Cygnus CEOs Assess Their Tenure

first_imgWhen ABRY Partners decided in the middle of 2006 to take Cygnus Business Media in a new direction, putting the $120 million company under a pair of co-CEOs, it surely didn’t anticipate the angst that was to come. Cygnus—which by most accounts is close to being sold as this issue of FOLIO: goes to press—has endured as rough a stretch as a company could over the past two years. Consider:• The company—which has changed ownership three times since 1997—is one of a declining number of multiple-market print-centric b-to-b publishers, all of which are threatened by the shift of readers and marketing dollars online. • The co-CEOs, Carr Davis and Tony O’Brien, were not familiar with old-line b-to-b publishing when they were named to their post in June of 2006, having come from a much smaller, $7 million content-sales company.• In an industry where the strength of the product depends overwhelmingly on the people—their relationships and institutional knowledge—Cygnus has experienced a significant exodus of talent over the last couple of years.• The company suffered a blow to morale last September when it announced salary cuts for most employees. The cuts were mostly restored by the first of the year, but ill-will lingers. • S&P earlier this year adjusted Cygnus’ credit rating from stable to negative. S&P cited Cygnus’ limited liquidity, high debt leverage, small EBITDA base and what it calls “difficult business fundamentals.” It also called Cygnus’ margin of compliance with covenants “very thin.” A key challenge for Cygnus, according to S&P, will be refinancing $157 million in debt that’s due next year.Despite all this, Davis and O’Brien are bullish about their two-year tenure and about the future, saying they’ve taken the company through a period of necessary change that has strengthened it, especially in the area of e-media. What’s more, they point out, despite the changes, they’ve held headcount steady without resorting to the layoffs many of their peer companies have implemented. Now the company is in conversations with potential buyers, and current owner ABRY Partners is presumed to be anxious to divest the company it bought in 2000 for $275 million. A deal was said to be in the advanced stages at presstime. FOLIO: recently spoke to Davis and O’Brien about all these issues. Following are excerpts. FOLIO:: Tell us about the state of the company.Davis: Progress continues to be made in the right direction in a difficult time. In 2007, we grew interactive revenue by 60 percent. Ten percent of our overall business is now interactive, up from 4.5 percent when we took over the company. O’Brien: We want to get it higher. Davis: We focus our efforts on getting our customers the media solutions they’re asking for. The more you drive traffic to your Web sites, the more it makes it compelling to advertise. O’Brien: One of the most gratifying things we’ve done is make huge strides in pre-booking. FOLIO:: What e-products are driving growth?O’Brien: We’ve found that Webinars are a growth tool. Davis: We’ve doubled the number of Webinars that we sold in 2007—over 100 this year compared to the fifties in 2006. The growth areas we’ve seen continue to be in the interactive area. And here’s what’s really growing: An integrated package that includes print, interactive and expos. Even interactive won’t grow much without having a good print product. FOLIO:: What is the company’s overall revenue mix? Davis: Twenty percent of revenue is from expos. Ten percent is from e-media. The rest is from print and custom publishing. FOLIO:: How big do you want the interactive revenue stream to be? Davis: About 15 percent. We’re at 10 percent now and 15 percent is as good a target as any for the short term. We’d like it to be even bigger than that. FOLIO:: You’re a $120 million company. How do you project topline growth this year?Davis: We’re not discussing projections at this juncture. FOLIO:: Are you feeling the impact of a soft economy?Davis: There are going to be fluctuations. Both Tony and I feel the first half met our expectations. We continue to grow in the online area. We grew in the amount of customers who are buying interactive from us. We grew by 1,500 customers from 2006 to 2008. FOLIO:: What about the S&P report suggesting worrisome business fundamentals?Jim Ogle, Cygnus CFO: While the debt load is higher than S&P prefers, we are no different than many of our industry peers in terms of leverage multiples. Obviously, the credit environment has changed dramatically from when the company was last financed. However, we have a good relationship with our bank and ample liquidity to operate the business.FOLIO:: You say you’ve reallocated people but not reduced the company’s headcount. How?Davis: From a headcount point of view, we’re essentially the same. We have about 600 people in this company. It may not feel that way to certain people. As the captain, I have a sense of what’s going on for the whole ship. But as we’ve evolved, we needed to make investments in the interactive department. For example, we did a lot of hiring of interactive product managers—people we placed between the sales force and the technology people. And it’s interesting what skills they need: They need to be affable enough to sell and technical enough to interact with the technology people. We’ve hired about eight of them. FOLIO:: How many of the Cygnus brands are ones and twos in their markets?Davis: A majority of them. There are always exceptions of course. In certain cases, like in public safety, we totally dominate. I’m happy to say we have some franchises like that.FOLIO:: Which brands are the company’s growth leaders? Which are driving that e-media growth? Where are you looking for growth next year?Davis: Our shelter group is a leader, but we’re having a hard time in that industry this year—the whole industry is struggling. But it has been and continues to be a growth area for us. Security and certainly public safety is a growth area for us. FOLIO:: Describe the impact of your tenure as co-CEOs.Davis: It’s been an opportunity to add value to a great company. The way we do that is by continuing to focus our efforts on making all three areas grow. O’Brien: We’ve tried to build up the infrastructure in both technology and in people. FOLIO:: What have you learned along the way?Davis: The value of the business was always in the brands, and the opportunity is to build on those brands. FOLIO:: What are some of the key areas of innovation?Davis: We’ve focused on the Hispanic market as a growth area, particularly in custom marketing. Another key initiative is the ad network, BBN, which we developed with 24/7 Real Media and three other publishers—McGraw-Hill, Reed and Nielsen.FOLIO:: Last year you reorganized dramatically, eliminating a slew of senior-management positions and organizing the company around five brand directors. How has that worked?Davis: I think the results are very successful. We pre-booked more revenue in interactive for 2008 than we did in the entire year of 2006. O’Brien: While we have fewer vice presidents, we have more brand directors in the trenches. FOLIO:: One of your brand directors, Shari Dodgen, responsible for custom marketing and considered one of the company’s superstars, recently left. Why?Davis: We don’t comment on any personnel issues, but we feel that the work we are embarking on in custom marketing in the Hispanic market is something that will serve us well. FOLIO:: The blogs are filled with vitriolic comments about Cygnus. Why the extraordinary level of emotion directed at this company and at both of you?Davis: Our company and our industry are in transition. Our business is one that has to be very forward looking. Our decisions are made so we can keep Cygnus growing. It’s important to have good morale for the future. The fact that the company grew revenue by 5 percent and interactive by 60 percent bears out the decisions we’ve made. The company’s growth and future are secure.O’Brien: It’s hard to attribute motivations to people who are posting things anonymously.FOLIO:: You sued several former employees who left Cygnus to form their own company. Doesn’t that come off as bullying?Davis: Cygnus like any other company will do everything we can to protect its assets. FOLIO:: Is there anything you’d do differently?Davis: We have to acknowledge that the trade press is no longer the default position for marketing for most of our clients. The sooner you acknowledge that the more focused you can be on helping your advertisers tell their story through your products. Here’s my analogy: When you and I were growing up we all defaulted to three TV stations. Today there are 150. In b-to-b, marketers had nowhere to go but the b-to-b press. But we’re not the default anymore, because marketers can tell their own stories on their own Web sites. SIDEBAR: Cygnus Likely to Sell for Less Than What Was Paid in 2000Cygnus Business Media is in the late stages of a sale by ABRY Partners to some new owner. If the company does sell, ABRY will have divested what has become a deeply problematic investment in recent years. ABRY bought Cygnus in 2000 for $275 million and subsequently went on a campaign of 14 bolt-on acquisitions over the next several years that added tens of millions of dollars in new investments in the company and effectively raised the transaction price at which ABRY would break even on divestment. When Cygnus was pulled off the block in 2006, a source at the time said the price—reportedly about the same as ABRY paid in 2000—was not enough.Now, though, ABRY is likely to get less than that $275 million transaction price, according to a knowledgeable source. “ABRY is about an eight-times company,” the source said, meaning that the company’s perceived value is about eight-times earnings, which are reportedly about $30 million. “But no one believes Cygnus is generating $30 million on an ongoing basis. Many of their properties are understaffed. It’s more like $25 million, and eight-times that is $200 million,” the source contended. Following is a review of the add-on acquisitions Cygnus made following its acquisition by ABRY in 2000.• December 2000: Acquires Locksmith Publishing, adding two print magazines, two Web sites and a trade show.• January 2001: Acquires remaining 51 percent interest in Spencer/Cygnus Regional Print Network, a group of regional printing magazines.• June 2001: Acquires Design/Build Business magazine and Web site.• October 2001: Acquires GSE Today magazine, Web site, and trade show. • November 2001: Acquires Professional Tool & Equipment Distributor.• May 2002: Acquires Frozen Food Age and Food Logistics magazines.• June 2002: Acquires Vulcan Publications, with eight publications and their related properties in the construction and industrial markets. • August 2002: Acquires AS3, an Aviation Services and Suppliers trade show.• November 2002: Acquires The Fire-EMS Information Network, a Web portal.• January 2003: Acquires Professional Trade Shows from Penton Media, adding 25 regional industrial trade shows in 22 states serving four markets.• February 2003: Acquires the Solid Surface International Trade Show and Expo.• May 2003: Acquires Finishing & Restoration magazine.• August 2003: Acquires Asphalt Contractor magazine.• February 2004: Acquires The CONEX series of eight regional building and construction tradeshows and the New England Snow & Ice Removal Show.last_img read more

