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Spotify will come preinstalled on Galaxy S10 S10 Plus S10E

first_img Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) Now playing: Watch this: Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) $299 at Amazon Rylo $999 Best Buy 1 See It $999 $999 JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) $999 CNET may get a commission from retail offers. See It Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Mobile,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. $833 See It Sarah Tew/CNET Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) Angela Lang/CNET What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. The Galaxy S10’s batch of preinstalled apps will include Spotify. SOPA Images/ Getty Images If you buy a new Samsung phone, you’ll get the Spotify app too.Spotify said Friday that its app will come preinstalled on “millions” of new Samsung devices, including the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus and S10E released Friday. New Galaxy owners could also get six months of free Spotify Premium. Spotify noted that you’re ineligible if you’ve already used Spotify Premium or its Unlimited service or previously had a free trial. The offer is another piece of Spotify’s partnership with Samsung. The two companies started working together in August, and Spotify was deemed Samsung’s go-to music provider. The Spotify app will also come preinstalled on the Galaxy Fold, set to debut April 26, and the Galaxy S10 5G, set for release in the summer.  See It CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. Turo: Save $30 on any car rental Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X $6 at Tidal Sarah Tew/CNET Turo Comments DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) How To • How to take badass car photos with your Galaxy S10 Plus $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express Share your voice See It Sarah Tew/CNET The Galaxy S10 is fantastic $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. Read Lenovo Smart Clock review Comment Read Google Home Hub review Sarah Tew/CNET Boost Mobile Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. Best Buy Sprint See at Amazon Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) $155 at Google Express Tags An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. $59 at eBay Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays Abt Electronics News • Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus to be used to film entire Tonight Show episode Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Read DJI Osmo Action preview Review • Galaxy S10 Plus braces for Galaxy Note 10 impact Tags Apple iPhone XS Chris Monroe/CNET Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) $999 See it $210 at Best Buy $999 5:14 See at Turo Share your voice $60 at Best Buy $999 Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). 7 Mentioned Above Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus (128GB, prism black) Sprint Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus $520 at HP Read the AirPods review Read the Rylo camera preview See It See it Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. The Cheapskate Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Amazonlast_img read more

Oppo and Vivos Chinese expats in India return home over low sales

first_imgMobile phones are seen on display at an electronics market in Shanghai, China, June 24, 2015. The dragon country is world’s biggest smartphone market, with many homegrown players such as Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, Gionee and Meizu.Reuters fileOver 400 Chinese expats working for Oppo and Vivo in India have returned home after a drop in smartphone sales as anti-Beijing sentiments are rising in the country’s large consumer markets. Vivo’s chief marketing officer Vivek Zhang also returned home this month, Economic Times reported.According to industry executives, the exits were a result of 30 percent year-on-year drop at both Oppo and Vivo. This led the Chinese parent companies to reorder the local management and hire new people to fight the anti-China wave in the consumer markets since the Doklam standoff.Northern regions in India like Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Maharashtra have witnessed the buyer resistance. “The decision-making authority always remained with the expats, even in the districts where there were mostly junior-level staff. However, after the exit of so many Chinese employees, some autonomy has been given to Indian executives at the distributor level, with a mandate to revive sales,” an executive said.China vs China in IndiaThe trade war between India and China could give a blow to both the economies especially China as their economy largely depends on exporting goods to India. In fact, Chinese products dominate the Indian markets and economy to a large extent.According to reports, the smartphone war in India is now being fought among the Chinese players rather than between Indian and Chinese brands.Oppo and Vivo comprise 22 percent of the Indian smartphone market. At a time when the overall phone market in India surged by eight percent, Oppo and Vivo have reported about 30 percent plunge in sales. Their rival Xiaomi sold over five million units of Redmi Note 4 in July. Xiaomi launches Redmi Note 5A with 16MP front-camera, Snapdragon 425 SoC; when will it come to India?Xiaomi ENMIUI official global blog (screen-shot)A CyberMedia Research (CMR) report said that Xiaomi was the top performer in the April-June quarter, after market leader Samsung in India. Vivo was in the third place followed by Oppo.Early this month, amid severe border tensions between both the countries, India had imposed anti-dumping duties on 93 Chinese products that have raised fears of a trade war between the two nations.last_img read more

Three Years After Launch Has Upskill Houston Helped Strengthen The Workforce

first_img X 00:00 /03:27 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share Listen Florian MartinPeter Beard, senior vice president of regional workforce development at the GHP, says UpSkill Houston has helped boost enrollment in middle skill training courses.Three years ago, the Greater Houston Partnership launched UpSkill Houston, a workforce development initiative aimed at increasing the number of middle-skilled workers.So what has the program achieved at this point?To find out, we sat down with Peter Beard, senior vice president of regional workforce development at the GHP.To listen to the interview, click on the play button above.last_img read more

Still Time to Nominate Small Business Persons for 2015 Awards

first_img(Image Courtesy of Facebook)The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Baltimore District Office is accepting nominations for the successful small business person who might become Maryland’s “Small Business Person of the Year” for 2015 and compete for the national title during National Small Business Week, May 4-8, 2015. Nominees are also being sought for Small Business Champion and Special Award categories. The deadline for nomination submissions is Jan. 5, 2015.This is an excellent opportunity to promote your own business, a client or even an employee. It’s your chance to be recognized for all of your hard work and entrepreneurial spirit. Both the nominator and nominee receive recognition through this awards program. Who can’t use some free publicity these days?Small Business Person of the Year nominees will be judged on a variety of criteria, including staying power, growth in employment and sales, innovation of product or service and evidence of contributions to the community.Small Business Champion awards are presented to persons who have used their professional or personal talents to further the public’s understanding and awareness of small business. Candidates must have taken an active role in creating opportunities to promote the interests of small business.Champion award categories include: Financial Services, Home-Based Business, Accountant, Attorney, Insurance, Minority, Veteran and Women. Special award categories include: Family-Owned Small Business, Entrepreneurial Success, Small Business Exporter and Young Entrepreneur.Nominations can be made by an individual or an organization. The Maryland program accepts nominations for individuals or businesses operating within the City of Baltimore and all Maryland counties except Prince George’s and Montgomery counties.To obtain nomination criteria and submission guidelines, visit  www.sba.gov/md or contact Rachel Howard at (410) 244-3337 or by email at rachel.howard@sba.govlast_img read more

