New Vibe Finding its Rhythm

first_imgIt’s been about a year since Vibe magazine was relaunched by Uptown Media and private equity firm InterMedia Partners, which acquired the ailing music title in June 2009 after it was shut down by its former owner, the Wicks Group. Today, as the October/November issue hits newsstands this week, the magazine is striking a balance between returning to its roots while expanding the brand across platforms.“When we assumed control of Vibe last year, one of our first priorities was to let everyone know that the brand is still strong and just as urgent to its consumers as ever,” Uptown Media co-CEO Len Burnett, who helped launch Vibe in the early 1990s, tells FOLIO:. “We knew we needed to bring back the luster the book had lost over the years—not just the look and style but the edit content as well. Vibe became very hip-hop centered. It didn’t differentiate itself from a lot of the competition.”Before Vibe shut down in June 2009, the magazine saw its first quarter advertising pages plummet 42 percent, and it planned to cut its guaranteed rate base by 25 percent that July to 600,000 copies and to drop frequency to 10 times per year. When Burnett and his team at Uptown took over, they immediately got to work reconfiguring the print model. They brought in a new design director who gave the magazine a new look, one that Burnett says is more cohesive with the Web site. Initially, the plan was to publish quarterly, but not long after relaunching, Vibe went bi-monthly and currently carries a 300,000 rate base—about half what it had pre-acquisition. The magazine increased its trim size to 9” x 10-3/4” (the same size as sister title Uptown) and upped its paper stock to 45-pound matte. “The paper is heavier and absorbs ink nicely,” says Burnett. “That’s one of the first things consumers notice now. Color really pops off the page.” Burnett says advertising dollars out of the gate were slimmer than anticipated. “A lot of advertisers had already planned their budgets, or were excited about the relaunch but wanted to take a ‘wait and see’ approach,” he says. “We fought hard. Since then, many advertisers have carved out a few dollars for us.” Burnett declined to disclose specific sales figures but says the magazine has won back old advertisers as well as signed a few new ones, including Lexus, BMW and Mini Cooper. He says the magazine now is meeting its goal of about 40 ads per issue.Digital at the ForefrontWhen Uptown and InterMedia acquired Vibe, the groups said Vibe.com would be the “centerpiece of the new venture.” Since its relaunch, the site averages about 450,000 uniques per month. And the Vibe Lifestyle Network—which comprises partnerships with 12 to 15 publishers including AllHipHop.com, DJBooth.net as well as the recently relaunched Vibe Vixen site, to promote their sites under the Vibe banner and to leverage content and distribution—averages roughly 10 million uniques per month, or about double from the first quarter this year.Again, without disclosing specific figures, Burnett says Vibe.com and the Vibe Lifestyle Network has “played out well” and has benefitted nicely from integrated sales programs. The Vibe brand also is expanding with the launch of a magazine app with digital vendor Zinio later this fall, Burnett says, and an iPad app during the first quarter of 2011.In addition, Vibe is launching a DJ-mixer app next month that allows users to become their own DJ. “When you do these apps, you have to consider what’s going to make consumers come back to them on a regular basis,” says Burnett. “It should be cool, but not just cool for the moment. You need to come up with apps that have a purpose beyond just reading the magazine.”Into 2011, Vibe is looking at a digital radio business called Vibe Live as well as forays into TV and brand licensing. “It was heart-wrenching watching Vibe sputter like it did,” Burnett says. “It was a dream for me, for our investors, to expand the brand. Through its ups and downs, this is the brand that our consumer is still attached to, and finds important across any platform.”last_img read more

Google job search service draws antitrust complaint

first_img 2 Earlier this month, the company said it’ll prompt European users of its Android operating system to choose their own search engine from 2020, after the European Commission’s determination last year that Google could be hampering consumer choice by demanding that its own apps and services must be the preinstalled, default options on Android phones. This saw Google getting slapped with a record 4.34 billion euro ($5 billion) antitrust fine, which it’s appealing.In the US, the Department of Justice last month said it’s opening an antitrust probe into tech giants, including Google parent company Alphabet, to examine their market power.First published at 4:11 a.m. PT.Updated at 6:45 a.m. PT: Adds EC confirmation about the letter. 1:49 Share your voice Google wants to make your job search easier Internet Services Google noted in its own emailed statement that it’s “worked with jobs providers” to improve its search function.”Any provider — from individual employers to job listing platforms — can use this feature in search, and many of them have seen a significant increase in the number of job applications they receive. Since launch, we’ve made a number of changes to address feedback in Europe,” a Google spokesperson wrote.”These changes include testing a new choice carousel at the top of the unit, which links directly to job sites, and linking directly to job offers when they only exist on a single site. Job seekers can decide which result or experience is most relevant for them.” Google’s 2-year-old job search service drew an antitrust complaint in the EU. Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Google faces another antitrust allegation in the European Union — this time focused on its job search service. A group of 23 job search websites sent a letter to EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager saying the search giant abused its dominant position at their expense, according to Reuters.The company launched the service in 2017, and later amped it up by adding information on salary and the ability to search for jobs by location.The rival companies alleged that Google’s putting a large widget for its service at the top of people’s job searches is unfair because it doesn’t have to spend any money marketing the service, while traditional job search companies do. They asked Vestager to temporarily order Google to stop doing this while she looks into its practices, Reuters reported.”We confirm we have received the letter and we will assess it,” a European Commission spokesperson wrote an emailed statement.center_img Comments Now playing: Watch this: The wildest things Google owns (pictures) Tags 33 Photos Antitrust Googlelast_img read more

PM condemns attack on Zafar Iqbal

first_imgPrime minister Sheikh HasinaPrime minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday strongly condemned the attack on renowned writer and Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) professor Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, reports BSS”Simultaneously, the prime minister directed the authorities concerned to track down the culprits involved in the attack and bring them to book,” BSS quoted PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim as saying.He added that the prime minister is enquiring regularly about Zafar Iqbal, who is undergoing treatment at Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital.Zafar Iqbal was stabbed by an unidentified youth on the SUST campus in Sylhet this afternoon.Read more: Zafar Iqbal knifed on SUST campus, ‘attacker’ heldlast_img read more

