand what makes it different from the competition — but the judges delivered it intelligently and entertainingly. If this show proves anything, it’s that Alba has serious business chops.In the final segment of the show, the entrepreneurs pitch a panel of venture capitalists from Lightspeed Venture Partners with their mentors at their side.Related: Why Apple’s Video That Imagines a World Without Apps Makes Me SadBecause the first episode is free, I definitely recommend giving it a watch if the concept strikes your fancy. But in terms of its mass appeal, I have my doubts. As opposed to Shark Tank, which features pitches for general consumer goods, Planet of the Apps strictly focuses on programs that run on mobile devices. I suspect most people just don’t care about apps outside of the most popular ones we all use consistently.I also have my doubts about the show’s potential reach because of its limited distribution. Since it’s an Apple-produced series, it’s only available via iTunes, and you have to pay to watch. This limits its potential audience severely.We’ll just have to wait and see if Planet of the Apps can escape these limitations. ‘Planet of the Apps’ is the latest take on the pitch show, but its appeal may be limited. Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Applelast_img read more

10 Stories From the Web to Know About This Week Nov 1

first_img 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List –shares November 1, 2013 Next Article Automatic Teller Machines allow people to convert money into
the digital currency, Bitcoin. 10 Stories From the Web to Know About This Week, Nov. 1, 2013 Add to Queue 3 min read The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Image credit: Robocoin Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Brad Crescenzo Bitcoin launches ATMS, quantifying innovation, Marissa Mayer’s no telecommuting policy gets vindicated, Latinas take over, marketers can’t decide if Facebook ads work, Steve Blank gets fired, Twitpics come out… This week’s notable news and tantalizing tidbits for entrepreneurs:1. Say ‘Hello’ to Robocoin: Bitcoin recently took a giant leap into the realm of legitimacy and real-world application with the debut of its first ATM. Dubbed Robocoin, the machine allows currency to be exchanged for bitcoins, and vice-versa. (Wired)2. The chemistry of success: Graduate student Kiriti Rambhatla offers a new way to quantify innovation within a company. Don’t worry, there’s not much math.  (Forbes)3. Yahoo gets vindicated: The roar from critics has been quashed by data, as CEO Marissa Mayer’s unpopular no telecommuting policy proves successful. Productivity and employee engagement are up. (Fast Company)Related: Say What? Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer Buys a Funeral Home4. The right way to outsource: Outsourcing is a great way to keep startup costs down. Here is a smart guide to finding the right people for your small-business needs. (The Guardian)5. Steve Blank’s first job in Silicon Valley: Steve Blank, father of the Lean Startup movement, recalls his first job in Silicon Valley and what he learned getting fired and rehired in the same day. (LinkedIn Today)6. Google’s Spotlight Stories: Teaming up with Motorola, Google is creating a new interactive program that puts users at the center of an animated featurette… literally at the center of a 360 degree virtual reality movie, viewable with a Moto X smartphone. (Wired)7. Does Facebook advertising work? Professional marketers are torn when it comes to agreeing on the effectiveness and value of Facebook advertising. Two recent third-party surveys convey this conundrum with contradicting data. (Businessweek)Related: Is Facebook Really a Failure to Marketers?8. Twitpics see the light: Twitter updated its website and mobile apps to incorporate photo and video previews in tweet streams. Coming at a critical time before an expected $1.3 billion IPO next week, the micro-blogging giant is surely looking to create new revenue streams and lure advertisers. (SF Gate)9. Latina-owned businesses explode: In the last decade, Hispanic Americans have been starting and growing new businesses at twice the rate of the general population, according to a new study by researcher Geoscape and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. A large part of that growth has come from Latinas. (Huffington Post)Related: 7 Tips for Women Who Want to Own a Franchise10. Scammers cometh: Randy Shain, founder of BackTrack Reports  and investigative due diligence expert, predicts that with the SEC’s decision to allow the solicitation of capital from unaccredited investors will come a new wave of scammers. (Venture Beat) Technology Apply Now »last_img read more

