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GCI Wrapping Up Upgrade Project On The Kenai Peninsula

first_imgGCI is upgrading two towers near Summit Lake and Cooper Mountain later this fall that are not accessible by road. Crews and approximately 10,000 pounds of equipment and materials will be delivered to the sites by helicopter. Though the areas served by this project target some of the state’s busiest stretches of highway, delivering connectivity still requires going off the beaten path. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享GCI is working on wrapping a $6.3 million LTE wireless expansion project on the Kenai Peninsula. The project involves more than 30 GCI technicians and engineers and includes upgrades at 43 sites throughout the Peninsula and the construction of two new towers that will bring expanded wireless and data coverage between Sterling and Soldotna as well as the Homer Spit.center_img Greg Klimek, vice president, GCI Wireless Marketing: “Investing in the Kenai Peninsula has been a high priority for GCI and we are pleased that the project is in the final stretch. Upgrades to 43 sites across the peninsula means move coverage over a wider area and faster speeds and service for our customers.” Upgrades will bring LTE data coverage and improved voice service along additional sections of the Seward and Sterling Highways.last_img read more

Consent condoms need four hands to open the box

first_img Turned On Share your voice Tulipan has placed the limited-edition product in bars and at events around Buenos Aires, and is sharing the product on social media with the hashtag #PlacerConsentido, or “permitted pleasure.” Tulipan plans to sell the condoms online in the future, TNW reports.   “Tulipan has always spoken of safe pleasure, but for this campaign we understood that we had to talk about the most important thing in every sexual relationship — pleasure is possible only if you both give your consent,” Joaquin Campins of BBDO said in a statement.   turnedonpromoClick for more on the intersection of technology and sex. Tulipan’s unusual rubbers arose, TNW reports, after AHF Argentina, an advocacy organization for people living with HIV, revealed that only 14.5% of Argentinian men regularly used a condom. While 65% said they occasionally used condoms, an alarming 20.5% said they’d never used a condom.      Many on social media applauded the message tucked into the marketing, though some noted the types of people who commit sexual assault wouldn’t pay attention to it.This isn’t the first creative product to highlight issues around sexual boundaries.   The Dress For Respect measures how many times the wearer is groped, with sensors sewn in that measure where on the body, and when, the wearer is touched. The information gets transferred via Wi-Fi to a control unit in real time. The conceptual frock by advertising agency Ogilvy got a test run last year in Brazil, where 86 percent of women have been harassed in nightclubs, according to data from Think Olga, a feminist collective founded by a Brazilian journalist.  Three women wore the sparkly conceptual dress to a Sao Paulo club in one night, and the data showed they were touched nonconsensually 157 times in less than four hours. That averages more than 40 touches per hour.   Comments 4 Tulipan Two hands aren’t enough to open the package for the new “Consent Pack” of condoms. It takes four hands pressing simultaneously on all four sets of buttons on the top and sides of the box. “If they don’t say yes, it means no,” the tagline on a video demonstration reads.   Ad agency BBDO Argentina created the “Consent Pack” for Tulipan, an Argentine seller of sex toys and sexual-health products, including condoms.    You probably won’t find this unusual condom in a drugstore near you anytime soon, but it’s still a reminder of the importance of consent in any sexual encounter. It’s a topic that’s gotten increasing attention on college campuses and workplaces in the US amid the #MeToo movement.  “Why can’t this box be opened with two hands? Because that’s how consent works in relationships,” reads a translated post from Tulipan’s Facebook page. En el sexo vale todo solo si se respeta una regla: el consentimiento de ambos para hacerlo. #PlacerConsentido 🌷 pic.twitter.com/RuIjvbL1yg— Tulipán Argentina (@TulipanARG) March 27, 2019 Tags Culture Wellnesslast_img read more