Study shows microplastics in biowaste wind up in organic compost and fertilizers

first_img Explore further © 2018 Phys.org More information: Organic fertilizer as a vehicle for the entry of microplastic into the environment, Science Advances  04 Apr 2018: Vol. 4, no. 4, eaap8060, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aap8060AbstractThe contamination of the environment with microplastic, defined as particles smaller than 5 mm, has emerged as a global challenge because it may pose risks to biota and public health. Current research focuses predominantly on aquatic systems, whereas comparatively little is known regarding the sources, pathways, and possible accumulation of plastic particles in terrestrial ecosystems. We investigated the potential of organic fertilizers from biowaste fermentation and composting as an entry path for microplastic particles into the environment. Particles were classified by size and identified by attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. All fertilizer samples from plants converting biowaste contained plastic particles, but amounts differed significantly with substrate pretreatment, plant, and waste (for example, household versus commerce) type. In contrast, digestates from agricultural energy crop digesters tested for comparison contained only isolated particles, if any. Among the most abundant synthetic polymers observed were those used for common consumer products. Our results indicate that depending on pretreatment, organic fertilizers from biowaste fermentation and composting, as applied in agriculture and gardening worldwide, are a neglected source of microplastic in the environment. Flash floods found to send massive amount of microplastics from rivers to the sea Credit: CC0 Public Domain Plastic particles in fertilizers from organic waste: (A) polystyrene particle. (B and C) polyethylene fragments. (D) polyamide particle. (E) PET fibre. (F) polystyrene fragment. Credit: Sarah Piehl Microplastics have been in the news a lot of late, due mainly to their presence in water, but they may be causing unknown problems on land, as well. In this new effort, the researchers wondered if microplastic bits that make their way into uneaten food or farmer plant waste could also make their way into fertilizers that are made using organic waste. To find out, they tested samples from a wide variety of commercially available organic fertilizers.Organic fertilizer is made the old-fashioned way—by letting microorganisms break down organic material. It is made via aerobic and anaerobic processes. Aerobic composting plants create fertilizer by mixing organic matter with soil and allowing microbes to break it down into material suitable for feeding to plants. An anaerobic biowaste digester, on the other hand, is a facility where organic material is thrown into a sealed vat where it is “digested” to produce both fertilizer and biogas.The testing by the researchers was done on fertilizers made in facilities in Germany, which is unique, because Germany is a country that is serious about dealing with organic waste such as table scraps or food that has gone bad in the fridge. Thus, in addition to paper bins, most Germans also have bins for disposing of such materials. Those materials are sent to processing plants where it is cleaned and combed before conversion into fertilizer. Such facilities also collect plant waste from farms.center_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. In their study, the researchers tested samples from both aerobic and anaerobic facilities, and also from a control facility that used only plant waste from a farm They found some amount of microplastics in all of the samples they tested except those from the control farm. They further found that the amount of microplastics depended on the process used at a given plant and that there tended to be more in the fertilizer from the aerobic facilities. They suggest microplastics wind up in biowaste due to their presence in foods, and also from being collected or stored in plastic containers. A team of researchers at the University of Bayreuth in Germany has found that microplastics that make their way into biowaste can show up in organic composts and fertilizers. In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the group describes their results when testing organic composts and fertilizers from several processing plants. Citation: Study shows microplastics in biowaste wind up in organic compost and fertilizers (2018, April 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-microplastics-biowaste-compost-fertilizers.html Journal information: Science Advanceslast_img read more

NoCheckout Amazon Go Store Opens Today in Seattle

first_img Amazon Go, the retailer’s automated grocery store, opens Monday in Seattle.The store, located at 2131 7th Ave. near the corner of 7th and Blanchard, will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and is intended to help speed up the shopping experience by ditching the traditional checkout.Just head to the Amazon Go store, open the corresponding app, and scan your phone on the way in. From there, you can stow away your phone and grab all the items you need. When you’re finished collecting your items, just walk out of the store. No more lines or registers. Amazon will then send a receipt and charge your Amazon account.As Amazon explains, the stores use “the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning.”First announced in December 2016, the store was expected to launch in early 2017. The opening was delayed, however, due to “technical issues,” The Wall Street Journal reported last year.Amazon Go is now apparently ready to accept customers; the store’s website teases a Jan. 22 open date for the 1,800-square-foot space. Inside, shoppers will find “ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options made by our chefs and favorite local kitchens and bakeries.” Find staples like bread and milk, as well as artisan cheeses, locally made chocolates and Amazon Meal Kits.If you need assistance, Amazon says the stores will be staffed with associates who can help and make recommendations.The Amazon Go app will be available “soon” in the Apple App Store, Google Play and Amazon Appstore, according to Amazon.Since announcing Amazon Go, meanwhile, Amazon has acquired Whole Foods and rolled out a pickup service for Amazon Fresh, also in Seattle. Amazon Dash Wand also scans barcodes to simplify shopping. January 22, 2018 2 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. Listen Nowlast_img read more

French pay TV operator Canal Plus is planning to l

first_imgFrench pay TV operator Canal Plus is planning to launch a new channel focusing on drama series in September, according to local reports.The channel, Canal+ Séries, is expected to air American shows 24 hours after they air in the US, along with a range of French and European shows. The channel will be included in Canal Plus’s premium bouquet alongside Canal+, Canal+ Décalé, Canal+ Sport, Canal+ Cinéma and Canal+ Family.last_img