Mayor Pugh Issues Call to Action to Community

first_imgBaltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh will encourage city residents to get involved in their community and stem city violence during a “Call to Action” on June 10 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Baltimore City Community College.Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh“Our goal is to make sure we have all of our young people engaged and that we invite the community to participate in opportunities to help us reduce crime,” the mayor said at a June 7 news conference announcing the event.The event will include presentations on how residents can get involved, including a demonstration of a community mediation session.The mayor hopes that the event will spread the word about programs available in the city and that more people will be engaged.Pugh began holding “Call to Action” meetings shortly after she took office. Those meetings involved community leaders, activists and representatives from city agencies as well as Baltimore Police.Many of those leaders were at the mayor’s side when she announced the June 10 event, including City Council President Jack Young and Police Commissioner Kevin Davis.last_img read more

Explore the Taj Mahal online

first_imgNow people around the world can explore certain national Indian monuments online through Street View on Google Maps.The 360-degree online imagery initiative includes a paranomic imagery of 30 iconic Indian heritage sites, including the Taj Mahal, Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort and Agra Fort. This initiative taken by Google and ASI is to assist in making 100 of India’s most important heritage sites more accessible for the world to experience. These monuments which are over a 100 years old can now be explored virtually sitting in any part of the world through Google Maps and Google Cultural Institute. Through this initiative Google aims to help share more of the Indian culture and heritage with people at home and abroad. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Commenting on the initiative, the Union Minister of Culture, Chandresh Kumari Katoch said, ‘Today, this partnership with Google makes it possible for billions of people across the world to see and explore our magnificent heritage, to take a walk at the Rock Cut Jain Temple, to marvel at the Nagarjuna Konda Buddhist Stupas and to relive history in Fatehpur Sikri. With the release of these new panoramic images, we aim to create a dynamic, immersive online experience by which people within India and around the world can understand and engage more of India’s diverse cultural heritage.’Explaining the purpose behind this step Google’s Vice President and Managing Director, India said, ‘Google is deeply committed to helping preserve and showcase cultural heritage across the world. India is unique in terms of the sheer wealth of heritage and iconic historical monuments, and it has been our privilege to work with the ASI in collecting new 360-degree photos of 30 Indian heritage sites.’last_img read more

Man beaten to death while dissuading grandsons from fighting

first_imgKolkata: A 54-year-old man from Malda died at a hospital after he was beaten up by his two grandsons who were fighting with each other over some dispute.It was learnt from police sources that the victim, Yusuf Ali (54), had received injuries on his head when he tried to dissuade his two grandsons from fighting. The victim was a resident of Jadupur area under English Bazar police station in Malda. On Sunday morning, the two youths got involved in a heated altercation over some family dispute. A scuffle soon broke out between the two. The incident occurred at the courtyard when the victim was taking rest inside the house. On hearing the quarrel, he rushed to the spot and tried to calm them. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeDuring the scuffle, the victim was beaten up and he received fatal injuries on his head. He was rushed to a nearby hospital in a serious condition. He was put under observation and in the afternoon, the victim succumbed to his injuries. The incident triggered tension among the locals. The body has been sent for an autopsy. After being informed police reached the spot and detained the youths for interrogation. A detailed probe has been initiated. The other family members of the victim and some locals are also being interrogated in this connection. A specific complaint was also lodged at the local police station in this regard.last_img read more

Rep Frederick invites residents to May office hours

first_img08May Rep. Frederick invites residents to May office hours No appointments are necessary to attend office hours. Those who are unable to attend, but would still like to speak with the representative, may contact his Lansing office at (517) 373-0841 or BenFrederick@house.mi.gov.### State Rep. Ben Frederick of Owosso will hold local office hours for the month of May.“Office hours present an opportunity for residents to meet with me and ask questions, offer ideas or share thoughts regarding state government,” Frederick said.The representative will be available at the following times and locations:Monday, May 14Shiawassee County: 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Owosso City Hall, 301 W. Main St. in Owosso; andSaginaw County: 3 to 4:30 p.m. at Marion Township Hall, 10925 S. Merrill Road in Brant.center_img Categories: Frederick Newslast_img read more

Spanish freetoair broadcaster TV3 – Televisió de

first_imgSpanish free-to-air broadcaster TV3 – Televisió de Catalunya has launched a service on Google TV, making it available to users of Google’s smart TV application. 
Viewers can download an app and access a range of TV3 content on-demand as well as a live feed of the channel via Google TV. 
The broadcaster said that the launch on Google’s interactive TV service coincides with its channel no longer being distributed by satellite.last_img

Hindi language entertainment channel Sony Entertai

first_imgHindi language entertainment channel Sony Entertainment Network (SEN) has launched on the Freeview TV platform in the Greater Manchester area of the UK.The launch means SEN is for the first time available to TV viewers without a satellite, cable or IPTV connection.Shalin Patel, head of marketing and distribution for SEN Europe, said, “It is a historical time for the UK television industry as a whole. For the last 15 years, South Asian language channels were only available on what some describe as ‘secondary’ services such as satellite and cable. With the launch on digital terrestrial in the Manchester region, our viewers can access the channel wherever they are in their home with only the most basic equipment required. This is just another step re-enforcing Sony Entertainment Networks commitment to breaking barriers with true progression.”last_img read more