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT Wilmingtons Jason Dunn Named To Deans List At Colby College

first_imgWATERVILLE, ME — Jason T. Dunn of Wilmington was recently named to the highly selective Dean’s List at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, for outstanding academic achievement during the spring semester of the 2018-19 academic year.Dunn is one of 443 Colby students-or 23 percent of the qualified student body-to have earned a spot on the Dean’s List last semester.Dunn, a member of the Class of 2021, attended Wilmington High School and is the son of Dawn Dunn and Thomas Dunn of Wilmington. Dunn earned a semester grade point average of 3.78 or higher this spring to be included on Colby’s Dean’s List.About Colby CollegeFounded in 1813, Colby is one of America’s most selective colleges. Serving only undergraduates, Colby offers a rigorous academic program rooted in deep exploration of ideas and close interaction with world-class faculty scholars. Students pursue intellectual passions, choosing among 58 majors or developing their own. Colby’s innovative and ambitious campaign, Dare Northward, will support deeper connections between the College and the world and a fully inclusive experience for all Colby students. Colby is home to a community of 2,000 dedicated and diverse students from more than 65 countries. Its Waterville, Maine, location provides unique access to world-class research institutions and civic engagement experiences.(NOTE: The above announcement is from Colby College via Merit.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Wilmington’s Jason Dunn Named To Dean’s List At Colby CollegeIn “Education”STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Wilmington’s Jason Dunn Named To Colby College’s Dean’s ListIn “Education”Wilmington’s Esdale Named To Dean’s List At Colby CollegeIn “Education”last_img read more

PrabhasShraddhas Saaho teaser releasing with Salman Khans Bharat as Eid treat

first_imgSaaho and Bharat postersCollage of photos taken from Twitter and FacebookThe makers of director Sujeeth’s Saaho starring Prabhas and Shraddha Kapoor, are said to have planned to release its teaser with Salman Khan’s Bharat on June 5 as the Eid treat for filmgoers.The producers recently announced that Saaho would release in the cinema halls on August 15. They have released some posters and a couple of making videos – Shades of Saaho Chapter 1 and two. These promos have stunned the film goers and left them demanding more. All these promos have received a massive response and generated a huge expectation and curiosity about the film.Now, all eyes are on the launch of Saaho teaser. The buzz in the social media is that its first look video is released with Salman Khan’s much-awaited Hindi film Bharat, which is set to hit the screens on June 5. The reason for this rumour is simple. Bharat is produced by T-Series, which is also presenting the Hindi version of Saaho. This fueled the speculation that the banner might release it with Hindi movie.A movie buff named Raghu Nandan Reddy‏ tweeted, “#Prabhas’s PAN India magnum opus #Saaho’s teaser likely to release on 5th June. The teaser is said to be attached to #Bharat which is releasing this Wednesday Hitting the screens WW on 15th August in Telugu, Hindi, Tamil & Malayalam.” Bharat posterTwitter.Another film goer named Minar Ahmed @minarahmed10 tweeted, “@TSeries & @UV_Creations unveil the teaser of #saaho in Eid n attach it to the prints of #bharat it would give more boost to #saaho @AAFilmsIndia …@KomalNahta @VishekC.”But a source close to Prabhas denies the reports about the teaser launch of Saaho. The makers do not have any such plans. “The makers have not planned the release of Saaho teaser. So it is not releasing during Eid. It might hit the internet a couple of weeks after the Ramadan,” the source told IBTimes India. Leaked still of Prabhas and Shraddha Kapoor from SaahoTwitterMeanwhile, the source revealed that there might be an announcement about the cameo role. “Saaho will have a special appearance of a popular star, who they have not yet finalized. They are still in talks with stars. If everything is finalized. They may announce it during this Eid,” the source told IBTimes India.Saaho is sci-fi action thriller made with a whopping budget of Rs 300 crore. Prabhas and Shraddha Kapoor are playing the lead roles and Neil Nitin Mukesh, Arun Vijay and Jackie Shroff are in supporting roles in this Sujeeth directorial. UV Creations is bankrolling this trilingual film, which is simultaneously shot and released in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi.last_img read more

Party Politics Texas Edition Ep 32 A Shooting A Death Penalty Case

first_imgEric Gay | AP via NPRLaw enforcement officials gather Monday at the scene of a deadly shooting the previous day at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Sutherland Springs, Texas Then, the guys get into how the 2018 election cycle is starting to shape up now that U.S. Rep. Ted Poe (R-Humble) has decided not to run again and Lupe Valdez, Dallas County Sheriff,  is considering running for governor of Texas. By the way, don’t forget to check out our national episodes of Party Politics, too.Party Politics is produced by Edel Howlin and our audio engineer is Todd Hulslander.  This article is part of the Party Politics podcast Share On this weeks’ episode of Party Politics: Texas Edition, co-hosts Jay Aiyer and Brandon Rottinghaus get into the politics of: Gun control after the shooting in Sutherland Springs last weekend. Twenty-six people were killed and another twenty were injured when Devin Patrick Kelley entered First Baptist Church with a semi-automatic rifle. A death penalty case turns into life in prison for an intellectually disabled inmate.   00:00 /19:26center_img What happened with all of those amendments we talked about last week?  Listen X A long list of Texas legislators accused of varying types of sexual harassment is released.   To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:last_img read more

Did You Know

first_imgStory Links Did you know…?A student-athlete may practice, but not compete, during the first five days of classes if the student-athlete is enrolled less than full-time, provided the student is otherwise eligible. See Bylaw 14.2.1.6 below for more information. 14.2.1.6 Exception—Practice During First Week of Class. A student-athlete may practice, but may not compete, during the institution’s first five days of classes if the student-athlete is enrolled in less than a minimum full-time program of studies, provided the student is otherwise eligible under all institutional, conference and NCAA requirements. (Adopted: 1/10/95 effective 8/1/95)Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Boeing aims to finish software fix to 737 Max in September

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> By: The Associated Press Friday, June 28, 2019 Boeing says it expects to finish work on updated flight-control software for the 737 Max in September, a sign that the troubled jet likely won’t be flying until late this year.The latest delay in fixing the Max came a day after the disclosure that government test pilots found a new technology flaw in the plane during a test on a flight simulator.The plane has been grounded since mid-March after two crashes that killed 346 people. Preliminary accident reports pointed to software that erroneously pointed the planes’ noses down and overpowered pilots’ efforts to regain control.A Boeing official said Thursday that the company expects to submit the software update to the Federal Aviation Administration for approval “in the September timeframe.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity because Boeing has not publicly discussed timing of the update.Once Boeing submits its changes, the FAA is expected to take several weeks to analyze them, and airlines would need additional time to take their grounded Max jets out of storage and prepare them to fly again.Airlines were already lowering expectations for a quick return of the plane, which has been grounded since mid-March.Southwest Airlines, the biggest operator of Max jets, announced Thursday that it has taken the plane out of its schedule for another month, through Oct. 1. Earlier this week, United Airlines pulled the plane from its schedule through early September.More news:  Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaWhile Boeing engineers continue working on the plane’s software, company lawyers pushed Thursday to settle lawsuits brought by the families of dozens of passengers killed in the October crash of a Lion Air Max off the coast of Indonesia and the March crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Max near Addis Ababa.Boeing and the families of Lion Air Flight 610 victims agreed to mediation that could lead to early settlements. However, the families of some Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 passengers are resisting mediation.“There are many families here who will not want to participate in mediation until they know what Boeing knew, when they knew it, what they did about it, and what they’re going to do about it to prevent this kind of disaster from occurring again,” said Robert Clifford, a Chicago lawyer who filed lawsuits on behalf of nearly two dozen victims of the Ethiopian crash.Meanwhile, at a meeting Thursday in Montreal of regulators and airline representatives, the head of the International Air Transport Association, Alexandre de Juniac, made an appeal for co-ordination between aircraft operators and regulators.De Juniac and his airline group are trying to repair the fragmented regulatory approach to the Max. In March, other countries grounded the plane despite the FAA’s initial view that it was safe even after a second crash.More news:  AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’nsRegulators in Europe, China and Canada have indicated they want to conduct their own reviews of the FAA’s 2017 certification of the plane, which could further complicate and delay the Max’s return to flying.Requirements for additional pilot training could also affect the timing of the plane’s return.Boeing wants computer-based instruction, and FAA technical experts agree that would be sufficient. Others believe pilots need to practice with the new Boeing software in flight simulators.Earlier this month, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who landed a crippled airliner safely on the Hudson River in 2009, told a House subcommittee that pilots should get simulator training.That, however, would pose a problem for Boeing and the airlines _ it could take weeks or months to find simulator time for every pilot who flies the Max. Southwest and American Airlines each have thousands of Boeing 737 pilots, but neither airline has a Max simulator. Boeing has one in Miami and a similar machine in Seattle.FAA’s acting administrator, Daniel Elwell, says the agency has not made a final decision about training.Shares of Boeing fell $10.92, or 2.9%, to close Thursday at $364.02. Share Tags: Boeing 737 MAX Boeing aims to finish software fix to 737 Max in Septemberlast_img read more