Interviewed by Louis James Editor International

first_img(Interviewed by Louis James, Editor, International Speculator)L: So Doug, you’re off to FreedomFest 2012 shortly, where people will be able to hear your latest thoughts on many subjects. Maybe you can give us a sneak preview on whatever is uppermost on your mind today.Doug: FreedomFest should be especially outrageous, since I’ll be tag-teaming with my friend Jeff Berwick of the Dollar Vigilante for a featured lunch. I’m not sure exactly what topics we’re going to discuss, but I hope we aren’t prosecuted for breaking too many federal, state, and local statutes at one sitting.Anyway, lately I’ve been thinking about the EU’s rising tide of troubles. We talked about this last January, when I said it was coming, but it seems to me that at this point it’s rapidly coming to a head. A major financial and economic catastrophe in Europe is unavoidable. From there, it’s likely to spread out to the whole world.L: I fear you’re right, but the latest headlines have it that the EU bigwigs are taking measures to make it easier for Greece’s new pro-bailout government to honor its austerity obligations. Doesn’t that mean the EU has dodged the bullet for now?Doug: As far as I can tell, they’re doing absolutely nothing except print up more currency, in hope that will move the problem further into the future, when a deus ex machina device will magically appear.I haven’t seen any hard numbers published as to exactly what Greece has to cut to meet its EU-imposed austerity obligations, nor how that fits into Greek budgetary realities. But, as usual with popular reporting, the terms used are inaccurate, which makes clear thinking impossible. These idiots aren’t even capable of framing the problem, much less solving it.First of all, it’s not “Greece” we’re talking about, but the Greek government. It’s the Greek government that’s made the laws that got people used to pensions for retirement at age 55. It’s the Greek government that’s built up a giant and highly paid bureaucracy that just sits around when it’s not actively gumming up the economy. It’s the Greek government that’s saddled the country with onerous taxes and regulations that make most business more trouble than it’s worth. It’s the Greek government that borrowed billions that the citizens are arguably responsible for. It’s the Greek government that’s set the legal and moral tone for the pickle the place is in.Second, the term “austerity” is used very loosely by the talking heads on TV. It sounds bad, even though it just means living within one’s means… or, for Europeans, not too insanely above them. But who knows what’s actually included or excluded from what the EU leaders think of as austerity? Take the Greek pension funds, for example: exactly how are they funded? I’d expect that private companies make payments to a state fund, as Americans do via the Social Security program. I suspect there’s no money in the coffers; it’s all been frittered on high living and socialist boondoggles. Tough luck for pensioners. Maybe they can convince the Chinese to give them money to keep living high off the hog…L: Social Security. Now there’s a misnomer. No one I know my age or younger actually expects to ever get a penny of that money back.Doug: Yes, my generation, the Boomers, will have totally looted what little viability is left in it by the time you never get your check. Sorry, Lobo. It was our supposed “Greatest Generation,” however – who are mostly gone now – who really got a cushy ride. But the point at the moment is that just because the Greeks voted – basically to stay in the EU in hopes of economic benefits outweighing the pain of whatever the austerity requirements are – that doesn’t mean they’ll actually be able to deliver. Once the new half-measures begin to bite, I expect to see more angry mobs back out on the streets. These people have become so corrupt that they think the government is some kind of a magic cornucopia, when first and foremost it’s really just a vehicle for institutionalized theft.And it’s not just austerity, and it’s not just Greece, nor even Spain, which has formally asked for a bailout. All of these European economies are rigidly regulated: first, by their national governments; and then, even worse, by this extra layer of unbelievably oppressive regulation from Brussels. I understand there are some 30,000 people working for the EU, making new rules and regulations like an army of spiders, spinning their webs, sucking the life out of their victims. None of these rules are constructive. They’re a waste of time at best, and most are actively destructive – like for instance, the EU rules telling the French how to make cheese.I was reading in David Galland’s report from Portugal last Friday that the EU forced the Portuguese to destroy half of their fishing fleet. Not because there was anything bad, dangerous, or wrong with the boats, but because they were too good and the Portuguese were too successful as competitors; it’s life imitating Atlas Shrugged. He also said that most of the oranges grown in Portugal are either thrown in the trash or trucked to Spain, where they can’t be eaten but must be made into marmalade, which is then sent back to be sold to the Portuguese. Apparently about half of the chickens in Portugal are about to be executed – just killed, not eaten – because they were raised in conditions the EU doesn’t consider appropriate. The list goes on and on, and the madness is happening all over Europe.The proposed austerity measures will change absolutely nothing important; at best they’ll just lengthen the economic agony. Instead of austerity programs, cutting back marginally on the salaries of public employees and national pensions, all these hordes of Eurocrats should be summarily fired, and their agencies totally abolished. The markets should be liberated.And individuals should plan for their own retirements. They should behave like adults, not children who spend today with no thought for tomorrow, as state-sponsored retirement benefits encourage them to do.L: Excessive regulation and disincentives to production created by government intervention in the economy. Can you give us some examples of this happening and what the consequences are?Doug: The classic example is the Roman Empire after it passed through its time of troubles in the third century. After 50 years of utter chaos, constant crisis, and recurring civil wars, Diocletian gripped it in a stranglehold, regulating everything from top to bottom. I suppose, given a choice between chaotic violence and a police state, people will opt for the latter – as if there are no other alternatives. He instituted all manner of price controls and “people controls,” including forcing sons to take up their father’s occupations. The ultimate collapse of Rome and the success of the barbarian invasions wasn’t due to superior barbarian military technology or tactics, but Roman economic collapse. Romans were actually deserting the empire to live among the so-called “barbarians,” where they could both be free and prosperous. History is repeating itself.L: That’s pretty dramatic, Doug. You think Europe is in a similar death spiral now?Doug: Yes. Those governments are all bankrupt. But much more serious than financial bankruptcy is their total moral and intellectual bankruptcy. At this point the Europeans are so craven and degraded they deserve to be indentured servants of the Chinese, which they will be. The debt they are using to finance their bulging bureaucracies, bloated welfare rolls, giant pensions, and so forth is largely coming from the banks. But the banks are all bankrupt too, partly because they’ve lent so much capital to bankrupt governments. So you’ve got two sets of bankrupt institutions trading debt back and forth between themselves. It doesn’t help to say that it’s the PIIGS that are in the worst shape, because it’s the banks in the supposedly wealthier countries that own the PIIGS’s debt. They are all tied together.It’s much worse, on a global scale, because Europe is China’s largest trading partner. When the EU really goes into reverse and suffers a major economic collapse, the Chinese are going to lose their main customers – and end up owning a lot of chateaux. That also means the Chinese will stop buying the raw materials – commodities – they use to make what they sell to the Europeans. That will hammer the Australian, Brazilian, Canadian, and other resource-driven economies.And the problems with Japan are even worse, though somewhat different, than the ones in Europe. Chronically corrupt and now depopulating Russia is headed for a fall; its economy produces nothing but raw materials and weapons. The problem is truly global. The headlines keep pointing at Europe right now, but the EU is just the tip of the iceberg the global economy is aimed at.L: In this context, it’s not encouraging that the French have not only elected a socialist president, but a socialist parliament. I’d be fighting severe nausea right now if I were a French taxpayer.Doug: And France is not one of the PIIGS on the periphery, but one of the two big countries at the core of the EU. I don’t understand how anyone can conduct a profitable business in France today. It seems heroic to me, if anyone can do it, but it’s getting just about impossible. And now France is going to slide a couple standard deviations further to the left. If I were a Frenchman with any money, I would get my money and myself out of France – tomorrow morning.L: I read somewhere that Cameron in the UK announced that French people with money were welcome in the UK.Doug: I heard that too. But if I were a Brit, I’d also liquidate my assets and get out; there’s no reason to believe the situation is any better in Britain. It’s just not currently in the news. These governments are completely out of control, forces unto themselves, and they view their populations as milk cows. Governments all over the world are following Diocletian’s example.L: If it’s happening all over the world, what’s the point of packing up and leaving?Doug: Well, there really is almost no place you can run, no one place where it’s reasonably safe to be a citizen these days. We’re heading toward a time like in the book, Atlas Shrugged, when the productive people in society are just going to stop producing. Why should anyone work hard to create value when a substantial portion of that value will get diverted into fighting off regulators and other government goons, only to have half of what you do make seized to pay for those very same thugs?L: Are you telling all the Atlases out there that it’s time to shrug?Doug: I think so, on a moral basis. I’m sick and tired of supporting my oppressors. It makes me feel like dissipating my capital on high living, simply because that will deny it to the state. It’s perverse, how they’ve structured society with incentives to be a consumer, not a producer. Why save, when it’s likely your savings