BBC Worldwide has upped executive producer Julie S

first_imgBBC Worldwide has upped executive producer Julie Swanston to vice-president of commissioning in Worldwide’s channels content team.Swanston will focus on commissioning original content for BBC Brit and BBC Earth – two of three new global BBC genre brands that are due to roll out on a market-by-market basis later this year and in 2015. The third of these brands, BBC First, will be overseen by Liam Keelan.For BBC Brit, Swanston will seek out male-skewing factual entertainment, including programmes covering areas like cars, engineering, “buddy trips” and popular science. BBC Earth will centre on “new adventure heroes” and will also cover “passion projects”, extreme earth and extreme survival.Swanston will work closely with the BBC’s broader international channels network and will also maintain close links with BBC America and BBC in the UK.She replaces Tracy Forsyth, with her appointment coming a week after Forsyth and Mark Reynolds were announced as genre directors for factual entertainment and entertainment, and genre director for factual.Worldwide said news of Swanston, Forsyth and Reynolds’ promotions “further underpins the business’ ambition to focus on premium content, backed by an increase in content spend to over £200m annually.”Swanston said: “I am delighted to take on this creative position, starting my search immediately for prime-time, talent- led original content for BBC Earth and BBC Brit. I’m looking to commission ambitious series that will cut through on a global scale and shine a light on BBC Worldwide’s brand new genre brands.”Prior to her new role, Swanston was an executive producer at BBC Worldwide, working across new factual entertainment programmes like Almost Royal. Before joining Worldwide, she worked at UKTV as a commissioning editor across the channels Dave, Watch and Gold.last_img read more

Harald Strømme Discoverys Norway and Sweden boss

first_imgHarald StrømmeDiscovery’s Norway and Sweden boss Harald Stromme has left the company amid reports of a disagreement about the direction of the business in those territories. Regional digital chief Sindre Østgård has also stepped down after less than a year in his role.The news broke in the local press yesterday, with reports variously citing a disagreement between the outgoing execs and company owners.“Discovery is well positioned for the future, but the owners and I have different views on what steps are now needed to achieve success,” Stromme told Kampanje.Discovery confirmed the double exit, but said that he leaves on good terms.“Harald has done an extraordinary job for this company, both as CEO for Norway and in running our business in Sweden,” Mike Lang, president, international development, digital and Discovery Nordics, said.Langook overall control of the Nordics last November.Speaking about Stromme’s departure, he added: “We are sad to see him go, but respect his decision. Harald and his team have taken TVNorge and Discovery from being a small player to being one of the largest and most successful TV companies in Norway.“We are grateful for his many contributions and leadership, and we wish him all the best”, said Michael Lang, President, International Development, Digital and Discovery Nordics.Sindre Østgård joined Discovery last August from Norwegian pubcaster NRK.Stromme took control of DNI’s Swedish operations last year after the April resignation of CEO Jonas Sjogren. In Norway, Stromme oversaw a restructure last year that resulted in several job losses.Stromme and Østgård’s next moves are not known.last_img read more

By Vedran Vuk Casey Research Recently my paren

first_imgBy Vedran Vuk, Casey Research Recently, my parents were considering purchasing some real estate. As the financial professional in the family, they asked me, “What do you think? Will it go up in value? You know… not now, but eventually?” I’ve heard the same thing over and over again. In response, I shared my opinion: “Would you pay the current market price to live there even if its value never increased?” If the answer is yes, buy the property.” Essentially, is the house worth it as a home, not as an investment? In the past few decades, the concept of home ownership has been completely turned on its head. Previously, homes were considered a very long-term consumption good. Do you think anyone in the 18th, 19th, and prior centuries ever considered tripling the value of their homes by retirement time and selling them to move beachside? In the vast majority of cases, such ideas never crossed their minds. Yet, somehow along the way, this became a reasonable investment expectation. Even today, home buyers still make their purchases with the hopes of escalating prices. But are homes really wise investments? Consider the difference between your house and an investment such as Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) stock. At a major company, the opportunities can be truly limitless. Apple can produce cashflows from computers, iPods, iPads, and future innovations that are just dreams and concepts today. If the local market is oversaturated, Apple has the option of spreading out all across the world. As a result, Apple’s stock price has gone from $17 in 2005 to $540 today. Can your house do the same? Unless there’s a hyperinflation ahead or your house is located in the New York City or London of the 21st century, the answer is no. Why? Because your house is ultimately a product – and products have an upper bound to their prices. To understand this difference, there’s no need to drag out the Case-Shiller Index or analyze complex statistics. Suppose one bought a single-family house over a decade ago for $200K. At the peak of the housing bubble, the price reached $500K; to his joy, the owner sold it and moved thereafter to retire in Florida. Can the house’s price go higher from here? With Apple, the stock price can just keep climbing with greater profits and innovations. But is that true with real estate? For the sake of argument, let’s say that prices do keep rising. Eventually, the second owner sells to another buyer for $1 million a decade later. Guy number two also peacefully retires in bounty. Well, where does that leave the third guy? Unless real salaries make an incredible jump in the same time period, no one will be able to afford the home next. The median US worker earning $51K won’t be selling such a house for retirement; instead, it will take him until retirement to afford it. In many ways, this “investment” more closely resembles a Ponzi scheme. (Yes, Ponzi schemes work: for those who get in early and get out – as the recent real-estate bubble demonstrated.) Ultimately, there’s an upper bound to housing prices – they can’t continue rising perpetually with no end. The same is true of any product. At $300 for the newest iPod Touch, Apple might be doing well, but at $10,000 per unit, there likely would be very few buyers. As a homeowner, you’re not holding a company that can innovate, cut costs, and enter new markets. You’re ultimately holding a product which must be either sold to the next user or leased to the next renter. Houses are a good created for a specific use – to put a roof over one’s head. They are not magical money machines. Previous generations understood this very simple concept. One built a home as a place to live and escape the elements – and worse yet, the squalor of tenement housing. Homes were not retirement tools, but rather long-term goods. Unfortunately, policy makers still view homes as investments and are always worried about low prices. But is it really healthy to play another round of the same Ponzi scheme? Suppose the Fed manages to inflate housing prices again. There will be another boom in which some folks will make a tremendous amount of money. Eventually, housing prices will hit an unrealistic upper bound. Again, home prices will violently drop, resulting in homeowners deeper underwater than now. Of course, the banks will again take a hit as the mortgage holders. As long as real incomes trail the rise in housing prices, there will ultimately be a correction of some sort. So, do I think the current real estate market is just fine? No, of course not; but I don’t think shocking houses prices back into a bubbly stratosphere is the solution. Ideally, I’d like to see increasing housing prices, but only at the pace of real growth in society’s wealth. Over the last few decades, houses grew in value for good reasons and bad. On the good side, the economy had been expanding. On the bad side, the Fed’s low-interest-rate bubble artificially inflated housing prices beyond what made sense for our economy to sustain. If US companies such as Apple are creating greater abundance in society, it makes sense for housing prices to grow with greater wealth. But, bringing those prices higher on a wave of printed cash does not make us wise investors, but rather willing participants in a Ponzi scheme where someone else will be left holding the bag. Though that might be an attractive solution for those underwater on their mortgages, it’s no solution for the economy as a whole – nor for the next buyer. [Treating houses as investment vehicles – a strategy pushed by federal government policy – is one part of the complex conditions that have created the current American debt crisis. Start learning about it, so that you can be among those who not just survive, but thrive during the challenging times ahead.]last_img read more