Rep Glenn announces district photo contest

first_img16Apr Rep. Glenn announces district photo contest State Rep. Annette Glenn announced today she is holding a photo contest for constituents in Midland and Bay counties. The top three photos will be chosen as winners and receive the following prizes:1st place – a tour of the state Capitol, the opportunity to sit on the House floor during session, and a U.S. flag flown over the state Capitol2nd place – a tour of the state Capitol and a U.S. flag flown over the state Capitol3rd place – a U.S. flag flown over the state Capitol“We are fortunate to live in a beautiful part of Michigan,” Glenn said. “This is an exciting opportunity to highlight the many wonderful things to do in our area during the summer, and I look forward to showcasing the winning photos in my Lansing office.”The contest will run from Monday, April 22 to Monday, June 3 and is open to participants living in the district Glenn serves. Photos may be emailed to AnnetteGlenn@house.mi.gov. All submissions should include the name, address, and contact information of the participant, the date the photo was taken, and where the photo was taken within the district. All photos must be taken by the individual entering the contest.Questions about the contest should be directed to AnnetteGlenn@house.mi.gov or (517) 373-1791. Categories: Annette Glenn Newslast_img read more

French competition regulator chief Bruno Lasserre

first_imgFrench competition regulator chief Bruno Lasserre has attacked former competition chief Guillaume Cerutti’s criticisms of the regulator’s handling of pay TV operator Canal Plus’s alleged failure to abide by conditions set at the time of its merger with TPS.Cerutti, the former head of competition policy, consumer affairs and fraud control at France’s ministry of economy and finance (DGCCRF), recently criticised the French competition regulator’s handling of the case in an article published in financial daily La Tribune. Cerutti, who signed the authorization for the merger in 2006, said that the authority’s move to rescind its green light for the merger a full five years after the event raised serious questions.In an open letter addressed to Cerrutti, Lasserre accused the latter of multiple factual errors, over-hasty judgements and of having consulted Canal Plus’s management before publishing his critique. Lasserre also accused Cerutti’s department of failing to act on complaints made by France Télécom early in 2007 and of only referring the matter to the competition regulator in 2008.Last year the competition authority controversially moved to rescind its original authorisation for the merger and place the pay TV operator under surveillance for an extended period.last_img read more

Canal Plus chief Rodolphe Belmer has spoken out ag

first_imgCanal Plus chief Rodolphe Belmer has spoken out against any significant changes to the ordering of rules governing the window in which films are made available on-demand in France.Speaking at the Rencontres Cinématographiques event in Dijon on Friday, Belmer, who named last week as director-general of Canal Plus Group, said that there was no need to make any distinction between the windows for small films and major movies. While he said Canal Plus was not totally opposed to discussing an evolution of the rules, this could only be with a view to maximising the value of content and not in the name of an “ideology” that everything digital was good.Belmer’s views seem to mark a change from an indication earlier this year that Canal Plus was ready to bring forward the distribution window for certain factual and niche films, making them available in subscription VOD services 22 months after theatrical release rather than 36. Since then, however, the country’s competition regulator has ruled that Canal Plus cannot sell SVOD rights exclusively as one of the conditions for renewed approval of its 2007 merger with TPS.Belmer was speaking against the background of the enquiry by former Canal Plus chief Pierre Lescure into France’s support for the media industry and growing pressure from some quarter for changes in the way windows are structured to accommodate new digital distribution platforms.last_img read more

In This Issue   Yellen doesnt see a stock mar

first_imgIn This Issue. *  Yellen doesn’t see a stock market bubble.. *  Markets aren’t buying what Yellen is saying. *  A very light world data day. *  Richard Russell on our Friday! And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Is It Friday Already? Good day.  And a Happy Friday to one and all! Who’s sneaking around the streets of the city, smiling at everybody she see’s? Everyone knows it’s Wendy! Well, we have a different kind of Wendy down here and it’s called Windy! But it’s warm, and that’s what I care about most! Thanks to all who sent me notes about the critter problem and my car!  I stayed up way too late last night, watching the Thursday night College game between Clemson and Georgia Tech. Entertaining game I must say! Entertaining is not what I would call yesterday question and answer session with Janet Yellen and Congress. Oh brother! I have to say, yesterday, I told you that I didn’t understand why the markets hadn’t backed off their brazen attitudes about tapering beginning soon. Well, if they didn’t back off from the previous day, they surely (who’s Shirley?) will have done so, after he comments yesterday, right?  Well, unfortunately, the answer is they backed off just a little bit. What amount of proof do they need? Yellen basically told the lawmakers yesterday that she saw no problem extending QE or even expanding it! Proving once again that once a Fed Head becomes the Fed Chair, they lose their vision, Yellen proclaimed that, “I don’t see at this point, in major sectors of asset prices, misalignments.” OK, that’s Central Bank parlance for: I don’t see a stock market bubble.  Of course Big Al Greenspan didn’t the Tech Bubble, and Big Ben Bernanke didn’t see the Housing Bubble. Yes, when your Fed Chairperson says, “It’s important that we do what we can do to promote a very strong recovery. I’m important not to remove support, especially when the recovery is fragile and the tools available to monetary policy, should the economy falter, are limited given that short-term interest rates are at zero.” OK. There’s nothing in what she said yesterday that says, “I’m hell-bent to Taper”!!!!!  Nothing absolutely nothing, say it again!  But, still the dollar is holding the hammer. Albeit the hammer is not swinging any longer at the currencies and metals, as they attempt to gather their legs, which had been cut from under them, and run to the rally tracks! And still. I see headline news stories on the Bloomberg titled: “Dollar Rises From Lowest in Week on Bets Fed Will Taper”. Are you kidding me? Oh well, sometimes the markets have to be have a good blow to the head with a baseball bat for them to get the message! Because to me, the message from Yellen yesterday rang loud and clear!  So, where did I put that baseball bat? So, like I said, the currencies are attempting to gather their legs under them, so they can run to the rally tracks. The euro is 1.3450 today, so at least the single unit is looking better as we end the week. Wait!, Chuck, did you say end the week? Why, self, I did just that! WOW! Where did the week go? Geez Louise, I just don’t like it when I get to “get away” and the time flies by! I guess what they always said about “time flies when you’re having fun” holds true! Well, we’re one day closer to the end of November. Which is a good thing as far as I’m concerned. And the closer we get to the end of the year, the closer the deadline for the Debt Ceiling resolution becomes. Last year, we began the year knowing that the Debt Ceiling would be toppled in 2013. At the beginning of the year, I thought it would be by late summer, early fall..  But then along came the new Treasury Sec. and his “extraordinary measures” to keep the Gov’t going longer without surpassing the Debt Ceiling. It’s all accounting tricks, folks, but just to keep the conversation going here, the Debt Ceiling wasn’t met until October.  And then we just delayed the inevitable, which is to raise the Debt Ceiling. Can you believe that soon, we’ll be having these discussions about the Debt Ceiling again? The bestselling author and analyst, James Rickards, was talking on Bloomberg TV yesterday about how the Currency Wars are playing out right before us, but could take up to 10 years to come to the end, which to him is a complete collapse of the monetary system we now use. And then we reintroduce Gold backed currencies. I always find that reading or listening to James Rickards to be enlightening, but I’m not completely behind this idea of a complete collapse. Instead I believe that the Chinese will rise to power, take over the reserve currency status from the dollar, back their currency with Gold, which will then put pressure on other countries to do the same, otherwise everyone will want the Gold backed renminbi! So, we get to the same ending, of Gold backed currencies, but we go different routes to get there.  Either way, the dollar leads the currencies down the slippery slope, and loses its reserve status, which is something that I don’t think most Americans have any idea what they could be like. Think. Deep, dark depression, excessive misery.. (sure hope Jr. Sample and Buck Owens don’t mind me borrowing that!) I talked about how the Canadian dollar / loonie was being resilient earlier this week, and today we should see some data that might boost the loonie and get it out of the mud it’s been stuck in all week. October Manufacturing Sales is expected to be a good strong print today. I continue to like what I see in Canada. I do have a Canadian reader who rips me in emails, every time I say something nice about the loonie or the Canadian economy.  He thinks that 92-cents (it’s currently 95-cents) is more likely where the loonie deserves to be. And I say, “92-cents is still 25-cents higher than where the loonie stood 11 years ago!” The Aussie dollar (A$) and New Zealand dollar / kiwi are looking better as we end the week. It’s been a nasty month so far for these two. I have to laugh because Australia is having a Debt Ceiling debate right now. But the amount in question is just A$100 Billion. (I say that as if 100 Billion is chump change, and I don’t mean to!) The House passes a bill to lift the Debt Ceiling $500 Billion, and the Senate sends it back marking it down to A$400 Billion, and the House plans to resend it back to the Senate as an increase of A$ 500 Billion .  Sounds like a circus game to me. Moving North, the Chinese are still waiting to hear the details of the Third Plenum that ended earlier this week. It was announced last night that China is going to ease their 1-child policy. They will allow couples to have two children, if one of the parents is an only child. There were some other announcements like abolishing a form of detention without trial. So, while the new policy toward their One-Child Policy still isn’t the best, It’s better than before, and shows that the Chinese are willing to change. We’ll see more of these “changes” in the future folks.. Yes, it’s a slow news day, when Chuck is writing about China’s One-Child Policy!  I knew that’s what you were thinking! HA! Did you see here in the U.S. that Federal Student Loans surpassed $1 Trillion? The quarterly student loan balance has increased every quarter for the past 10 years!  The problem with that is delinquency rate is soaring. Yes, the delinquency rate is at an all-time high at 11.83%!   I saw this on zerohedge.com and thought to myself.. When did this get so out of hand? Ahhh, now I remember, and I won’t go there for it serves no purpose to discuss. Gold is down a bit this morning, after adding to its price yesterday. I received a note from our metals trader, Tim Smith, yesterday, explaining the premiums or fabrication fees on Silver Coins. they’ve increased again. And I thought to myself that this is a result of the physical demand. And then lo and behold, I find this article on the WSJ about how sales of the U.S. Mint’s American Eagle Silver Coins have passed 2012 levels. According to the WSJ article, “investors are snapping up silver coins at a breakneck pace.  This leads me to believe that these investors demanding Silver Coins, not only see the opportunity to purchase Silver at a much cheaper price, but that these coins would be more easily used in times of dollar collapse. You wouldn’t want to use that Gold 1 ounce coin to buy a loaf of bread!  So, this all makes abundant sense to me, and understand why Silver Coin sales are already at 39.17 million ounces this year, VS 33.74 million ounces sold in 2012! There’s not much in the way of data to look at today in the U.S. As I told you yesterday, Industrial Production is on the docket without its running partner Capacity Utilization. Next week, we’ll get into some meat from the data cupboard, as Retail Sales will print! But that’s next week. Today’s data docket will be light, so I really don’t expect too much movement in the currencies and metals today, given that the Yellen talks are over, and the data cupboard gets emptied out. Before I head to the Big Finish today, from Jimmy Kimmel. “We have music tonight from The Killers. It’s our second night with them. They were here last night too. I guess that makes them Serial Killers.” For What It’s Worth. I found a snippet from my one of my fave writers, Richard Russell on the Kingworld.com site yesterday that sums things up nicely. here’s Richard Russell. “The Dow crept up higher, moving ever closer to the melt-up that I’ve been predicting.  Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal carried a front-page story about retail buyers coming optimistically into the market again.  I expect the retail entrance to the market to reach flood tide buy-in sometime within the next year.  At the same time, distribution levels are increasing providing evidence that institutions are leaving this market.  The latest count is six distribution days on the NASDAQ and four on the S&P 500.  Thus I believe we are approaching an historic period where funds travel from institutional hands to the retail public. The gold base continues to enlarge, and pessimism toward gold is comparable to that which you see at a bear market bottom.  In the meantime, bullion creeps imperceptibly higher.  China is clearly on a new path which will result in a bulging population and a pull-back on its imports. The big picture for the US is “under-inflation” and underemployment.  Neither suggests a taper in QE.” To recap. Yellen doesn’t see a stock market bubble, and will continue to stimulate the economy. Chuck doesn’t understand why the markets are still so brazen about their calls for tapering to begin soon, after Yellen was very clear yesterday. The dollar still holds the hammer, although it’s not getting swung right now, as the currencies attempt to get their legs under them to run to the rally tracks. A slow news stories day and little in the way of data, should lead to a quiet end of the week. Currencies today 11/15/13. American Style: A$ .9325, kiwi .8295, C$ .9555, euro 1.3460, sterling 1.6070, Swiss $1.0905, . European style: rand 10.2215, krone 6.1340, SEK 6.65, forint 221.85, zloty 3.1105, koruna 20.1855, RUB 32.68, yen 100.30, sing 1.2475, HKD 7.7535, INR 63.12, China 6.1315, pesos 12.98, BRL 2.3145, Dollar Index 81.02, Oil $93.84, 10-year 2.72%, Silver $20.64, Platinum $1,441.35, Palladium $736.78, and Gold. $1,281.70. And it’s Friday once again, so here’s your link to check out the U.S. Debt Clock, click here: http://www.usdebtclock.org/index.html That’s it for today. It took me so long to write what I did write today, for I searched and searched for market moving news for a long time. Longer than usual I might add! Things are heating up in Washington D.C., eh? I try to stay out of all that, and just observe it. But in the old days I would have commented on it by now. Glad those days are bygone! We just received the sad news that our little Christine’s dad passed away last night. My thoughts and prayers are with her family. and right after I write that, the Byrds’ song: Turn, Turn, Turn is playing on the IPod, very apropos, eh?  I’m going to get out of your hair for today and the week now. I hope you can find a way to make this a Fantastico Friday. Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837last_img read more