Mark Zuckerberg Wants to Help Cure All Diseases By the End of

first_img –shares Mark Zuckerberg Wants to Help Cure All Diseases By the End of the Century Entrepreneur Staff Add to Queue Next Article Facebook Entrepreneur Staff 2019 Entrepreneur 360 Listcenter_img The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. 2 min read Everything is coming up Zuckerberg! After sharing some truly incredible earnings numbers Wednesday ($5.38 billion in revenue! 1.65 billion active users!) the hoodied CEO posted a note making clear his intentions to make the world a better place.”While helping to connect the world will always be the most important thing I do, there are more global challenges that I feel a responsibility to help solve — like helping to cure all diseases by the end of this century, upgrading our education system so it’s personalized for each student, and protecting our environment from climate change,” he wrote. RELATED: Watch a Young Mark Zuckerberg Talk About This Crazy New Thing Called ‘The Facebook’ Zuckerberg also announced a proposal from Facebook’s board of directors to jumpstart the world healing, describing it in short: “I’ll be able to keep founder control of Facebook so we can continue to build for the long term, and Priscilla and I will be able to give our money to fund important work sooner. Right now, there are amazing scientists, educators and doctors around the world doing incredible work. We want to help them make a bigger difference today, not 30 or 40 years down the road.”You can read the entire note from Mark Zuckerberg here.  Apply Now » April 28, 2016 Image credit: Facebooklast_img read more

enosix Hires Former SAP Executive as CMO

first_imgenosix Hires Former SAP Executive as CMO PRNewswireMay 7, 2019, 2:16 pmMay 7, 2019 Reynolds held multiple leadership positions while with SAP, leading marketing for several of the company’s most valuable solutions. As a member of the global marketing executive team, Reynolds was instrumental in the development of go-to-market strategy for new solutions. For ten years he led marketing for SAP’s IoT, global service, and their cloud businesses. Most recently, Reynolds was the CMO for Telit, a public company and global leader in IoT enablement, headquartered in London.Marketing Technology News: PDI Launches PDI Marketing Cloud Solutions to Broadly Serve Needs of Convenience Retailers and Petroleum Wholesalers“I’m honored to lead enosiX’s global marketing organization. This is a world class team, led by some of the best in the industry, and supported by an incredible Board of Directors,” commented Reynolds. “SAP customers are quickly learning that enosiX is the best integration solution for their complex systems, and the secret weapon that can accelerate their digital transformation. We plan to build on that reputation to take this company to the next level.”Reynolds will be working from enosiX company headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio.Marketing Technology News: PushSend Launches All-in-One Marketing Platform That Brings Enterprise Capabilities to SMBs Shawn Reynolds, Former Global Vice President at SAP, to Lead Marketing Strategy for Quickly Growing CompanyenosiX Inc., an innovative provider of integration solutions between SAP and modern systems of engagement, announced the appointment of Shawn Reynolds, former global vice president at SAP, as the company’s new chief marketing officer.Shawn Reynolds D.Wayne ‘DP’ Poole’enosiXintegration solutionsMarketing Technology NewsNewsSAPShawn Reynolds Previous ArticleAragon Research Positions Vonage as a Leader in the Globe For Unified Communications and CollaborationNext ArticleInformatica Announces New Data Protection Integrations Across Microsoft Platform “We are very excited to have Shawn on board. He’s an accomplished executive with a track record of successfully leading businesses to new markets. With his marketing acumen, industry expertise, and executive experience at SAP, Shawn is an important addition to our leadership team at this time of fast growth for enosiX,” said D.Wayne ‘DP’ Poole, CEO, enosiX.Marketing Technology News: Tetra TV Launches Transparent Advertising Network for Connected TVlast_img read more

SpotX Earns Independent Recertification for TAG AntiFraud AntiPiracy AntiMalware ICQ Seals via