will be stolen?L: Well… I guess that explains why you’re building a house in a beautiful but rural corner of Argentina. You’re on strike, no longer wanting to be your brother’s financial keeper. But Argentina’s government is just as scary as any other.Doug: Yes, but that’s why I’m an Uruguayan resident, have my bank accounts in various jurisdictions other than Argentina – or the US, for that matter – and I’m also working on becoming a Paraguayan taxpayer.L: But Paraguay doesn’t have a personal income tax…Doug: Exactly. And this is my message to the Hank Reardens of the world: become a “permanent tourist.” There’s no such thing as a real tax haven anymore – even Swiss bank accounts, if you can get one, are not what they used to be. You ask what the point is of leaving when all governments look at their subjects as milk cows? Well, a tourist is an honored guest who spends money in the local economy; he’s welcome and largely left alone. No one place is perfect – certainly not Argentina – but if you distribute your life across various jurisdictions, none of them consider you to be their cow. I simply prefer Argentina as a place to spend most of my time. Other countries are to be used for different things for different reasons.L: So where’s the least-bad place to have your corporate office these days?Doug: I think you’ve got to look at Singapore. Hong Kong is still very good. Dubai offers some advantages in that part of the world. Other than that, you’ve got to go to a place where the government is small and incompetent.L: Hence your interest in Paraguay.Doug: Exactly. But that’s not a place I’d actually want to live; it’s a backwater, with little more than farms and a capital that’s like a small Midwestern city with colonial architecture in the center. The weather is unbearably hot during the summer. I also have to caution readers that the OECD is pressuring Paraguay to adopt a personal income tax – though none has yet been implemented, and it’s currently a good place to be a taxpayer.L: The US is still an economic powerhouse and a place where a lot of people make a lot of money…Doug: Yes, it’s shocking to me, though, how the US has gone downhill. In past decades, if anyone wanted to set up a business, the US would almost certainly have been the best place to do so. But it has become less and less so over the years. Now it’s just asking for trouble. But everything is relative. I’d advise anyone with capital to deploy it elsewhere, not in the US, because it has just become too dangerous, financially and morally. But if I had nothing, if I were a landless serf struggling to live in Nigeria or Burma or Venezuela, sure, I’d try to make it to the US. Bad as it’s getting, it’s vastly better than where they come from – and will likely be for years.The fact that there are some 50 million people relying on food stamps these days – about one in six US citizens gets money for food – just goes to show how bad things are getting. And worse, government agencies are trying to get more people on to these programs, instead of helping them to stand on their own two feet. According to a Wall Street Journal article I was reading the other day, Republicans and Democrats alike have blocked reform of the food stamp program, even minimal and sensible reforms like means testing. The program is projected to spend more than $700 billion over the next ten years.L: Gee, Doug: doom and gloom and dark despair. But that’s not a new tune for you. Let’s suppose that your analysis is essentially correct; what makes you think that the pot’s about to boil over? How can we know that this is not just more grumbling from a permabear?Doug: Well, it’s true: “inevitable” is not the same thing as “imminent.” When people see that something is inevitable – and I’m guilty of this mistake myself – they tend to believe those things are also imminent, even when that’s not so. But the inevitable is inevitable, and that means it must happen. We usually can’t predict exactly when – and such things often take far longer to arrive than we imagine they possibly can – but once things to start unravel, they tend to accelerate quickly. The crisis seems far off for a long period of time, and then suddenly it’s upon us.It’s much like the ground rush effect when you’re sky diving. When you first exit the plane, typically at around 7,500 feet for a 30-second free-fall, it seems like you could fall forever. That’s partly because it takes 5 or 10 seconds to reach terminal velocity and partly because of the way geometry plays with your visual perception. At around 2,500 feet, though, you can see the ride is coming to an end. By 2,000 feet, you don’t need to look at your altimeter to figure when to pull, because you’re feeling urgent ground rush. Europe is under 1,000 feet, and even if they do pull the ripcord, they’ll find there’s no chute… just a bunch of dirty laundry their economists packed as a joke. It’s pointless to talk about anything but a very, very hard landing. Unfortunately, when we’re talking about the economy, the analogy breaks down a bit. That’s because you actually don’t need a parachute to go sky diving. You only need one to go sky diving twice.L: [Laughs]Doug: Let me change the metaphor. Europe is in hot water. One of the things that has me thinking the water in the pot might hit its boiling point this summer is that people generally prefer to riot in the summer… for all kinds of reasons. Feeling ripped off by “the system” is a really big one. Take the bank runs in Greece – to the tune of a billion dollars a day. If I were a resident of any European country, I’d definitely run to the bank and get cash. Sure, it’s just paper, but that’s better than nothing if the bank fails and governments don’t bail it out quickly enough.Even the US has seen many bank failures since 2008, but the FDIC and the Fed always paper it over. And yet, more and more people are recognizing that the system rests on nothing more than confidence. More and more people are going to physical cash in their physical possession all over the world. Most people don’t have a lot of financial sophistication, but they read enough and see enough, and have enough sense to be scared. When that’s the case, they’d rather have more cash in their pockets or mattresses than they would normally. That’s because money left in banks can become suddenly inaccessible if there’s a problem with the banking system, or if the government declares a bank holiday, or if the government just takes it, alleging tax evasion or money “laundering”…Note to those living in the US: this can happen to you, too. I’d definitely recommend building up a stash of twenties and hundreds, enough for several months’ living expenses, in case banks suddenly don’t have cash on hand. Better yet, put it in gold and silver, because you never know what the banks will give you when push comes to shove – or if anyone will accept what the banks give you in exchange for goods and services you need … especially if Bernanke dumps too many hundred-dollar bills from helicopters. All these paper currencies are rapidly headed for their intrinsic values. And when they reach them, billions of people all over the world are going to feel very, very pissed off – and basically at the same time.During the last Argentine crisis, some people thought they were being smart, keeping their savings in dollars in banks. Well, the government declared a bank holiday, and when the banks opened, their dollars were converted to pesos – and devalued by about 75% to boot. Essentially the same thing happened in the US when Roosevelt devalued the dollar.L: So… the short version would be that what’s inevitable may or may not be that imminent, but on such matters, it’s better to be a year early than a day late?Doug: That’s exactly right. And I really do think we’re getting close to the edge of the precipice.You know, people can read this and just view it as entertainment, or dismiss it as just another opinion. But it’s like the old oak that was there for a hundred years and looked like it would last another hundred years, but fell suddenly in a storm. Only then did we see that it was hollow and had long been close to collapse. That’s where the world’s financial situation is: it’s rotten to the core because of fractional reserve banking and fiat currencies, and totally corrupt because of state intervention in the marketplace.L: I remember how we – people who understood market economics – all knew the Soviet Union had to collapse from its internal contradictions and economically self-destructive policies. But we didn’t know how long it could last, and sometimes it seemed like it would be forever. But then when it came unglued, it fell apart with breathtaking speed.Doug: Just so. But when the Soviet bloc collapsed, at least the West was there to help them out. Who’s going to bail out the West? A giant reset button will get pushed, with unpredictable results. Personally, I am buying more gold every month. I anticipate a genuine world-class and world-spanning crisis. And it wouldn’t just be financial and economic; everything will be in turmoil – society, the military, culture, education, art, science – everything. Really interesting times are coming up here. But on the bright side, I have a low threshold of boredom. I admit I’m something of both an adrenalin and an entertainment junkie.L: Right. But for those of us still working to amass the kind of capital it takes to be able to regard a global calamity as an adrenalin rush, it should be noted that this crisis will bring loads of opportunities to those who see it coming and prepare.Doug: Word to the wise. More on that in future conversations.L: And our newsletters, of course.Doug: Of course. The markets are going to be full of great speculations for the next few years. And, eventually, some great investments as well. I trust that by now our readers know the difference.Without fail, governmental meddling in the market creates economic dislocation ripe for exploitation. Get in on the right play ahead of the curve – like betting against Fannie Mae before the real estate market collapsed in 2008 or buying gold in the early 2000s – and you can make a fortune.The trick, of course, is to anticipate such moves before they happen. In hindsight, the action that precipitated the aforementioned opportunities – governmental incentives to banks to lend to those who couldn’t afford to buy homes (which led to the real estate collapse), and escalating sovereign debt worldwide (which helped spur the 21st-century gold rush) – is clear now.Equally clear to us is the fact that there are now many budding profit opportunities for speculators. One of the best is waiting to reward those who look beneath the surface of the gold market. Energy, technology, and foreign markets are also creating outsized opportunities for gains… but only for those who take the time to dig beneath mainstream economic news.It would be well worth your time to do so.last_img read more