It is no crime to be ignorant of economics which

first_img“It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.” —Murray Rothbard Import controls, asset seizures, money printing, and phony government statistics are no way to generate prosperity. These very policies are making Argentina destitute. Yet the country’s favorite son, Pope Francis, blames capitalism for the chasm between rich and poor. The heavy-handed kleptocracy in Argentina is anything but capitalism. But “trickle-down theories” that assume the free market will bring economic growth to all have the pontiff annoyed. He says the facts don’t confirm such outcomes, and that trusting the free market “expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power.” Paying no attention to what is going on in his home country, he prefers the heavy hand of government. Getting to Know the New Pope Jorge Bergoglio (Pope Francis) is Time magazine’s Person of the Year. To make his year even better, his favorite soccer team—Argentina’s San Lorenzo—won its first title since 2007. “What joy!” he exclaimed after hearing the news. The new leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics is the first non-European pope of the modern era, the first from Latin America, the first Jesuit, and the first to assume the name Francis. But this pope seems to be a normal guy, hanging with his peeps and rooting for his favorite team. Popes don’t possess any divine knowledge. Mr. Bergoglio got the job for pragmatic reasons. The Vatican has been poorly run in the last few years, engulfed by banking scandals and internal squabbles. Worldwide, payouts to the victims of sexual abuse at the hands of the church’s key employees have ravaged the church’s finances. Selecting an outsider from Catholicism’s growth continent for pope makes perfect sense. Latin America has nearly half a billion followers, and its population should continue to grow much faster than Europe’s. Bergoglio served as archbishop of Buenos Aires. As a cardinal, he clashed with the government of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner over gay marriage and free distribution of contraceptives. He should have protested her economic policies instead. Argentina ranks #160 (eight spots behind Haiti!) in the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom, landing it firmly in the “repressed” category. Argentinian inflation is a crippling 26.8%, though the government insists its only 10.5%. That disconnect between what the Argentinian government claims and what’s actually happening is a running theme. Independent estimates say 28% of Argentinians live in poverty, while the government claims that number is only 6%. It’s clear that economically, life in Argentina is not so good. However, Pope Francis sees no evil in his homeland, and instead focuses his ire on capitalism. Economic Ignorance I mentioned earlier that the pope doesn’t possess any divine knowledge. When it comes to economics, it appears he doesn’t have any knowledge at all. The pope says an economy of inequality kills, and “thou shall not kill.” He says laws of competition and survival of the fittest put people out of work “without any means of escape.” This presumes that goods and services come from thin air, when in fact it takes labor to create these products. Consumers determine which goods and services are successful and which are not. The economy isn’t akin to, say, the Catholic religion, with masters from on high dictating what people should think and how they should act. Individuals in the marketplace have unique wants and desires. Entrepreneurs forecast what consumers will want, how much, and for what price. The successful ones make money, the unsuccessful go broke. Either way, consumers benefit from this competition the pope is so incensed over. The pope believes that markets put the environment at risk. Has he never studied the environmental degradation wrought by communist regimes? Rich societies value the environment more highly than poor ones, simply because they can afford to. Francis implies that market forces prevent states, “charged with vigilance for the common good” from exercising control. Thankfully, to some degree, he has that right. Marketplace innovations help keep us slightly ahead of the state’s thuggery. Then, laughably, he writes about debt and interest keeping “citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power.” That’s true as far as it goes, but he fails to recognize that it’s not the free market forcing debt upon people. Governments around the world are burdening generations of citizens with debt that they can never hope to repay. None is worse than Bergoglio’s home country Argentina. The inequality Pope Francis frets about, he says, leads to “inordinate consumerism” and ultimately to violence. The perpetrators of this violence will not be at fault, says the pope, “because the socioeconomic system is unjust at its root.” Au contraire: nothing is fairer than a system of voluntary exchanges. That’s what laissez faire capitalism is. Government intervention destroys this fairness by creating rules to take from one group to give to another. Rush Limbaugh called Pope Francis a Marxist, to which the pontiff replied, “Marxist ideology is wrong,” but that he knows some nice Marxists. He went on: “The promise was that when the glass was full, it would overflow, benefitting the poor. But what happens instead, is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger [but] nothing ever comes out for the poor.” Your Excellency, it’s good when the glass gets bigger. A bigger glass is what we’re after. But it can only grow if the government allows it to. Taxation and regulation keep the glass small and government’s hand big. If nothing trickles down, it’s because it trickled into the government’s pockets.last_img read more