first_img Marketing TechnologyNewsTAG CertifiedTAG PlatinumTAG Platinum StatusTrustworthy Accountability Groupvideo advertising Previous ArticleBotkeeper’s Updated Dashboard Gives More Power to the UserNext ArticleCallsign Chooses Nexmo, the Vonage API Platform, to Deliver More Secure Communications for Banking Customers SpotX Earns Independent Recertification for TAG Anti-Fraud, Anti-Piracy, Anti-Malware, ICQ Seals via BPA Worldwide PRNewswireMay 31, 2019, 6:12 pmMay 31, 2019 Video Advertising and Monetization Platform Among First Supply-Side Platforms (Ssps) in Industry to Achieve “Tag Platinum Status” by Earning All Four Seals from Trustworthy Accountability GroupSpotX, the leading global video advertising and monetization platform, announced it has maintained its TAG Platinum Status by being recertified for all four seals awarded by the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) through independent validation by global assurance provider BPA Worldwide. Seals earned by SpotX include the TAG Certified Against Fraud Seal, TAG Certified Against Malware Seal, TAG Certified Against Piracy Seal, and TAG Inventory Quality Guidelines (IQG) Compliance. The independent recertification of all seals further strengthens SpotX’s long-time commitment to brand safety and full transparency.“SpotX is one of the few companies to achieve TAG Platinum Status and independent validation of all four TAG compliance programs: Inventory Quality, Anti-Fraud, Anti-Malware and Anti-Piracy,” said Richard Murphy, BPA’s Executive Vice President of Technology Assurance. “Their commitment to quality and transparency should be recognized and applauded by the industry.”The TAG Certified Against Piracy Program helps advertisers and ad agencies avoid damage to their brands from unsafe ad placements that facilitate the distribution of pirated content and counterfeit products. By blocking sites that commit piracy, SpotX ensures that no money is paid to these entities. The TAG Certified Against Malware initiative works to eliminate the distribution of malware through the digital advertising supply chain, and the TAG Certified Against Fraud Program combats the negative impact of counterfeit online traffic by providing a suite of anti-fraud tools to aid in compliance. The goal of TAG’s IQG program is to create a common framework and language to ensure both campaign goals are reached and informed decisions can be made in programmatic environments.Marketing Technology News: Qlik Kicks Off AI In Action: The Qlik Analytics Tour, The Largest Roadshow In Data & AnalyticsSpotX is recognized as a leader in brand safety and was also an early adopter of ads.txt, the IAB Tech Lab’s technical solution for publicly declaring which companies are authorized to sell digital inventory, thereby combating unauthorized and spoofed impressions across the platform. SpotX is also in full support of app-ads.txt which is identical to ads.txt but specifically designed for mobile in-app and over-the-top (OTT) inventory .“At SpotX, we’re committed to ensuring a brand-safe environment for our advertisers and eliminating any and all bad actors,” said J. Allen Dove, CTO at SpotX and one of the founding members of the IAB’s ads.txt and ads.cert initiatives. “We believe in the importance of implementing multiple processes and technologies to combat fraudulent activity and will continue to keep our ecosystem free of fraud and push to maintain the integrity of the industry as a whole.”Marketing Technology News: StarfishETL Partners with PeopleSense, Inc.Although there is no silver bullet to eliminate ad fraud, SpotX offers multiple layers of protection by taking a commonsense approach in identifying and eliminating suspicious traffic and bad actors via its in-house Brand Safety Team, licensing with several anti-fraud vendors that both pre-filter invalid traffic and monitor impression quality. The company has also made a strategic decision to avoid doing business with any entity that is not seen as adding value to the ecosystem, and has taken a firm stance on not allowing any low-quality OTT apps or OTT resellers on its platform. In fact, only one out of 100 media owners wishing to do business with SpotX are actually approved and integrated.“The TAG Platinum Status achieved by SpotX marks the highest level of achievement across all four of TAG’s program areas, and it demonstrates the extraordinary commitment of SpotX to ensuring a safe and transparent advertising ecosystem,” said Mike Zaneis, CEO at Trustworthy Accountability Group. “We are delighted to recognize SpotX for its recertification across TAG’s programs and equally pleased it took the extra steps of independent validation through BPA Worldwide, one of TAG’s most important partners in ensuring rigorous compliance across the industry.”Marketing Technology News: Seven Tech Data Executives Named 2019 CRN “Women of the Channel”last_img read more

Study findings may explain sporadic outbreaks of C difficile infections in hospitals