More Gold Buying Tips Dont get hung up on pric

first_img More Gold Buying Tips: Don’t get hung up on price fluctuations. Gold prices are volatile in the short term. Thus, you should not get too hung up on these wide fluctuations. However, if you can stomach the short-term movements, or if your ability to purchase is limited, monitoring a couple technical indicators can help identify appropriate entry points for a position in gold. Understand why you are buying. Buying physical gold in an attempt to make a gain on short-term price fluctuations is not recommended as costs can make this an unprofitable venture. Rather, the acquisition of this traditional store of value is a substitute for the fiat currencies around the world – it is better viewed as an ultra-secure savings account that cannot be debased or stolen through fiat money printing. As we don’t believe gold is anywhere near it’s top, it’s a long-term investment and only to be sold if you need the cash. Set aside a fixed number of dollars for gold purchases each month. A very easy way to take advantage of the temporary dips in price is to set aside a fixed amount of dollars each month for gold buying. This habit, when paired with the basic indicators discussed above, give you the best opportunity to purchase gold at a favorable price. [One of the most convenient ways to purchase and store precious metals is through a SmartMetals account – a breakthrough new program developed by the Hard Assets Alliance that allows investors to buy gold, silver, platinum and palladium through a secure online portal and store domestically or, in the case of gold, internationally in London, Zurich or Melbourne. Download the free SmartMetals Action Kit for all the details.] One may ask why gold hasn’t made new highs in the past year. Looking back at the chart, we see that after the end of QE2, gold has traded sideways. However, dips below the 50-day average still represented opportunities to acquire more of the yellow metal. Now that we’ve got another round of quantitative easing, we expect gold to resume the pattern of temporarily dropping below the 50-day average and then breaking out to new highs afterward. Buying Indicator #2: USD Index Another indicator that gold is “on sale” is the USD Index. Gold and the USD Index have a strong inverse relationship, meaning that tops in the index represent a good time to buy gold. In this next chart, we’ve circled the tops in the USD Index and marked the subsequent rises in gold prices shortly thereafter. By the Hard Assets Alliance Team With the Fed’s announcement of QE3 and the world’s central banks jumping onto Uncle Ben’s helicopter, prospects for a rising gold price are rosy. But, what if you’re new to buying gold, have seen the price rise ever higher over the past few years, and are worried you’ve missed the best entry point? If you share our belief that money printing and subsequent currency devaluation will continue, then you need not worry. The long-term prospects for gold are very positive – making any entry point at current levels a good one. However, temporary dips in price can offer a golden opportunity to buy the metal at a “discount”. How can one identify these buy points? We’ll explore the answer to this question below. Buying Indicator #1: The 50-day Moving Average One of the most useful technical buying indicators is the 50-day moving average. Once gold’s price drops below the line, it often experiences a surge soon after, and, other than in a temporary sideways market, rarely returns to that original price point again. Some such opportunities are highlighted in the chart below.last_img read more