Dear Reader I do not have health insurance T

first_imgDear Reader, I do not have health insurance. This is a problem, but not for the reasons you think. I am not one of the admirable few who disobeyed the “Affordable” Care Act by electing to self-insure and pay the resultant penalty rather than purchase a conforming policy. I would have taken that route if I were single; since the steepest healthcare bill I’ve ever racked up was an $800 ER fee to pop my dislocated pinky back into place after a basketball mishap, paying almost that much each month in premiums makes zero sense. But I’m not single. I’m one half of a marital unit, and because my wife visits several specialty doctors per year, we need health insurance. We’re trying to get it. We mail a fat monthly check to Vermont Health Connect (VHC), just like the gub’mint said to. But we’ve received nothing in return. No ID cards. No policy info. Not even a “Thanks for the money, suckers.” Maybe the check got lost in the mail, you say? Nope. VHC cashed it and emailed us another bill for February. That VHC cashed the check tells me that, in theory, we do have health insurance. But theoretical health insurance gets you about as far as a theoretical plane ticket. My wife has picked up two prescriptions in the past month, and in both instances the pharmacist was unmoved by her insistence that we do indeed have insurance. So she paid full price for the prescriptions. I hate to think of the predicament this puts people with real health problems in. What’s more, the complexity of maintaining our health insurance plan has multiplied tenfold since Obamacare kicked in. It used to be maintenance-free; our employers paid for our coverage behind the scenes, and we never had to handle a bill. Apparently, something about that process was too complicated for the government to administer, so we’ve regressed back to prehistoric methods. Now each month, VHC emails me a notice that my bill is due. They don’t email me the bill itself; that would be too simple. They only notify me that my bill is somewhere in cyberspace. So I have to log on to their medieval website and navigate through a maze of counterintuitive, ever-changing links to find the bill. I then print it out, write a paper check, put them both in an envelope, and drive to the mailbox. You know, kind of how we used to do things before the Internet. Total amount of time wasted each month? At least forty-five minutes. Just to recap, health insurance now costs more, is much more onerous to administer, and so far, at least for my family, is unusable. Not exactly the healthcare nirvana that Barack promised. End of Rant No one likes a rant, so I’ll quit mine here by ending with a query: How’s Obamacare going in your state? Tell us any stories, good or bad, in the comments section below. Today’s missive is jam-packed with good stuff, including one more article than usual, so let’s get to it. First up, in an effort to examine the signs that it might be time to move yourself or at least some of your money outside your home country, Doug French explores the desperate measures governments have taken when they’re headed toward bankruptcy. It’s not pretty. After that, Dennis Miller has a thorough explanation of bonds for the layman. Then we’ll wrap up with David Galland’s thoughts on the secret to success in Casey Gems.last_img read more

President Obama may have just turned the G8 into t

first_imgPresident Obama may have just turned the G8 into the G7 and dismissed Russia as a “regional power,” but this is no Bobby Fischer vs. Boris Spassky. In this geopolitical chess match, the Russian is outmaneuvering the American at every turn. Putin’s antics are nothing new—he’s been quietly undermining the US for over a decade. Let’s examine some of his more successful gambits from the past, and see what they can tell us about the present. Dropping Financial Bombs In 1998, Russia defaulted on $40 billion of domestic debt, forcing the Federal Reserve to engineer a bailout of hedge fund Long Term Capital Management. Three years later, Putin used the distraction of the Olympics to invade US ally Georgia. While the world was focused on the Beijing games, the Russian leader told George W. Bush, “War has started.” But the Georgia invasion was nothing compared to the bomb Russia was dropping on US markets. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson was in Beijing for a family trip to see the games, but he worried about Fannie and Freddie the whole time, as he was told the Russians had approached the Chinese to work together to dump their Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shares. In his book On the Brink, Paulson wrote the motivation was “to force the US to use its emergency authorities to prop up these companies.” He went on, “The report was deeply troubling—heavy selling could create a sudden loss of confidence in the GSEs and shake the capital markets. I waited till I was back home and in a secure environment to inform the president.” Of course, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied the bear raid conspiracy. To this day, the former Treasury secretary claims the two countries never carried out the plan. However, Russia did unload all $65.6 billion of its Fannie and Freddie debt that year. As for the Chinese, Aaron Back reported for the Wall Street Journal in 2011, “China’s selloff of Fannie and Freddie securities in 2008 was widely credited with pushing up mortgage rates in the US at a time Washington was struggling to revive housing sales.” He cited US Treasury data, writing, “China has been steadily selling its holdings of agency securities since mid-2008. It sold a net $24.67 billion worth of agency securities in 2009, and $27.35 billion in the first 11 months of 2010, according to the data.” In the end, less than a month after Paulson was given that information in Beijing, the US government took over Fannie and Freddie and placed them into conservatorship. Putin the Loan Shark How many of the world’s leaders would have the foresight to structure a loan as a private-sector eurobond? One sovereign-debt expert called the structure of Russia’s $3 billion loan to Ukraine “clever.” Here’s why: instead of handing aid money directly to Ukraine, Russia had the Ukrainian government float $3 billion in bonds denominated in euros. Russia then bought the bonds. But that’s not all—the Russians had a provision written into the bond that if the Ukraine’s debt-to-GDP level reached 60%, Russia could call the bonds for immediate payment. Such a qualification in government bonds is very unusual. Mitu Gulati, a sovereign-bond expert, says he has never seen a government bond with a similar debt-to-GDP provision. Most sovereign debt is ‘covenant-lite.’” Today, Ukraine has eurobonds outstanding to several countries, so stiffing only Russia isn’t an option, because it would hurt the price of all their debt. America’s beltway pundits agitating for a large aid package to Ukraine should realize that Putin’s foresight ensures that any US aid money will find its way to Moscow. More Smart Than Lucky After being out of office four years, Putin took over again in 2012. A year later, the Russian president didn’t just say the US was endangering the global economy with its dollar monopoly—he put Russia’s money where his mouth was. Putin made sure the world’s largest oil producer would become the biggest gold buyer as well, adding 570 tonnes in the last ten years, much of it on his watch. “The more gold a country has, the more sovereignty it will have if there’s a cataclysm with the dollar, the euro, the pound, or any other reserve currency,” Evgeny Fedorov, a lawmaker for Putin’s United Russia, said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg. Putin had his central bank start loading up on the yellow metal when the price was just $495 an ounce. This makes him either smarter or luckier than, say, former UK finance minister Gordon Brown, who sold 400 tonnes of the metal when gold traded under $300. It’s safe to say Putin is smarter than your average politician. For instance, Saudi Arabia’s influential intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, met with Putin last year and offered to buy $15 billion worth of arms from Russia in return for Putin abandoning his support of Syria. Bandar even assured Putin that the Saudis would never sign an agreement allowing a gulf state to ship gas through Syria. Putin just laughed. He knows a pipeline through Syria would mean Russia’s Gazprom would lose its European gas business to Qatar. Zero Hedge pointed out last August, “What is shocking in all of this is that Saudi Arabia was so stupid and/or naïve to believe that Putin would voluntarily cede geopolitical control over the insolvent Eurozone, where he has more influence, according to some, than even the ECB or Bernanke. Especially in the winter.” Saudi promises or not, Putin’s no dummy. Europe obtains 30% of its natural gas from Russia and half of that runs through Ukrainian pipelines. Putin’s energy stranglehold is strongest in Eastern Europe, where several individual countries are at Russia’s mercy: Slovakia relies on Russia for 93% of its gas; Poland (83%), Hungary (81%), the Czech Republic (66%), and Austria (61%) are captive customers of Russia, too. Ukraine’s prime minister, Arse Yatsenyuk, says Russia could use energy as a “new nuclear weapon.” As it is, Ukraine is $1.89 billion behind in payments to Russian company Gazprom for gas. Shunned by the West, Putin Looks East Putin has been a laughingstock in the West for spending a reported $60 billion on the Sochi winter games. But while the world was focusing on curling and ice dancing, he was amassing troops at the Crimea border and managed to engineer a bloodless annexation before the Paralympics were over. In response, the most powerful country in the world sanctioned a few Russian individuals and a mid-size bank Putin does business with. This toothless action gave Putin another laugh, and he responded by imposing some sanctions of his own on John Boehner, Harry Reid, and others, as well as 13 Canadians. While Obama and Angela Merkel make nasty noises in Russia’s direction, Reuters reports, “The Holy Grail for Moscow is a natural gas supply deal with China that is apparently now close after years of negotiations. If it can be signed when Putin visits China in May, he will be able to hold it up to show that global power has shifted eastwards and he does not need the West.” “The worse Russia’s relations are with the West, the closer Russia will want to be to China. If China supports you, no one can say you’re isolated,” said Vasily Kashin, a China expert at the Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST) think tank. Russia is also looking to redirect the flow of its oil. “Russia is trying to diversify its energy flows away from its core European markets,” according to Reuters, “with Rosneft leading the race with plans to triple oil flows to China to over 1 million barrels per day in coming years.” Rosneft is the top oil producer in the world and is run by Putin ally Igor Sechin. Sechin wrapped up a recent Asian trip by meeting with the folks at India’s state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp ONGC, Reliance Industries, an Indian conglomerate, and India’s biggest refiner Indian Oil Corporation. China and India’s combined population is over 2.5 billion. That’s a lot of potential customers. Experience Matters Vladimir Putin worked as a KGB officer stationed in East Germany from 1975 to 1989. While the future Russian president worked the front lines of the Cold War, the future US president was going to high school in Hawaii, followed by college in Los Angeles and New York, before heading to Chicago to become a community organizer. When Putin was instructing his central bank to buy gold, Barack Obama was learning to navigate Capitol Hill as a freshly minted US senator. Obama was on the presidential campaign trail spouting empty campaign slogans when Russia orchestrated the meltdown of Fannie and Freddie. Today, Obama is waging multiple wars around the globe while gumming up the US economy with increased regulation and the highest corporate taxes in the world. Putin? He’s busy selling oil and gas and buying gold. It doesn’t seem like a fair fight. Besides having gold, oil, natural gas, palladium, and any number of other critical natural assets, Russia has improved its government’s finances manyfold while the United States has been borrowing its way to insolvency. Russia’s current debt-to-GDP ratio is 8.4%, after being a reported 57% when it defaulted on its debt. Uncle Sam is going in the opposite direction. US debt to GDP was 60% when Russia defaulted in 1998—now it is over 100%. The bottom line is that Russia is anything but “regional.” Obama should realize Putin’s ground troops are the least of America’s worries. The Russian president’s financial moves are what affect us all. And he’s running circles around Obama in the places it counts—from forging relationships with China and India to his accumulation of gold. You’re probably wondering how to make money while Putin schools the teleprompter-in-chief. Casey Research Chief Economist Bud Conrad penned an excellent piece on Ukraine and Putin in last week’s Dispatch, and it was just an appetizer for his in-depth report coming in the April Casey Report. Click here to take The Casey Report for a risk-free spin, and to get Bud’s upcoming in-depth analysis hot off the digital press.last_img read more