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 16 2018Washing contaminated hospital bedsheets in a commercial washing machine with industrial detergent at high disinfecting temperatures failed to remove all traces of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), a bacteria that causes infectious diarrhea, suggesting that linens could be a source of infection among patients and even other hospitals, according to a study published today in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.”The findings of this study may explain some sporadic outbreaks of C. difficile infections in hospitals from unknown sources, however, further research is required in order to establish the true burden of hospital bedsheets in such outbreaks,” said Katie Laird, PhD, Head of the Infectious Disease Research Group, School of Pharmacy, De Montfort University, Leicester, United Kingdom and lead author of the study. “Future research will assess the parameters required to remove C. difficile spores from textiles during the laundry process.”Related StoriesBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryDanbury Hospital launches ‘Healing Hugs’ for its most vulnerable patientsHave cancer, must travel: Patients left in lurch after hospital closesResearchers inoculated swatches of cotton sheets with C. difficile. The swatches were then laundered with sterile uncontaminated pieces of fabric using one of two different methods — either in a simulated industrial washing cycle using a washer extractor with and without detergent or naturally contaminated linens from the beds of patients with C. difficile infection were put through a full commercial laundry where they were washed in a washer extractor (infected linen wash) with industrial detergent, pressed, dried, and finished according to current the National Health Service in the United Kingdom’s healthcare laundry policy (Health Technical Memorandum 01-04 Decontamination of Linen for Health and Social Care (2016). Researchers measured the levels of contamination before and after washing.Both the simulated and the commercial laundering via a washer extractor process failed to meet microbiological standards of containing no disease-causing bacteria, the study found. The full process reduced C. difficile spore count by only 40 percent, and this process resulted in bacteria from the contaminated sheets being transferred to the uncontaminated sheets after washing.Researchers concluded that thermal disinfection conditions currently required by the UK National Health System are inadequate for the decontamination of C. difficile spores. There may be potential to spread C. difficile back into the hospital environment as linens could be a source for outbreaks at other healthcare facilities through businesses that collect, launder and redistribute rented linens to multiple hospitals and care facilities, as is the case at NHS facilities.The research team, which also includes PhD student Joanna Tarrant, is working closely with the Textiles Services Association in the UK to continue research to find which combination of laundering parameters will remove C. difficile spores from hospital bedsheets. Source:http://shea-online.org/last_img read more

Broadcom raises hostile bid for Qualcomm to 121 bn Update

Broadcom CEO Hock Tan is seen at a November 6 White House meeting with President Donald Trump, at which Tan announced plans to move the chipmaking company back to the United States Broadcom raised its bid for rival computer chipmaker Qualcomm on Monday to $121 billion, offering the richest-ever takeover effort in the tech sector in an effort to become the dominant player in the fast-growing market for connected devices. Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf, seen in December. has said he sees “no path to value” in a tie-up with rival chipmaking giant Broadcom Explore further Qualcomm to reviewQualcomm said in a statement it had received the new proposal and would evaluate it “consistent with its fiduciary duties” and “in consultation with its financial and legal advisors.”Up to now, Qualcomm has rejected the tie-up, with CEO Steve Mollenkopf arguing last year there was “no real path to value” with Broadcom.Mollenkopf, in comments in December, maintained that Qualcomm, the leading global supplier of smartphone chips, is well-positioned for emerging technologies for connected devices and 5G, or the fifth generation of wireless networks.If completed, the deal would be the largest-ever in the tech sector and create a powerful player in the booming sector fueled by growth in smartphones and an array of connected devices from cars to wearables. Any merger deal would need to pass muster with Qualcomm shareholders and could face regulatory scrutiny in the United States and other markets.Broadcom said its offer stood whether Qualcomm’s $47 billion bid for Dutch rival NXP was completed or is terminated. European regulators this month said they had approved the merger subject to conditions.The Singapore-based firm said it was prepared to pay a “significant” fee to Qualcomm if the two companies agree but the deal is blocked by regulators.It also said it would offer a “ticking fee” giving Qualcomm shareholders extra cash if the deal is not consummated within a year.Broadcom’s November 6 proposal followed a visit by its CEO to the White House, where he met President Donald Trump and announced plans to move the tech company back to the United States from Singapore.Broadcom moved from California in 2015 after a merger with rival Avago Technologies.The move by Broadcom comes with Qualcomm facing a series of investigations by antitrust authorities around the world over its dominance in the market for smartphone chips, and a legal tussle with Apple over royalties. Qualcomm rejects Broadcom’s nominees to board Singapore-based Broadcom, which has begun a process to reincorporate in the United States, called the hostile bid its “best and final offer.”The price hike steps up the pressure on California-based Qualcomm, the dominant producer of chips for mobile devices, which is set to hold its annual shareholders meeting next month.In a letter to Qualcomm board members, Broadcom chief executive Hock Tan called the offer “extremely compelling compared to any other alternative available to Qualcomm” and called on the board to open talks on the proposal. But he said the deal would be off the table if it fails to win approval next month by shareholders.The new bid represents $82 per Qualcomm share, up from a previous offer of $70 a share, and was said to be 50 percent higher than Qualcomm’s share price before the tie-up was proposed in November.With Qualcomm’s debt included, the deal’s value would be some $146 billion.”We continue to hope you choose to engage with us for the benefit of your stockholders,” Tan said.”However, we will withdraw this proposal and cease our pursuit of Qualcomm immediately following your upcoming annual meeting unless we have entered into a definitive agreement or the Broadcom-nominated slate is elected.”Broadcom last year proposed a slate of 11 new Qualcomm board members as part of its effort to win approval. © 2018 AFP Citation: Broadcom raises hostile bid for Qualcomm to $121 bn (Update) (2018, February 5) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-broadcom-qualcomm-billion.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on solgel transition electrolytes