Outrage Over Steep Petrol Price Hike Hilarious Tweets Of Fuming Commoners aka

first_imgMassive outrage flared all over India as the sharpest hike in petrol prices took effect on Thursday.Petrol Price Hike. Image Credit: http://www.change.orgUndoubtedly, the steep hike has hit the masses hard with the already ongoing depreciating value of rupee. Thousands of fuming commoners came on streets Wednesday midnight to protest and others expressed their plight on social networking sites.As per the latest and steepest-ever raise, petrol prices have increased by 6.28 rupees per litre excluding local taxes from midnight, translating to a 11.5 percent or Rs 7.5 hike. The actual hike in prices will differ from state to state depending on their sales tax or VAT.Soon after the announcement, mammoth number of tweets and comments started pouring in on social media sites. People waiting in the huge queues at the petrol pumps till midnight, tweeted live reactions of the common man over the issue.In addition, an online petition started circulating on the web today, requesting Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas to analyze the whole issue from the eyes of the common man and roll back the unreasonable price hike.Some are calling it a “rape economy” with the rupee value falling down and petrol prices going up, fervently alleging it to be “Aam Aadmi’s suicide.” On the other hand people have strongly slammed the UPA government for the petrol price rise, especially with the government’s third anniversary nearing.Here are some hilarious yet satirical tweets expressing the effect of the drastic hike on the general public.The best one comes from Bollywood’s superstar Amitabh Bachchan, who tweeted this morning: “Petrol up Rs 7.5 : Pump attendent – ‘Kitne ka daloon ?’ ! Mumbaikar – ‘2-4 rupye ka car ke upar spray kar de bhai, jalana hai !!'” Another tweet doing the rounds on the micro-blogging site: “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari Knew About The #Petrol Price Hike.”A user Swaroop Kankipati wrote, “It looks like a tight race between the #dollar and the price of #petrol to see who can reach 100 first.””No salary hike but hike in #petrol price…what a gift!,” tweeted Vinayak Hodage. “Finally, its gonna be a dream come true: All gals dream man will come on a white horse, All thanks to the petrol price hike #petrol,” joked Taru Agarwal.Another user Rahul Dutta wrote, “Solution for fuel price hike: Put a couple of viagra pills in your petroltank. Atleast you fuel indicator will stay up. #Petrol.””Like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s weight…#Petrol price too is increasingly continuously! Some1 plz stop dem,” a user tweeted.”Thank you UPA 2 for increase in #petrol price. Now I can fulfill my life long dream of officially retiring in the mountains,” wrote an “Aam Aadmi” with a pinch of sarcasm.Another user, who recognized herself as an “Angry Bombay Girl” joked, “Due to Petrol Price hike Poonam Pandey has stopped all Her Free Home Delivery schemes.”A Facebook user wrote, “#make a note: this year when ur ‘finance minister’ say GDP will rise… He mean,, Gas, Diesel and Petrol !”Another one briskly commented, “Looking for a gift for my birthday next week… please gift me PETROL!!”#Petrol price hike, an alternate suggested by a Facebook user to economically commute after the rise. Image Credit: Facebook/ Basavaraj Patel NolambaWhile, actress Shilpa Shetty’s husband Raj Kundra tweeted, #petrolhike yikes! Petrol chodo drink Johnnie Walker and keep walking!”Another one wrote in a similar tone, “petrol price hike again…dat too 7.50! :O wats next….bicycle era??? “”Anyone Selling a Horse… Need one urgently… Petrol gone up by 7.50 per Litre. Car back in the stable. Feeding a Horse will work out cheaper as I still want Horse Power,” tweeted a user.”Due to the hike in #petrol price it really seems as if to buy petrol u need to give gold in return after few years,” said a Twitter user.”What you pay for a ltr of petrol is actually the price for 100 ltr.1% is filled in your scooter while 99% goes into R.G’s chopper. #petrol,” Shekhar Verma wrote.Well-known Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen also expressed her reaction in a lighter vein. She wrote: “I do not care about #petrol price, it is not because I do not have a car, it is because I have a driver. He steals petrol.”A user Nitin Kapoor tweeted, “Mamata didi if you can help with the rollback of #petrol price hike I will forgive you for your CNN-IBN interview blunder.”Another user, Guru Singh, vehemently wrote on Prime Minister Manmohan Singhs account, who himself is an active Twitter user.”@PMOIndia sir waise aap roj ik tweet karte hai,jab se #Petrol ka pricebadaya hai koi bhi tweet nahi, kya apka twitter #Petrol se chalta hai,” he wrote.A user Siddhartha Varma wrote, “Anyone wants to exchange a Hyundai Verna Fluidic petrol, for a Tata Nano Diesel? #Petrol price hike.”While another user Naveen Kumar Meena wrote, “What did UPA goverment think before #petrol price hike ?? “Aaj kuch toofani karte hai (a popular tagline of cold drink advertisement)””One Satyamev Jayate episode should feature Petrol Price rise.. #smj#Petrol,” wrote Kr. Ashish on Twitter.T S Sudhir ‏ wrote, “AP gets Rs 2 crore more for every rupee hiked in price of #petrol, acc to DC. Ministers must b calculating hw many new SUVs they can buy now.”Leave your comments below about how the hike will affect you… an “Aam Admi,” in the coming months.last_img read more