But the most important takeaway from these charts

first_img But the most important takeaway from these charts, besides the fact that the prices are being actively managed, is that there are no spike lows at any of the daily fixes—the two in gold and one in silver—to be found on either chart.  It was the same in September as well. ‘Da boyz’—having been caught with their fingers in the cookie jar at the p.m. fix—have changed tactics, which is more than obvious in these charts. Here’s what the 5-year Intraday Average Gold Price Movement chart for gold looks like, complete with the spike lows at both the a.m. and p.m. fixes.  And as you  can see from the two charts above, this pattern has been replaced by something new—but the ‘fix’ is still in. Sponsor Advertisement Silver got taken to the woodshed at the Sunday night open—and was down almost 45 cents at its low, which came around 8:30 a.m. Hong Kong time. [This appeared to be a new low tick to the downside in silver, but the 6-month silver chart in The Wrap indicates otherwise.] From that point, silver rallied slightly into positive territory in a rather choppy fashion until the price got capped starting shortly before 1 p.m. EST.  It got sold down a bit at that point—and back into negative territory—before trading sideways in the 5:15 p.m. close. The low and high tick were recorded as $16.22 and $15.74 in the December contract, which was an intraday move of more than 3 percent. Silver finished the Monday session at $16.145 spot, down 3 cents from Friday’s close.  Net volume was very decent at 37,000 contracts, of which 9,000 or so came before the London open. I was happy to see the precious metal shares do as well as they did yesterday, so it’s obvious that there was some serious bottom fishing going on—and I’ll be more than interested to see how they perform going forward. And as I write this paragraph, the London open is twenty minutes away—and every rally attempt in gold during the Far East trading session got sold down before it could get very far—and a the moment the gold price is basically unchanged from Monday’s close in New York.  As usual, silver got sold down at the open in New York on their Monday evening—and is still down about two bits on the day.  Platinum got hit for $20 in the first couple of hours trading—and is still down 9 dollars at the moment.  Palladium is back below the $800 mark at $796. Gold’s net volume is just over 27,000 contracts—and virtually all of it is in the December contract, so it’s a given that it’s mostly of the HFT variety.  Silver’s net volume is already north of 7,000 contracts. The dollar index, which had been down a bit more than 20 basis points, hit its 87.08 low tick at exactly 1 p.m. Hong Kong time—and has been in rally mode ever since—and is only down 5 basis points at the moment.  Here’s the U.S. Dollar Index chart for the first two hours or so of trading on Tuesday—and you can see the precise timing of the low tick, so you know that this wasn’t free-market forces at work. Uranium Energy Corp. (NYSE MKT: UEC) is pleased to announce that the final authorization has been granted for production at its Goliad ISR Project in South Texas.  As announced in previous press releases, the Company received all of the required authorizations from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, including an Aquifer Exemption which has now been granted concurrence from EPA Region 6. Amir Adnani, President and CEO, stated, “We are very pleased to have received this final authorization for initiating production at Goliad. Our geological and engineering teams have worked diligently toward achieving this major milestone and are to be truly commended. We are grateful to the EPA for its thorough reviews and for issuing this final concurrence. The Company’s near-term plan is to complete construction at the first production area at Goliad and to greatly increase the throughput of uranium at our centralized Hobson processing plant.” Please contact Investor Relations with questions or to request additional information, info@uraniumenergy.com. The gold stocks traded around either side of unchanged until about 11:45 a.m. in New York—and then chopped higher into the close, with the HUI finishing the Monday trading session up 2.68%.  Here’s Nick’s chart. There was some serious bottom fishing going on Gold got hammered right out of the gate at 6 p.m. on Sunday evening, hitting a new low for this move down in the spot market at 8 a.m. Hong Kong time.  It rallied from there, hitting its high tick at the noon silver fix in London—and that was it for the day, as the price got sold down progressively lower during the New York trading session. The low and high ticks were reported by the CME Group as $1,173.40 and $1,161.00 in the December contract. Gold was closed at $1,165.30 spot, down $7.60 on the day.  Net volume was very much on the lighter side at  108,000 contracts, with 30,000 of those coming before the London open. Platinum followed a similar pattern, with the low tick coming about 8:30 a.m. in Hong Kong, followed by the high of the day which came at the noon silver fix in London [1 p.m. Zurich time]—and from there it traded quietly lower in the close.  Platinum was closed up 3 dollars on the day. I have a very decent number of stories for you today, so I hope you have the time to read the ones that interest you. There remain these two parallel universes: First, there’s “The Truman Show” world: Japan’s Kuroda has essentially nothing to do with the great U.S. bull market. It is instead driven by robust economic fundamentals, including strong GDP and corporate profits. The U.S. is simply the best place in the world to invest – and American equities are a friggin’ slam dunk, all-in buy. King Dollar is confirmation of all that is good in the U.S. But the alternative universe is a totally different world: Kuroda is one of a very select group of leading central bankers working desperately to sustain a runaway global financial Bubble. There’s an historic experiment in “money” printing that is at the brink of failure. Around the world there are speculative financial market Bubbles of unprecedented proportions at risk of bursting. History’s Greatest Credit Bubble already has serious cracks. Moreover, the incredible widening gap between (The Truman Show) securities prices and deteriorating (bursting Bubble) fundamental prospects boosts the likelihood of a global market accident. – Doug Noland, The Prudent Bear: 31 October 2014 It’s obvious that despite the lows of last Friday, that JPMorgan et al are still around, as they set a new low price tick for [spot] gold in early Far East trading on their Monday morning—and came very close in silver.  