WTI

first_img WTI <$55.09 5 months 24 months, 4% extraction tax thereafter 5.0% 0.0% All Wells How Do You Make Money from the Evolving Shale Revolution? The current energy markets are volatile, but a speculator must use volatility to his own advantage to build positions in companies that have suffered as a result of the current market correction. I follow a very disciplined approach and use very advanced mathematics and technical knowledge to position myself in the best energy companies. If you’re looking for in-depth research, experience, and exposure to my vast network in the resource sector, then you may want to pay attention to what I’m doing. If you believe that in order to be successful in the resource sector, one must be a contrarian—as I do—now is the time to become engaged. Come see what I’m doing with my own money. You’ll get access to every Casey Energy Report newsletter I’ve written in the last decade. I reveal which companies will be best situated to make their shareholders money in the current depressed energy market. It’s all available right here. I can’t make the trade for you, but I can help you help yourself. I’m making big bets—are you ready to step up and join me? I plan on writing a weekly missive on whatever I find interesting in the resource world. I will also attempt to make this the one stop. K-Man’s Resource Financial Tip of the Week: Price per Flowing Barrel If you’re wondering why this portion is K-Man, it was my nickname back when I was a teacher. Though I left teaching years ago, some people still call me K-Man, including Casey Research’s Louis James. In the spirit of learning, and as a flashback to my old teaching days, this section will be called “K-Man’s Financial Tips.” Over decades of practice, valuation experts have derived industry specific multiples to determine the intrinsic value of companies. Investing is not easy and requires hard work and a lot of time. Thus, any tools to make things simpler is definitely welcome, and multiples are just that: tools to help in the process of buying and selling stocks. For example, social media stocks have been on everyone’s radar: companies with absolutely no earnings are raising billions upon billions of dollars from a more-than-eager investment community. However, traditional valuation methods, especially the price-to-earnings ratio, are thrown out the window, and investors must somehow quantify what is merely an idea. This is where the industry specific multiple comes in. The only thing that can be quantified in the case of Twitter, WhatsApp, Snapchat, etc., are the users of the application. And as it turns out, you and I are worth roughly $100 each. So, if a new social media company is launched and 1,000 users sign-up, the company is worth $100,000 to the market. Let’s look at a real life example. According to their last financials, Twitter, who had a loss of $578 million in 2014, has 288 million users and market capitalization of approximately $34 billion. So, each user is currently being valued at $118. Your tweets about the weather and how long your coffee is taking at Starbucks are worth roughly the cost of Netflix for a year. Feeling used? The price per flowing barrel is just another multiple, but used in the valuation of oil and gas. It is calculated as: Russian Urals 54.51 The WTI price in January, February, and the first half of March 2015 have remained below $55.09, which means that if oil prices remain below $55.09 for the next 2½ months, we could see this tax incentive kick in as early as June 2015. $57.50> WTI >$55.09 1 month First 75,000 Barrels, $4.5 million revenue per well, for 18 months 5.0% 2.0% New Wells Western Canadian Select         38.17 Global Crude Prices $USD US oil production has increased even under a crumbling oil price. How? For one thing, lower production costs. As drilling and service companies are forced to undercut each other to compete for business, the cost of production per barrel decreases. Another and now very crucial element is the support from state governments. State Governments backing the US oil patch For every $1 spent on Texas’s oil and gas industry, $2 of additional business is generated in other industries, and for every $1 spent on North Dakota’s oil and gas industry, $1.60 of additional business is generated, according to both Texas’s and North Dakota’s own government websites. Texas and North Dakota are the largest oil producing states, and they are more than aware that their economies depend on oil production. Texas and North Dakota produce 3.5 and 1.2 million barrels per day of oil, respectively, which is over 50% of total US oil production. (To put things in perspective, one in every four drilling rigs on the planet is in Texas.) Thus, for their states to do well, it is essential for the oil and gas industry to continue to thrive. The way Texas and North Dakota have dealt with the issue of low oil prices is by providing oil and gas companies with tax incentives. The most effective tax incentive will come from North Dakota’s tax program on new and old oil wells. If oil drops below $55.09 for five consecutive months, all wells will be exempt for 24 months from paying a 6.5% extraction tax on oil produced. After the 24 months, if oil prices have not increased above $55.09 for a five-month period, the extraction tax will increase to 4%. However, if oil prices rise above $55.09 per barrel for five consecutive months, the extraction tax exemption will become inactive. Oman 55.90 Brent 55.55 What’s Next in the Energy Sector? In the past four months, I have personally invested more cash in speculations than I have in the last four years. Could I be wrong? You bet I could, but this is not my first downturn. I’ve seen this rodeo before. I also do not have many positions personally, nor does the Casey Energy Report portfolio. I follow a very disciplined approach, and my style isn’t for everyone. I’ll be the first to acknowledge that fact. If you’re looking for a newsletter that recommends a stock every month, I’m not your guy. I only recommend stocks that I’m willing to put my own money in. If you’re looking for in-depth research every month, experience, and exposure to my vast network in the resource sector, then you may want to pay attention. There’s blood in the streets in the energy sector right now—and I love it! If you believe that, as I do, to be successful in the resource sector, one must be a contrarian, now is the time to become engaged. So how can we profit from the blood in these markets? Take me up on my “Katusa Challenge.” You’ll get access to every Casey Energy Report newsletter I’ve written in the last decade, along with my current recommendations, with specific price and timing guidance. There’s no risk to you. If you don’t like the Casey Energy Report or don’t make any money over your first three months, just cancel within that time for a full, prompt refund, no questions asked. Even if you miss the three-month cutoff, cancel anytime for a prorated refund on the unused part of your subscription. As a subscriber, you’ll receive instant access to our current issue, which details how to protect yourself from falling oil prices, plus our current top recommendations in the oil patch. Do your portfolio a favor and have me on your side to increase your chances of success. I can’t make the trade for you, but I can help you help yourself. I’m making big bets—are you ready to step up and join me? Below are the US natural gas storage levels. Interesting metaphor (unconventional, as it’s unconventional technologies that will save the US E&P sector) I’m jabbing with here, but it’s an appropriate one, as the Russians have increased their oil production, as have the US and Saudi Arabia. And just like in boxing, it is important to not be caught standing still. Iran? Yes, Iran also might become an issue because of the potential increase of Iranian oil exports. The P5+1 countries have come to a framework agreement with Iran regarding the nuclear issue. Part of this agreement would lead to the sanctions against Iran being removed, including oil sanctions. Iran has the ability to increase production and the existing infrastructure to bring this oil to the international markets. All of this would increase the global supply of oil. Bearish for oil. This means as an investor, you have to be on your toes at all times, stick and move, as Ali would say. If you’re caught flatfooted or get hit on the chin, it could be lights out for your portfolio. Oil Prices around the World One of my favorite scenes in Rocky is where Rocky asks his manager, Mickey, who is in his corner, to cut open his right eye just before the 15th round. Apollo Creed had cut and bruised Rocky’s eye so badly that Rocky couldn’t see out of his right eye. Time will tell how the US oil patch will look by the time this battle with OPEC is over. Rocky is one of my favorite films of all time. Chuck Wepner is regarded as the “real life” Rocky, as it’s Chuck’s career that people most believe Stallone used to create Rocky. But I believe it was based on a hybrid of both Chuck Wepner’s and my favorite boxer “Mr.Canada,” George Chuvalo’s, careers. Chuvalo, like Rocky had very little time, exactly 17 days to prepare for the world title bout against Ali, and like Rocky, Chuvalo went the distance with Ali. Also, like Rocky, Chuvalo came from an ethnic background. Muhammad Ali, stated of Chuvalo, “He’s the toughest guy I ever fought,” and Chuvalo, whom many believe had one of hardest punches in boxing history, happens to be of Croatian descent. Even Stallone made a remark about Chuvalo, calling him, “My hero.” Chuvalo’s post-ring life has been a nightmare, with his first wife and a son both committing suicide, and two sons who died from drug overdoses. Trying to make the best of a horrible experience, Chuvalo has dedicated his life to trying to teach kids the dangers of drug abuse. Chuvalo, you’re a world champ in my books! West Texas Int. 50.42 Midland 50.09 Price per Barrel Period Sustained Period Enacted Production Tax Extraction Tax Well Types Bakken 46.39 Back in November I wrote why OPEC would not cut oil production. At the same time, I also stated that we would see US government tax breaks for certain US producers. It’s now official. Tax breaks are about to start. If the shale revolution is in a 12-round boxing match, then we are barely through the first few rounds. In the first round, OPEC came out swinging with haymakers as they declared war on US shale and said they would not cut production. Many US exploration and production (E&P) companies’ share prices took a beating as the price of WTI tumbled over 50%. Supported by the ropes and holding on for dear life, round one ended with the US E&Ps looking to their corner for help. And help has come. The oil patch has always tried to distance itself from all forms of government, but it is the government that is coming to their rescue. And because of the US government’s assistance, the US E&Ps are able to throw a couple of uppercuts back at OPEC. Why? Tax breaks, which have helped increase US oil production. OPEC took round one, but round two goes to the US E&P sector. Back to the oil patch. Should the government create tax incentives for the US E&Ps? Answer: They have no choice. But the governments will actually add to the problem and here is why. The state governments of Texas and North Dakota have additional legislative measures that will promote oil production through force. Under Texas and North Dakota oil well abandonment laws, any well that remains inactive and unproductive for more than a year must be plugged. North Dakota, in addition to plugging, the well site must be reclaimed to its original landscape. The reason this is particularly important to the current US shale oil industry is due to the increased amount of oil wells that have been drilled and left uncompleted in North Dakota and Texas. The costs of reclaiming certain wells is actually higher than the NPV of the well, thus the companies will continue to produce because it’s cheaper than reclaiming the well. The reason oil and gas companies are leaving wells uncompleted is to prolong their production until a higher oil price is realized. These companies are essentially storing oil in the ground in hopes that within a year, oil prices will appreciate. Large producers such as EOG Resources, Apache, Anadarko Petroleum, and Chesapeake have added over 3,000 US shale wells that remain uncompleted and unable to produce. I wrote about this in 2011, calling them “phantom wells” in the gas sector. The phrase being used today is “fracklog.” If oil prices remain low for the rest of 2015, it is likely that many of these wells will be forced into production or required by state regulations to be plugged and, for North Dakota wells, reclaimed. According to the North Dakota Industrial Commission, Department of Mineral Resources, there are 825 North Dakota wells that were drilled and uncompleted as of January 2015, compared to October when 650 were left uncompleted and 150 were left uncompleted in June 2014. If we just focus in on North Dakota production, by June 2015, oil producers will be forced to either plug and restore their well sites or bring on at least 37,500 barrels per day of additional production over the next two months. As October 2015 approaches, an additional 500  wells will be forced to either plug the wells and restore the land, or produce a minimum of 150,000 barrels of new oil production per day. Ding, Ding, Ding; Round Three. Who Will Take Round Three? Unfortunately for this fight, there will be no scantily clad models walking the ring between rounds. No ring girls in this fight. Just investors, speculators, traders, E&P’s, NOCs, and now governments. Round three is likely going to be a long and bloody round as both sides (OPEC and US E&Ps) begin to suffer from the previous rounds of the fight. The Saudis have publicly stated they have produced 350,000 more barrels per day than reported to OPEC, while also suggesting they could increase production further if there was demand. This is not a knockout punch but a definite body blow to the North American shale industry. The US tax incentives are not going away and will drive production higher into 2015 and early 2016. Furthermore, the backlog of thousands of wells (fracklog) that can be completed in a matter of days will force down any short-term increase in the price of WTI. Round three will extend throughout the majority of 2015 as OPEC and the United States circle each other, leaving everything in the ring. What about Russia? For all the Rocky fans, don’t worry, I didn’t forget about the greatest Russian boxer, Ivan Drago. In Rocky IV, Ivan Drago easily took down Apollo Creed. Rocky turned to unconventional training methods to take down Ivan Drago. WTI > $57.50 5 months N/A 5.0% 6.5% All Wells The incentive trigger for a price under $55.09, plus the existing tax incentive trigger for a price between $55.09 and $57.50, will reduce North Dakota oil-driven tax revenue by $100 million per month, provided oil stays below $55.09 per barrel for the entire 24-month period. Tax incentives in both Texas and North Dakota provide oil and gas companies with a saving grace of last resort. But just as oil companies can benefit from incentivized regulation from state governments, there are certain regulations that may hinder the profitability of oil and gas companies, while simultaneously leading to another unwarranted flood of US oil production. Mick, Cut me Syncrude 53.62 Condensate 51.83 North Dakota Tax Incentive Program Edmonton Par 47.36 If this multiple is higher than its peers, the company is trading at a premium, and if it’s lower, the company is trading at a discount. Now let’s use it in a real life example like we did with Twitter. In one of the most recent transactions in the oil patch, Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO) acquired Beaumont Energy, a private E&P, for $587.5 million. At time of acquisition, Beaumont had production of 5,100 barrels of oil equivalent per day, so Whitecap paid $115,196 per flowing barrel. Historically, companies operating in the same light-oil play sold for $100,000 per flowing barrel, so initially we can conclude Whitecap overpaid for Beaumont. This metric is easy to use, but we emphasize that it is just one tool to use in the valuation of an oil company. And it comes with several shortcomings. One is that the metric does not take into account the reserves of a company or the future growth from undeveloped fields. So, while it may look like Whitecap overpaid for Beaumont, we are not taking into account the 27.2 million barrels of 1P reserves Beaumont also comes with. Which is why the price per flowing barrel metric is often used in combination with the enterprise value to 1P Reserve ratio. It helps investors understand how well a company’s current production is supported by what is in the ground. Remember, these metrics will differ due to location and oil/gas mix, but it’s a great starting point if you have a group of similar companies. Interesting Resource Data Below is the data showing the current oil storage, capacity, and daily production. This past week was the first week of the year that had a production decrease. US crude oil production is at 9.386 million bopd, down 37,000 bopd from the week before. Hard Rock Data Here are the five-year storage and price decks for some of the more popular metals. I have put this info together for you so you can quickly see the price and LME inventory levels all in one place.last_img read more