China Catches 680 Fugitive Criminals Through AntiCorruption Campaign

first_imgThe Chinese government announced on Thursday that it nabbed 680 absconding suspects accused of committing economic crimes, as part of its anti-corruption campaign.Of the 680 people captured, 117 were absconding for more than a decade and 390 surrendered.Calling the number of fugitives captured “unprecedented,” China’s Ministry of Public Security said that the 680 people were caught between July and December 2014 and the number was 4.5 times more than the number of people nabbed in 2013, according to Reuters.The Chinese government launched the campaign in July 2013 to hunt down corrupt businessmen and officials. Since then, the campaign has managed to clamp down on several corrupt officials in the public and private sector. More recently, Zhang Kunsheng, the assistant minister of foreign affairs was put under government scrutiny for an undisclosed reason. Kunsheng is the first senior diplomat to have been convicted, the Financial Times reports.Corruption in China has been a rampant problem. According to data provided by Global Financial Integrity, an NGO that works to curb illicit finances globally,  about $1.08 trillion flowed out of the second-largest economy of the world between 2002 and 2011 alone. China also topped the firm’s list of the most corrupt country.President Xi Jinping has vowed to clean the country of its corrupt officials. Even at the G20 Summit at Brisbane in November 2014, China came out as a strong supporter of anti-corruption policies.The Chinese president’s anti-corruption campaign has already started yielding results. A government official spoke on conditions of part-anonymity to NPR.org on the recent corruption crackdown and said that the government’s efforts really seem to be working.The official explained that after years of the “extra income,” people are suddenly seeing their incomes drop by 30 percent.”For instance, for every $16 a higher-level official embezzles, he can spit about $3 down to us lower-level officials. The problem now is upper-level people can’t embezzle the $16, so there’s no three bucks for us,” the official explained, somewhat agitated.last_img read more

Xiaomi Redmi Y3 gets teased again with big battery stunning design details

first_imgHaving garnered huge response for the Redmi Note 7 series, Xiaomi is all set to bring the all-new Redmi Y3 series in India next week on April 24.Now, the company in a bid to drum up excitement among fans has teased a couple of key features coming in the new Redmi Y3 phone. In the newly tweeted message, Xiaomi has confirmed that the new phone will have 4,000mAh, that’s 33-percent more than its predecessor, which by the way had 3,000mAh cell. Xiaomi Redmi Y3’s shell teased on TwitterRedmi India/Twitter (screen-grab)This is welcome upgrade, as the Redmi Y3 will be able to serve the owner easily for a whole day mixed usage and if it comes with a good processor, it can last longer and be able long video viewing experience and also watch entire IPL match live on the phone and have still more juice left before you can finally retire for the day.In another teaser, Xiaomi has hinted that the Redmi Y3 will come with aura design language on the back and it looks gorgeous with different vivid colours pop-up when viewed in a different angle. Xiaomi is all set to launch the new Redmi Y3 in India next weekRedmi India/Twitter (screen-grab)As far as other details are concerned, Xiaomi Redmi Y3 is confirmed to house a 32MP selfie camera, expected to come with a dot-notch display with most probably HD+ resolution and 2Pi water splash resistant coating similar to the Redmi Note 7 series. On the back, it is said to sport a dual-camera and a fingerprint sensor.The Redmi Y2 (review) successor will most probably run Android Pie-based MIUI 10 OS and come in 3GB RAM + 32GB storage and 4GB RAM+ 64GB storage variants.As far as pricing is concerned, Xiaomi Redmi Y3 is likely to cost less than Rs 10,000.In a related development, Xiaomi has announced that the company has sold more than 7 million units of Redmi Y since its conception in 2017 and going by the expected specifications and teased features, the Redmi Y3 is expected to help Xiaomi to push the sale to 10 million by the end of 2019 or early 2020. Is Redmi Note 7 the new-age Nokia 3310? Closelast_img read more