Another of the ‘Big 6’ commodities that set a new low engineered price for this move down on Monday, was West Texas Intermediate Crude—and you can see that in its 6-month chart posted below. Today, at the 1:30 p.m. EST close of Comex trading, is the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report—and as I pointed out in yesterday’s column, if we get through yesterday and today with no significant price moves to the upside in either gold or silver, the COT Report and companion Bank Participation Report should certainly be one for the record books.  The Monday price action was more than helpful in that regard—and now we just have to get through today. Of course I’d be delighted if the precious metals blasted off regardless—and to hell with what these reports may or may not show—but since we’re this close, I’d be happy if they held off for another nine hours or so. Of course with both gold and silver this far below their respective 20, 50 and 200-day moving averages, the price could remain comatose for many weeks or months before the Managed Money traders are forced to cover as moving averages are penetrated to the upside.  However, it could happen anytime for other reasons and, as always, the timing is unknown. And as I hit the send button on today’s column at 5:20 a.m. EST, gold is still chopping around unchanged—and silver has rallied a bit, but is still down 17 cents from yesterday’s close.   Platinum is heading lower again—and almost back at the low it hit in early morning trading in the Far East.  Palladium is about unchanged.  The dollar index hasn’t changed much, either. I wish I knew what to expect for the remainder of the Tuesday trading session, but I haven’t a clue.  So nothing will surprise me when I check the charts later this morning. See you tomorrow. The dollar index closed late on Friday afternoon in New York at 86.91—and then rallied in fits and starts up until its 87.40 high that came about ten minutes before the 1:30 p.m. close of Comex trading.  From that point it chopped a few basis points lower into the close, finishing the Monday session at 87.29—up another 38 basis points. In silver, the October low tick came at 11:15 a.m. EDT—and the high tick was at shortly after 1 p.m. Hong Kong time/1:00 a.m. EDT. Palladium had a tiny down/up move on Sunday night as well, but from there it traded almost ruler flat until shortly before 10 a.m. in Zurich.  From there it rallied to its high at the noon silver fix in London [1 p.m. Zurich time]—and from there it sold off a few bucks going into the London p.m. gold fix—and then traded ruler flat once again into the 5:15 p.m. EST close.  Palladium finished the Monday trading session right on the $800 the ounce mark, up 9 bucks from Friday. It was the same story for the silver equities up until 10:45 a.m.—and then they took off as well, but rallied much more convincingly, with most of their gains coming by 1 p.m. EDT, which is the point at which the silver price  ran into “all the usual suspects”.  From there they traded flat into the close, as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up a very decent 4.82%. The next photo is one that a reader sent me—and if you’re not familiar with this bird, it’s an Andean cock-of-the-rock. Here’s the New York Spot Silver [Bid] chart on it own so you can see the rather questionable price ‘action’ around 1 p.m. EDT. The CME Daily Delivery Report for Day 3 of the November delivery month showed that zero gold and 22 silver contracts were reported for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. The CME Preliminary Report for the Monday trading session showed that gold open interest in November is now 65 contracts, up ten contracts from yesterday’s report.  Silver’s November o.i. increased by 14 contracts to 133 contracts, minus the 22 contracts posted for delivery tomorrow. There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday—and as of 7:36 p.m. EST yesterday, there were no reported changes in SLV, either.  But when I was editing this column at 3:55 a.m. EST, I was amazed to see that an authorized participant had added another 1,150,108 troy ounces. As I sort of expected, there was another big sales report from the U.S. Mint to start off the new month.  They sold 12,000 troy ounces of gold eagles—2,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes—and 625,000 silver eagles.  If I had to bet ten bucks, I’d bet on the fact that these sales were made on Friday, but were shoved into the new month.  If they’d been included in October sales, they would have pushed silver eagles sales well over the 6 million mark—and further into record territory—and that would just never do, would it? There were no reported in/out movements in gold over at the Comex-approved depositories on Friday but, once again, there was very decent in/out activity in silver, as 592,820 troy ounces were reported received—and 912,591 ounces were shipped out the door.  Virtually all of the activity was at the CNT Depository and Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia.  The link to the silver activity is here. Here are the 2-minute tick charts for the October intraday price movements for both gold and silver.  Once you average out all 23 trading days in October, the underlying price pattern becomes obvious and, as is always the case, they both have ‘shape’ to them.   A freely-traded commodity in anything would not have a chart pattern that looked like this. In gold, the low came exactly an hour after the 6 p.m. open in New York—and the high tick of the day came a minute or so after 12 o’clock noon Hong Kong time/midnight EDT in New York. The first photo is the current situation at the lava flow at Pāhoa Village on the ‘Big Island’ of Hawai’i.  “A breakout occurred from an inflated lobe on Sunday morning, November 2, 2014. Scattered breakouts like this, which took place about 200 meters (218 yards) upslope of the stalled leading edge, have been common over the past few days—and are filling in low points behind the flow front.”  I borrowed the photo and the text from the Hawai’ian Volcano Observatory website yesterday—and the ‘click to enlarge’ feature on this photo is worth using here.] And just for curiosity sake, here are the gold charts for the 23 trading days in October, with a different colour for each day—“rainbow spaghetti soup” is what Nick called it.  It’s hard to believe from looking at the multicoloured mess below, that when the 2-minute ticks from each trading day are averaged out over the entire October trading month, that the price management scheme is laid bare—but it is.  And it’s even more obvious in the 60-month/5-year rolling chart above.last_img read more