YouTube Shooting Suspect Had Been Angry Over Filtering and Demonetization

first_img Richard Lawler YouTube Shooting Suspect Had Been Angry Over Filtering and Demonetization Nasim Aghdam’s father told a reporter he’d called police about her anger at the company. –shares This story originally appeared on Engadget Add to Queue 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List YouTube Image credit: Josh Edelson via Getty Imagescenter_img 3 min read YouTube’s headquarters office is seen with police activity during an active shooter situation in San Bruno, California. Next Article Apply Now » San Bruno police identified the shooter at YouTube’s HQ as Nasim Aghdam, a 39-year-old woman from San Diego, and said there is no evidence she knew the victims or that they were specifically targeted. While the sources have not confirmed a reason behind the attack, now that her name is known we’ve found a number of videos from her posted on YouTube and other sites saying that she was a vegan athlete and animal rights activist.The suspected shooter in today’s YouTube incident has been identified. Please see press release for details – https://t.co/Xvr2l9bB9s pic.twitter.com/NEBoX3WWK5— San Bruno Police (@SanBrunoPolice) April 4, 2018 In several videos posted over the last year or so, she angrily spoke about the company’s policies, saying they were filtering her videos so they wouldn’t get any more views, and she was upset over demonetization. It appears the channels have now been completely removed by YouTube, citing policy violations.On her website, she wrote: “There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want to!!!!!””BE AWARE! Dictatorship exists in all countries but with different tactics! They only care forpersonal short term profits & do anything to reach their goals even by fooling simple-minded people,hiding the truth, manipulating science & everything, putting public mental & physical health at risk,abusing non-human animals, polluting environment, destroying family values, promoting materialism &sexual degeneration in the name of freedom,….. & turning people into programmed robots!’Make the lie big, Make it simple, Keep saying it, And eventually they will believe it’Hitler… There is no free speech in real world & you will be suppressed for telling the truth that is notsupported by the system. Videos of targeted users are filtered & merely relegated, so that people canhardly see their videos!”.There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site,your channel will grow if they want to!!!!!”CBS2 News reporter Tina Patel spoke to Aghdam’s father, who said he told police of her anger with YouTube after they called him and said that after being missing for a few days, she’d been found in her car in Mountain View. The network also said Aghdam asked for the male victim by name before the shooting started. Buzzfeed heard from Mountain View police in an email that officers found a woman by that name asleep in her vehicle in a parking lot there Tuesday morning. The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. April 4, 2018last_img read more

Ponies and Princesses Hasbro Launches Charm Offensive for Girls

first_img Reuters Ponies and Princesses: Hasbro Launches Charm Offensive for Girls This story originally appeared on Reuters Having captivated boys with its Star Wars figures, Hasbro Inc. is turning to Disney Princesses and the launch of its first animated movie to arrest a five-quarter slump in sales of its toys for girls.The second-biggest U.S. toymaker has begun selling dolls from the popular Disney movies Frozen and Cinderella after wresting the lucrative license from its larger rival, Mattel Inc.Hasbro will also launch My Little Pony toys throughout this year, Chief Executive Brian Goldner told Reuters, as it aims to create a buzz ahead of the 2017 release of a movie voiced by Emily Blunt and Emmy award-winning Kristin Chenoweth.It’s a strategy that worked well for Hasbro in the run-up to the December 2015 release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”Getting it on the shelves early allows Hasbro to maximize the window in which it can sell,” said Neil Saunders, chief executive of research firm Conlumino.Of Hasbro’s four distinct product categories, toys for girls have long been a weak spot. In a fourth quarter that delivered the company’s biggest revenue growth in nearly five years, sales of toys for girls fell 17 percent.Toys for boys accounted for 40 percent of Hasbro’s revenue last year. The contribution from toys for girls — its third-largest category, behind games — fell to just 18 percent in 2015 from 24 percent a year earlier.A merger with Mattel, bringing Barbie into its world, might be one way to solve Hasbro’s girl problems. Bloomberg reported this month that the two companies had held inconclusive talks about a potential merger.Goldner, in an interview with Reuters, declined to comment on the report. Instead, he focused on Hasbro’s plans to twin merchandise with movies.Goldner, CEO since 2008, is no stranger to the screen, having brokered deals with several major studios for movies based on Hasbro’s best-known brands. He worked as an executive producer on the blockbuster Transformers series.My Little Pony: The Movie is the debut animation production of Hasbro’s in-house film unit, Allspark Pictures, and will follow the adventures of Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie and the other brightly colored ponies of Equestria.Among the new toys slated for release are a purple dragon, Spike, and a winged foal, Baby Flurry Heart.Speaking to Reuters, Jim Silver, editor-in-chief of toys and sporting goods review website TTPM, described the new dolls as having “a really modern, slick, cool look.”While analysts expect the ponies to sell well, a more immediate impact should be felt from the Walt Disney Co. license, which includes dolls based on the hit movie Frozen.Leaving Barbie behind in fourth place, dolls based on Frozen princesses Elsa and Anna were second only to Star Wars on the “Top Ranked Properties of 2015″ list compiled by NPD Group, a retail research firm.”These products are already on shelves in the U.S. and rolling out internationally,” said Goldner. “Shipments are now ramping up and early consumer indications are positive.”Stephanie Wissink, analyst with Piper Jaffray & Co., said she expected the license to earn Hasbro about $250 million this year and a further $375 million in 2017.With most analysts expecting sales of Star Wars toys to be flat this year, toys for girls should contribute a larger share of Hasbro’s revenue. A forecast from KeyBanc Capital Markets, for example, has the proportion rebounding above 20 percent in 2016.The average forecast of 12 analysts covering Hasbro is for 2016 revenue of $4.7 billion, which would represent a 5.6 percent increase — the biggest, year-on-year, since 2011. Hasbro has not provided its own forecast.Over the past two years, Hasbro’s shares have risen by more than a third while Mattel’s have fallen about 10 percent.(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Siddharth Cavale; Editing by Robin Paxton) Add to Queue Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Disney Frozen Toys; Games Register Now » 4 min read Image credit: Disney February 25, 2016 Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Next Article –shareslast_img read more