Byjus on a roll Raises funds from Tencent after acquiring TutorVista and

first_imgTencentReutersEducation technology startup Byju’s is clearly on a roll. The online tutoring firm has hit headlines several times in the last few weeks and now has landed a fundraising deal with Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Limited. The firm already has a list of renowned investors such as the Chan Zuckerberg initiative and Sequoia Capital.While the exact value of the investment has not been revealed, a source told TechCrunch that the amount could be in the range of Rs 5,000 crore ($800 million). Tencent, which already invests in Indian firms such as Flipkart, Practo and Hike, seems impressed with the way Byju has been growing and functioning to emerge as a market leader.”BYJU’S has emerged as the clear leader in the Indian education-tech sector. We share BYJU’S mission of transforming education by creating personalized learning experiences for students,” Hongwei Chen, executive director of investment and M&A at Tencent, said, according to TC.Tencent’s funding is set to help Byju in product development for existing as well as new markets. “This makes our strong investor portfolio even more diverse. At Byju’s, we have been fortunate to have investors who have always played a crucial role as partners in our growth story. With increased brand awareness and strong adoption amongst students, this year we expect the revenue to double again and we will be profitable on a full year basis,” the Economic Times quoted Byju Raveendran, founder of Byju’s as saying.The firm, which started operations in 2011, has witnessed a funding of over $200 million before Tencent’s investment. While Sequoia invested $75 million last March, the Chan Zuckerberg initiative put in $50 million in the company. Later, the World Bank’s IFC fund invested about $15 million in December.Apart from the fundraising spree, Byju’s has also been in the news for its acquisitions. Earlier this month, the online tutoring firm acquired TutorVista and Edurite from global education brand Pearson Plc. While the acquisition is said to be big, the deal value is yet to be disclosed.”This partnership will enhance our product offerings and give us access in some of the new markets when we launch our international products. We are excited to work with the talented and experienced team who will come on-board as a part of this acquisition,” Live Mint quoted Raveendran as saying. 80 Strand Shell Mex House in London, the headquarters of PearsonWikiCommons/DavidJones”We strongly believe that a product like ours can change the way students learn all across the world. Today, with a wider bandwidth, we have started creating similar products for the international markets that further boost our reach as well as product portfolio.”While Bangalore-based TutorVista acquired Edurite in 2007, Pearson acquired a stake in TutorVista in 2009 and bought the entire stake in February 2013.last_img read more

Krishi Bank exDGM arrested for graft

first_imgThe Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has arrested a former deputy general manager of Bangladesh Krishi Bank from his Uttara residence for allegedly embezzling over Tk 490 million, reports UNB.An ACC team, led by its deputy director Shamsul Alam, arrested former DGM of the bank’s Karwan Bazar branch Md Iqbal Hossain Mollah from his house at about 2:00am on Friday, ACC public relations officer Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya told UNB.On 4 August 2017, the ACC filed a case with Tejgaon police station against Iqbal and others for allegedly swindling out money from the bank.According to the case statement, Iqbal in collusion with others plundered over Tk 490 million from Krishi Bank’s Karwan Bazar branch preparing fake loan documents.last_img read more