The Medicaid expansion promoted by the Affordable

first_imgThe Medicaid expansion promoted by the Affordable Care Act was a boon for St. Mary’s Medical Center, the largest hospital in western Colorado. Since 2014, the number of uninsured patients it serves has dropped by more than half, saving the nonprofit hospital in Grand Junction more than $3 million a year.But the prices the hospital charges most insured patients have not gone down.”St. Mary’s is still way too costly,” says Mike Stahl, CEO of Hilltop Community Resources, which provides insurance to about half its nearly 600 employees and their families in western Colorado.”We are not seeing the decreases in our overall health bills that I believe the community overall should be feeling,” Stahl says.He and other employers in Colorado hoped that, as hospitals saved millions of dollars in charity care from the Medicaid expansion, the institutions would pass along some of those savings, reducing the prices consumers pay as well as the overall health costs paid by employers.A recent state report finds that didn’t happen.While hospitals are financially better off since the expansion, they have begun shifting even more of their costs to commercial health plans, according to the report.The state researchers note the average hospital profit per each patient discharged rose to $1,359 in 2017 — twice the amount in 2009. For patients covered by commercial and employer-based health plans, the hospitals’ profit margins per discharge rose above $11,000 in 2017, compared with $6,800 in 2009.Julie Lonborg, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Hospital Association, says the state agency that did the study was biased against hospitals and had a “predetermined conclusion.” Hospitals in the state are not doing as well as the report suggests, Lonborg says, noting that a third of them face operating losses.And some insurers, she says, have not passed along to their customers the savings hospitals give the insurers.Hundreds of thousands of state residents gained coverage under the Medicaid expansion, lowering Colorado’s uninsured rate by half to 7 percent. In addition, hospitals’ uncompensated care costs dropped by more than 60 percent, or more than $400 million statewide.Kim Bimestefer, executive director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing, says that hospitals have used their expanded revenues to focus on adding services that provide high profits or expanding operations in wealthier areas of the state that often duplicate what is already available.”They used those dollars to build free-standing [emergency departments], acquire physician practices [and] build new facilities where there was already sufficient capacity,” she says. “Hospitals had a fork in the road to either use the money coming in to lower the cost-shift to employers and consumers or use the money to fuel a health care arms race. With few exceptions, they chose the latter.”Hospital’s profit margin doublesIn written testimony to the state legislature last year, Colorado officials pointed to St. Mary’s as an example of a hospital with high overhead and operating costs — factors they said can lead to higher insurance premiums.The facility’s profit margin was above 14 percent from 2015 to 2017, according to the latest available tax returns. Those figures are nearly double St. Mary’s margin before expansion and twice the margin of the average U.S. hospital in 2017, according to American Hospital Association data.Colorado is the first state to analyze whether hospital cost-shifting — often referred to as a “hidden tax” on health plans — dropped after Medicaid expansion.But a conservative think tank in Arizona says hospitals there did not cut prices following that state’s Medicaid expansion.”Not only did [it] fail to deliver on the promises of alleviating the hidden health care tax, it allowed urban hospitals to increase charges on private payers dramatically,” says a report from the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute.Some critics point out that hospitals are also benefiting because Congress has repeatedly delayed a key ACA provision that would have cut federal funding to hospitals that have large numbers of uninsured patients and patients on Medicaid.The continuation of the program — called Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments — has provided Colorado hospitals a total of $108 million.How outside costs may factor inThe hospital industry disputes reports that it has merely pocketed profits from Medicaid expansion. Hospitals say many factors influence how much they charge employers and private insurers, including the need to upgrade technology and meet rising costs of health care and drugs.Lonborg of the state hospital association says hospitals need to shift costs to private employers to make up for lower prices paid by Medicare and Medicaid, and to make up for care hospitals continue to give free of cost to the uninsured.But, she adds, other factors, including the need to keep up with rapid population growth, have kept costs from dropping.Janie Wade, chief financial officer for SCL Health, the Broomfield, Colo., hospital chain that owns St. Mary’s and seven other facilities, says its costs are higher because it has sicker and older patients than most.She says looking at just the hospital profit margins on St. Mary’s IRS-990 form is not a fair assessment, because it doesn’t take into account costs that are outside the hospital, such as its 93 physician practices. The hospital lost nearly $12 million on those doctor practices in 2017, she says.Across all operations, the hospital’s operating margin fell from 9.5 percent in 2015 to 4.5 percent in 2018, she adds.Wade says the hospital used some of its new revenue to purchase 14 physician practices in recent years. That was designed, she says, not to ensure they send their patients to St. Mary’s but to help keep those doctors in the city so they can staff important services such as trauma and maternity care.”Medicaid expansion was a good thing and, of course, we supported it,” Wade says.But she points out that the hospital loses money on Medicaid and Medicare, which together cover more than three-quarters of its patients.St. Mary’s has sought to keep price increases for commercial insurers and employers to no more than the general inflation rate and has made rate even lower for some, according to Wade. If employers’ rates have been rising more than that, she says, it’s likely because insurers have been adding price increases.Officials from Rocky Mountain Health Plans, one of Grand Junction’s largest insurers and recently acquired by UnitedHealthcare, would not comment.David Roper, who used to oversee employee benefits for the city of Grand Junction and now heads a local employer coalition, says the state report confirms what local businesses leaders have long known. “St. Mary’s has no incentive to reduce its costs,” he says.Edmond Toy, a senior adviser for the nonprofit Colorado Health Institute, says the argument that pursuing the ACA policy would help lower insurance premiums “broadened the appeal of Medicaid expansion … and conceptually it makes total sense.”But, he notes, health care analysts have long debated whether the higher prices hospitals charge people with private insurance are designed to make up for the losses they take on with Medicare, Medicaid and uninsured patients.The state report shows how hospitals in heavily consolidated markets don’t have to cut prices as their bottom line improves, Toy says. “They can charge whatever the market will bear.”Marianne Udow-Phillips, director of the Center for Health and Research Transformation at the University of Michigan, says hospitals have considerable bargaining power in many places because of health system consolidations and their purchases of many physician practices.”It does appear Colorado hospitals have a strong negotiating position with payers, or payers there are not negotiating very effectively,” Udow-Phillips says. “Hospitals are not going to give it away.”Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service and editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. KHN is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Copyright 2019 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit Kaiser Health News.last_img read more