This would be a terrible thing to say about most b

first_imgThis would be a terrible thing to say about most books but, in this case, it might actually be a compliment: I kept falling asleep reading Marina Benjamin’s Insomnia. I wasn’t so much bored as somehow soothed by her velvety ruminations on night wakefulness, which run on, unbroken by chapters, with lots of airy white space between paragraphs. Awash in the comfort of a kindred soul, I relaxed enough to be lulled into sleep. Did her Insomnia cure mine?Think how many hours are lost to night frets, which Benjamin ties to a “turbocharged … overactive brain” and I liken to a washing machine’s spin cycle. I know that my insomnia has increased since the 2016 election, and I don’t think I’m alone.Benjamin’s Insomnia follows Middlepause, her memoir about reaching 50, and indeed, insomnia often follows menopause, almost as reliably as Winter follows Fall. Her eloquent description of the inconsolability and frustration of finding oneself irremediably awake during the witching hours, “cannibalized by your own gnawing thoughts,” will certainly strike a familiar chord for many. She nails the “shotgun awakenings,” the sense of being “jet-lagged in your native time zone,” and the exasperation of being stuck chewing over all the day’s insignificant “crud,” “like waterboarding the mind with meaningless overflow, a smothering drip, drip, drip of surplus thought.”Even worse are the nocturnal worries: “In my bed, I flap and thrash like a grouper caught in the net, victim to an escalating anxiety,” she writes. “It is as if all the lights in my head had been lit at once, the whole engine coming to life, messages flying, dendrites flowering, synapses whipping snaps of electricity across my brain; and the brain itself, like some phosphorescent free-floating jellyfish of the deep, is luminescent, awake, alive.” She adds that, unable to find the off-button, “I pursue sleep so hard I become invigorated by the chase.”Benjamin’s book is more impressionistic than scientific: Don’t look here for an explanation of the chemistry or biology of nocturnal wakefulness. She pooh-poohs pharmaceutical sleep aids, and is also dismissive of a five-week course of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomniacs, which adds to her torment with its strictures about sleep hygiene and distressing, restrictive sleep diets. Meanwhile, her husband, whom she amusingly dubs “Zzz,” slumbers peacefully beside her, heightening her sense of isolation.Benjamin’s mind works like a wide-roving trawler that rakes an area repeatedly before moving on to adjacent territory. Among the live fish caught in her net: Greek mythology; Penelope weaving and unraveling Laertes’s shroud as she awaits Odysseus’ return; Sheherazade spinning nocturnal yarns to save her life; Nabokov’s dream diary; poet Charles Simic’s “The Congress of the Insomniacs”; Oliver Sacks’s Awakenings; Rene Magritte’s surreal paintings that combine day and night; and the Pre-Raphaelites Edward Burne-Jones’s and William Morris’s depictions of sleeping maidens.Her thoughts on some of these subjects are hit and miss — and sometimes soporific. But concerning Freud’s focus on the interplay between conscious and unconscious minds she writes amusingly, “It cheers me to note that because psychoanalysis works to excavate the brain’s nocturnal effusions and then drag them into the light, it is essentially an insomniac practice.” And her reflections on Robinson Crusoe lead to an unexpected discussion of slave labor and the dark side of capitalism and colonialism, in which she points out that what was being grown and imported were addictive stimulants: tobacco, coffee, sugar — “generators of mass insomnia.”Insomnia turns out to be somewhat of a celebration of sleeplessness as well as a lament. It is strongest at its most personal, and is filled with memorable images — including a Cree dream catcher that “resembled a giant dangly earring,” and Benjamin’s nocturnal canine companion’s “legs splayed like bagpipes” on the sofa beside her. Especially vivid is the “trail of evidence” she leaves behind on insomniac nights, which resembles “the scene of a crime. All that is lacking is the body shape outlined on the floor: the missing body, wakeful when it should be sleeping.”Benjamin’s book is more likely to elucidate than cure your insomnia, but it does offer a distracting brain-teaser for your next bout of sleeplessness: Try to come up with a collective noun for insomniacs. She toys with a flare, a fret, a brightness, before hitting on “a calculation of insomniacs.”I’m partial to a jitter. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Spiceworks Expands IntentBased Targeting Capabilities to Help Technology Brands Engage Businesses InMarket