Five Things To Know About The Push To Rethink American High School

first_img Share Eric KayneStudents experiment with rockets during Genius Time, an elective at Furr High School.Furr High School on the east side of Houston isn’t alone in its quest to build a super school fit for the new century.Nine other schools that also won $10 million grants each from the XQ Institute plus a growing number of districts and states are exploring how to remake the American high school. For example, just with the American Association of School Administrators, a network of about 80 districts are moving in this direction.News 88.7’s Laura Isensee spoke with one advocate at the forefront of that push, former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise. He’s the president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and also served as a judge for the XQ Institute’s Super School competition. He did not judge Furr’s application.In his advocacy, Wise points to statistics like the forecast that of the 11.6 million jobs created since the Great Recession, more than 90 percent of them went to people with more than a high school diploma.Below are some highlights from their conversation.Video Playerhttps://cdn.hpm.io/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/22123732/Wise1-audiogram.mp400:0000:0000:13Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Why the current high school model isn’t enough: “The high school diploma is what gets you started. It’s a starting gun in the race. It’s no longer the finish line. And so therefore, what is it that we need to be in that high school experience that gives students the ability to persist in additional learning experiences? We know that a student is going to have to be re-educated countless times. I’ve seen estimates of as much as 10 or 12 times during their working lifetime for the jobs they’re going to fill. We know that we don’t know most of the jobs they’re going to fill. So what we have to do is to be able to prepare them to succeed, but not able to give them all the time a target — a definite job to look at.”What parts of the traditional model would he keep: “There some traditional parts of education you want to keep — the relationship between an adult in the building and a student is one of the single most important determinants of whether that student will stay in school. The teacher and how that teacher teaches is the most important determinant of the success of a student in the school. And you also want engaged school leaders. Because that teacher —  the other adults in the building — the interaction with the students and the parents, that’s going to be determined by the principal. And so you need strong school leadership. At the same time you need strong district leadership.”What’s the biggest challenge in creating a new model: “I think the biggest challenge is buy-in. At some point, you’ve got to get buy- in several different places. Obviously, if you’re working in a school district, at some point that district leadership needs to be supporting you, because for most systems, the district provides the infrastructure, the resources and the policies that are necessary. But you have to get buy-in in a lot of other places, too. Teachers have to understand and appreciate and be part of this process. And that’s why any successful school initiative such as this involves working closely with teachers before you start the process. It can’t be a top-down, ‘Here’s what we’re going to start on Tuesday.’ The other place is students and parents have to understand what you’re trying to accomplish.”Video Playerhttps://cdn.hpm.io/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/22130540/Wise2-audiogram.mp400:0000:0000:19Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.How a more personalized approach can benefit under-served students: “If you’re serious about it, it does. And indeed many of these school models … focus on the historically under-served student. And indeed, if this doesn’t reach them, then we failed. Because when we talk about deeper learning and what a student needs, we’re not talking about what 25 percent of the students now need. That that was in my day, back in the ’60s. We’re talking about what almost 100 percent of students need, if they’re truly going to be successful in today’s society.”Why he’s so passionate about this: “I grew up in West Virginia and in 1965, a high school classmate of mine told me then, education is the only passport from poverty. And he was right in 1965 and he was even more right many, many years later. It is the only passport from poverty. And for the half of our students who could be —  not all of them, but could be — at risk of not succeeding, for many students in our country, education is the only passport to both prosperity and from poverty.”Video Playerhttps://cdn.hpm.io/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/22132237/Wise3-audio-gram.mp400:0000:0000:15Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.last_img read more

DC Mayor Signs Pot Decriminalization Bill

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray has signed a bill that decriminalizes possession of small amounts of marijuana.Like all new laws in the district, the bill now goes to Congress for review. House Speaker John Boehner has said Congress will “look at” the bill. Seventeen states have some form of decriminalization, and Congress rarely acts to invalidate district laws.Gray signed the bill on Monday, a day before Democratic primary voters will decide whether he should receive a second term. The bill’s lead sponsor is one of the mayor’s opponents, D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells.Wells describes the law as “a victory for the district and a victory for justice,” citing a study that found black residents were eight times more likely than whites to be arrested for pot possession.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

Malcolm X Commemoration

first_imgIbrahim Mumin, Ilyasah Shabazz, one of Malcolm’s daughters, and Thomas Penny at the 50th Anniversary Program commemorating the Assassination of Malcolm X at the Audubon Ballroom (i.e. now the Shabazz Center) in Harlem,N.Y.last_img