A disabled university lecturer was forced to live

first_imgA disabled university lecturer was forced to live in a residential home for older people for seven months because of a crisis in accessible housing that is “spiralling out of control”, according to a new report.Dr Chetna Patel was moving from Scotland to Sheffield for a new university job, but was unable to find any suitable homes for her access needs as a wheelchair-user.Dr Patel said: “I was desperate and needed to move and take up my post; a social worker came up with the solution of my staying in a residential home for the elderly. “I had no other option and so accepted it. The home did its best but it was a battle to keep my motivation up as I lost much of my independent life whilst in there.”Her case is just one of many collected by the charity Muscular Dystrophy UK while compiling its Breaking Point report on housing for disabled people in England.It says the crisis in accessible housing is “spiralling out of control”, and has called for central government and local authorities to lead a “revolution in the building of accessible homes”.In another case, John Harrison, from Winsford, Cheshire, has had to reply on his wife to wash him for more than a year, because their bath and shower are completely unsuitable for him.   He has already paid £16,000 to have his kitchen adapted, but cannot afford another £8,000, which the council says he has to contribute towards installing a wet-room.He said: “I have quite simply exhausted my funds in adapting my home, and I cannot afford to put up a further £8,000 to change the bathroom.“This is really taking its toll but without support from the council and without sufficient personal finance, I’m unable to make the adaptations that I need.”In some parts of the country, there are more than 100 disabled people and their families waiting for accessible accommodation, according to councils that responded to freedom of information requests submitted this summer by the charity.One council, Croydon, had 176 people on its waiting list for wheelchair-accessible housing at the time it responded, but not a single wheelchair-accessible property available.Another, Harlow, had 166 people on the waiting-list, and again not a single suitable property available, while Blackpool had 258 people waiting and only five homes available.Muscular Dystrophy UK told MPs and housing leaders this week at a meeting in parliament of the all-party parliamentary group for muscular dystrophy that the lack of wheelchair-accessible housing was having a “devastating” impact on disabled people and their families, with some racking up huge debts and being forced to spend their life savings to adapt their homes.Others were having to struggle to live in properties in which they could not use bathrooms and kitchens.Some councils will not even allow a resident to join the housing waiting-list until they have lived in the area for five years.More than a third of individuals and families surveyed said they had found themselves in serious debt because of having to fund adaptations to their homes themselves, while 70 per cent of those questioned said they were in properties that did not meet their mobility needs.Fleur Perry (pictured), who herself waited for two years before she was offered a suitable property by her local authority, says in the report: “Though housing providers have legal obligations to consider the needs of local people with disabilities, there seems to be no consistently used method to accurately assess the number of accessible homes the community needs.“There are also no figures showing just how much it costs the NHS to treat people injured by accidents due to inaccessible housing, nor the short or long-term social care costs that result from this.“I consider myself lucky to have found my little bungalow in just over two years; I have heard of people waiting several times this long.”Muscular Dystrophy UK has called on the government to increase the maximum amount paid out under the disabled facilities grants (DFG) scheme – the current maximum of £30,000, which is means-tested for adults, has not risen since 2008 – and ensure that this continues to rise in line with inflation.It also wants to see all local authorities consider discretionary top-up payments – which they are legally allowed to make – for disabled people who cannot fund all of their adaptations through a DFG.The freedom of information responses showed more than a third of councils had made no discretionary payments.And the charity says that local authorities should ensure that at least 10 per cent of all new homes within property developments are wheelchair-accessible, and that all new homes are built using the Lifetime Homes standard.The charity says it is also concerned that some local authorities do not have their own accessible housing register.A Department for Communities and Local Government spokeswoman said: “The government is committed to helping disabled people live as comfortably and independently as possible in their own homes.“We have invested just over £1 billon through the DFGs since 2010 to fund adaptations to homes.“This has helped thousands of disabled people live safely at home, funding around 170,000 adaptations, but we are always listening to the sector to see how we can best provide for those most in need.“We are also getting Britain building again with more than 570,000 new homes built since April 2010.”last_img read more