IntelliMedia bags two Product of the Year Awards at NAB Show 2019

first_imgIntelliMedia bags two Product of the Year Awards at NAB Show 2019 PRNewswireApril 26, 2019, 3:49 pmApril 26, 2019 Two of the nine awards in the Graphics, Editing, VXF, Switchers category, at the World’s largest media technology expo NAB 2019, were won by IntelliMedia products!California-based leading immersive media technology provider IntelliMedia, bagged not one but two of the coveted Product of the Year awards at the world’s largest media tech expo NAB 2019, which concluded recently in Las Vegas.MiXie and HoloPort, two of the three path-breaking products that the company launched this year, generated buzz in streaming community by winning the NAB Show Product of the Year Awards. They share the envious space at the top with Adobe, Blackmagic and Canon. Over 1,600 companies from more than 160 countries showcased their products. The winners have made the cut from shortlisted products in 13 different categories.MiXie is aimed at empowering individual live streamers with real-time graphics overlays. HoloPort is an enterprise VR application capable of supporting 360-degree hyper-reality streaming. The third product is a solution builder for integrating comprehensive Video AI in streaming video applications.IntelliMedia’s products are next-generation technology solutions that level the playing field for an average user by enabling them to generate studio quality content on their personal hand-held devices.“It is this innovative approach in configuring products that has brought the company in this league,” says IntelliMedia president and co-founder Darshan Sedani. “To be recognized by the NAB is a great honor. We sincerely appreciate the fact that two of our products were awarded. Innovation is in our DNA. At IntelliMedia we are driven by the passion, creativity, and tenacity of our team members,” he said.IntelliMedia delivers personalized video experiences across all screens and has a proven track record in video management, publishing, analytics, and monetization. It has been providing media-tech solutions to many corporations, OTT providers, government agencies and SMBs.“Winning the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show Product of the Year award is fantastic as it gives our products industry recognition. We believe our products will simplify and reshape the way consumers and businesses broadcast their live video content,” CEO and co-founder Teodros Gessesse says.Marketing Technology News: Pramati Technologies Launches Chatlets.ai to Help Enterprises Optimize Website Conversion RatesWhile HoloPort is already available, IntelliMedia will commercially launch MiXie later this year.HoloPort:It is a hyper-reality streaming solution that provides customized high-impact immersive media and visualization applications. “HoloPort is our bold attempt to bring hyper-reality streaming to your fingertips,” Sedani saysIt lets users experience 360-degree walkthroughs with integrated AR elements. A user can experience volumetric video within this virtual environment.“We still see VR as science fiction. It’s not only about playing games, both VR & AR have a significant role to play in the enterprise technology ecosystem. With advancing technology, the very notion of a clear dividing line between reality and virtual reality has blurred in creative ways,” Sedani adds.The application of this product can be limited only by imagination. Real-estate firms can showcase properties virtually, along with the avatar of an agent to guide the visitor through the property. Universities can train or impart digital education. Corporations can make presentations, announcements, and sales communications. Medical VR is another area with fascinating possibilities. Event organizers, sports leagues and others can similarly use it too.Marketing Technology News: Equinix Acquires Switch Datacenters’ AMS1 Data Center Business in AmsterdamMiXie:“81 percent of Twitch users are professional steamers. 56 percent of YouTube users are creators. The future belongs to user-generated content,” Sedani outlines the concept of his award-winning product.MiXie is the world’s first full-featured iOS video broadcast application with real-time professional graphics overlay.It facilitates professional live streaming on multiple platforms. With MiXie, a single person production crew can create professional live streaming on existing platforms like FB, YouTube & Twitch – which have the world’s largest content creators’ communities.“As live streamers’ community is growing at an astronomical rate, the need of the hour is to empower streamers with the tools to create professional-grade live broadcast with minimal investment. MiXie will extend real-time VFX capabilities to live streamers worldwide,” Sedani adds.This product is highly recommended for live streaming of sports, events, seminars, presentations, keynote addresses and faith-based event broadcasting, etc.Marketing Technology News: Aqqaint Brings Trust and Transparency to Peer-to-Peer Exchange With New Mobile AppVideo AI:IntelliMedia’s Video AI technology recognizes every frame of the video and extracts intelligent insights. In real-time, it can recognize objects, faces, expressions, and gender, converts speech to text, builds auto-metadata, to name a few areas that it’s powerful AI capabilities.The Architects:IntelliMedia team worked hard and round-the-clock to create these trail-blazing products. Product teams were led by Joy Shah (HoloPort), Nirav Vasa (Video AI), Devang Ajmera (MiXie). They put all of their energies and brain in shaping them with the singular purpose of making life easy for the end-users. IntelliMediaMarketing Technology Newsmedia technologyNational Association of BroadcastersNewsPersonalizedvideo contentVR/AR Previous ArticleEntercom and Nielsen Announce Data-driven Comprehensive AgreementNext ArticleWhy Senior Business Leaders Should Care About CX Datalast_img read more

Madison Logic Unveils New Data Cloud to Accelerate ABM for B2B Organizations

first_imgMadison Logic Unveils New Data Cloud to Accelerate ABM for B2B Organizations Globally PRNewswireMay 6, 2019, 7:42 pmMay 6, 2019 ABMAccount-Based MarketingcrmMarketing TechnologyML Data CloudNews Previous ArticleMedia.net Donates Code To IAB Tech Lab To Promote Open Transparent MarketplacesNext ArticlePersistent Systems Joins Siemens’ MindSphere Partner Program to Bring Industrial IoT Solutions to Market B2B Marketing Teams Can Convert Their Best Accounts More Swiftly With New Cutting-Edge Data ArchitectureMadison Logic, the leading global account-based marketing (ABM) platform, announces the launch of the ML Data Cloud, powering cutting-edge ABM to accelerate your pipeline and convert your best accounts faster. With state-of-the-art architecture, rich data, and a robust data gateway, the ML Data Cloud leverages data from over 20 first- and third-party sources, enabling advanced hyper-targeting based on account engagement, cross-channel performance insights, and Journey Acceleration™ across the entire customer lifecycle. This new solution leverages advanced machine learning to provide continuous optimization and marketing insights.“The intelligent application of data at scale has become critical to driving marketing efficiency and accelerating growth. However, the complexity of analyzing and employing this data has grown as well,” said Ajay Sathyanath, CTO of Madison Logic. “The ML Data Cloud was designed to provide a scalable and powerful platform that helps B2B marketers harness intricate analytics with ease and apply them in a way to meet their ROI goals. Through the application of machine learning and AI, the ML Data Cloud transforms the way our clients think about their marketing and sales strategies.””The ML Data Cloud is already helping companies across multiple verticals, accelerate revenue”, says Sathyanath.  “It provides all the core capabilities needed to build and sustain a winning cross-channel ABM strategy.”Marketing Technology News: DirectLync Shakes Up Small Business Marketing with New Digital Marketing Platform“As we realign the way we use data to prospect into top accounts, Sailpoint appreciates partnering with Madison Logic to apply advanced data and technology strategies to our ABM campaigns. Using the ML Data Cloud’s capabilities, we can include an unprecedented amount of data in our initiatives,” said Laura Hamilton, Vice President of Demand Generation at Sailpoint. “This allows us to make all of our ABM efforts more relevant to both sales and marketing as we use the ML Data Cloud with true business intelligence to spearhead all of our outreach.The ML Data Cloud powers Madison Logic’s Platform including its Journey Acceleration™ capabilities through advanced hyper-targeting, channel optimization, deep account-based engagement, and attribution insights.Marketing Technology News: Video Conferencing Equipment Supplier, IVCi, Lists and Explains How Small Businesses Can Benefit from Video ConferencingJourney Acceleration: Automatically engage prospective accounts with the most effective media and content programs to accelerate pipeline. By integrating with marketing automation and CRM platforms marketers can target both existing opportunities and clients, leveraging multiple data sources through a unified platform to prioritize accounts based on intent, technographic, firmographic, audience, engagement, and other filters to then feed buying committees the most relevant content to keep them moving down the pipeline.By exposing the who, what, where, and when of a buyer and customer’s journey, the ML Data Cloud. enables clients to use advanced customization of content based on audiences and channels.Enhanced account-based insights allow marketers to not only track a campaign’s progress and see who engages with what content, it enables them to discover which tactics, accounts, and content are driving the most impact on sales revenue.Marketing Technology News: Tray.io Raises $37 Million Series B Funding to Usher in the Era of The Automated Enterpriselast_img read more