Exhibitors herald AIME 2010 a success

first_imgAt the close of the 18th AIME, hosted buyers, exhibitors and visitors have reported strong forward enquires and positive feedback according to the event organisers.The 800 exhibitors showcased a larger diversity, which allowed the 500 hosted buyers to access even more information and products than ever before. “The mood is more upbeat this year with a lot of genuine MICE enquiries – the mix of buyers is more balanced between domestic and international,” Ganessan Suppiah from WorldHotels said, as reported by AIME organisers.“So far we have enjoyed our AIME experience. This is our first time exhibiting at AIME and we are very impressed by the quality of people we have spoken to. Qualified businesses who are here at the event to seek new event ideas. Our investment I’m sure will pay big dividends,” Sharnee Beerd from Dreamweavers said.Award winning exhibitor stand, Perth Convention Bureau reported an “overwhelmingly positive” experience with quality meetings.Consuelo Jones from the Philippine Department of Tourism also said their co-exhibitors also found the event worthwhile, particularly due to the quality of the buyers this year.   <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/25c4c/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: D.Mlast_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

DAA Announces Enforcement Deadline for Political Ad Guidelines and Transparency Icon

first_img Advertising Self-Regulatory CouncilBob LiodiceDigital Advertising AllianceFederal Election CommissionMarketing TechnologyNewsPoliticalAds Previous ArticleIf First-Party Data Is the High Ground, Customer Experience Is the EscalatorNext ArticleCrimson Agility Receives Two Nominations from Magento Guidelines Take Effect November 1st; Enforcement Starts January 1, 2020 by Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) and Association of National Advertisers (ANA)The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) announced the timeline for enforcement of its new transparency guidelines for political advertisers, including use of the “Political Ad” icon. The new guidelines will become effective on November 1, 2019, and enforcement of compliance will begin on January 1, 2020. The independent enforcement program will be run by the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (ASRC) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) and Association of National Advertisers (ANA), which also are responsible for enforcement of the DAA’s YourAdChoices program.Appearing in or around digital express advocacy political ads, the DAA’s Political Ad icon will offer an easy, interactive, and clearly-identifiable tool for voters to get information on the advertiser paying for the ad. Information available through the Political Ad icon will include the political advertiser’s name, contact information, contribution or expenditure records (when applicable), individual contacts, and other required disclosures.“Transparency and accountability are two of the foundational principles of our democracy, and the advertising industry is committed to giving voters simple access to the information they need about express advocacy political ads,” said DAA Executive Director Lou Mastria. “The responsible digital advertising industry has a vested interest in making digital advertising more transparent, and the Political Ad Icon program redoubles our commitment to this critical goal.”Marketing Technology News: Liferay Announces New Content, Commerce and Headless Capabilities to Drive Personalization at Scaleprn“The DAA took an important step to streamline the reporting requirements for political advertisers by creating a national transparency standard for disclosing information about political advertising.  With the backing of the major ad trade associations, this new guidance can be quickly implemented across the ecosystem,” said Mike Signorelli, partner at Venable LLP and counsel to the DAA. “Having rolled out the tech specs for the Political Ad program less than a year ago, we are ready to move toward enforcement.  Over the coming months, we will continue to educate the marketplace about the steps they need to take to license the icon and comply with the program guidelines and disclosure notice requirements.”Under the DAA’s guidance for political advertising, the Political Ad icon and/or wording should be used to provide clear, meaningful, and prominent notice for ads that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate for federal office and in certain state-wide elections. The icon/wording should link to disclosures that include:Name of the political advertiser;Phone number, address, website, or alternative and reliable contact information for the advertiser;Other information required by applicable federal or state law for such notices;Link to a government database of contributions and expenditures for the advertiser, if applicable;Any disclaimers required by state or federal law, if the ad itself is too small to display them (as permitted by applicable law); andName(s) of the advertiser’s CEO, member of the executive committee or board of directors, or treasurer.The DAA’s political advertising transparency initiative is modeled on the DAA’s YourAdChoices program, which offers consumers a gateway to information and control over Interest Based Advertising (IBA) through the ubiquitous blue YourAdChoices icon, globally served more than a trillion times a month.Marketing Technology News: E-discovery and Information Governance Expert Rena Verma Joins FTI Consulting“Recent investigative reports about media and social media have dramatically underscored the need for the public to know the sponsor of the political ads they see,” said Marla Kaplowitz, President & CEO, 4A’s. “Fortunately, the advertising industry has in place the Ad Choices tool, now expanded to provide that much-needed transparency to political advertising. A simple click-through the DAA’s Political Ad icon reveals the name and contact information of the advertiser.”“The ANA is a proud founding member of the DAA program,” said Bob Liodice, CEO, ANA. “Transparency and consumer control have always been a major foundation of the DAA program.  DAA’s added accountability will now foster greater trust and transparency in the political advertising realm.”“There is no speech more central to American democracy than political speech, and that requires it to be free of corruption, taint, or illegal interference,” said Randall Rothenberg, CEO, Interactive Advertising Bureau. “The Digital Advertising Alliance’s PoliticalAds initiative demonstrates once again that industry experts from media, advertising, and technology can quickly build mechanisms that can help solve seemingly intractable public problems. In less than a single election cycle, the DAA constructed a window into digital political advertising, giving American voters a clear view into who’s paying for the electioneering ads they see. We urge the Federal Election Commission and all 50 states to make PoliticalAds the foundation of digital political ad disclosure, and protect our democracy from the threats it faces.”“These guidelines will provide much-needed transparency to protect and enhance the integrity of online political advertising, establishing uniform standards that are even higher and more transparent than advertising on traditional media,” said Leigh Freund, President and CEO, Network Advertising Initiative. DAA Announces Enforcement Deadline for ‘Political Ad’ Guidelines and Transparency Icon MTS Staff WriterJune 7, 2019, 8:16 pmJune 7, 2019 center_img Marketing Technology News: Report: Native Email Security Systems Open Doors to Vulnerabilitieslast_img read more