Google Amazon Expand Into OnDemand Home Services

first_img October 2, 2015 This story originally appeared on CNBC –shares 4 min read Tech Reporter Home Improvement Add to Queue Next Article Image credit: Startup Stock Photos | Stocksnap.io Amazon and Google are vying to become the Uber for handymen and capitalize on the growth of the on-demand services industry. A recent Intuit survey estimates 7.6 million Americans will be working in the so-called “gig” economy by 2020, more than double the current total of 3.2 million people.”This is a multibillion-dollar market, and clearly the incumbents have not done an effective job in providing a seamless, safe and positive experience for users,” said Mizuho Securities analyst Neil Doshi. “Just looking at stock prices of Angi and Yelp, there seems to be an opportunity for larger players or new start-ups to disrupt this space.” Amazon is diving head-on into delivering on-demand services. The e-commerce giant launched Amazon Flex on Tuesday, enabling delivery drivers in Seattle to sign up for shifts through an app. In March, it rolled out Amazon Home Services, powered by service marketplace start-up TaskRabbit.”In less than 60 seconds, customers can browse, purchase and schedule tons of professional services from wall mounting a new TV to installing a new garbage disposal to house cleaning, directly on Amazon.com,” said an Amazon spokesperson.Amazon also recently expanded Home Services, which offers more than 900 professional services, to 15 cities in the US. The company guarantees all purchases, so if customers are not satisfied, they get their money back. “People are always afraid that a plumber or contractor might rip them off, so the platform that can provide transparency in price and recourse for quality will be the winner. We like Amazon’s approach this far. And Amazon has deep pockets and a lot of patience,” said Doshi.In contrast to Amazon, Google is dipping its toes into the space, quietly beta-testing a new AdWords Express product in the Bay Area over the past several weeks. Home Service Ads invites plumbers, cleaners, locksmiths and other providers to advertise and manage customer inquiries, correspondence and appointments, all through Google. Home Service Ads are displayed as sponsored search results above organic search results. Homeowners can browse profiles, reviews and ratings, and contact up to three people at once to compare quotes. The company declined to comment.The search giant is touting the new ad product on its website: “Google will show your ads on our platform, and we’ll help customers find you and set up appointments. The rest is up to you.” Google screens businesses and requires background checks, proof of insurance and licenses, but does handle transactions. The search giant also warns contractors: “Serious or repeatedly negative customer feedback may result in lower ad rankings (including your ad not showing at all).”First Analysis Securities Corp. analyst Todd Van Fleet is bullish on the opportunity: “I think Google and Amazon are both well positioned to address the home-services market. The question is whether there’s a multitude of players. The obvious answer is yes. It’s a huge marketplace.”But Doshi is skeptical about Google’s ability to win this battle: “Google has always had issues on the local side, and Amazon is coming at this market with a unique value proposition (high quality and guaranteed price).”Both Google and Amazon are entering a crowded marketplace, competing with well-funded and established start-ups: “We think Home Advisor, Thumbtack, TalkLocal or some of the other unique start-ups could be in a position to take share,” said Doshi.Six-year-old Thumbtack is building a war chest to fight the rising competition, and CEO Marco Zappacosta says growth is strong. His biggest challenge is keeping up with demand: “We’re actually supply constrained; we have more demand than we can fulfill.” The company announced on Tuesday that it had raised $125 million at a valuation of $1.3 billion from investors that included Baillie Gifford, Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital and Google Capital. 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Harriet Taylor Google, Amazon Expand Into On-Demand Home Services The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Apply Now »last_img read more

Malware Warning Puts Retailers on Lookout for New Cyber Breaches

first_img Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Register Now » Image credit: Shutterstock –shares Add to Queue Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. U.S. retailers are hunting for evidence of new breaches leading into the holiday shopping season after a cyber intelligence firm privately warned them about payment-card-stealing malware that it said evades almost all security software.”This is by far the most sophisticated point-of-sale malware seen to date,” said Maria Noboa, lead technical analyst for privately held iSight Partners, which uncovered the malware and was due to release a technical report about it on Tuesday.The firm had shared information about the malware, dubbed ModPOS, with clients in October, and briefed dozens of companies, including retailers, hospitality companies and payment-card processors, about its dangers.Retailers began hunting for the malware in the approach to this week’s unofficial launch of the holiday shopping season, the busiest time of the year for most merchants, according to the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center (R-CISC), an industry group set up this year to fight hackers.Retailers have been fending off increasingly sophisticated payment-card theft schemes for more than a decade. The biggest breaches to date include a notorious 2013 holiday-shopping-season attack on Target Corp and a major breach at Home Depot Inc, each of which compromised tens of millions of payment card numbers.ISight declined to say how it uncovered the ModPOS threat or name any targeted retailers.Some retailers have found digital evidence that linked threat indicators they had previously seen to ModPOS, though that does not necessarily mean they were victims of breaches, said Wendy Nather, director of research for R-CISC.”I couldn’t tell you who is most likely to be compromised by this,” Nather said. “But if it were harmless, we wouldn’t even be talking about it.”Her group, which was set up this year, has approximately 50 members including Gap Inc, J.C. Penney Co, Lowe’s Co and Walgreens.ISight said it first identified the malware late last year, but only came to understand its sophistication in recent months after breaking encryption that hid how the malware works.ModPOS includes modules for “scraping” payment-card numbers from the memory of point-of-sale systems, logging keystrokes of computer users and transmitting stolen data, according to iSight.(Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Leslie Adler) Malwarecenter_img 2 min read Next Article Reuters November 24, 2015 This story originally appeared on Reuters Malware Warning Puts Retailers on Lookout for New Cyber Breacheslast_img read more

Dells Cybersecurity Unit SecureWorks Plans IPO

first_img Dell’s cybersecurity business unit SecureWorks is planning an initial public offering.The Atlanta, GA.-based company said it would trade on NASDAQ under the stock ticker SCWX, according to a regulatory filing on Thursday. SecureWorks did not disclose the price of its shares or the number available.It said it plans to raise $100 million from the stock sale, but that amount was likely just a placeholder.Denali Holding Inc., the parent company of Dell, will maintain a large stake in SecureWorks, thus making it a “controlled company” under NASDAQ marketplace rules, the filing said. Dell’s Chairman and CEO Michael Dell, and Silver Lake managing partner Egon Durban will serve on the company’s board of directors.Dell acquired SecureWorks in 2011 for $612 million. In July, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that Dell was looking to spin out the security company from its portfolio.The IPO filing follows Dell’s recently announced plans to acquire business technology giant EMC for nearly $67 billion. The deal is intended to make Dell more competitive in corporate technology against giants like Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and Oracle as well as specialists in cloud computing like Amazon and Microsoft.EMC controls six independent businesses under a so-called federation model, including data storage company EMC II and data center software company VMware (VMW -1.50 percent). It also owns the security company, RSA Security, which competes with SecureWorks.SecureWorks brought in $88 million in sales in a three-month period in the company’s third quarter, which is a 32 percent increase from the $67 million it brought in the previous year during the same period.The company had a net loss of $18.5 million for the three-month period in the third quarter, which was a 111 percent increase from the $8.8 million in recorded in the previous year.Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Barclays Capital and Citigroup Global Markets are among the several underwriters for SecureWorks’s IPO. Bank of America is SecureWorks biggest customer, accounting for 12 percent of the company’s revenue in 2015, according to the filing. Dell’s Cybersecurity Unit SecureWorks Plans IPO Dell –shares Image credit: Sergiy Palamarchuk / Shutterstock Register Now » This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine 2 min readcenter_img December 18, 2015 Next Article Jonathan Vanian Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Add to Queuelast_img read more