Gut microbiota can contribute to type 2 diabetes

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 26 2018A study published in the journal Cell shows that the gut microbiota has the ability to affect how cells respond to insulin, and can thus contribute to type 2 diabetes. The findings demonstrate an hereto unknown pathological mechanism.During recent years, the gut microbiota has been associated with health and several disease conditions. However, only a few studies have investigated whether an altered gut microbiota can directly affect disease.Scientists at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, are now showing that the gut microbiota of people with treatment-naïve type 2 diabetes can be linked to a different metabolism of the amino acid histidine, which is mainly derived from the diet.This in turn leads to the formation of imidazole propionate, a substance that impairs the cells’ ability to respond to insulin. Reducing the amount of bacterial-produced imidazole propionate could therefore be a new way of treating patients with type 2 diabetes.Dietary changes beneficial”This substance does not cause all type 2 diabetes, but our working hypothesis is that there are subpopulations of patients who might benefit from changing their diet or altering their gut microbiota to reduce the levels of imidazole propionate,” says Fredrik Bäckhed, Professor of Molecular Medicine with a research focus on the role of gut microbiota in metabolism.The latest study included analysis of various substances in the blood vessel that goes from the intestine to the liver. The researchers then identified an elevated concentration of the substance imidazole propionate in patients with type 2 diabetes.Using fecal samples, it was also possible to show that the microbiota of people with type 2 diabetes produced imidazole propionate when histidine was added. This mechanism was not found in the diabetes-free control subjects.Related StoriesMothers with gestational diabetes transferring harmful ‘forever chemicals’ to their fetusNew biomaterial could encapsulate and protect implanted insulin-producing cellsUTHealth researchers investigate how to reduce stress-driven alcohol useThe study comprised 5 patients with type 2 diabetes and 10 diabetes-free control subjects. The findings were then confirmed in a larger study involving 649 people.The Gothenburg scientists then proceeded to investigate the effect of imidazole propionate on sugar metabolism, and found that the molecule affected a signaling pathway previously linked to metabolic-related diseases by directly activating a specific protein, p38gamma.Both diagnosis and treatmentThese findings provide answers to questions about the nature of the underlying mechanisms. These, according to Bäckhed, often remain unanswered in studies of how gut bacteria are associated with, for example, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.As Director of the Wallenberg Laboratory for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research at Sahlgrenska Academy, he sees the translational research environment as a key to the results now being presented.The combination of basic and clinical research paves the way for identification of bacteria-induced mechanisms and simultaneously, through further studies, stratify patient populations and identifying new more personalized forms of treatment.”Our findings show clearly how important the interaction between gut microbiota and diet is to understand our metabolism in health and disease. The result also shows that gut bacteria from different individuals can lead to the production of completely different substances that may have very specific effects in the body,” says Bäckhed. Source:https://sahlgrenska.gu.se/english/research/news-events/news-article//gut-microbiota-products-can-favor-diabetes.cid1590683last_img read more

Magnetic nanosprings used as targeted drug delivery agents for anticancer therapy

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 13 2018A team of scientists from the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) and Korea University (Republic of Korea) obtained cobalt and cobalt-iron nanosprings with unique combined magnetic properties and long-lasting elasticity that may be used to develop nanorobots, nanosensors, new types of memory, and targeted drug delivery agents (specifically, for anticancer therapy). The article was published in Nanoscale.Nanosprings are unusual objects that were discovered several years ago. Their magnetic properties have not been studied before, partially because it is difficult to obtain the structures of such a small scale. The nanospring wire is around 50 nm in diameter, which corresponds to a chain of only 200 atoms.”In the course of our experiments we obtained cobalt and cobal-iron nanosprings and studied their magnetic properties in detail for the first time,” says Alexander Samardak, Associate professor of the Department of Computer Systems, School of Natural Sciences, FEFU.Related StoriesNew genetic marker linked to higher risk of premenopausal breast cancerLean manufacturing methods spur innovations in the testing of drug delivery devicesDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this August”Apparently, these chiral nano-objects show different magnetisation reversal processes comparing to cylinder-shaped nanowires under the action of an external magnetic fields. This property may be used for their efficient control including magnetic field-driven movement.”According to the scientists, the mechanical properties of nanosprings are practically identical to those of macro-springs, which opens a range of possibilities for their use in nanotechnologies.”Nanosprings are unique objects with peculiar physical properties. This provides for their possible use in new data storage devices, nanoelectromechanical systems, and in biomedicine. Materials like this can be used to create nanomotors, protein molecules express testing systems, transportation capsules for molecular compounds, and many other useful devices,” comments Alexey Ognev, Head of the Laboratory of Film Technologies at the Department of Physics of Low-Dimensional Structures, School of Natural Sciences, FEFU.The work was carried out within the framework of the ‘Materials’ priority science project implemented by FEFU. The team worked on the basis of the Laboratory of Film Technologies in collaboration with the Prof. Young Keun Kim’s group from Korea University, as well as young scientists from the School of Natural Sciences, FEFU – postgraduate student Aleksei Samardak and Associate professor Alexander Davydenko.The ‘Materials’ priority science project of the Far Eastern Federal University unites gifted young physicists, chemists, biologists, and specialists in material studies. They have already developed a new type of optical ceramics for ground and space optical connection, a heat-resisting material with record-setting melting temperature, and a number of other prospective projects.Source: https://www.dvfu.ru/en/last_img read more

Smart cities The promises and failures of utopian technological planning

first_imgTechnology and innovation transform the ways that we interact with governments, purchase products and manage our health and lives. This turmoil affects cities, where the accelerating digitalization of our economy has opened the door for more technologies. It has also created the space to design utopian projects that profile the ways technology can be used to improve the quality of urban life. Urban planners, technology companies and developers are increasingly looking for ways to improve our lives and make our systems more efficient. If we continue to live as we have, polluting and making our air increasingly toxic, we may have to develop solutions like indoor tracks for dog-walking, à la the Jetsons. But is that what we aspire to become? Utopian purposeUtopias are imagined as an ideal place or community. This is a difficult goal to achieve as evidenced by initiatives such as Brasília, Levittown, Celebration, Songdo, Eko-Atlantic and Sidewalk Labs Toronto.We haven’t figured out how to make utopian environments work for people. We have a long road ahead to make improvements that will both preserve the environment and improve our quality of life.In his forthcoming book chapter in Innovative Solutions for Creating Sustainable Cities (Cambridge Scholars, UK), intelligent community expert John Jung explains that utopian initiatives are diverting our attention away from the challenges of urbanization, such as poverty and housing security.Utopian design attemptsUtopian projects have faced much criticism, including not being able to scale up. Some pilot projects have been reported as inauthentic, as untrustworthy or flawed in design. True solutions need a community-engaged design process that promotes inclusion and avoids elitism or exacerbating existing problems. Brasília: Promoting sprawlAmong the early examples of utopian cities in the digital era there is the uniquely-planned city of Brasília, now a designated UNESCO world heritage site, developed as a political effort to bring a vast new country together. Modern government structures and highways were designed to efficiently move automobiles and people around the capital. However, post-construction literature suggests that the design failed due to lack of accessible and affordable housing for its workers and flawed execution, which among other things promoted sprawl.Modern suburbiaLevittown, Reston and Celebration were all privately funded modern suburban developments in the U.S. The developments had noble intent and showcased the efficiencies of prefabrication, but they were also judged to have significant faults, including “exclusion, segregation and persecution.” Smart city SongdoSongdo, in South Korea, is touted by some as the perfect example of a smart sustainable city. Every aspect of life is controlled by networked computers from climate control to communications. Yet it is having difficulty attracting businesses and residents. Designed for 300,000, only a third of the residential development is occupied, and there are very few businesses. However, Songdo has also been called a lonely city and a transparent city where it is difficult to get to know neighbours and too much communication is happening on the internet. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Cohousing is an inclusive approach to smart, sustainable cities 1950s newsreel about the building of suburbia in Levittown. Eko-Atlantic: Devastating floodsEko-Atlantic and Smart City Lagos in Nigeria is a six-million square metre waterfront reclamation project with a vision to become Africa’s financial centre. The development is expected to house a population of 250,000 inhabitants and another 150,000 commuters. According to its critics, the project has lacked transparency and has largely built housing for the wealthy. Its most significant flaw, the breakwater, proposed to withstand winds and waves from the Atlantic Ocean, has since pushed waves into neighbouring parts of Lagos, resulting in deadly floods. Sidewalk Toronto: Data and privacy concernsSidewalk Toronto, a project of Alphabet (Google), is planning to install various technologies to enhance efficiency and quality of life in a new waterfront neighbourhood. Extensive amounts of data will inform city planning and development processes, but the proposed collection and use of data is at issue. Critics claim that the original agreement between Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs has been too vague, especially in creating a precedent-setting framework around the use, ownership and application of the data. The lessons coming out of this project will benefit many other cities, but the pushback by local citizens to the data privacy concerns are very real and need to be resolved. Intelligent communitiesUrban areas need to plan intelligently for the use of smart devices, leadership in social and disruptive innovations and change management processes. It is important to note that future visions of modern society need increasing amounts of broadband to be deployed equitably.Solutions that are holistic, that engage people and are sustainable economically, environmentally, socially, culturally and ethically. We need to find urban designs that work for existing neighbourhoods, infilling so that cities are financially sustainable and provide sustainable mobility systems and more green space. At the same, our cities need to provide opportunities for greater self sufficiency and self-management practices, such as growing food and generating energy. The better cities of the future may not be utopian, but they need to be intelligent designs achieved through collaboration and inclusion to address cultural and technological change. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Explore further France 24: What remains of the utopia of Brasília? At the turn of the 20th century, the Garden City Movement, attempted to develop a utopian social ecosystem where people and nature would coexist in harmony. This influenced suburban planning, which deliberately left space for parks, farms and other green spaces. Later, Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision of Broadacre City proposed that we use technological tools to better our lives, diversify land use, integrate organic architecture and innovative neighbourhoods. These ideas gave rise to popular new systems such as the gig economy, innovative work environments, sustainable mobility options and green buildings. Citation: Smart cities: The promises and failures of utopian technological planning (2019, April 22) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-smart-cities-failures-utopian-technological.html Provided by The Conversationlast_img read more