first_img Business Applicationscrmintent-based targetingMarketing TechnologyNewsspiceworksTechnology Previous ArticleThe Web of Science Group Launches New Publisher Analytics ReportsNext ArticlePing Identity Releases Capabilities Framework for Zero Trust Deployments Spiceworks Expands Intent-Based Targeting Capabilities to Help Technology Brands Engage Businesses In-Market for Security, Cloud, and Business Application Technologies MTS Staff WriterJune 7, 2019, 1:49 pmJune 7, 2019 Over 200,000 Businesses in Spiceworks Are Currently In-Market for a Variety of Technology Products and ServicesSpiceworks, the marketplace that connects the technology industry, announced an expansion of its existing intent-based targeting capabilities to include 13 new technology categories across Security, Business Applications, and Cloud Services. More than 150 of the world’s most innovative B2B technology brands use Spiceworks intent-powered email, content syndication, and advertising products to accelerate their sales cycles and engage businesses – and the buyers within them – that are in-market to purchase technology products and services.Spiceworks can now help technology brands engage in-market businesses across 27 technology categories, nearly doubling the 14 previously introduced options. New, more targeted technology categories in Security include Endpoint Security, Network Security, Database Security, Compliance Management, and Cloud Security. New targeting options in the Cloud category include Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Cloud Migration, and Infrastructure Management and Monitoring. Lastly, new segments in the Business Application category include HR Software, CRM and Marketing Automation Software, ERP Systems and Supply Chain Management Software, Productivity Software, and Business Intelligence and Analytics. In each of these technology categories, Spiceworks has identified from 5,000 to over 200,000 businesses that are currently in market for a variety of technology solutions.Marketing Technology News: Jeff Herrera Announced as Chief Marketing Officer at Annex CloudSpiceworks intent-based targeting capabilities are fueled by the most comprehensive set of first-party insights in the B2B technology market, including interactions across the Spiceworks products that technology buyers connect to and trust to run their businesses. Products including Topic Discussions, Product Reviews, Inventory, Help Desk, and Learning Modules generate billions of intent signals, providing the intelligence brands need to identify in-market businesses, understand their buying journeys, and ultimately accelerate their sales cycles.“We continue to invest in our team of data scientists, new AI technologies, and the products that fuel our unique ability to more directly connect technology buyers and sellers throughout the B2B purchase journey,” said Manish Dixit, senior vice president of products and engineering at Spiceworks. “Ultimately, our goal is to reduce friction in the business technology buying process by delivering greater insights for technology buyers and the intelligence technology brands need so both can more efficiently connect in the $3 trillion IT industry.”Marketing Technology News: US Podcast Ad Revenues Hit Historic $479 Million in 2018, an Increase of 53% over Prior Year, According to IAB & PwC ResearchSpiceworks intent-based targeting capabilities will be available for new Security, Business Application, and Cloud technology categories in June 2019. Intent-based targeting can be activated across Spiceworks’ marketing solution suite including email, content syndication, display, and audience extension.Marketing Technology News: With 87% Surge in Customer Bookings, Episerver Promotes Internally for CMOlast_img read more

Study uncovers new oncogenic function of receptor associated with Alzheimers disease

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 28 2019Common and rare SORLA single nucleotide polymorphisms have been associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. So far, SORLA has been mainly studied in neurons, but the new study focused on SORLA’s role in cancer cells. Led by Academy Professor Johanna Ivaska, researchers from the University of Turku in Finland observed that SORLA was highly expressed in HER2 positive cancers. Removing SORLA from cancer cells severely impaired the oncogenic fitness of HER2 positive cancers.HER2 is a strong driver of tumor growth. HER2 amplification occurs in about 20% of breast cancers and overexpression or amplification of HER2 is also commonly found in bladder and gastric cancers. HER2 targeting therapies, such as Herceptin, are widely used in clinics and it plays an important role in the treatment of HER2 positive cancers. However, some patients will eventually progress during the Herceptin treatment and some do not respond to it at all. The newly discovered role of SORLA in regulating the oncogenic fitness of HER2 offers novel possibilities to target HER2 positive cancers in the future. Our study showed that removing the SORLA protein from HER2 positive cancer cell lines, from which some were sensitive and some resistant to Herceptin, strongly inhibited the in vitro proliferation of these cells. More importantly, removing the SORLA protein from these cells prevented tumor formation and growth in mice. So far, the role of SORLA in cancer has been unknown, and our discovery on HER2 positive cancers being dependent on SORLA was surprising, since this cancer type has already been widely studied.”Mika Pietilä, former Ivaska Lab member and Postdoctoral Researcher, main author of the paper In vitro cell culture experiments showed that the SORLA protein promotes the recycling of the HER2 receptor back to the plasma membrane where the receptor is active and drives the proliferation of cancer cells. When SORLA was removed, the HER2 receptor accumulated into lysosomes where the receptor is not functional and thus cannot drive the tumor growth anymore.Previous studies have shown inverse association between Alzheimer’s disease and cancerRelated StoriesSex plays major role in Alzheimer’s disease riskStudy highlights the need for larger Alzheimer’s drug trials that intervene much earlierMachine learning can be a modern approach in cognitive brain health assessmentIn neurons, SORLA prevents the formation of amyloid plaques, and, therefore, inactivating or truncating mutations in SORLA are associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Even though both Alzheimer’s disease and cancer are common among the aging population, previous studies have demonstrated that patients with Alzheimer’s disease have a lower risk to get cancer during their lives, and, vice versa, cancer survivors have a lower risk to develop Alzheimer’s disease.”No clear reason has been found yet for the inverse association between Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Our results, which show that SORLA promotes the aggressiveness of certain cancer types, could be one factor among others in this phenomenon,” suggests Ivaska.The Ivaska Lab is located at the Turku Bioscience Centre that is operated by both the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University.The next goal is to find a way to block the function of SORLA in tumor cells and thus develop SORLA targeting treatment. This part of the study is already running and funded by the ERC Proof of Concept funding. The study is also funded by the Cancer Foundation Finland’s Pink Ribbon Campaign.Source:University of TurkuJournal reference:Pietilä, M. et al. (2019) SORLA regulates endosomal trafficking and oncogenic fitness of HER2. Nature Communications. doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10275-0last_img read more

Malaysias ecommerce industry poised for strong growth in 2H19

first_img Tags / Keywords: To-date, Shopee Malaysia employs more than 600, a 50% increase from the same period in 2018. The employees in Malaysia are trained to serve the Malaysian and part of Singapore’s markets. The employment and job creation contributes to the growth of Malaysia’s consumption economy.“In just a year, Shopee has doubled the number of downloads of our app from around 10 million downloads to 20 million downloads to-date. This was achieved through creative branding and communications efforts, successful and exclusive brand tie-ups and strong word-of-mouth advocacy by Malaysians in general; a testament that our product serves the demands of the markets,” Shopee said. Shopee said apart from the sales campaigns lined up for the rest of the year, it would continue to scale our efforts in line with the Government’s initiatives in accelerating growth of e-commerce as part of the National eCommerce Strategic Roadmap.“One of our missions has always been to better the lives of consumers and small businesses with technology. We believe in the transformative power of technology and want to solve social and lifestyle problems for retailers, entrepreneurs and consumers by bridging the gap between all stakeholders and creating greater convenience that would change the way retailers trade and people live,” it said.“We have made it our mandate to ensure that Malaysia is on track to achieve its projected annual e-commerce growth of 20% in 2020. We will continue to work and support to the best of our abilities and capacity to benefit the local economy and Malaysians as we strive towards a high-income nation by 2024,” Shopee said.  Comics 23h ago Kee’s World – July 13, 2019 – Star2.com e-Commerce , Shopee Tech News 10 Jul 2019 Amazon customer helpline not required, says Europe’s top court in boost for e-commerce Related Newscenter_img KUALA LUMPUR: Shopee, Southeast Asia and Taiwan’s leading e-commerce platform, expects e-commerce activities to increase in the second half of the year. “We have no qualms that second half of 2019 is going to be a vibrant season that is poised for strong growth with the 9.9, 10.10, 11.11 and 12.12 sales, not just for our industry but also the entire network of industries that support e-commerce including the banks, telcos and logistics providers,” Shopee said in a statement. Based on empirical data, the e-commerce platform said the first half of the year was usually quieter in the e-commerce world with shopping activities increasing towards the tail end of the year. “However, Shopee recorded stellar performance on all fronts of our business during the first half of  2019, which was supported by the increased shopping activities particularly during Chinese New Year and Hari Raya. We achieved more than a 3-fold increase from 2018’s corresponding festive periods,” it said, adding that its growth was further fueled by the introduction of its next-day delivery service in June.  e-Commerce 31 May 2019 Shopee introduces live streaming feature Related News {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more