first_img More information: Funian Mo et al, A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes, Science Bulletin (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.scib.2018.06.019 Polymer professor develops safer component for lithium batteries Reversible sol-gel transition hydrogels have received abundant research interest owing to their smart response to ambient temperature. They are normally in flowing liquid state at or below room temperature and can transform into stationary gels when heated above a critical temperature. Moreover, this transition can be reversed after cooling down, displaying interesting temperature-dependent properties. Sol-gel transition polymers may potentially be good candidates for designing advanced batteries with intelligent thermal responsibility.Recently, a research team led by Prof. Chunyi Zhi from City University of Hong Kong has successfully synthesized a temperature-sensitive sol-gel transition electrolyte comprising proton-incorporated poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylic acid) (PNA). They incorporated it into a rechargeable Zn/α-MnO2 battery system. After heating above the low critical temperature, a gelation process occurs in the PNA sol-gel electrolyte and significantly inhibits the migration of zinc ions, leading to a decreased specific capacity and an increased internal resistance of the battery, thus shutting down the battery.After cooling down, the transition is reversed to liquid state and an original electrochemical performance can be restored. More importantly, unlike traditional strategies, the sol-gel electrolyte endows the thermoresponsive battery with dynamic charge/discharge rate performance at different temperature, enabling “smart” thermal control for the battery. This work represents a feasible concept for self-protection batteries via reversible sol-gel transition. Explore further Dynamic electrochemical performance the thermoresponsive Zn/α-MnO2 batteries at different temperature. Credit: ©Science China Press Provided by Science China Presscenter_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Schematic illustration of the thermoresponsive Zn/α-MnO2 batteries with reversible sol-gel transition electrolye. Credit: ©Science China Press Citation: A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes (2018, July 20) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-smart-safe-rechargeable-zinc-ion.html The thermal runaway issue has been a longstanding obstacle impeding the development of high-energy-density, high-power delivery batteries. These batteries would generate a lot of heat in ultrafast charge/discharge process or hazardous conditions, such as overcharging and short-circuits. To dissipate the heat accumulated in the batteries, physical safety designs such as fused disconnect switches, extinguishing agents, and shutdown current collectors have been employed. However, these approaches only provide one-time protection. There is no provision for these strategies to spontaneously restore the original working condition of batteries once the temperature is cooled down. Therefore, intelligent and active internal safety strategies are required for fabricating smart batteries with dynamic electrochemical performance and self-adaptive response to temperature.last_img read more

Memory chip maker Micron announces 3B expansion in Manassas

first_imgOne of the world’s largest semiconductor companies is making a $3 billion investment in northern Virginia to expand its manufacturing facility and add 1,100 jobs. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Explore further Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced the expansion plans for Micron Technology at an event Wednesday in Manassas.Boise, Idaho-based Micron decided to expand its existing facility in Manassas after considering offers from competing domestic and international locations, including Singapore.State economic development officials say Micron’s expansion is one of the largest manufacturing investments in modern Virginia history.Micron’s decision comes as northern Virginia continues to court Amazon as it seeks a location for a $5 billion headquarters that could employ as many as 50,000.About 1,200 people currently work at the Manassas plant, which builds memory chips and other digital storage devices. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Micron And Intel Create New Company To Manufacture NAND Flash Memory Citation: Memory chip maker Micron announces $3B expansion in Manassas (2018, August 29) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-memory-chip-maker-micron-3b.htmllast_img read more