Key life events affect wellbeing for less time than assumed research reveals

first_img Source:https://www.unibas.ch/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 12 2019People are evidently no good at predicting their own happiness or unhappiness: key life events such as marriage, invalidity or the death of a partner affect well-being for less time than those affected think. Two economists from the University of Basel came to this conclusion in the Journal of the European Economic Association.Estimates about how people assess their future well-being are the basis of many decisions, which means they are also of economic interest. People tend to be bad at predicting their subjective well-being, report Dr. Reto Odermatt and Professor Alois Stutzer from the University of Basel’s Faculty of Business and Economics. For their study, they used data from a long-term survey of more than 30,000 people in Germany.Return to the level of previous yearsThe two researchers compared predicted life satisfaction with what the participants actually reported five years later. They focused on people who had experienced major life events such as marriage, the death of a partner, invalidity, unemployment, separation or divorce. This showed that the events had less of a long-term impact on predicted satisfaction than the participants assumed.As expected, the examined life events had a significant impact on the subjective well-being of those affected: positive events were linked to a strong increase in life satisfaction, and negative events to a strong decrease. However, people systematically underestimated how long the effect of an event would continue. The fluctuations in life satisfaction did not last long, but rather swung back completely or partially to the long-term level of previous years.Effect of adaptationRelated StoriesSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairRecently married people, for example, overestimate how happy they will be in five years’ time. In contrast, people underestimate their future life satisfaction after negative events, such as having recently lost their job, becoming partly or fully disabled, or the death of a partner. There was an exception, however: after separating from their partner, participants estimated the change in their life satisfaction five years later more or less correctly.”Our results run contrary to the central assumption of economic theory that individuals can usually predict what will benefit them,” explain the researchers. The effect of adaptation could contribute to these mispredictions: people do not place enough weight on the idea that they can get used to positive or negative circumstances and adjust to them. Events and new circumstances thereby lose their appeal – or become less burdensome.The consequences of mispredictionMisprediction could lead to biases when making decisions, say the researchers, if adaptation is not taken into account. People may decide differently if they knew in advance how quickly they could get used to certain altered life circumstances. The risk of misprediction is particularly great if trade-offs must be made between different areas of life – or between activities and possessions, to which people can adapt very differently. For example, people tend to adapt easily to material goods, but less easily to social circumstances.​last_img read more